The Links Belmont Durham, DH1 2UWTel: 0191 386 4285
These clinics are run by the nurses to monitor regularly patients with any of these conditions. They will refer patients back to the doctors if they feel it necessary.
The practice nurses run a weight management programme to offer support and guidance to patients with weight-related health problems. As well as being weighed, patients are given specialist dietary and exercise advice as each session.
The Asthma Clinic is run by our practice nurses at various times during the week to suit the convenience of our patients. The aim of this clinic is to see all patients receiving asthma medication, assess their condition, teach inhaler technique, check lung function and so enable patients to control their asthma. The initial appointment is half an hour. Subsequent appointments can be made by the patient, the nurse or the Doctor.
Many serious diseases, such as tetanus and polio are preventable by immunisation. Today all children have these immunisations but many older people have either never had these, or it is in the distant past. Please check with us if in doubt, as we are trying to ensure all our patients are protected.
Each Tuesday at 2.00pm we hold our Immunisation Clinic for babies and young children. It is extremely important that all youngsters are protected against infectious diseases. You should receive an appointment for this, but if you feel you have been missed, please contact us.
There are very few reasons why immunisation injections should not be given. Please discuss your child with the Nurse, Doctor or Health Visitor if you are concerned.
Our Midwife, Kate, works in the community, caring for our patients who become pregnant. She runs a weekly Ante-Natal Clinic where she monitors the pregnancy and is available for advice and help. The clinic runs on a Wednesday from 9.00am by appointment. If you become pregnant, you will be given a ‘booking appointment’ at which she will ask you a few questions and carry out some general health checks. You will be seen regularly throughout your pregnancy either at the surgery or at the hospital, or both.
The Practice Nurses advise on contraception and all family planning issues. Appointments are available in any of the Nurse Clinics. IUCDs can be fitted at a mutually agreeable time with the doctor, as can the contraceptive implant.
Smoking Cessation Clinic
The Practice Nurses run clinics to help those smokers who wish to kick the habit. If you would like to know more about it, please ask at the reception desk.
At the Well Person Clinic, the nurse measures blood pressure, weight etc, and offers specific advice including literature, about any health problems detected.
We may send for you or you can ask the Receptionist for an appointment.
Our nursing team run Well Woman Clinics at various times during the week. At this Clinic, as well as cervical screening, advice is given on women’s health issues as well as healthy lifestyle advice. Appointments can be fitted into any of the nurses’ clinics.
The Diabetic Clinic is held twice monthly on a Friday afternoon. This is led by Judith the Practice Nurse under the supervision of Dr Telford. Appointments are available with the Judith, the podiatrist and the dietitian.
As many people now travel abroad on holiday, it is more important than ever to make sure you have the correct immunisations. Unless you are going to Northern Europe or North America, it is very likely that you will need holiday immunisations and advice. Please make an appointment with the Practice Nurse in plenty of time, to discuss these. Most vaccinations are free but a few vaccinations, such as rabies, cannot be provided on the NHS and there will therefore be a charge to cover the cost. We are also a Yellow Fever Centre and can give yellow fever vaccination to those travellers who require it. There is also a charge for this vaccination.
To avoid patients having to go to hospital, the 2 of the Doctors carry out minor surgery operations and give injections to patients in the surgery.
You may be taking the medicine – Warfarin. This is a tablet used to thin the blood in certain medical conditions. It is important for you to take the correct dose. A pharmacist attends the surgery each Thursday to check blood levels and advise on the correct dose of each patient on warfarin. If you have any concerns about your warfarin please let us know so that we can arrange a special appointment at this clinic.
Today many patients suffer injuries or conditions due to work or leisure. For many of those, rapid physiotherapy is extremely helpful and gets them back to health quickly. A physiotherapist, Richard, comes to the surgery on Friday mornings from 8.30 to 11.30. He gives these patients treatment and advice. Please see one of the Doctors who will assess you prior to referral. We also refer patients to the University Hospital of North Durham for physiotherapy in many cases. They have more equipment there and are also geared for rapid response.
