New Flu Update: Vaccines for 50 – 64-year-olds

Susan Mensforth


You might have seen that more people than ever before are able to get a free NHS flu vaccination this year. The expanded eligibility is designed to reduce the strain the NHS will face over the winter months when the traditional flu season combines with the ongoing pandemic.

Continue reading “New Flu Update: Vaccines for 50 – 64-year-olds”

New: Temporary change to blood tests

Susan Mensforth


A quick update on an enforced change in our blood tests policy.

For the next three weeks we will only be able to carry out urgent blood tests, with no capacity for routine tests.

This is due to problem with a national NHS supplier and a shortage of chemicals that are needed to process blood tests. The supplier and the NHS are working to resolve this problem as soon as possible.

We appreciate this is inconvenient to patients with routine tests scheduled, and we will aim to rebook these as soon as possible.

Thanks for your understanding.

Stoptober: It’s never too late to quit smoking

Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can ever do for your health. When you stop, it gives your lungs the chance to repair and you will be able to breathe easier. There are lots of benefits, and you will start to feel them almost immediately.

What is Stoptober?

Stoptober is a 28-day stop smoking challenge, supported by the NHS. Evidence shows that if you can get through 28 days smoke-free, then you are 5 times more likely quit for good.

It’s much easier to give up smoking if you get the right support, rather than through will power alone.

Quit smoking and breathe

Answer three quick questions about your smoking on the NHS website to get your free personalised plan. You will get access to professional services to help you, and advice on dealing with nicotine cravings. To help you along the way, there are free support tools like the Stoptober app to track your progress, and daily support messages you can choose to receive.

The benefits of stopping smoking

The sooner you quit, the sooner you will notice the changes to your body and your health.

  • 20 minutes – your pulse will start to return to normal.
  • 8 hours – Your oxygen levels are recovering. Harmful carbon monoxide in your blood will have halved.
  • 48 hours – You have got rid of all the carbon monoxide in your blood. Your sense of taste and smell should improve too.
  • 72 hours – You will be breathing easier as your bronchial tubes have relaxed.
  • 2 – 12 weeks – You have improved your circulation, so blood will be pumping through to your heart and muscles much better.
  • 3 – 9 months – Coughs, wheezes and breathing problems will ease, as your lung function improves by 10%.
  • 1 year – Your risk of a heart attack has halved.
  • 10 years – The risk of dying from lung cancer has now halved.

And it’s not just your health that benefits. Think how much money you can save without buying cigarettes.

For someone who smokes 20 cigarettes a day, a smoke-free month will save them £327.32. Keep it up for a year, and that saving comes to £3,927.40!

How to get started

Visit the Better Health section of the NHS website to find out more and get your personal plan