Accessible Information Standard

By 1 April 2016 all organisations that provide NHS or publicly funded adult social care must identify and record information and communication needs with service users:

  • At the first interaction or registration with their service
  • As part of on-going routine interaction with the service by existing service users.
  • By 31 July 2016 all organisations that provide NHS or publicly funded adult social care must have fully implemented and conform to the Accessible information Standard.

What does this mean for you?

We want to get better at communicating with our patients. We want to make sure you can read and understand the information we send you. If you find it hard to read our letters or if you need someone to support you at appointments, please let us know.

  • We want to know if you need information in braille, large print or easy read.
  • We want to know if you need a British Sign Language interpreter or advocate.
  • We want to know if we can support you to lipread or use a hearing aid or communication tool.

Please tell the receptionist when you arrive for your next appointment, send an email to or call us on 0191 4772430 to discuss how we can improve our communication with you.

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Think Pharmacy First

Think Pharmacy First

Think Pharmacy First

It takes five years for pharmacists to become fully trained.

So they are experts in the use of medicines and are qualified to diagnose and treat minor illnesses.

For many illnesses, your local pharmacist can provide free advice and medication to help you and your family feel better. Pharmacists are also required to continue to update their knowledge and skills at all times.

All community pharmacies in Gateshead and Newcastle are taking part. To find your nearest pharmacy, visit:

How can Think Pharmacy First help you?

We know that people visit their GP with minor illnesses that their local pharmacist could help with. Instead of booking a GP appointment, you can visit your local pharmacy instead, saving you time and with no appointment needed, you can just walk in.

All pharmacists can give advice and medicine if you need it that will help clear up the problem.

If your condition is more serious they will then refer you to your GP.

What’s more, many pharmacies are open in the evenings and on the weekends. Click here to find your nearest pharmacy.

Which illnesses are included?

Advice from your pharmacist is always free but thanks for the Think Pharmacy First scheme they can also provide treatment for the minor illnesses below:

Aches and pains

· Back pain

· Headache

· Migraine

· Period pain

· Teething

· Toothache


· Bites and stings

· Hay fever

· Skin reaction

Colds and flu

· Cough

· Congestion

· Sore throat

· Fever and/or temperature

Ear care

· Earache

· Ear infection

· Ear wax

Eye care

· Bacterial conjunctivitis (sticky eyes)

· Styes

Stomach aches

· Constipation

· Diarrhoea

· Haemorrhoids

· Indigestion

· Reflux

· Threadworm

· Vomiting

Head lice

Any skin or mouth problem

· Athletes foot

· Chickenpox

· Cold sores

· Contact dermatitis (inflammation of skin)

· Fungal skin infection

· Impetigo (blisters)

· Nappy rash

· Scabies

· Skin rash

· Vaginal thrush

· Warts and verrucae

Can I get free treatment?

If you don’t normally pay for your medicines, then you don’t need to pay with Think Pharmacy First – you can get them free and over the counter from your local pharmacist without the need to see your GP.

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Free telephone support service

We are working with Changing Lives to offer a free telephone support service for our patients.

Would you like to receive a weekly telephone or Skype call from a volunteer who has experience and knowledge to support you to make positive changes in your life?

Our volunteers can offer support for any of the following

  • Homelessness
  • Drug and alcohol problems
  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Ex offender struggling to adjust or recently released from prison
  • Veterans and their families
  • Long term conditions
  • Support for any other issues


For more information or to be referred for support contact the surgery and speak to a receptionist.




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Health monitoring checks

We are updating our records

It would be helpful to us if you could use the health monitoring machine in our waiting room to have a check of your height, weight and blood pressure while you wait for your appointment. These should be checked yearly, it is particularly important if you have not had these checked since April 2016.

You will be provided with two results slips, one for you to keep and one to hand in to reception. Our receptionist will ask you about your smoking status too.

If you would prefer to see our healthcare assistant to have the checks please ask at reception. Our healthcare assistant also offers support for stopping smoking. If you have any concerns regarding your weight or if you would like advice on healthy eating or weight loss you can book an appointment with the practice nurse.


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Surgery Closures 2016/2017

Practice will be closed from 12pm on:

Wednesday        3rd February 2016

Thursday             February 25th 2016

Tuesday               8th March 2016

Wednesday        11th May 2016

Tuesday               June 7th 2016

Thursday             14th July 2016

Tuesday               20th September 2016

Wednesday        October 5th 2016

Thursday             17th November 2016

Thursday             2nd February 2017

Thursday             February 23rd 2017

Wednesday        8th March 2017

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Patient survey feedback

We would like to thank all of our patients that have taken the time to complete surveys regarding the practice in the last year. These surveys provide valuable feedback that enables us to continuously improve the service we provide for our patients.

The practice has seen a lot of change in the last year so this feedback is particularly important now as we look to develop and improve the practice. Dr Bolel has taken over following the retirement of Dr Kumar and is now the registered GP for all registered patients. We have taken on a number of new staff. We now have a new practice manager, practice nurse, healthcare assistant and two additional receptionists.

