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Brixham practices join to organise flu clinics

Brixham practices prepare for the specially arranged flu clinics

People are being urged to book an appointment for either of this year’s two specially arranged flu clinics in Brixham Hospital.

The town’s three practices have joined together to organise the two Saturday events, with the aim of ensuring that as many people as possible get their flu jab this winter.

Flu can be a serious illness, particularly for those in the at-risk groups, so the GPs have made extra efforts this winter to ensure that they reach a wide array of residents.

Among those they are especially keen to reach are people who are particularly susceptible to the effects of flu because they have long-term health conditions, are pregnant, are over 65 or are young children.

The Brixham practices held the hospital clinics for the first time last year and they proved a huge success, so GPs are building on those events to make this year’s bigger and better. The clinics are on 11 and 18 of October.

Dr Richard Montgomery, St. Luke’s Medical Centre, said: “The central location of the hospital makes an ideal venue for the three Brixham practices to join forces to provide a healthcare service for the people of Brixham.

“The annual flu jab is really important, and it’s a massive undertaking for each surgery. Anything that makes it easier for patients and staff has got to be a good thing, so we’re urging the people of Brixham to come along and join in.”

Flu occurs every year, usually in winter, and is highly infectious, with symptoms that come on very quickly. Common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, headache, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness. People in the risk groups are more susceptible to complications, which can lead to hospitalisation or many weeks off work.

Trudi Marshall, practice manager at Greenswood Medical Centre, said: “Uniting as a community health team to provide a vital service to patients and using the facilities of the local hospital is empowering and rewarding for everyone involved.

“Also, because there is limited parking, it would be good if people could use public transport or car share when travelling to the clinics.

“We are aiming to make the days run as smoothly as possible, and we are fortunate to be supported by League of Friends, Brixham Does Care, Torbay Carers Lead and Devon Studio School, whose expertise will help to make the clinics another success.”

People eligible for a free flu vaccination are those who have a long-term health condition, are pregnant, are 65 or over, aged 2-4 years (nasal spray vaccine), live in a care home or are a carer.

David McIlrath, practice manager at Compass House, said: “Compass House is delighted to be involved with Greenswood and St. Luke's surgeries in the pioneering campaign to Keep Brixham Flu Free. We feel sure the combined clinics will bring together a great sense of community and enable all three surgeries to learn together and develop.”

Patient must book a flu appointment through their surgery.