Sunil Hindocha


Dr Sunil Hindocha is a GP at the City Medical Practice in Lincoln and the Chief Clinical Officer for Lincolnshire West CCG - the NHS organisation that buys the health services for people in Lincoln, Gainsborough and the surrounding villages.

This month sees Dementia Awareness Week which runs from May 17 – 23. As a busy GP, I diagnose and support patients with dementia throughout the whole year.

There are around 800,000 people in the UK with dementia and one in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia. Two thirds of that number will be women.

As people are now living longer, the increase in dementia suffers will increase and within the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), we are looking at supporting our patients more effectively.

One of our local priorities is to increase the number of people who get a diagnosis of dementia. The benefit of this is that those patients will then be able to access support more quickly and continue to live an active life.

Dementia is one of the more common worries that a lot of our patients have as they get older, both for themselves and for their loved ones. They worry if they should come to see their GP about common symptoms such as:

  • Increased forgetfulness
  • Losing items regularly
  • Poor short term memory
  • Confusions
  • Mood swings
  • Problems with communicating
  • Poor concentration
  • Getting lost in seemingly familiar places
  • Repeating yourself frequently

All of the above symptoms are ones that we can all suffer from once in a while, or at different times as we get older, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that a diagnosis of dementia will be made.

There is a series of tests that we would use with someone who thinks they may be suffering from early dementia and your GP can talk these through with you and your loved one.

It can be a worrying time if you or a loved one is diagnosed with dementia but there is a lot of support available now to support you.

As GPs, we are able to refer to a memory assessment and management service in the practice. There is also a Dementia Support Network, which is a joint project with the local authority.

There are times when you think that you have early dementia and, in fact, it is something else that is causing very similar symptoms, so it is always a good idea to have a chat with your GP to discuss your concerns. Other support services include:

  • Memory assessment clinics
  • Singing for the Brain (Boultham Park),
  • Dementia Café (Gainsborough),
  • Alzheimer society-support and Dementia Friends training,
  • Managed care Network-
  • Health walks

Once diagnosed, common concerns and myths include:

  • That you will necessarily end up in a care home
  • That your wishes will not be heard
  • That you will become a passive recipient of care that you have not been a part of
  • That you won’t be told about your diagnosis

None of the above is true. As with cancer in the past, which was a topic not talked about openly, it is now with dementia.

Patients need to be informed early so they can make their own choices. We are determined as your CCG to make sure that people live as active a life as possible with dementia. We support the statements from the Dementia Action Alliance:

  • I was diagnosed early
  • I understand, so I make good decisions and provide for future decision-making
  • I get the treatment and support that are best for my dementia and my life
  • Those around me, and looking after me, are well supported
  • I am treated with dignity and respect
  • I know what I can do to help myself, and who else can help me
  • I can enjoy life
  • I feel part of the community and I’m inspired to give something back
  • I am confident my end of life wishes will be respected. I can expect a good death.
  • I had the opportunity to take part in research

Dr Sunil Hindocha is a GP at the City Medical Practice in Lincoln and the Chief Clinical Officer for Lincolnshire West CCG - the NHS organisation that buys the health services for people in Lincoln, Gainsborough and the surrounding villages.

This week I want to talk about common childhood complaints and concerns that I often see within the surgery.

As a parent myself, I know how worrying it can be when your child is unwell. Preventing illness is a priority for us in our GP surgeries and we offer vaccinations to all children.

You will be sent appointments on a regular basis and it is very important that you keep your child up to date with their vaccinations. Your GP or health visitor will be able to see if your child is up to date.

The childhood vaccinations offer protection, amongst others, against:

  • Meningitis
  • Measles
  • German measles
  • Whooping cough
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus

Young children can become unwell very quickly and it is always a good idea to have your medicine cupboard at home stocked up with:

  • Calpol or infant paracetamol
  • Infant ibuprofen
  • Thermometer to check your child’s temperature. Young children can feel hot to the touch and not have a temperature.
  • Plasters
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Dioralyte – for relief from dehydration following diarrhoea

If you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet, you can treat your child at home for a lot of common childhood complaints.

