Practice Newsletter

Harley Street Medical 14 Harley Street, Nelson   p: 548 2763  f: 548 8643  e: hsm@harleymedical.co.nz

GENERAL PRACTITIONERS

Patient Newsletter                                                                                                                                               July 2018

Skin cancer and dermatology

Nelson, with our high sunshine hours, gives a high risk of skin cancers of all types. Most of us, as we get older, will start showing some signs of sun damage. At any age, protection from sun burn is the top priority and even for those of you who enjoyed a tan as teenagers, it is still worth covering up and using sun protection.

The Doctors at Harley Street have had training in detecting and analysing skin lesions, including the use of dermoscopy. If you have any concerns about specific spots, moles, flaky areas etc. or do want a general skin check please book in for a ‘skin check’. Many skin lesions we can manage at Harley Street, with cryotherapy, treatment applications and minor surgery. We are well equipped for minor surgery with two operating spaces. Every week we operate on a number of skin cancers from basal cell carcinoma’s to melanoma.

We have access to the regional minor skin lesion service, for any skin cancers that are more complicated e.g. around eyes or melanoma’s requiring wider excisions.

While we do have access to a small amount of funding to support these services, skin surgery does cost more than our standard consultations. You will be given an estimate prior to any treatment. We can generally keep these costs significantly lower than specialist dermatologists or the skin clinics in the region.

Claire the GP Registrar

As most of you know, Harley Street is a teaching practice for qualified doctors gaining additional specialist GP qualifications. They stay with us for 6 months during which time Graham or Hamish act as teachers and offer tutorials etc. Currently we have Claire Molineux here as our GP Registrar. She has a good background in Emergency Department medicine and general medicine and cardiology.

Winter illnesses

It is still not too late to get your flu vaccination, although the vast majority have had theirs by now. There has been a great uptake.

The kids around town are starting to spread respiratory viruses amongst each other and then bring them home and generously give them to their parents. Usual advice applies – fluids, rest, hand washing, cough and sneeze technique, don’t go to work or school if you are infectious and lemon and honey drinks.

Remember these are largely viral infections and will not be helped by antibiotics. If you or your kids have a persisting temperature, rapid breathing and are more unwell that you think you should be – get checked out.

Staff changes

After almost 30 years working with Graham, Marion is leaving! This is a great opportunity for her to be closer to family in Christchurch and she insists she will continue working in general practice. What she doesn’t know about running a General Practice is not worth knowing. She will be sorely missed.

Wendy Belcher who joined us as Practice Manager in October 2017 is now well established behind the scenes (and sometimes on reception and answering phones).

Kay Clausen is the new face at the desk – another West Coaster but with a Southland burr. She also has experience working in General Practice in Hokitika.

Liz Johnstone has joined the Practice Nurse team of Geri, Katy and Jeannie. She is an experienced Practice Nurse and like the others is a qualified cervical smear taker and vaccinator and will also be performing our spirometry assessments (lung function testing).

Smear your mea (smear your 'thingamy' !) / Cervical smears

The recent high profile early death from cervical cancer of Talei Morrison has emphasised that this is a preventable disease. The indignity of having a smear every 3 years is a small price to pay for making sure you never develop cervical cancer. Talei, who died in her forties, delayed having her smear and died of wide spread cancer. Her passionate plea was for all women to keep up regular smears.

For those of you with a cervix who are overdue for your smear – we will chase you to come in! Expect texts, phone calls and reminders when you come in for other appointments. If you are really clear you do not wish to have a smear, let us know.

To finish

Someone said…“you can hardly expect to medicate yourself out of a disease you have eaten your way in to”. This is just a reminder to think about those high sugar, high fat foods. Sugary drinks are probably the worst, particularly for kids and young adults.

Despite our earlier comments about skin cancer – getting out in the winter bright sunshine and crisp air is good for your mood and vitamin D levels. Not many regions have it quite like we do!.

 

Harley Street Team