Health Topics

Bowel Screening

Bowel cancer is the third most common form of cancer in Scotland after lung and breast cancer. Every year almost 4000 people are diagnosed with the disease.
The Scottish Bowel Screening Programme will invite all men and women between the ages of 50 and 74 for screening every two years. Bowel Cancer screening aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms. The earlier cancer is found the more likely treatment is to be effective.
Research shows that regular bowel cancer screening reduces the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16%. This is why we urge everyone who is offered screening to take up this simple test – IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE.
For further information on bowel screening please contact:
Bowel Screening Centre Helpline on:0800 0121 833 where trained staff are available to answer any questions you may have.
You can also visit:

Carers Information


Are you providing emotional and practical support to someone who might not manage without your help? You may not recognise yourself as a carer but without your help they may be unable to live in their own home. Some take on the role as a carer willingly out of a sense of love and commitment and others becuase they feel they have no choice. Caring is often rewarding but also demanding, isolating and stressful.

If you are a carer you may welcome support from the GP practice, please contact us to let us know if you are a carer.

As a carer you are entitled to have your needs assessed by the South Ayrshire Carers Centre which offers impartial and confidential help. This assessment is free of charge and you will have the chance to talk about your needs as a carer and the possible ways in which they can halp. They also look at the needs of the person you care for.

Contact: South Ayrshire Carers Centre

43 Sandgate



Tel: 01292 263000

email: [email protected]

opening hours:

Monday – Thursday 9.30am-5pm

Friday 9.30am-4pm


To improve patient care, the practice participates in local Practice Learning Training along with all South Ayrshire GP Practices.

The practice will be closed for PLT events throughout the year. Posters will be displayed when these events are planned.

If you require medical attention during these events please contact: NHS24 on Tel: 111

Benifits Advice


South Ayrshire Council are available to offer advice and assistance with any queries relating to benefits for all patients. They can be contacted on:

Tel: 01292 268119

If you are aged 60 or over you can seek Benefits Advice or assistance with form filling. Please contact Margaret to arrange an appointment.

Margaret McCulloch

Patient income Maximiser

Intermediate Care and Enablement

Tel: 01292 665725


It is the policy of this practice to respect the privacy, dignity, cultural and religious beliefs of all of our patients.

If you feel you would like a chaperone present during a physical examination by a doctor or other health professional when you attend for an appointment (or if you wish to be examined by a doctor or health professional of the same sex as yourself), then please let us know and we will do our best to comply with your wishes.

We have two trained members of staff that are available for chaperone.

Childhood Vaccinations

One of the most important things that a parent can do for their child is to make sure that they have all their routine childhood vaccinations. It’s the most effective way of keeping them protected against infectious diseases.
Ideally, kids should have their jabs at the right age to protect them as early as possible and minimise the risk of infection.

Vaccination Checklist
Here’s a checklist of the vaccines that are routinely offered to everyone in the UK for free on the NHS, and the age at which you should ideally have them.
2 months:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib, a bacterial infection that can cause severe pneumonia or meningitis in young children) given as a 5-in-1 single jab known as DTaP/IPV/Hib
  • Pneumococcal infection

3 months:

  • 5-in-1, second dose (DTaP/IPV/Hib)
  • Meningitis C

4 months:

  • 5-in-1, third dose (DTaP/IPV/Hib)
  • Pneumococcal infection, second dose
  • Meningitis C, second dose

Between 12 and 13 months:

  • Meningitis C, third dose
  • Hib, fourth dose (Hib/MenC given as a single jab)
  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), given as a single jab
  • Pneumococcal infection, third dose

3 years and 4 months, or soon after:

  • MMR second jab
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio (DtaP/IPV), given as a 4-in-1 pre-school booster

Around 12-13 years:

  • Cervical cancer (HPV) vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer (girls only): three jabs given within six months

Around 13-18 years:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus and polio booster (Td/IPV), given as a single jab

65 and over:

  • Flu (every year)
  • Pneumococcal

Vaccines For Risk Groups
People who fall into certain risk groups may be offered extra vaccines. These include vaccinations against diseases such as hepatitis B, tuberculosis (TB), seasonal flu and chickenpox. See the NHS Choices pages on vaccines for adults to find out whether you should have one.
Read more about vaccines for kids on the NHS Choices website.

