Shifa Surgery

Bangor Street Health Centre, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 6DY

Stop smoking treatments.

If you want to stop smoking, several different treatments are available from shops, pharmacies and on prescription to help you beat your addiction and reduce withdrawal symptoms.

The best treatment for you will depend on your personal preference, your age, whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding and any medical conditions you have. Speak to your GP or an NHS stop smoking adviser for advice.

Research has shown that all these methods can be effective. Importantly, evidence shows that they are most effective if used alongside support from an NHS stop smoking service.

The treatments available are outlined below.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)

The main reason that people smoke is because they are addicted to nicotine.

NRT is a medication that provides you with a low level of nicotine, without the tar, carbon monoxide and other poisonous chemicals present in tobacco smoke.

It can help reduce unpleasant withdrawal effects, such as bad moods and cravings, which may occur when you stop smoking.

Where to get it and how to use it

NRT can be bought from pharmacies and some shops. It’s also available on prescription from a doctor or NHS stop smoking service.

It’s available as:

  • skin patches
  • chewing gum
  • inhalators (which look like plastic cigarettes)
  • tablets, oral strips and lozenges
  • nasal and mouth spray

Patches release nicotine slowly. Some are worn all the time and some should be taken off at night. Inhalators, gum and sprays act more quickly and may be better for alleviating cravings.

There’s no evidence that any single type of NRT is more effective than another. But there is good evidence to show that using a combination of NRT is more effective than using a single product.

Often the best way to use NRT is to combine a patch with a faster acting form such as gum, inhalator or nasal spray.

Treatment with NRT usually lasts 8-12 weeks, before you gradually reduce the dose and eventually stop.

Please read more information about Stop smoking treatments at www.nhs.uk

News Posted in News

The cervical screening programme

A cervical screening test (previously known as a smear test) is a method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix. The cervix is the entrance to the womb from the vagina.

Detecting and removing abnormal cervical cells can prevent cervical cancer.

These pages should tell you everything you need to know about cervical screening.

You can also watch a video explaining what you can expect to happen during cervical screening.

Testing for abnormal cells

Cervical screening isn’t a test for cancer, it’s a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix.

Most women’s test results show that everything is normal, but for around 1 in 20 women the test shows some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix.

Most of these changes won’t lead to cervical cancer and the cells may go back to normal on their own.

But in some cases, the abnormal cells need to be removed so they can’t become cancerous.

About 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK.

It’s possible for sexually active women of all ages to develop cervical cancer, although the condition is most common in women aged 25 to 29. The condition is very rare in women under 25.

The cervical screening programme

The aim of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme is to reduce the number of women who develop cervical cancer and reduce the number who die from it.

Since the screening programme was introduced in the 1980s, the number of cervical cancer cases has decreased by about 7% each year.

All women who are registered with a GP are invited for cervical screening:

  • aged 25 to 49 – every 3 years
  • aged 50 to 64 – every 5 years
  • over 65 – only women who have recently had abnormal tests

Trans men who still have a cervix and are still registered as female with a GP will also be invited for cervical screening. Trans men who are registered as male will need to let a GP or Practice Nurse know so they can organise the test. For more information, read Should trans men have cervical screening tests?.

Women over 65 who have never been for cervical screening can have the test. Ask a GP or Practice Nurse for more information.

Being screened regularly means any abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix can be identified at an early stage and, if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing.

Cervical screening isn’t 100% accurate and doesn’t prevent all cases of cervical cancer, but it’s the best way to pick up any abnormal cells that could later turn into cancer.

Screening is a personal choice and you have the right to choose not to attend.

What happens when you go for cervical screening?

Booking your test

You’ll receive a letter through the post asking you to make an appointment for a cervical screening test. The letter should contain the details of the place you need to contact for the appointment.

Screening is usually carried out by the practice nurse at your GP clinic. You can ask to have a female doctor or nurse.

If possible, try to book an appointment during the middle of your menstrual cycle (usually 14 days from the start of your last period), as this can ensure a better sample of cells is taken.

It’s best to make your appointment for when you don’t have your period.

If you use a spermicide, a barrier method of contraception, or a lubricant jelly you shouldn’t use these for 24 hours before the test, as the chemicals they contain may affect the test.

Read more about cervical screening at www.nhs.uk

News Posted in News

Who can have the shingles vaccination?

Shingles vaccination

A vaccine to prevent shingles, a common, painful skin disease is available on the NHS to people in their 70s.

The shingles vaccine is given as a single injection into the upper arm. Unlike the flu jab, you’ll only need to have the vaccination once and you can have it at any time of the year.

The shingles vaccine is expected to reduce your risk of getting shingles. If you do go on to have the disease, your symptoms may be milder and the illness shorter.

Shingles can be very painful and uncomfortable. Some people are left with pain lasting for years after the initial rash has healed. Shingles is also fatal for around 1 in 1,000 over-70s who develop it.

It’s fine to have the shingles vaccine if you’ve already had shingles. The shingles vaccine works very well in people who have had shingles before and it will boost your immunity against further shingles attacks.

Who can have the shingles vaccination?

You are eligible for the shingles vaccine if you are aged 70 or 78 years old.

In addition, anyone who was previously eligible but missed out on their shingles vaccination remains eligible until their 80th birthday.

You can have the shingles vaccination at any time of year, as soon as you turn 70 or 78.

The shingles vaccine is not available on the NHS to anyone aged 80 or over because it seems to be less effective in this age group.

Find out more about who is eligible for shingles vaccination.

How do I get the shingles vaccine?

Once you become eligible for shingles vaccination your doctor will take the opportunity to vaccinate you when you attend the surgery for general reasons or for your annual flu vaccination.

If you are worried that you may miss out on the shingles vaccination, contact your GP surgery to arrange an appointment to have the vaccine.

Read more information about shingles vaccine at www.nhs.uk

News Posted in News

Who should get the flu vaccine?

The Flu vaccine.

Flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications.

Flu can be unpleasant, but if you are otherwise healthy it will usually clear up on its own within a week.

However, flu can be more severe in certain people, such as:

  • anyone aged 65 and over
  • pregnant women
  • children and adults with an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease)
  • children and adults with weakened immune systems

Anyone in these risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia (a lung infection), so it’s recommended that they have a flu vaccine every year to help protect them.

Who should get the flu vaccine?

The flu vaccine is routinely given on the NHS to:

  • adults 65 and over
  • people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
  • pregnant women
  • children aged 2 and 3
  • children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

For 2018, there are 3 types of flu vaccine:

  • A live quadrivalent vaccine (which protects against 4 strains of flu), given as a nasal spray. This is for children and young people aged 2 to 17 years eligible for the flu vaccine
  • A quadrivalent injected vaccine. This is for adults aged 18 and over but below the age of 65 who are at increased risk from flu because of a long-term health condition and for children 6 months and above in an eligible group who cannot receive the live vaccine
  • An adjuvanted trivalent injected vaccine. This is for people aged 65 and over as it has been shown to be more effective in this age group

If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years old and is in a high-risk group for flu, they will be offered an injected flu vaccine as the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2.

Talk to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist for more information about these vaccines.

Find out more about who should have the flu vaccine.

65 and overs and the flu vaccine

You are eligible for the flu vaccine this year (2018/19) if you will be aged 65 and over on March 31 2019 – that is, you were born on or before March 31 1954. So, if you are currently 64 but will be 65 on March 31 2019, you do qualify.

For more information about flu vaccine please visit www.nhs.uk

News Posted in News