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GP surgery says it is under "extreme pressure" due to concerns about Group A Strep

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GP surgery says it is under "extreme pressure" due to concerns about Group A Strep

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Norton Brook Medical Centre has posted on their Facebook page to say that they are under "extreme pressure" due to local concerns about Strep A. 

Norton Brook Medical Centre posted: "We are experiencing unprecedented levels of demand for urgent consultations with our duty doctor due to the concerns about Group A Strep. We are doing our best to manage this demand but we are under extreme pressure.

"Please consider if your call to us is urgent or if it can wait for a more routine appointment in the new year. Please also consider other options for healthcare advice, such as 111, the NHS website, or your local pharmacy.

"If you have a routine appointment booked with us which you feel you could cancel to free up our doctors to support the emergency calls, please call reception to let us know.

"Your patience and understanding is valued at this really difficult time for us." 


NOTE: There has been information shared on social media that pharmacies can provide Strep A throat swabs and prescribe antibiotics - after calling numerous pharmacies, this is not recommended by the NHS and no-one in the South Hams is providing this service. 


Advice on the NHS website is as follows:

Symptoms of a strep A infection

Common symptoms of strep A include:

  • flu-like symptoms, such as a high temperature, swollen glands or an aching body
  • sore throat (strep throat or tonsillitis)
  • a rash that feels rough, like sandpaper (scarlet fever)
  • scabs and sores (impetigo)
  • pain and swelling (cellulitis)
  • severe muscle aches
  • nausea and vomiting

Most strep A infections are not serious and can be treated with antibiotics.


Treatments for a strep A infection

Most strep A infections can be easily treated with antibiotics.

If you or your child has a strep A infection, you should stay away from nursery, school or work for 24 hours after you start taking antibiotics. This will help stop the infection spreading to other people.

Serious strep A infections (invasive group A strep, iGAS) need to be treated in hospital with antibiotics.


How you get strep A infections

Strep A infections are spread by close contact with an infected person. They can be passed on through coughs and sneezes or from a wound.

In some people, the bacteria live in the body without causing symptoms or making them feel unwell. But they can still pass the bacteria on to others.

Things that might make you more at risk of strep A infections include:

  • a weakened immune system
  • open sores or wounds
  • some viral infections, such as a cold or flu


How to avoid getting infections

Infections like strep A can easily be spread to other people.

To reduce the chance of catching or spreading an infection:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • bin used tissues as quickly as possible




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