Look after yourself

 Look after yourself  – a guide to help, advice and support

Do you have learning disability or sensory loss problem, then click on this link to ‘www.Easy Health,’ a great new website making health information and support more accessible.  


Childhood Vaccinations

One of the most important things that a parent can do for their child is to make sure that they have all their routine childhood vaccinations. It’s the most effective way of keeping them protected against infectious diseases.

Ideally, Children should have their jabs at the right age to protect them as early as possible and minimise the risk of infection.

Vaccination Checklist

Here’s a checklist of the vaccines that are routinely offered to everyone in the UK free on the NHS, and the age at which you should ideally have them.

Flu (every year) 65 and over:

  • Pneumococcal

Vaccines For Risk Groups

People who fall into certain risk groups may be offered extra vaccines. These include vaccinations against diseases such as hepatitis B, tuberculosis (TB), seasonal flu and chickenpox. See the NHS Choices pages on vaccines for adults to find out whether you should have one.

Read more about vaccines for kids on the NHS Choices website.

Changes to the Vaccination schedule

From 1st July all new babies attending for their immunisations at two and three months will be offered a vaccination to protect them against the rotavirus. Please visist NHS Choices page for further information and guidance. You should note that babies only have a certain period of time when they can have this vaccination, so if you want your baby to be protected, please don’t delay.

In the autumn, a new vaccination to protect our more mature patients against shingles will be available. We shall be calling for patients aged either 70 or 79, again, further information can be found on the NHS Choices pages.

Stop Smoking

Want to Stop Smoking?

NHS Choices suggest eight practical, quick and simple steps you can take straight away to quit smoking

1. Talk to your GP

Many people don’t realise that their GP can help them quit smoking. But your doctor can do a lot, such as enrolling you in a ‘stop smoking’ clinic and prescribing nicotine replacement therapy such as patches and gum, or stop smoking medication such as Champix.

Find out more about how your GP can help you quit.

2. Join an NHS Stop Smoking Service

The NHS has stop smoking services staffed by trained stop smoking advisers all over the country in a range of venues at times to suit you. You can join a group where local smokers meet once a week or have one-to-one support if you prefer. You usually go for a few weeks and work towards a quit date.

Find your nearest NHS Stop Smoking Service from the NHS Smokefree website, or call 0800 022 4332.

3. Get a free Personal quit plan

Quitting smoking is easier with the right support – get your free plan now!

Get your Free Personal Quit Plan.

4. Get a ‘cheerleader’ and stop smoking together

Sign up for the NHS Smokefree Together Programme and you’ll receive a supportive phone call, email and text the week before you quit, the day you quit and the following week.

5. Have an emergency phone number

Keep an emergency number, perhaps for your local NHS Stop Smoking Service.

Read more about how to cope with cravings.

6. Consider using NRT

Nicotine is addictive, and self-control alone might not be enough. Give yourself a better chance of success by using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). This is available either free or on prescription from your GP, depending on where you live or from your local NHS Stop Smoking Service.

Find your nearest NHS Stop Smoking Service from the NHS Smokefree website, or call 0800 022 4332. Or, you can buy nicotine patches, gum and so on over the counter from a pharmacy.

We have a local service which you can contact on 0800 599 9880 . Their advisors visit our surgery weekly, so you could be offered an appointment here, or telephone support.

7. Email an expert

Ask an expert for advice through NHS Smokefree’s Ask an expert service.

8. Get online help

Use our stop smoking tool to get daily tips for success.

Read more about the stop smoking treatments available on the NHS.

<strong>Alcohol Advice and Support </strong>

Have you ever asked yourself the following questions:

•    What’s my relationship with alcohol?
•    Do I drink more or less than the people around me? 
•    Are the alcohol levels I drink affecting my health? 
•    Do the younger adults in my house drink more than the recommended amount?

Many people are unaware of the effects of alcohol on their health and internal organs. We forget that because we may have recovered on the surface from that hangover from the night before the internal effects of alcohol continue to damage your inside. As GPs we cannot stop our patients from making the decision to pick up that extra glass of alcohol but we can make you aware of its effects and help you to stop! before it gets too late.

Remember help yourself by making a difference to your own health, a GP practice can only treat the damage already caused by drinking too much!!  

Trying to loose weight ?
Alcohol contains more calories than you may think have a look at this link  click here for more advice and to check your calorie intake

Self-Referral into SIAS (Solihull Integrated Addiction Service)

If you feel you would like to access a free confidential service in Solihull you can call either SIAS on T: 0121 411 9816 or simply drop in to SIAS for a confidential discussion.

