This website uses cookies to function correctly.
You may delete cookies at any time but doing so may result in some parts of the site not working correctly.
 

Noticeboard

Health warning over Oak Processionary Moth Caterpillar

We are aware of an increasing problem in the local area from oak processionary moth catrerpillars. These caterpillars are covered in tiny hairs that can cause severe asthma attacks and allergic reactions. Until recently, the moth was found only in mainland Europe, but in 2006 it was discovered on oak trees in Ealing and Richmond, in London. The caterpillars feed on oak leaves and produce silken nests on the trunks of affected trees. There is no natural predator. The hairs can cause symptoms if the caterpillars or their nests are touched, but they can also be carried on the wind. The most common symptoms are an unpleasant rash. Less common problems are sore throats, breathing difficulties or eye problems. Asthma UK has advised those with asthma always to remember to carry a reliever inhaler with them in case of an unexpected attack.

The caterpillars or their nests should not be touched. You should not attempt to remove them, but should report them to one of the addresses given below.

Who is affected by these caterpillars? The caterpillars’ hairs can affect anyone, but asthmatics in particular are at risk of having a severe attack. The hairs can also affect animals, including dogs, cats and horses, so people are also encouraged to keep their pets and livestock away from infested trees.

Why do these moths cause health problems? Health problems are most common when the caterpillar is in its last stages of development in late May and early June, before becoming a moth. This is because the caterpillars are covered with tiny hairs that contain a toxin (thaumetopoein or closely related compounds). If these hairs and toxins come into contact with the skin they can cause symptoms.

What sort of symptoms do they cause? If the hairs or toxins come into contact with the skin they can cause a very itchy skin rash. If they come into contact with the eyes they can cause itchy eyes. Can the symptoms be serious? People vary in their response - not everyone reacts to the caterpillar hairs. The most common problem is an itchy rash which is unpleasant but not dangerous.

What should I do if I develop these symptoms? The recommended treatment includes an oral antihistamine, such as cetirizine or loratadine. Speak to your chemist for advice. If the itching keeps you awake, a sedating antihistamine such as chlorphenamine (Piriton®) may help in addition. Topical steroid cream such as hydrocortisone can also be purchased from the chemist and this may soothe the rash further.  If your symptoms are not responding to this, ask for a telephone consultation with your GP. If you have any breathing difficulty, consider booking an appointment or A&E in extreme cases.

What should I do if I see a nest? Anyone who thinks they have found oak processionary caterpillars or their nests should not touch them or attempt to remove them, but should report their sightings to the Forestry Commission with its Tree Alert on-line pest reporting tool, giving as precise details as possible about the location.

Private Prescriptions 
Please be advised that prescriptions issued by a Private Consultant cannot be converted into NHS Prescriptions. You need to take your Private Presciption to a Chemist who will advise you of the charge. Even if this is high, we are not allowed by new NHS rules to issue them.

 

 

 

 

Carers

This Practice maintains a Carers Register of patients who provides, or intends to provide a substantial amount of care on a regular, unpaid basis to an adult. The person may or may not be a relative and may or may not be living with the person for whom they are caring.

A young carer is a carer under the age of 18 years providing care to an adult over the age of 18.

Parent carers are persons with parental responsibility for a disabled child who provide or intend to prove a substantial amount of care on a regular basis for the child.

If you are a carer, please notify any member of our Practice team.

Additional support is provided via  Carers UK: 020 7490 8818

Are You a Carer?                                  

If you are please let us know - we may be able to help you

There is a wealth of information on NHS Choices about carers and caring. Below are some links into the site that we hope you will find useful.

Caring for a parent -  Watch this video on: caring for a parent at home

Telling people - Caring responsibilities can make it difficult to maintain friendships or develop new ones. Telling your friends you're a carer is important so they understand and can support you.

Taking a break - Caring for someone can be a full-time job, but it's essential that you take time out for yourself too. Read our guide to accessing breaks and respite.

Housing and carers - Do you know your tenancy rights as a carer? Are you aware of all your care at home options? Do you need tips on moving someone around the home?

Carers support groups

Contact Carers Direct

Telephone - 0808 802 0202

Helpline Information – http://www.nhs.uk/carersdirect/carerslives/updates/pages/carersdirecthelpline.aspx

Email - carersdirect@nhschoices.nhs.uk

Office Hours - Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm at weekends. Calls are free from UK landlines.

Finance and Law

Help claiming benefits, looking after your bank balance and understanding the legal issues of caring.

Benefits for carers - Directing carers to the benefits that can help them in their caring role

Benefits for the person you care for - Advice and information on helping the person you look after get the benefits that they are entitled to

Death and benefits - How your benefits maybe affected after the death of the person you look after and what happens to their benefits

Managing someone's legal affairs - Advice for when carers find they have to take over the legal affairs of the person they are looking after

Other benefits - Advice for carers and the people they are looking after on claiming a whole host of other benefits unrelated to their disability or caring

Personal and household finance - Advice on keeping a tight rein on household and personal finance for carers

Social fund

Tax credits - Information on claiming tax credits and whether you might be eligible.



 
Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website