Content provided by NHS Choices.

Dementia Awerness

FREEPHONE: 0808 808 3000
EMAIL: [email protected]
TEL: 01292 318 005
MOBILE: 07585 331 946
EMAIL: [email protected]

<strong>Vaccinations & Immunisation</strong>

Vaccinations and immunisations are usually carried out by the Health Visitors and Practice Nurses by appointment.

They fall into four general categories, childhood (Health Visitors), adult, travel and influenza (Practice Nurses), each of which is dealt with below.

In general the practice will contact you when further vaccination or immunisation protection is recommended but please do not hesitate to contact the practice for an appointment if you consider that you need additional protection.

If you have any questions about vaccinations or immunisation, please contact reception in the first instance. If necessary, they will arrange for you to speak with one of the nurses or doctors.


The practice will contact all parents of children regarding the recommended programme of immunisation and vaccinations for all children up to the age of 18 as follows:

onths old
Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Haemophilus Influenza type B (DTaP/IPV/Hib)

Pneumococcal (PCV)

Rotavirus (Rotavirus Vaccine)

Meningococcal type B (MenB)

Three injections and one oral preperation

3 months old
Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Haemophilus Influenza type B (DTaP/IPV/Hib)

Rotavirus (Rotavirus Vaccine

One injections and one oral preperation
4 months old
Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Haemophilus Influenza type B (DTaP/IPV/Hib)

Pneumococcal (PCV)

Meningitis C (MenC)

Three Injections
Between 12 and 13 months old – within a month of the first birthday
Haemophilus Influenza type B (Hib)

Meningitis C (MenC)

Pneumococcal Disease (PCV)

Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)

Meningococcal Type B (MenB)
Four injections

2 to 11 years – annually

Influenza (flu)

Injection or nasal spray

3 Years 4 months old or soon after

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and polio (dTaP/IPV or DTaP/IPV)

Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)

Two Injections
Girls aged 11 to 13 years oldHuman Papillomavirus (HPV)One injection
Around 14 years old
Diphtheria, tetanus, polio (Td/IPV)

While the practice is sympathetic to the views of a number of parents regarding some vaccinations and will endeavour to accommodate the wishes of parents as far as possible, it is the professional view of all doctors in the practice that the benefits of the recommended programme of immunisation and vaccinations for children far outweigh any potential risk.


Tetanus Boosters are recommended for all adults every ten years. Stocks are held in the surgery. If you require a tetanus booster, please make an appointment with the nurse.

From time to time situations may develop or new vaccinations become available that may make additional vaccinations desirable. Typically these will get media attention. We will endeavour to provide information for patients in the Notice Board and Medical News pages of this website under News, together with posters on the surgery noticeboard.


Annual Influenza Vaccinations are recommended for many people at the start of winter. Clinics will commence late autumn each year, for those over 65 or with a recognised risk factor. Dates for these Clinics will be displayed in the surgery and on the web site Notice Board. Please contact reception to make an appointment at one of these clinics.

The practice will endeavour to contact all patients considered to be at risk. There will also be notices in the Surgery and on the Notice Board page of this web site. There will also be national press and media advertising.

Travel Immunisations/Vaccinations (please also see Travel Vaccine Questionnaire page on this website)

The Practice provides an excellent service for patients travelling abroad. This includes, but is not necessarily confined to, confirming and administering necessary or recommended travel vaccines, general advice, recommending and providing relevant private prescriptions for appropriate malarial chemoprophylaxis.

This work is predominantly carried out by our highly trained Practice Nurses who set aside time each day to organise and manage this increasing volume of work. Unfortunately the provision of this travel service under the terms and conditions of our work within the NHS is not recognised or remunerated.

