Bedford Hill Family Practice

120 Bedford Hill
Balham
SW12 9HS
Tel: 020 8673 1720

Welcome to Bedford Hill Family Practice

The doctors and staff at Bedford Hill Family Practice are proud to offer the highest standard of patient-centred healthcare.

We run many clinics for the management of chronic diseases such as Asthma and Diabetes and offer a wide variety of other medical services including antenatal and postnatal care, contraception, childhood vaccinations and health screening.

The team comprises of 6 General Practitioners, 1 GP Registrar, 4 Practice Nurses and 2 Phlebotomists working at the surgery. The practice also employs 5 Administrative and 8 Reception staff, who provide support to the Primary Health Care Team.

GP Online Services

  • Book, view or cancel your next appointment at your convenience
  • Request repeat prescriptions
  • View your medication, allergies, immunisations, blood test results and problems securely on your desktop
  • Send a non-urgent secure message 

With Patient Online Access, you can access GP services at home, work or on the move and because Patient Access is a 24-hour online service, you can do this in your own time, day or night. Please speak to the Receptionist to register, you will need photo ID.

 

 

NHS Choices - Behind the headlines

  • Social care reforms announced

    Most of the UK media is covering the announcement made in Parliament by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, about proposed changes to social care.

    The two confirmed points to have garnered the most media attention in the run-up to the announcement are:

    • a ‘cost cap’ of £75,000 worth of care costs – after this...
  • Cancer treatment response may be affected by gut bacteria

    "Gut bacteria 'boost' cancer therapy," BBC News reports.

    The news comes from research into whether people with cancer might respond differently to cancer treatment depending on the bacteria in their gut.

    Researchers specifically looked at a type of cancer treatment called immunotherapy.

    This involves...

  • Could a blood test in middle age predict dementia risk?

    "Tissue inflammation blood test points to dementia risk," is the headline in The Times.

    Researchers in the US say people who have higher measures of inflammation in middle age are likely to have less brain tissue in some parts of their brain in older age.

    The differences in brain volume, seen on MRI scans, were also...

  • Acid reflux drugs linked to increased stomach cancer risk

    "A drug commonly used to treat acid reflux is linked to a more than doubled risk of developing stomach cancer," reports The Guardian.

    Researchers wanted to investigate whether there's a link between medicines known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and stomach cancer. Widely used PPIs include esomeprazole, lansoprazole,...

  • Nutrient drink for Alzheimer's has disappointing result in trial

    A new study investigating the effects of a nutrient drink for Alzheimer's disease has led to very different headlines in the media. While BBC News tells us the "Alzheimer's nutrient drink falters in clinical trial", the Daily Mirror reports the drink "could help stave off Alzheimer's disease, according to scientists"....

  • Marriage may help lower dementia risk

    "Marriage and having close friends may help protect against dementia, according to Loughborough University researchers," BBC News reports.

    The news comes from a study looking at the link between social relationships and the risk of developing dementia.

    The study included a large group of adults aged over 60 who didn...

  • Afternoon open heart surgery 'leads to fewer complications'

    "Afternoon heart surgery has lower risk of complications, study suggests," says The Guardian.

    Researchers in France were interested in whether the time of day of the operation was carried out affected the rate of complications following a type of open heart surgery known as aortic valve replacement. This involves removing...

  • Report calls for better mental health support in the workplace

    "Up to 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems have to leave their jobs each year, a report says," writes BBC News. This was just one of the UK media outlets that published the findings of a report looking at the extent of mental ill health in the workplace, and the related economic and social costs.

    Most of...

  • Blood-thinning drugs may reduce dementia risk in people with irregular heartbeats

    “Common blood thinning drugs halve the risk of dementia for patients who have an irregular heartbeat,” reports the Mail Online. Researchers in Sweden used the country’s health registry data to assess whether people with a condition called atrial fibrillation were less likely to get dementia if they took drugs such as warfarin.

    Atrial...

  • New genetic variants associated with breast cancer identified

    "Do you have one of the 180 breast cancer genes? One in five women has a variant that raises her risk of the condition by a third" is the rather inaccurate headline in the Mail Online.

