Newsletter - December 2021

Please click here to download a PDF of our December 2021 newsletter.

Wearing masks

Unfortunately, we are seeing increasing numbers of patients refusing to wear a mask when entering our surgery premises, even after being asked to do for staff.  This is very disappointing as it is putting other patients and our staff at potential risk.  We are seeing increasing numbers of patients testing positive for covid and have very vulnerable people in our waiting rooms.  Being double vaccinated does not stop you getting covid and it does not stop you transmitting covid.  

We want to continue offering our face to face routine GP appointments and therefore if you refuse to wear a mask you may be asked to wait outside the premises.  

A Day in the Life of a GP

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

Flu vaccinations

We have now had confirmation of the delivery dates of our remaining flu vaccinations.  We have put additional clinics on the system and appointments are available to book by calling Stockbridge or Broughton.  

Click here to find out if you are eligible for the flu vaccine

Book your COVID booster / vaccination

Please click this link to book in at a vaccination centre convenient to you

Alternatively you can telephone 119 to book.

 Unfortunately, surgery staff are now unable to book COVID vaccinations.  

COVID Vaccinations Update

The COVID-19 vaccinations programme is moving to a new phase in the Winchester area, for those registered at Stockbridge Practice, Whitchurch, Gratton (Sutton Scotney), Arlesford, Watercress (Four Marks) and West Meon practices.

Patients who have not yet had a first or second dose of the COVID-19 are still able to book an appointment by calling 119 or clicking here:

COVID-19 booster doses will be provided at the Jameson House vaccination centre in Basingstoke, and through ‘pop up’ clinics being held in the community.  

The booster jab is available to people who have previously received two vaccine doses to ensure continued protection for those most at risk.  You do not need to contact the NHS to arrange your booster vaccine, the NHS will be in touch when you become eligible for the jab.  Details of where to receive the dose will be explained when the booking the appointment.

People who are unable to travel will be able to book a COVID-19 booster nearer to home through a local ‘pop-up’ clinic.

Those who are housebound can be vaccinated at home. This will be managed directly with the patient’s GP practice.

The Holiday Inn, which has been a vaccination centre since the start of the year, will return to its normal use from the end of October. We are hugely grateful to the team who manage the site for making the building and car park available, which has helped us to vaccinate tens of thousands of people with first and second doses during the mass vaccination phase of the programme.

This new phase does not apply to children aged 12 to 15 years, which is being managed through the School Age Immunisation Service.

More information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme can be found by clicking here:

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.

COVID Vaccination for Children

You may have seen the news that the NHS is going to vaccinate children and young people in specific groups, following advice from the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation).

The groups that are eligible for the vaccination are:

  • 17-year-olds that are within 3 months of turning 18.
  • 12-15-year-olds ‘at risk’ with the underlying health conditions specified below: 
  • severe neuro-disabilities,
  • Down’s Syndrome,
  • underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression, and
  • those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, severe learning disabilities or who are on the learning disability register 
  • Children aged 12 years and older who are household contacts of individuals (adults or children) who are immunosuppressed (this is in addition to 16–17-year-olds in this group, who became eligible earlier in the year).

Stockbridge Surgery has already invited 17 years old that are within 3 months of turning 18.  This was by text message.  If you are turning 18 years old in the next 3 months and do not have a mobile telephone number on your records you can call the surgery to book your appointment.  Please can between 11am-12.45pm or 3.30-6pm to avoid our busy times.

We will be inviting other eligible children in the weeks beginning 2nd August and 9 August.  If you do not hear from the surgery please contact us to enquire, again between the hours of 11am-12.45pm or 3.30-6pm to avoid our busy times.  Please do not contact us if your child does not fall into one of the above categories.



Why is the NHS only vaccinating some children and young people against COVID-19, and not all?

The NHS vaccinates in line with guidance from the independent JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), which provides expert advice on vaccinations to UK health departments. The JCVI recommends that only certain groups of children and young people are vaccinated because of a combination of factors including their risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, passing it to others who may become seriously ill, and evidence of safety and effectiveness.

My child is in one of the eligible groups. How do I arrange his/her vaccination?

The NHS is aiming to offer vaccination to all children and young people in the eligible groups by the start of the autumn term in September. If your child is in one of the new groups recommended for vaccination by the JCVI, you will be contacted by the NHS before then to arrange for your child’s vaccinations.

If you are within 3 months of turning 18, you will be invited directly to book your appointments via the national booking service at the appropriate time.

How do I know the vaccine is safe for my child?

The JCVI has reviewed extensive clinical evidence for the safety of giving the COVID-19 vaccine to children and young people in the eligible groups and have determined it to be safe and effective. The JCVI has determined that the benefit of vaccinating children in these groups outweighs the risks.

My child is not in one of the eligible groups. When will they be able to be vaccinated?

There are no current plans to vaccinate children and young people outside of the eligible groups. However, the JCVI is continually reviewing evidence on this matter and will advise the Government if it decides that a change of approach is required.

From Monday 19 July

Mask wearing will become optional from 19th July 2021 as per government guidelines announced recently. We must stress however that the same guidance suggests caution and recommends ongoing wearing of masks in closed spaces, small and crowded areas and where vulnerable people will be present.

