2017 flu vaccine

Just a reminder that it’s not to late to get a flu vaccine. It’s also worth doing this even if you already think you have had a flu-like illness this season. It’s possible that you have had another viral illness.  The peak period of flu transmission is usually late July and August and even well into September, so getting vaccinated  now will give you a good level of protection during that period. See here for some relevant data (NSW Health Influenza Surveillance Data)

We especially encourage to do so if you are in one of the groups eligible for a free flu vaccine, that is if any of the following apply to you:

• >65 years old
• Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
• Pregnant
• Have a chronic medical condition such as diabetes, heart failure, chronic lung disease, and asthma requiring preventer medications.

You can make a time to see our Practice Nurse to organise vaccination, however it would be good to book with a doctor if you think other health checks are due, for example having your blood pressure and weight checked, reviewing your diabetes or other chronic disease, and reviewing where you are up to with other health screening or immunisations. If you have any inhaled medications, such as Ventolin, Seretide, Symbicort or Spiriva, please bring them with you at this visit so we can review how you are using them.

For further information about immunisation

National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance

Immunise Australia

School holidays

Quick heads up on our doctors’ plans during the school holidays. Fortunately only Jenny and Annabel have school-aged children, so we have you covered.

Annabel will be off after this Friday 30 June, and back to work on Monday 10 July.

Jenny will finish on Friday 7 July and start back on Monday 17th July.

As always, please come and see our other doctors during this period and they will report back to Annabel or Jenny as needed.


Going up!

You will have noticed the practice has been very busy the last few months. We are excited to let you know that we have finally taken lease on the upstairs in our premises, which gives us an extra doctor’s room. As of 8 May we will be using this room for consulting sessions, initially 2 days a week.

To start off Dr Chris Ganora will work upstairs on Tuesdays and Dr Shereena will work upstairs on Mondays and Wednesday afternoon. There may be changes over time and other doctors will also be working in the upstairs room. If you have any concerns about not being able to climb those 20 stairs, please let our receptionist know when you are booking. As always, strollers and prams can be left in the waiting room.

We anticipate that the extra appointments will take the pressure off for everyone. However, we are still in the process of upgrading our phone system and working out the logistics of dealing with extra patients in a small practice. We appreciate your patience as we deal with any teething problems.

Remember you can book appointments online. You will need to call us if you have an urgent need on the day and can’t find an appointment, or if you want to check that your doctor is not working upstairs. If you are unable to find an appointment with your regular doctor that suits you, please book with another doctor. We are happy to deal with acute issues and hand you back over to your regular doctor for follow up.

Doctors on leave – locum arrangements

Those lucky doctors who can take their leave outside of school holidays have made some travel plans. Dr Cara will be away from 8 May – 15 June. Dr Vanessa is away from 16 May – 13 June. Dr Patti will be away for a week or so in June. This leaves a few gaps, but fear not – we have made arrangements to cover this period.

Dr Beth Oliver is joining us again for the month of May. She will be working on Mondays, Tuesday and Thursdays. Some of our patients have already met Beth and have given us great feedback about her care. She will hand over any patients that need follow up to their regular doctor. We hope to have Beth back again later in the year.

We are also pleased to welcome Dr Shereena from Monday 8 May. She will be working 3 days a week over the next few months. Shereena has been a doctor for the past decade, and has worked as a GP in the inner west for many years. She enjoys the diversity of General Practice, but has particular interest in Paediatrics, Women’s Health and preventative health care. She holds a Diploma in Child Health and is an Antenatal Shared Care GP. Shereena’s other job is at Tresillian Family Care Centres supporting mothers of children aged 0-3. She also holds a Diploma in Dermatology and  undertakes skin checks and basic skin cancer excisions.

You might also see one of our other doctors while your usual doctor is away. We will organise follow up with your regular doctor on their return if there are ongoing issues.

Easter Opening Times & School Holidays

The practice will be closed on Good Friday, and Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Our opening hours are otherwise unchanged for the school holidays.

Dr Annabel will be on leave from Monday 10 April to Tuesday 18 April.
Dr Jenny will be on leave from Thursday 14 April to Friday 22 April.

Our other doctors will be covering all of Annabel and Jenny’s shifts so please make a time to see any of them and they will hand over your care as needed.

When the practice is closed you can call the National Home Doctor Service on 13 7425 for an after hours locum home visit. If you need to be seen urgently please attend the Emergency Department at RPAH, Balmain GP Casualty, or Sydney Children’s Hospital.