    The story covers 2 new studies looking for genetic variations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

    These are small...

  • Eating mushrooms at breakfast may help you feel fuller

    "Starting the day with mushrooms could help you shed pounds from your waistline, new research has found," the Mail Online reports.

    US researchers wanted to see if regularly eating mushrooms for breakfast makes you feel fuller.

    Satiety or feeling full can be an important part of a successful weight loss plan, as...

  • Men who perform oral sex on women 'more at risk of mouth and throat cancers'

    “Men who have performed oral sex on five or more women are at greater risk of developing head and neck cancer, especially if they smoke,” the Evening Standard reports.

    This story is based on a US study that looked at 9,425 people aged 20 to 59 who provided information about their number of oral sex partners and were tested for oral...

  • Worrying rise in reports of self-harm among teenage girls in UK

    "Steep rise in self-harm among teenage girls,” BBC News reports.

    This follows a UK study that used reliable national databases to look at trends in reports of self-harm among young people aged 10 to 19 since 2001. It found annual rates of self-harm of 37 per 10,000 girls and 12.3 per 10,000 boys.

    There were several other...

  • Thousands of studies could be flawed due to contaminated cells

    "More than 30,000 scientific studies could be wrong due to widespread cell contamination dating back 60 years," reports the Mail Online.

    The news is based on research that suggests incorrect identification of cells grown in the lab could have distorted information in tens of thousands of published research studies. These...

  • HIV prevention drug could save NHS £1 billion over 80 years

    "A drug to dramatically cut the risk of HIV infection during sex would save the UK around £1bn over the next 80 years," reports BBC News. A modelling study looking at the cost-effectiveness of providing pre-exposure prophylaxis, or Prep, for men at risk of HIV, found it would reduce infections – and hence treatment costs – in the...

  • 'Magic mushrooms' may help 'reset' depressive brains, study claims

    "Magic mushrooms can 'reboot' brain to treat depression," reports the Daily Telegraph.

    The news is based on a small UK study that looked at the effects of psilocybin, a chemical found in magic mushrooms, on patients with severe depression.

    All 19 patients said their depression improved immediately after taking...

  • Pregnant women 'should avoid sleeping on back in last trimester'

    "New warning to pregnant women: Do not sleep on your back in the last trimester as it could cause stillbirth, claim experts," the Mail Online reports.

    This rather overdramatic headline stems from a new study that investigated the effects of mothers' sleep positions on baby behaviour in 29 women in the final weeks of...

  • Hormonal fertility tests 'waste of time and money'

    "'Fertility MOTs' are a waste of money," reports The Daily Telegraph after researchers in the US found hormones tested in "ovarian reserve" fertility test kits bear no relation to how likely women were to get pregnant – at least, in the early months of trying to conceive.

    These tests usually measure the levels of...

  • Childhood obesity soars worldwide

    "Shocking figures show there are now 124 million obese children worldwide," reports The Guardian. A pooling of records of height and weight in children from 200 countries found the numbers of children who are obese rose from less than 1% in 1975, to 5.6% of girls and 7.8% of boys in 2016.

    The numbers of children severely or...

  • Youngest children in school year 'more likely' to get ADHD diagnosis

    "Youngest children in class more likely to be labelled hyperactive," The Times reports. A Finnish study raises the possibility that some children may have been misdiagnosed with ADHD, when in fact their behaviour was age-appropriate.

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioural symptoms that...

  • Is schizophrenia risk 'around 80% genetic'?

    "Genetics account for almost 80 per cent of a person's risk of developing schizophrenia, according to new research," the Mail Online reports. That is the main finding of a study looking at how often schizophrenia affected both twins of a pair, looking at identical and non-identical twins.

    Schizophrenia is a serious mental...

  • Is schizophrenia risk 'around 80% genetic'?

    "Genetics account for almost 80 per cent of a person's risk of developing schizophrenia, according to new research," the Mail Online reports. That is the main finding of a study looking at how often schizophrenia affected both twins of a pair, looking at identical and non-identical twins.

    Schizophrenia is a serious mental...

