Meningitis vaccines available

17.07.2024 Category: News Author: Lucy Mildren

Recent media reports have raised awareness of the effects of Meningitis B and the importance of the meningitis vaccine (if your child is aged under 12 months, the vaccine still readily available via your NHS doctor). Less well-known is the fact that there are different strains of Meningitis, with different vaccines protecting against them.

Strains and Meningitis Vaccines:

  • Meningitis B: the protective single-strain meningitis B vaccine is Bexsero
  • Meningitis A C W Y: the 4-strain vaccines Menquadfi and Nimenrix offer protection.

Meningococcal Meningitis and its Symptoms

Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It can affect people of any age, but those most commonly affected are children under 5, and  teenagers and young adults heading off to university.

Initial symptoms may be similar to flu, progressing to:

  • A high temperature/fever, with cold hands and feet
  • Vomiting
  • Refusal to eat
  • Drowsiness
  • Floppy and unresponsive
  • Rapid breathing
  • Neck stiffness
  • Bright light sensitivity
  • Pale, blotchy skin, and a red rash that doesn’t fade when a glass is rolled over it
  • Convulsions or seizures

Further information: https://www.meningitisnow.org/meningitis-explained/

The specialists at the Fleet Street Clinic recommend getting your children vaccinated not just against Meningitis B, but against Meningitis A,C,W & Y strains as well (the vaccine is currently available and in stock).

Meningitis B Vaccines Availability

We currently have a good supply of Meningitis B vaccine, available on a first come, first served basis. You can book a Meningitis B vaccination appointment online

Why You Should Travel With A Medical Kit

08.07.2024 Category: Travel Health Author: Lucy Mildren

Every year, Brits take more than 70 million trips abroad. Most notably for holidays, business trips and to visit family and friends. Whilst the majority of people have a safe trip, some people do experience illness or have an accident. In most cases, minor accidents and illnesses don’t require a visit to a medical centre or hospitalisation and can be self-treated with the help of a medical kit.

Where you are travelling to and the activities you plan to do there will dictate what type of medical kit(s) you would need.

Essential First Aid Kit £27

If you are planning to travel outside of a major city, you’re best to travel with an Essential First Aid Kit. It’s very easy to get scratched, twist an ankle or develop a blister. Particularly if you’re sight-seeing, hiking or even just taking a trip to the beach. Having a few essential supplies handy will reduce the need for a trip to the local chemist. Inside this kit, you will find items aimed at treating minor cuts, grazes, blisters, cleaning wounds, minor burns and sprains.

Worldwide Travellers’ Diarrhoea Kit £29.95

When you travel to a developing country, you have a high likelihood of catching a stomach bug. Also known as traveller’s diarrhoea. This is not always brought on by unsafe water and can be due to a change in diet or the high levels of impurities in the local water that you’re not used to. However, if the cause is a microorganism such as bacteria, parasite or virus, your symptoms may be much more severe and lead to complications. Travelling with a Worldwide Gastro Kit covers all eventualities. Including preventative items, plus medications for common symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dehydration and travellers diarrhoea.

Sterile Needle Kit £9.50

The adventure traveller is likely to travel to remote areas where medical supplies are not sterilised to a safe standard or medical care in a hospital setting is not available at all. In these scenarios, it is safest to travel with a Sterile Needle Kit. This kit is to be provided to a medical professional to be used for medical emergencies such as a blood transfusion, fluid replacement, general vaccinations or blood tests. This kit is to reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV & Hep B.

Female Health Kit £29.95

There are many female-specific health concerns that may occur whilst travelling. Unfortunately, urinary tract infections (UTI’s) and thrush (yeast infections) are common among female travellers. Therefore travelling with a Female Health Kit is highly recommended.

Travelling with a fit-for-purpose medical kit is not glamorous. However, you’ll be glad you have it if you suffer any mishaps. Saving you time, money and stress involved in finding a local chemist, medical centre or hospital quickly when you are abroad. And if you don’t, then at worst you’ve lost out on a tiny amount of suitcase space.

Before International Travel you should consider a pre-travel consultation with a specialist travel nurse to discuss the health risks at your destination. You can book a travel appointment online or email us for more information at info@fleetstreetclinic.com.

Travel Consultations – Why So Important?

Read more

Summer Trekking

08.07.2024 Category: Travel Health Author: Lucy Mildren

SUMMER TREKKING

Do you enjoy the great outdoors and active holidays? If so, you may be contemplating a trekking adventure. Top summer trekking destinations include Cotopaxi, Ecuador, the Atlas Mountain Range in Morocco, The Ladakh Ranges in India and Mont Blanc in the French Alps.

Fleet Street Clinic offers travel tips for trekkers from Anna Chapman, one of our specialist travel nurses, to help prepare for your holiday and make the most of your adventure.

  1. Ensure that you are up to date with vaccinations. It comes as a surprise to most people that vaccination should be considered before hiking in northern Europe. Tick borne Encephalitis is a serious viral infection that causes swelling of the brain. As the name suggests, it is spread by the bite of an infected tick, and it is endemic throughout northern Europe, Russia and China. If you’re heading further afield, to South America or Africa, you may need Yellow Fever vaccination for your own protection, or for border control.
  1. The most common illness amongst travellers is upset stomachs. Pack hand sanitiser to use when soap and water for hand washing is unavailable. Take water purification tablets if you have not got access to safe water. Medicines such as rehydration salts and anti-motility medicines can be helpful if you do become unwell.
  1. Most trekking routes are at high altitudes. Understand the effects of altitude sickness. Take time to acclimatise to altitudes and consider taking medication such as Diamox to reduce the severity of acute altitude sickness.
  1. Look after your feet. Invest in good trekking boots, socks and wear them in before you go. Keep your feet dry when trekking by changing your socks and using foot powder. Zinc oxide tape or Compeed dressings can be helpful if you do get blisters.
  1. Pack suitable clothing. Trekking in mountain ranges usually involves variable temperatures: Warm days, thin air, strong sunshine and cool nights. Pack breathable clothing, a waterproof jacket and warm base layers. Sun protection is essential, especially in high altitude ranges, so apply the “Slip, Slop, Slap” rule. Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat.

FLEET STREET TRAVEL CLINIC

Book your travel appointment today

Travel Consultations – Why So Important?

Read more

Travel Advice: Travelling with Children

06.07.2024 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

Travelling with children can be an enlightening and wonderful experience for the family – creating memories and opening their minds to other cultures and ways of life. But on the flip side it also can be quite daunting, especially if this is your first time travelling with children. The best way to establish a safe travel experience abroad is to take early precautions.

Before Your Travels

When it comes to travelling with children, careful planning and preparation should be considered. It is highly advised to have a travel consultation well in advance of your travels. The travel nurse will make you aware of any travel risks and take into consideration your child’s current wellbeing. Depending on where you are travelling, your child may require certain vaccinations. 

These preventative measures will safeguard your child from any diseases or illness. 

Your may be advised the following vaccinations: 

  • Rabies
  • Yellow Fever
    –  Some countries require this as a condition of entry and will ask for proof of vaccination when you arrive into the country.
  • Hepatitis A 
  • Typhoid 
  • Tick-borne Encephalitis 
  • Japanese Encephalitis 
  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningitis ACWY
  • Cholera

All vaccinations require a duration of time following vaccination to reach full protection, usually 10 – 14 days, so factor this time in before your travels. In addition, some vaccinations require a multi-course dose before they are considered effective, such as rabies which requires 3 vaccinations to be considered a complete course. Book a travel consultation early to ensure you have enough time before you travel.

In addition to travel vaccinations it is worth discussing any upcoming childhood vaccinations that could be beneficial to have at the same time so your child is protected against any other common diseases that aren’t necessarily associated with just travel.

If you intend to go to countries with a high malaria risk it is important to discuss antimalarial protection  during your travel consultation. Malaria can be fatal and there is a higher risk for children. Antimalarials (malaria tablets) are generally taken for a duration before, during  and after your trip  and need to be purchased in advance of your travels. There are a number of different types and are suitable for different people so it is important to discuss your options with a travel health expert. The tablets work by ensuring the malaria parasite doesn’t reach unmanageable numbers, keeping you healthy whilst you travel. 

Travelling abroad can be exhausting, especially for young children. Jet Lag is known to cause temporary sleep disturbance, which can have an impact on your mental health and other bodily functions. To prepare ahead, The Jet Lag Calculator can tell you how long it will take the body to adjust to your new time zone when you travel – and to adjust back again when you come home.

To undergo a Pre-Travel Consultation, book online or for more information on Travel Health Services.

 

During Your Travels

Travelling can sometimes result in unexpected situations. For the protection of your child/ren and your family in general, always carry a First Aid Kit. This will reduce your need to seek medical aid for minor accidents or journeys to a chemist, especially if local towns are at a further distance.

When travelling to warmer climates, sun safety is crucial as young children are more vulnerable to sunburn from outdoor activities. To protect the skin apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30, with broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection throughout the day. In addition, hot weather can also pose a risk of dehydration and heat stroke. Ensure you and your child are hydrated throughout the day by drinking  water from a safe source. This can be bottled water, boiled water, or water that has been filtered. 

To further avoid traveller’s diarrhoea:

  • Wash your hands regularly, especially before eating
  • Carry an alcohol-based sanitiser 
  • Keep children from crawling or sitting on the ground
  • Avoid swimming in contaminated water
  • Don’t swallow any shower or pool water
  • Eat raw fruits and vegetables only if washed in clean water or peeled 
  • Stick to foods that are well cooked and served hot
  • Stick to canned or bottled beverages
  • Avoid food that has been sitting on a buffet to avoid contamination

We have launched a new, free online consultation for Travellers’ Diarrhoea – by answering a few simple medical questions about yourself, we can check if antibiotics are recommended for your trip. You can pay online and we’ll dispatch them directly to you if you are suitable. 

Alternatively, you can have a more comprehensive travel consultation in-clinic with one of our experienced travel nurses. 

For more information on the prevention and treatment of Travellers’ Diarrhoea.

 

The feeling of discomfort from bug bites can truly be a nightmare whilst travelling. Insect bites such as mosquitoes, ticks, biting fleas and kissing bugs can cause pain, irritation and even spread diseases. However, they can be avoided through protective clothing. Our Ultimate Bug Kit  has everything you need from repellents to aftercare. Alternatively, you could purchase individual items and create your own kit.

 

After Your Travels 

Travelling can expose your child to certain diseases. If your child falls unexpectedly ill – contact your doctor or emergency services right away. A high temperature/ fever could mean an infection. For most people, travellers’ diarrhoea usually clears up within a few days. However, if your stomach bug has been ongoing for weeks after returning home, then you will need to do testing to investigate the root cause. Viruses, bacteria or parasites all cause similar symptoms but require an entirely different treatment approach. Our Gastrointestinal (GI) Panel PCR test looks for any microbes that are causing your symptoms and can quickly identify the exact cause of your Travellers’ Diarrhoea. Results can be provided in as little as 1-hour, so that accurate and effective treatment can begin straight away.

 

 

10 Vaccinations you should know about

Read more

Respiratory infections: a jab against complacency

19.06.2024 Category: Flu Jabs Author: Dr Richard Dawood

I picked up Covid early in the pandemic and put my newly acquired immunity to good use by joining the Covid medical team at my local hospital for the weeks that followed. There was a side-effect however: a sense of invincibility that has perhaps made me take less care to protect myself from respiratory viruses ever since.

My luck ran out recently while looking after a group of patients with upper respiratory infections. Not all respiratory viruses are equal: we may call them “colds”, but some varieties are considerably more unpleasant than others.

Using PCR, we can now tell the difference between 22 different bugs with pinpoint accuracy, in about an hour. Mine turned out to be parainfluenza type 1 (there are four serotypes, who knew?) – a nasty virus, more common in the USA and among children.

My bout ranked alongside my experience with Covid: the symptoms lasted over three weeks and included a secondary lower respiratory infection requiring antibiotics to clear.

There’s no vaccine as yet against parainfluenza, but there are vaccines against other important respiratory infections – pneumococcal pneumonia, RSV, Covid-19, a newly-recommended adult top-up against whooping cough, and of course flu.

I shall be having all of these vaccines this winter and will take much greater care to protect myself when those around me have “colds”.

 

Preventing cervical cancer

11.06.2024 Category: Cancer Author: Dr Belinda Griffiths

Women between the ages of 25 and 64 are invited for regular cervical screenings where a healthcare professional looks at the health of the cervix to detect any cell changes or abnormalities. However, in 2022-2023, the number of women who attended their cervical screen fell. Nearly a third of the women invited to do their cervical screen didn’t attend their appointments, this is around 4.6 million women, a deeply concerning number, as over 3000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and 99.8% of those cases are preventable. Prevention is better than curing, and the earlier you are aware of any cell changes, the easier it is to treat.

Why do some women not attend their cervical screenings?

One of our general practitioners, Dr Belinda Griffiths, has found that in her experience women don’t attend their cervical screenings for a number of reasons including: difficulties with taking time off work for a GP appointment, fear of embarrassment, and fear of the process being uncomfortable or painful. 

However, to combat these concerns, the NHS has launched at-home HPV kits. Dr Griffiths explains how they work – “The HPV test is highly sensitive so it separates out those who are HPV-positive and HPV-negative. Those who are HPV-negative will be considered ‘low risk’ for cervical cancer and will be asked to do a future test. Those who are HPV-positive will be deemed ‘high risk’ and be asked to attend for follow-up with a clinician whereby they will conduct a cervical screening to check the health of their cervix and investigate if any abnormal cells are present.”

These new tests are the same process as at-home STI tests whereby a simple swab collects the sample from the vagina. Having the option of this sort of test at home removes the fear some women may have surrounding the slightly more intrusive cervical screen.

What is HPV?

HPV (human papillomavirus) is a common virus passed on via skin-to-skin contact, usually through genital contact. There are many types of HPV, most of which are harmless, don’t usually cause any symptoms and the infection will go away on its own. However, others are deemed ‘high risk’ as they can persist and cause cell changes which can lead to cancer. It is thought that these ‘high risk’ HPV strains are responsible for around 80% of cervical cancer cases, making the detection of HPV all the more important.

How can you prevent HPV?

You can be protected from certain HPV strains through vaccination. There are two HPV vaccines currently available in the UK: Gardasil which protects against 4 strains of HPV used in the NHS and the vaccine used here at the Fleet Street Clinic, Gardasil-9, which protects against 9 of the high-risk HPV strains.

When can you be vaccinated against HPV?

The NHS now routinely offers the Gardasil vaccine to girls and boys around age 12/13, before the age people generally become sexually active. However, the vaccination programme only came into full force in 2019, meaning many people are currently unvaccinated. It should be pointed out that adults can get vaccinated at any age and even if you have already been exposed to HPV, the vaccine can still offer protection against other strains to which you have not yet been exposed. 

It is a particularly good idea for people to get vaccinated before they attend university or before they go travelling on a ‘gap year’, as these are typically times where young people are more sexually active and therefore more likely to be exposed to HPV. 

It is important to note that getting the HPV vaccination most certainly doesn’t mean missing or not participating in HPV tests or cervical screenings. A combination of these preventative measures gives you the highest possible chance of preventing cervical cancer. 

Book your Cervical Screen or HPV vaccine online today.

Fleet St. Clinic first to deliver private Covid-19 vaccines

23.02.2024 Category: Clinic News Author: Dr Richard Dawood

Trusted London clinic now offers private Covid-19 vaccines.

As a trusted name in healthcare for the past three decades, Fleet St. Clinic are proud to announce the expansion of our services to include private Covid-19 vaccination for individuals and businesses alike. We offer the most up-to-date Pfizer Covid vaccines at a cost of £95 per dose.

Covid Vaccinations for Individuals

Until now, Covid vaccination has only been available through the NHS, which has rightly prioritised access those most likely to suffer complications. However, coronavirus infection remains a hazard for everyone, and many other people also wish to be protected. Protection can be especially important for people keen to avoid illness abroad, for people in key occupations, and for those in close contact with vulnerable friends and relatives.

Covid vaccination will now be available year-round for all those who would like to be protected, including those who have not been eligible for NHS care. Whether you need a booster vaccination or would like to consider having the Covid vaccine for the first time, we can help.

Book your private covid vaccination here.

 

Covid Vaccinations for Businesses

Fleet St. Clinic has provided large-scale flu vaccination initiatives for businesses across the United Kingdom since 1995. These programmes are now being expanded to include long-awaited vaccination against Covid-19. Many of our clients have been keen to protect those in business-critical roles as well as to protect employee health and wellbeing more generally.

Workplace vaccination programmes are offered as a straightforward and fully-managed service, enabling employees to access vaccinations they might otherwise find challenging to obtain. Introducing vaccination against Covid-19 reflects our longstanding commitment to keeping companies and their employees healthy.

Book your private covid vaccination workplace programme here.

 

Fleet St. Clinic Medical Director, Dr Richard Dawood commented:

“We are delighted to be one of the first medical practices in the UK to offer Covid-19 vaccinations outside the NHS. Now that Covid has transitioned from being a pandemic to an endemic disease, it is important that vaccination against Covid should become as “normal” and accessible as vaccination against other infectious diseases.

