Protect your child from flu this winter

Parents from across Norfolk and Waveney are being urged to protect their children from flu this winter by getting a simple, pain-free nasal spray from their practice nurse or school.

Flu can be a very unpleasant illness for children, with potentially serious complications including bronchitis and pneumonia. But protecting them is simple, and involves a single squirt of vaccine sprayed up each nostril.

The spray is not only needle-free – a big advantage for children – but is also quick and painless. The vaccine is absorbed very quickly, and will still work even if a child develops a runny nose, sneezes or blows their nose after having the spray.

This year, the vaccine will be available free on the NHS for eligible children, including:

  • children aged two, three and four on 31 August 2016 (who will usually be given the vaccine by a practice nurse at their GP surgery)
  • children in school years one, two and three (who will usually have their vaccination at school)
  • children aged two to 17 with long-term health conditions such as diabetes, who will need to have the nasal spray instead of the flu jab, which they were previously given

Over the next few years, the programme will be extended gradually to include older children.

GP practices and schools will get in touch with parents about the vaccination over the coming weeks. Anyone who hasn’t heard from their GP by November should contact them directly to make an appointment. Anyone with any questions should talk to their GP practice or their child’s school nurse.

The flu vaccine for children has a good safety record. In the UK, millions of children have been vaccinated safely and successfully.

The vaccine contains live but weakened flu viruses that do not cause flu in children and help them build up immunity to flu in a similar way as natural infection, but without the symptoms.

Because the main flu viruses change each year, a new nasal spray vaccine has to be given each year, in the same way as the injectable flu vaccine.

For further information, visit

Get your flu jab

GP practices are calling on patients to help themselves stay well this winter by booking in for a free NHS flu vaccination if they’re eligible.

Flu clinics will be taking place in Norfolk from mid-September onwards so now is the time to ask at your GP practice if you think you are eligible.


Primary Care Committee meets

NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group’s Primary Care Joint Commissioning Committee meets later this week.

The meeting will be held in public on Thursday 25th August 2016, from 10am-12pm in the Westwick Room of Norwich City Hall.

It is a joint committee with NHS England, to manage primary care in Norwich, including GP and dental services. The agenda and papers for the committee can be viewed at

Termination of Pregnancy Services

Marie Stopes International (MSI) has confirmed that all women who require services that are currently suspended, have been contacted to make alternative arrangements.

MSI has told NHS Commissioners they believe suspension is a “short term and voluntary measure”.

There is a national helpline for patients to call if they have concerns: 0345 300 8090 (24hrs 7 days a week)

New Norwich GP Surgery holding Open Day

Norwich’s newest GP surgery is holding an open day for patients and the local community this weekend (Saturday Agust 30th, 2016).

Lionwood Medical Practice is in Wellesley Avenue North, off the Plumstead Road in Norwich. It opened in April and brought together two surgeries Heartsease and Thorpe Road on to one modern and spacious site.

There are 13 consulting rooms, a minor operations and treatment room, a light and airy waiting area and a well stocked pharmacy next door, for local people’s convenience. It is currently accepting new patients.

This weekend Lionwood Medical Practice is holding its first Open Day for the local community and existing patients from between 10am and 3pm on Saturday 30th July 2016.

There will be plenty to do for everyone in the family – from health education and local voluntary organisations offering great advice to hair braiding and face painting.

There will even be a host of famous movie characters in costumers moving around to meet, greet and add some sparkle to the occasion.

Dr Saffana Rasul said: “We have been open for four months now, so this open day is a chance for us to welcome our patients and the community to the practice.

“This is an opportunity to share information about local services and help that is available in an informal setting.

“We would like to evolve the practice to become a local community hub where we can arrange health education meetings for those people with a chronic disease, provide first aid and basic life support training to families, and encourage other health professionals such as Health Visitors, the Wellbeing Service, Age UK among others to hold meetings in our education room for the local community. “

Lionwood Medical Practice can be reached using buses from the city centre which stop in nearby Plumstead Road stop and there is plenty of parking and cycle racks outside.