Through the feedback and comments given in the surveys we were able to identify some areas for improvement and have made some changes.

  • Improve telephone system and ability to get through on the telephone- We have increased the number of lines coming into the practice and have had our telephone system reconfigured to make it easier to get through. We have also recruited two new reception staff.
  • Improve on the day access- We now have a number of appointments that are reserved to book on the day. If these appointments are fully booked and you feel you need to see a GP urgently, please advise our receptionist of this. They will take details of the problem and pass them on to Dr Bolel so that he can assess and advise on what to do next. This may be an appointment or a telephone consultation depending on the nature of the problem.
  • Providing late appointments- We already provide late appointments on a Monday night but some of our patients were not aware of this. Our late appointments are available until 7.30pm on Monday evenings and can now be booked online too.
  • Provide telephone consultations- We do offer telephone consultations providing it is appropriate, for example where an examination is not required. Speak to reception to request a telephone consultation.
  • Increase nursing appointments available- We have recruited a Healthcare Assistant to support our practice nurse. The practice nurse now has late appointments on a Monday too.
  • Improve how we manage our long term condition clinics- We now invite patients with a long term condition in for their review on the month of their birthday and carry out a review of all of their conditions which patients have found more convenient. If you are a patient with a long term condition and would like to give feedback about how we can improve the service for you we would like to hear from you.
  • Out of hours access- Some of our patients were not aware how to access a GP out of hours. You can access a GP when the surgery is closed by calling the surgery telephone number. You can also get advice and treatment from your local pharmacy for minor problems or call NHS 111 If it is not an immediate emergency. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can provide medical advice and details of the best local service that can provide care. See our website for more information.
  • Improve patient participation- We want to ensure that the service we provide is of a very high standard and most importantly, meets the needs of our patients. The practice did have a patient participation group at one time but it has not met or been approached for feedback in a while. We have approached a number of patients that were involved in the patient participation group in the past and some we thought may be interested to confirm they would like to be involved and we plan to approach the group to get feedback and suggestions about some projects we are working on.
  • We have had some very positive feedback regarding the changes in the practice already, particularly about the friendly approachable team and the caring and attentive GP’s.  We always like to hear your comments or suggestions and you can give feedback in a number of ways.
  • Friends and family test questionnaire- ask at reception or call the surgery to do this on the telephone with our receptionist
  • Review our practice online at
  • Go to and leave a review on the NHS choices website
  • Join our patient participation group
  • Contact the practice manager, Teresa Graham, on 0191 4772430


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Welcome to our new Practice Nurse, Suzanne Hall

Welcome to Suzanne Hall

Suzanne Hall joined the team in October. Suzanne is a very experienced nurse and will be offering the same range of services that Hilary did prior to her retirement. Suzanne has also completed family planning training so she can discuss and offer advice on contraception and family planning options.

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Extra Care Appointments

Extra Care Appointments

A project to offer extended access to primary care is running across Gateshead. Additional GP and Nurse appointments are available at the following locations:

Blaydon Primary Care Centre (from 7 September 2015)

Monday – Friday 8am – 8pm

Saturday & Sunday 9am – 2pm

Trinity Health Centre (from 28 September 2015)

Monday – Friday 4pm – 8pm

Saturday & Sunday 9am – 2pm

These appointments are available to book through our reception team. Ask our receptionists for more information.

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Long Term condition reviews

Long Term Condition reviews

We have changed the way we provide reviews for our patients with long term conditions.

If you have been diagnosed with a condition like Diabetes, Chronic Heart Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hypertension, Asthma or COPD or have a history of a heart related condition, narrower bloods vessels (PAD), previous stroke or mini stroke, or a condition that affects your kidneys (CKD),  we will invite you in to have a review on a yearly basis and we will work with you to agree a care plan that will enable you to manage your condition/s in the best possible way. To find out more about care planning

If you have more than one of these conditions you will have them all reviewed in one appointment with the practice nurse. The nurse may invite you in more frequently or refer you on to a GP or to other services if you are having complications of your condition or require additional support.

You will be asked to make an appointment with our Healthcare Assistant one week before you see the practice nurse. The Healthcare Assistant will gather information required and carry out any tests needed, for example bloods, weight and/or BP check so that the practice nurse has all of the information she needs to carry out a thorough review.

The practice nurse will share the results of these tests with you at the review and will work with you to start to think about and plan how you can better manage your condition in future. In future you may

To make it easy for you to remember when you are due your review in future we will invite you in during the month of your birthday.

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Patient Transport booking

From the 1 October 2014 booking patient transport service will change

  • GP practices will no longer book patient transport services
  • ERS medical will take on the role of booking a Patient Transport service for patient requiring non-emergency transport
  • To make a transport booking, patients, their family members or their carers will need to dial 0191 3017 687, where they will be taken through the national eligibility criteria by an ERS call handler to ensure there is a medical need for transport
  • Once eligibility is confirmed, ERS will book your transport for your journey.

This service will be available for use between the hours of 9.00am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Your local patient transport service is only for those with a medical need.

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