COVID 19 Tests
If you have been referred to your GP by 119 for a COVID test we are sorry but we are unable to help. We do not have the ability to test. Please be patient and continue to try 119. If you wish further advice on COVID - please contact NHS direct on line or phone 111.
There is currently a capacity issue with testing via 119. Your GP practice are not able to provide tests or diagnose COVID. If you have been directed to your GP practice by 119 please hang up, be patient and continue to isolate until you are able to obtain a test.
October is a busy month for health related campaigns: please click on this document to find out about
- Wellbeing for Life
- World Mental Health Day
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Sober(ish) October
October 2020 Health Awareness Campaigns
Face Masks - patients seeking exemption letter
Please read the attached letter
Face masks and exemption letters
See this website for more info:
Flu vaccine for the 50 - 64 year olds
Message to 50 to 64 year olds about the flu vaccine
Patient Transport: How to access it...
Leaflet for Patients about Patient Transport
Poster for Patients about Patient Transport
Public Health England has launched 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 obesity.
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 18.5.
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 health.
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
Want to stop smoking?
Throughout the Coronavirus outbreak our Smoke-free County Durham service is still open. Our person-centred service focuses on delivering flexible specialist stop smoking support to those who live or work in County Durham. Our Practitioners are here to offer you support with quitting smoking so please contact us on 0800 772 0565 or 0191 369 2016.
COVID-19 and smoking
What you need to know
If you smoke, now is the time to quit, to help you stay healthy and out of hospital.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory infection, which can cause life threatening complications affecting the heart as well as the lungs.
Smoking damages your heart and lungs, which can put you at greater risk of developing severe disease from COVID-19.
Smokefree County Durham service is still open and accepting self-referrals throughout Coronavirus.
Call 0800 772 0565 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Information for patients
If you have symptoms (acute respiratory infections, using any one of the following: cough or fever or shortness of breath)
- DO NOT come into the surgery
- DO NOT attend A&E
- Visit the 111 website
Coronavirus and Fit (Sick) Notes
If you need to provide a note to employers asking for proof that you are self-isolating please go to
Please read the attached:
Coronavirus and Fit Note Advice
Hay Fever Information Leaflet
electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD)
If you get regular or repeat prescriptions, you could save time by switching to electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD).
eRD sends your prescriptions electronically from your GP surgery to a pharmacy of your choice. It’s easy to use and you don't need a computer or electronic device. Ask your GP or pharmacist to set it up for you.
eRD allows your GP to prescribe your regular medicines for up to a year. It’s reliable, secure and confidential. Your regular prescriptions are stored securely on the NHS database, so they'll be ready at the pharmacy each time you need them.
Using eRD you can:
- save time by avoiding unnecessary trips or calls to your GP every time you need to order a repeat prescription
- order or cancel your repeat prescriptions online (if your GP practice offers this service)
- pick up your repeat prescriptions directly from your pharmacy without having to visit your GP
- spend less time waiting for your prescription in the pharmacy or GP practice
- save paper – you won’t need a paper prescription to collect your medicine from the pharmacy
For more information about eRD and how it works, ask at your GP surgery or pharmacy, or visit the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/eRD
Information for patients
Regarding non-NHS repeat prescription services
We are aware that repeat prescription services that are not legitimate NHS services are currently being advertised.
Be cautious if an individual offers to pick up your prescription for you at a cost.
Anyone signing up to this service should be aware that it is not endorsed by, or aligned to any NHS organisation. Patients will be signing up to a private contractual agreement between themselves and the individual providing the service.
We would strongly advise any patient thinking of signing up to this service to ensure that they consider whether it complies with Data Protection Act (DPA) and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in relation to how their information will be stored and processed.
Any advertisement for a legitimate NHS service offering repeat prescription service will display the NHS logo and the contact details of the organisation(s) providing this.
If you have any questions or concerns about a service that you have seen advertised in your local area, please speak to the Business Manager (Martin) who will forward on your question or concern.
The Medicines Optimisation Team
DDES and ND CCGs
Prescription Telephone Line
Is open between 10:00 am - 11:30 am and 1:00 pm - 3.00 pm, Monday through Friday.
Extended Access Service
There is an extended access service, running Monday to Friday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday.
Both GP and Nurse or Health Care Assistant appointments are available.
This is an extension of the GP service that runs as normal throughout the day, and is aimed firstly for those people who, for example, work and find it difficult to get to see a GP or Nurse or Health Care Assistant during the day.
This poster offers more information:
Extended Access Service
Information about our appointments system and prescription
Ring our main appointments number on (0191) 371 0232 using option 2 to book an appointment: the line is open from 8.00 am to 3:00 pm.
Is one where you have contact with a GP within 24 hours (we cannot guarantee that you will be matched to the GP of your choice, but we will try to)
- With any GP is an appointment within 2 weeks
With the GP of your choice is an appointment within 4 weeks
Our Reception staff has been trained to ask questions to help direct you to the most appropriate appointment / GP / Nurse: PLEASE take the view that they are there to help, and are not asking questions for no reason at all.
- Early morning appointments (before 8 am) on a weekly basis: days can vary occasionally so ask at Reception for details.
- Late evening appointments every Monday (last GP appointment 8:20 pm).
You can book an appointment on-line via our website: please ask a Receptionist for details as to how to do this.
You can help us by:
- Being on time for your appointment
- Letting us know if you need to cancel
- Calling for a home visit or urgent appointment before 10 am
- Ringing for a repeat prescription between 9.00 am and 3.00 pm
- Ringing for the results of tests between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm
- Please ask at reception if you would like to start ordering via email or nominating a pharmacy you would prefer to have your prescription forwarded to electronically.
- You can also post the prescription request in the box in the foyer (please ensure social distancing) or post your request to us.
PLEASE allow 2 working days for the practice to process your prescription request, and 3 working days for the on-site pharmacy to process the prescription order (other local pharmacies may operate on a different time scale).
Therefore, we suggest you plan ahead at least 5 working days for any repeat medication requests.
- If you take medication on a long-term basis, you can ask for a repeat prescription by ringing the prescriptions telephone line on (0191) 371 0232 you should ring between 10:00 am - 11:30 am and 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm using option 3.
Use of antibiotics
Please see this poster:
Antibiotics usage poster
Wi-Fi available to patients
Please see the attached poster as to how to access Wi-Fi in the waiting room.
WiFi available in the surgery
Eligibility for help with NHS Costs
Patients are required to make a payment towards the cost of certain items, such as prescriptions, dental or eye care.
The NHS has an online checker so you can see what help you could get to pay for NHS costs at: