Practice News

Dr Marcia Walker  1/11/2021
Marcia has joined the team. She is presently working 5 half days/week . Marcia is an experienced GP and she has a special interest in appearance medicine and can provide facial botox and filler. 

COVID-19 update 1/4/2020
CONSULATIONS during COVID-19 alert level 4 and 3 will generally take place by phone or video. A secure video is provided by connection to If an examination is required an onsite consultation will take place with appropriate personal protection equipment.

Coronavirus Update 2/2/2020
If you develop a fever, runny nose or cough and in the preceding 14 days prior to onset of symptoms have:
a) Travelled to the Hubei province (particularly Wuhan) in China;
b) Had close contact with a person with confirmed infection of novel Coronavirus
Please do not come to the Practice, where young babies or elderly may be in the waiting room.
Please contact Healthline (for free) on 0800 611 116 or ph our reception.

Coronavirus Update 27/1/2020
We are receiving a few requests for information about how to manage the new virus that is making the news right now. Although the chances are good that this will be a non-issue, there is a lot of public concern so we thought to bring you some information you could use to navigate the muddy waters.
The novel Coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China is continuing to spread worldwide. It is very early days at the moment so it is impossible to be sure how this virus will behave longer term, however it is likely that it will be somewhat similar to the SARS virus from 2003, which was of a similar type. Evidence so far suggests that SARS-like behaviour is expected. SARS was a very unpleasant disease for some people and caused significant disruption even though it did not spread especially widely. This is because as a rule, these viruses tend to be quite hard to catch, evolved as they are for animals other than humans. Once the transition to humans is made, virus subtypes that are easier to catch often develop, though these tend to be less dangerous. This may be because our immune systems are better at dealing with the sort of viruses that find it easy to infect us, although this is just one of several theories.
Right now (27/01/20) there are NO CASES in New Zealand so there is no immediate need for concern. It is also Summer, which makes it less likely that viruses will be transmitted. Most people who catch the virus don't die but rather they make a full recovery though some are very sick for a while. Unfortunately, the virus can be spread by people before they become unwell so there is no effective way to screen at borders and therefore prevent transmission.
The main risk to New Zealand is that the virus could cause disruption to healthcare services as more very sick people would be expected to need treatment. With good treatment, outcomes are excellent, but treating sick people disrupts other healthcare activity and so keeping the numbers of infected people low is very helpful.
What should you do about it right now?
There is certainly no need to panic, no need to avoid neighbours and no need to rush into anything now, but an orderly move to a higher state of preparedness is certainly called for. In the very unlikely event of a pandemic, essential services such as power and water are expected to function normally, but access to shops may be difficult and it really helps to prevent disease spread if you stay away from other people. You may also find yourself isolated from others without notice, or needing to stay away from home or school so be prepared to keep in touch, and be able to isolate yourself if required to do so. The key is trying to prevent transmission, and having the ability to help yourselves so that emergency services are freed to deal with others who cannot.
Take a trip to visit your neighbours - community bonds are really important at times like this. Help elderly neighbours and relatives to prepare.
This is a good time to review your emergency kit -are all your essentials in place?
Could you live for 2 weeks on the food you have in storage? If not, it is a good time to stock up on non-perishables like rice, pasta and tinned goods. Just buy ones you will use anyway as the chances of needing them for an emergency are very, very small.
If you take regular medication, make sure that you have AT LEAST a 2 week supply in stock at all times. Don't wait until the last pack is empty before calling to make an appointment. Do it sooner rather than later.
Keep a stock of cold and flu remedies on hand - you will not die for the lack but some medicines can make illness less unpleasant - your pharmacist will give really good advice and can check the remedies are suitable for you, even if you are taking lots of other medicines.
Make sure your home cleaning and hygeine supplies are stocked up. You won't need 20 Litres of bleach, but having a full bottle on hand is a good idea. Alcohol hand rub is not especially useful, but a bottle or two is worth having - this is only useful if water supplies are interrupted, which is most unlikely, and for hand hygeine when out of the home. Keep some in your car.
It might be a good idea to have a few masks in the house though this is not essential - ordinary dust or surgical masks will reduce your chances of spreading a cold if you are infected so can make it safer for family to care for you. They are not thought to be especially effective at preventing you from catching viral infections, so don't depend on them. Make sure you know how to use one properly, just in case.
Make sure all your family contact details are up to date. During a pandemic is not the time to find your child has changed their mobile phone number. Check that everyone has a top-up for prepay plans. Keep a spare charger for your mobile phone in your car.
Talk to your employer about how they will be in touch if you cannot work - could you work from home? What if you have to keep children off school for a few weeks - how would that work for you? Again, not likely but well worth considering.
When 'flu season arrives, GET VACCINATED - the last thing we need is people with influenza thinking they have coronavirus,  (the symptoms are very similar) so having a flu vaccine and especially getting children vaccinated really helps.

