CHRONIC DISEASE MANAGEMENT CLINICS
The practice is fully committed to the development of general practice into the twenty first century. We aim to provide the best possible preventive care for patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We have a dedicated system for providing care for patients with these conditions offering regular comprehensive checks with experienced staff.
We are in the forefront in response to guidelines for good practice in the management of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Our aim is to help to decrease the impact of the complications which may arise from these diseases.
Asthma / COPD
Asthma is a medical condition that affects up to 1 in 8 children and adults in the UK and for most people with asthma, is best and most appropriately managed in the community setting, like General Practice, rather than the hospital one. We have nurses and doctors who run dedicated asthma clinics for our patients with asthma, ensuring that any medication required remains age and dose appropriate for the individual. We try to ensure that all our asthmatic patients are in control of their asthma 16 by helping them to develop the knowledge and confidence to self-manage their asthma on a day to day basis and to recognise when they need medical help.
Cancer is a local and national priority. There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of developing it. Firstly do not smoke. If you do, stop. This is the most important risk factor today. Secondly, eat a diet with plenty of fruit and fresh vegetables. This has been shown to reduce bowel cancer which is very common, in patients over the age of 65. Thirdly, try not to be overweight. Breast and prostate cancer is more common in overweight women and men respectively.
Diabetes affects between 3-4% of the population and is increasing as we all enjoy a wealthier lifestyle. It tends to run in families and is common in obese people. The condition increases the glucose level in the blood. It is another major risk factor for developing heart disease but can also affect eyesight, the kidneys, the feet and the nerves in the skin. It is treated by diet initially but adult patients may also need tablets or even insulin injections. Young people tend to need insulin injections immediately.
Patients are seen every 6 months to have their illness monitored and ensure that their diabetes is under good control. Checks are also undertaken for other heart disease risk factors and assessments made for other diabetic complications so that these can be treated appropriately.
Heart disease is one of the major life threatening illnesses in modern society. Improving life expectancy in such patients is a local and national priority. Preventing it is better than curing it. Not smoking will immediately reduce your risk, as will regular physical exercise and healthy eating. Also, try not to put on too much weight. Those who already have heart disease have a much greater risk of further trouble. As a result, we have set up our Heart Disease Prevention Clinic. We call this secondary prevention which means we are trying to prevent further trouble for our heart disease patients.
It is very important to quit smoking and keep your weight down. If you have hypertension or diabetes, it needs to be correctly controlled. It is also important to reduce cholesterol and most heart disease patients, will need tablets to do this. If you have heart disease, you will be invited once yearly to see our nurses to have all the above checked. In this way, we hope to play our part in improving your life expectancy.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common problem as we age. Most patients have this diagnosis from the ages of 45-70. It produces no symptoms and is usually picked up because a health care professional decides to take the opportunity of checking a patient’s blood pressure. It is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke in the future. Treatment is very simple and straightforward and we follow the guidelines of the British Hypertension Society.
New patients will have a blood test and cardiograph. We are then in a position to calculate the 10 yearly risk of developing heart disease. If greater than 15%, we would recommend treatment. If less than 15%, we would recommend a period of observation. We tend to see patients every 6 months for this problem in order to monitor the condition, check other heart disease risk factors and make treatment adjustments if necessary. We hope to see a reduction in heart and stroke disease in the years to come.