This year, there has been a slight change to the Flu Vaccination Scheme that we offer. As always, we are able to vaccinate free-of-charge patients registered with a GP in the United Kingdom, who qualify for a flu jab, due to either age or a pre-existing condition that the NHS agrees makes you eligible. Carers are also eligible for free flu vaccines as the person they care for will suffer if they go down with flu.



This year, a new category has been added to those who qualify for a free flu jab and these are patients who are classified as morbidly obese. Now the government aren’t being overly generous here, as most of these patients will be eligible for a free jab for another medical reason. I’ve had people tell me all sorts to try and get a free flu jab but I think I will notice if somebody tries to pull the wool over my eyes on this one and a BMI of 40 should not be seen as a target in order to save the £10.00 a private flu jab will cost.

The customer is always right!

Quite often, something happens in the shop that is so funny that I think that it must go in my article for the following month. Then the grown-up hiding deep inside me has to consider whether it is a) appropriate for our readership b) appropriate for my profession and c) will


customer/member of staff know that I was talking about them!

Recently, a story was relayed to me by a member of staff that I felt was too good to miss. I made the judgement that the person involved either didn’t read my article or didn’t realise that’s what they did.

Our member of staff was on her way down to the shop from the surgery after picking up prescriptions. An older and very good customer stopped their car and offered her a lift, which she accepted. She was then taken on an expletive filled journey, flying down the middle of Castlegate whilst her driver made hand gestures at anyone who got in their way. She wasn’t sure if any of the recipients of these gestures recognised her but only time will tell.

I’ve been waiting on Castlegate every now and again in the hope that I get taken on the same journey! I occasionally get customers stopping me on the way home to see if I want a lift. If I decline, then please don’t take it that I assume you’re a road rage merchant too.

Know your limits!

We have heard from quite a few patients lately who have been told by a GP that they will have to buy their own paracetamol from now on. There is a big push for self-care both locally and nationally as commissioning groups try to make savings wherever they can. It is thought that encouraging people to buy ‘low-cost’ items will save the NHS a lot of money without significant harm to patients.

One issue that this ‘self-care’ agenda throws up, is one of a legal nature. Many of you will remember the time when you were able to buy pots of 100 paracetamol from the pharmacy. If I’m being honest, some of you still think you can! The law was changed back in 1998 to reduce the suicide risk.

I predict many protestations from patients who are clearly not a suicide risk but who can only buy three boxes of paracetamol at a time. Not being able to supply adequate quantities is equally frustrating for us I assure you but we will try to work with you to reduce the inconvenience as much as possible.

Nat Mitchell

31 Main Street, Cockermouth CA13 9LE 01900 822 292

Monday to Friday: 8.30am - 6.00pm and Saturday: 8.30am - 4.00pm

WWW.THECOCKERMOUTHPOST.CO.UK We are currently offering our

‘DROP IN’ service with short waiting times and large vaccine stocks

If you are eligible for a FREE NHS flu jab then you are welcome to have it with us regardless of which GP surgery you are registered with as long as it is in the UK

The eligible groups for the 2017/18 service are:

Those aged 65 years and over (including those who will be 65 years by 31st March 2018)

• respiratory disease, such as severe asthma, COPD or bronchitis

• chronic heart disease • kidney disease • liver disease

• neurological disease, e.g. Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease, or learning disability

• diabetes of any type

• immunosuppression due to disease or treatment (such as cancer treatment)

• spleen removal or splenic dysfunction • morbid obesity • pregnant women aged 18 or over

• people living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities

• carers

• household contacts of immunocompromised individuals who are aged 18 or over Those who are not eligible for a FREE NHS flu vaccine

can receive a private vaccine for just £10.00, provided they are 12 years or over. | 01900 822 292 For further information about our service please

visit our website or follow us on Facebook or Twitter 21 SEPTEMBER 2017 ISSUE 418 PAGE 9

People aged over 18 years of age with one or more of the following conditions:


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