The COVID-19 pandemic is still very much with us and all patients and visitors to our surgery are required to continue to wash their hands, wear face coverings at all times and respectfully retain social distancing measures. Reminder signs will remain in place. This is to ensure we can keep everyone as safe as possible. If you are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, please let us know before your visit so we can make alternative arrangements, for example we can provide a face shield.
We remain open and staff are here to see you safely. Please get in touch if you need advice or treatment. You may see a different professional when you have your appointment – whether via telephone, video or face-to-face – and this is to ensure that if we are dealing with any staffing shortages, we can still give you the right care, in the right place at the right time.
Please remember that you can also contact NHS 111 online or by phone, your pharmacy. But if you have a life-threatening emergency call 999 or go straight to A&E. To find your nearest pharmacy go to https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy/.
We ask you all to please be patient when you contact us. Staff are being affected by self- isolation (as well as the general public) and this can affect the numbers of staff available. This can put extra pressure on your local NHS services. We understand this can be frustrating, but it is vital to help minimise the spread of the virus. Please be kind.
We will endeavour to communicate with you as soon as possible should any circumstances change within the practice. Please continue to check your practice website, text messages sent to you or notices in your practice buildings.
The health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and patients continues to be our top priority. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Visiting the Practice
Face covering legislation changes on Monday 19th July. However, as a health care provider we ask that patients who enter the Primary Care Centre continue to wear a face covering unless exempt from doing so. A face covering not only protects others but reduces your risk of catching covid. Our staff will continue to wear face coverings as well as other protection and clean rooms regularly. We will also continue with telephone consultations when possible. Please only attend the surgery if you feel fit and well. We ask that you do not enter the building if you feel ill or unwell unless you have spoken to a GP and they have specifically told you to attend. Some covid symptoms can be very similar to a common cold and include:
- Persistent Cough
- Temperature or fever
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
You need to continue to look after all aspects of your health at this time so if you have any concerns you can book a telephone consultation, an eConsult via the link on this website or call us on 01434 602237. You can also call 111 for advice or if you have any covid symptons or feel unwell you can book a covid test by calling 119. You can still get covid even if you have had both your vaccinations.
We are unable to provide letters for travel, exempting patients from the wearing of face coverings etc. Please liaise with your travel operator if you have specific needs.
NHS Covid Pass
From 17 May 2021, people who have been fully vaccinated, in England, against COVID-19 can demonstrate their vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of the Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of the Janssen single-dose vaccine. Vaccine status will be available through the NHS COVID Pass service from:
You will need to register to use the online services, if you have not already. It may take more than a week for your identity to be checked and verified.
If you cannot access the online services, and you have had both doses of the vaccine in England, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you are due to travel outside the UK in the near future and have had your second dose (or one dose of the Janssen single-dose vaccine) more than 5 working days ago. It may take up to 7 working days for the letter to arrive.
This practice is not able to provide you with a letter that shows your COVID-19 vaccination status. Please do not contact the practice about your COVID-19 vaccination status.
When you're planning your travel, you should check the latest information on demonstrating your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad on the gov.uk website. Make sure there is enough time to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status before you are due to travel, particuarly if you have received these overseas or in any other part of the UK than England.
If you have been vaccinated anywhere other than in England, you will need to contact the service where your vaccination was administered. Whilst we can add details to your medical record, these will not populate any vaccine 'passport'.
AstraZeneca covid vaccine and travel
Please refer to the BBC news website for information. We have received no information nor guidance about the suggestion that people given certain batches of vaccine will not be allowed to travel outside the UK as at 16.00 Friday 2 July.
Bowel Cancer screening kits vs covid testing kits - there are similarities in the packaging for bowel screening and covid testing kits which may cause confusion. Please check the information on the attached document.
National Data Opt Out Information - extended deadline 1st September 2021
You have the right to opt-out at any time from data being shared.
Your data is used in broadly two different ways:
- provide you with care. This is called “Primary Use“
- allow for planning and research to be done. This is called “Secondary Use“
Both uses will only be made where it is considered secure and appropriate to use patient data.
Opting-out of data sharing is an option for all patients, however it is not without potential downsides. For Primary Use data, if you opt-out and need care in a local hospital, for example, it may be much harder for the staff to access important medical information about you needed to provide safe and effective care. For Secondary Use, the downsides are more indirect. If everyone in the country were to opt-out, it would make it much harder to ensure funding is used in the NHS to develop services where they are needed. It would also be harder to develop new treatments.
It is possible to opt-out of specific parts of data sharing, while keeping some elements of data sharing in place. It is very common, for example, for people who have privacy concerns about Secondary Use, to be happy to continue sharing data for Primary Use/Direct Care.