Stop Smoking

Want to Stop Smoking?

NHS Choices suggest eight practical, quick and simple steps you can take straight away to quit smoking
1. Talk to your GP

Many people don’t realise that their GP can help them quit smoking. But your doctor can do a lot, such as enrolling you in a ‘stop smoking’ clinic and prescribing nicotine replacement therapy such as patches and gum, or stop smoking medication such as Champix.
Find out more about how your GP can help you quit.
2. Join an NHS Stop Smoking Service

The NHS has stop smoking services staffed by trained stop smoking advisers all over the country in a range of venues at times to suit you. You can join a group where local smokers meet once a week or have one-to-one support if you prefer. You usually go for a few weeks and work towards a quit date.
Find your nearest NHS Stop Smoking Service from the NHS Smokefree website, or call 0800 022 4332.
3. Get a free ‘Quit Kit’

The kit is packed with practical tools and advice to help you stop smoking, including a ‘tangle’ to keep hands busy, a wallchart to keep track of your progress, stress-busting MP3 downloads, information on medicines that can help you stop smoking and exercises to improve your willpower.
Order your Quit Kit online.
4. Get a ‘cheerleader’ and stop smoking together

Sign up for the NHS Smokefree Together Programme and you’ll receive a supportive phone call, email and text the week before you quit, the day you quit and the following week.
5. Have an emergency phone number

Keep an emergency number, perhaps for your local NHS Stop Smoking Service.

Read more about how to cope with cravings.
6. Consider using NRT

Nicotine is addictive, and self-control alone might not be enough. Give yourself a better chance of success by using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). This is available either free or on prescription from your GP, depending on where you live or from your local NHS Stop Smoking Service.
Find your nearest NHS Stop Smoking Service from the NHS Smokefree website, or call 0800 022 4332. Or, you can buy nicotine patches, gum and so on over the counter from a pharmacy.
7. Email an expert

Ask an expert for advice through NHS Smokefree’s Ask an expert service.
8. Get online help

Use our stop smoking tool to get daily tips for success.
Read more about the stop smoking treatments available on the NHS.

Content provided by NHS Choices.

Get Fit For Free

The secret to getting fit for free is to use every opportunity to be active.
Armed with a bit of get-up-and-go and good planning, you can be fitter than ever without spending a penny.
NHS Choices have enlisted the help of top fitness experts to help you explore new ways and places to exercise for free. Click on the following to find out more:

<strong>Healthy Weight Ayrshire</strong>

Would you like information to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight for you and your family? We’ve got an app for that…

Search your App store for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, download and install the App, and then select Healthy Weight Ayrshire.

Direct Link for Android

Direct Link for Apple

The free app provides helpful information about:

  1. Local services and support
  2. Early Years 1 – 5
  3. Child Healthy Weight
  4. Adult Weight Management
  5. Bariatric Surgery
  6. Wellbeing and Eating Well
  7. Useful Links/Apps

Visit our website:



Looking after someone?

Caring for someone can be very difficult and many people find that they need extra help with the care they provide.

Find out what support you might be able to receive here – provided by NHS Choices. This page also provides lots of help and advice.

Carers Direct – 0808 802 0202

Free, confidential information and advice for carers.

Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm at weekends. Calls are free from UK landlines or you can request a free call back.

You can also ask for a call back in one of more than 170 languages.

You can send a query to our advisers by email.

Find out more about the Carers Direct helpline.

