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ADVICE FOR PARENTS ABOUT SCARLET FEVER AND STREP A

06/12/2022

This article is from 6 December 2022 - the situation may change with time

The country is seeing a higher number of cases of scarlet fever this year.

Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness, but it is highly infectious. It is important to look out for symptoms in your child, which can include a sore throat, headache, and fever, along with a fine, pinkish or red body rash with a 'sandpapery' feel.

On darker skin, the rash can be more difficult to detect visually but will have a sandpapery feel.

Scarlet fever is caused by a bacteria called Group A streptococci ('strep'). These bacteria also cause other respiratory and skin infections such as strep throat and impetigo.

Contact NHS 111 or your GP if you suspect your child has scarlet fever, because early treatment with antibiotics is important to reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia or a bloodstream infection. 

If your child has scarlet fever, keep them at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatments to avoid spreading the infection to others. 

There are lots of viruses around at the moment that cause sore throats, colds and coughs.

These should get better without medical intervention. However, sometimes children can develop a bacterial infection on top of a virus which can make them more unwell.

As a parent, if you feel that your child seems seriously unwell, you should trust your own judgement.

Contact NHS 111 or your GP if:

  • your child is getting worse
  • your child is feeding or eating much less than normal
  • your child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration
  • your baby is under 3 months and has a temperature of 38°C, or is older than 3 months and has a temperature of 39°C or higher
  • your baby feels hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, or feels sweaty
  • your child is very tired or irritable.

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • your child has difficulty breathing: you may notice grunting noises, or their tummy sucking under their ribs
  • there are pauses when your child breathes
  • your child's skin, tongue or lips are blue
  • your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake.

Good hand and respiratory hygiene are important for stopping the spread of many bugs. By teaching your child how to wash their hands properly with soap for 20 seconds, using a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes, and keeping away from others when feeling unwell, they will be able to reduce the risk of picking up or spreading infections.

More information on scarlet fever and Group A strep is available on the government website:

UKHSA update on scarlet fever and invasive Group A strep

Ear Wax Removal at Broadshires Health Centre (starts 10 Nov 2022)

We have recently entered into an joint arrangement with Ear Care Clinics, audiology specialists in micro suction ear wax removal.

Jason and Emma are audiologists with over 18 years’ experience between them.

They know better than anyone how much wax occlusion can impact people in their everyday lives and how tricky it can be to find a wax removal service. Their reason for specialising solely in wax removal is to offer the best dedicated care with as little stress and inconvenience to our patients. Currently providing wax removal services to GP practices and hospitals in the North Cotswolds area, we are delighted that they have decided to add Broadshires Health Centre to to one of their locations.

Every Thursday from 10 November 2022, Emma will be available for you to book directly by contacting them through their website Ear Care Clinics

This service is available not just to Patients of Broadshires Health Centre, but anyone who lives in the surrounding area.


‘Massive increase in demand for appointments with GPs and Nurses’.

Ten years ago, NHS England launched NHS Choose Well Summer Campaign, to cut pressure on GP practices by encouraging patients to self-care for minor ailments such as hayfever. (July 2012).

The aim was to educate patients in greater self-care or visit their pharmacist for common health complaints, rather than attending A&E or visiting their GP.  The campaign, led by the National Self Care Forum, included a patient survey to understand why people visit their GP instead of attempting self-care.

At the time, more than 51 million unnecessary GP visits occurred each year, including 5.2 million for blocked noses and 40,000 for dandruff.

Spokesperson for the National Self Care Forum said, ‘We have a growing older population in England. More people are living longer with complex or long-term health conditions – this is great news for everyone, but it does mean we need to take steps so that we can focus more resources on these potentially vulnerable groups of people.

We are not saying that people should not go to see their GP or use their A&E, emergency and 999 services if they believe they are seriously ill. We need to understand how we can encourage them to help themselves for common problems.’

Spokesperson concluded by saying that, ‘more self-care would allow limited NHS resources to be used more effectively’.

In the previous two years, since 2010, first attendances at A&E and emergency departments had risen by 16.5%.

Does this sound familiar?  Is this situation still the case?  Are things any better?  Jump forward a decade and let’s see where we are now…

‘During 2021 General practice in England delivered an unprecedented 367m appointments - around 6.5 for every person in the population, official data shows. (January 2022)’.

The figure is 17.5% higher than the total for 2019, the last full calendar year before the COVID-19 pandemic - reflecting the intense workload pressure that general practice has faced as the profession maintained routine care while delivering the bulk of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Of the 367m total appointments recorded by GP practices in 2021, 55m were for COVID-19 vaccinations. Total appointments excluding COVID-19 vaccination work came to 312m - within 0.2% of the total for 2019.

