Updates from the Practice Team

Daffodil Day is 31 August 2018

Aug 17 2018

Daffodil Day symbolises all New Zealanders coming together in the fight against cancer.


Cancer Society Wellington

One in three New Zealanders will be affected by cancer in their lifetime. The Cancer Society Wellington provides free support services and information for people going through cancer treatment and their friends, family and whānau. The Cancer Society is the largest funder of cancer research after the government. As an independent organisation the Cancer Society receives no direct government funding and is entirely reliant on the generosity of New Zealanders to provide these services. So thank you.

Primary Care Patient Experience Survey

Jul 31 2018

The Health Quality & Safety Commission and the Ministry of Health have introduced a national online primary care patient experience survey.  Our practice is participating in the survey to understand what your experience with health care is like and how your overall care is managed.

The survey is conducted every three months.  The current survey period runs from 6 - 12 August 2018.  Patients seen during this week could receive a unique survey invitation by email or text on 22 August.  Participation is voluntary, and you can opt-out while you're here for your appointment if you never wish to participate in the survey.  You can also opt-out of receiving the email invitation if  you do not want to participate in this round of the survey.  However, if you are contacted and decide to take part, your responses will be anonymous and your privacy protected throughout.

By taking part in the survey, you will be helping to improve care and access to health services in local communities across New Zealand.  For more information go to http://www.hqsc.govt.nz/our-programmes/health-quality-evaluation


Cold season: managing without antibiotics

Jul 04 2018

We were recently sent an interesting article from the Best Practice Advocacy Centre online journal about winter illnesses and the use of antibiotics.  Here are some extracts from the article:

"Over the winter months, thousands of people across New Zealand will present to primary care with sore ears and throats, nasal and sinus congestion, coughs and colds. Many of these symptoms are caused by viral infections and antibiotic treatment is not appropriate. In some cases there may be bacterial infection present but the infection will be self-limiting and the adverse effects of antibiotics may outweigh potential benefits . . . Treatment options such as paracetamol, decongestants, adequate fluid intake and rest will provide the best symptomatic relief for most people with common winter illnesses . . .  In many cases, the most important treatment for winter illnesses is effective communication; the patient should leave the consultation understanding what illness they are likely to have, how long their symptoms should last, what they should do to manage their symptoms and when to seek further assessment . . .  A discussion about expected duration of symptoms can help reassure the patient that the course of their illness is normal. The natural course of symptoms associated with common winter illnesses is usually up to:

  • Three to five days for fever
  • One week for headache or sore throat
  • A week to ten days for nasal obstruction
  • Two weeks for nasal discharge
  • Two to four weeks for cough"

The article includes a link to an interesting infographic from the Cleveland Clinic about 'snot': https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-the-color-of-your-snot-really-means/

From: “Cold season: managing without antibiotics”, bpacnz, June, 2018. Available from: https://bpac.org.nz/2018/cold-season.aspx

Extracts reproduced with permission.



Bowel Cancer Awareness Month - June 2018

Jun 01 2018

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is an annual initiative of Bowel Cancer New Zealand running throughout the month of June (1-30 June), to raise public awareness of a disease that claims the lives of 23 New Zealanders every week.

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month has a positive message – saving lives through early detection – as bowel cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer if found early.

For more information go to http://beatbowelcancer.org.nz/event/bowel-cancer-awareness-month/

Men's Health Month - June 2018

Jun 01 2018

Men's Health Month (1 - 30 June 2018)  is a great time to have a think about our health and how important it is, to start talking about it with our mates, families and doctors, and to do something for ourselves to be just a little bit healthier. Men's health week is about encouraging men to be proactive about their health.  Taking preventive action can reduce the danger of major health risks like testicular cancer, heart disease, strokes and depression. For more information go to http://menshealthnz.org.nz

Our doctors recommend regular Well Man checks.  These include prostate and testicular checks, a skin check and a general discussion about your health status.   We usually arrange in advance for you to have some routine laboratory tests if they're due, and you can then discuss these with your doctor at your Well Man check appointment.

Please ring our receptionists to book your appointment.  (A normal consultation fee applies).

Becoming Smoke Free

May 21 2018

The best thing you can do for your health is to stop smoking.

The theme for World Smokefree Day 31 May 2018 is 'it's about whānau' with a focus on celebrating New Zealand's smokefree achievements. 

The majority of New Zealanders are smokefree and want smokefree environments. Having smokefree whānau, homes, workplaces and public spaces is worth celebrating! 

Whanau is a driving force for many people wishing to protect others from the harms of second-hand smoke. This is a common cause for all peoples, communities, cultures and whanau.  World Smoke Free day is an opportunity to encourage and help those who want to quit smoking and support friends and whanau on their quit journey.



Many of our patients who have successfully quit have said that for them it's about their children and families/whanau:

  • they don't want to be role models for smoking around their children, because they don't want their children to become smokers 
  • they don't want to expose their children to second hand smoke
  • they want to live long and healthy lives so they will be able to participate as parents and grandparents

We continue to promote the goal of a smokefree Aotearoa New Zealand 2025, by offering our patients smoking cessation help.

