Urinary tract infections

Guidance on managing UTIs has changed. In particular the recommendations place much less reliance on urine dipstick results.
There is a link to the latest management guidelines in the
Guidelines section.
Antimicrobial prescribing guidelines were also updated last year and can be found in the same section.

Sinusitis treatment

NICE have published new guidelines on the management of acute sinusitis.
They can be found in the
Guidelines section.

Increase in mumps cases

Please read the memo from Public Health England re the recent increase in mumps cases notified.
It can be found in the
Memos section

Alert re Cryptosporidium

There has been an increase in the number of cases of Cryptosporidium in the Gateshead area recently. Doctors are advised to consider this infection in cases of diarrhoea and to arrange stool samples if the symptoms have been going on for more than three days.
The letter from Public Health England can be accessed in the Memos section

Advice re Mefloquine

Mefloquine, an anti-malarial, was prescribed to military personnel who were operating or training in Sub-Saharan Africa (not in Iraq or Afghanistan, with few exceptions) over the past 20 years. This NHS England document provides information on what steps should be taken by practices if a patient presents with symptoms relating to the side-effects of Mefloquine.
The document can be found in the Memos section

Dental Infection

I published some guidelines about dental infection recently.
There is a BMJ article on severe dental infections which you might find useful
It can be found at:

Sepsis Guidance

The CCG published updated guidelines for the recognition and management of sepsis in children today.
The guidance can be found in the
Infectious Disease section of the Guidelines.

Zika Virus Update

The government has updated its advice for those travelling to areas potentially affected by Zika Virus.
A link to the updated guidance can be found in the
Infectious Disease folder of the guidelines section.

Zika Virus

Public Health England, in conjunction with the BMA & RCGP, has today published guidance on dealing with the Zika virus. The guidance can be found here.

Managing Dental Infections

Following advice from the medical dental defence organisations, I have added advice about what actions a doctor should take if asked to see a patient with a potential dental infection. Although it could be argued that doctors are not trained as dentists and therefore advising the patient to seek dental advice may seem the correct thing to do, the defence organisations take a different view and feel the doctor could expose him/her self to liability bu doing so. The advice is in the Guidelines section

GPC Advice re Flu Prophylaxis

There has been some controversy about requests from NHS England regarding prescription of prophylaxis for influenza.
The GPC has recently received advice from its lawyers which can be found in the
Memos section.

Post Chickenpox Streptococcal infection

Public Health England had published a warning about 4 cases of invasive Group A Streptococcal infection (iGAS) after chickenpox infection in children locally.
One child has died and the other three remain in hospital.
Please acquaint your self with the guidance which can be found in the
Memos section


Many of you will be aware of the current increase in cases of Influenza A in the area. Public Health England have published new advice on management of Influenza. The publications can be found in the Flu section of the Guidelines page.

Ebola Guidance

In view of recent changes in guidance from PHE (Public Health England) I have updated the link in the Infectious Disease section of the website to point to the relevant page on the PHE website. The guidance will therefore always be current.

Ebola Fever

I really hope we will never need this, but I have uploaded the Ebola management algorithm and guidelines to a new section in Guidelines, called Infectious Disease.
Please note we are not expected to take bloods from someone with suspected Ebola. Such patients should be placed in an isolation room and the ambulance service should be called via 999.


We have received a note from Public Health England about the MERS outbreak in the Middle East. It may be relevant if seeing patients returning from that part of the world. It cam be found in the Guidelines section. Please remember that part of the handbook is password-protected and can be accessed by using the GatDoc login.

Scarlet Fever

There has been an increase in notifications of scarlet fever recently. Public Health England has published guidance on recognising and notifying the condition; it is in the guidelines section.

Measles Alert

We have been informed that measles is doing the rounds again. Please ensure you are familiar with the alert in the Measles section> If you do suspect measles please notify it immediately using the Measles Notification form in the Forms section.

Treatment of Patients Receiving Chemotherapy

I have just added the treatment guidelines for patients who are receiving chemotherapy for cancer. It has become apparent that doctors may not be aware of the guidelines so I have reproduced them in full. They can be found as a Powerpoint file in the Guidelines section.
The take-home message here is that chemo patients presenting with infection may be neutropenic and therefore may need admission & IV antibiotics for what appears to be relatively minor infection.


There has been an alert issued about a confirmed cased of anthrax in a drug user in Scotland. Intravenous drug users are at increased risk of contracting anthrax. Here is a link to the HPA website on the issue:

Whooping Cough

There has been an increase in the incidence of whooping cough recently. The Health Protection Agency has brought out new guidelines on diagnosis and management, they can be found in the Guidelines section.