Mental Health

One in four affected
It’s easy to think that mental health issues don’t concern us, but in fact a quarter of us will have problems with our mental wellbeing at some time in our lives.
Mental health problems are equally common in men and women, but the types of problems differ. Women are one-and-a-half times more likely to be affected by anxiety and depression, while men suffer more from substance abuse (one in eight men is dependent on alcohol) and anti-social personality disorders. Men are also more prone to suicide: British men are three times more likely than British women to die as a result of suicide.
Serious mental health problems are also more common than you might think. One person in 100 has a severe mental health condition such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
All these figures are based on people who have sought help for their mental health problems. Many more could be living with undiagnosed mental health issues, according to mental health charity MIND.
If you’re worried about your mental health, or if someone in your life is affected, there are plenty of ways to get help. Find out more about mental health support.
You can also contact mental health charities such as Sane and the Mental Health Foundation.
Read more at NHS Choices

Travel Vaccines

There’s no point spending hours choosing your swimwear, beach bag and flip-flops if you barely think about the bugs and other health risks that could ruin your holiday.
Almost one in four UK holidaymakers don’t get any vaccinations despite travelling to areas that have life-threatening infectious disease.
Find out which travel jabs you need for your destination.
It’s not worth skipping travel vaccinations. Infectious diseases can make you very sick, spoil your holiday and even kill or cripple you.
Vaccinations protect you against many travel-related infections, such as yellow fevertyphoid and hepatitis A. Use the information on these pages to learn about travel vaccines, which ones you need for your destination, and when and where to get them.
For additional general information, read our articles on travel health.
The vaccines
The vaccinations currently available for travellers abroad.
More on the vaccines
What’s available on the NHS?
Some travel vaccinations are freely available on the NHS. Others are only available privately.
More on NHS and private travel jabs
When and where
Where and when to have your travel jabs.
More on where and when

Content provided by NHS Choices.


Contraception is free for most people in the UK. With 15 methods to choose from, you’ll find one that suits you.
Contraceptive methods allow you to choose when and if you want to have a baby, but they don’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms help to protect against STIs and pregnancy, so whatever other method of contraception you’re using to prevent pregnancy, use condoms as well to protect your and your partner’s health.
Where to get it
Contraceptive services are free and confidential, including to people under 16 as long as they are mature enough to understand the information and decisions involved. There are strict guidelines to for care professionals who work with people under 16.
You can get contraception free from:

  • most GP surgeries (talk to your GP or practice nurse),
  • community contraceptive clinics,
  • some genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics,
  • sexual health clinics (these offer contraceptive and STI testing services), and
  • some young people’s services (call 0800 567123).

Find sexual health services.
Many of these places also offer information, testing and treatment for STIs. If you’ve been exposed to the risk of pregnancy, you’re also at risk of catching an STI.
Before you make an appointment, make sure you’re as informed as possible about the contraceptive options available. People’s choice of contraception may vary over time, depending on their lifestyle and circumstances.
Contraception and menopause
Women who have sex with men and don’t want to get pregnant need to keep on using contraception until they haven’t had a period for more than 12 months (menopause).
This is because periods can become irregular before they stop entirely, and pregnancy can still occur during this time. Find out more about menopause.
The methods of contraception
There are lots of methods to choose from, so don’t be put off if the first thing you use isn’t quite right for you; you can try another. You can read about each of the different methods of contraception by visiting these pages:

There are two permanent methods of contraception:

To find your nearest contraception clinic you can use the NHS Choices service search. Enter your postcode, click ‘search’, then click ‘contraception’.
You can also look in the phone book under ‘sexual health’, or use the fpa clinic finder.
You can find out more about each type of contraception by contacting:

  • FPA: provider of information on individual methods of contraception, common sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy choices, abortion and planning a pregnancy.
  • Brook: the young people’s sexual health charity for under-25s.

In addition to your chosen method of contraception, you need to use condoms to prevent STIs. Always buy condoms that have the CE mark on the packet. This means that they’ve been tested to the high European safety standards. Condoms that don’t have the CE mark won’t meet these standards, so don’t use them.

Content provided by NHS Choices.

