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

Firs Closures

The Firs Surgery will be closed on Wednesdays during October and November due to staff shortages, however the Dispensary will still be open.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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.

Flu & Covid-19 Clinics

Please note that we are now fully booked for our Covid-19 and flu vaccination clinics at Heathfield Community Centre so please do not phone to book an appointment. Please come to our walk-in clinics at the same venue on the dates given below:

  • 6th October - for over 65's and immunosuppressed patients only
  • 20th October
  • 10th November and
  • 17th November

The clinics will be running from 9am to 5pm (closed between 12.30 to 13.00pm), but the queue for the walk-ins will close at 3pm on all clinic dates.

The Firs Surgery

There are no nurse appointments available on this site for weeks begininning 12th and 19th September. Dr Marc will be at the Firs on week beginning 12th September but there is not receptionist so please be patient if you are kept waiting to gain entry to the building.

Please note that the Firs Dispensary will be open on Wednesday 21st September and Friday 23rd September.

We apologise for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding.

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

COVID BOOSTER AND FLU VACCINATION INFORMATION

We are pleased to announce that we have confirmed dates for our patients to book into for their Covid Boosters and flu jabs.

These will be at the Heathfield Community Centre on the following dates:

6th October - for over 65's and immunosuppressed patients only

20th October

10th November and

17th November

The clinics will be running from 9am to 5pm

Closed between 12.30 to 13.00

Please call the surgery to book your appointment.

You must not have had a Covid jab within 3 months of the appointment and if you feel at all unwell then please cancel the appointment.

The surgery will be putting on additional dates to be held at the surgery in the near future.

We will also have a walk in service on these dates if you can't commit to a time.

Please consider the weather conditions in case of having to queue outside.

We look forward to seeing 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

The inspection can be read here.

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.

Covid-19 Update

Given the current increase in COVID-19 cases we are again asking our patients to please wear a face mask when in our Surgeries and to maintain a safe social distance from other patients and staff.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

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 is on Tuesday 18th October 2022 when both Surgeries will be closed from 12.30pm.  

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. 

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 

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.

Friends and Family Test (March 2022)

96% of our patients have rated us as Good or Very Good.

Thank you for filling in the Friends and Family test. Your comments and recommendations have been noted!