SIAS is a confidential treatment service for people using drugs, alcohol or solvents)

If you are under 18 then please contact their sister service, Str8 up by phoning 
T:0121 788 5390

21 Homer Road, Solihull, B91 3QG
T: 0121 301 4141
E: [email protected]
W: www.sias-solihull.org.uk

Want to know more visit the Drinkaware website by clicking here or simply come into the surgery and pick up your FREE awareness pack from behind reception. Change is a good thing; only you can take responsibility for your own health, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you start to experience the benefits!!

Flu and the Flu Vaccine

Flu is a highly infectious illness that spreads rapidly through the coughs and sneezes of people who are carrying the virus.

If you’re at risk of complications from flu, make sure you have your annual flu jab available from September onwards.

Flu symptoms can hit quite suddenly and severely. They usually include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles. You can often get a cough and sore throat.

Because flu is caused by a virus and not bacteria, antibiotics won’t treat it.

Anyone can get flu, but it can be more serious for certain people, such as:

  • people aged 65 or over
  • people who have a serious medical condition
  • pregnant women

If you are in one of these groups, you’re more vulnerable to the effects of flu (even if you’re fit and healthy) and could develop flu complications, which are more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, which could result in hospitalisation.

Flu can also make existing medical conditions worse.

Read more about flu.

Should you have the flu jab?

See your GP about the flu jab if you’re 65 or over, or if you have any of the following problems (however old you are):

  • a serious heart complaint
  • a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including asthmabronchitis and emphysema (COPD)
  • serious kidney disease
  • diabetes
  • lowered immunity due to disease or treatment such as steroid medication or cancer treatment
  • if you have a problem with your spleen or you have had your spleen removed
  • if you have ever had a stroke

Your GP may advise you to have a flu jab if you have serious liver disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) or some other diseases of the nervous system.

Can I get a flu jab privately?

Yes, you can pay for the flu vaccination privately if you’re unable to have it on the NHS. It is available from some pharmacies and GPs on a private patient basis.

Pregnant women and the flu jab

If you’re pregnant, you should have the flu jab, regardless of the stage of pregnancy you’ve reached. Pregnant women are more prone to complications from flu that can cause serious illness for both mother and baby.

If you are pregnant and catch flu, talk to your GP urgently as you may need treatment with antiviral medicine.

Read more about the flu jab in pregnancy.

Children and the flu jab

The nasal spray flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:

  • children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2020 – born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018
  • all primary school children (reception to year 6)
  • all year 7 in secondary school
  • children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions

If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years and is in a high-risk group for flu, they’ll be offered a flu vaccine injection instead of the nasal spray.

This is because the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2 years.

Children aged 2 to 17 years may also have the flu vaccine injection if the nasal spray vaccine is not suitable for them.

If you have a child with a long-term condition, speak to your GP about whether they should have the flu vaccination.

For more information visit Child flu vaccine – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Carers and the flu jab

If you’re the carer of an elderly or disabled person, make sure they’ve had their flu jab. As a carer, you could be eligible for a flu jab too. Ask your GP for advice, or read our information about Flu jabs for carers.

How to get the flu jab

If you think you need a flu vaccination, check with your GP, practice nurse or your local pharmacist.

The best time of the year to have a flu vaccination is in the autumn from September to early November. Most GP surgeries arrange flu vaccination clinics around this time. It’s free and it’s effective against the latest flu virus strains.

Even if you’ve already had a flu jab in previous years, you need another one this year. The flu jab may only protect you for a year. This is because the viruses that cause flu are always changing.

The pneumo jab

When you see your GP for a flu jab, ask whether you also need the ‘pneumo jab‘ to protect you against some forms of pneumococcal infection. Like the flu jab, it’s available free on the NHS to everyone aged 65 or over, and for younger people with some serious medical conditions.

How effective is the flu jab?

No vaccine is 100% effective, however, people who have had the flu jab are less likely to get flu. If you do get flu despite having the jab, it will probably be milder than if you haven’t been vaccinated.

The flu jab doesn’t cause flu as it doesn’t contain live viruses. However, you may experience side effects after having the jab, such as a temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards. Your arm may feel sore at the site where you were injected. More severe reactions are rare.

The flu vaccine only protects against flu, but not other illnesses caused by other viruses, such as the common cold.

