Dermatology complaints make up approximately 20% of all general practice consultations and GPs can deal with the vast majority of skin conditions without the need for onward specialist.
For example childhood rashes are incredibly common and the vast majority of them clear without any treatment. If you however have a concern the GP is best placed to assess, diagnose and treat accordingly. If a Doctaly GP feels that blood tests or swabs are required these can be performed during your appointment on a private basis – the results of which can either be conveyed over the phone or during a follow up appointment.
Joint Pain and Osteoarthritis
There are many causes of joint pain but by far the most common especially in the elderly age group is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is often referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis.
It is caused by faulty repair which in turn causes damage to the bone and cartilage. It is this that causes the pain in the joint. The most common joints to be affected include the knees, hips, ankles, thumb and fingers. The affected joints tend to be painful and stiff especially in the mornings. Your doctor is likely to diagnose an arthritic joint on the basis of a careful history and examination. Investigations such as blood tests and X-rays are not normally required unless your symptoms are severe or the diagnosis is unclear. Unfortunately there is no cure for osteoarthritis, but a lot of the time the symptoms can be managed by simple measures such as painkillers and specific exercises. The more severe forms may also benefit from physiotherapy and joint injection. Doctaly GP’s are very able to diagnose and manage joint problems and furthermore if you feel that you would like to be considered for injection of the joint, you can choose a GP that provides joint injection by looking at the services they provide.
Most of us can relate to having had some sort of back pain in the past, and it is definitely one of the most common reasons to see a GP. It is estimated that the time taken off work due to back pain costs the UK economy 12 billion pounds a year.
There are many reasons for getting back pain ranging from serious causes requiring specialist treatment to the more simple causes which are benign and usually get better after a short period of time. Regardless there is plenty of evidence showing that seeing a doctor early and getting a diagnosis and suitable management plan will help to get you better quickly. At Doctaly our GP’s deal with back pain day in day out and are perfectly placed to offer you the reassurance and guidance required if you were to need help. They also have the ability to offer relevant investigations such as X-rays, MRI and even onward specialist referral if necessary. So if you were unfortunate enough to develop back pain, you can rest easy knowing that you’re in good hands seeing a GP via the Doctaly platform.
The old adage that a “stitch in time save nine” couldn’t be more true in trying to prevent rather than cure many diseases. The most common cause of death and serious illness in the UK is cardiovascular and neurovascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes.
The truth is that the risk of these diseases can be reduced significantly especially for those who can be identified as being susceptible. Many of the changes relate to lifestyle such as having a diet, introducing exercise and cutting back on obvious risks such as smoking. Hypertension and cholesterol also act as significant risk factors. Your Doctaly GP can calculate your individual risk of developing cardiovascular disease easily by performing health screening which would involve a blood test and blood pressure test. The blood test would incur a fee and your GP can take the sample. Your results can be followed up easily over the phone or in person should you wish. Your GP can offer a comprehensive interpretation of the results as well as dispense any medications if advised. Your results can be given to your own NHS GP as well should you wish ongoing management to be managed by them.
There is no doubt that having a sore throat is annoying and can make you feel miserable and worn out. Thankfully the vast majority of sore throats are due to viral upper respiratory tract infections and get better by themselves without the need for prescribed drugs such as antibiotics.
You should however seek medical advice if your sore throat has lasted for more than a week, if you have a high temperature, or if you think you have a tonsillitis. A bacterial tonsillitis is usually diagnosed clinically by the presence of pus on the back of throat . The diagnosis can be confirmed using a swab test which also tells which antibiotic is the correct one according to the bacteria. Our Doctaly GP’s have the ability to take and have processed a throat swab in 48 hours. If you are worried in any way you can easily see one of our rated GPs and get the reassurance that you are being treated appropriately and safely.
Coughing can be incredibly irritating, tiring and embarrassing especially if you require to be on form at work or in the home. There are many causes of cough ranging from having a bit of a cold to the more serious causes such as a chest infection.
Signs of a chest infection maybe severe if they include having a chest pain, wheeze or shortness of breath. These symptoms warrant you to seek urgent medical attention via accident emergency. The vast majority of chest infections are mild and are due to bronchitis following a viral upper respiratory infection and can easily be assessed and treated by a GP. There are many other causes for having a cough especially in children who may need earlier assessment. You should seek medical advice from a GP should your cough persist, if you are a smoker, elderly, have other medical problems or you are worried about your symptoms. Our Doctaly GP’s are well versed in knowing whether it is just simple reassurance required or if you need medication, referral or further investigation. Blood tests can be performed during your appointment for an additional fee and chest X-rays can be arranged both of which are priced affordably.
Sexually transmitted diseases are extremely common. The vast majority present no symptoms and can only be detected with the help of a test.
Symptoms of a STI include pain when passing urine, itching, discharge, lower abdominal pain and painful sex. If you’re concerned about your sexual health you can book in with one of our doctors who will take a history and guide you regarding the most suitable test types and the cost of these. The doctor can advise you regarding the most suitable tests required be that a urine sample or a swab and has the ability to perform comprehensive sexual health screening should you require.
Headaches and Migraines
Everyone has had a headache once in while but it is estimated that around 9 million people a year suffer with regular headaches making it one of the most common reasons to see a GP.
Thankfully the vast majority of headaches are benign such as tension headaches or migraines and can be managed with simple measures. It would be sensible to see a doctor if your headache is getting worse and not responding to simple painkillers. Your doctor can usually diagnose the type of headache from doing a thorough history and examination and will be able to prescribe you suitable medication. Your doctor may advise you have further tests such as blood tests and occasionally an MRI scan all of which can be easily arranged by your Doctaly GP for an extra fee.
Diabetes is a condition that causes raised blood sugar levels in your blood. Type 2 diabetes is far more common and is commonly treated and diagnosed in primary care.
Diabetes now costs more than £10bn year – 10 per cent of the NHS budget – with one person diagnosed every two minutes in the UK. Diabetes is important to be diagnosed early because having untreated diabetes significantly increase your chances of having serious medical consequences such as heart, kidney, eye and nerve damage. Most people with diabetes have no symptoms at all. This is why most cases of diabetes are diagnosed through routine blood tests. Your Doctaly GP as part of screening tests can diagnose whether you have diabetes or you are at risk of diabetes. A lot of the time mild diabetes or the stage before diabetes can be managed by strict lifestyle measures such as a specific diet and exercise. As with preventing heart disease, the early recognition of patients with undiagnosed diabetes and those at risk of diabetes is vital in preventing future complications. Your doctaly GP can talk you through testing for this whilst screening for cardiovascular disease. This will need taking a blood test which doesn’t necessarily need to be fasting.
A cervical smear test is a way to check up on the health of your cervix – the entrance to your womb (uterus) which is located at the top of the vagina. The NHS offers the smear free of charge every 3-5 years depending on your age.
If you find it difficult to get to your NHS GP or you do not want to wait for your next NHS smear. You can easily book a private smear with one of our GP’s who specialise in women’s health and has . The test looks for changes in the cells of your cervix. This isn’t a test for cancer, but can detect abnormal cells that could lead to serious problems like cervical cancer. HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) testing is not done routinely in the NHS.