Updates from the Practice Team


Tawa Medical Centre & Linden Surgery Newsletter

Aug 31 2018

Spring Newsletter 2018



It feels like spring is upon us early this year and with it comes a fine coating of pollen. This is the time of year when pollen release is high –this can be a problem for people who are prone to airborne allergies. Other triggers can be dust mites, pet and mould allergies.

Symptoms of hay fever may include a blocked, runny or itchy nose, itchy watery eyes, bouts of sneezing, headaches, or a feeling of pressure over the sinus area.

How hay fever is treated depends on the severity of your symptoms. Mild symptoms can be treated with over the counter medications such as anti-histamines and eye drops. Try and avoid being exposed to the allergen if possible.

For more severe symptoms consult your Doctor. If symptoms last for more than 4 days a week and are affecting your quality of life and other medical conditions please make an appointment to be reviewed.

 Depending on the severity of your symptoms treatment may include a prescription for corticosteroid nasal sprays, decongestants (for short term use) and antihistamines.


Introducing Natasha our new Practice Nurse. Natasha is a new grad and joined us at the end of January. We’re sure you’ll enjoy getting to know her. In her spare time she enjoys singing, dancing, painting and doing creative things. She will be working 4 days a week in the Tawa Practice.


Do we have your most up to date details on file? Keeping our database up to date with accurate patient information is a constant challenge. Have you changed address or phone number recently? Have you given up smoking? Do we have the name and contact details for your next-of kin? Please remember to advise us when you make changes which we may need to know about.



Do we have your current card number on record? Eligibility for some funding relies on you having a current CSC so please update your information with our receptionists the next time you are in.



From April 1st 2018 Zostavax (the Shingles Vaccine) has been FREE for those aged 65-80.We had some problems with supply in the early days but this has now been sorted.

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes Chickenpox. After Chickenpox heals, the virus lays dormant in your nerves and may later reactivate as Shingles. That is why anyone who has had Chickenpox can get Shingles. Shingles is a painful, blistering rash. There are some health conditions which may mean vaccination is contraindicated or should be delayed e.g. if you are under the care of a specialist, are immunosuppressed or have had recent treatment for cancer. Everyone who wishes to have Zostavax is required to complete a screening questionnaire before being given the vaccine, to ensure it is in your best interests to receive it. Zostavax can be given to patients over 50 but if you are not eligible for a free vaccine there is a cost of $250 which includes the nurse consultation. As with every vaccine you must wait 20 minutes after your vaccination to ensure you have no reaction .     



Just a reminder on the methods we use to let you know about your test results. If everything is normal you won’t hear form us unless your Dr has specifically told you otherwise .If there is anything to be concerned about we will contact you by phone, text, or the patient portal to discuss the results or ask you to make an appointment to discuss what needs to happen next. Depending on the nature of the test you may not be contacted for up to two weeks until we have received all relevant results—your GP or nurse can give you an approximate indication of the timeframe. If you are concerned you haven’t heard from us at the end of the given timeframe, or you are feeling worse, please give us a call.


 The Ministry of Health require us to update the data on our patients’ smoking status, and to provide advice re quitting, once a year. Some of you may feel that we are constantly contacting you to update these details, and have stopped replying to us. If you could please respond to our messages or texts then we won’t have to bother you as often.


When you request a prescription either at reception, on the prescription line or by Manage my Health it is important that you give us as much information as you can to assist us in getting you the right medication and the correct dose. If you want it to be faxed or delivered to a pharmacy it is important that you indicate clearly the pharmacy name and address and if possible fax number. Please note an additional fee is charged for same day, faxed or posted prescriptions. If there is a problem with your request a nurse will ring you so please supply us with the contact number you are going to be on. When you receive a letter advising that you need a clinical review with your next prescription please note that it is a good idea to make your appointment in plenty of time before you run out of your regular medications, as at times, appointments are scarce.


We would like to encourage our male patients to make an appointment for a prostate check with a Doctor. Every year over 3000 NZ men are being diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. Early detection can lead to better outcomes. 


We appreciate that there are times when your financial circumstances might be difficult, and you may struggle to pay your medical costs. We are here to help you find solutions to work with us but, to do this, we need you to let us know as early as possible if things are getting tough. We do not want this to prevent you from seeking medical care when you need it. Where we can, if you meet the eligibility criteria, we may be able to source additional funding for you. However, there are a number of patients who routinely do not pay their medical fees and do not respond to our attempts to contact them. After many attempts, we will consider referral to a collection agency. This isn’t something we do lightly as it affects your credit rating. We therefore need to remind you of our standard payment terms - we expect payment at the time that the service is provided unless you have entered into a prior arrangement with us. We wish to advise that procedures, such as minor surgery and unfunded vaccinations (e.g. for travel), will incur additional costs. When discussing the need for these your GP or nurse can advise you of the cost. We accept a variety of payment methods; including cash, eftpos, most credit cards and regular Automatic Payments (many patients find this a useful way of “smoothing” out their medical expenses rather than finding a lump sum). Please talk to one of our reception/administration team if you have any concerns regarding your medical costs.



