5th Ave News Winter 2018

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5 AveNews th


| WINTER 2018

Welcome Alison James

Our new GP The Fifth Avenue Family Practice team is delighted to welcome experienced GP Alison James to our team. English-born Alison trained as a doctor

a focus on how our emotional health

in London, and has worked as a GP in

is intimately connected to our physical

Tauranga, based in Bethlehem, for the

health. Really this is what most GPs

past 13 years.

are looking at all the time! I also enjoy

“I am really excited to be joining the

women’s health, and I am open-minded

great team here at Fifth Avenue Family

about complementary medicine that is

Practice. I look forward to getting to


bringing up her blended family of four

know patients here, many of whom

Alison first came to New Zealand in

children, aged 8, 9, 10 and 12, with

have been with this practice for a

1998, and says she quickly knew it was

partner Richard.

considerable length of time,” says Alison.

a great place to live and work. After

“We are a busy family with after-school

“I also work as one of the GP Liaisons at

returning briefly to the UK to finish her

activities filling a lot of the time – soccer,

the District Health Board. This is a role

GP training in Cornwall she returned to

rugby, dance, gymnastics and athletics.

that helps provide links between primary

New Zealand in 2002.

“Our family love to go on adventures!

care (GP) and hospital-based services.”

“I have lived in Tauranga ever since and

Most of them are locally-based such as

Alison feels incredibly privileged to work

count myself incredibly lucky to be in

camping in the many lovely areas of

as a GP and be involved in significant

such a beautiful part of the world. It’s

New Zealand.”

moments in people’s lives.

got a great combination of gorgeous

In her free time Alison loves running –

“I love the huge variety in the job

natural beauty with a growing city feel,

she completed a full marathon two

and the chance to get to know such a

and I’m especially glad to be bringing up

years ago – and helps run a local choir,

wide range of different folk. I have an

my children here.”

Vocal Chords.

interest in mental health and what is

When she’s not working, Alison is busy

Please join us in welcoming Alison

known as mind-body medicine. This is

with life on an avocado orchard and

to Fifth!

Nurse’s Tip When leaving a message on the nurses’ phone line, please speak clearly and leave your date of birth, to ensure we can help you as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Dr Alison James


an effective treatment for pre-cancerous skin lesions Did you know that

sun-exposed skin. Over time some of

damaged skin cells. In this situation your

winter is the ideal time

these patches can progress from early

GP may advise you to treat an area of

sun damage to becoming a skin cancer

your face, arms or legs. The treatment

called Bowen’s disease or even on to

is usually used for 4 weeks, and is most

an invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma

often used once daily at night, about


an hour before bed. We do expect a

to get your skin checked, and undergo treatment for sun-damaged skin?

If detected and treated in the early

moderate red reaction to using EFUDIX.

If you’ve got pre-cancerous skin lesions

stages, the progression from Actinic

If it is not causing a reaction, then it is

as the result of years of unprotected

Keratoses to Bowen’s disease to SCC can

not working and a moderate reaction is

exposure to the sun’s UV rays, your GP

be prevented.

not a reason to stop the treatment.

may prescribe a topical skin ointment called EFUDIX.

EFUDIX can be used to treat AKs and

Winter is the best time to use it,

some Bowen’s disease, by interfering

because it reacts with sunlight – it’s

with a cell’s ability to reproduce –

recommended to avoid sun exposure

about sun protection, the New Zealand

destroying the abnormal cells while

during and immediately following

sun can cause significant damage to skin,

having less effect on healthy normal


particularly in people with fair skin who


Even if you have been extra careful

tend to go red or burn in the sun. Sun damage like this, called Actinic

Your GP may prescribe EFUDIX,

If you have concerns about your skin or wonder if this treatment could

either to treat individual spots that

be right for you, please make an

Keratoses (AK) or Solar Keratoses, often

have been reviewed and diagnosed, or

appointment with your GP to have your

start as a reddish slightly thickened

alternatively to treat wider areas of sun

skin checked and discuss treatment

patch that feels a bit rough, occurring on

damage to destroy the background sun


Repeat prescriptions – what you need to know Some patients ask why they need to make appointments to see us for their repeat prescriptions, instead of having them roll over automatically.

Well, our practice follows strict Medical

to be altered. Then there’s the need to

Council guidelines about how often we

check for side effects, and to ensure that

if you are taking more than one type of

see our patients. There are good reasons

medication is being taken properly.

medication, because of the ways these

for these guidelines. For example,

If you are taking ongoing medication

Regular visits are especially important

can interact with each other.

sometimes people’s circumstances

for cardiac, diabetic, psychiatric or

change and their medication is no longer

psychological issues, then it’s likely you’ll

that all the boxes are ticked when it

appropriate. Other times the doses need

need to see your GP every three months.

comes to your medication.


