Newsletter - December 2023

Please click here to download a PDF of our December 2023 newsletter.

Out of stock medication – why is it increasing?

We share the frustration of patients that there are an increasing number of medications we are unable to get hold in a timely manner. Please click here to read about some of the reasons for this.

Access to treatments for COVID-19 - changes from 27 June

NHS England has written to the majority of patients who are currently eligible for treatments for COVID-19, to inform them the way they access these treatments is changing.

From Tuesday 27 June, eligible patients will be able to self-refer to the COVID Medicines Delivery Unit (CMDU), which provides antiviral medicines to patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and who identify as belonging to the highest risk clinical subgroup.

This includes some patients with cancer, blood conditions, kidney disease, liver disease and auto-immune diseases, among others.

If you are an eligible patient and test positive for COVID-19, please contact the CMDU directly and self-refer by:

Patients will be assessed within 24 hours of referral.

Further information is available online:

Cervical Screening Awareness Week 19th - 24th June 2023

Please click here for some helpful info about cervical screening.

Dispensary Team Update - 25 May 2023

Our dispensary team are currently struggling with staffing levels.  We are doing our best to keep to our 5 working day (calendar week) turnaround for medication.  Please help us by requesting your medication at least one full week before you are going to run out.  

If you are concerned you are going to run out please call our dispensary team on our main Stockbridge number (01264 810524) and choose option 2 between 9am-10am and 2-3pm each weekday, excluding bank holidays.  Alternatively, you can email the team at  

Please avoid attending the surgery to speak to a member of the dispensary team as this interupts them from dispensing and means they are less efficient.  

Facts and Statistics about General Practitioners

Wessex Local Medical Committee have produced some information on the recruitment and retention of GPs.  We have added some details about the current challenges we face as your local GP surgery.

Please click this link to view the slides:  Facts-and-Stats-about-General-Practice-produced by Wessex LMC.pptx

HRT Supply - 11th May 2023

We are aware of significant supply issues with some HRT medication, specifically Estradiol and Utrogestan. These issues impact the whole country. 

Please click on the link below for information about HRT medications that are out of stock: 

BHUK_2023_269-ROI-BH-Ireland-Product-Supply-Update-May-v1.pdf (

Some larger suppliers may have stock and we will offer a paper prescription or an alternative medication.  

As a reminder, you can email the dispensary team - or speak to a member of the team by phoning 01264 810524 and choosing option 2 between 9am-10am or 2-3pm each working day (Monday-Friday, excluding bank holidays).  


HRT Prescriptions from 1 April 2023

HRT prescriptions will not be free from 1 April 2023.  Patients will be able to purchase a pre-payment certificate rather than pay for each individual prescription.  The pre-payment certificate is not currently available to purchase.  When it is available you can access it here:

If you apply for a certificate then when you complete the back of the prescription at the time of collecting your medication please indicate that you have a pre-payment certificate.  You will have to pay the prescription charge for any medication other than hrt.  

If you tick that you have a certificate when you do not then you will receive a letter from the NHS Prescription Service as this is fraudulant. 

The information below is from the above national NHS site.


You can only:

  • buy an HRT PPC if you live in England
  • use the HRT PPC for your own NHS prescribed HRT medicine.

An HRT PPC covers certain NHS prescribed HRT medicine.

You should use the HRT PPC as evidence of your entitlement to free NHS prescribed HRT medicine.

Before you buy

Check if you are entitled to free prescriptions on other grounds before buying an HRT PPC. This can be done via the above website.

HRT PPCs are not refundable so make sure you need to buy one before doing so.

Cost of an HRT PPC

The cost of an HRT PPC is the price at the time you buy it and is the same cost as 2 single NHS prescription items. This is regardless of the start date requested. The Department of Health and Social Care determines the cost of the HRT PPC. This may change on 1 April each year.

Certificate length

An HRT PPC is valid for 12 months.

HRT PPCs do not automatically renew.

HRT PPC start date

You can choose the start date of your HRT PPC. This can be up to one calendar month before or after the date you buy. If you do not specify a start date, it will start from the date you buy it.

The earliest you will be able to start your HRT PPC is 1 April 2023.

Errors or changes of circumstances

It's important your details are correct and kept up to date. You should report any errors or changes to your name or address without delay to NHSBSA.

When you claim free NHS prescriptions, we'll check that you are entitled to the exemption you have declared.

NHS prescription charge refund

Ask for an NHS receipt (FP57) when you pay for your prescription. You can’t get one later. The FP57 tells you how to claim. You have to apply for a refund within three months of paying the prescription charge.

HRT PPC refunds and cancellations

HRT PPCs are not refundable and cannot be cancelled once paid for.


A Day in the Life of a GP

Please click here to read 'A Day in the Life of a GP'.

New Routine Appointment System

As of 1st November 2021 we are moving to a new routine appointment system. In April 2020 all GP surgeries in the UK were mandated by the government to operate a telephone 1st appointment system. This was to help prevent the spread of COVID and to keep patients and staff safe. Over the past 18 months we have always offered patients a face to face consultation after an initial telephone consultation if it was deemed clinically necessary. Over the past few months approximately 50% of our consultations have been face to face. Increasingly both patients and clinicians have become more frustrated at the inability to book a direct face to face consultation for a problem that will clearly need an examination. We have therefore decided to move to a new hybrid model.

When you call up for a routine appointment, our receptionists will offer you the choice of either a telephone consultation or a direct face to face appointment with the doctor. This hybrid model will offer patients more choice and we hope it will allow those who prefer the convenience of telephone consultations to continue to benefit from this and those who need to see a GP in person the ability to book this directly.

We hope this new hybrid system will incorporate the best parts of more traditional style general practice that our patients were used to prior to the pandemic whilst also utilising the best parts of the advances in remote consulations made during the pandeminc.

Please remember the pandemic is still ongoing, case rates of COVID-19 are still high in our local population and a lot of people are carrying and transmitting COVID-19 without realising it as they have no symptoms themselves.

Anonymised Data Sharing from GP Records to NHS Digital


How sharing patient data with NHS Digital helps the NHS and you

The NHS needs data about the patients it treats in order to plan and deliver its services and to ensure that care and treatment provided is safe and effective. The General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection will help the NHS to improve health and care services for everyone by collecting patient data that can be used to do this. For example patient data can help the NHS to:

•    monitor the long-term safety and effectiveness of care
•    plan how to deliver better health and care services
•    prevent the spread of infectious diseases
•    identify new treatments and medicines through health research

GP practices already share patient data for these purposes, but this new data collection will be more efficient and effective.

This means that GPs can get on with looking after their patients, and NHS Digital can provide controlled access to patient data to the NHS and other organisations who need to use it, to improve health and care for everyone.

Contributing to research projects will benefit us all as better and safer treatments are introduced more quickly and effectively without compromising your privacy and confidentiality.

What patient data we collect

This collection will start from 1 September 2021. Patient data will be collected from GP medical records about:

•    any living patient registered at a GP practice in England when the collection started - this includes children and adults
•    any patient who died after the data collection started, and was previously registered at a GP practice in England when the data collection started

We will not collect your name or where you live. Any other data that could directly identify you, for example NHS number, General Practice Local Patient Number, full postcode and date of birth, is replaced with unique codes which are produced by de-identification software before the data is shared with NHS Digital.

For further information please click here.

If you wish to opt out of this data collection please complete this form.

Please note that this is different from sharing information with the Summary Care Record which means that healthcare professionals providing care to you have access to your medical conditions and current medication.  Please see information here if you want to know more.

Staff vacancies

Please click here to see our current vacancies page.