If a patient has been diagnosed as having asthma the GP will prescribe an inhaler, will provide information about the illness and give advice on management. If well controlled, asthma is an illness which allows normal day to day functioning, but symptoms can change very quickly. For this reason it is necessary for the patient to attend the asthma clinic at regular intervals.
The Asthma clinic is run by our Practice Nurse, and appointments are available on Tuesday and Wednesday between 9.00am and 5.00pm. The nurse will ask about symptoms and medication, check breathing tests and inhaler technique, and alter management as required. Information may be supplied about support at school and in the workplace. Education about sudden changes in symptoms and Emergency Treatment is essential. Two or three visits per year are advisable.
As part of our review of clinical management we participate in regular audit and occasionally in medication trials. This will not interfere with your medical treatment, but you are able to decline involvement at any time.
Diabetes is another chronic illness which if left unobserved and untreated can cause serious long term effects such as kidney, eye and circulatory difficulties. If monitored carefully, and if blood pressure and cholesterol levels are well controlled, this illness will not limit normal daily activities.
To be diagnosed the patient will have had blood sugar levels checked on several occasions, either in hospital, at the surgery, in the work place or even in pharmacies. High blood sugars or sugar in the urine are signs that the body is no longer dealing well with the levels in the system. Symptoms may, but not always, include thirst, going more to the toilet to pass urine , tiredness and weight loss. Once identified the patient will be asked to attend our diabetic clinic for observation and treatment.
The clinic is run by our Practice Nurse, and appointments are available at any time suitable to you. If making an appointment let the staff know that you require a review of diabetes so that extra time can be allocated. The nurse will check blood and urine tests, monitor blood pressure, arrange chiropody and eye checks if required, and discuss dietary changes. Education about the illness will be provided. To stop smoking and do a little exercise are also important and you can be supported in these. Diabetes can also affect sex drive, so the nurse may ask if you have any worries. Treatments are available for this.
Some diabetics, usually those diagnosed as younger people, require insulin treatment and this means visits to the hospital several times a year. However, most people are controlled either with good diet or with tablets. If started on medicine this will be put on your repeat prescription. Regular Nurse reviews will be offered to you.
When our female patients reach the time when their menopause commences, which can be anytime between 40 and 55 years -but is usually mid to late forties, they may experience many different symptoms including period changes, hot flushes, skin and hair differences, fatigue and mood fluctuations. This is called the perimenopause and for some can be a bit of a nuisance! Other woman can slip through these changes without any problems.
We will invite you to our menopause clinic at the age of 45- 47 years. This service is offered by the Health Visitors and it is a good opportunity to have general health screening, to discuss symptoms and be educated about the changes your body is experiencing. We offer bone screening- for osteoporosis, access to exercise classes, advice about incontinence and, if required, medication for symptom relief. These days HRT is getting 'bad press' but we still believe that in the short term this treatment is safe, effective and, for some, essential. We can advise on alternative therapies or remedies.
Ladies First clinic
As part of the Windmill Practice's contract with the Health Board we offer the Ladies First Clinic, which you may have heard of, which takes place in the Health Centre on Thursday evenings. Women within the Motherwell area are being called by appointment to this clinic and they are offered a similar service to that described above. Eventually ladies in this practice will be called to attend that clinic.