We have always run a planned programme to care for the elderly, using our computer register and nursing team
The nursing team provide skilled nursing care for our patients, whether physically or mentally ill, from babyhood to old age. The nurses work in the surgery on diagnostic and progress tests, including taking blood and carrying out electro-cardiograms as well as more conventional nursing duties such as dressing wounds, giving injections and syringing ears. They also regularly monitor our patients with chronic illnesses such as asthma, hypertension and heart disease.
They are involved in running a Smoking Cessation Clinic and a Weight Management Clinic and give advice on family planning. For those patients travelling abroad, there is a Travel Clinic for advice on vaccinations, hygiene etc. Judith also runs a clinic for patients with Diabetes, to ensure they are monitored regularly.
Their work is under the clinical direction of the Doctors but, in certain situations, patients can consult them directly without seeing the Doctor first – ask the Receptionist.
Another aspect of their work is health promotion where they will see anyone aged 16 and over and give advice on smoking, alcohol levels, diet etc. They also assist the Doctors with minor surgery.
One of the receptionists, Jill, has been trained to take blood samples. If the Doctor decides you need to have blood taken, you may be booked in with her. She will not, however, be able to answer any medical questions you may have.
This arrangement allows the nurses more time to develop other clinics for the benefit of our patients.
24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring
If a GP has requested you to make an appointment to have a 24 hour blood pressure monitor fitted, this will usually be fitted and removed by Hazel, one of the receptionists. Hazel has been trained to fit and remove, however she will not be able to answer any clinical questions regarding your health or results.
We have a number of services that are attached to the Centre - these include:
The C.P.N. (Community Psychiatric Nurse) cares for patients with mental health problems in the community. He/she sees such patients in the surgery regularly. The CPN can also help patients with problems of alcohol dependence or drug addiction.
A Health Visitor is a Registered Nurse who has undergone further training in child development and health promotion and can give advice on health care to all age groups, particularly children and the elderly.
The Health Visitor may give some ante-natal support and will make contact shortly after the baby is born to give care and support to both mother and baby.
The Health Visitors hold Well Baby Clinics in the community for weighing and general advice. For details of these clinics please contact your Health Visitor.
The contact telephone number for the Health Visitors is: 03000 269833
The podiatrist visits the surgery twice monthly when we have a Diabetic Clinic. The podiatry service aims to prevent and improve foot problems through assessment, treatment and education. The podiatrist’s time at the surgery is fully taken with diabetic patients.
A hospital Dietitian visits the practice twice monthly when we have a Diabetic Clinic to advise patients on dietary needs. The Dietitian will only see diabetic patients who have a booked appointment.
Although NHS treatment is free, we are often asked to do tasks outside this, such as signing private sick notes, signing passport forms or carrying out medicals for LGV licences etc.
We are happy to carry out private medicals. Please enquire at reception. It would be helpful to see a copy of the proforma required to ascertain what will be required and calculate the cost of the medical.
Our fees for these services are based on information given to us from national surveys. A list of these fees can be found on the link below.
There will also be a private consultation fee charge of £35.00 for temporary residents who are from a non-EU country.
Please see link below for a list of fees:
Non NHS Services and Fees Sep 14.doc
If you require any vaccinations relating to foreign travel you need to make an appointment with the practice nurse to discuss your travel arrangements. This will include which countries and areas within countries that you are visiting to determine what vaccinations are required.
There is further information about countries and vaccinations required on the links below
It is important to make this initial appointment as early as possible - at least 6 weeks before you travel - as a second appointment will be required with the practice nurse to actually receive the vaccinations. These vaccines have to be ordered as they are not a stock vaccine. Your second appointment needs to be at least 2 weeks before you travel to allow the vaccines to work.
Some travel vaccines are ordered on a private prescription and these incur a charge over and above the normal prescription charge. This is because not all travel vaccinations are included in the services provided by the NHS.
Travel Health Questionnaire
To help us offer the appropriate advice, please fill out the online form before coming to see the nurse.
Travelling in Europe
If you are travelling to Europe a very useful booklet has been published with advice and guidance to help you get the most out of your holiday. To visit please click:- http://ec.europa.eu/publications/booklets/eu_glance/86/en.pdf (this is a large document and may take a minute or two to view)
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