Covid-19 Out of Hours News

Heathfield Surgery, Heathfield High Street, Heathfield, TN21 8JD

The Firs Surgery, Little London Road, Cross in Hand, TN21 0LT

Tel: 01435 864 999

Contact Details

SURGERY NEWS

Physiotherapy / Musculoskeletal (MSK) team

Self-Referral allows you to refer to some MSK & Physiotherapy services without seeing your GP first.

All forms are also available in paper versions and can be collected from your GP or via the Physiotherapy site below.

Self Referral - Sussex MSK Partnership 

Controlled entry to the Heathfield Surgery

Following an incident at the High Street Surgery yesterday we are controlling entry to the building today and tomorrow (26th and 27th January). We apoplogise for any inconvenience on Wednesday afternoon for any appointments that had to be cancelled as a result of this incident. 

Proposed merger of the Heathfield & Firs Surgeries with Mid Downs Medical Practice

We are notifying patients of potential changes to our GP service which will ensure you continue to receive quality care now and in the future. 

The Partners at the Heathfield and Firs Surgeries and Mid Downs Medical Practice are proposing to come together to form a single organisation, while keeping their existing Surgeries open.

Under the proposal, the Practices will continue to provide GP services in their original locations and patients will still be able to book appointments with their current Doctor. The intention is for the premises to remain unchanged with services delivered from both sites but operating under a shared management team. 

There is no need for patients registered at either surgery to do anything, your care will continue as usual and your access to services will continue uninterrupted.

The Partners at the Heathfield and Firs Surgeries and Mid Downs Medical Practice are confident that they will work well together and will benefit from a larger workforce as the two Practices merge. These plans mean all patients will have access to a wider range of services and a choice of which Surgery they would like to attend for face-to-face appointments.

We understand that you may have suggestions or questions about the proposed merger, and we would like to hear from you. Please see the link below to read the FAQs or find a printed copy in the Surgery. If you have any feedback or concerns, please e-mail:

sxicb-esx.patientadmin.heathfield@nhs.net  

Please click here for the FAQ's

Last Flu Clinic of the Season

Our last full clinic will be held on Saturday 21st January at the High St Surgery.

Flu cases are on the rise and we strongly recommend you protect yourself and help the burden on the NHS 

by getting a vaccination.  Please call our reception to book yourself in

Engage Consult Appointments on Saturday

We are delighted to announce we now have appointments availabe on Saturdays.  These have to be booked during the week through the surgery, but you don't need to call at 8am, they can be booked in advance.

When you are booked you will be called by an administrator to get further information and then the doctor will contact you, usually by e-mail, but may call you if necessary

The Firs Surgery - Wednesday closures

It is our regret to announce that The Firs Surgery will have to remain closed for GP and nurse services on Wednesdays until the end of March unless circumstances change.

The Dispensary will remain open on these days.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

INFORMATION ON STREP A

We know there are a lot of worried parents out ther right now

Copy and paste this link into your browser for NHS advice on Strep A

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/strep-a/#:~:text=You%20can%20change,08%20December%202025

Our Appointment System

Our phone lines are open for ALL non-urgent and urgent appointments at 8am. We have a Triage GP on duty for both morning and afternoon clinics who deal with acute emergencies only. The rest of our GPs (Partners, Salaried and Locums) who are on duty on that day are for routine appointments so please do not be concerned that by calling at 8am you will be taking an urgent appointment.

Our reception staff are trained and have a signposting toolkit on their screens to ask certain questions about patient symptoms in order to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate medical care from the most appropriate clinician. You may not need to see a GP, it might be more appropriate to see a nurse, healthcare assistant, pharmacist, physiotherapist, optician etc.

You will experience a wait in a queue but please hold on and speak to a receptionist so that they can direct your care. If you do need to see or speak to a GP on a routine matter but our appointments are fully booked, we will help direct you appropriately and will advise you to try again the next day.

If you are offered a telephone appointment, you will be booked in to a 10 minute appointment time slot, however, we cannot guarantee that the GP will call at that exact time. We will often give you a window of a couple of hours, either a morning or afternoon clinic. If you need to speak to a GP before a specific time then we will do our best to accommodate your request. For a face to face appointment, you will be given your 10 minute time slot, but again, the GP might be running late and you may have to wait.

We understand that sometimes calling at 8am is difficult to do so we have some appointments set aside to book online at 7pm each night if you are registered with our online services. We also have an online consult service through our website, which lets you request treatment, sick notes, GP letters and test results.

We do not have the capacity to offer pre-booked appointments, the ones that we do have are used for GP follow ups and these are still often weeks in advance.

STILL NEED A FLU SHOT?

We have added some more flu clinics at the High Street surgery for anyone who either missed our clinics at the Heathfield Community Centre or has since decided they would like a flu jab if eligible.  There is a high rate of flu this year so anyone at risk is advised to get some protection. 