Practice Nurses

We are pleased to welcome a new Practice Nurse, Catherine Wark. Catherine will be sharing the position with Georgia, with the two of them working across Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Our nurses are skilled, friendly and efficient. Their role in our clinical team is to assist our doctors with continuity of care for our patients, in particular those with complex or chronic medical conditions. You might get a phone call from Catherine or Georgia when you doctor is wanting to follow up a particular issue. You can book with the nurses for an immunisation, wound care, health assessment for over 75 year olds, diabetes or asthma review, or BP check. They will talk to your doctor to advise on your ongoing care.

Please note, our nurses are very busy and do not have time to routinely take blood. If your doctor has asked you to get blood done you can take your form to any of the Douglas Hanly Moir collection centres on the back of the form, or listed here DHM. The closest to the practice are at 375 King St, Newtown, and 21 Fountain St, Alexandria.

Doctors’ Hours in January

Happy New Year to you all!

We are back to our normal opening hours from Tuesday 3rd January, however some doctors are having a break. Please book in with an alternate doctor – we are always happy to hand over to your regular doctor if there are issues that need follow up.

Dr Patricia and Dr Cara are here all month, as is Dr John on Saturdays

Dr Jenny is back at work on Monday 9 January

Dr Chris is back at work on Thursday 12 January

Dr Annabel is away from Monday 16 January and back on Monday 30 January. Dr Beth Oliver will work several days over that period to fill Annabel’s usual days. Beth completed her GP training on the north coast of NSW, and has been working in Sydney over the past 12 months.

We are also pleased to welcome Dr Vanessa Moran, who will start work on Tuesday 17 January and work a regular session from 2.00 -7.00pm every Tuesday. Vanessa is an experienced GP and Medical Educator, and has recently been appointed as the Director of Training at GP Synergy, the organisation that trains GPs across NSW.



Free shingles vaccine for 70-79 year olds

A new vaccine is being provided free of charge for people aged between 70-79 through the National Immunisation Program. Zostavax is a vaccine to prevent shingles (see below for more information about shingles and the vaccine)

At Erskineville Doctors we currently have small stock of Zostavax. A doctor will write the order for the vaccine, but it can be given by our practice nurse. There are a few situations where we would not advise the vaccine, this is mainly in people whose immune system is severely compromised by a disease process or medications. You should discuss this with your doctor.


Shingles (also known as herpes zoster) is a localised, painful, skin rash resulting from reactivation of the same virus (the varicella-zoster virus) that causes chickenpox earlier in life. Although usually self-limiting, shingles can lead to chronic neuropathic pain syndrome, and other complications.

About 20–30% of people will have shingles in their lifetime, most after the age of 50 years. Older people (particularly those aged over 70 years) are also more likely to have shingles complicated by chronic pain.

Vaccination of people aged 70–79 years is estimated to prevent about 41% of the cases of shingles and two-thirds of post-herpetic neuralgia cases in that population. In vaccinated people in whom an episode of shingles occurs, the pain, severity and duration is reduced by 50%.

For further reading go to NCIRS

When you phone for an appointment, please let our receptionist know that you would like this immunisation. If you are booking online choose the Immunisation appointment (15 min). You can book with our practice nurse if this is the only reason for your appointment, otherwise book an appointment with your GP. If you are likely to see us in the next few months you can just make a note to ask us about vaccines then.

Using email for patient recalls

Over the past year we have been updating your records at our practice to include mobile phone numbers and email addresses. The cost and speed of traditional postage has made this a less viable option, while electronic forms of communication give us opportunities to communicate with you better.

We intend to use email where possible to send you reminders or recalls. Our accreditation as a General Practice includes standards that we have a system to do this, as part of our duty of care to patients. However, to be able to send you reminders or recalls, or anything that might constitute direct marketing, you need to let us know that you do not want to receive such correspondence. This includes a simple note about a public health message such as the availability of flu vaccine.

We are not intending to send you lots of messages, and are mindful that email address boxes are easily cluttered. Examples of messages you might receive are:

  • A non-urgent recall to discuss investigations
  • A reminder that you are due for follow up of a previous investigation
  • A reminder that a booster immunisation is due
  • A reminder that a screening test is due – eg Pap smear
  • An annual recall to review a particular health issue – eg. diabetes

We are conscious of all times of the privacy and sensitivity of your health information and will not send any information via mail or email that discusses any aspect of your medical care.

If at any time you wish to have your name removed from any recall register or specifically do not wish to be contacted via email please contact our Practice Manager, Neda Jazayeri (erko.docs@iinet.net.au) to ensure that your records are updated accordingly.

A copy of our Practice Privacy Policy is available in the waiting room. You may also wish to  look at the Government’s general information on privacy regarding health matters ar www.oaic.gov.au/individuals

Part time RN position available at Erskineville Doctors

Our nurse Georgia will be cutting down her hours in 2017 so we are looking for another experienced RN to join our practice. The hours are flexible and family friendly. For more information please contact our practice manager, Neda Jazayeri: neda.jazayeri@iinet.net.au