As a private, multi-disciplinary medical practice, the Fleet St. Clinic has specialised in vaccines for three decades, delivering hundreds of thousands of doses. Through the pandemic, most of our doctors and nurses volunteered to deliver Covid-19 vaccines in the NHS. We are especially pleased that being vaccinated against Covid-19 can now be a matter of choice for individuals and businesses alike, no longer restricted to those in the most vulnerable groups.”

 

Pre-Book Your Covid Vaccine

Covid vaccination will become available in March, but you can pre-book your own Covid vaccine or a Workplace vaccination programme, from today. Fill in our online form and we will be in touch with more information.

Pre-book your private covid vaccination programme here.

 

 

RELATED SERVICES AVAILABLE AT FLEET ST. CLINIC 

Covid Vaccines

Wellness Vaccinations

Full Respiratory Panel PCR Test

Private GP Appointments

 

Enhancing Employee Well-being: Fleet St Clinic Champions Occupational Health Services

Read more

Measles Advice for Parents

03.02.2024 Category: General Health Author: Anna Chapman

What to do if you think your child has measles and when to keep them off school.

Measles cases are increasing throughout England, particularly among children. This highly contagious infection can lead to severe complications for some individuals. 

Since there is no specific medical treatment for measles, obtaining vaccination is crucial for the best defence against serious illness. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is part of routine childhood vaccinations, meaning most children are already immunised against measles.  

If your child has received both doses of the vaccine, it is unlikely that they will contract the virus. 

Here, we’ll provide everything you need to know about measles, from ensuring your child’s vaccination to knowing when to keep them away from school.
 

What are the symptoms of measles? 

Measles usually starts with cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash a few days later. Some people may also get small spots in their mouth.  

Symptoms of measles usually start to appear 7-14 days after you become infected, which include: 

  • Runny/blocked nose 
  • Sneezing 
  • High temperature 
  • Sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light 
  • Sore throat 
  • White spots inside the mouth

What does a measles rash look like?

Measles usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, body, arms, legs, and feet. Small, raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body.

 

What should you do if you think your child has measles?  

If you suspect that you or your child might have measles, it’s important to request an immediate GP appointment or seek assistance from NHS 111. 

Before visiting the GP or any healthcare facility, make sure to call ahead for guidance. 

In the event of a measles diagnosis for your child by a doctor, it is advisable for them to refrain from attending nursery or school for a minimum of 4 days from the onset of the rash. Additionally, they should steer clear of close interactions with infants and individuals who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems.

 

What is the best way to protect against measles? 

The best protection against measles for children and adults is to get both doses of the MMR vaccine. 

MMR vaccination is available at Fleet Street Clinic for children and adults who would like catch-up on doses. If you or your child haven’t been vaccinated yet, or have an unfinished course of vaccines, either book an appointment online or contact our reception team on +44 20 7353 5678 to book an appointment.  

We can usually accommodate same day appointments. 

Alternatively, children receive the vaccine at no cost on the NHS at 12 months and then a second dose at 3 years and 4 months. You may find the NHS vaccination service has a longer wait time that us. 

If you prefer a version of the MMR vaccine without pork products, please get in touch, explaining your preference and we will do our best to accommodate. It’s important to note that we would be ordering this product specially for you, so there may be a longer wait time for delivery and prepayment will be required. Either call our reception team on +44 20 7353 5678 or email info@fleetstreetclinic.com

 

Cold-like symptoms can be an early sign of measles. Should you still send your child to school? 

If your child has been vaccinated, it’s very unlikely that they have measles. Check if they have a high temperature or a fever, and if not, we’d advise it’s fine to send your child to school. 

Keep an eye on their symptoms and adapt accordingly if they worsen.

 

When should you keep your child off school or nursery and how long for? 

If your child has measles, they should stay off nursery or school for at least 4 days from when the rash first appears and avoid close contact with babies and anyone who is pregnant or has a weakened immune system. 

The school will let you know if your child has been in contact with someone who has measles and advise what you need to do. 

They may advise people who are more susceptible to contracting the virus, such as unvaccinated siblings to stay away from school for the incubation period to be on the safe side. 

The incubation period is the length of time it can take to develop the illness after being in contact with someone with measles. For measles, the incubation period can be up to 21 days. 

Anyone, child or adult, who has been vaccinated is unlikely to be considered susceptible. 

If you’re not sure whether your child is due a vaccination or has missed a vaccination, you can check their Red Book or contact your registered GP practice for confirmation. 

If your child has missed their first or second dose of the MMR vaccine, we’d advise you book an appointment for catch up vaccines. You can book an appointment online.

 

Should you keep your child off school if another pupil has been diagnosed with measles? 

Most children will be protected against measles and there is no need to keep your child off school if they have had both their MMR vaccinations. 

Your school will let you know if your child has been in contact with someone with confirmed measles and will advise what the next steps are.

 

Can I still get my child vaccinated even if they’re older?  

Yes. The MMR vaccine is suitable for adults and children, therefore, anyone who has not had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine can book an appointment for catch up vaccinations. 

It’s best to have vaccines on time, but you can still catch up on most vaccines if you miss them. Two doses of the vaccine are needed to ensure full protection. 

 

 

RELATED SERVICES AVAILABLE AT FLEET ST. CLINIC

MMR Vaccination

Childhood Vaccinations

 

Related Blogs:

Measles outbreak & isolation warning

 

How to Avoid a UTI When Travelling

02.02.2024 Category: Travel Health Author: Lucy Mildren

UTIs can strike unexpectedly, casting a shadow over an otherwise fantastic holiday.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or embarking on your first adventure, the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) is real and more likely to occur during travel, especially in hot countries 

This blog compiles expert advice and practical tips to empower you to minimise the chances of developing a troublesome UTI during your travels. 

1. Stay hydrated

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to prevent UTIs is to stay well-hydrated. Proper hydration helps flush bacteria out of your urinary system, reducing the likelihood of infection.

Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and avoid excessive consumption of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration.

Bring a reusable water bottle and make a habit of refilling it throughout the day, ensuring you have access to clean and safe drinking water wherever you are. 

2. Don’t delay going to the toilet 

It can be tempting to “hold it in” during long journeys, delayed or remote travel but putting off going to the bathroom can cause UTIs.

Holding your bladder for too long can contribute to the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract. Since urination flushes bad bacteria out of the bladder before they get a chance to multiply to dangerous levels, going to the toilet as soon as you can means less bacteria are left to sit in your bladder for longer than necessary, reducing your risk of a painful infection. 

Remember, maintaining good personal hygiene is crucial in preventing gynaecological infections, particularly UTIs and cystitis. When travelling, it’s essential to prioritise cleanliness. Carry antibacterial wipes to clean your hands before and after using public toilets.   

3. Choose comfortable clothing

Believe it or not, your choice of clothing can impact your risk of developing UTIs. Tight-fitting clothes, especially in the pelvic area, can trap moisture and create an environment conducive to bacterial growth.  

Opt for loose-fitting, breathable fabrics to allow proper air circulation. Additionally, change out of wet bathing suits promptly to prevent the proliferation of bacteria.

By paying attention to your wardrobe choices, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing uncomfortable infections during your travels. 

4. Treat constipation 

Exploring new cuisines can lead to various challenges for travellers. While some may grapple with traveller’s diarrhoea, others might experience constipation due to altered eating patterns, dehydration, increased alcohol consumption, and a more sedentary lifestyle. 

Unfortunately, constipation increases your risk of contracting a UTI. To mitigate this risk, aim to eat a diet rich in fibre, stay active, and drink plenty of water. 

5. Carry a female health kit with you whilst you travel 

If you experience any symptoms of a UTI or gynaecological infection, it’s crucial to have medications on hand so you can continue your holiday or travel unaffected. 

Carrying a female health kit with you whilst you travel means you can detect and treat your UTI symptoms whilst on-the-go. It contains urine test strips which can confirm if you have a urine infection as well as antibiotics and cystitis relief sachets to alleviate symptoms of inflammation. 

Symptoms of a UTI may include frequent and painful urination, lower abdominal discomfort, blood in your urine, a high temperature or lower back pain. 

Take our free online consultation to see if you can buy a female health kit online. 

Remember, in addition to self-treatment, it’s crucial to seek prompt medical attention, especially if symptoms worsen. 

Your travel experience should be memorable for all the right reasons, not marred by the discomfort of a urinary tract infection.

By following these essential tips – from prompt bathroom breaks, to arming yourself with the right travel medicine – you can significantly reduce the risk of encountering a UTI while abroad.  

Our female health kits are designed for travel and contain everything you would need to treat and alleviate symptoms for a urinary or gynaecological infection.  Begin by completing our free online consultation today 

Whether you’re prone to urinary tract infections, or have never experienced one before, it’s a good idea to buy a female health kit  before any trip or holiday and arm yourself against the discomfort and misery of a UTI while abroad. 

Fleet St. Clinic is here to support your well-being whilst you travel.
Stay healthy, stay informed, and make the most of your travels! 

 

Related services available at Fleet Street Clinic 

Specialist Travel Clinic

Travel Vaccinations

Travellers’ Diarrhoea Medication Online Consultation

What is "Blue Monday"?

08.01.2024 Category: General Health Author: Dr Will Cave

Blue Monday happens every year on the third Monday of January. It is supposedly the most depressing day of the entire year, based on a crude calculation of bad weather, long nights, back to work dread and post-Christmas debt.  

It does sound very plausible perhaps because we so familiar with the term “January Blues” but Blue Monday is in fact, a myth! 

The phrase “Blue Monday” was coined by Sky Travel back in 2005 as a way to encourage people to book their next holiday as something to look forward too. They highlighted all the seasonal negatives to reinforce the benefits of booking a holiday – a clever marketing trick. 

But can we really pinpoint the most depressing day of the year?

There is no actual scientific studies that have ever backed up any claims about Blue Monday being true or that there could even be a “most depressing day of the year”. This does make sense because this would be different for each and every one of us based on personal circumstances and the variables are extensive. It did, however, get use thinking about our mood, mental health and overall wellbeing at this time of year.

January is cold, often wet and everyone is trying to shake off the Christmas comedown and get excited about the new year ahead, but the January blues can creep in.

Remember you are not alone, and many people experience a dip in mood this time of year but it is important to identify when the January blues are actually symptoms of depression.

Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy, fed up or low for a few days. It can be long lasting and the symptoms range from mild to severe. Once accessed by a doctor, they will conclude the severity of your depression.

A simplified description follows:

Mild depression will have some impact on your daily life.
Moderate depression has a significant impact on your life.
Severe depression makes it almost impossible to get through daily life.

Sometimes there’s a trigger for depression. Life-changing events, such as bereavement, losing your job or giving birth, can bring it on. Other times, it can be linked with family history; people with family members who have depression are more likely to experience it themselves. But you can also become depressed for no obvious reason. It is quite complex and each person is unique.

There are many symptoms of depression and the combination is unpredictable.

They can be categorised at physiological, physical and social symptoms.

Some examples of psychological symptoms of depression include:

  • continuous low mood or sadness
  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • having low self-esteem
  • feeling tearful
  • feeling irritable and intolerant of others
  • having no motivation or interest in things
  • finding it difficult to make decisions
  • not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • feeling anxious or worried
  • having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself

Some examples of physical symptoms of depression include:

  • moving or speaking slower than usual
  • changes in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased)
  • constipation
  • unexplained aches and pains
  • lack of energy
  • low sex drive
  • changes to your menstrual cycle
  • disturbed sleep – for example, finding it difficult to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning

Some examples of social symptoms of depression include:

  • avoiding contact with friends and taking part in fewer social activities
  • neglecting your hobbies and interests
  • having difficulties in your home, work or family life

The most common symptoms of depression tend to be a low mood, feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, lack of energy, problems with sleep and a loss of interest in things you used to enjoy but it can be any number of symptoms listed above. 

It’s important to seek help from a GP if you think you may be depressed. The sooner you see a doctor, the sooner you can be on the way to recovery. 

For more information on GP services at Fleet Street Clinic, click here.

Winter Health Check

04.01.2024 Category: General Health Author: Dr Belinda Griffiths

With every change of season comes a host of different medical issues, and winter can be one of the worst. With colder temperatures, shorter days, and seasonal illnesses circulating, it is one of the harder seasons to keep fit and healthy. There are certain conditions which are known to worsen in the colder months and so it is important to be aware of them and how you can best prepare yourself to keep healthy throughout winter. 

These conditions include:

  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Circulatory disorders, such as claudication, Raynaud’s disease, and chilblains
  • Ischaemic heart disease
  • Hypothyroidism (if untreated)
  • Osteoarthritis and any joint disorder to include rheumatoid arthritis
  • Seasonal Affective disorder
  • Allergic rhinitis

To reduce the increased risk associated with the above conditions, it is important to have a check up with your GP, ideally in the early Autumn before the Winter months. This will give you the best chance of getting ahead and allowing you to prepare for the coming season. But, if for whatever reason, you were unable to have a check up in Autumn, it is still beneficial to have a check up during the Winter months.

During a check up for asthma and COPD it’s advised to have a peak flow and lung function check. Asthma and COPD are worse in the dry, cold weather, so it is important to make sure you have plenty of your prescribed inhalers. It is best to be prepared rather than be taken unawares by an attack of wheezing. It is extremely important to see a doctor if you develop winter wheezing and are short of breath, especially during the night as this is when asthma and COPD attacks are most dangerous.

Circulatory disorders are worse in the cold weather as lower temperatures constrict blood vessels, increasing the likelihood of pain due to claudication (pain in the calves after walking a certain distance), Reynaud’s (discolouration of the fingertips due to constriction of the blood vessels) and chilblains (small, itchy, red patches on the skin). You can prepare for all of these conditions by obtaining prescriptions for treatment but most importantly, by keeping  warm and preparing for the cold.

Ischaemic heart disease is also worse in the cold weather due to the effect of constricting blood vessels. It is important to have a cardiac check to include blood pressure, and if you suffer from angina, to ensure you have the medication to treat this painful condition which is likely to be much worse in the cold weather. Avoiding the extreme cold and wearing thermal clothing may also mitigate against the likelihood of a heart attack or myocardial infarction if you do suffer from Ischaemic heart disease. 

If you suffer from Hypothyroidism, it is a good idea to have an annual blood test. Left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause increased sensitivity to cold, which can be particularly unpleasant in winter.

For those with arthritis of any kind, the best way to avoid pain and stiffness in the joints is to keep warm and keep the joints moving. Find more information on Arthritis in Winter here.

If your mood tends to be lower in the winter months, each year, you should have a check up with your GP to discuss Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). If you are diagnosed with SAD, consider CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) rather than medication if you can, and invest in a daylight lamp as these do help.

Allergic rhinitis is another ailment that tends to crop up a lot around winter time. This is diagnosed when you have a persistent nasal discharge. This can occur either as a result of pine or autumnal tree leaf mould, or due to house dust or mould which is often exacerbated by central heating. In this instance, nasal sprays and antihistamines are often required.

Finally, the Norovirus peaks in November until April. This is a really unpleasant vomiting virus which is picked up from contaminated surfaces or foods. To help avoid this nasty bug, always wash hands when handling food and make sure food is washed thoroughly before cooking or eating raw.

If you know or suspect that you might suffer from any of these conditions, please do visit your GP to help you keep prepared. Similarly, if anything new arises you should see your GP as soon as you can; the earlier a health condition is addressed, the easier it is to treat. 

In general, an annual medical is a good way to give you a full-body overview of your health, as well as monitor the progression of any existing health conditions. A varied, balanced diet and regular exercise will also be crucial in keeping you generally fit and healthy throughout winter.

 

For more information on our GP Services

Book a GP Appointment or an Annual Medical.

Arthritis in Winter

01.01.2024 Category: General Health Author: Dr Will Cave

Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in joints. It is not a single disease but an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. There are thought to be 10 million people with some form of arthritis in the UK. It is the most common cause of disability in the UK and can affect people of all ages but it does occur more frequently as people get older.

Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms can range dramatically from person to person, with some experiencing mild symptoms with occasional flare ups to those who experience constant debilitating pain everyday. The sad truth is that there is no cure for arthritis, so it is all about pain management and how to best reduce flare ups.

The impact of the weather on the symptoms of arthritis has been debated for many years and people tend to report more arthritis flare-ups in the winter, but the reason why is not specifically known.

Quite often sufferers will state that their symptoms get worse when the weather is damp and cold and some state they are able to tell when the weather is about to change based on their arteritis symptoms worsening.

Even if there is currently nothing to support this scientifically, this doesn’t remove the pain felt by sufferers and so rather than comment on where this is true or not, let’s look at ways to reduce flare ups in winter.

Our top 4 tips:

1. Stay warm
When the temperature drops both inside and outside, dress warmly. Make sure all arthritis prone areas are kept warm.

2. Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Even mild dehydration might make you more sensitive to pain.

3. Take warm baths
A warm bath or visiting a heated swimming pool will ease joint pain and comfort you. If you visit a heated swimming pool, gentle exercise will also help your mobility.

4. Stay active
It is now clear that active people experience less joint pain than those who are sedentary. If you are experiencing an arthritic flare then reduce your usual activity (but don’t stop altogether) and use simple anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen if it is safe for you to do so.

 

Enjoy winter while taking the above precautions for Arthritis.
If you are facing extreme discomfort and pain in your joints due to arthritis, book an appointment with a GP to discuss your options.

