Category Archive News


Self Care for Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis, also known as red or pink eye, usually affects both eyes making them;

  • bloodshot
  • burn or feel gritty
  • produce pus that sticks to lashes
  • itch
  • water

A number of things can cause Conjunctivitis;

  • A bacterial or viral infection
  • An allergic reaction to a substance such as pollen or dust mites
  • Irritation from things like shampoo or a loose eyelash rubbing against the eye

Treatment isn’t usually needed for conjunctivitis because the symptoms often clear up within a couple of weeks.

There are however a few things you can do to self care at home to ease your symptoms.

  • Use clean cotton wool (one piece for each eye). Boil water and then let it cool down and then clean off crusts on your lashes by rubbing them gently.
  • Make a cold compress to press on your eyes for a few minutes to cool them down.
  • Remove contact lenses until the conjunctivitis has completely cleared up.

Your local Pharmacist can also recommend eye drops or antihistamines to help with the symptoms.

You don’t need to avoid work or school unless you or your child are feeling very unwell. If there are a few children with conjunctivitis at your child’s school, you may be asked to keep them at home. Advice for nurseries and school can be read here.

You can find your nearest pharmacy at NHS Choices.


Behind the Headlines: Meningitis Vaccine Uptake at a Worrying Low

School leavers are putting themselves at risk of deadly meningitis if they don’t have the vaccine, reports BBC News.

The Royal College of Nursing has reported that only a third of people eligible for the MenACWY vaccine took up the offer last year.

The MenACWY vaccine protects against four strains of meningococcal disease which cause meningitis and septicaemia – strains A, C, W and Y. Men W is the most aggressive and life-threatening form and can be fatal and officials say there has been a rapid increase in MenW cases across England, from 22 cases in 2009-10 to 210 cases in 2015-16.

If you were born between 1 September 1998 and 31 August 1999 and are leaving school or college, make sure you get your MenACWY vaccine. Meningitis can cause different symptoms in different people, including:

  • fever with cold hands and feet
  • vomiting
  • severe headache
  • stiff neck
  • dislike of bright lights
  • tiredness
  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • agitation
  • in some cases, convulsions or seizures

Young people who have not yet had the MenACWY vaccine remain eligible up to their 25th birthday.
Meningitis is a life-threatening medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention if suspected. Getting this vaccine and knowing the signs to look out for could save your life!

The vaccine is available free from your local GP Surgery and is a simple one-off vaccine that takes a couple of minutes and has no major side effects. Book in with your Surgery now!


Patients Living Outside our Boundary

Due to the numbers of patients moving into the Sandbach area and registering at Ashfields, our patient list size is growing every month.

After a lot of discussion, the practice has decided to review all patients who currently reside outside our boundary.  Due to the current pressures of the growing numbers of patients, the practice has reluctantly decided that patients living outside the boundary can no longer be registered with us.

Patients living outside the boundary will be contacted over the coming months and asked to register with a GP practice closer to their home.  NHS Choices website is a useful site to find details of nearby surgeries.  After contacting the surgery, it is a straightforward process to register by completing a new patient registration form.  The patient’s medical records are then transferred to their new practice.


Don’t forget your travel vaccinations!

If you are off on your travels abroad this Summer you may need to be vaccinated against some serious diseases found in other parts of the world.

In the UK, childhood vaccinations protect you against a number of diseases, but don’t cover most of the infectious diseases found overseas. If you are unsure what vaccinations, if any, you need for your holiday, you can check the Fit to Travel website and the Travel Health Pro website to find out more.

You can speak to your GP Practice receptionist who will advise you who you need to book an appointment with to discuss your travel vaccination requirements.

Please note, not all vaccinations are available free on the NHS, even if they’re recommended for travel to a certain area.

For more information you can visit the NHS Choices Website.



Ashfields Primary Care Centre scores highly in ‘The GP Patient Survey’

The GP Patient Survey is an independent survey run by Ipsos MORI every year on behalf of NHS England.
The survey is sent to a group of randomly selected patients to get their views on their GP practice.

Out of 224 surveys sent out to patients of Ashfields Primary Care Centre, 122 were returned giving a 54% completion rate. This is a good return rate for this type of survey.

The results:

  • 97% would recommend this surgery to someone new to the area
  • 95% find the receptionists at this surgery helpful
  • 94% say they felt listened to by the last GP they saw or spoke to
  • 96% had confidence and trust in the last nurse they saw or spoke to
  • 94% describe their overall experience of this surgery as good

One area that patients responding would like to see some improvements in is waiting times, as 49% of respondents state they usually wait over 15 minutes to be seen. To address this we have introduced longer appointments on some mornings to try and give people more time so the doctors overrun less.

