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Deciding when a sore throat is bad enough to see your GP can be difficult.
But here are some facts that might help.
For further information go to Information and Self Management of Sore Throats and NHS Choices
In addition you may find this video useful in understanding tonsillitis in more detail:
This is a characteristic pink rash that usually follows a sore throat and sometimes a skin infection called impetigo.
The rash appears as a reaction to a bacteria called "streptococcus".
For more information on Scarlet Fever and what to do about it please go to NHS Choices - Scarlet Fever
When is a cough serious?
This can be a difficult question but be reassured that most coughs go on there own and do not require antibiotics, even though they may last for a number of weeks.
Here are some suggestions that may help you decide whether your cough has developed into a pneumonia
If you have any of these symptoms then we would suggest you ring and ask for a telephone consultation from one of our GP in the first instance so that we can decide with you the best course of action.
For further information got to General Information on Coughs and for information on antibiotic use go to Royal College of General Practitioners Antibiotic Guide
Remember respiratory tract infections are more likely if you smoke. As well as introducing cancer causing agents into your body, smoking damages the body's own mechanism for cleaning your lungs of inhaled particles.
We strongly recommend that you give up smoking. Go to Smoke Free NHS Service
Back pain is very common and will affect most people at some point in there lives. The majority of cases in the younger population are described as " mechanical back pain " and " degenerative back disease " in the older age group. Whilst we cannot definitively cure these complaints there are things you can do to help reduce your symptoms. See Back Pain Prevention
Deciding when its serious enough to see your GP is difficult, and if you are uncertain ask for a telephone consultation first.
As a general rule the following symptoms may indicate a serious underlying cause for which we would recommend you contact the surgery for a telephone consultation in the first instance:
In addition it may be worth reading through some of this trusted information from NHS Choices available at NHS advice on Back Pain
Your can also refer yourself to physiotherapist at Derriford Hospital . Go to Physiotherapy at Derriford
On line exercises and videos can als be found at Exercises and information for back pain and sciatica on NHS Choices
Other information on exercise can also be found here Back Pain Exercises
Most cases of acute ( short lived ) diarrhoea in children arise as the result of a viral infection of the bowel known as viral gastroenteritis.It is usually self limiting and will pass within a week.
The biggest risk to your child, especially if accompanied by vomiting, is dehydration so tackling this is very important.
The following link takes you to some trusted information that's worth reading through Diarrhoea in Children.
Please seek help urgently if your child exhibits the following signs:
REMEMBER severe dehydration is life threatening.
The following App is available free on both Android and Apple platforms and is a tool you may find useful in managing the care of your child and in deciding whether you need to seek support from health care professionals - check out the " Handi Paediatric" App.
Acute diarrhoea in adults is usually a self limiting illness cause by an infection of the bowel which in most cases is viral and as such antibiotics will not make any difference to the course of the illness. Most bouts stop within 2-4 days but some may last longer.
Dehydration is the main risk especially if you have vomiting as well so ensuring good fluid intake is essential. In addition you should try and eat as normally as possible.
Severe dehydration has the following signs and should be treated as medical emergency:
Useful information about acute diarrhoea in adults can be found at Acute Diarrhoea in Adults
There are many causes for rashes in both children and adults.
Here is a distillation of what we see most commonly and what patients often worry about.
Rash associated with Meningitis
In practice this is very rare and if it is seen it needs to be acted immediately upon as it suggest the presence of a life threatening illness.Here is what it looks like:
Meningitis Rash and the Glass test
The rash is like small areas of bleeding under the skin and pressure on it with a glass will NOT cause it to disappear.
If you see this rash the individual with it should be given emergency medical treatment.
Also known as "nettle rash" this is a common rash.
NHS Choices Information on Urticaria
This rash is quite common and presents usually in association with viral colds.It is self limiting, sometimes quite itchy and usually passes within 2-12 weeks. An initial patch called "herald patch" normal appears first before the rash spreads across the whole torso.
A Herald Patch is shown above. Go to NHS Choices for more information
Hand-Foot-and Mouth Disease
This is a viral illness that is usually self limiting. More information can be found at NHS Choices
Shingles is a painful rash that represents a recurrence of chickenpox. After chickenpox as a child the virus can lie dormant in the spine and at times later in ones life the virus can spread out along a nerve causing burning and pain first followed by a blistering rash on one side of the body often in a line along which the nerve is running.
For more information on shingles go to Introduction to Shingles
Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the clear film over the front of the eye called the conjunctiva. The white of your eyes will become blood shot and you may or may not have a discharge from your eye.
There are 2 main forms of conjunctivitis- those caused by infection from viruses or bacteria, and those caused by allergy.
Most cases of those caused by infection will settle spontaneously within 1-2 weeks and do not require antibiotics.
For more information go to NHS Choices Information on Conjunctivitis
Your local pharmacy can provide treatment including antibiotic eye drops and a list of those engaged in this scheme is available here Pharmacy First Providers in Devon
Earache is a common presentation in general practice and arises most commonly as a result of infection and trauma.
Infection can occur in the tube running down from your ear to the ear drum ( known as Otitis Externa ) or behind the ear drum itself ( known as Otitis Media ).
In addition a blow to the ear can cause the ear drum to rupture ( known as a perforated ear drum ).
Ear wax is also very common and in itself if a normal finding. However it can cause deafness, discomfort and dizziness.
Please read this LEAFLET for more information on what to do and how to manage these problems yourself.
Urinary tract infections represent infections that have got into the urinary system from outside the body. Lower urinary tract infections are infections involving the bladder primarily (cystitis) and are less serious than upper urinary tract infections that occur when the infection reaches the kidneys (pyelonephritis).
They are a common reason for individuals to request an appointment with their GP.
However a significant number of these infections can be managed without requesting a face to face GP appointments.
If you think you have a urinary infection our reception staff will provide you with a questionnaire and where appropriate a sterile urine bottle. Or simply download it from the links below.
By using the questionnaire you can help us provide you with the right care at the right time and in so doing we can make better use of our limited clinical capacity.
Children under 14, pregnant women and individuals who have catheters in place require additional care and the reception staff will facilitate this for you.
Urinary tract Infection Questionnaire Females
Urinary Tract Infection Questionnaire Men