Who shouldn’t have the flu jab?

You shouldn’t have the flu vaccination if:

  • you’ve had a serious reaction to a flu vaccination before
  • you have a high temperature (postpone it until you’re better)

Not all flu vaccines are suitable for children, so discuss this with your GP beforehand.

Speak to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist if you have any further questions.

Read more about the flu jab.

<strong>Get Fit For Free </strong>

The secret to getting fit for free is to use every opportunity to be active.

Armed with a bit of get-up-and-go and good planning, you can be fitter than ever without spending a penny.

NHS Choices have enlisted the help of top fitness experts to help you explore new ways and places to exercise for free. Click on the following to find out more:

Change 4 Life

There is a wealth of information on how to improve your lifestyle, get or keep fit and encourage those children off the couch and into some fun activitues. Have look at the link here

Content provided by NHS Choices.

Mental Health

One in four affected

It’s easy to think that mental health issues don’t concern us, but in fact a quarter of us will have problems with our mental wellbeing at some time in our lives.

Mental health problems are equally common in men and women, but the types of problems differ. Women are one-and-a-half times more likely to be affected by anxiety and depression, while men suffer more from substance abuse (one in eight men is dependent on alcohol) and anti-social personality disorders. Men are also more prone to suicide: British men are three times more likely than British women to die as a result of suicide.

Serious mental health problems are also more common than you might think. One person in 100 has a severe mental health condition such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

All these figures are based on people who have sought help for their mental health problems. Many more could be living with undiagnosed mental health issues, according to mental health charity MIND.

If you’re worried about your mental health, or if someone in your life is affected, there are plenty of ways to get help. Find out more about mental health support.

You can also contact mental health charities such as Sane and the Mental Health Foundation.

Read more at NHS Choices

Weight Management

Losing weight – get started !!!!     

The NHS have put together a 12 week guide designed to help you develop healthier eating habits, be more active and get on track to start losing weight  and live a healthier happier lifestyle. To download your free 12-week plan click  here.                                                               
Remember If people are overweight, it’s usually because they eat and drink more calories than they need. This guide will help you to reduce the number of calories you consume and still leave you feeling full.

Want help with weight and fitness?

There is a dietician led meeting every Thursday at St Mary’s Church Hall, Hobs Meadow from 1.30 to 3pm (At the top of Winchcombe Road, behind Tesco Express). A visit is free and you can be weighed and pick up useful advice. They also offer a subsidised exercise class for £1 for each of the first 6 sessions which goes to £2.50 for any more sessions you want to go to.  

Our Practice nurses also offer a weight management and lifestyle programme – all for free on the NHS. Providing you meet the criteria, prescription medication can be given to help you lose those pounds. Why not give it a try and get in shape for the Christmas party season.

Do you know your BMI (Body Mass Index)?

Visit this handy on line calculator to find out more – you need to know your weight and height. You can always come into the surgery and use our self service machine.

Change 4 Life

There is a wealth of information on how to improve your lifestyle, get or keep fit and encourage those children off the couch and into some fun activitues. Have look at the link here


Contraception is free for most people in the UK. With 15 methods to choose from, you’ll find one that suits you.

Contraceptive methods allow you to choose when and if you want to have a baby, but they don’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms help to protect against STIs and pregnancy, so whatever other method of contraception you’re using to prevent pregnancy, use condoms as well to protect your and your partner’s health.

Where to get it

Contraceptive services are free and confidential, including to people under 16 as long as they are mature enough to understand the information and decisions involved. There are strict guidelines for care professionals who work with people under 16.

You can get contraception free from:

  • most GP surgeries (talk to your GP or practice nurse),
  • community contraceptive clinics,
  • some genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics,
  • sexual health clinics (these offer contraceptive and STI testing services), and
  • some young people’s services (call 0800 567123).
  • Birmingham and Solihull Umbrella Sexual Health Service call on 0121 237 5700

Find sexual health services.

Many of these places also offer information, testing and treatment for STIs. If you’ve been exposed to the risk of pregnancy, you’re also at risk of catching an STI.

Before you make an appointment, make sure you’re as informed as possible about the contraceptive options available. People’s choice of contraception may vary over time, depending on their lifestyle and circumstances.

Contraception and menopause

Women who have sex with men and don’t want to get pregnant need to keep on using contraception until they haven’t had a period for more than 12 months (menopause).

This is because periods can become irregular before they stop entirely, and pregnancy can still occur during this time. Find out more about menopause.