Flu and the Flu Vaccine

Flu is a highly infectious illness that spreads rapidly through the coughs and sneezes of people who are carrying the virus.
If you’re at risk of complications from flu, make sure you have your annual flu jab available from September onwards. Flu symptoms can hit quite suddenly and severely. They usually include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles. You can often get a cough and sore throat.
Because flu is caused by a virus and not bacteria, antibiotics won’t treat it.
Anyone can get flu, but it can be more serious for certain people, such as:

  • people aged 65 or over
  • people who have a serious medical condition
  • pregnant women

If you are in one of these groups, you’re more vulnerable to the effects of flu (even if you’re fit and healthy) and could develop flu complications, which are more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, which could result in hospitalisation.

Flu can also make existing medical conditions worse.

Read more about flu.

Should you have the flu jab?

See your GP about the flu jab if you’re 65 or over, or if you have any of the following problems (however old you are):

  • a serious heart complaint
  • a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including asthmabronchitis and emphysema
  • serious kidney disease
  • diabetes
  • lowered immunity due to disease or treatment such as steroid medication or cancer treatment
  • if you have a problem with your spleen or you have had your spleen removed
  • if you have ever had a stroke

Your GP may advise you to have a flu jab if you have serious liver disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) or some other diseases of the nervous system.
Can I get a flu jab privately?
Yes, you can pay for the flu vaccination privately if you’re unable to have it on the NHS. It is available from some pharmacies and GPs on a private patient basis.
Pregnant women and the flu jab
If you’re pregnant, you should have the flu jab, regardless of the stage of pregnancy you’ve reached. Pregnant women are more prone to complications from flu that can cause serious illness for both mother and baby.
If you are pregnant and catch flu, talk to your GP urgently as you may need treatment with antiviral medicine.
Read more about the flu jab in pregnancy.
Children and the flu jab
You may have read that all children are now able to have the flu jab on the NHS. This isn’t quite true. Although it’s been recommended that all children between the ages of 2 and 17 should have an annual flu vaccination, this won’t be offered to them on the NHS until 2014. For more information read our flu vaccine for children Q&A.
In the meantime, it’s important that children with a long-term health condition receive the flu jab because their illness could get worse if they catch flu. This includes any child over the age of six months with a long-term health problem such as a serious respiratory or neurological condition.
If you have a child with a long-term condition, speak to your GP about whether they should have the flu vaccination.
Carers and the flu jab
If you’re the carer of an elderly or disabled person, make sure they’ve had their flu jab. As a carer, you could be eligible for a flu jab too. Ask your GP for advice, or read our information about Flu jabs for carers.
How to get the flu jab
If you think you need a flu vaccination, check with your GP, practice nurse or your local pharmacist.
The best time of the year to have a flu vaccination is in the autumn from September to early November. Most GP surgeries arrange flu vaccination clinics around this time. It’s free and it’s effective against the latest flu virus strains.
Even if you’ve already had a flu jab in previous years, you need another one this year. The flu jab may only protect you for a year. This is because the viruses that cause flu are always changing.
The pneumo jab
When you see your GP for a flu jab, ask whether you also need the ‘pneumo jab‘ to protect you against some forms of pneumococcal infection. Like the flu jab, it’s available free on the NHS to everyone aged 65 or over, and for younger people with some serious medical conditions.
How effective is the flu jab?
No vaccine is 100% effective, however, people who have had the flu jab are less likely to get flu. If you do get flu despite having the jab, it will probably be milder than if you haven’t been vaccinated.
The flu jab doesn’t cause flu as it doesn’t contain live viruses. However, you may experience side effects after having the jab, such as a temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards. Your arm may feel sore at the site where you were injected. More severe reactions are rare.
The flu vaccine only protects against flu, but not other illnesses caused by other viruses, such as the common cold.
Who shouldn’t have the flu jab?
You shouldn’t have the flu vaccination if:

  • you’ve had a serious reaction to a flu vaccination before
  • you have a high temperature (postpone it until you’re better)

Not all flu vaccines are suitable for children, so discuss this with your GP beforehand.
Speak to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist if you have any further questions.
Read more about the flu jab.

Content provided by NHS Choices.