New Dengue Fever Vaccine; Qdenga

20.12.2023 Category: Travel Health Author: Lucy Mildren

In the months since its release in the UK, we have seen a huge demand for the new Dengue vaccine, Qdenga.

For those with experience of the disease, the news of its licensing has been much anticipated and we are proud to be one of the first clinics in the UK to offer the vaccine.

What is Dengue Fever?

Dengue is a viral infection that is spread through the bite of an infected aedes mosquito, a species easily recognisable by its striped legs. It occurs in over 120 countries worldwide, mainly in the tropics and sub-tropics, and is the second most common cause of fever in the returning traveller.

The most seriously impacted regions are the Americas, South-East Asia, and Western Pacific, with Asia accounting for around 70% of the world’s disease burden.

It is also spreading to new areas, including Europe, where outbreaks have been increasing in recent years. Read more about this in our recent blog, Dengue Fever in Europe: Temperature Risk.

Since it is transmitted from person to person, via the mosquito vector, it is of particular concern in populated, urban areas.

What are the symptoms of Dengue Fever?

Whilst most cases are asymptomatic, some will develop a severe flu like illness that can require hospitalisation. In rare cases, this will be life threatening.

Common symptoms include;

a high fever,
severe headache,
pain behind the eyes,
muscle ache,
joint pains,
nausea,
vomiting and rash.

There are four serotypes of Dengue virus; for those infected by one type, a subsequent infection is more likely to be life threatening. The severe type of Dengue usually starts a few days after the initial symptoms began. After feeling a bit better, symptoms suddenly return and can include severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting and bleeding.

Approximately 1 in 20 patients with Dengue will progress into the severe form of the disease.

Dengue Fever Vaccination

Historically, the only protection we could provide was advice surrounding mosquito bite avoidance. With the arrival of Qdenga, we now have the option of a vaccination which provides safe and effective protection.

Studies have shown Qdenga to offer 80% protection from the first dose, with long term immunity achieved after the second.

Who should get vaccinated?

Qdenga can be safely given to those who have previously had the disease, and it is especially important for this group. We would also encourage frequent or long stay travellers to consider the vaccine. The vaccine is licensed for the prevention of Dengue in individuals from 4 years of age and requires two doses, to be given three months apart.

It is a live vaccine, so it’s not suitable for everyone. To discuss your suitability with one of our specialist travel nurses, please book a travel consultation online, or call our reception team on +44 20 7353 5678.

We can usually accommodate same day bookings and suitable vaccinations can be given within the same appointment.

 

Related services available at Fleet Street Clinic 

Dengue Fever Vaccination

Specialist Travel Clinic 

Travellers’ Diarrhoea Online Consultation

Antimalarials

 

For further reading

UK MHRA approves Takeda’s dengue vaccine Qdenga

WHO: Message by the Director of the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals at WHO – September 2023

Dengue Fever in Europe: Temperature Risk

Read more

BCG & SCID screening:
What you need to know

07.12.2023 Category: General Health Author: Anna Chapman & Lucy Mildren

In September 2021, Public Health England released new rules surrounding the timing of BCG vaccination, increasing the minimum age of vaccination to 28 days. This has been implemented in line with a pilot disease screening programme that tests eligible newborns for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), the outcome of which becomes available by the time the baby is 6 weeks old. It is important that we wait for the result of this test before giving the BCG vaccine.

What is SCID screening?
All newborn babies in the UK are currently offered blood spot screening (heel prick test) that looks for 9 rare diseases, including sickle cell and cystic fibrosis. The NHS is considering introducing an additional test for Severe Immunodeficiency (SCID), a name given to a group of rare, inherited disorders that cause major abnormalities in the immune system. Affected infants have an increased risk of life-threatening infections and will normally become severely unwell in the first few months of life. Without treatment they will rarely live past their first birthday. About 14 babies a year are born in England with SCID.

The evaluation of this testing, which began on 6th September 2021, is taking place in 6 areas across England and will cover around 60% of new born babies. It is running alongside the existing blood spot screening and the intention is to roll it out nationally once the 2 year evaluation has been made. 

Why does this affect the BCG vaccination?
Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a live attenuated vaccine that can cause problems if given to an immunocompromised person. Treatment for SCID is more complicated if the child has received the BCG vaccine, so it is important that if your child has been tested. We wait for a negative result before vaccinating. 

What we need from you:
If your child was included in the SCID programme, you will need to provide a letter that confirms the negative result of screening.

If your child was born outside of the programme areas and therefore, not included in the SCID programme, we will need to see a letter confirming this. 

In either case, please bring the letter with you to your appointment, as well as your child’s vaccination book.

Nb. If your child was born before 1st September 2021, before the programme was introduced, no letter will be needed. 

 

For more information on:

BCG vaccination

Other Childhood Vaccinations

Arexvy: the new vaccination to protect against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

23.11.2023 Category: General Health Author: Anna Chapman

RSV is a common and highly contagious respiratory virus that is a leading cause of lung disease. RSV is seasonal, and like other respiratory viruses, its peak incidence is during the winter months each year. It spreads from person to person via droplets, or from infected surfaces or objects. RSV is a virus, so antibiotics are not effective.

Arexvy is a new vaccination designed to protect against lower respiratory tract disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). It is an important advance, because no specific treatment for RSV is available, and infection is often severe.

Older adults, and those with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and lung diseases such as asthma and COPD are at the greatest risk of the infection. RSV can exacerbate these underlying conditions and lead to pneumonia.

In the UK, RSV causes more hospitalisations and deaths than flu in those over the age of 60. It is estimated that RSV causes14,000 hospitalisations and an estimated 8,000 deaths in adults 60 years of age and older each year.

Arexvy is a recombinant adjuvanted vaccine for the prevention of RSV is adults 60 years of age and above. It is the only licensed vaccination in the UK that has been authorised for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, meaning at risk adults are now able to be vaccinated against the disease.

Arexvy is as in inactive vaccination and only requires single dose for protection. It can be administered at the same time as other vaccinations including flu, pneumococcal, and COVID.

We are among the first practices in the UK to offer it to adults needing protection.

Can Flu Jabs Protect Against Heart Attacks?

Read more

Movember - Championing Men's Health Issues

08.11.2023 Category: Cancer Author: Dr Richard Dawood

Step into the realm of Movember, where the Chevron, the Dali, or the Handlebar becomes more than just a style statement – it’s a symbol of men’s health awareness.

Are you ready to join the Mo-gang and make a statement this Movember?

Movember transcends mere facial hair growth; it’s a global movement dedicated to transforming the landscape of men’s health. This renowned charity, a beacon of hope and change, addresses critical issues like prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.

In the heart of London, at Fleet St. Clinic, we’re not just embracing the ‘Mo’ spirit; we’re championing the cause of male health. As the statistics reveal, one man succumbs to prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK. It’s time to take charge of your well-being and be part of a movement that’s making a difference.

Prostate Cancer –
Our clinic offers a comprehensive Prostate Cancer check, with an experienced doctor committed to your health journey. This thorough examination includes a detailed health discussion covering lifestyle and family history, an internal (rectal) examination of the prostate gland, and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Early detection is the key, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Testicular Cancer –
Testicular cancer, the most common cancer among young men in the UK, demands attention. Knowledge is power, and understanding the symptoms can be a lifesaver. A lump or swelling, a heavy scrotum, or discomfort in the testicle or scrotum are health signals not to be ignored. At Fleet St. Clinic, we emphasise the importance of awareness and early detection.

Mental Health –
Let’s break the silence surrounding mental health. The Movember Foundation has spearheaded programs globally, fostering resilience and mental well-being in men. It’s not just about growing a mustache; it’s about cultivating conversations that matter.

 

Now, let’s talk about your health journey with Fleet Street Clinic’s essential men’s health screenings and medicals.

Medical Health Check (From £425) – 

Essential    
Review your health with one of our experienced GPs. Benefit from a thorough physical examination and carefully selected health checks and blood tests, including thyroid function.
1 hour appointment with a GP – £425

book online

Executive
Check your health from top to toe, with our more enhanced Executive medical, including an audiometry test to assess your hearing, spirometry tests to assess your lung function, and cancer checks and markers.
1.5 hour appointment with a GP – £675

Executive+
For maximum reassurance and peace of mind, consider our most advanced medical. Benefit from advanced health screenings including a sophisticated cardiac (CaRi-Heart) scan, and a bone density DEXA scan.
3 hour appointment with a GP – £3,950

View our medical health checks in more detail and book online.

Prostate Cancer Check (£175)

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the UK. Early diagnosis is crucial.

Our prostate cancer check is carried out by an experienced male GP, who’ll conduct a detailed health discussion, internal (rectal) examination of the prostate gland, and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Swift courier services ensure timely analysis at our nearby pathology laboratory. Our GP will provide you with full support throughout the process and provide aftercare services and referrals if required.

 

In a world where ‘strong, silent men’ are rewriting their narrative, Movember beckons. Join us at Fleet St. Clinic, where your health is not just a checkup; it’s a commitment to a longer, healthier life.

Book your Appointment now, and let your Mo make a statement for men’s health in London.

 

The 8 health numbers you should know now

Read more

Fleet Street Clinic receives ISO 27001 Accreditation

01.11.2023 Category: Clinic News Author: Charita Sopa

We are delighted to announce that Fleet Street Clinic, together with our optical practice, Whitby & Co. have achieved ISO 27001:2022 accreditation for excellent security practice across our business.

ISO 27001 is the ultimate benchmark for businesses to establish, implement, and maintain a strong information security management system.

With ever growing concern around data and cyber security, this achievement gives an additional layer of assurance to our patients and business partners alike, that our data security practices meet independently-assessed world-class quality standards.

ISO 27001 is the globally recognised standard for information security management, and we are proud of our team’s accomplishments.

‘The ISO 27001 certification gives reassurance to our current and future patients and business partners that information and data security has been, and continues to be, of the highest importance – I am proud of the entire team for this wonderful achievement.’

Dr Richard Dawood – Medical Director & Founder

Fleet Street Clinic and Whitby & Co. went through a rigorous audit, addressing risk factors across the business, and ensuring robust cyber security levels and business continuity were in place. This accreditation demonstrates our continuing commitment to risk management, cyber-resilience, digital defence and operational excellence.

Click to view our accreditation certificate.

 

More information on ISO 27001 accreditation

ISO 27001 accreditation details the requirements for businesses to securely manage information assets and data to an internationally recognised standard. It provides a robust approach for managing assets such as employee details, patient information, intellectual property, financial information and third-party data.

The accreditation requires the business to assess their information security risks, put in place robust security controls and processes, and embed information security management across the organisation.

Achieving accredited ISO 27001 certification demonstrates that a company is dedicated to following the best practices of information security. Additionally, ISO 27001 certification provides an expert evaluation of whether an organisation’s information is adequately protected.

 

Click to view our private patient services or our workplace healthcare services.

 

Enhancing Employee Well-being: Fleet St Clinic Champions Occupational Health Services

Read more

Can Flu Jabs protect against Heart Attacks ?

27.09.2023 Category: Flu Jabs Author: Dr Richard Dawood

If you have a heart condition you have a greater risk of becoming more seriously ill from flu (seasonal influenza) than the general population. In addition, having the flu can exacerbate pre-existing conditions like diabetes or asthma.

According to the NHS, “every year over 11,000 people in England die from complications caused by the flu virus. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by having the flu vaccination.”

Preventing the flu in the first place is the best option.
The best protection is to have a Flu Vaccine each winter.

What is the flu?
Many people think having influenza, also known as the flu, is like having a bad cold, but in reality flu is a nasty respiratory virus that can make you very unwell. Influenza causes inflammation in the body and can be very serious – sometimes leading to hospitalisation or even death. 

There is evidence that heart attacks happen more often during or immediately after an acute inflammatory illness, such as flu. 

A flu jab is the best protection against flu.
In general, the flu causes stress and inflammation on the body, increasing blood pressure, heart rate and  heart function. This is not good for someone with heart or circulatory problems. 

Flu vaccination is strongly recommended for anyone who has ever had a heart attack, stroke or has underlying heart disease. A previous diagnosis of heart or circulatory diseases is considered a high risk factor for complications or even another heart attack, for anyone who becomes ill with flu. 

Does flu affect heart medication?
If you take warfarin, flu symptoms can affect your blood clotting rate (INR). You should speak to your doctor if this happens so they can monitor your situation closely. It does also mean if you do become unwell, it may take you longer to recover than the average person.

In addition, some over-the-counter flu medicines can’t be used when taking medicines for heart conditions, so contact your doctor before taking things like painkillers and cough medicines. It is better to check before beginning any new medications.

When is the best time to get the flu jab?
Flu vaccinations become available from mid to late September, and through the season until February. It’s best to get your flu vaccine in September or October. The peak time for catching flu runs from Christmas to Easter. The aim is to be vaccinated before flu transmission starts, and to allow at least a couple of weeks post-vaccination, for maximum immunity to develop. The sooner you have the vaccination, the sooner you will be protected. 

You can book your flu jab online.

We have a range of flu vaccinations available, including the premium recombinant vaccine, cell-based vaccine, FluAd (for those aged 65 year and older), kids nasal spray and the standard flu jab.

It is important to have a flu jab every year because the flu virus can change. There are many strains of flu already and some are more dominant than others. Each year strains are analysed to determine which strains are likely to be the prevalent strains circulating that year. They can vary year to year so relying on a past vaccination for protection is risky. The previous year’s vaccine may not offer you the right protection against the strains in circulation this year. 

In addition, immunity to flu decreases over time. Exposure to the flu virus strengthens the immune response and offers natural protection. With less flu circulating over the past few years due to covid restriction measures, natural immunity in the general population will have decreased. 

A flu vaccine will boost immunity.

With most workers now returned to the office and social distancing restrictions long gone, there is a greater chance of the flu spreading and more people falling ill this winter. With both illnesses circulating around it is highly recommended to reduce the risk by getting the flu jab.

Protect yourself against the flu.
You can find more information on the types of flu vaccines available

For more information on the premium recombinant flu jab.

_____________

Wanting to book a Workplace Flu Vaccination Programme?

Flujabs.org is part of Fleet Street Clinic and has been providing workplace flu vaccinations to UK businesses for many years. 

Fill out the online  form and one of our flu coordinators will get back to you with current availability and costs.

    How many employees need this service?*

    The Premium Flu Jab: Recombinant Flu Vaccines – The Most Advanced Protection from Influenza

    Read more

    Flu protection for expecting mothers

    20.09.2023 Category: Flu Jabs Author: Dr Richard Dawood

    Some infections can harm your baby if you catch them during pregnancy. Research suggests that the flu, in particular strains such as H1N1 (swine flu), can significantly increase the risk of complications to expecting mothers and their unborn babies.

    Vaccinating expecting mothers against flu or before pregnancy can provide the newborn baby with significant ‘passive’ protection – which can last several weeks after birth. This is important because babies cannot be vaccinated themselves until they are 6 months old. So, a mother’s vaccination is strongly advised.

    Fleet Street Clinic are urging all the mums-to-be to have the vaccine. The Quadrivalent Flu Jab can be safely given at any point during pregnancy.

    Pregnant women are less able to fight off infections and therefore more likely to be seriously ill if they contract the flu virus. Pregnant women are at risk of complications from the flu at any stage of pregnancy. So therefore, it is important for those expecting to get their flu jab as early as possible.

    If you are currently planning your pregnancy, it would be sensible to consider getting your flu jab prior to becoming pregnant.

    The flu vaccine can safely be given to pregnant women at the same time as the whooping cough vaccine. You can have the whooping cough vaccine from 16 weeks onwards.

    The vaccine is inactivated, and cannot cause flu itself.
    Having the flu vaccine is the best protection.

    Book Online

    If you are interested in booking flu vaccinations for your staff, visit flujabs.org for more information and to get a quote.

    Vaccinations for Students

    19.09.2023 Category: General Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

    STUDENTS URGED TO GET VACCINATED BEFORE UNIVERSITY

    The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), formerly known as Public Health England, is encouraging students to get vaccinated before they start/ return to University to protect themselves against a range of life-threatening illnesses.

    Starting university and attending Fresher’s Week exposes students to a host of viruses and bacteria – some of which for the first time. 

    First year or returning students can be at increased risk of serious diseases such as meningitis, septicaemia and measles as they mix with large numbers of other students from around the country and overseas.

    We strongly advise the following 3 vaccinations at a minimum for students:

    Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY)

    – Protects against 4 common strains causing meningitis and septicaemia

    Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)

    – Protects against measles, mumps, rubella

    Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

    – Protects against HPV-related cancers including cervical, penile & throat cancers, alongside protection against genital warts. HPV vaccination is estimated to prevent up to 90% of HPV-related cancers.

     

    Meningitis Vaccinations:

    – Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY)
    – Meningococcal B (MenB)


    UKHSA vaccine coverage data shows around 1 in 8 new students going to college and university this year remain unprotected against these 4 strains of meningococcal bacteria, each of which can cause long term disability, serious health complications and can be life threatening.

    The MenACWY vaccine is given by a single injection into the upper arm and protects against four different strains of the meningococcal bacteria that cause meningitis and blood poisoning (septicaemia): A, C, W, and Y. You can book online.