Who can have the flu vaccine?

The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to adults who:

  • are 50 and over (including those who will be 50 by 31 March 2023)
  • have certain health conditions
  • are pregnant
  • are in long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • live with someone who is more likely to get a severe infection due to a weakened immune system, such as someone living with HIV, someone who has had a transplant, or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis

Please call the surgery to book your appointment on the evenings of:

  • Weds 7th December
  • Weds 14th December
  • Weds 21st December 

Flu & Covid-19 Clinics

Following the 4 flu and COVID-19 clinics that were held at the community centre we have vaccinated:

  • 4344 of our patients - COVID-19
  • 3162 of our patients - Flu

A big thank you to our staff and our PPG members for all their help during these clinics.

Online Consult

As well as help and advice, Online Consult lets you request treatment, sick notes, GP letters and recent test results, directly from the Surgery.

Visit Online Consult, then use the search facility for advice or to make a request to the surgery. You will need a NHS login to use this service or you can register for one.

MacMillan Coffee Morning

The staff and PPG kindly baked cakes for this fund raising event and raised a total of £168.50.

List Closure

From Monday 3rd October 2022 we will no longer be accepting new patient registrations and this is due to unsustainable escalating patient list sizes for our current GP Partners and being unable to recruit Salaried GPs at this moment in time. This will remain in place for up to 1 year.

Please visit Find a GP to search for an alternative nearby GP Surgery.

Should you still be unable to register with another GP Surgery then please speak to a member of the Reception team.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Booking Not on the Day Appointments

Please be aware if you are calling to book a blood test, or covid/flu vaccines, or any similar advance appointment, to please call after 10am, this will ensure the phone lines at 8am are for patients trying to book a GP appointment.  Thank you.

CQC

An announced focused inspection at the Heathfield and Firs Surgeries was carried out on the 16 June 2022. Overall, the practice is rated as Requires Improvement:

Safe - Requires Improvement

Effective - Good

Caring – Not inspected rating carried over

Responsive - Not inspected rating carried over

Well-led - Requires Improvement

See the CQCinspection

Prescriptions Information

Please be aware that under strict guidleines from the CCG, we cannot take prescriptions requests over the telephone.  They must be submitted in writing or with your repeat slip if you have one.

Dispensary Payments

Please note that our preferred method of payment is by card. We will continue to accept cash payments for now, but this will be phased out over time. If you do pay by cash please have the exact amount with you. Thank you.

Prescribing of Diazepam

The Heathfield and the Firs Surgeries have taken the decision not to prescribe Diazepam in cases where there is a fear of flying.  There are a number of reasons for this that are set out in the information leaflet below.

Prescribing of Diazepam

Newsletter

See our latest Surgery Newsletter

IMPORTANT UPDATE ON CHANGES TO OUR SERVICES

From the 1st April 2022, the Heathfield & Firs Surgeries will be operating on one telephone number - 01435 864999. The direct number to the Firs will no longer be available.  We will also be operating on one centralised bookings system and therefore seeing patients across both Surgery sites.

Also, from the 1st April 2022, Dr Marc will be stepping down as the senior partner and Dr Wiseman will assume that position,

We are pleased to let you know that Dr Marc will be staying with us as a salaried GP, but based mainly at the Firs,so you will still see him around.

Surgery Training Dates

We have regular Protected Learning Training (PLT) days as required by our local CCG. Our next PLT will be announced soon.

For any medical emergencies during this time please call 999, and for any other general medical queries please call the out of hours service on 111.  Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Online appointments

There will a limited number of online appointments to book with our GP's from Monday 14th March 2022.  These are for telephone appointments only.

Comment

The Heathfield and Firs Surgeries received a comment about not being able to book a blood test in the afternoon. We would like to explain why this is. 

Unfortunately the Surgery are unable to offer blood tests in the afternoon because of the courier and laboratory services. Bloods are collected from our Surgery at lunch time to be processed by the laboratory in the afternoon. Processing of blood samples needs to be done in a timely manner as otherwise no results can be taken from the blood sample. 

Please note that our phone calls are recorded for training purposes.

Recordings are deleted after a period of time.

Hailsham Food Bank

Heathfield and Firs Surgery are proud to become collection points for Hailsham Foodbank. They very kindly looked after the isolated families in Heathfield over the Lockdown. The collection bins are located in the reception areas, please donate if you can, it is much appreciated. 

Hidden Hearing

Unfortunately we no longer have Hidden Hearing operating out of Heathfield 92, but ther are clinics nearby so please visit their website at www.hiddenhearing.co.uk or phone 0800 037 3080 or e-mail hiddenhearing@nhs.net. 

Register your Type 1 Opt-Out Preference

This is an objection that prevents an individual's personal confidential information from being shared outside of their general practice except when it is being used for the purposes of direct care, or in particular circumstances required by law, such as a public health emergency like an outbreak of a pandemic disease.  