  • Three quarters of honey samples contain pesticide traces

    "Honey from across the world is contaminated with potent pesticides known to harm bees," The Guardian reports.

    This is based on a study that analysed nearly 200 samples of honey, collected from diverse regions worldwide, and found that 75% contained traces of a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids.

    ...

  • Vitamin D may prevent asthma worsening for some

    "Vitamin D supplements protect against severe asthma attacks," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    The headline was prompted by a review that pooled data from seven trials comparing taking vitamin D supplements with a placebo in people with asthma.

    The researchers wanted to see whether vitamin D reduced the risk of severe...

  • Many new cancer drugs show 'no clear benefit', argues review

    "Over half of new cancer drugs 'show no benefits' for survival or wellbeing," The Guardian reports. That was the finding of a study looking at the evidence supporting new cancer drugs approved between 2009 and 2013 by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

    The study found only half of drug approvals had clear evidence showing...

  • Study links vegetarian diet in pregnancy to substance abuse in offspring

    "Pregnant vegetarians are three times more likely to have kids who abuse drugs and alcohol," reports the Mail Online. Researchers claim to have found a link between substance abuse at age 15, and diet of the child's mother during pregnancy. But it is far from clear that avoiding meat in pregnancy "causes" substance abuse...

  • Regularly skipping breakfast linked to hardening of the arteries

    "Skipping breakfast may be linked to poor heart health," The Guardian reports. Researchers from Spain found that people who regularly skipped breakfast were more likely to have atherosclerosis – hardening and thickening of the arteries due to a build-up of fatty deposits known as plaques.

    Atherosclerosis doesn't usually...

  • People with type 2 diabetes should 'save carbs for last'

    "Diabetics should save bread for last at mealtime to keep their blood sugar under control," the Mail Online reports. A small study found that people with type 2 diabetes who saved their carbohydrates until the end of their meal were less likely to experience a sudden rise in their blood sugar (glucose) levels. The medical term for...

  • Bedbugs thought to 'hitchhike' on dirty holiday laundry

    "Dirty laundry a powerful magnet for bedbugs, study finds," is The Guardian's headline, with The Times and The Daily Telegraph also covering this creepy-crawly story.

    Bedbugs are small blood-sucking insects that live in cracks and crevices in and around beds. They crawl out at night and bite exposed skin to feed on blood....

  • Has measles really been 'eliminated' in the UK?

    "Measles eliminated in the UK for the first time," reports The Telegraph.

    This and other stories in the media are based on a new World Health Organization (WHO) report confirming the UK is now one of 33 countries in Europe to have "eliminated" measles.

    "Elimination" is the official term used once...

  • Rates of newly diagnosed HIV increasing in over-50s

    "HIV rises among over-50s as they neglect safe sex" is the headline from The Times.

    The news is based on a European study that found more over-50s are being diagnosed with HIV compared with 12 years ago.

    The study collected data on more than 360,000 people who had been newly diagnosed with HIV between 2004 and 2015...

  • High-precision radiotherapy for prostate cancer 'shows promise'

    "Targeted radiotherapy 'cures' prostate cancer that kills thousands," reports The Times.

    The news is based on a UK study of the use of high-precision radiotherapy to treat men with advanced localised prostate cancer.

    Researchers wanted to see if they could safely target cancer cells that had spread outside the...

  • Sexual harassment in the workplace linked to depression

    News that sexual harassment in the workplace can cause depression and work absence has hit the headlines after the results of a Danish study were published.

    Researchers surveyed 7,603 employees from 1,041 organisations in Denmark, and asked them about symptoms of depression and whether they'd been subjected to sexual harassment from...

  • Any type of physical exercise is good for the heart

    "Vacuuming and scrubbing the floor are enough exercise to protect the heart and extend life," reports The Telegraph, with other media sources reporting a similar finding – that physical activity in our everyday lives is just as good as going to the gym.

    This follows a large international study published in The Lancet that...

  • Lightning Process 'could help children with chronic fatigue syndrome', study claims

    "Controversial Lightning Process 'helps children with chronic fatigue syndrome'," reports The Guardian.