The below table summarises what opt-outs are possible, and how to request them:
How data in your GP record is used, and how you can control the use
Primary Use - sharing your data for your direct care
Who it is shared with
How it is used
How to opt out
Summary Care Record
These are used by NHS hospitals and other providers (e.g. midwives) to ensure they have the data needed to provide you with the right care.
Opt out through your GP practice - contact the surgery reception to speak to the practice manager/deputy practice manager to discuss this and we will be able to apply the opt-out
Great North Care Record
Secondary Use - Using your data to design health services and do health research
Who it is shared with
How it is used
How to opt out
Local NHS Organisations (such as Clinical Commissioning Groups)
Using data to plan how to design local services around the needs of the population
Use a 'type-1 opt out' - Please send this form to the practice by emailing to NORCCG.email@example.com
Using data to plan and design national services around the needs of the population
External research organisations
Using data for various research purposes
Use the National Data Opt-out – Visit the NHS website, use the NHS App or call 0300 3035678
How to manage your sharing preferences using the NHS App
You can view or change your current preference at any time.
To view and change your preference in the NHS App:
- Go to Your health
- Select Choose if data from your health and care records is shared for planning and research.
- Select Make your choice.
- Review the information on the page, then select Start now.
- View your preference, then select Change if you want to change it.
- Update your choice, then select Submit.
Attending the surgery for a face to face appointment
For routine appointments GP’s will normally hold a telephone consultation first and arrange a face to face appointment with you if needed. Our Practice Nurses are holding face to face appointments for blood tests and management of patients with a chronic illness. If you receive a recall from us it is because you are due to see a Nurse and would encourage you to attend if you can. If you do not wish to come in that is your choice but if at any time you have any concerns regarding your health you can arrange to speak to a Nurse or GP on the telephone or use the eConsult service by selecting the button on the home page. Please do not ignore any changes in your symptoms or new problems just because you do not want to attend the surgery. It is very important that we do not ignore other health issues during this time because much of the attention is focused on Covid.
We are taking all the precautions we can to keep you safe when you come in to see us. Please can you observe the following, to protect us all:
- Do not come to the surgery if you are ill, have any of the symptoms of Covid or had a Covid positive test result
- Arrive only a few minutes before your appointment time
- Please do not bring children with you if at all possible, unless the appointment is for them
- On entering the building please wear a mask or face covering if you can and wash your hands or use the hand sanitiser provided
- Tell the receptionist at the entrance that you have arrived
- Please observe social distancing rules keeping 2 metres apart at all times
- Leave as quickly as you can after you have been seen
The Germ Defence website gives scientifically proven practical advice on how your patients can reduce the spread of coronavirus in the home. Please take a look.
Guidance note for patients requesting exemption letters for face coverings
We are aware that some patients might be understandably anxious about the Government’s announcements around the use of face coverings in various public settings. Wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England will also become mandatory from 24 July.
GPs are unfortunately not in a position to provide individual risk assessments or letters for patients who feel that they should be exempt from wearing a face covering.
The government guidance on exemptions suggests there is no requirement for evidence for exemption; therefore, it is sufficient for an individual to self-declare this.
The responsibility for issuing exemptions for those travelling on public transport lies with the transport provider not your GP. Similarly, practices are under no obligation to provide letters of support for anyone who does not fall under the list of exemptions but considers themselves to have another reason to be exempted.
Government advice on the use of face coverings can be found here:
Some people don’t have to wear a face covering including for health, age or equality reasons. Some transport staff may not wear a face covering if it is not required for their job. This would be assessed by the employer not the GP.
If you would like to print out your own exemption card, please click on the link below:
Changes to our telephone line times
With effect from Monday 26 October 2020, our telephone lines will be available between 08.00 and 18.00. The practice will remain open until 18.30, Monday to Friday.
Please do not e-mail us directly with private or confidential medical information. This is not a secure channel. Please contact us via the e-Consult service instead.
This is available via the online form found half way down the home page. Just click on the blue e-Consult box and follow the instructions. This is a secure way of contacting us and the system will direct you appropriately. If you need GP advice, you will receive a response the following working day and they will arrange any follow up or consultation that may be required.
Mobile telephone numbers
Please make sure we have your up to date contact details. We use mobile phone numbers to send appointment reminders and other appropriate messages. If you provide us with a mobile telephone number we will assume you are happy to use this to contact you unless you tell us otherwise.
Online Booking and Medication Requests
To book appointments and order repeat medication 24 hours a day 7 days a week download an application form or please speak to one of our reception team. for full details regarding security and consent please select item 4 in further information on the right of our home page
Application form for online access