Children often like the taste of Calpol and other infant medicines, so it is important to be vigilant and make sure that all medicines are put away immediately after use in a locked cabinet.

Children are sometimes able to open child proof medicine tops and can easily overdose on Calpol. If this happens, it is essential that you seek urgent, immediate medical advice.

Common childhood complaints that can be treated initially at home are:

Common cold and coughs – A child’s immune system is still developing until the age of six and they easily pick up lots of coughs and colds, especially once they start attending nursery and school. The time to become worried and to seek advice is if your child is drowsy, seems to be listless and is not responding to you as they normally would, even after you have tried Calpol and ibuprofen. Look out for a rash that does not fade when you press on it with a glass.

Raised temperature – Young children often have a raised temperature at the first sign of illness. This can be treated at home with infant Calpol and it is useful to take your child’s temperature so that, if you are concerned, you can give the reading to your GP if you want to make an appointment.

Upset tummy – Give plenty of fluids and offer a replacement fluid medicine, such as Dioralyte. Avoid milky products. Give sips, little and often. If your child has an upset tummy and is not passing urine, is drowsy and weak, then seek advice from the pharmacist or GP services.

You will find that if your child is unwell, that most GP surgeries will give you a same day appointment. It may be that your doctor arranges to ring you back to speak to you about your child so it is always helpful to tell the receptionist the symptoms that your child has.

Dr Sunil Hindocha is a GP at the City Medical Practice in Lincoln and the Chief Clinical Officer for Lincolnshire West CCG - the NHS organisation that buys the health services for people in Lincoln, Gainsborough and the surrounding villages.

Diabetes is a condition that affects just under 12,000 people in West Lincolnshire, and it is estimated that a further 600 people will be diagnosed this year.

Diabetes is when there is excessive glucose in your blood and leads to serious health problems if it is left untreated.

The excess of glucose occurs when your body can’t produce enough insulin or, more commonly, your body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin.

The initial symptoms of diabetes can include:

  • Increased, excessive thirst
  • Increased need to urinate
  • Unexplained weight loss

There are some groups of people who are more at risk from developing diabetes and this includes a family history of diabetes, if you are overweight or if you have high blood pressure.

Certain ethnic groups are also more likely to develop diabetes. Your GP is able to support you in your treatment and management of diabetes and will offer you regular clinic appointments, which are very important to keep.

If you are concerned that you have any of the symptoms mentioned, your local pharmacist or GP will be able to offer you a simple blood test to look at your sugar levels. If this is raised you can then be sent for further tests to see if you have diabetes and then access the right level of treatment and support.

There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes affects about 10% of adults who have diabetes and usually develops before the age of 40. It is also the most common type of childhood diabetes. It is treated with by daily injections of insulin.

Type 2 diabetes usually occurs over the age of 40 and can often be treated through diet and exercise, as well as medication. It is possible to prevent the onset of diabetes. Some people have borderline results, and with a combination of diet and exercise, these pre diabetes states can improve.

There are some common concerns that I am often asked as a GP in regard to diabetes and these include:

“I can only eat ‘diabetic foods’” – often foods that are sold as ‘diabetic foods’ can have high levels of fat and calories within them. It is important to have a healthy balanced diet.

“What can I eat?” – In general terms, fresh vegetables and the more natural ingredients are the best. Avoid refined and pre-prepared foods. Try and keep the sugar content of food to less than one third of the total carbohydrates-this information can be found on food labels.

It is important to look after yourself when you have diabetes in order to help prevent further health complications.

You should especially take care of feet, eyes, kidneys and heart and keep your regular check-ups that your doctor can arrange for you. Most surgeries run clinics to support diabetes and are run by our nurses.

Dr Sunil Hindocha is a GP at the City Medical Practice in Lincoln and the Chief Clinical Officer for Lincolnshire West CCG - the NHS organisation that buys the health services for people in Lincoln, Gainsborough and the surrounding villages.

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