    The story is based on a UK study investigating whether a treatment called the Lightning Process helped teenagers being treated for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis).

    The...

  • Many teenagers reporting symptoms of depression

    Summary

    "One in four British girls hit by depression at 14 as experts blame increase in cyber bullying and academic pressure," says the Sun after a large study found 24% of 14-year-old girls in the UK report symptoms of depression.

    The Millenium Cohort Study followed more than 19,000 children born in the UK in 2000 to...

  • Single-injection vaccine device still a long way off

    "Scientists invent injection that could deliver every childhood vaccine in one go," reports The Independent. Various media sources have run stories on a new injection they claim could allow multiple childhood vaccines to be delivered in a single jab.

    This follows the development in the US of a method of making a tiny,...

  • Women more likely than men to lose interest in sex

    "Women get bored of having sex with their partner after just a year together, a new study suggests," is the rather crass story in the Mail Online.

    The news is based on research that actually found multiple factors increased the likelihood of both men and women reporting a lack of interest in sex.

    The findings come...

  • Tattoo ink particles can spread into lymph nodes

    "Tattoos could give you cancer, new research suggests," is the entirely unsupported claim from the Mail Online.

    The news come from a study that found evidence particles from tattoo ink can spread into lymph nodes – but it hasn't been proven that tattoo ink causes cancer.

    Researchers used samples of skin and adjacent...

  • No change to alcohol guidelines for pregnancy

    "There is little evidence having the occasional drink while pregnant harms a baby," reports the Mail Online.

    This follows a review of international research looking at whether low-to-moderate alcohol consumption – no more than 1 to 2 units, once or twice a week – was linked with adverse pregnancy outcomes. To put this in...

  • Avoid eating just before your bedtime, study recommends

    "It's not what you eat, it's when you eat that matters: study shows timing your meals right is the key to beating obesity," the Mail Online reports.

    The headline was prompted by a small US study involving 110 university students.

    Researchers gave them activity monitors to wear, measured their sleep patterns, and...

  • Could a Mediterranean diet be as good as drugs for acid reflux?

    "Why the Mediterranean diet is the best cure for acid reflux: Study found patients who ate plenty of fish and veg had fewer symptoms and avoided side effects of medication," the Mail Online reports.

    Acid reflux, also known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), is a condition where stomach acid leaks back up into the...

  • Drinks industry accused of downplaying 'alcohol-cancer risk'

    "Drinks industry downplaying alcohol-cancer link," The Guardian reports as new analysis has been published looking at the accuracy of health information circulated by the alcohol industry on the link between alcohol and cancer.

    Many people still don't appreciate that alcohol can increase the risk of a range of cancers, such...

  • Can exercise offset some of the harms of regular drinking?

    "Adults who booze regularly but exercise for five hours a week are no more likely to die than teetotallers," the Mail Online reports.

    A study suggests exercise may compensate for some, but certainly not all, of the harms associated with excessive alcohol consumption. This latest study looked at deaths from...

  • Statins cut heart deaths in men by 28% finds study

    "Statins cut the risk of dying from heart disease by 28% among men, according to the longest study of its kind," The Guardian reports.

    Statins help reduce the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad cholesterol", in the blood. This in turn helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

    ...

  • Zika virus may be useful in treating brain tumours

    "Zika virus used to treat aggressive brain cancer," BBC News reports. Animal and laboratory research suggests a modified version of the virus could possibly be used to target and destroy cancerous cells.

    The Zika virus was first discovered in 1947...

  • Older babies 'sleep better' in their own room

    "Babies who sleep in separate rooms from their parents have earlier bedtimes, take less time to nod off and get more shut eye," the Mail Online reports on the results of an international survey looking at sleeping locations and outcomes in infants aged 6 to 12 months.

    The parents of more than 10,000 infants aged 6 to 12...

  • One in 10 men aged 50 'have the heart of a 60-year-old'

    "One-tenth of 50-year-old men have a heart age 10 years older than they are," BBC News reports. This is the finding of an analysis of 1.2 million people who used the NHS Heart Age Test.

    The principle behind the test is that you...

