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We will no longer prescribe sedating drugs for Fear of Flying
Fear of Flying Policy
Due to a medical safety alert from Aviation trained doctors; we have taken the decision to no longer prescribe sedating drugs such as Diazepam, which is sometimes used to treat fear of flying, and medications such as Zopiclone, which is used as a sleeping tablet. There are several very good reasons why prescribing these drugs is not recommended:
1 – Diazepam and Zopiclone are both sedative, which means it makes you more relaxed and sleepier. If there is an emergency during the flight, it may impair your ability to concentrate, follow instructions and react to the situation. This could have serious safety consequences not just to yourself, but to those around you.
2 – Sedative drugs can make you fall into an unnatural non-REM sleep. This means you won’t move around as much as you would do in natural sleep. This can cause you to be at increased risk of developing a blood clot in the leg (DVT) or even the lung. Blood clots are very dangerous and can even prove fatal. This risk is even greater if your flight is greater than 4 hours.
3 – Whilst most people find Diazepam sedating, a small number have paradoxical agitation and increased aggression. It can also cause disinhibition, leading you to behave in a way that you would not normally. This could impact on your safety as well as that of other passengers. A similar effect can be seen with alcohol, which has led to passengers being removed from their flights. It could also get you into trouble with the law.
4 – The British National Formulary (BNF), the reference guide for prescription of medications by doctors in the UK, states that the use of benzodiazepines is not allowed in treating phobia. Your doctor would be taking a significant legal risk by prescribing against these guidelines. They are only licensed short term for a crisis in generalised anxiety. If this is the case, you should be getting proper care and support for your mental health, and not going on a flight.
5 – Diazepam and similar drugs are illegal in several countries. They may be confiscated, or you may find yourself in trouble with the police
Given the above, we will no longer be prescribing Diazepam for flight anxiety or Zopiclone for flight insomnia. We appreciate that fear of flying is very real and very frightening. A much better approach is to tackle this properly with a Fear of Flying course run by the airlines. We have provided a number of these below
British Airways https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/travel-assistance/flying-with-confidence
AccuRX - SMS Text Service & Video Consultations
We are now using Chain SMS to message patients!
Chain SMS is a system which allows us to easily send text messages to patients. It means we can be much more proactive about some communications, messaging you quickly and securely, so you are not waiting around to hear from us!
Some examples of how we might use it...
- Reminders or notifications (e.g. prescription ready)
- Responding to simple queries (e.g. if you had a quick question about your medication)
- Letting you know we tried to call
- Sending you advice at the end of a consultation
Everything we send is saved to your medical record.
The practice name will always be at the bottom of the message. You won't be able to reply to them. Please help us to help you by keeping your number up to date. If you don't want us to contact you in this way please let us know.
**Update your mobile phone number if you want us to contact you**
For more information on the GP IT system suppliers please click on the following link https://digital.nhs.uk/services/future-gp-it-systems-and-services/gp-it-system-suppliers-awarded-contracts#digital-care-services-gp-it-futures-procurement-outcome
We are now using AccuRX Fleming for Video Consultations
Why is my doctor/ healthcare provider using it?
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is safer for everyone to minimise face to face contact where possible. Because of this, video calls can play a useful role in helping keep everyone safe, whilst still providing care.
What if I still want to have a face to face meeting?
If you think there is something that they won't be able to see or do during this, or you are worried that a video call will not be sufficient, you should discuss this with them.
What if I still want to have a face to face meeting?
You don't need to download anything. You will receive an SMS text message with a link to click on, and you will be connected.
You will need:
- A smartphone, either with working Wifi/3G/4G connection
- Your Internet Browser needs to have your phone's microphone and camera enabled (you can see how to alter this in your phone settings here)
- iPhones running older software that has not been updated (iOS 12 and earlier) will need to download the Whereby app to join the consultation)
Is it safe and secure?
Yes. AccuRx take patient safety very seriously - it is at the forefront of everything we do. In order to offer this type of tool, we must prove that we meet numerous standards, which are outlined here.
Is it approved by the NHS?
We are NHS Digital approved. See the latest guidance from NHSX recommending the use of video consultations.
Can my video consultation be recorded? Will my data be stored somewhere?
A unique link will be sent to you for the video consultation. All participants are visible in the consultation, so no third party can 'listen in'. The video and audio communication of the video consultation is only visible to participants on the call, and is not recorded or stored on any server.
Patient Government Support
The government have launched a new website for patients to use in finding out what help they can get if affected by coronavirus. This service is available to all patients who are seeking advice and guidance on the topics such as:
- feeling unsafe
- going in to work
- paying bills or being unemployed
- getting food
- having somewhere to live
- mental health and wellbeing
Get a free NHS test today to check if you have coronavirus
Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive / Depo-Provera
Would you like the convenience of self-injecting with Sayana Press at home? avoiding the need to make an appointment at the practice for your scheduled Depo-Provera.
Sayana Press: One injection, every 13 weeks
Sayana Press is a Long-Acting Reversible contraceptive (LARC) injection that gives you 13 weeks of effective contraception. There is no need for daily dosing!
The Riverside Practice now offers this service to our eligible female patients.
Why not discuss with Janet Jackson at your next scheduled Depo-provera appointment.
Addenbrookes Hospital - Patient On-line portal "MyChart"
Why use MyChart?
- Your hospital information will be available to you electronically in MyChart:
- upcoming appointments / past appointment details
- current problems / conditions
- clinical correspondence
- vital signs (weight, height,blood pressure, temperature, pulse, respiration)
- test results
- known allergies
- demographic information (name, date of birth, address, GP details).
MyChart is designed to improve communication between you and your clinical teams, and enable you to be more involved and informed about your care by having access to your information.
Please speak with a clinic receptionist or your clinical team for details on how to sign-up to MyChart.
Once you have signed-up you will be able to access your hospital information via MyChart from your smartphone or tablet device (Apple or Android) or from a computer or laptop.
MyChart is compatible with screen readers.
MyChart patient portal
Accessing MyChart through the website
You can log in to your MyChart using this website address: https://mychart.addenbrookes.nhs.uk
Clinic letters will be available to view using this website.
Accessing MyChart using the app
You can download the MyChart app on smartphone or tablet devices (Apple or Android) then choose ‘Cambridge University Hospitals’ when prompted to select a hospital within the app.
If you have any questions about using MyChart you can:
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- or contact the ‘Patient Support Service’ through the MyChart website.