    The MenB vaccine is also given as an injection to the upper arm but is a 2-dose course for full protection. It protects agains the B-strain of the meningococcal bacteria. You can book online.

     

    Cases of meningitis, particularly virulent strain Men W & Men B, have been rapidly rising amongst students since 2009. 

    What is Meningitis W?
    Meningitis is a bacterial infection of the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningococcal meningitis (Men W) is a highly serious form of bacterial meningitis that can lead to septicaemia. It is spread by droplets that come from a person who is infected with the bacteria.

    Although the strain is most likely to affect babies, statistics reveal that older children, teenagers, and adults are also at risk. In recent times, cases amongst normally healthy teenagers have spiked and the fatality percentage is higher with Meningitis W than it is with the most common strains, Meningitis B and C.

     

    Meningitis can progress quickly leading to blood poisoning (sepsis), which can kill within 24 hours. So, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia (sepsis).

    Early symptoms of Meningitis include:

    • headache
    • a high temperature (fever)
    • being sick (vomiting)
    • a rash that does not fade when a glass is rolled over it (but a rash will not always develop)
    • a stiff neck
    • a dislike of bright lights
    • cold feet and hands
    • or muscular pain

    Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection. It happens when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage your body’s own tissues and organs. Symptoms can be vague but include:

    • acting confused, slurred speech or not making sense
    • blue, pale or blotchy skin, lips or tongue
    • a rash that does not fade when you roll a glass over it, the same as meningitis
    • difficulty breathing, breathlessness or breathing very fast

    Many people confuse the symptoms with just a hangover or freshers’ flu, which is one of the theories as to why students are so high-risk. So, check-in on your friends who are unwell. Symptoms can progress rapidly so urgent action in getting medical attention is critical – call NHS 111 straight away

    Protection against this strain of Meningitis W is provided through the Meningitis ACWY vaccine. Only one dose is required. 

    We also carry an excellent stock of the Meningitis B vaccine and can provide both vaccinations at the same time should you require it.

    Book your MenACWY & MenB vaccination appointment online

     

    Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccination


    Mumps is a highly contagious viral infection which is spread in the same way as the flu. Coughing, sneezing and kissing can rapidly spread the infection, especially in the close quarters of student accommodation.

    Measles is a very infectious viral infection which is also spread by coughing and sneezing. There have been multiple outbreaks of Measles around the world including the UK this year, so it’s important to make sure you are protected as you socialise with new peers.

    Both Mumps and Measles can be prevented by safe and effective vaccination, MMR.

    Book your MMR vaccination appointment online

     

    Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination


    HPV is a common virus that is passed on via genital contact. There are more than 100 HPV types which infect genital areas. Sometimes they cause no harm and the infection can go away on its own. However, the virus can persist and cause cells to change which can lead to some forms of cancers; cervical, head, neck & throat or genital warts. More information on HPV can be found here.

    The HPV vaccine is offered at our clinic for girls and boys to protect against HPV-related cancers and genital warts. Book your HPV vaccination appointment online

     

    Other vaccinations that we recommend for students starting/ returning to University are:

    Fresher’s Flu:


    Every year different flu strains circulate and infect millions of people. Being exposed to a new pool of infections in University accommodation can increase the risk of catching the flu. Having the flu jab before you go to University will help protect you against the flu and stop you getting sick.

    Flu jabs become available from 3rd September and can be booked online.

    BCG:


    If you are from outside the UK, you should be vaccinated against tuberculosis (TB) before you enter the UK.  A weakened strain of tuberculosis, the BCG Vaccine, is injected to protect against the infection. Those unsure of their immunity can have a simple Mantoux test to confirm.

    Book your BCG vaccination or Mantoux Test appointment online

    Tetanus:


    Tetanus is a rare condition caused by bacteria entering a wound. We recommend making sure you are up to date with your DTP vaccinations and boosters before leaving for university. This vaccine protects against tetanus as well as Diptheria and Polio. Don’t let a cut or burn ruin your freshers week.

    Book your Tetanus vaccination appointment online

    Wellness VACCINATIONS AT FLEET STREET CLINIC

    Fleet Street Clinic offers a friendly environment and a team of experienced medics to administer all wellness vaccinations. We meet rigorous quality management standards to ensure we offer you the highest standards of clinical care: you can feel confident you are in safe hands.

    Secure your peace of mind by ensuring you are protected. Get your vaccines before university starts to receive protection in time.

    Book your vaccination appointment today

     

    _____________

    For the full The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) statement, click here.

     

    10 Vaccinations you should know about

    Read more

    The Premium Flu Jab:
    Recombinant Flu Vaccine - The Most Advanced Protection from Influenza

    16.08.2023 Category: Flu Jabs Author: Dr Richard Dawood

    Recombinant Flu Jab – The Most Advanced Protection from Influenza

    In a world constantly battling the threat of infectious diseases, the importance of vaccinations cannot be underestimated. Influenza – the flu – is a year-round, global respiratory threat that remains a constant concern, owing to the ability of flu viruses to mutate rapidly and cause seasonal epidemics.

    As science advances, so does our ability to protect ourselves from flu. Applying recombinant technology to flu vaccines is a remarkable breakthrough that has created a new generation of premium vaccines, capable of delivering enhanced protection.


    Why are recombinant flu vaccines the premium offering in comparison to other flu vaccines?

    Traditional flu vaccines are created by growing influenza viruses in chicken eggs, allowing the viruses to replicate, and then inactivating or weakening them for use as vaccines. This process, while effective, presents several challenges, including the potential for the virus to mutate during replication in eggs.

    Recombinant flu vaccines offer an innovative alternative to these traditional methods. Instead of using live viruses, these vaccines utilise genetic engineering techniques to produce specific proteins found on the surface of the influenza virus. These proteins are then harvested and used as the key components in the vaccine.

    Notably, recombinant flu vaccines eliminate the need for egg-based production, thus addressing concerns related to egg allergies and the risk of viral mutations.

    Key benefits

    Precise Targeting: Recombinant flu vaccines consist only of precise copies of the surface antigen proteins that flu viruses use to enter our cells. This enables the immune system to recognise and remember them, ensuring the most robust immune response possible whenever flu viruses are encountered.

    Enhanced Effectiveness: The genetic engineering process in recombinant vaccines ensures a high degree of consistency and purity in the vaccine components. This consistency translates to enhanced vaccine effectiveness, reducing the risk of a mismatch between the vaccine strains and the circulating flu viruses.

    Reduced Allergic Reactions: Individuals with egg allergies often face a dilemma when considering traditional flu vaccines, as these vaccines are cultivated in eggs. Recombinant flu vaccines eliminate this concern, providing a safe option for those with egg allergies.

    Forward-Thinking Defence: The adaptability of the flu virus demands a vaccination strategy that can keep up with its mutations. Recombinant vaccines, designed with a focus on the virus’s evolutionary genetics offers a forward-thinking defence by stimulating immunity against a broader range of potential viral strains.

    Broader Accessibility: Traditional flu vaccine production is dependent on the availability of fertile chicken eggs and a lengthy production process. Recombinant vaccines overcome these limitations, allowing for more rapid production and distribution, even in situations where egg supplies are compromised.

    So, why choose a recombinant flu jab over a traditional standard fu jab?

    In the fight against influenza, staying ahead of the mutating virus requires cutting-edge solutions. Recombinant flu vaccinations represent a quantum leap in our approach to flu protection, offering a targeted, effective, and forward-looking defence against the ever-changing flu strains.

    As technology continues to evolve, these vaccines hold the promise of becoming the gold standard in flu protection, providing individuals with a safer, more reliable shield against this seasonal threat.

    So, when the flu season comes around, consider the power of recombinant flu vaccinations—the premium offering for your ultimate flu protection.

     

    Private Patients

    For more information on our flu vaccinations and pricing.

    Workplace Flu Vaccination Programmes

    Fill out the form below for a quote for flu jabs for your employees.

      How many employees need this service?*

       

      ______________

      RELATED SERVICES AVAILABLE AT FLEET STREET CLINIC

      Flu Jabs

      Workplace Flu Jabs

      Can Flu Jabs Protect Against Heart Attacks?

      Read more

      The 8 health numbers you should know

      19.05.2023 Category: General Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

      In today’s health-conscious era, prioritising well-being has become a central focus in our lives. However, understanding just how fit we truly are requires a comprehensive approach.

      A medical check-up is the optimal method for obtaining a holistic view of your overall health. Familiarising yourself with essential health indicators can play a pivotal role in preventing potential illnesses and diseases.

      Here’s a breakdown of key health numbers that can provide valuable insights into your well-being:

      1. Body Mass Index (BMI):
        • BMI, frequently mentioned in the media, is a straightforward index of weight-for-height. It classifies individuals as underweight, overweight, or obese based on the ratio of their weight to the square of their height in meters.
      2. Resting Heart Rate:
        • Your resting heart rate serves as an indicator of your basic fitness level and is a reliable predictor of cardiovascular health. Monitoring this metric can offer valuable insights into your overall well-being.
      3. Waist to Hip Ratio:
        • The distribution of body fat, especially around the abdominal area, can impact health significantly. Research suggests that fat stored in this region may contribute to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Understanding your waist-to-hip ratio is crucial for assessing this risk.
      4. Cholesterol:
        • Surprisingly, over half of all UK adults have elevated cholesterol levels, and a cholesterol test is the only definitive way to ascertain if you are affected. High cholesterol is linked to heart disease, a prevalent cause of mortality in the UK.
      5. Blood Pressure:
        • Elevated blood pressure places additional strain on your arteries and heart, potentially leading to severe health issues such as heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, or dementia. Regular blood pressure tests are essential for early detection and preventive measures.
      6. Blood Sugars:
        • Monitoring your blood sugar levels is critical for identifying diabetes or the risk of developing it. For type 2 diabetes, often associated with lifestyle factors, early detection allows for dietary adjustments that may prevent the need for medication and even avert the onset of the disease.
      7. Bone Density:
        • Bone density testing, a non-invasive procedure known as bone densitometry or a bone mineral density scan (BMD), provides insights into the strength of your bones. This assessment can reveal potential risks of osteoporosis, guiding proactive measures for bone health.
      8. Mammogram/Prostate Check:
        • Depending on age, routine checks like mammograms for women and prostate checks for men are advised by healthcare professionals. These screenings are crucial for early detection of tumors or cancerous cells, significantly improving the chances of successful intervention.

      If you’re interested in discovering your health numbers, consider booking a comprehensive medical check-up or consulting your GP to determine which medical is best suited for you.

      Prioritising these assessments can empower you to take control of your well-being and make informed decisions about your lifestyle.

       

      10 Vaccinations you should know about

      Read more

      Hajj and Umrah: Travel Health

      10.05.2023 Category: Travel Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

      Hajj and Umrah are religious pilgrimages to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Hajj is a mandatory Pilgrimage for every Muslim to take once in their lifetime, given that the individual is physically and financially able.

      It takes place in the last month of the Islamic calendar and is taken annually by 2.5 million Muslims worldwide pre-pandemic. Whereas, Umrah is a shorter pilgrimage to Mecca taken any time of the year. 

      Muslims from all over the world gather annually in Mecca in a display of unity, faith and solidarity. Due to the large number of participants performing the pilgrimage there are some health risks you should be aware of.

      There are also health requirements set by the Health Ministry of Saudi Arabia that you could affect your VISA. It is good to be aware of those requirements before travelling. 

      COVID-19 Requirements:

      Ministry of Health KSA states that in order to perform Hajj pilgrims, one must have the proof for the following: 

      • A full course of COVID-19 vaccinations (second dose of a two dose vaccine or received a single dose vaccine) approved by the Saudi Ministry of Health. The approved vaccines’ list can be found here – Ministry of Health Approved Vaccines. 
      • There is no longer a requirement for PCR testing to perform Hajj or to enter KSA. 

      Vaccine Requirements:

      A pre-travel consultation should be scheduled at least 4 weeks before your trip.
      Any mandatory or advised vaccinations will be discussed with a nurse and can be given in the appointment. Follow up doses can also be arranged in the appointment.

      Before travelling to Hajj or Umrah, it is recommended that pilgrims be up-to-date with all of their wellness vaccinations.

      – Meningitis

      All British citizens travellers performing Umrah or Hajj are required to submit a valid Meningitis ACWY vaccination certificate in order to obtain a visa.  The MenACWY vaccine protects against meningitis (strains A, C, W & Y) and sepsis. Adults and children over the age of 2 are required to have the vaccine and provide evidence of immunisation no less than 10 days before you plan to arrive in Saudi Arabia. This requirement also applies to seasonal workers in Hajj areas.
      You may also want to consider Meningitis B vaccine – this is not a mandatory VISA requirement.

      If you require a vaccination, you can choose from our available appointments online – click to book your appointment.

      – Covid-19

      All travellers must be vaccinated against Covid-19 to perform Hajj Pilgrim. The vaccines that are approved by the Ministry of Health KSA can be found here – Ministry of Health Approved Vaccines 

      Polio

      Travellers from countries reporting positive environmental sources samples of circulating vaccine derived polio virus 2 (cVDPV2), including the UK, are recommended to be vaccinated with at least one dose of IPV within the previous 12 months and at least four weeks prior to arrival, however there is no polio vaccination certificate requirement. 

      A polio certificate requirement will only apply to UK pilgrims if they are travelling to KSA via a country reporting WPV1, cVDPV1 or cases of cVDPV2 or Acute Flaccid Paralysis, and not if they are travelling directly to KSA from the UK. 

      If you require a vaccination, you can choose from our available appointments online – click to book your appointment. 

      Flu Vaccine

      Since both Hajj and Umrah both pose crowded conditions and close contact, seasonal flu vaccination is advised, especially for those who are more vulnerable to severe influenza diseases. This precautionary measure will help reduce the potential spread of the flu.

      If you require a vaccination, you can choose from our available appointments online – click to book your appointment.

      Hepatitis B

      Hep B is spread by contaminated blood and bodily fluid. Pilgrims who intend to shave their heads as one of the rites of Hajj should consider taking the vaccination. Although licensed barbers performing head shaving are obliged to use a new blade for each pilgrim, unlicensed barbers may not adhere to this practice. Vaccinations require 3 injections to be given over a 3 week period and can be given from birth. 

      If you require a vaccination, you can choose from our available appointments online – click to book your appointment.

      Rabies

      Rabies is  spread through the bite of an infected animal such as cats, dogs, monkeys and bats. Saudi Arabia is classified as a high-risk country for rabies. Full protection is achieved with 3 doses – 3 vaccinations usually given over a 3 week period, however, we do offer a rapid course which can achieve full protection in 7-days.  The rabies vaccine can be given from birth.

      If you require a vaccination, you can choose from our available appointments online – click to book your appointment.

      TRAVELLERS’ DIARRHOEA

      Travellers’ diarrhoea can occur in up to 60% of travellers. Although most cases are mild, taking sensible precautions with food and water can reduce the risk. Carrying medicines for self-treatments is useful such as antibiotics – take our Online Travellers’ Diarrhoea Consultation to see if it is suitable for us to prescribe you standby Travellers’ Diarrhoea treatment.

      The best protection are preventative measures such as  drinking bottled or purified water, washing your hands thoroughly and frequently and eating well-cooked, hot food.

      Fore more information on Travellers’ Diarrhoea.

      CLIMATE HEALTH

      Saudi Arabia has had some of the hottest temperatures on record this year. Exposure to such high temperatures increases sweating, and results in loss of fluid and electrolytes which can cause rapid dehydration. This can result in heat exhaustion or heat stroke which can be life threatening if not dealt with promptly. 

      Heat related illness can be avoided by the following:

      • Seek shelter and shade during the middle of the day (11am-3pm) when temperatures are the hottest
      • If you are outside, ensure you protect your skin against the sun with high factor sun cream
      • Wear loose fitting, lightweight and light colour clothing 
      • Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids
      • Ensure you are taking sufficient salt in your diet (sweating leads to electrolyte and salt depletion)
      • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can worsen heat related illnesses

      GENERAL HEALTH:

      Both Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages require strenuous effort, it is worth considering having a full body medical check up before you travel to ensure you are in good health. To prepare for the miles of walking, try increasing your physical activities to improve mobility and movement. In case of unforeseen circumstances, remember to pack a first aid kit and extra supplies of any prescribed medication you are currently taking. We have an onsite pharmacy if you’d like to purchase any of these items during your appointment, speak with your GP or nurse whilst at the clinic.

      DENGUE AND MALARIA:

      Dengue is spread by day-biting mosquitoes and Malaria by mosquitoes that are active at night. You can reduce your risk of insect bites by using effective insect repellents and protective clothing. You can also sleep under a mosquito net that is impregnated with insecticide to have a peaceful sleep. 

      If you require complete protection from bugs and mosquitoes, you can check out our ultimate bug kit here.

      Delaying your period:

      If you decide you would like to delay your period for pilgrimage, you can do so by taking hormonal medication. In advance of your trip, book an appointment with a GP to discuss your options as soon as possible.

      When you get home:

      If you return home unwell it is important to book an appointment with a GP to determine the cause. If your symptoms worsen or becoming life-threatening do not wait to see a doctor, go straight to A&E for urgent medical care.