  • New insight into how excess belly fat may increase cancer risk

    "Belly fat releases proteins that fuel the growth of malignant [cancerous] cells," the Mail Online reports.

    It's long been known that obesity is an independent risk factor for a number of cancers, including breast, bowel and liver cancer. But it's less clear why this is the case.

    This question has become more...

  • Going to university may cut your risk of heart disease

    "Why gaining a degree could help you live longer," The Daily Telegraph reports. A new gene study found people with genes associated with spending longer in education had around a 33% reduced risk of developing heart disease.

    One of the...

  • Sitting for 20 minutes less a day won't make you 'more muscly'

    "Spending just 20 minutes less sitting a day reduces blood sugar levels, improves cholesterol AND even makes you more muscly," is the Mail Online's overly optimistic claim.

    Researchers in Finland recruited people who worked in offices and had young children for a study investigating whether training could help cut the...

  • Results of global fats and carbs study not very relevant for UK

    "Eating a low-fat diet 'increases your risk of dying young by 25%'," is the stark but somewhat misleading report in The Sun. The study the headline is based on mainly looked at people in lower- and middle-income countries, where diets are very different, so the results may not be relevant to the UK.

    Many previous studies...

  • Anti-inflammatory drug may help prevent heart attacks

    "Anti-inflammatory drug 'cuts heart attack risk'," BBC News reports. A major study found canakinumab – an anti-inflammatory drug originally designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis – could also reduce the risk of having another heart attack in people who have already had one.

    The study included more than 10,000 people who'd...

  • Reports that 'women have more stamina' look a little weak

    "Women have more stamina than men," is the definitive sounding, yet entirely unsupported headline in The Times.

    The study the headline is based on involved just nine women and eight men. Researchers asked each participant to do an exercise similar to calf raises (where the calves are used to lift a weighted bar or similar)...

  • Could adding lithium to tap water reduce dementia levels?

    "Adding lithium to tap water could prevent thousands of dementia cases," reports The Daily Telegraph. The report is based on research from Denmark that found people who had lived in areas with higher levels of naturally occurring lithium (a type of metal) in the drinking water were slightly less likely to get dementia.

    The...

  • 10-minute walk a day app to tackle 'inactivity epidemic'

    "Health bosses say 45 per cent of over-16s are so sedentary they do not manage the health-boosting ten-minute walk," the Daily Mail reports.

    The headline comes after data compiled by Public Health England (the government body tasked with improving the nation's health) found that more than 6.3 million adults aged 40 to 60...

  • C-section mums warned about dangers of 'vaginal seeding'

    What is the issue?

    A technique called vaginal seeding, sometimes used for babies born by caesarean section, "can give newborns deadly infections and sepsis," warns the Mail Online.

    Vaginal seeding involves rubbing vaginal fluid onto the skin of a newborn baby born by...

  • Gum disease linked to increased risk of Alzheimer's disease

    "Gum disease sufferers 70% more likely to get dementia," The Times reports. A Taiwanese study found that people with a 10-year or longer history of chronic periodontitis (CP) had a small but significant increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease...

  • Vitamin C injections could play a role in treating blood cancers

    "Super-strength vitamin C doses could be a way to fight leukaemia," the Mail Online reports. Research in mice found vitamin C could help combat the effect of a mutated gene that can cause uncontrollable stem cell growth and trigger the onset of acute...

  • 'Junk food' may increase cancer risk in 'healthy weight' women

    "Women who eat junk food such as burgers or pizza are increasing their risk of cancer even if they're not overweight, new research has warned," reports the Daily Mail.

    The story is based on research from the US looking at the diet of postmenopausal women in the 1990s and then tracking the development of a variety of cancers...

  • People who regularly groom their pubic hair at risk of injuries

    "A quarter of Americans are injured and hospitalized by tidying up 'down there'," the Mail Online reports.

    The headline is prompted by a survey which asked 7,570 adults about pubic hair removal and "grooming" (such as waxing). The researchers found that removing all pubic hair, and frequent hair removal, were most...

  • 'Alternative cancer therapies' may increase your risk of death

    "Cancer patients who use alternative medicine more than twice as likely to die," is the stark message from The Independent. Researchers found that people who chose alternative medicine instead of conventional cancer treatments were much less likely to survive for at least five years.

