Why it's time for your Flu vaccine

on Thursday, 10 September 2015. Posted in blog

2016 Flu vaccines available in Emsworth now

Why it's time for your Flu vaccine

It’s important that we take flu vaccinations seriously in the UK. The influenza virus is not just catching a cold; it’s much, much worse. Flu can be a lethal disease and should be treated accordingly.

Flu vaccines become available from mid September for those aged over 6 months in the UK. As flu vaccines take between 7-21 days to become effective in your system, the sooner you have yours the better.

Why have a flu vaccine?

Having a flu vaccine gives you a better chance of avoiding getting the flu this year and of passing it on to others. In this sense it is a win-win. Good for you and good for others, even if you aren’t worried you can consider it a service to your community to have the vaccine.

Chris Cook reported in the Guardian that last year even though the effectiveness of the flu vaccine was higher than in previous years. The death rate especially in older people of those catching the flu was high.

You can read the article here Guardian Flu article by Chris Cook

Staying protected from flu

Staying protected with a vaccine is the best way to try to protect your health and prevent this from being the case in the coming winter.

People who are considered ‘at risk’ by the NHS will be offered a vaccine on the NHS but those not considered at risk won’t be.

‘At risk’ categories include:

  • Being aged 65 and over (or will turn 65 by 31 March 2016)
  • Being pregnant
  • Have a certain medical condition such as diabetes or heart disease
  • Caring for someone whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill

As a doctor I would recommend that you get vaccinated whether you are in an at risk group or not. Even if you aren’t in an NHS defined ‘at risk’ group you can still catch the flu and the symptoms can be very severe.

Our specialist GPs can provide the right advice, make sure your needs are assessed and administer the flu vaccine to you at a time of day that suits your needs. The influenza vaccine costs £45.

The flu vaccine for children in 2016

This year the flu vaccine for children will be given as a nasal spray and will be available on the NHS to children ages 2,3,4 and in years reception one and two.

If you child aged between 6 months and 2 years old we can still offer the flu vaccination privately by way of an injection. If your child is in year three or above and not in an NHS defined ‘at risk’ category you will need to book them a flu vaccine privately. An injection costs £45 and the nasal spray which can be used on those aged two and over costs £75.

At Southdowns private healthcare our experienced GPs can administer Flu Vaccine to children.

Whatever your concerns we can help -  just give us a call on:

033 022 02000 or 01243 766447 or use our online booking system.

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Some alarming facts about skin cancer

on Monday, 10 August 2015. Posted in blog

Some alarming facts about skin cancer

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK and it is on the rise.

Here are some facts:

  • 7 people a DAY in the UK die from skin cancer
  • On average people dying of skin cancer lose 20 years of their lives 
  • At least two 15-34 year olds are being diagnosed with skin cancer every DAY in the UK

We need to act to reverse this trend. To help to protect yourself and your family you can take the following steps:

  • get your skin checked by a medical expert, 
  • check your moles and report and unusual findings to your doctor (see signs below)
  • use a good quality high factor sunscreen, 
  • don’t go out in the sun at it’s peak between 11am and 3pm 
  • cover up your head with a hat as your ears neck and scalp are vulnerable and often overlooked.

Here at Southdowns we offer a mole clinic so that we can help you keep an eye on your skin and check you and your family for signs of skin cancer. We can screen you for suspicious skin lesions, that may represent early skin cancer. We screen for Melanoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma. We can arrange for urgent Consultant Dermatology opinion should we feel its necessary. 

Whatever your concerns are about your skin we can help. Our mole clinics are run from our Emsworth Clinic in Hampshire close to Petersfield, Chichester and Portsmouth and in Harley Street, London. Our skin cancer screening can give you peace of mind if you’ve got concerns about any of your moles or skin blemishes. It is much better to get moles or other skin concerns checked out as soon as you notice any issues with them. As with all cancers the sooner you get a diagnosis and the sooner you can start treatment the better.

Signs to look out for with moles:

  • Getting bigger
  • Looking inflamed
  • Changes to the shape
  • Changes to the colour – getting darker, becoming patchy or multi shaded
  • Loss of symmetry - the two halves of your mole do not look the same
  • Itching or pain
  • Bleeding or becoming crusty

We can provide a mole check for you and your family to ensure that all is well. We can screen the whole family together for just £140*

Whatever your concerns we can help -  just give us a call on:

033 022 02000 or 01243 766447 or use our online booking system.

You can like our page on facebook and follow us on google +


*Terms and Conditions apply

Let's Talk About Sex - in the over 70's

on Monday, 13 July 2015. Posted in blog

A recent study by the University of Manchester found that over half (54%) of men and over a third (31%) of women over 70 said that they were still sexually active.

However we should remember that for this generation, sex education in schools was very limited and according to Professor Michael Reiss (Institute of Education, University of London), 'based largely on the reproductive habits of plants and non-human animals'. 

Whilst human reproduction may no longer be shrouded in mystery for this generation, they may not be quite so alert to the issues and risks of sexually transmitted infections. Professor Reiss noted, ' The post-second World War advent of antibiotics meant that for decades a fear of sexually transmitted infections played only a minor role in the thinking behind most school sex education programmes'.  

It is therefore perhaps not so surprising that we are now starting to see a rise in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) amongst older people. Since 2010 it has been the over 65s who have seen the biggest percentage increase in infection rates in all sexually transmitted infections, except syphilis.

With approximately 440,000 diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) made in England in 2014 over all age groups, we need to make sure this trend does not continue.

A lack of sexual health education targeted at the over 65s may be contributing to the issue. The current Public Health England marketing strategy has three broad life stages categories; Starting Well, Living Well and Ageing Well. Sexual health features firmly in the Living Well category and not in the Ageing Well one which focus on spotting signs of cancer and dementia. An Age UK poll of over 2,000 people revealed that over a quarter of people over 65 felt that they couldn't talk to their partner about sex and 69% had never sought sexual health advice.

With a lack of clear sexual health advice for the over 65s perhaps it's time we started talking about sex in the over 60s and ensuring that older people have the same access to sexual health testing and education as the younger generations.

We at Southdowns Private Healthcare, therefore suggest that when considering starting a new relationship, one should consider spending 15 minutes having a Sexual MOT for your own peace of mind and your partners safety.

Whatever your concerns we can help -  just give us a call on 01243 388 712  or use our online booking system.



"A Brief History of Sex Education" (2005), Professor Michael Reiss, Institute of Education, University of London


"Sexual health and wellbeing among older men and and women in England" University of Manchester and the National Centre of Social Research

Making time for your health

At Southdowns we believe that giving our patients time to discuss their health is a critical factor in good health.

Our consultations are unhurried, allowing us to fully explore your concerns and talk through any issues you want to discuss.

Patient Confidentiality

We do not share any information about our clients with anyone else, unless you give expressed permission. Unlike the NHS we operate an “opt-in” policy regarding data sharing, meaning that unless told otherwise we will not share your details with any third parties.