      If you return with a stomach bug or persistent travellers’ diarrhoea, you may want to consider booking a Gastrointestinal (GI) Panel PCR test – it looks for any microbes (bacteria, viruses & parasites) that may be causing your symptoms and can quickly identify the exact cause. Results can be provided in as little as 1-hour, so that accurate and effective treatment can begin straight away. Firstly, you need to book a GP appointment, express your interest in a GI PCR test and they will advise whether you are suitable or not.

       

      How to calm your flight anxiety before you fly

      Read more

      Dengue Fever in Europe: Temperature Risk

      10.03.2023 Category: Travel Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

      Dengue Fever has been in the news following two cases linked to travel to the Spanish island of Ibiza. This has sparked concerns about the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses in Europe, which is especially unusual for this time of year.

      Dengue fever is a viral infection transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, which is found in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. With rising temperatures and changing climates, there is a risk of mosquitoes and other disease vectors spreading to new areas, potentially causing outbreaks of diseases such as dengue fever.

      The two cases of dengue fever in Ibiza were reported by the Spanish Ministry of Health and were both in residents of Germany who had visited the island before becoming ill. Each case was accompanied by two family members who were also suspected to have had dengue fever.

      The risk of dengue fever in Spain is highest between the months of May and November, when mosquitoes are most active so to have cases at this time of year is uncommon.

      So, why are we seeing cases outside of the usual infection months?
      The reason is multi-facetted.

      Our medical director and travel health specialist, Dr Richard Dawood explains:

      “Firstly, there is the introduction or spread of mosquitoes to “pastures new” – places that might have been previously inhospitable, perhaps through temperature; or alternatively, that offer an environment with plenty of suitable breeding sites that they are suddenly able to take advantage of. These mosquitoes can bring disease with them, or can spread it around if there is a reservoir in the local population.

      Secondly, there is the possibility of introducing disease to a vector population that is already established, ready and waiting. This is exactly the (long-standing) concern with yellow fever. There are mosquito species in Asia, for example, that are easily capable of spreading yellow fever were it to be introduced by an infected traveller – which is why Asian countries are so careful to insist on proof of yellow fever vaccination from travellers arriving from the endemic zones of Africa and South America. Asia is yellow fever-free, and wants to remain so. However, this type of introduction has already recently happened in Australia, where Japanese encephalitis (a virus infection that can cause rare but serious complications in humans) has recently established a reservoir of infection in farm animals, that may be impossible to reverse. It is also happening with Lyme disease spreading gradually into parts of Europe (and the UK) with a susceptible tick population.

      Similar concerns apply to Zika – there is very large potentially susceptible mosquito population that could spread the virus in many tropical countries, if introduced; dengue fever; and also potentially malaria, in parts of the world that have been the target of successful elimination campaigns, but where mosquito populations could still spread it, were it to be reintroduced, if control measures are neglected or ceased.

      With changing climates, a valid concern about global warming is that it could create conditions in which populations of mosquitoes and other vectors thrive and spread – hence the crucial importance of vigilance, surveillance, and early action if needed.”

      How can you protect yourself from Dengue Fever?

      QDENGA, Dengue Fever Vaccination

      Relatively new to the UK, QDenga is a new travel vaccine that can prevent dengue fever.

      The course consists of two doses, given three months apart, and provides long lasting protection.

      Learn more about QDENGA, Dengue Fever Vaccination

      Book a travel consultation for your Qdenga vaccination.

       

      Avoid Mosquito Bites

      In addition to vaccination, the best way to protect yourself against dengue fever is to take measures to avoid mosquito bites. This includes wearing protective clothing, using mosquito repellent, and staying in places with air conditioning or screens on windows and doors.

      If you develop a high fever during or after travelling to an affected area, seek medical advice as soon as possible and provide details of your recent travel history. Dengue is often also accompanied by a rash and joint or muscle pain.

       

      In conclusion, rising temperatures and changing climates have the potential to create conditions in which populations of mosquitoes and other disease vectors thrive and spread. It is crucial for public health authorities to remain vigilant and take early action if needed to prevent the spread of diseases such as dengue fever.

      By receiving the Qdenga vaccine and implementing effective measures to prevent mosquito bites, travellers can lower their personal risk of contracting Dengue Fever, along with other insect-borne diseases.

      If you’re considering Qdenga before your next trip, book a travel consultation with one of our specialist travel nurses.

       

      Related services available at Fleet Street Clinic

      QDENGA, Dengue Fever Vaccination

      All Travel Vaccinations

      Antimalarials

       

      Suitable Medical Kits available to buy online

      Buy: Ultimate Bug Kit

      Buy: Essential First Aid Kit

       

      Related Online Consultations

      Female Travel Health Kit: Start Consultation

      Travellers’ Diarrhoea Kit: Start Consultation

      Altitude Medication: Start Consultation

      Travel Advice: Travelling with Children

      Read more

      HIV Testing Week

      06.02.2023 Category: Sexual Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

      HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a viral infection that damages cells in your immune system. As a result, it weakens the body’s ability to fight off everyday infections such as the common cold. If you have HIV and get sick with a cold, you are much more likely to experience complications, such as developing pneumonia.

      HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person, such as semen, vaginal and anal fluids, blood and breast milk. It is not found in sweat, urine or saliva. Meaning HIV is typically spread by unprotected sex, the sharing of injecting equipment such as needles, and/ or passed from mother to baby either through birth or breastfeeding.

      About National HIV Testing Week

      National HIV Testing Week #HIVTestWeek aims to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. It is an annual national campaign to encourage people to get tested for HIV regularly to reduce the number of people who are diagnosed late or remain undiagnosed.

      Out of the 106,890 people in the UK with HIV, 1 in 20 of those do not realise they are HIV positive. Which is why it is so important to make sure everyone gets tested to know their status.

      Data from 2019, revealed that  42% of people were diagnosed late. A late diagnosis significantly increases the risk of the virus seriously damaging your health, not to mention the fact that you are more likely to pass the virus on during the period when you are unaware of a positive diagnosis. The only means to address this issue is to increase awareness of the importance of HIV testing.

      If you have HIV for a long time without knowing, it can damage your health and shorten your life expectancy. It’s a good idea to test at least once a year (or more if you have unprotected sex with more than one partner). Early detection can give you a better quality of life and reduce the spread of the disease.

      While there is no ‘cure’ for HIV, thankfully there are now very effective treatments available that allow those who are HIV positive to live a healthy life and have a normal life expectancy. There is also emergency treatment available if you have been exposed to HIV within the last 72 hours (PEP). Additionally, there is medication available to prevent contracting HIV (PrEP) and even a tablet that will prevent you passing the virus on to anyone else. Access to these treatments is available to anyone HIV positive but the only way to know your HIV status is to get tested. 

      Know Your Status

      At Fleet Street Clinic, we have two types of HIV tests available: an instant test and a blood test. An instant HIV test can provide you with results within a 15 minute nurse appointment. The test is a simple blood test done via a needle prick to the finger and is suitable for use 90 days post-exposure. It is a very simple process with extremely accurate results.

      HIV Testing Week at Fleet Street Clinic, London

      For HIV testing week we’re promoting our ‘So quick you can do whilst grabbing a coffee’ campaign to highlight just how quick an HIV test can be. We want to encourage all to make time to find out their HIV status.

      Get Tested

      We offer a number of HIV Tests, some of which can be performed in the clinic in just 15 minutes. You can be tested for HIV from as early as 28 days post-contact with a blood test, but don’t worry, during your appointment the clinician will let you know which test they recommend based on your history. Following an HIV test, we are on hand to offer guidance and referrals, should they be required.

      Your privacy will be strictly protected.

      You can book an HIV Test Online.

      For more information on HIV you can visit our HIV page or  HIV Prevention England.

      NICE recommends wider use of statins for prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD)

      19.01.2023 Category: General Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

      Statins are a widely prescribed class of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular events such as heart disease and strokes. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recently released updated guidelines on the use of statins, which now recommend that they can be considered for people at a lower risk threshold.  

      This decision was made after the independent committee updating the NICE guideline on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and reduction considered new evidence on the safety and side effects of statins, meaning more people could be given them. 

      The draft guideline recommends that doctors should consider statins for people who haven’t had a CVD event (called ‘primary prevention’) with a 10-year CVD risk score of less than 10%. The committee agreed that if more people took statins there would be a greater reduction in the incidence of heart disease and strokes. 

      In addition to being prescribed by National Health Service GP’s, statins can also be prescribed by private healthcare providers, such as us, Fleet Street Clinic. In fact, private GP’s can play an important role in the management of cardiovascular disease risk by offering statins as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for patients at high risk. 

      People can be at risk from CVD because of factors they cannot change including their age, sex, ethnicity and family history but it’s important to note that certain lifestyle changes can reduce the risk. These include stopping smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, introducing or increasing exercise and eating a healthy diet.  

      Therefore, the decision to take a statin should be made in consultation with a healthcare professional and should take into account the individual’s values and priorities as well as the potential risks and benefits of treatment. 

      With the British Heart Foundation noting that “there are around 7.6 million people living with heart and circulatory diseases in the UK” and that they “estimate that in the UK more than half of us will get a heart or circulatory condition in our lifetime” this is likely to be an impactful change in the landscape of CVD and statins. 

      To conclude, Paul Chrisp, director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, said:  

      “What we’re saying is that, for people with a less than 10% risk over 10 years of a first heart attack or stroke, the decision to take a statin should be left to individual patients after an informed discussion of benefits and risks.  

      “The evidence is clear, in our view, that for people with a risk of 10% or less over 10 years, statins are an appropriate choice to reduce that risk.  

      “We are not advocating that statins are used alone. The draft guideline continues to say that it is only if lifestyle changes on their own are not sufficient, and that other risk factors such as hypertension are also managed, that people who are still at risk can be offered the opportunity to use a statin, if they want to. They don’t have to, and their decision should be informed by an understanding of the risks and tailored to their values and priorities.” 

      Reference Source: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-ng10178/documents 

       

      Related services available at Fleet Street Clinic:

      Strong link found between sleep and cardiovascular health

      19.01.2023 Category: General Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

      Sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being, and recent research has revealed a strong link between sleep and cardiovascular health. A study conducted by the University of Warwick in the UK found that individuals who get 7-9 hours of sleep per night have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality compared to those who sleep less or more than the recommended range. 

      The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, analysed data from over 116,000 participants in the UK Biobank study and found that those who slept less than 6 hours or more than 9 hours had a higher risk of CVD and mortality. These findings add to the growing body of evidence that suggests a link between sleep duration and cardiovascular health. 

      The exact mechanisms by which sleep affects cardiovascular health are not fully understood, but researchers suggest that it may be related to the impact of sleep on cardiovascular regulation, inflammation, and metabolic function. 

      It is important to prioritize sleep and aim for the recommended range of 7-9 hours to maintain cardiovascular health.  

      It’s worth noting that these findings are observational, and more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between sleep and cardiovascular health, but it’s a good indication that sleep plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. 

      To read the full study, continue reading here:
      medscape.co.uk – Does sleep duration influence cvd and mortality risk?

       

      Related services available at Fleet Street Clinic: 

      NICE recommends wider use of statins for prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD)

      Read more

      Travel is good for your health

      17.01.2023 Category: Travel Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

      Travelling can have a significant positive impact on one’s physical and mental health, according to a study published in the Journal of Travel & Health. The study surveyed over 1,000 adults who had recently returned from a trip and found that the majority of them reported improvements in overall well-being, including increased energy and reduced stress levels. 

      One of the key reasons for these self-rated health benefits is that travelling allows individuals to step out of their daily routine and experience new environments and cultures. This can lead to increased physical activity, as travellers may be more likely to walk or bike instead of drive which may also expose them to different types of food, leading to a healthier diet. 

      Additionally, travelling can have a positive impact on mental health as well. The study found that the majority of participants reported feeling more relaxed and less stressed after their trip. This is likely because travelling can provide a sense of excitement and adventure, as well as a break from the demands and responsibilities of everyday life. 

      Another benefit of travelling is that it allows individuals to build new social connections, which can be important for mental health. Meeting new people and forming new friendships can provide a sense of belonging and can also help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. 

      In conclusion, the study suggests that travelling can be good for one’s physical and mental health. It can help to increase energy levels, reduce stress and improve overall well-being. So, next time you are planning a trip, remember it’s not only good for your soul but also for your body. 

      To read the full study, continue reading here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214140522002079?via%3Dihub 

       

      Related services available at Fleet Street Clinic: 

       

      Travelling for Chinese New Year?

      06.01.2023 Category: Travel Health Author: Anna Chapman

      Chinese New Year is a festival celebrated annually by Chinese communities across the world to bring good luck and prosperity into the New Year. Every year corresponds with one of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac, with 2023 being the Year of the Rabbit. Celebrations for Chinese New Year kick off on the 22nd Jan, continuing until the  5th February where the festivities culminate with the Chinese Lantern Festival. Every year, thousands of people travel to China to enjoy the celebrations. So, if you are one of those people who are planning to travel to China to join in with the festivities, please ensure you follow these tips to stay healthy whilst abroad.

      Firstly, you may want to check the entry requirements for China in terms of required covid-19 testing. If you travel to China after 8th Jan, you would require a negative Covid-19 test and submit your negative result by filling a Health Declaration Form via China Custom Website or their app or WeChat account. You would also need a pre-departure Covid -19 test when coming back to England from China. If you are still travelling to China you can view what covid-19 testing entry rules are currently in place here: GOV.UK WEBSITE. You can find more information on our rt-PCR Testing service here and our Lateral Flow Testing here.

      Covid aside, check your vaccination history. All travellers need to ensure they are up-to-date with their childhood vaccines, most importantly, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR), and Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP).
      More information on our wellness vaccinations can be found here.

      It is worth noting that it is still influenza season in the northern hemisphere and transmission can occur well into spring. Those travellers who haven’t received their annual flu vaccination to protect them against the most common strains for 2022-23, should ensure they receive it before travelling to China. You can still book your annual flu vaccine, here.

      Travellers who are planning extended stays, and more remote and rural travel may also wish to consider vaccinations against Rabies and Hepatitis B.
      More information on our travel vaccinations can be found here.

      Those who are heading further south to rural areas where the weather is warmer may wish to consider vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis (JE),  which is spread via the culex mosquito. You can also purchase our ‘Ultimate Bug Kit’ which will help protect you from mosquito bites.

      There have been recent cases of Avian Influenza (bird flu) in both the UK and China. Bird flu is a very unpleasant illness which can cause people to fall quite unwell. It is passed on via contact with infected birds. Travellers can minimise risk by avoiding contact with any birds (dead or alive): avoid touching dead or dying birds, and steer well clear of  ‘wet markets’ (marketplaces that sell meat, fish, and often live animals including birds).

      Chinese New Year is heavily focused on food, with items such as fish, fruit and dumplings symbolising luck, wealth and prosperity. Travellers should ensure that they maintain good food and water practises to avoid tummy trouble whilst away. You should avoid tap water and ice made from tap water, instead stick to bottled water. Ensure you wash your hands thoroughly before eating and after using the toilet. Ensure all food that you eat is cooked thoroughly and served straight to you.  And lastly, consider taking medicines for self-treatments with you, such as antibiotics – take our Online Travellers’ Diarrhoea Consultation to see if it is suitable for us to prescribe you standby Travellers’ Diarrhoea treatment.

      By following these guidelines and ensuring you are generally sensible and hygienic, you will be able to relax and enjoy the sheer joys of travel and seeing the world.  

      Happy Chinese New Year! 

       

      You can book online for a travel consultation appointment here.
      Or for more information on all of our travel vaccinations, wellness vaccinations or travellers’ diarrhoea.

      Dry January

      01.01.2023 Category: Dietitian Author: Ruth Kander

      Dry January grows in popularity year on year.

      The campaign by Alcohol Change UK, encourages participants to give up alcohol for the entire month of January.

      The dry January one-month booze-free challenge can have a significantly positive impact on your health.

      Alcohol has proven to increase the risk of developing a range of health problems (including cancers of the mouth, throat and breast) and that risk increases the more you drink on a regular basis.

      Ruth Kander, our dietitian, looks at what is considered a safe amount of alcohol consumption.

      The UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) guideline for keeping health risks from alcohol to a low level for both men and women states that:

      • It is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.
      • Regularly drinking as much as 14 units per week, it’s best to spread your drinking evenly over three or more days. 
             – If you have one or two heavy drinking episodes a week, you increase your risk of death from long-term illness and injuries.
      • Cutting down the amount you drink, a smart way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days a week.

      A useful website for more information about alcohol is www.drinkaware.co.uk

      What is a unit of alcohol?

      1 Unit of Alcohol as recommended by Drinkaware - Fleet Street Clinic, London

      How long does alcohol stay in your body?

      On average, it takes about one hour for your body to break down one unit of alcohol, however, this can vary, depending on:

      • Your weight
      • Whether you’re male or female
      • Your age
      • Your metabolism – how quickly or slowly your body turns food into energy
      • How much food you have eaten
      • The type and strength of the alcohol you have consumed
      • Whether you’re taking medication and, if so, what type
      • It can also take longer if your liver isn’t functioning normally

      If I am on medicines can I drink alcohol?

      People taking sedative drugs (like diazepam/valium) or antidepressants (like fluoxetine/Prozac) should avoid alcohol altogether.