Measles update October 2019
Children aged between 6months and 1 yr can now receive a free measles vaccine.
Up-to-date Measles Outbreak Information 3/9/19
There are more than 800 cases in Auckland as of 2 September 2019. There are about an extra 20 cases a day. The majority of cases are occurring in South Auckland, particularly Mangere, Manurewa and Papakura. However the number of cases in the Auckland DHB area is growing. Current detailed information here.
We are able to immunize only our enrolled patients and some casual patients, or you can go to one of the following drop in clinics:
Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm:Clendon Public Nursing Office, Clendon Shopping Center
Saturday and Sunday 9am to 4pm: Manukau SuperClinic, 901 Great South Road
Ministry have advised us to give MMR vaccines to the following:
Children on the current immunisation schedule – we have brought forward the 15 month immunisation to 12 months. This is given again at 4 years.
Children aged 6-12 months if in contact with a known case.
Children 6-12months they are travelling overseas soon to countries with an active measles outbreak. Here is another link to information about countries with active measles outbreaks
Youths and adults under 50 years who have had no doses of measles vaccine.
Please note that those who are over 50 years old are considered immune, as they have most likely developed natural immunity during their childhoods, when the vaccine was not yet developed.
For those under 50, they have usually been immunised depending on which country they grew up in. There was an earlier vaccine available from 1963. It was improved and the current measles vaccine was developed in 1968.
Measles vaccines were introduced in NZ in 1969, in the UK in 1968, in South Africa in 1975, USA in 1968, Canada in 1970, in Australia in 1969, Ireland in 1985, China in 1963. Korea in 1965, Hong Kong in 1967, Singapore 1976, Fiji 1982, India 1985.
One dose of the vaccine protects 95 people out of a 100 ie 95%. A second dose gives protection to another 3-4 people out of 100.
Why is there an outbreak?
There are a few reasons:
Measles is a highly infectious disease, one of the most infectious known. It is estimated that each person with measles will infect 15 others who are not immunised.
If someone gets measles, they are infectious 5 days before they even realise it is measles. The first 5 days it looks like an ordinary bad case of flu. The rash only comes out after day 5. So they can infect many people during this period
Those they infect only get sick 10 to 14 days later, so there is a lag where many cases develop unseen and in turn each person will infect others before they develop a rash.
A country needs 95% coverage to stop measles from spreading. This is called “herd immunity”. In some areas of New Zealand only 60% of people are immunised.
There are several reasons why the immunisation rate is so low in some areas such as access issues (time off work, transport), poverty, inequities, health literacy, and fear of side effects of vaccines
There is a prominent internet presence of those who believe vaccines are dangerous, fueled by information that is just plain wrong.