    Conventional treatments included surgery...

  • 'Fat but fit' people may still be at risk of heart disease

    "Concept of being 'fit but fat' is a myth, researchers say," ITV News reports after a Europe-wide study looked at associations between body weight, metabolic health and heart disease.

    The term "fat but fit" is used to describe people who are overweight or obese but don't have any of the symptoms of...

  • Reports that antibacterials in pregnancy are 'harmful' unfounded

    "Warning to pregnant women, don't use antibacterial soap! Chemicals in the products can make children fat and disrupt their development," is the alarming, yet entirely unsupported, headline from the Mail Online.

    US researchers wanted to see if pregnant mice exposed to the chemical triclocarban (TCC), previously used in a...

  • Gene editing brings pig organ transplant closer

    "Gene editing to remove viruses brings transplant organs from pigs a step closer," The Guardian reports after researchers used the new CRIPSR gene editing technique. CRIPSR acts like a set of molecular scissors that can cut out potentially harmful infectious genes.

    Despite the difference in size and shape, many of the pig's...

  • Vitamin B3 found in Marmite not proven to prevent miscarriage

    "Like it or loathe it, but Marmite could help prevent millions of miscarriages and birth defects around the world," is the overly optimistic headline in The Daily Telegraph.

    The news is based on research into just four families who have children with birth defects, with three of the families also having had...

  • Saliva 'may speed healing' but 'kissing it better' probably won't

    "Kissing it better really works: Saliva found to have properties that help speed up the healing process," reports the Mail Online. Researchers in Chile investigated how human saliva may help wounds to heal more efficiently.

    They used lab-grown skin cells and fertilised chicken eggs to see how a protein found in saliva,...

  • 'Exercise pill' could potentially help people with heart failure

    "Pill that mimics effects of going to the gym could transform lives of heart failure patients," the Daily Mirror reports. While the news sounds promising, it is important to make clear the research involved rodents, not people.

    Heart failure is...

  • Software used to screen social media photos for depression signs

    "The images you put up on Instagram could be used to diagnose if you're depressed," the Mail Online reports.

    Researchers attempted to see if computer-driven image recognition could diagnose depression based on the form and content of people's posts on Instagram, a social media photo sharing site.

    They looked at...

  • Alcohol linked to an increased risk of skin cancer

    "Drinking just one glass of beer or wine a day could give you skin cancer, scientists have warned," the Mail Online reports.

    Researchers pooled the results of previous studies and found a small, but significant, association between alcohol consumption and...

  • Diabetes drug may be helpful for Parkinson's disease

    "A drug commonly used to treat diabetes could help those living with Parkinson's disease," The Guardian reports. A small study suggests a drug called exenatide may have a modest beneficial effect on motor (movement) symptoms in people with Parkinson's...

  • Gene editing used to repair diseased genes in embryos

    "Deadly gene mutations removed from human embryos in landmark study," reports The Guardian. Researchers have used a gene-editing technique to repair faults in DNA that can cause the often-fatal heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    ...

  • Kitchen sponges may be a 'bacteria hotspot' – but no need to worry

    "Study finds just a sugar-cube sized piece of kitchen sponge can contain 54 BILLION bacterial cells," the Mail Online reports. A German study sampled 14 different kitchen sponges and found they contained far more bacteria than expected.

    Genetic analysis revealed the used sponges contained billions of bacteria, from 362...

  • Could discovery of 'fat switch' cure obesity?

    "Obesity cure possible after discovery of fat 'switch'," is the somewhat premature headline in The Daily Telegraph.

    Researchers have identified a "biological switch" that controls when fat cells convert fat into energy for the body. But the headline fails to make it clear that this discovery was in mice, not...

  • More older adults 'may benefit from taking statins,' study reports

    "Nearly all men over 60 and women over 75 eligible for statins, analysis suggests," The Guardian reports.

    This is the finding of a study that aimed to see how many people in England would qualify for statin use if the 2014 NICE guidelines for statin therapy in adults were followed.

    ...

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