      There are some antibiotics; metronidazole and tinidazole which just do not mix with alcohol – drinking with these will make you sick. But for most commonly prescribed antibiotics, drinking is unlikely to cause problems so long as it is within the low-risk alcohol unit guidelines.

      People taking long-term medications should be careful about drinking, as alcohol can make some drugs less effective and long-term conditions could get worse. Examples of long-term medications include drugs for epilepsy, diabetes, or drugs like warfarin to thin the blood.

      (From www.drinkaware.co.uk)

      What are the consequences of drinking too much alcohol?

      • Low mood/mood swings
      • Liver problems
      • Heart problems
      • Cancers (mouth, tongue, throat, oesophagus)
      • Weight gain
      • Poor sleep
      • Blood pressure instability

      By Ruth Kander BSc(Hons)RD | Dietitian

      If you wish to discuss ways to maintain a healthy diet and reduce your alcohol consumption, Ruth holds a virtual clinic every Friday from 9am-2pm. Please call our reception team on 020 7353 5678 if you would like to request a face-to-face appointment

      Book Your Dietitian Appointment with Ruth

      How to reintroduce meat and alcohol back into your diet after your January challenges

      Read more

      Flu Update: an early start to the 2022/23 flu season

      01.12.2022 Category: Flu Jabs Author: Dr Richard Dawood

      Flu cases in the UK have increased earlier this winter than usual, perhaps by over a month.

      Other unpleasant respiratory infections such as RSV are also on the rise.

      Information from around the world can help us predict what might type of flu season might be heading our way.

      • Australia has just come to the end of a bad flu season, with a dramatic increase in flu cases and hospitalisations relative to the mild season it experienced last year, in a pattern likely to be replicated in the UK.
      • In the USA, by the end of November 2022 there had already been more than 6.2 million flu cases, with 53,000 hospitalisations, and 2,900 deaths from flu.
      • Across Europe as a whole, the flu season has commenced earlier than in the 4 previous seasons, and the proportion of positive tests from sentinel locations has exceeded the technical threshold for consideration as an epidemic.

      Meanwhile, UK vaccination rates have so far been low: by the end of November, when the flu vaccination campaign should be largely complete, fewer than 40% of “at risk” adults under 65 had been vaccinated, fewer than 25% of healthy adults aged 50 to 64, and fewer than 30% of pregnant women.

      So this winter’s flu season is likely to be more severe, and not enough people will be protected.

      What can you do to keep well this winter?
      Get Vaccinated . Get Tested . Get Treatment

      Get Vaccinated

      The good news is that circulating flu strains have so far been a good match with this year’s flu vaccines. It is not too late to be vaccinated. Vaccines are still available. At this point in the season, our preferred vaccine for adults is our premium recombinant vaccine, Supemtek, which is known to be highly immunogenic.

      Flu cases in children are rising but the nasal spray vaccine has so far been in restricted supply. If your child has not yet been able to obtain the flu spray, injected flu vaccines are at least as effective and should be given without further delay.

      You can easily book your flu jabs online.
      For family or groups bookings, it may be more convenient for you to book by phone or email.

      Get Tested

      At the Fleet Street Clinic, we can test quickly and accurately for a full panel of respiratory viruses in our own laboratory. It is helpful to know whether you are suffering from flu, covid, or another circulating virus such as RSV or metapneumovirus. We can tailor treatment to the result, help you know how long symptoms will last, and can help you prevent spreading it to others – especially important over the Christmas period when socialising in high at work and amongst family and friends.

      Get Treatment

      Flu is treatable with anti-viral drugs, which reduce symptoms and speed recovery. Preventive treatment for close contacts and other members of your family is also something we can help with, available from our GPs. Knowing for certain that you have a viral infection can also help avoid unnecessary antibiotic treatment.

       

      ___________________________

      For more information on Flu Jabs available at Fleet Street Clinic.
      Other recommended winter vaccinations are the shingles vaccine & the pneumonia vaccine.

      We can also provide onsite Workplace Flu Vaccinations for companies in the UK – for more information.
      Complete the below form for a quote:

        How many employees need this service?*

         

        Flu protection for expecting mothers

        Read more

        Is Your Sleep Position Impacting Your Sleep Quality?

        18.10.2022 Category: Osteopathy Author: Andrew Doody

        A good night’s sleep is essential to your health, and an important part of your overall well-being. People spend about a third of their lives in bed, so it’s vitally important to get it right when it comes to back health. Back pain can significantly affect a person’s ability to get the quality and amount of sleep they need. Furthermore, poor bed posture can worsen or even be the cause of backache in the first place. This is because certain positions can place unnecessary pressure on the neck, hips, and back.

        This blog will provide an in-depth review of different sleeping positions and types of beds and the impact both have on your quality of sleep.

        Sleeping positions

        Before looking at the positions to sleep better, it is important to address a few crucial things. First and foremost, you should be comfortable. For a good night’s sleep, waking up feeling properly rested and not in pain is the most important thing. If any of these positions cause issues, don’t hesitate in letting me (or another osteopath) know so that alternative suggestions can be made and you find something else that works for you.

        Secondly, I know it’s not always possible to control what position you get into once you’ve fallen asleep. However, this is where perseverance comes in, if you keep trying, your body can adapt in a week or two. Pillows are always a good ally, to stop you rolling one way or the other.

        Here are some positional tips that can help you get a better night’s sleep:

        1. The Classic: Lying on your back.

        Lying on the back is probably the best all-around sleeping position for a healthy back. It ensures good spinal alignment from the head and cervical vertebrae, through the thoracic and lumbar, all the way down to the pelvis. Because the back is the body’s largest area, weight is most widely distributed in this position, minimising pressure hot spots. This doesn’t suit everyone though, some people don’t feel as ‘nested’ as in other positions so, they struggle to get to sleep on their backs. Also, snorers may find that this position exacerbates the problem.

        For people who like back sleeping, it’s definitely worth adding a pillow under your knees. It loosens the hamstrings a little and takes some pressure off the lumbar lordosis.

        2. The Foetal Position: Lying on your side with your knees up a little.

        This is a fairly intuitive position to get into if you have lumbar disc issues as it slightly flexes the low back and opens up the gaps in the facet joints.

        Again, a good tip in this position is to use a pillow, however, this time put it in between your knees. This stops your top leg dropping forward and rotating the low back. It also aligns your hips and pelvis better, and feels more comfortable on the upper knee.

        Try to swap sides from time to time if you’re lying in the foetal position.

        3. Face Down: Lying on your stomach. 

        I normally ask people to avoid this position, it’s usually quite problematic for the neck as well as the low back. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, it’s the only position they can fall asleep in, or any other position makes them snore. If you’re one of them, reach for that extra pillow again and put it under your low stomach and upper pelvis to take the pressure off the low back. This is a good idea if you’re having a massage too. Front lying needs a much flatter pillow (or even no pillow) under the head too.

        If you’re someone who falls asleep on their back or side, then rolls over in their sleep and wakes up on their stomach, try hugging a large pillow against your chest and stomach to keep you in position. Another reason sleeping on the front is considered bad is because the head is usually turned to one side. This twists the spine and places additional stress on the neck, shoulders, and back. To avoid this, you can try lying face down. Place a small firm pillow or tightly rolled-up towel under the forehead, or better still a face pillow, allowing room to breathe. In this position, you should still place a pillow under the stomach.

        4. Reclined Sleeping.

        If all else fails, you can try sleeping in a reclined position. People with spondylolisthesis, for instance, may resort to this after finding it comfortable falling asleep in a recliner chair. There are beds available that can be sat up slightly. So, this is worth investigating.

        What about the perfect bed for sleep?

        There are so many different opinions about beds that I don’t even know where to start, nonetheless here’s mine.

        Spend some time and effort (and dare I say money) choosing a bed and mattress. People seem happy to spend thirty times or more on a car than a mattress, but remember, a third of your life is spent in bed! 

        It’s really difficult to choose a mattress on a twenty minute trip to the bed store, so really take your time, spend an afternoon there, take your shoes off, try different sleeping positions, not just lying on your back! Do your research before you go, but make sure the review sites you look at aren’t secretly run by a bed company, or affiliated to one.

        Firmness

        Try not to be seduced by softness. Lots of people jot down the name of a mattress they’ve found comfortable in a hotel, and while this can sometimes be a good indicator, you should know that hotels buy mattresses to give you a couple of nights feeling like you were sleeping on a cloud, but these mattresses are usually not supportive enough to be using full time, especially if you have low back issues, which can be aggravated over weeks and months. Often the mattress in a big hotel chain is not available to buy for the public as they are specifically manufactured for different hotels’ standards.

        A fairly firm mattress is usually a good idea, perhaps with a shallow in-built topper. This can give you the support you need for your low back while the topper takes the pressure off bony prominences and allows shoulders and hips of side sleepers to sink in a little. I suggested a built in topper as they are usually better segmented and don’t allow stuffing to move around and bunch up as much. However, removable toppers give you more scope to adapt by removing it if needed, and also allow you to flip the mattress.

        Mattresses that are fully stuffed as well as sprung are good and supportive. Price is a good indicator for a quality mattress. £1,500 for a king size mattress is not excessive. While we’re talking about price, beware of anything that seems too good to be true. The “Winning awards” mattresses need to be checked as to which award, and who’s giving it!

        Memory Foam Mattress

        Patients have different opinions about memory foam mattresses. While some patients swear by them, others do not get along with them. I’d like to reiterate the price, if you’re set on a memory foam mattress, find the one with better quality, so it doesn’t start to develop a permanent dip where you lie. It’s all about density which is measured in pounds of pressure per cubic square foot. More is normally more expensive and better quality, but at the same time is also more supportive and feels harder. 

        There can be a problem with memory foam mattresses feeling too hot. While many of the better brands have addressed this to an extent, many memory foam mattresses have become hybrids so, it’s not just 100% foam any more.

        Platform Bases

        Mattresses should be changed about every 8 years, but you can keep the same bed base, of course, as long as it’s not damaged. Divans have pretty thin wood tops that can crack or bow so, check it carefully. 

        In my opinion, a platform base is always the best. If the base is sprung, the whole mattress will start to fold which is usually not what they’re designed to do. A slatted base is slightly better than a fully sprung one, but still not as good as a solid base.

        Pillows

        Finally, I should mention pillows. Pillows are very subjective to the person, and especially to any neck/upper back/shoulder girdle conditions they may have. 

        As a rule of thumb (and this is painting with a very broad brush) people seem to usually have too much pillow depth more often than too little. One medium depth pillow is usually best if you don’t have any specific issues. I find feather works well as you can punch and mould it to the right height and shape, so there is some support under your neck but that’s very much a personal preference.

        I rarely see anyone who gets on well with memory foam pillows (there are the odd one or two) or sprung pillows.

        The price of a good feather pillow is probably about £50, but as I said right at the start, I want you to not only be in a good position, but also comfortable and pain-free during the night and the next day, so if a £5 pillow works for you then that’s absolutely fine. Don’t forget most pillows can be laundered regularly which may give (especially feather pillows) some of their volume back.

        If you are experiencing neck pain though, get your neck examined and treated first and ask your osteopath what pillow they would suggest for you specifically going forward.

        BE ‘BED FIT

        The healthier and stronger your back is, the better night’s sleep you will get and the better your back will be when you get up in the morning.
        Core strengthening exercises will help support the back during the night and prevent back spasms. Gentle stretching before bed can increase flexibility and help to relax the body and reduce stress.

        Take care getting in, and especially out, of bed. Take your time. When you wake up in the morning, allow a few minutes to get your muscles and joints moving fully instead of leaping out of bed at the alarm. Roll onto your side then use your arms to push you upright while your legs drop over the side, then sit there for a minute moving gently before slowly standing up.

        Perhaps most importantly, if you do have a back or musculoskeletal issue, get it checked. A health professional can assess why you’re suffering and help treat the symptoms. They can suggest the correct investigations, treatment and exercises, as well as further helping you to choose that all important correct mattress.

        Booking an appointment with an osteopath could be the start of ending your back pain for good!

        What is Stress?

        02.10.2022 Category: General Health Author: Dr Claire Braham

        Mental Health Awareness Week: What Is Stress?

        Look around your office, do you know if anyone is struggling?

        You may think those around you – fellow colleagues or your staff – are completely fine. But mental health affects us all and problems in the workplace are actually very common.

        According to mental health charity Mind, at least one in six workers are experiencing common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.

        Nowadays, there is increasing recognition of stress and mental health problems, both within the workplace and in everyday life. Currently, following Stress Awareness Month in April, we are approaching Mental Health Awareness Week, which takes place from 13-19th May.

        We thought it might be helpful to focus on some positive strategies to help, in terms of stress management and resilience. Whilst being particularly useful and relevant within the workplace, these can all be used in everyday life as well.

        WHAT IS STRESS?


        In its purest form, stress is the body’s reaction to something it perceives as dangerous or threatening. When we feel under attack, our bodies respond by producing a mixture of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These prepare us for physical action by diverting blood away from our core and into our limbs. It also temporarily shuts down some less vital bodily functions such as digestion.

        For immediate, short-term situations, stress can be beneficial to your health, by helping you cope with potentially serious situations.

        Yet if your stress response continues, and stress levels stay elevated far longer than necessary, it can take a toll on your health.

        WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TACKLE STRESS?


        Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms, contribute to many health problems (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes, anxiety and depression) and affect your overall well-being.

        Reducing stress can help prevent these harmful effects on both mind and body.

        Looking after yourself and ensuring you have good mental health has many benefits – not just for you as an individual, but for the business too. Employees are generally more productive, passionate and motivated when in good health. Even if they’re experiencing mental health problems, knowing they are supported by their employer can help in the recovery process.

        STRESS PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN STRESS MANAGEMENT


        Ultimately, the best way to manage stress is through prevention rather than cure.

        Research shows that those who are better informed about the practical ways in which they can lower their stress levels are far better able to tackle difficult situations with emotional resilience and determination.

        Within the workplace, employers are encouraged to make promoting the wellbeing of their employees a core element of the company’s internal operations. Some examples of a proactive approach to stress-management might be:

        • To invite people to take active breaks away from their desks
        • Offering lunchtime yoga classes or mindfulness sessions
        • Group walks in the fresh air.

        So what can help you reduce stress? Continue reading our stress, with Our Top Tips For Reducing Stress.


        If you are interested in how Fleet Street Clinic can assist your workplace with stress management and resilience training, get in touch. Or if you are an individual who needs help with stress management, you can book a GP appointment online.

        Top Tips For Reducing Stress

        02.10.2022 Category: General Health Author: Dr Claire Braham

        Feeling stressed?

        Everyone feels stressed from time to time. In small doses, stress can actually be quite useful; motivating us to achieve our goals. But for some, stress is chronic. Meaning it is debilitating and negatively impacts their mood, their health and wellbeing, their relationships and their work.

        Experiencing a lot of stress over a long period of time can also lead to a feeling of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion, often called burnout. It is, therefore, easy to see why reducing stress across all areas of your life would be important. Stress management tips are a good place to start.

        Learning how to manage your stress takes practice and time.

        Here are our top 10 ways on managing and reducing stress.

         

        10 TIPS TO REDUCE STRESS:


        1. Prioritise your health

          – make decisions which will benefit your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. For example, go alcohol-free a few nights each week or allow yourself time for a hobby you enjoy. These small steps for a healthier lifestyle will help in reducing stress levels.

        2. Get a good night’s sleep (regularly)

          – research clearly shows that sleep deprivation amplifies the symptoms associated with stress. Aim for between 7-9 hours of good quality sleep every night.

        3. Practice deep breathing

          – when our bodies are stressed, the muscles that help us breathe tighten. By focussing on taking several deep breaths we can quickly and effectively relieve physical symptoms associated with feeling stressed or anxious. Try to do this regularly throughout the day.

        4. Drink enough water

          – being dehydrated (however mild) causes our cortisol levels to rise, which automatically makes us feel stressed. Your body is already dehydrated if you’re feeling thirsty. So try to avoid reaching this point by hydrating yourself regularly. Aim for 2-3 litres per day, more in hot weather or when exercising.

        5. Eat a balanced diet

          – dieticians stress how certain foods have stress-relieving properties. For example, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, whilst avocados and oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids (both of which are proven to help lower anxiety levels).

        6. Exercise regularly

          – physical activity causes our brains to release mood-improving chemicals called endorphins. These help us to cope with potentially challenging situations. Both Public Health England and the World Health Organisation recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Choose activities you enjoy to achieve maximum benefit for the mind as well as the body.

        7. Adopt a positive mindset

          – research suggests that making a conscious effort to think positively can help protect us against a whole host of physical and mental issues, including stress.

        8. Manage your time and tasks effectively

          – by giving ourselves enough time in which to complete a given task, and by making sure that we don’t try and accomplish too many stressful things at once, we can reduce the likelihood of feeling overwhelmed. 

        9. Spend less time online

          – many studies have found a strong positive correlation between internet usage and stress levels. Spending less time on our computers and phones is a simple way to practice self-care. Having screen-free time for at least an hour before bedtime has also been shown to improve sleep.

        10. Learn to say no

          – in a culture that demands we take on more and more responsibilities, having the confidence to say “no” will only become more important. This final tip takes us back to the start, by reiterating the importance of prioritising our health above unrealistic social pressures, and brings us onto developing an essential tool – resilience.