Immunisation rates have dropped in many other countries, primarily because of the anti-vaccine movement, and visitors from overseas can arrive by plane carrying the virus.
Those under 40 or 50 years old mostly grew up in a world where measles was very rare (post vaccinations) and have had no experience of the devastating effects of infection.
My baby is less than a year old. What can I do to protect her/him?
Can my baby have their MMR at 6 months?
Ministry is not recommending routine measles vaccines at 6-12 months unless your baby has been exposed to an active case of measles during the infectious period (5 days before the rash came out and 5 days afterwards)or will be traveling to a country with an active outbreak. This is because the MMR is only about 75% effective at 6 months of age, and we will need to give a total of three jabs if the first one is given at less than 12 months. However, if your baby is at day-care and likely to be exposed to measles, please call us to discuss, we will certainly recommend immunising your baby from 6-12 months if they are at risk.
Currently countries with known outbreaks
Africa: DRC, Madagascar, Nigeria
South America: Argentina , Brazil, Chile, Columbia Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela
USA: all states
Europe: France, Poland, Ukraine
Israel, Syria
Pacific: Japan, Hong Kong, Phillipines
European countries – Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and the United Kingdom
Neighbouring countries in the European region have also been affected: Albania, Belarus, Georgia, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine
Is the measles vaccine (MMR) free?
Measles vaccine (MMR) immunisations are funded for NZ residents and those eligible for funded medical treatments. Unfortunately it is not free for those who do not qualify. There is a fee for babies aged 6m-12months.see bottom of page for details.
I am an adult and I don’t know if I had a measles vaccine as a child. What do I do?
  • - 50 years or older ie born before 1969: If you were born before 1969 (over 50 years old) you are considered immune as there was lots of measles in the population until then. Because measles is highly infectious, it is very unlikely that anyone over 50 years old would have escaped infection and consequent lifelong immunity.
  • - Younger than 50 years ie born after 1969: The measles vaccine was introduced into most first world countries in 1968-1969 – this includes NZ, Australia, UK, USA. So if you had any jabs as a child and were born after 1969, you would have definitely got the measles vaccine with all your immunisations. One dose of the vaccine protects 95 people out of a 100 ie 95%. A second dose adds another 3-4 people out of 100.
  • - Details of some countries: The current measles vaccine was developed in 1968 and introduced in NZ in 1969, in the UK in 1968, in South Africa in 1975, USA in 1968, Canada in 1970, in Australia in 1969, Ireland in 1985, China 1965, Korea 1965, Hong Kong 1967, Singapore 1976, Fiji 1982, India 1985
  • - If this information hasn’t helped and you are under 50 years old, we will assume you were not immunised – please book in for an MMR
I am an adult under 50 years old and I really can’t remember if I had my jabs, and my mum/whanau can’t remember either
If you are a health care worker in contact with patients, a teacher working with children, or otherwise at risk, you might want to consider having a lab test to check immunity (the lab have a charge for this service) or book in for an immunisation.
I want a blood test to check if I am immune to measles
We are only allowed to order a funded blood test to check immunity if you have been closely exposed to a notified case of measles during their infectious period (5 days before the rash came out, and 5 days afterwards) and the result will impact on school or work attendance. If you haven’t had a close exposure to an infectious case during their infectious period, we are not allowed to order a funded blood test for you. However you can access this test by paying at Labtests to have a measles immunity blood test (about $50-55). You don’t need a lab form from the doctor, you can just go and request it and pay for it. Please ask for a copy of the results to be sent to us.
How long does measles immunity (natural or from a vaccine) last?
Immunity is lifelong regardless if it is naturally acquired in those older than 50, or by immunization in those younger than 50
I am an adult/child less than 50 years old and I know definitely I didn’t have any measles vaccines
You are eligible for a free measles vaccine at the GP. We are currently overwhelmed by the demand and are only able to immunize our registered patients. We are also experiencing a heavy demand and you may not be able to get an appointment at a time that suits you for a jab for a week or more. Please do not walk in for a jab without an appointment, our nurses need to prioritize our vulnerable children first and you will be asked to make an appointment.
My child/I am sniffly and have a cough and want to be checked in case this is early measles
Please call us before you arrive if you think you have any signs or symptoms of measles and let us know. When you arrive, please call us from your car and let us know you are here. A doctor or nurse will come to fetch you from your car, or see you in your car. We need to keep our waiting room and consulting rooms safe for small babies and others at risk.
My child/I have a rash and are very worried this is measles
Please call us before you arrive if you think you have any signs or symptoms of measles and let us know. When you arrive, please call us from your car and let us know you are here. A doctor or nurse will come to fetch you from your car, or see you in your car. We need to keep our waiting room and consulting rooms safe for small babies and others at risk.