To find out more about this year’s results, visit


Your Optician can help if you are having eye problems

If you are having problems with your eyes, visiting an optician is the best place to start.

Optometrists are highly trained to recognise abnormalities and conditions that could be causing your eye problems. They will prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses, and, if necessary, they will refer you to a GP or a hospital eye clinic for further investigations.

Having regular eye tests is important and the NHS recommends that you should get your eyes tested every two years (more often if advised by your ophthalmic practitioner or optometrist).
An NHS sight (eye) test is free of charge if you are in one of the eligible groups and your sight test is considered clinically necessary. If the ophthalmic practitioner can’t see a clinical need then you’ll have to pay for the test privately. For more information take a look at free NHS sight tests and optical vouchers.

You can find your local opticians by visiting NHS Choices.


Free online mental health support for South Cheshire Patients

South Cheshire and Vale Royal residents going through a tough time or struggling with mental health issues can now get free online support. Big White Wall is available to all South Cheshire and Vale Royal residents aged 16+.

The service is designed to help patients get support, take control and feel better. It provides 24/7 peer and professional support (with trained counsellors online at all times), plus a range of wellbeing tools to help people self-manage. This service is safe and anonymous, so no one will know you have chosen to use it unless you tell them.

70% of members reported feeling better as a result of joining BWW, and 46% shared something for the first time. Whatever you’re going through, BWW is there to help. Simply go to and enter your South Cheshire and Vale Royal postcode.

If you’d like to see more about how the service works, you can watch this short film:


Did you know your local Pharmacy can treat minor ailments?

Pharmacists play a key role in providing quality healthcare to patients.  Working in the community, pharmacists use their clinical expertise together with their practical knowledge to ensure the safe supply and use of medicines by patients and members of the public.

Many pharmacies in the local area offer the ‘Think Pharmacy’ service. This service is an alternative to visiting your GP, making it easier for you and your family to get healthcare and advice on minor ailments at a time that suits you.

Your local pharmacy can offer advice and if necessary, prescribe medication to treat the following ailments under the Minor Ailments service:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Cystitis
  • Impetigo
  • Oral thrush in babies
  • Scabies
  • Threadworm
  • Vaginal thrush

Pharmacists can also offer advice on common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains as well as healthy eating and stopping smoking.

You can talk to your pharmacist in confidence, even about the most personal symptoms and you don’t need to make an appointment; most pharmacies now have a private consultation area where patients can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard by other members of the public.

Consultations are always free and confidential, regardless of whether the pharmacist gives you any medication.

Find your nearest pharmacy

Download a copy of the Think Pharmacy Information Sheet


Stay Safe in Hot Weather

Most of us welcome the hot weather but when it’s too hot for too long, there can be health risks. Here are some tips to keep safe in the sun:

  • Spend time in the shade when the sun is at its strongest. In the UK this is between the hours of 11am & 3pm.
  • Use at least factor 15 suncream – find out more about SPF ratings
  • Drink plenty of cold drinks such as water or diluted fruit juice
  • Babies less than 6 months old should be kept out of direct sunlight
  • Infants should be kept out of the sun as much as possible
  • Wear loose cool clothes
  • Keep blinds and curtains closed during the day the keep the sun off the rooms
  • Re-apply sunscreen after being in water

Dangers of swimming in open water

In the hot weather the temptation of jumping into cool open water might be there, but it can have deadly consequences. 

Swimming in open waters such as, lakes, rivers, ponds, canals and quarries is extremely dangerous and should be avoided.

  • The water may look calm on the surface but there may still be strong undercurrents that could pull even a strong swimmer under.
  • The water may also feel warm on the surface, but just a few feet below can be icy cold event in the hot weather and can very quickly cause cramp and hypothermia.
  • People often misjudge their swimming ability, strength and stamina.

Manchester bombing 2017 – How you can access help and support

If you have been affected by the Manchester bombing, there is help and advice available to you. You can access help from the following services:

  • NHS Psychological Therapies Service – 01606 555260
  • Samaritans – 116 123
    Available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
  • Childline – 0800 1111
    A helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls ae free and the number wont show up on your phone bill.
  • PAPYRUS – 0800 068 41 41
    A voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal
  • The Sanctuary – 0300 003 7029
    A 24 hour service available every day of the year for people who are struggling to cope and are experiencing depression, anxiety, panic attacks or are in a crisis.