         

        Continue reading about Resilience or read What is Stress?

        If you are interested in how Fleet Street Clinic can assist your workplace with stress management and resilience training, get in touch.

        Or if you are an individual who needs help managing stress, you can book a GP appointment online. Our doctors will be able to talk through your thoughts, symptoms and emotions and set you on the right path to diagnosis. They will also be able to recommend relevant support services for stress, if appropriate.

        Resilience: What is it and How to build it

        02.10.2022 Category: General Health Author: Dr Claire Braham

        Mental Health Awareness Week: Resilience

        WHAT IS RESILIENCE?

        Resilience is the ability to recover from adversity, hardships, or significant sources of stress.

        It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences, feeling stronger and more capable to cope than before. With life becoming more stressful than ever, it is an important skill to develop which can make a big difference between surviving and thriving within work and general life.

        HOW RESILIENT AM I?

        Research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary, and is not simply a trait we either have or do not have.

        So here’s the good news! Resilience can be developed. It involves behaviours, thoughts and actions which can be learned and developed in anyone.

        SO HOW CAN I DEVELOP RESILIENCE?

        Many studies show that the primary factor in developing resilience is having caring and supportive relationships within and outside the family, including at work. Relationships fostering trust, provide role models and offer encouragement and reassurance help bolster resilience.

        Several additional factors are associated with resilience, including:

        • The capacity to make realistic plans and take steps to carry them out.
        • A positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities.
        • Skills in communication and problem-solving.
        • The capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses.

        These are all factors you can develop in yourself, and which can be fostered within the work environment by employers taking an active interest in employees’ wellbeing.

        TOP TIPS FOR DEVELOPING RESILIENCE

        Here are a few things you could try, to develop your resilience.
        Please don’t feel you need to tackle them all at once – trying one or two at a time may be enough to make a big difference!

        1) Create connections

        – good relationships with family, friends and colleagues are crucial. Accepting help and support from those who will listen to and care about you strengthens resilience. Assisting others in their time of need can benefit you in return.

        2) Accept that change is fundamentally part of living

        – accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you deal with these more effectively whilst focussing on circumstances that you can alter.

        3) Avoid seeing stressful events as insurmountable problems  

        – try to look beyond the present towards how future circumstances may be a little better. Take note of any subtle ways in which you might already feel better as you deal with difficult situations – signs of good progress.

        4) Take decisive action

        – this can assist you in giving some control over your response to challenging situations

        5) Pursue your goals

        – making them small but achievable and most importantly realistic. Each day, ask yourself “What’s one thing I know I can accomplish today which will help me move in the direction I want to go? Take baby steps in the right direction!

        6) Nurture a positive outlook

        – developing confidence in your ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts helps build resilience.

        7) Keep things in perspective

        – retaining an optimistic outlook and visualising what you want, rather than worrying about what you don’t want, can all help the brain engage with this.

        8) Practice mindfulness and meditation

        – Mindfulness means paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you. Meditation involves the use of techniques such as mindfulness to train attention and awareness. Mindfulness and meditation are believed to relax and calm the brain, tackling sources of stress while improving clarity focus and even sleep. According to mentalhealth.org.uk, those practising mindfulness have shown increased activity in the area of the brain associated with positive emotions.

        9) Take opportunities for self-discovery and personal growth

        – by learning something about themselves, people may find that they have grown in some respect. Many people who have experienced tragedies and hardship have reported better relationships, a greater sense of strength even while feeling vulnerable, increased sense of self-worth, a more developed spirituality and heightened appreciation for life.

        10) Take good care of yourself

        – pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with situations requiring resilience.


        If you would like further help and support in resilience training in your workplace, get in touch with our Corporate Health department.

        Mental Health Awareness Week - Stress

        02.10.2022 Category: General Health Author: Dr Claire Braham

        Stress: Are we coping?

        We all feel the effects of stress in daily life, whether it’s managing children or dealing with a problem at work. Stress is a normal response, in fact, in small doses, stress can be useful. The problems arise when  you start to have a ‘fight or flight’ stress response to situations in everyday life. This can lead to illness, both mentally and physically.

        The first step is to recognise symptoms of stress:

        • Nail biting and fidgeting
        • Over-eating or loss of appetite
        • Irritability with other people
        • Substance abuse, including alcohol and smoking
        • Lack of concentration
        • Increased and suppressed anger
        • Feeling out of control
        • Excessive emotion & crying
        • Lack of interest in anything
        • Permanently tired even after sleep

        By identifying stress-related problems as early as possible, action can be taken to avoid any serious stress-related illness. For Mental Health Awareness week, which runs from 14-18 May, here are some tips to help manage your own personal stress:

        • Be active 30 minutes a day can reduce the emotions and let you take the time to think more clearly
        • Take control –  you are your own worst enemy, but you are also the key to empowerment!
        • Find support –  Connect with your family and friends, the more help the better the solutions
        • Take time for yourself –  remember to have time for yourself as well. Read, relax and get things done on your to do list that may be holding you back
        • Create challenges for yourself –  Setting achievable goals, little or big can help build confidence in your abilities
        • Avoid unhealthy habits – Cut down on caffeine, smoking, and alcohol. These can enhance the feeling of stress in the long run
        • Be positive – Instead of looking at problems negatively, try to see what you can get out of it to help you grow. Be grateful!
        • Acceptance – Take ownership of mistakes, or acceptance of things you can’t control.

        Our Occupational Health team at the Fleet Street Clinic are able to provide a full range of work health assessments to address the occupational health needs of your staff. Click here for more information.

        To book an appointment with one of our friendly doctors, or for further details on what we can offer for our Occupational Health, call us today on  0207 353 5678  email info@fleetstreetclinic.com or book online now.

        stress, statitstics, mental health awareness, may, 2018, London, Fleet Street Clinic, Whitby and Co, optics, travel clinic, GP services, podiatry, osteo, dietitian, physio, dental, occupational health, corporate, private

        Breast Cancer Awareness Month

        01.10.2022 Category: Cancer Author: Dr Belinda Griffiths

        October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

        You may notice an increased amount of pink during this month, especially iconic pink ribbons, and it’s for a good reason: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

        This annual campaign aims to increase the awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis and treatment. With the hope that in the not too distant future, a cure will be found!

        Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. 1 in 8 women in the UK will be diagnosed at some point in their lives.

        In the UK, over 55,000 women each year are diagnosed with Breast Cancer which is the most common cancer. Thanks to research, more people are surviving breast cancer than ever before, yet there are still nearly 1,000 women who’ll die of breast cancer each month. Breast cancer is often thought of as something that only affects women, but men can get it in rare cases. It is important for males (especially those over 75 years with a high BMI) to check breast tissue for abnormalities as well.

        We will be sharing important information on symptoms, causes and lifestyle alteration you can make to reduce your risk.

        We are urging everyone, especially women, to check their breasts regularly and get checked out by a professional if something seems unusual for you.

        REMEMBER: The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat and the better the chance of successful treatment.

        BREAST CANCER SYMPTOMS TO LOOK OUT FOR:

        • a new lump or thickening in your breast, upper chest area or armpit
        • a change in size, shape or feel of your breast
        • skin changes in the breast such as puckering, dimpling, a rash or redness of the skin
        • fluid leaking from the nipple in a woman who isn’t pregnant or breastfeeding
        • changes in the position of the nipple
        • Unexplained pain in your breast or armpit that’s there all or almost all the time

        How to check your breasts

        Checking your breasts yourself means you’ll get to know what is “normal” for you. As a society we are probably not that familiar with how our body currently is and so that makes it difficult to know what subtle changes happen. It’s most likely that unless a dramatic change has occurred a subtle change will go unnoticed.

        So, how do you check your breasts?
        There is no special technique and you don’t need any training to start checking your breasts. It may feel like you’re unsure what you’re doing but get to know your body and any breast check is better than no breast check.

        The easiest and most accurate way is to divide the breasts into four quadrants; the upper outer quadrant, outer lower quadrant, inner lower quadrant and inner upper quadrant. Examine each quadrant with the flat of your hand. It is important to do this regularly so that you are familiar with what each breast feels like normally. That way, should you notice any changes, (hopefully not), you will pick them up straight away and changes won’t go unnoticed. It is important to remember to check your armpits as well. It is surprising how many breast lumps are discovered after an “axillary” or armpit lymph node is found and checked.

        Breast Cancer Now advises the TLC method – “touch, look and check”.

        Touch: Can you feel anything new or unusual?
        Look: Does anything look different?
        Check: Any changes with your GP

        Breast Cancer Awareness Check breastcancernow.org Fleet Street Clinic Well Woman Clinic London

        You should check your breasts Regularly

        Get to know your “normal” by checking your breasts regularly. Get in the habit of checking your breasts at least every month. It can be easier whilst in the bath or shower. 

        Your breasts can change throughout your life for many reasons – like the menopause, pregnancy and breastfeeding, or puberty. So, if you check them regularly, you’ll be able to spot any new or unusual changes that should be checked out by a GP.  

        For young and pre-menopausal women it is advised to check mid-cycle (a week after their period finishes) if there are any changes this requires checking with your GP. 

        As older women are of a higher risk of breast cancer, due to age, it is advised they check even more frequently. Older women should check on a monthly basis without exception. It is advised for men to check also.

        Any lump requires attention and checking with your GP immediately.

         

        In addition to regular self-checks, it is important to never miss a mammogram appointment. They may be painful and momentarily uncomfortable, but a mammogram can save your life. If you have a long wait for a mammogram, are unable to access an appointment or just want an additional check, contact the Fleet Street Clinic and we should be pleased to help.

        What are the causes of breast cancer?

        There are several factors that contribute to increasing your risk of developing breast cancer. There is no single cause, and has to do with our lifestyle, environment and genetics. There are factors which we simply cannot control such as getting older, family history, inherited genes, dense breast tissue, hormones and age at which period started and stopped. However, there are some lifestyle choices that if altered can reduce your risk of breast cancer.

        Lifestyle change that will reduce your risk of breast cancer

        1. Your weight

        Being overweight or obese has a high risk of breast cancer in both men and women (especially after menopause). You can work out your ideal weight using a BMI (Body Mass Index) calculator, this checks your height and weight to see if you are at a healthy weight. For the majority of adults an ideal BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9. A BMI between 25 – 30 means overweight. Obesity means a BMI of 30 and above.

        2. How much alcohol you drink

        Alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer. The risk is greater with each extra unit per day, the latest UK guidelines state no more than 14 units a week. 

        3. How much exercise you do

        Being inactive contributes to a small increased risk of breast cancer, this qualifies as doing less than 150min of moderate activity on a weekly basis. This does not necessarily mean sport and exercise, anything that makes you warmer and out of breath counts.

        Throughout October we’ll be highlighting the reasons to support this campaign across our social media platforms. We will be sharing inspirational stories from those who have survived the disease and those who are currently battling.  We will also hear from those who have supported a suffering loved one during treatment. Sharing these stories humanises the disease and can provide support/tips for those who may be struggling with a current diagnosis. We will be sharing ways of checking for early warning signs. We’ll also be encouraging all to undertake a Well-Woman or Well-Man health checks. Both of which contain a breast examination.

        At Fleet Street Clinic, we specialise in women’s health and have four female GPs on-site to facilitate well-woman health checks. Our Executive Well Woman medical is focused on protecting your well-being and involves a full examination including breast examinations and cervical screen tests. Our comprehensive medical is designed to screen for health problems at the earliest possible stage.

        Book Your Well Woman Medical Online. Or if you notice any changes to your breast or have any concerns, you should book a GP appointment as soon as possible.

         

        _______________
        To find out more from Breast Cancer Now, visit breastcancernow.org

        Alcohol guidelines: the impact on your health

        01.10.2022 Category: General Health Author: Dr Claire Braham

        Cutting back on alcohol can be a really effective way to improve your health, boost your energy, loose weight and save money.

        In 2016, the Chief Medical Officers in the UK reduced the recommended amount of alcohol you should consume a week due to concerns about the risk of cancer. New research confirmed that even drinking a small amount of alcohol per week can cause an increase in risk of cancer.

        From then onwards, it has been recommended that men and women have the same weekly intake of units per week. According to the UK low risk drinking guidelines, you should drink no more than 14 units a week, make sure you have several drink-free days, and never binge drink.

        What does 14 units of alcohol look like?

        Because alcoholic drinks come in different strengths and sizes, units are a way to tell how strong your drink is. 14 units is equivalent to six pints of average strength beer or six medium (175ml) glasses of average strength wine.

        It’s safest for both men and women to drink no more than 14 units a week, spread over three or more days with several drink-free days, and no bingeing.

        Your risk of death from long term illness, accident or injury, is increased if you ‘binge drink’ 1 or more times a week.

        How long does alcohol stay in your body:

        On average, it takes about one hour for your body to break down one unit of alcohol. However, this can vary, depending on: 

        • Your weight
        • Whether you’re male or female
        • Your age 
        • How quickly or slowly your body turns food into energy (your metabolism) 
        • How much food you have eaten

        What are the consequences of drinking too much alcohol:

        • Low mood/mood swings
        • Liver problems
        • Heart problems
        • Cancers (mouth, tongue, throat, oesophagus)
        • Weight gain
        • Poor sleep
        • Blood pressure instability

        What are the benefits to cutting down on alcohol?

        Short-term benefits:

        • waking up in a better mood
        • being less tired and more energetic throughout the day
        • healthier looking skin
        • saving some money

        Long-term benefits:

        • lower your blood pressure
        • lower the risk of diseases including cancer, stroke, hypertension and liver disease
        • lower your cholesterol levels
        • your memory will improve
        • better quality of sleep
        • help with weight management*

        * Did you know? Alcoholic drinks are high in calories, so cutting back on the amount you drink can really help to reduce your calorie intake.

        According to our GP & Occupation Health Physician, Dr Claire Braham;

        “When you drink alcohol, you lose around 4 times as much fluid as you drink.

        It is therefore easy to understand why dehydration often occurs. Dehydration symptoms are much like your classic hangover symptoms and will include headache, nausea and fatigue. These symptoms will become present when you are about 2-percent dehydrated, which is about when you start to feel thirst.

        Avoiding alcohol means better hydration and sleep which will reduce hangovers and headaches, reduce tiredness, reduce sickness, increase your concentration and improve your overall control over emotions and behaviour. This leads to more productivity, better decision making and overall less accidents, regrets and more enjoyment.

        It is not advised to drink more than 14 units a week, which is the equivalent of 6 pints of beer. That converts to 1,092 calories in total and would need 109 minutes of running to burn off those additional consumed calories. Abstinence is an easy way to avoid festivity weight gain.

        Nowadays it is very easy to cut down or cut out alcohol. There is a wide variety of alcohol-free beer, wine, prosecco, gin, vodka, whisky and other spirits available on the market. These include some which are vegan and gluten-free as well as often free from sugar and artificial sweeteners. So you can still enjoy a ‘drink’, without the alcohol and high-sugar but with health benefits.”

        For further detail of how alcohol can have a negative impact on your health, head to drinkaware.co.uk for more information and advice on drinking.

        If you have concerns about the amount of alcohol you are drinking or about your health you should speak to a GP. You can book an appointment online.

        More information on our GP service can be found here.

        How to reintroduce meat and alcohol back into your diet after your January challenges

        Read more

        How walking can help chronic pain 

        31.08.2022 Category: Osteopathy Author: Andrew Doody

        How walking can help Chronic pain

        Firstly, what is chronic pain?

        Chronic or persistent pain can be explained as pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment.

        The root cause can vary person-to-person, with it sometimes due to illness or an injury. In other cases it can be due to being overweight, having years of poor posture or improper lifting of heavy weights. It can be debilitating but movement is known to help.

        Exercise is a common treatment for chronic pain. Depending on your current state of health, it may help decrease inflammation, increase mobility, and decrease overall pain levels, with no additional medication required.

        As an osteopath, the conversation I seem to have at least once-a-day is; how much exercise should someone who is in pain be doing?

        As you can imagine every case is different, and exercise advice varies hugely from person to person and condition to condition. There is a big difference between chronic pain and recovery from injury pain. I am focusing on exercises for people with chronic pain conditions, specifically walking.

        Many people with chronic pain are afraid that movement, including walking, will worsen pain. But as many have subsequently discovered, the opposite is very often true. Using your muscles and joints less can often cause pain to becomes worse. Gentle exercise like walking can really help to bring those pain levels down, as well as many other benefits like improving your circulation, strengthening your bones and of course helping to keep those extra pounds off.

        Here are tips before you start:

        1. Talk to your healthcare professional first
        You should always take the advice of a health professional before starting any exercise. They can ensure it is safe for you to start, and guide you with the types of exercises you should begin with. They will also help you understand your limits and outline suitable goals. As a rule of thumb, if you are in pain, stop!
        I, or another osteopath, can check your posture and gait and give you tips on engaging the correct muscles.

        2. Get the right shoes
        A good pair of supportive trainers will prove invaluable. Walking boots that protect the ankle are only really required if you’re planning to walk on loose surfaces or heading off into the mountains. Otherwise, walking trainers will suffice. To find out more about choosing the right footwear, read our blog on How To Avoid Running Injuries.

