Updated 28th July 2020
All patients need to wear a face covering when you visit the surgery. This can be a mask, a scarf or snood, whatever works for you.
The general clinical case definition for COVID-19 has been updated to include loss of or change in smell or taste. It is now: New continuous cough OR fever OR loss of/ change in smell or taste
Patients with a new continuous cough OR fever OR loss of/change in smell or taste are NOT to come down to surgery. Patients can access more information via https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
Patients who are isolating should not go out of their house during the period of their isolation.
Any patient who provides false information to gain a face to face appointment will be removed from the practice list.
To protect our patients and staff, we are making the following changes:
We ask that no patient attends the practice unless they have an appointment booked (advised by a doctor or nurse), or are handing in a sample to be tested. All contact with the surgery must be made by telephone in the first instance. Please do not just turn up at the surgery. We are offering telephone/video appointments with the doctor, alternatively patients can complete an e.consultation - Following the link further down the homepage.
If you are expecting a call from the doctor, this could be from a withheld number as our GPs may be working from home.
Better Health For help and support to lose weight, visit nhs.uk/BetterHealth
On Monday 27th July, Public Health England is launching a major new adult health campaign to seize the opportunity for a national reset moment of health.
Nearly two thirds (63%) of adults in the UK are overweight or living with obesity1. Gaining weight is often a gradual process that takes place over a number of years and modern life doesn’t always make it easy. But this extra weight causes pressure to build up around vital organs, making it harder for the body to fight against diseases like cancer, heart disease and now COVID-19.
By reducing your weight within a healthy range, you can cut your risk of being critically ill with COVID-19.
To improve health and wellbeing, individuals should aim to have a BMI below 25 and above 18.52. NICE recommends that Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME) should aim to have a BMI below 23 and above 18.5 to avoid risks to health3.
To support people to live healthier lives, Public Health England’s Better Health campaign will provide a variety of tools and apps to help you make healthier food choices, become more active and prevent future weight gain. One of these tools is a Weight Loss Plan app, which provides 12 weeks’ worth of engaging content that can be personalised and tailored to the goals and needs of the individual. Later down the line, support will also be made available to help people quit smoking, cut down their drinking and look after their mental health.
For help and support to lose weight, visit nhs.uk/BetterHealth
There will NOT be a routine phlebotomy clinic at Kingsway Medical Centre until further notice. Interim Phlebotomy Schedule
Phlebotomy - GP Drop-in clinics Schedule
Abbey Health Centre
(Including Marsh House)
Closed due to Covid-19
See schedule for BHC
Billingham Health Centre
8.00am - 12.15pm
08:00am – 12:00pm
1.00pm - 3.15pm
Patients need to wear a facemask.
Due to the extra demand for phlebotomy at Billingham HC please be patient whilst you wait and be respectful of social distancing rules and keep each other safe
Tues / Thurs / Fri
Mon / Tues / Wed
Kingsway Medical Centre
Closed due to Covid-19
See schedule for BHC
We have been made aware of some inaccurate information circulating (especially on social media) regarding special ‘rescue packs’ of antibiotics and oral steroids for patients with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or even for those who don’t have these conditions).
We would like to reassure you that patients who suffer with severe respiratory conditions already have these in place (along with the instructions how to use them). Oral steroids are powerful medicines and any decision to use them would need careful evaluation by a prescriber, usually a doctor or respiratory specialist nurse.
Please do not contact your GP practice for a rescue pack unless this is something that has been previously agreed and prescribed by your medical team. You should continue to manage your condition in the usual way and if you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, go to https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or call 111 (online services should be used as a first choice) before doing anything else.
Please request your repeat medication via the online service or register for the NHS app.
If you use the right hand side of your prescription to order medication – please post this in the surgery letterbox (to the left of the main surgery windows).
Important Change - please read - Patients are not allowed to collect their prescriptions from the surgery. The British Medical Association has advised that electronic prescriptions should be the default method of providing prescriptions. Patients who do not have a nominated pharmacy should be asked to do this. If a paper prescription is required then it must be collected by their chosen pharmacy. Therefore, please either nominate a pharmacy to receive prescriptions electronically OR arrange for the pharmacy of your choice to collect the paper prescription from the practice.
We would also be grateful if you would allow 72 hours from the day you request your prescription, to collect your medication, and please avoid ringing either the surgery or the pharmacy to find out if this is ready, this will help us keep our telephone lines open for emergencies. Our local pharmacies are also experiencing a high demand for their service at present.
When collecting medication - there could be a delay in prescriptions being dispensed. Please allow a minimum of 2 hours to save you a wasted trip/minimise queues and to collect between the times of 10 am - 12 pm and 2 - 4 pm (2 pm - 6 pm if a 100 hour pharmacy)
Contacting the Practice
Understandably, our practice is experiencing a high number of telephone calls from patients concerned. Our reception team are working as quickly as possible to answer each call however, it would be helpful if patients noted the following:
You do not need to contact the practice for advice if you are experiencing mild symptoms of Covid-19. You should follow the guidance at https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 The advice being provided on this website is the same advice you will be provided with from the practice.
A number of patients have asked about testing for Covid-19. We do not have kits or provide testing for Covid-19. Only patients currently being admitted to hospital are being tested if deemed appropriate.
You should dial 999 if you are experiencing severe breathing difficulties.
Isolation Notes - advice from the Department of Health :
Isolation notes will provide employees with evidence for their employers that they have been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, and so cannot work.
As isolation notes can be obtained without contacting a doctor, this will reduce the pressure on GP surgeries and prevent people needing to leave their homes.
For the first seven days off work, employees can self-certify so they don’t need any evidence for their employer. After that, employers may ask for evidence of sickness absence. Where this is related to having symptoms of coronavirus or living with someone who has symptoms, the isolation note can be used to provide evidence of the advice to self-isolate.
People who need to claim Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance because of coronavirus will not be required to produce a fit note or an isolation note. More details on coronavirus and claiming benefits can be found here.
The notes can be accessed through the NHS website and NHS 111 online. After answering a few questions, an isolation note will be emailed to the user. If they don’t have an email address, they can have the note sent to a trusted family member or friend, or directly to their employer. The service can also be used to generate an isolation note on behalf of someone else.
Requests for sicknote extensions :
The practice will issue sick note extensions BUT you will be unable to collect these until instructed to do so via our website. Sicknotes awaiting collection will be posted out or sent electronically.
We are seeing a surge in e.consult requests at 8 am - please note you can complete an e.consult request anytime in the day or night, the facility is available 24 hours a day.
Patients can self-refer to some services without seeing a doctor first.
Patients are able to self-refer for counselling. The website,
www.wecantalk.org lists organisations which provide free counselling.
CAMHS, The service for Children and Young People accept self referrals. Telephone CAMHS on 01642 368400
Stockton Recovery CGL - Drug and/or Alcohol problems Tel 01642 673888
Termination of Pregnancy
Patients are able to self-refer to discuss termination of pregnancy.
Appointments can be arranged by ringing:
North Tees Hospital - 01642 624 233
James Cook Hospital - 01642 282 424
Please note we do not routinely prescribe antibiotics
The Pharmacist can give advice for minor conditions such as:
Bites and stings
Cold or flu
D & V
The Dentist can offer advice regarding Toothache/abscess
(Site updated 29/07/2020)