To register your opt-out preferences please download this form Type 1 Opt Out Form,  fill it out and bring it to the Surgery. Alternatively please collect a form from the Surgery.  

National Data Opt-Out

The national data opt-out enables patients to opt-out from the use of their personal confidential data for research or planning purposes.  To find out more or to register to opt out, please visit nhs.uk - Your Data Matters.

Patients can also make or change a choice relating to their personal Data by phoning the NHS Digital Contact Centre. The phone number is 0300 303 5678 - Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

Email: enquiries@nhsdigital.nhs.uk

Further information and to register for National Data Opt Out

How the NHS uses your Patient Data

Please note that our phone calls are recorded for training purposes.

Recording are deleted after a period of time.

Sexual Health Services

Please note that the Surgery offers sexual health services. Please ask your clinician or reception for more information. 

Be aware of potential telephone scams

Please be aware the a number of patients have identified that they have been called by someone pretending to be from the surgery, asking if they can arrange a home visit, or asking for medical information.  If you receive a call that you do not trust is from the surgery, please hang up and call the surgery directly, making sure that you can hear a dialling tone on your phone before you dial the surgery number.  Our telephone number is 01435 864 999.

Protection from meningitis and septicaemia

If you are 17 or 18 years old, born between 01 September 1996 and 31 August 1997, please make an appointment at the Surgery for your vaccine. This vaccine protects against meningitis (inflammation of the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning) caused by meningococcal groups A, C, W and Y.

Age Concern - Drivers Required

Do you have you a few hours to spare each month?

Age Concern provides a valuable community service to the elderly through the minibus and hospital car services which are managed and operated by a team of volunteers. The two minibuses are in use five days per week for shopping trips and social outings, and a car service operates daily from Monday to Friday for those needing to visit the doctor or hospitals throughout a wide area of East Sussex.

They urgently need more volunteer drivers, so if you think you can help please call:-

Age Concern Heathfield & District on 01445 866960.

SMS Text messaging - changes

If you have given the Heathfield and Firs Surgeries your mobile phone number AND you have not yet signed up for the SMS text messaging, please note that from 14th September 2015, the Heathfield and Firs Surgeries will be actively using patient's mobile phone numbers to send appointment reminders and other messages.

If you DO NOT want messages to be sent to your mobile phone, please let reception know.

Pharmacy2U

Patients have contacted us about Pharmacy2U as they have received letters from this organisation.

Pharmacy2U is a commercial pharmacy, like Boots, and there is NO obligation to sign up with them.

They are NOT part of the NHS. It is a private company.

As a patient you have a choice of where you want to collect your medication. If you live within a mile from the nearest chemist, you can choose from which pharmacy you would like to collect your prescriptions.

If you live more than a mile from the nearest chemist, you can be a dispensing patient and collect your medication from the Heathfield or the Firs Surgery.

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

As of 25 May 2018 a new Data Protection Policy has come into force on 25 May 2018. It is an EU wide regulation that will remain part of the British Law after Brexit. It replaces the Data Protection Act of 1998 and 2003.

Privacy Notice

How we use your information:

Medical confidentiality is the cornerstone of trust between doctor and patient and we keep your records secure and confidential.

For your direct care either from the practice or within the NHS hospital service we imply your consent to pass on relevant clinical information to other professional staff involved in your direct care.

Only when there is a legal basis for the transfer of data we may pass limited and relevant information to other NHS organisations to improve the efficient management of the NHS or to aid medical research.

If you wish to see more information about this subject please visit our website: www.heathfieldsurgery.nhs.uk

If you wish to object to the use of your data for these ‘secondary’ uses please ask reception for a form to dissent.

Also see our detailed Privacy Policy, which also covers GDPR.

Blood tests at the surgery

Please also note that all blood tests are now carried out every weekday morning at the Firs Surgery in Cross in Hand.  If you are unable to get to the Firs Surgery, please see below for Phlebotomy services offered at the EDGH and Conquest hospitals:

Phlebotomy Services

Online access for booking appointments and re-ordering repeat prescriptions

If you have not already signed up for online booking, and have access to a computer, please be aware that the surgery is releasing more GP appointments to book online soon.  Please bring photo ID with you to your surgery and the reception team can issue you with an online user name and password.

This will generally allow you to be able to book appointments online over the weekend for the next week, often for the next morning, and during the day too. However, please note that appointments are subject to availablity, issued on a first come first served basis, and for selected GP appointments only.

Online access for children under 10 years of age can be managed by a parent or legal guardian.  Again please bring in photo ID (for the adult) to the surgery and we can generate log-in details.

Unfortunately we cannot offer on-line access to children over 10 years old and under 16 years of age.

Mobile numbers and text messaging

Don't forget to inform the surgery if you have changed your mobile number, as we when we book appointments for you we automatically send out text confirmations.  Similarly, if you haven't already provided us with your mobile number please let us know so we can update our records.