        3. Start slow
        What we’re aiming for is about half an hour to an hour of physical activity five days a week, but this may take some time to achieve. There’s no rush! A good indicator that you are at the right intensity level is that even though your heart rate is up a little, you are still able to carry on a conversation while walking. When starting your walk don’t go full speed immediately. Allow your muscles and joints to warm up for the first few minutes before getting up to speed. This will help prevent damage and injuries.

        4. Keep hydrated
        You may need to carry a bottle of water, especially for walking in hot weather. If the weather is hot, make sure you also take sunscreen and a hat to stop sunburn.

        5. Finally, try to enjoy it!
        The more you enjoy it, the easier it becomes. Find somewhere nice to walk, even if that means
        driving somewhere. Listen to music/ podcasts/ audiobooks, or even better get a walking buddy to join you for a chit chat along the route.

         

        For more information on osteopathy services, visit the main page.

        ___________________________________

        OSTEOPATHY AT FLEET STREET CLINIC

        Andrew Doody is an osteopath at Fleet Street Clinic and is fully registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOSC).
        Book an appointment with him if you have any musculoskeletal injuries by calling  +44 20 7353 5678, email info@fleetstreetclinic.com or book an appointment online.

        Urgent Polio Boosters - Statement

        11.08.2022 Category: General Health Author: Anna Chapman

        Urgent polio boosters advised for London children

        UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has announced that all children aged 1-9 years regardless of previous immunisation status are recommended a polio vaccine booster from all London boroughs.

        The virus, which can cause paralysis, has been found 116 times in London’s waste water between February and July this year. 

        In the UK, the overall risk of paralytic polio is considered low because most people are protected from this by vaccination. However, due to the recent discovery of type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus in sewage in multiple locations in London, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)  have advised that booster vaccinations in all children aged 1-9 years is an appropriate course of action.

        The UKHSA says most of the samples detected are the safe vaccine form of polio, but “a few” have mutated enough to be considered dangerous.

        Parents should seek the polio vaccine booster as soon as possible – even if their child is up-to-date with their childhood vaccinations. 

        The aim is two-fold; to ensure a high level of protection from polio paralysis and help reduce further spread of the polio virus across London and beyond.

        Booster Polio Vaccinations at Fleet Street Clinic

        We offer two vaccinations in-clinic that offer protection from Polio:

        Revaxis Vaccine: Suitable for children from 6 years and above
        Protects against:  Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio
        Cost: £47 + £20 appointment fee
        Call to book

        Repevax Vaccine: Suitable for children from 3 years and above
        Protects against: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio & Whooping Cough
        Cost: £69 + £20 appointment fee
        Call to book

        Both of these vaccinations are inactivated, and given by injection. They are both licensed as booster doses, and are not intended for primary immunisation.

        More information on the Polio vaccines available at Fleet Street Clinic, click here.


        Primary Polio Vaccination
        Unfortunately, we do not offer the infant/ baby vaccination for Polio – in the UK this would be the Infanrix-Hexa, the 6-in-1 vaccine. We have no suitable vaccination for children under the age of 3, or for those requiring their primary immunisation against Polio. 

        Please contact your NHS doctor or an alternative provider to see if they can help you further.

        Dr Vanessa Saliba, Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said:

        “It is vital parents ensure their children are fully vaccinated for their age. Following JCVI advice all children aged 1 to 9 years in London need to have a dose of polio vaccine now – whether it’s an extra booster dose or just to catch up with their routine vaccinations. It will ensure a high level of protection from paralysis. This may also help stop the virus spreading further.”

        ______________________

        More information on Polio and the emerging London findings:

        What is Polio?
        Polio is a serious viral infection that is transmitted through the stool’s of an infected person through contaminated water, food or surfaces. It can cause unpleasant flu-like symptoms and in severe cases, cause paralysis.

        What are the symptoms of Polio?
        The majority of people with the infection have no symptoms but some feel as if they have the flu, with:

        • high temperature
        • sore throat
        • headache
        • abdominal pain
        • sickness

        In severe cases of polio, the virus can attack the nerves in the spine and brain which can cause paralysis. In some cases, it can cause persistent or lifelong difficulties and even be life-threatening.

        Where has Polio been found?
        According to the UKHSA statement, in addition to the findings earlier this year of type 2 poliovirus (PV2) collected from the Beckton sewage treatment works, further upstream sampling undertaken by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has now identified at least one positive sample of the poliovirus, currently present in parts of the following boroughs:

        • Barnet
        • Brent
        • Camden
        • Enfield
        • Hackney
        • Haringey
        • Islington
        • Waltham Forest

        The sampling has also detected the virus in lower concentrations and frequency in areas adjacent to the Beckton catchment area to the South (immediately below the Thames) and to the east of Beckton. However, it is not clear whether the virus has established itself in these areas or if the detections are due to people from the affected area visiting these neighbouring areas.

        How many cases of Polio have been identified?
        To date, again based on the UKHSA statement, ‘a total of 116 PV2 isolates have been identified in 19 sewage samples collected in London between 8 February and 5 July this year’.

        A further 15 sites in London will start sewage sampling in mid-August, and 10 to 15 sites will be stood up nationally to determine if poliovirus is spreading outside of London.

         

        To book your child’s Polio Booster Vaccination, call +44 20 7353 5678 today.

        Chickenpox Vaccine – Know The Facts

        Read more

        How To Avoid Running Injuries

        14.07.2022 Category: Osteopathy Author: Andrew Doody

        With (hopefully!) sunnier and longer days upon us, summer is a great time of year to get your running shoes on. As a keen runner myself, I understand the appeal; it’s pure, it’s meditative, and it gets your blood pumping like little else.

        Unfortunately, for all its positives, running can be problematic for the body and it tends to bring out minor issues and turn them into major ones. These often include achilles tendonitis, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, ITB syndrome, stress fractures, hip and lower back issues, and more knee problems than I have time to list.

        Many of the problems from running come from two areas. Firstly, heel strike which is where the heel hits the ground repeatedly and sends a shock through the whole skeleton which causes issues from the heel itself all the way up to the lower back. Secondly, gait – which is the way a person walks; the whole lower limb (especially the knee) is quite finely tuned to work in certain ways, and anything that affects that can begin to cause problems. A dropped arch, tight muscle, old injury, slight one-sidedness etc can bring these issues on.

        What can be done to prevent these issues? 

        Like always, the number one rule is to get any symptoms you are experiencing looked at as soon as possible. Early diagnosis, advice and treatment is vital.

        One thing that can really help heel strike and gait is by getting the right trainers. Here’s a few things to consider:

        1. Don’t confuse fashion and effectiveness. Good running trainers generally don’t look cool! Some of the bigger brands will advertise to you that they are great for sports but do your research. I would usually recommend Asics or Brooks.
        2. Replace your shoes regularly. The soles of most trainers are good for about 200-250 miles maximum. So, if you’re running 20 miles per week, you’ll probably need to replace them after 4-6 months.
          The shoe may still look okay after that but there is an increased risk of injury. It is, therefore, important to ensure that you are replacing your trainers as regularly as required.
        3. You don’t need to buy the most recent model. Many of the best running trainers are on their 20th/30th or so iteration. When a new model is released the price of the last couple of iterations will drop quite significantly, and will still be an excellent option.
        4. Good arch support. Trainers largely work on preventing pronation etc. by the way they flex. Many have little if any arch support, even with good ones you may need an additional orthotic insole made for your specific needs. This may also mean you need half a size bigger.
        5. Speak to the experts. A running machine in a shoe shop is useful, but remember the shop assistant has probably only had a brief introduction in what to look for, and no idea of your other contributing factors. Speak to a specialist – an osteopath, podiatrist, or physio.

        _____________

         

        OSTEOPATH AT FLEET STREET CLINIC

        Andrew Doody is an osteopath at Fleet Street Clinic and is fully registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOSC).
        Book an appointment with him if you have any musculoskeletal injuries by calling +44 20 7353 5678, email info@fleetstreetclinic.com or book an appointment online.

        Diabetes

        15.06.2022 Category: General Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

        WHAT IS DIABETES?

        Diabetes is a lifelong condition that occurs when the body is unable to properly regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. Poor control of diabetes can lead to high blood sugar levels and cause long term damage to your overall health and organs. 

        WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DOES IT CAUSE?

        High blood sugar levels can cause a lot of damage to your body and if not managed correctly, may lead to many diabetic complications. This will cause long term health problems, especially if they go untreated. 

        HOW DOES DIABETES AFFECT OTHER PARTS OF YOUR BODY?

        Eyes: Retinopathy is a complication of diabetes caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the retina, often leading to vision impairment. It is the leading cause of blindness among working-age adults in the UK. As a consequence of diabetic retinopathy, swelling can take place, called diabetic macular oedema. People with diabetes are also more prone to develop cataracts and glaucoma at an earlier age, contributing to vision reduction.

        Feet: Foot health is often a neglected area anyway but high blood glucose levels can lead to insensitivity in the foot and lower limbs, which means you lose the ability to feel pain and distinguish hot or cold.  It can also lead to less blood supply to your feet leading to poor circulation. 

        Loss of sensitivity means that you may not notice if you have a minor cut, sore or wound and poor circulation means if you do get a cut or sore, it will take longer to heal and open wounds are more likely to become infected. This combination is why there is an increase in risk of amputation for those who are diabetic. Regular podiatry appointments are the best way to look after your foot health.

        Heart: High blood sugar levels can also cause problems to your blood vessels which can sometimes lead to serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes. 

        Kidneys: High blood sugar levels creates more difficulty for the kidneys to clear waste. This may lead to Diabetic Nephropathy, the deterioration of the kidneys.

        HOW CAN DIABETES BE TREATED?

        There is currently no cure for diabetes, therefore, the best way to deal with diabetes is to get it properly managed and controlled. If you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you must either inject or pump insulin into body to treat your diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, you may also have to use insulin, however, it can be managed through diet and lifestyle changes. 

        HOW CAN YOU TEST FOR DIABETES?

        An instant HbA1c test can confirm if you’re within the recommended range, or are considered pre-diabetic or confirm that you have diabetes. Using a small blood sample it will measure how well your blood sugar has been controlled over the last 3 months and provide a numerical reading.

        As the HbA1c test provides 3-months insight, it is an important blood test for diagnosed diabetics. It provides a good indication of how well they are managing their diabetes.. 

        Many people are more familiar with the glucose blood test – it measures the concentration of glucose molecules in your blood at a single point in time. The amount of glucose in your blood could also indicate whether you could be diabetic or not. People with diabetes can also use this test to manage their condition on a daily basis alongside regular HbA1C testing.

        You can book an instant HbA1C test online at a cost of £54.50.

        WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

        When it comes to diabetes the symptoms are not always obvious and can often go unnoticed for long periods of time before being diagnosed. 

        The most common symptoms include:

        • Feeling constantly thirsty or dehydrated 
        • Unintentional loss of weight and increased appetite (type 1)
        • Vision begins to blur
        • Numbness in your hands or feet (type 2)
        • Fatigue 
        • Urinating more frequently 

        WHO IS AT RISK?

        In the UK, type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, affecting over 90% of sufferers. The symptoms of diabetes are often mild, therefore, it’s important to be aware of the risk factors that could make you more susceptible to diabetes in the future. 

        According to Diabetes UK, type 2 diabetes is twice more likely in people of African descent in comparison to people of European descent and six times more likely in South Asian communities, making them a high risk category in developing diabetes. Additionally, people of African – Caribbean and South Asian descent are also at risk of type 2 diabetes much earlier, usually over the age of 25. On the other hand, for Europeans the risk increases when over the age of 40. Other factors contributing to diabetes include being overweight, high blood pressure and genetics. 

        Other general risk factors include:

        • Having high blood pressure
        • Carrying extra weight around your middle
        • Smoking 
        • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) sufferers
        • Those with a sedentary lifestyle
        • Drinking too much alcohol
        • Those with disturbed sleep – this includes those who do not get enough sleep and those whose sleep too much

         

        If you have symptoms of diabetes or general concerns about your diabetic risk, you can book a GP appointment to discuss in more detail. 

        Alternatively, you can book in for an instant HbA1c test with a nurse

         

        Travel Advice: US ends Covid Testing for International Travellers

        15.06.2022 Category: News Author: Dr Richard Dawood

        From Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 12:01AM ET all COVID-19 testing entry requirements for international travellers to the United Stated were rescinded. 

        Arrivals no longer need to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test or documentation of recovery prior to boarding a flight to the U.S nor upon arrival. 

        The Centre For Disease Control (CDC) has reached the decision based on the high vaccine uptake and widespread population immunity. 

        In the statement they released, they explain; “The COVID-19 pandemic has now shifted to a new phase, due to the widespread uptake of highly effective COVID-19 vaccines, the availability of effective therapeutics, and the accrual of high rates of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity at the population level in the United States. Each of these measures has contributed to lower risk of severe disease and death across the United States. As a result, this requirement which was needed at an earlier stage in the pandemic may be withdrawn.” 

        Most countries, including the UK, have already abandoned testing requirements in a bid to return international travel to pre-Covid levels and it seems the CQC have decided it is now time for the U.S to do the same.

        Does this mean that the COVID-19 pandemic has ended? 

        No, but it does signify a shift in the pandemic. As we see a worldwide reduction in covid cases and death rates, the CDC statement clarifies that whilst testing may not be necessary right now, they will continue to monitor the data and adapt accordingly. 

        They state; “CDC continues to evaluate the latest science and state of the pandemic and will reassess the need for a testing requirement if the situation changes”.

        What about covid vaccinations…
        Do I need to be vaccinated to travel to the U.S? 

        Yes, foreign travellers from outside of the U.S are required to be double vaccinated from COVID-19 to enter the country. But for people under the age of 18, U.S citizens/ nationals or lawful permanent residents will be exempt from vaccination requirements. Currently, the Covid Booster vaccination is not a requirement and there is no set expiry date on the first dose of vaccination. 

        Overall, the easing of the US Covid restrictions is welcome news to the travel and tourism industry and demonstrates the possibility of international travel returning back to its pre-covid levels. 

        However, the absence of masks, vaccines, or travel mandates does not mean that the risk of catching Covid-19 has gone away.
        We strongly recommend:

        • Having comprehensive travel health insurance for all travel to the USA – hospital care should you require treatment for Covid is very costly.
        • Wearing a high filtration (N95 or FFP3) mask during your journey
        • Practising all the usual hygiene recommendations during your journey (e.g. hand sanitisers, distancing where possible
        • Having an early test and avoiding travel if you have even minor symptoms.

         

        For more information on the covid testing services available at Fleet Street Clinic.

        Do you need a Rabies Vaccine for your next trip?

        Read more

        Monkeypox Statement

        30.05.2022 Category: General Health Author: Dr Richard Dawood

        With monkeypox cases being recorded in over 20 countries across the globe, people are becoming increasingly concerned about its spread and transmission.

        Following 2 years of the Covid-19 pandemic, this outbreak has reignited the public’s fear and uncertainty of infectious diseases. 

        Whilst the media coverage of the monkeypox outbreak is alarming, we would like to reassure our patients that as it stands, the risk is still very minimal and vaccination is not advised as a precautionary measure. Whilst vaccines will undoubtedly be a key part of containing the outbreak, for now, only people who may have been exposed are being offered vaccination.

        Our Medical Director & Travel Medicine Specialist, Dr Richard Dawood explains;

        “Lots of people have been getting in touch with us to ask about a monkeypox vaccination, but this is not available privately. It is currently only being offered to anyone identified as a direct, close contact of a confirmed case deemed to be at sufficient risk.

        The current outbreak does, however, highlight the need to think about your vaccine protection more generally, whether for travel or simply to protect your health and well-being, taking advantage of the best vaccines currently available.”

        In a more general sense, it is never too late to catch up on childhood vaccinations, incomplete vaccination courses or any required boosters.

        Your immune system naturally decreases with age and certain diseases are also more prevalent in older adults so there may be new vaccinations which are now suitable for you to consider for preventable diseases. Some health conditions can also weaken the body’s immune response, making you more vulnerable to infectious diseases, complications and hospitalisation. Therefore, it is important to ask your GP which vaccinations would be suitable for keeping you healthy.
         – For more information on wellness vaccinations.

        If you are travelling soon and haven’t had a travel consultation with a travel nurse, perhaps it is time to consider one. Travel nurses are experts in travel health and will advise which travel vaccinations & medications you should consider based on the risk of where you are travelling to and your itinerary once there.
        – For m
        ore information on travel consultations.

        To conclude, we’d like to dismiss a couple of dangerous myths about monkeypox that are unnecessarily scaremongering the public:

        Myth 1: Monkeypox is as contagious as COVID-19 or smallpox

        Fact: Monkeypox is far less contagious compared to smallpox, measles, or COVID-19.

        Myth 2: Monkeypox is a new virus.

        Fact: No, the monkeypox virus is not a novel virus. It’s a known virus and is generally seen in central and western African countries as localised outbreaks.

        In summary, we, like the rest of the medical field, will be keeping a close eye on the progression of the Monkeypox outbreak and should our advice change based on new information, we will update this statement accordingly.

         

        For more information on Monkeypox.

        10 Vaccinations you should know about

        Read more

        Can acupuncture help with chronic stress?