You can see any of our trained Quit Card nurses, who are providers of low-cost nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and on-going support for your smoke-free future.  You can begin using NRT while you're at your appointment, to get you off to the best start with quitting.  NRT is very effective for most people if used correctly.  We'll show you how.

Call our receptionists to make a  free Quit appointment with your nurse, or to see your GP. 

You can also:

  • Ring Quitline 0800 778 778 for support, advice and information  - or go to www.quit.org.nz
  • Ring Aukati KaiPaipa 0800 926 257 for a free face to face service -  or go to www.aukatikaipaipa.co.nz
  • Ring Pacific Smoking Cessation 04 237 8422 for a free face to face service
  • Ring Quit Smoking team 04 238 4966 for a free face to face service

Cornerstone Accreditation

May 18 2018

Cornerstone accreditation tells you that our practice has achieved the quality standards set by the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.  We are re-assessed periodically to ensure that we are maintaining our committment to continuous quality improvement.

There were three assessors at the practice on Thursday 17 May 2018, observing and interviewing us.  We had an enjoyable and positive day, and have a few items to complete over the next few weeks.  Once that's done, we expect to be re-accredited, and will then begin the next cycle, using the latest standards. 

Influenza vaccination 2018

Apr 24 2018

Update 24 April: The Influenza vaccine for children aged 6 months to 3 years is now available.  Please call and book an appointment.

Update 5 April: You can book in now to see a nurse, or choose specific additional Influenza vaccine clinics, scheduled on 27 April and 4 May (afternoons) for adults 18 years - 64 years. Please call and book a time.  We'll let you know of other flu clinic dates here once they're scheduled. 

Key points:

  • Around one in four New Zealanders are infected with Influenza ('flu') each year.  Some have no symptoms but can pass the infection on to others.  Children can pass influenza to adults who live with and care for them.  Getting an Influenza vaccination before winter offers you and others the best protection.
  • Pregnant women and their babies can suffer serious consequences as a result of influenza.  A free influenza vaccination at any stage of the pregnancy reduces this risk.
  • Older people and people with certain medical conditions are more likely to have medical complications from Influenza.  A free Influenza vaccination reduces these risks.
  • Influenza is a serious illness that can put anyone in hospital, or even cause death, including young and healthy people.
  • Influenza vaccine is safe, effective, and cannot give you the 'flu'.

Vaccines are given to people to help protect them against disease.


  • Influenza is caused by viruses, and spreads from person to person through sneezing and coughing, and by direct or indirect contact (e.g. these viruses survive on surfaces)
  • Influenza can cause a wide range of symptoms:  fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, cough, runny nose, sore throat, conjunctivitis, vomiting, diarrhoea
  • Influenza is not the same as the common cold
  • In some people, influenza can make underlying conditions worse (e.g. those with lung disease, heart disease, or diabetes)
  • Influenza viruses change (mutate) frequently, so revaccination is needed every year, before the winter months
  • Please phone our receptionists to book a time
  • Please allow at least 30 minutes for your appointment

The influenza vaccine is FREE until the end of December for:

Influenza is a significant cause of illness and time off school and work, so it's well worth being vaccinated even if you're not in any of the funded groups mentioned above.  Ask us about the cost.  Children between 6 months and 9 years of age require two doses of the vaccine, if it's their first time.

Our GPs and nurses recommend influenza vaccination to you, and are vaccinated each year themselves.



If you're over 65 or have an on-going health condition (e.g. heart disease, problems with your lungs, or diabetes) you might want to consider having pneumococcal vaccination with your influenza vaccine.

  • Invasive Pneumococcal Disease (IPD) is caused by bacteria that live in your nose and throat
  • The bacteria are easily spread from person to person by droplets in the air
  • If pneumococcal bacteria get into your lungs, they can cause bacterial pneumonia
  • IPD can also cause other serious health problems (e.g. meningitis, septicaemia)
  • There is evidence that having the influenza and pneumococcal vaccines at the same time may be better at reducing overall disease than having either vaccine by itself
  • Although influenza vaccination is required every year, pneumococcal vaccine is needed less regularly, and only some people need revaccination, after 5 years
  • Pneumococcal vaccine is not funded for most people.  Ask us about the cost, and your GP or practice nurse can discuss whether pneumococcal vaccination is a good choice for you


If you're aged 50 - 64 years you might want to consider having a (NON-FUNDED) shingles vaccination (either with your influenza vaccine or at another time).  If you're aged 65 on or after 1 April 2018 you are eligible for a FUNDED shingles vaccine.  There will be a catch up programme for people aged 66 - 80 for the first two years.

  • Shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus
  • If you've had chickenpox, you'll be carrying the virus that causes shingles
  • The risk of developing shingles increases over the age of 50
  • Shingles can appear as a blistering, painful rash most often on the face or torso
  • Shingles can lead to severe nerve pain which may last for months or years after the rash has healed
  • Shingles vaccine is not funded unless you are 65+ from 1 April 2018.  Ask us about the cost, and your GP or practice nurse can discuss whether shingles vaccination is a good choice for you

Copyright : Compass Health 2018