May 01 2018

Winter’s on its way with shorter days, colder nights and the usual round of winter colds and illnesses.




If you or a family member gets asthma, check you have a ready supply of your preventer medication and inhalers. If you need a refresher on how to use an inhaler, one of our practice nurses can show you what to do.

Here are some other tips for keeping well in the countdown to winter.

·       Keep active, get lots of fresh air and drink plenty of water.

·       Wash and dry your hands thoroughly to keep any germs away.

·       Eat lots of fruit and vegetables – they’re a great source of vitamins!

·       Avoid slips, trips and falls – clear paths and steps of moss that could become slippery when frosty.

·       Keep you and your home warm – stock up on firewood and check doors and windows for gaps that could cause draughts.


VISIT www.healthnavigator.org.nz for more information and tips.

Zostavax Vaccination

Apr 26 2018

From April 1st Zostavax (shingle vaccine) has been funded for patients aged 65-80.

Due to the pressure on our nurses’ appointments, with the flu vaccine arriving late, we have decided to concentrate on ensuring everyone who is eligible can get their flu vaccination in a timely manner. We will be starting the Zostavax campaign in earnest in June and we will be getting extra supplies of the vaccine in to cope with demand.

 Zostavax is a live vaccine. There are some health conditions e.g. If you are under the care of a specialist, are immunosuppressed or have had recent treatment for cancer it may mean vaccination is contraindicated or should be delayed.  Everyone, who wishes to have Zostavax, is required to complete a screening questionnaire before you can be vaccinated to ensure it is in your best interests to be given this vaccine.

Please contact us on 2327193 in early June if you think you are eligible.

A Message from Dr Kevin Fitzsimons

Mar 23 2018

To those of my patients whom I have not seen in person, I wish to advise that from the end of March 2018 I am retiring as a partner at Tawa Medical Centre. After 37 years here this is quite a wrench. I have been most fortunate to have known so many wonderful people as patients and workmates during that time.

The relationships that I have formed with my patients has meant a great deal to me and will not be forgotten. I thank you most sincerely for the trust you have placed in me and for the real privilege of sharing in your lives. I will miss you.

The departure is eased by the confirmation of an outstanding replacement. Many of you will have met Dr Cat Rourke, who has been with us for the last ten years. I recommend her to you and I know that she will provide you with care of the very highest standard.

You might still see me about on occasions as I will fill in when required.

My best wishes to you all.


Christmas Hours

Dec 27 2017


Christmas Hours

Closed Monday and Tuesday 25th and 26th December.   Open 8am-5pm Wednesday 27th, Thursday 28th and Friday 29th December 2017.

Closed Monday and Tuesday 1st and 2nd January.   Open 8am-5pm Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th and Friday 5th January 2018.














Mana Island Excursion

Dec 27 2017




2nd December

On Saturday morning some of the TMC staff and friends travelled over to Mana Island with a “Friends of Mana Island“ excursion to discover the treasure we have on our back doorstep.  Mana Island is a wonderful place to destress after a busy week and to get away from Christmas bustle–a meandering stroll with a guide for some, or for those who felt like it, a brisker paced self-guided explore.

Sunhats and sunblock lotion were the order of the day as summer had turned on her best for us - we certainly managed to refill our bodies' Vitamin D stores.  We took the opportunity for a healthy picnic lunch and of course bottles of water were a must.

A great day was had by all and we would thoroughly recommend it as a chance to reconnect with nature and with each other.




Blue September - men it's time to get checked

Sep 18 2017

Onesie day 2017

Sep 12 2017

On Friday 8th September, Tawa Medical Centre showed it support for Wellington Free Ambulance by participating in Onesie day. This is a fun day and a good way to raise some funds/donations for WFA - who provide a valuable service to the Wellington Community.

Donations made at the centre, and 'fines' gathered from staff have been paid to WFA - with thanks

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    Fax :+64 4 232 5081
  • Hours

    Monday, Tuesday & Friday : 8am - 5:30pm
    Wednesday & Thursday: 8am - 7pm
    Saturday: Closed
    Sunday & Public Holidays: Closed

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