Put your own health first – make sure

How To:

Get what you need out of your appointment

Vaccine update Influenza vaccine

Here at Fifth Avenue Family Practice we know our patients lead busy lives, juggling many commitments. We also know that sometimes illness sneaks up on us when we least expect it,

child’s symptoms. Conversely, if you know in advance

and we need to see a doctor as soon as

that you’re going to need to see a doctor


– for example, for a repeat prescription

That’s why we have structured our

or a driver’s licence assessment – please

clinic times to ensure we meet the health

ring reception and book this well in

needs of you and your family, when you

advance. This will ensure we are able to

need us.

leave enough acute appointments for

We’re open weekdays from 8am to 6pm, to allow you to schedule

same-day patients. And if you have a lot going on health-

appointments before or after work.

wise, or are experiencing a complex

We’re also open Saturday mornings,

issue, please make a longer appointment,

from 8.30am to 11.30am.

which will ensure we can give you the

We keep ‘acute appointments’ available especially for those patients

assistance you need, and keep the clinic

Get your flu jab now It’s not too late to ensure you and your family are protected from influenza this winter. The vaccine is FREE for people most at risk, including pregnant women, over-65s, and people with an ongoing medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, lung condition or cancer. The flu is a serious illness that can put anyone in hospital or even kill them, including young and healthy people. To book an appointment, please call us on 07 578 7087.

Shingles vaccine

running on time.

who become unwell and need to see a

Don’t forget that we also offer GP

There has been a change to the

doctor that day. If your child is unwell

consultations over the phone. Doctors

funding for the shingles vaccine,

and needs to see a GP, please call us first

Luke Bradford, Kiran Singh and Jen

Zostavax, which means it is now

before seeing another provider – we will

Hollway are currently offering this

fully subsidised for most 65-

have a time available for your child. The

service to patients registered at Fifth

80 year-olds. However, there

benefits of seeing a GP at your family

Avenue Family Practice.

are some medical exceptions

practice are that we know your child’s and your family’s medical history. Phone the nurses’ line first, and have a chat with them about you or your

These phone consultations are aimed

– please see your doctor or

at helping patients put their health first

nurse to see if you’re a suitable

by making it faster, cheaper and more


convenient to speak with their doctor. 5TH AVE NE WS | WINTER 2018


5210: The healthy way to go At Fifth Avenue Family Practice we care about your children’s health, which is why we have come up with a new initiative aimed at helping parents support their child’s wellbeing, and getting them active.


Menopause Menopause can have many symptoms that begin before a woman’s periods stop. About 70 per cent of women have significant symptoms with menopause. Hot flushes and mood swings are well recognised as signs of menopause, but you can also experience night sweats, anxiety, palpitations, weight gain, depression, forgetfulness, headaches, decreased libido, sleep problems, vaginal dryness or recurrent urinary infections. While that list doesn’t sound like much fun, fortunately there are things you can do to mitigate the symptoms. Menopause is a normal part of life, and your GP can help you navigate it. Here at Fifth Avenue Family Practice we also offer a Women’s Health Clinic, run by Dr Diana Ford at our Promed House site (5th Ave on 10th) every Tuesday afternoon. Menopause is a significant hormonal milestone that offers a good opportunity to assess your health and plan for the next phase of your life. While your usual GP will continue to deal with all your usual needs, the Women’s Health Clinics are ideal for those

The 5210 questionnaire will be given to parents at all four-

who need a little more attention in the areas of diagnosis and

year-old and 11-year-old immunisations, but the principles are

management of women’s health issues.

helpful for all parents and children at any age.

After menopause you are more at risk of developing osteoporosis (thinning of bones) and heart disease, though

What’s it all about?

lifestyle measures help to reduce this risk – your GP can advise

FIVE: Enjoy five or more vegetables and fruits each day.

you on this.

Choose fresh vegetables and fruits, and have a variety of natural colours on the plate. Frozen and canned veges can be

Call us on 07 578 7087 to make an appointment or if you have any questions.

just as healthy as fresh, but avoid dried fruits and canned fruits in syrups. TWO: Limit screen time to less than two hours a day. It’s recommended that children under two have no screen time, and keep it under one hour for under-fives. ONE: Play actively for more than one hour each day. Swap screens for active games and play! Use walking, biking,

Please call reception on 07 578 7087 to make an appointment for a phone consultation with a GP. A time will be made for the GP to ring you back.

scootering or skateboarding to get from place to place. Get outdoors, learn new skills and visit friends. ZERO: Have zero sugary drinks – choose water or plain milk. If you’re worried about your child’s activity levels, weight or diet, we’re here to help. We have lots of resources – come and talk to us. 5TH AVE NE WS | WINTER 2018

Find us online www.fifthavenue.co.nz

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