Despite intense criticism of general practice over access to face-to-face care, data from NHS Digital show that practices delivered almost 179m appointments in person last year, not including those for COVID-19 jabs.

Close to 100m appointments came in the second half of 2021 - bringing face-to-face appointments to 80% of the level delivered over the same period in 2019, at a time when telephone appointments are running at nearly triple the level seen in 2019.

From July to December 2021 general practice delivered 57m telephone appointments, compared with 20m in the same period in 2019.

GPs are seeing around 46 patients per working day over the past year,

revealing this week that patient contacts per GP were running at around 84% above the level considered safe by the BMA.

Intense pressure on general practice has come at a time when the workforce remains in decline, with official data showing that the full-time equivalent GP workforce dropped by around 100 in the six months to November 2021 at a time when registered patients continued to rise rapidly.

The latest data shows that General practice delivered 4m more appointments in March 2022 compared with the previous month, with a workforce that has slumped by more than 350 GPs over the past year, official data show.

More recently, GPs per patient in England dropped by 2.2% in the year to July 2022 as the workforce shrank and patient numbers grew - while practices delivered 26m appointments in July alone.

NHS backlog

MPs and clinicians have also highlighted the impact of the growing NHS backlog on general practice.  With a record 6m people on the NHS waiting list (January 2022), a figure that was rising before COVID-19 but has risen faster in the pandemic, GPs are facing huge increases in demand for appointments from patients awaiting hospital treatment. The number of people on the NHS waiting list is predicted to have risen to as high as 14m by the end of 2022.

GPs have also reported a rise in rejected referrals and in workload dumped on primary care as hospitals struggle to cope.  Meanwhile, high rates of COVID-19 infections (January 2022) driven by the Omicron variant forced one in five GPs to self-isolate in the two weeks after Christmas 2021, according to BMA polling - leaving an already-stretched GP workforce struggling to cope.

BMA GP committee England chair Dr Farah Jameel said: 'On 13 December, the prime minister put out a call to arms, making the booster campaign the national priority in the fight against Omicron.  General practice responded to the call and delivered 3.9m vaccination appointments in December 2021.  The next booster campaign is about to commence and we will be in touch with you if your booster is to be provided through Broadshires Health Centre.

Unsustainable pressure

'We now know that this booster wall of defence kept our sickest and most vulnerable safe and out of harm’s way.  Yet again, GPs and their teams vaccinated this country out of crisis.'

Dr Jameel said GP appointment figures for December were 'a staggering 20% higher than two years ago' as practices delivered day-to-day care alongside the vaccination campaign - and warned the pressure on general practice was 'simply not sustainable.  She called for steps to protect the GP workforce and demanded a government drive to cut back on bureaucracy.

She said: 'GPs and their teams are now also facing an extraordinary backlog of care - not only from patients with currently undiagnosed conditions, but also those currently waiting for hospital treatment who need GP support while they wait. These demands on general practice are simply not sustainable, especially when we consider that there is the equivalent of 1,756 fewer fully qualified full-time GPs in the country compared to 2015.

'As well as creating and delivering solutions to bolster the workforce, government must urgently scrap unnecessary administrative tasks and other unachievable targets if we are to stand a fighting chance of getting on top of current demand. Without urgent action from government, the care GPs provide for their patients will inevitably deteriorate as they prioritise only the sickest, ultimately leading to a two-tier system.'

RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall said: 'Today's figures reveal once again the consistently high number of patient appointments GPs and our teams are managing to deliver under intense workload and workforce pressures, that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic.

'The December figures bring the number of appointments made in 2021, when considering multiple mass vaccination drives that GPs and our teams have led, to an unprecedented 367m. The fact that such huge numbers of GP appointments have been sustained throughout such a challenging time for the NHS is a testament to the dedication of GPs and our teams to delivering good, safe and appropriate patient care.

'General practice is under immense pressure trying to manage ever-growing need for care and services with a prevailing shortage of GPs and other members of the practice team. Our workforce is not big enough to manage the needs of an ageing and growing patient population with increasingly complex needs. This was the case before the pandemic, and it is becoming increasingly unsustainable.'



achieve Oxfordshire

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Thank you


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Please allow 5 working days for us and Pharmacy to process your prescription.  If you have regular medications, please make yourself a note to request a repeat in plenty of time. 

Each time a prescription is required "urgently" that could have been ordered ahead, it requires a receptionist to print a prescription and interrupt Duty Doctor to have the script signed and taken over to Pharmacy.  Then for Pharmacy to stop their regular work and prioritise your script.


(Site updated 08/12/2022)

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