Methods of contraception:

There are lots of methods to choose from, so don’t be put off if the first thing you use isn’t quite right for you; you can try another. You can read about each of the different methods of contraception by visiting these pages:

There are two permanent methods of contraception:

To find your nearest contraception clinic you can use the NHS Choices service search. Enter your postcode, click ‘search’, then click ‘contraception’.

You can also look in the phone book under ‘sexual health’

You can find out more about each type of contraception by contacting:

  • FPA:provider of information on individual methods of contraception, common sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy choices, abortion and planning a pregnancy. www.fpa.org.uk
  • Click on to the new Umbrella Service for all contraceptive and clinic advice in Solihull and Birmingham 

In addition to your chosen method of contraception, you need to use condoms to prevent STIs. Always buy condoms that have the CE mark on the packet. This means that they’ve been tested to the high European safety standards. Condoms that don’t have the CE mark won’t meet these standards, so don’t use them.


Content provided by NHS Choices.


You can refer yourself to our physiotherpay service without seeing a GP except for spinal problems, incontinence, if you need a home visit, if you suffer with a breathing problem such as COPD, if you are pregnant or under the age of 18.

Please click here to view and download

Travel Vaccines

There’s no point spending hours choosing your swimwear, beach bag and flip-flops if you barely think about the bugs and other health risks that could ruin your holiday.

Almost one in four UK holidaymakers don’t get any vaccinations despite travelling to areas that have life-threatening infectious disease.

Find out which travel jabs you need for your destination.

It’s not worth skipping travel vaccinations. Infectious diseases can make you very sick, spoil your holiday and even kill or cripple you.

Vaccinations protect you against many travel-related infections, such as yellow fevertyphoid and hepatitis A. Use the information on these pages to learn about travel vaccines, which ones you need for your destination, and when and where to get them.

For our Practice protocol regarding travel vaccinations please click here.

The vaccines

The vaccinations currently available for travellers abroad can be found on these links: More on the vaccines

Whats available on the NHS?

Some travel vaccinations are freely available on the NHS. Others are only available privately.

More on NHS and private travel jabs

When and where ?

Where and when to have your travel jabs: More on where and when


The Care Act came into being on 1st April 2015. To find out how this might effect you, please visit Care Act factsheets – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). There is help and support out there for people of all ages who care for a friend or relative. Please visit this website for further information.

Caring for someone can be very difficult and many people find that they need extra help with the care they provide.

Find out what support you might be able to receive here – provided by NHS Choices. This page also provides lots of help and advice.

Carers Direct – 0808 802 0202

Free, confidential information and advice for carers.

Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm at weekends. Calls are free from UK landlines.

Find out more about the Carers Direct helpline.

Solihull has a comprehensive range of support and help for carers including young carers – please visit their website here for further information

Heatwave Selfcare

Summer, when it arrives can come suddenly and many people are unaware of the dangers of a heatwave and excessive exposure to the sun for long periods of time, especially children, why not read the following advice about how to stay safe.

How to cope in a heatwave

When it gets really hot, if you are taking medication or have long term health conditions it may be necessary to take particular care in order to enjoy the weather and not to suffer adversely from it. The following tips may be worth considering

· Limit strenuous activity to the cool parts of the day, 0600-1100hrs and after 1900hrs

· Make sure that you drink plenty of water. Passing infrequent quantities of dark urine may be a sign that you are not drinking enough.

· If your mobility is limited consider preparing bottled water to have nearby you if you have to sit for long parts of the day

· Store medication in a cool place, most medication is OK up to 25°C but above that temperature it is less predictable. Don’t leave medication on the window sill

· Try to create a cool room in your house, leave curtains drawn, make use of any breeze and even consider hanging wet towels in the room to aid cooling

· Some medications can alter how your body adapts to heat and may need adjusting if the hot weather is prolonged

· Persistent light headedness on standing can be a sign that your medication might need adjustment and it is worth asking your GP for advice

· Asthma and COPD can be worse in hot weather when poor air quality is more common. Make sure you know how to recognise your breathing is not as good and what to do when you are struggling.

· Changes in behaviour, difficulty in sleeping and increased drowsiness can all suggest you are struggling to adapt to hot weather

· If you are a carer or neighbour of someone who is elderly or frail it is as important to make contact with them to check on their welfare just as one might do in cold weather.

· Similarly if you are the usual carer and are going on holiday it is wise to ensure that there is someone else to provide simple support should it be needed