The Spence Group Practice
48-50 Logan Road, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 8DR
Tel: 0117 944 0701

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Flu Campaign 2011

Q&A: Seasonal flu risks and how to protect yourself

Flu is more than just a bad cold and can be a serious disease, particularly for those with other conditions which can lead to complications and further infection. Every year in the UK about 600 people die from flu.

If you are over 65 or suffer from any of the conditions listed below, you are entitled to a free NHS flu vaccination, as you are at a greater risk of complications should you catch flu. Similarly, if you have a child over six months old with one of these conditions, please bring him or her for a vaccination too as you child's condition may get worse if they catch flu.

Free vaccination is also available if you live in a long-stay residential care home or if you are a carer for someone else who would be at serious risk of harm if you were unable to support them because of your own illness with flu.

  • Chronic respiratory disease and asthma that requires continuous or repeated use of inhaled or systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission

  • Chronic heart disease

  • Chronic renal disease

  • Chronic liver disease

  • Chronic neurological disease

  • Diabetes

  • Immunosuppression, e.g. as a result of another condition or treatment

Also, if you are pregnant, it is also strongly recommended that you have the vaccination as there is good evidence to suggest that pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications if they get flu, particularly the H1N1 (swine flu) strain.

Vaccination is a straightforward and safe form of protection which will last a year. You can read more about flu and the vaccination on the NHS website
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/Pages/Introduction.aspx 
and the Department of Health has also produced a booklet you can download:
Seasonal Flu Vaccination: who should have it and why

This year the usual “seasonal” flu vaccination will include protection against swine flu, which is still a potential threat, as well as against other common strains of the flu virus.

If you have questions or are unsure whether to have the vaccine, please speak to one of our GPs or nurses. Of course there are many website offering advice too but please make sure you use a reliable one, such as:
NHS

Patient UK
BBC

 

Telephone: General Enquiries 0117 944 0701; Appointments 0117 944 0700; Fax 0117 944 0707
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 6.30 pm
Out of hours emergency telephone number: 111