I/my child have been told I have been in contact with an active case of measles during their infectious period (5 days before the rash came out, and 5 days afterwards)
  •  - If you are NOT immunized: You need to enter into quarantine from 7 days after the first day you were in contact with the case, and stay in quarantine for 14 days after your last contact with the infected person ie a full two weeks. Here is the quarantine calculator, and here is more information for contacts. We are happy to give you a doctors note for work/school, but please do not come into the practice during this period. We will email you the note. After your quarantine period is over and you remain well, please book in for an immunisation.
  • - IF YOUR CHILD THAT HAS HAD A MEASLES CONTACT DURING THE INFECTIOUS PERIOD IS LESS THAN ONE YEAR OLD OR IS IMMUNOCOMPROMISED (have a weak immune system eg have cancer, on immunosupressant treatment such as chemotherapy, oral steroids etc) PLEASE CALL US FOR ADVICE.
I/my child have been told I have been in contact with an active case of measles, but this was NOT during their infectious period (5 days before the rash came out, and 5 days afterwards)
You will not be infected by that case, but you are still generally vulnerable. Please call us to book an appointment for the immunization.
My doctor has said I may have measles. What do I do?
Here is the information about quarantine and keeping others safe. If you have a health concern whilst you are unwell, please call the practice before arriving. Unfortunately there is no specific treatment for measles. Here is some more information about this illness. Things that can help are bed rest in a quiet dark room, paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain/fever, drinking lots of fluids, wiping the eyes gently with wet cotton wool or a soft facecloth. If you have concerns about these symptoms please call us, do not break quarantine:
  •  - trouble breathing
  • - stiff neck
  • - feeling drowsy or you cannot wake them up
  • - coughing up green or yellow thick mucous
  • - back pain
  • - sore ears
  • - having a fit (seizure)
  •  -passing urine for 10 hours.
How dangerous is measles? Has anyone died in Auckland?
Thankfully nobody has died yet during this outbreak. Measles has a mortality rate of 1-2/1000 people infected. 1/10 people infected will need hospital admission for complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis. Babies and small children with lowered immunity have a 50% mortality from measles. In the 1991 outbreak of measles in NZ, there were around 7000 cases of measles and 7 deaths.
I have been in contact with a family member of a confirmed case of measles. I am not immunized against measles. What do I do?
If the family member has followed full quarantine instructions, you do not have to go into quarantine, but you are still vulnerable to other cases in the community who might be infectious.. Please book in to have your measles jabs with us if you are not immunised against measles. (enrolled patients only)
If they have not followed quarantine instructions, and you have been exposed to them during the quarantine period, need to go into quarantine from 7 days after you first saw them and 7 days after ie a full two weeks. After this period, if you have not contracted measles, you can book in for an immunization. Please do not come into the practice for an immunization during your quarantine period. If you become unwell in your quarantine period, please phone us and we will advise what to do. Please do not come into the practice without a doctor or nurse fetching you from your car.
I have heard that the measles vaccine (MMR) causes autism
There was a paper published in claiming the MMR caused autism, which has since been found to be untrue and withdrawn, and the author Dr. Wakefield was found guilty of ethical, medical, and scientific misconduct and his medical license was cancelled. Additional studies showed that the data presented were fraudulent. There is no evidence that this vaccine causes autism
I have heard that the measles vaccine (MMR) contains mercury
The MMR does not contain mercury.
I would like more information about vaccines
Immunisation Advisory Centre of New Zealand
I am pregnant/trying to get pregnant. Can I have the measles vaccine (MMR)?
Unfortunately it is not safe to have this vaccine whilst you are pregnant, or if you are not using contraception and may be pregnant. This is because the vaccine is a weakened live virus and will pass to the fetus and may cause harm. We recommend that you use contraception for a month and have a negative pregnancy test before we give you this vaccine. In addition, we recommend that you do not fall pregnant for one month after this vaccine is given.
I am on immunosupressant medication. Can I have the vaccine?
No this virus is a weakened live virus and may harm you if you are on any of these medications.
Links to full resources from ARPHS
  • - Fact sheet – Information for people with suspected measles
  • - Fact sheet – Information for close contacts exposed to measles
  • - Immunisation Advisory Centre phone 0800466863
  • - Pack – Whānau Pack for GPs and EDs
  • - Calculate your quarantine period
  • - Translated key messaging
  • - Poster – Stop! Do you think you have measles?
  • - Latest measles advisories
  • - Information Sheet for MMR Vaccine
  • - Data Sheet for MMR Vaccine
Doctors Resources
  • - Guide – Managing measles in primary care
  • - Clinical pathway
  • - Form – Notifications
The children's 15 months vaccines have now been brought forward to 12 months to protect the children from measles at a younger age.
Adults born in the 1970s -1991 may not have had the 2 doses on measles vaccine necessary for protection. If you do not have a written record of 2 vaccines the Ministry of Health will pay for you to be vaccinated for free.This vaccine can not be given to pregnant women.
 Please ph 6236234 and book an appointment with the nurse.