As you will often be in close proximity to our clinicians and potentially other vulnerable patients when you come to us, we will continue to ask patients to wear masks on our premises until further notice. This is to minimise disruption to our service and ensure those most vulnerable are still protected when accessing care.

We will also be continuing to limit patient numbers in our waiting room and having virtual contact (telephone or online) as a first line.

This will be reviewed in the Autumn when we will take into account what the current COVID rates are.


Women age 30 and over with a breast lump or breast symptom

From Wednesday 4th August Stockbridge Surgery will be part of a 12 week pilot for women with breast lumps or other breast symptoms such as breast pain or nipple discharge.

This is part of the right patient, right time, right place NHS initiative.

You will not need to see or speak with a GP. You can self refer directly by calling 0300 123 0769 Monday - Friday 9am - 4pm.

When you call you will be able to discuss your symptoms and arrange next steps. This may include direct booking into a breast clinic at the hospital, a GP appointment or advice and reassurance with a follow up call in a few weeks.

Please see the below information leaflets for more information:

Breast lump and symptoms service poster

Breast lump and symptoms service important information

Anonymised Data Sharing from GP Records to NHS Digital

Please note this data sharing has now been delayed beyond 1 September 2021.  

We will update the website when we have further information.

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.

Accessing the right care – June 2021

NHS England has updated their guidance for GP surgeries given the changes in the COVID pandemic. We have reviewed this carefully alongside consideration of the increasingly high demand for appointments. This information is to help both our staff and patients to access the right care.

• Right service for your needs

It is not always necessary for patients to speak to or see a GP. Other services are available.

How do I know what’s appropriate? provides a helpful overview of the different types of services and when to use them from self-care to calling an ambulance.

If you are worried about your health you can contact 111 either by telephone or online at 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They are able to assess you and ensure you get the right care for your needs. 111 are able to book you in to receive a call back from the GP surgery if necessary.

The NHS App also has a symptom checker.

Who else can provide care?

Pharmacist A local pharmacist can advise on self-care and provide many medications over the counter.

Minor Eye Conditions Service You can contact 0300 303 4922 to gain advise on eye conditions. They are able to arrange an appointment for you within 48 hours if appropriate.

Physiotherapists If you are experiencing joint pain then we have physiotherapists working at the surgery on Tuesdays and Fridays. You can receive a call back, and very soon they will be able to offer face to face appointments again.

Advanced Nurse Practitioner Within the surgery we have a Nurse Practitioner who works closely with our GPs providing advice and care to patients with urgent needs.

The surgery is the busiest it has ever been, busier than before the pandemic started. If your condition is not urgent please consider seeking advice and treatment from a pharmacy or 111 before ringing the GP surgery.

• Offering different ways of accessing care

Patients are able to contact the surgery by eConsult (Monday-Friday) and by telephone. eConsult is available via the NHS App and on our website; If you do not have access to a telephone or the internet you can attend reception to access advice and care.

Throughout the pandemic, the surgery has continued to offer face to face appointments to patients who require examination. We also offer video consultations. The guidance still advises that we continue to remotely triage patients – this means that face to face appointments with a GP can only be booked after speaking with a clinical member of the team. Reception staff cannot book patients a face to face appointment because they cannot determine if it is clinically appropriate. The updated guidance asks GP surgeries to prioritise care based on patient need and this is not possible unless needs are assessed by clinical members of our team.

If you, or your family member, has specific needs – for example dementia, learning disability or communication needs such as being deaf please discuss this with the GP so that you can agree the most appropriate way for care to be provided. If care is not currently required but you are concerned about future access to care please contact Ann Spooner, Practice Manager to make us aware.

Our Practice Nurses, Phlebotomist and Healthcare Assistant continue to see patients for immunisations, smear tests, blood tests, long-term condition reviews and much more.

• Practices must follow Infection Prevention and Social Distancing Guidance

In order to protect our patients and staff we cannot open up our waiting rooms as they were before as we would not be able to social distance patients. For your own safety, as well as ours, please contact us by telephone or using eConsult if you are able to do so.

Both of our receptions have remained open during this pandemic and will continue to do so in order that patients can collect medication and book in for their face to face appointments.

Masks must be worn by patients attending the surgery.

• Routine appointments

During the pandemic our focus was on ensuring that all urgent needs were met as efficiently and quickly as possible, particularly any identification of COVID infection.

As our staff and an increasing number of patients have been vaccinated we are able to move to slowly increasing our number of routine appointments. It is important to acknowledge that because demand is so high the wait time for a routine appointment will be around 4 weeks and you will have to call back if there are no appointments available.

All routine appointments will be a telephone call unless a clinical member of our team has asked for a face to face appointment to be booked. As explained above, this is because we are still being asked to remotely triage patients. Wherever possible, we will try to book patients with a GP who has recently been involved with their care to ensure good continuity.

Our appointment system will be undergoing a change in the middle of June and this will mean reduced numbers of urgent appointments (in order to release additional routine appointments). It is very important that these are kept for genuinely urgent patients and so all patients who are able to are asked to use 111, eConsult or their local pharmacy for advice and treatment of more minor conditions.

COVID-19 family well-being pack

Please click here to download the Southern Health COVID-19 family well-being pack.

School Age Immunisation Teams are still vaccinating!

Information on a PDF here.

Staff vacancies

Please click here to see our current vacancies page.