Spring 2014 Newsletter

The patients at Kingsbridge vary in age from days to birthdays in their nineties. One thing that crops up frequently is that people are unsure of what to expect when having tests done or indeed what the jargon heard in the hospital actually means. ‘will an x-ray hurt’, ‘where is Resus’ to name but two. Explanations of some medical terms are included in this issue. What would you like explaining? What would interest you? Leave a note for the Practice Manager at Reception and we will try to answer all your queries in the forthcoming issues of the Newsletter.

A&E does not mean ‘Always and Everybody’ »
Now wash your hands »
What does it mean? »
Doctor’s working hours »

A & E does not mean Always and Everybody

At some point we or someone close to us will need to attend an Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department. There are a reported 21 million attendances every year. Recent TV, radio and newspaper coverage of the problems being faced in A&E up and down the country have reported patients have used the departments up to 50 times a year because they said it was easier than going to the GP.

A national shortage of A&E doctors has resulted in patients spending more and more time waiting for treatment. Part of the problem is that we, the patients do not use the departments properly. They are intended to cover patients that as the title of this article says are either victims of accidental injury or are in need of urgent care. The focus of these departments should be to assess and treat patients with serious injuries or illnesses. Generally a visit to A&E or a call to 999 should be for life threatening emergencies such as;

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Acute confused state
  • Epileptic fits that are not stopping
  • Persistent, severe chest pain
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • Injuries that suggest a broken bone, dislocated joint
  • Severe abdominal pain

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but 999 has been called when a patient could not get the top off their tablet bottle!

You may have been to A&E and been met by a sign saying the waiting time to be seen is 3,4,5,6 or more hours. Please read on to find out why and how you can improve the use of A&E so that you get the best care when you need it.

A&E departments are like the TARDIS –much bigger on the inside than you can imagine from the reception area. They are divided into several key areas to allow staff to treat patients more efficiently. However, if you are waiting longer than you expect it is not because you have been forgotten it is just that someone in the TARDIS is worse than you.

Recent changes to NHS funding arrangements mean that each visit to A&E is individually charged to the area’s Clinical Commissioning Group and ultimately to the patient’s General Practice. That means that anyone going to an A&E with for example

  • The flu
  • A sore throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Insect bite
  • A sprained wrist or ankle

Will cost £127 to their practice and should they get fed up of waiting and leave before treatment their Practice will be charged £58. This is not good use of scarce resources.

How can we help? Well ask yourself a few basic questions before you go to A&E:

  • How long have you had the problem? Longer than 24 hours?
  • Have you spoken to your GP about it? Could you have spoken to the practise nurse?
  • If it is out of hours, have you tried the Walk-in centres (Newcastle and Hanley) that are open from 8.00a.m. to 8 p.m. every day including bank holidays?
  • Have you phoned 111 for advice or for an appointment with the GP Out of Hours service which is available when your own GP Practice is closed?
  • If it is a minor injury or illness should you go to the centre at the Haywood Hospital in Burslem rather than A&E?
  • Have you spoken to a Chemist to see if they can offer advice or treatment?
  • As you can see there are a number of alternative options which do not involve going to A&E.

Please use the service appropriately and help keep A&E for people who really need it – one day it may be you or yours.

Now Wash your Hands

Our hands touch everything and often come into contact with common sources in the home (particularly in kitchen and bathroom), pets, animal waste, in and out of doors, at work, at play. We are probably all guilty of not washing our hand often enough and contaminated hands can be the biggest cause of the spread of germs. Wash them often and encourage family to do the same.

It is important to wash your hands before eating, particularly when eating ‘on the move’, and this can be a main source of contracting the sickness and diarrhoea bugs – like Novovirus which is very prevalent now. Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel can be invaluable if there is no access to soap and water and may prevent an upset tummy.

Hands should be washed after visiting the toilet, after contact with blood, urine, stool or vomit, after changing baby nappies or adult pads, before and after treating a cut or wound, putting in or taking out contact lens, after touching rubbish bins, when visibly dirty and when you have been in contact with someone who is ill or sick. Always use the hand gel provided at the entrance to doctors` surgery waiting rooms and to hospital wards – this protects the patients from any germs you may be carrying as well as you from the already sick patients.