FLU VACCINES 27/3/2019
Flu vaccines are now available. Free  flu vaccines for people with chronic conditions will be available from 1/4/2019.
Please make an appointment with the nurse ph 6236234 or book online via Connectmed

MEASLES 26/3/2019
For information on the recent measles outbreak and available vaccinations please visit:
The Immunisation Advisory Centre Website
Please be aware the measles vaccine is in short supply and may need to be saved for priority groups at times until stock replenishes.
HPV (Gardasil) Vaccines 15/11/2108
HPV vaccine supplies are now available, following the worldwide shortage. If you are entitled to NZ health funded care and aged between 9yrs and 27 yrs please book your appointment, for the free vaccine, with the nurse.

Do you have expired medication in your cupboard or medication you no longer require. It can now be taken to the pharmacy for disposal. Our local pharmacy Eden Epsom Pharmacy will be taking part in this new scheme.
From January 1st 2017, girls and boys aged 9 to 26 years inclusive can receive the HPV (Gardasil) vaccine FREE.
HPV is a common virus that can cause cancers in both men and women; it is spread mainly by intimate skin-to-skin contact, if left undetected it can cause several cancers, including, cervical, anal, throat and mouth cancers, it also causes genital warts. The HPV vaccine provides protection against some of the most common strains of the virus.
In most people the virus does not cause symptoms, so they can spread it without realising.
Eligible females and males can book in to see the nurse and this will be given free of charge.
The HPV vaccination schedule consists of either 2-3 doses depending on age:
• 9-14 years 2 doses given over 6-12 months
• 15-26 years 3 doses given over 6 months
For Further information please follow the attached link:

 Eden Epsom Medical Centre was recognised at the ProCare Annual Awards Dinner.
The practice received the top award for HIGHEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DIABETES MANAGEMENT as well as Highly Commended in Ministry of Health Screening Targets and also in Heart Risk management.

The clinic now offers free hearing screening to all clients over 18 years. Contact reception.

Eden Epsom Medical Centre wins a ProCare Excellence Award for the second year in a row.

Diana has been recognised with an Honorary Academic position at The University of Auckland for her work teaching medical students at the surgery. Diana has a passion for helping train the future generation of doctors.

Eden Epsom Medical Centre has added a Patient Portal to it's services. Via an online login clients can book appointments, access their laboratory results, see when health checks/recalls are due, order repeat prescriptions and keep up to date with their immunisations. 
If you would like access to this service please contact reception.

There has been a measles outbreak in Auckland. If you are born after 1st January 1969 there is a greater risk that you are not immune to measles. If you have not had measles and have not had 2 doses of measles vaccine please call our nurse to organise free vaccination.

ZIKA VIRUS. 3/3/16
National Health Advisory
Updated Advice on Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus 3rd March 2016
Attached is updated information for midwives, GP's and other health professionals dealing with Zika virus in pregnancy.
The change from the previous version relates to the advice regarding sexual transmission of Zika virus.
The updated advice is as follows:
There is only limited information available about the risk of sexual transmission of Zika virus, but the risk is considered to be low when compared to the risk of transmission from infected mosquitoes.
Due to the potentially serious implications of transmitting Zika to a pregnant woman, we advise that:
• All men who have travelled to a Zika-affected area and have a pregnant partner should abstain from sexual activity (oral, vaginal, and anal) or use condoms for the duration of the pregnancy, whether they have symptoms or not.
• All men who have travelled to a Zika-affected area and have a partner who is at risk of becoming pregnant should abstain from sexual activity (oral, vaginal, and anal) or use condoms, whether they have symptoms or not. International advice about how long to abstain varies:
  • -  at least four weeks (WHO)
  • - 3 months (Australia)
  • - 6 months (ECDC and Public Health England)
  • - no specific duration mentioned (CDC).
We will continue to review New Zealand guidance as further information becomes available.
This updated information is also available on the Ministry of Health website at: 
If you are pregnant or considering pregnancy and due to travel please read Ministry of Health's information on Zika Virus.

Eden Epsom Medical Centre wins ProCare Excellence Award for being consistently the top Auckland Practice for cervical screening.
Out of 182 Procare practices, monitored for Ministry of Health general practice targets, Eden Epsom Medical Centre placed
1st for cervical screening
1st for immunisation of children under 8 months of age
1st for immunisations of children under 2 years.
3rd for Heart risk screening

OUR CLIENT WINS $250     November 2015
Congratulations to Debbie who has won the ProCare $250 Westfield voucher for having her cervical screening.Happy Spending

If you are a Southern Cross member and have GP cover our receptionist will be able to claim directly to Southern Cross saving you time. Families are also finding this useful for when their independent 'children' attend.

Each year the Ministry of Health sets Health Targets that General Practices should aim to reach as a reflection of good health care.
The 2015 mid year results are now available.
Eden Epsom Medical Centre surpassed ALL targets.
Heart Risk Assessments
Ministry Target 90%
Eden Epsom Medical Centre 95%
Cervical Screening
Ministry Target 80%
Eden Epsom Medical Centre 100%
Childhood Vaccination at 8 months
Ministry of Health Target 95%
Eden Epsom Medical Centre 100%
Childhood Vaccination at 2 years
Ministry Of Health Target 95%
Eden Epsom Medical Centre 100%
Smoking Cessation Advise
Ministry Of Health Target 90%
Eden Epsom Medical Centre 93%

We would like to acknowledge and thank our clients who have allowed us to use their images and helped make this website so personal.