Regular monitoring of this condition is available at the surgery. Your doctor or nurse will advise you if your attendance is appropriate.
Asthma is caused by inflammation of the airways. These are the small tubes, called bronchi, which carry air in and out of the lungs. If you have asthma, the bronchi will be inflamed and more sensitive than normal.
Please make it clear to reception staff that you are asthmatic when you phone.
Our practice nurses have specialist asthma qualifications. They run clinics in order that asthma may be assessed, advice offered, queries answered and the correct treatment ensured.
Patients on asthma medication should be seen at least once a year in the asthma clinic for a check up with the nurse to ensure that you continue to receive the best treatment for your condition.
The following factsheets, available from Patient UK give information and advice on a variety of asthma related topics:
- What is asthma; who does it affect?
- Management of Adult Asthma
- Management of Childhood Asthma
- Medicines inside inhalers; types of inhaler devices
- Peak Flow Meter
- NHS UK – Asthma’s symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment and living with the condition
- Asthma UK – an independent UK charity dedicated to conquering asthma.
If you have been advised by the surgery to submit an annual review of your asthma symptoms please use this form. If your symptoms are deteriorating or you are having any concerns please make an appointment with our Nurse.
Chronic Lung Disease Monitoring
Chronic Disease Monitoring follows the progress of a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease.
Also known as COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) people suffering from this have trouble breathing in and out. This is referred to as airflow obstruction.
Breathing difficulties are caused by long-term damage to the lungs, usually because of smoking.
At the surgery we regularly monitor patients with COPD and provide an action plan to assist and help you to relieve your symptoms and to ensure that you continue to receive the best treatment for your condition.
Diabetes is a long-term condition caused by too much glucose (sugar) in the blood, and for many people it is strongly linked to being overweight (Type 2 diabetes). However, a smaller number of people have diabetes due to their body producing antibodies against their insulin producing cells (Type 1 diabetes).
Diabetes is very common and increasing numbers of people are being diagnosed with this condition. With the right medical and lifestyle care, it is possible to stay healthy and live comfortably with this condition. For most people with Type 2 diabetes, a combination of lifestyle changes is all that is needed.
Our surgery offers dedicated diabetic clinics that are run by some of our nurses and doctors who have a special interest in this condition. However, all our doctors are very familiar with this common condition and are fully able to discuss the management of diabetes with you.
We can share with specialist diabetes teams in the community as well as hospital consultants, especially in more complex cases, however, we remain primarily responsible for your care.
We expect all our diabetic patients to attend our specialist clinic here at the surgery for an extended diabetic review and health check every year. This is an excellent and valuable opportunity to check that you are on the best possible treatment and to try and detect any early signs of complications arising. It also ensures safe prescribing of medicines and even if you are being seen by a specialist, we usually want to see you at least once a year.
At other times in the year, you may also need to come back to see our doctors and nurses for fine tuning of your diabetes.
Hypertension is the same as High Blood Pressure.
This condition occurs when the blood pressure in your circulation becomes too high, putting a strain on the vital organs such as the brain, the heart and the kidneys.
High blood pressure often causes no symptoms, or immediate problems, but it is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease (conditions that affect the functioning of the heart and the circulation of blood around the body). Examples of conditions that result from cardiovascular disease are strokes, heart attacks and kidney damage.
Treating high blood pressure with a combination of lifestyle changes and medication can lower the blood pressure, and can reduce the long term risks of cardiovascular disease.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, we advise regular follow-up appointments at the surgery with our doctors and nurses.
Once your blood pressure is adequately controlled on treatment, you will need less regular reviews.
We also have a blood pressure machine in reception, so please feel free to pop in when you are out shopping or passing by and check your blood pressure.
Self management of your blood pressure may reduce the frequency of your visits to the surgery for this condition. Please ask your doctor for further details about this when you next see them.
- High Blood Pressure Explained – NHS UK
- Blood Pressure Association
- British Heart Foundation
- British Hypertention Society
- Hertbeats – Hertbeats is a cardiac support group for St. Albans, Harpenden and surrounding areas for those who have suffered a heart event as well as partners, carers, people with hypertension or those interested in prevention.
Long Term Conditions (LTC) are health conditions that can impact on a person’s life, and may require ongoing care and support. We organise appointments and provide support for people who have an LTC by putting in place a way of working called ‘Care and Support Planning’.
What is care and support planning?
This way of working aims to give you the opportunity to get more out of your annual review appointments by reorganising the way things happen and giving you more information before you see one of our Nurses. It should help you talk about:
- What support you may need
- What is important to you
- What you can do to look after your health and stay well
Who is it for?
Any patient who has a Long Term Condition (LTC).
This way of working is nearly always preferred by patients. It will help both you and our Nurse make the best use of the time you have in your care and support planning appointment. All the important tests and results needed at your appointment will be available for discussion at your second appointment.
What does this mean for me?
This means that your care and support planning review will take place over two separate appointments and you will have time to think about what you want to get out of these visits.
What happens at the first appointment?
At the first appointment, you will be asked to attend the surgery to have a number of tests done with a Practice Nurse or Healthcare Assistant. The tests may include a blood test (non-fasting), weight, blood pressure and, if you’re diabetic, a foot check. The Practice Nurse or Healthcare Assistant will either book your next appointment which will be with one of our Nurses, or ask you to arrange this appointment with the Reception desk.
What happens next?
Your test results from this appointment will be available when you attend to see the Nurse. The results of this test will be discussed with the Nurse and any appropriate action taken.
What happens at the care and support planning appointment?
At your care and support planning appointment you will be able to ask questions and talk about what’s important to you. The Nurse will raise any issues she is concerned about. Once you both agree on the main things to work on, you will get the chance to work out a plan and identify any support you need to help you look after your health.
There are a number of services that can help you when it comes to looking after yourself if you have the following Long Term Conditions – Diabetes, Chronic Heart Disease, (CHD), Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).