E-coli can be on animals and pets and, if they are touched, it can be transferred to your hands so don`t forget the washing after playing with your pets and when visiting zoos or animal sanctuaries. Footwear can also pick up e-coli so remove and clean your shoes after a visit.

If you don`t wash your hands often you could pick up germs and infect yourself when you touch your eyes, nose or mouth. You can spread germs to others or to surfaces others touch – light switches, door handles, railings, banisters, TV remote controls, mobile phones, lap tops, telephones etc. Every so often wipe these surfaces with a paper towel and an anti-bacterial spray. Wash hands and get other family members to do the same after returning to the home. If you have a cold try to sneeze into a tissue or into the crook of your arm and always wash your hands after blowing your nose or attending to a child with a cold – and dispose of soiled tissues carefully.

How to wash your hands

Wet hands with water first

Put soap on hands (gel is best as bar soap can rest on a damp dish and become contaminated)

Rub hands together for at least 15 seconds (recite the ABC to make sure you wash long enough)

Clean all parts of your hands especially thumbs, nails and wrists.

Rinse hands well to remove soap, preferably under hot running water.

Dry on soft paper towels, using two and remember to turn tarp off with

your elbow where possible or a paper towel to prevent re-infection.

Alcohol hand wipes or gel

Place wipe or gel in palm of one hand

Rub hands together – clean all parts, fingers, thumbs, nails and wrists.

Rub hands until dry.

You know you have used enough of the hand get if it takes 25 – 30 seconds to dry on your hands.

The power to stop infection is in your hands.

What does it mean? – X-Ray

It is sometimes difficult to find the correct department in a hospital with the use of abbreviations – indeed some hospitals have different names for the same department; this is the case with X-ray. Radiology generally refers to a department with no special facilities. Imaging refers to a department that has more than one type of equipment e.g. X-ray and Ultrasound.

MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging

This uses a magnetic field not X-rays to produce images of a patient.

U/S: Ultrasound

Uses sound waves in the same way submarines use sonar. The sound is bounced off the structures in the body to produce an image. The images available to-day may be black and white or in colour.

Colour Flow Doppler is a type of ultrasound scan that can show blood flow and is used a lot in cardiology. Patients are also referred for a Doppler scan to rule out the presence of blood clots (DVTs).

3D Ultrasound is used to image amongst other things the unborn baby, producing images that are truly amazing.

Nuclear Medicine

This is also known as Isotope scanning. It is based on a patient being injected with a radioactive source (or breathing one in). The effect of the radioactive substance is short lived but can be detected by a machine called a Gamma Camera, where the images are collected and can then be printed out.

CT – Computerised Tomography

Technically this should be called CAT, Computerised Axial Tomography. It involves the patient lying on a table that passes through the machine. It has been compared to looking at a sliced loaf – as the patient passes through the machine X-rays are produced of the patient in ‘slices’ that are centimetres thick .This techniques has evolved to produce images in 3D and allows in-depth images in great detail.

Early Diagnosis of Cancer SAVES LIVES:

Lung cancer symptoms:

  • Cough for more than three weeks.
  • Change in long-term cough
  • Coughing up phlegm with blood in it
  • Feeling more out of breath than normal
  • Lost weight and don`t know why



Newcastle Lions offer a ‘Message in a Bottle’ service, where medical information can be written down and kept in a bottle in your fridge at home in case of a medical emergency.

Information includes medication taken and where it is kept, medical problems you may have and names and numbers of relations or carers. There is a supply of these bottles at the Surgery. Please ask at reception if you would like one.

If you have a bottle make sure your details are up to date.

Doctors’ working days

Dr. Cooper
Mondays, Tuesday mornings, Thursdays, Friday mornings
Dr. Lee
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
Dr. Mallen
Dr. Merron
Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Dr. Hussain
Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, Fridays.
Dr. Helliwell
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Dr. Clarson
Monday and Saturday mornings
Dr. Clarke
Mondays and Wednesday mornings
Dr. K. Benyon
Wednesday afternoon, Thursdays and Fridays
Dr. S. Bhutoria
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday mornings and Fridays

Saturday mornings are also covered by Practice partners on a rota basis

With any changes to staffing levels this schedule of working days may vary