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Health screenings and immunisation

Some conditions have specific screening tests to encourage early detection and treatment.
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Adult immunisation and vaccination

See the NHS Choices Vaccination page for information on the benefits of vaccination, how vaccines are developed and tested, and how the health advantages of vaccination far outweigh any risks.

If you have any further questions, please make an appointment to speak to your Practice Nurse, Health Visitor or GP who will be happy to discuss vaccinations with you.

Child immunisation

Breast cancer screening

The aim of screening is to detect any breast cancer at an early stage. Early detection can mean more effective treatment and evidence shows that regular breast screening between these ages can reduce the death rate from breast cancer.

Screening for women living in Lewisham is managed by Kings College Hospital in Denmark Hill but mobile units operate at different locations so women can be screened closer to home.

Being breast aware and knowing what your breasts look and feel like means you will be aware of any changes.

The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Service at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust

The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Service at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust provides support for people who may be concerned about their family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

You can also attend one of our clinics for a risk assessment and screening recommendations.

If you think you might benefit from the service, you can contact them directly on 0207 188 1385 or email on cancerriskassessment@gstt.nhs.uk.

You might also be interested in information on:

Bowel cancer screening

You will receive a letter telling you about our bowel cancer screening programme and how it works between your 60th and 62nd birthday.

About a week later, you will receive a test kit with step-by-step instructions on how to complete the test at home and how to send the samples to the laboratory.

You'll receive the results of the tests carried out on the sample within two weeks. Your GP is not involved in the screening programme but they'll be told the results.

Cervical cancer screening

If you're registered with a GP, your first invitation for screening will come shortly after your 25th birthday. You'll be invited for screening every three years between the ages of 25 and 49. Between 50 and 64, you'll be invited every five years.

If you want to continue screenings after the age of 65, you should contact your GP or practice nurse to arrange an appointment.

Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities which, if left untreated, could lead to cancer in a woman's cervix (the neck of the womb).

Early detection and treatment can prevent 75% of cancers developing but, like other screening tests, it is not perfect. It may not always detect early cell changes that could lead to cancer.


What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high. In type 2 diabetes, this is caused by the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or your body's cells not reacting to insulin.

Diabetes is a serious condition which can lead to major health problems, such as heart disease, blindness and even amputations. If you are at risk of developing the condition, you should take action now.

Who's at risk?

You have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if:

  • you are over the age of 40 (or over 25 for people of south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African origin, even if you were born in the UK)

  • you have a close relative with the condition, such as a parent or sibling

  • you are overweight or obese

Preventing diabetes

If you have been told that you are at a high risk of developing diabetes, your GP will explain the condition to you and help you understand how to prevent it.

The first thing you will need to consider is making lifestyle changes including:

  • eating healthily

  • losing weight if you're overweight

  • exercising regularly

NHS diabetes prevention programme

If you've had a blood test or an NHS health check, your GP can also refer you to the Healthier You: NHS diabetes prevention programme, which offers free support to help you reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The nine-month programme is led by trained coaches at sessions held across the borough. These session will help you make long-term changes to your lifestyle that can help you to avoid developing type 2 diabetes, and will help you to feel more energetic and healthy.

What happens if you are diagnosed?

If you can make lifestyle changes to keep your blood glucose at a safe level, you may not need other treatment. However, as the condition worsens over time you may eventually need to take medication to help control your blood glucose levels.


If you think you have been exposed to HIV, seek medical advice as soon as possible and before you order an at home test.

Testing for HIV

The only way to find out if you have HIV is to have an HIV test.

The earlier HIV is diagnosed, the earlier you can start treatment and avoid becoming ill.

At home HIV tests

Order a free and confidential HIV home test if you think you may have been exposed to HIV or if you are in an at-risk group.

The home test is delivered to you and involves collecting a small finger-prick blood sample. You then post this back for free to be tested.

Getting an HIV test in person

You can also get a HIV test at your GP surgery or a sexual health clinic. Results usually take 3–5 days.

Some GPs and sexual health clinics can provide a rapid HIV test which gives immediate results.

Who's at risk?

Anyone can get HIV but some people are at higher risk. At-risk groups are:

  • people from black African communities
  • men who have sex with men
  • injecting drug users who share needles or syringes

HIV facts

  • we have a high rate of HIV infection compared to the London and England average
  • in 2018, our rate of diagnosed HIV was 8 in 1,000 residents - the sixth highest of a London borough
  • estimates suggest that one in five people in London with HIV do not know that they have it
  • in 2018, 44% of people in the borough diagnosed with HIV were diagnosed late and were already unwell

More information

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