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Health Topics


If you are experiencing diarrhoea and vomiting you may be asked by the Doctor to provide a stool (‘poo’) sample to be tested in case you have an infectious cause of gastroenteritis (viral or bacterial).

If you have had diarrhoea or vomiting for more than 24 hours or feel unwell with a temperature ring the surgery to speak to the Duty Doctor for advice

Certain infections need to be investigated by the local Environmental Health Department who will contact you to ask you some simple questions about foods you have eaten, any recent travel and details about animal contact. These investigations are carried out to try and prevent further infections occurring. If you think your illness may be part of a food poisoning outbreak, eg if you know other people with similar symptoms who attended the same event, please contact Harrogate Borough Council Environmental Health Department by phoning: 01423 500600

How to prevent passing infections to others

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after using a toilet. Use soap and running water. Dry hands thoroughly afterwards.
  • Avoid preparing food for other people while you are ill.
  • Always wash hands immediately after changing nappies, clothing or bedding.
  • The toilet bowl, seat, flush handle and door handle should be cleaned with normal household detergent regularly whilst you are ill. Disinfection after cleaning with normal household sanitiser or antibacterial spray is also recommended.
  • If you have any spillages or if you don’t make it to the toilet and are sick this should be cleaned up straight away by placing paper towels or something absorbent over the spillage before transferring it into a plastic bag to dispose of. The area should then be washed with hot water and detergent and then be disinfected. Please note that some fabrics may be damaged by disinfectants so care should be taken.

Attendance at work/school

It is important not to attend work or school until 48 hours after the last bout of diarrhoea and/or vomiting. You are still infectious for some time after your symptoms have stopped and can pass the illness to others.

This is especially important for children who attend school, nursery or playgroup, people who prepare food as part of their job and people such as health care workers.

Child Health and Immunisations

We recommend full immunisation for all pre-school children. The doctors and the health visitors perform regular development and health checks.

Smear Tests

My smear test.  Photo of a smiling young woman


Influenza (flu) is a serious viral infection of the respiratory tract (nose, mouth, throat, bronchial tubes and lungs). Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint pain, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and diarrhoea. It is more severe than a bad cold and symptoms last longer.

Flu is an unpleasant and self limiting disease usually taking 2-7 days to recover. Even those with a mild dose of flu can still infect others with flu.

The risk of serious illness from flu is higher amongst children under 6 months of age, older people and those with other underlying health conditions.

Flu spreads easily and rapidly from person to person through coughing and sneezing. Surfaces and objects handled such as door knobs can pass the infection on too.

Flu viruses change so new flu vaccinations are developed. It’s important to have your flu vaccination annually as a previous immunisation will not protect you.


At Risk Groups:

  • Aged 65 and over
  • If pregnant, or if become pregnant during flu season
  • Serious medical condition such as;
    • Chronic respiratory disease (eg asthma, COPD, bronchitis)
    • Chronic heart disease/heart failure
    • Chronic kidney disease (stages 3,4,5)
    • Chronic liver disease
    • Chronic neurological disease eg Parkinsons or motor neurone disease or stroke
    • Diabetes
    • Weakened immune system due to disease such as HIV/AIDS or treatment such as cancer
  • People staying in long stay residential care homes or care facilities
  • People in receipt of Carers Allowance or the main Carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the Carer was ill.

Childhood Flu Campaign

Two and Three year olds on the 1st September 2013 are being offered immunisation via a single nasal spray. Some children in this group who are also in a clinical at risk group, who have not had a flu vaccine before, will be offered two doses (at least four weeks apart).

Housebound Patients

We are unable to provide home visits to anyone other than the truly housebound or those who would find it very difficult to come to the surgery due to illness or infirmity or those without support or assistance from friends or family who could bring them.

This is to help us ensure our nurses provide an appropriate and timely service to all our patients.

Some local pharmacies are offering flu vaccines
to anyone not eligible for the NHS vaccination.
Contact a local pharmacy for details re cost etc


The shingles vaccine is given as a single injection for anyone aged 70 or 79. Unlike the flu jab, you'll only need to have the vaccination once.

The vaccine is expected to reduce your risk of getting shingles. If you are unlucky enough to then get the disease, your symptoms may be milder and the illness shorter.

Shingles can be very painful and uncomfortable. Some people are left with pain lasting for years after the initial rash has healed. Shingles is fatal for around 1 in 1,000 over-70s who develop it.

What is shingles?

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster virus) in people who have previously had chickenpox.

Further information:

If you were aged 70 or 79 on 1st September 2013 you can be vaccinated at the surgery.
These are the only two cohorts we can immunise at the present time.

Please call us to book your appointment

(due to time constraints and to ensure essential health checks are made for each patient, shingles vaccination will not be given in the flu clinics – a separate appointment is required).

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