Woodingdean Medical Centre

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Update – Woodingdean Community Newsletter – December 2021

The following updates have been printed in the December Woodingdean Community Newsletter.

Current Operating Procedures: The Practice have not made any changes in the way we operate as we are following the current NHSE guidelines. These include telephone triage, video/ telephone consultations, social distancing and reducing the numbers of patients in the practice than we would have historically seen. These procedures are in place to protect patients and staff. By maintaining these procedures we hope to minimise the likelihood of high numbers of staff being absent due to COVID or isolating. In essence, trying to maintain staffing numbers so that the Practice remains open and we are able to help patients without too much disruption. GPs are seeing patients face to face when clinically appropriate following an initial telephone consultation. Throughout the pandemic our nursing team have continued with face to face appointments where clinically appropriate.

Patient Demand: We really appreciate patients’ patience in difficult times for all of us during the pandemic. Nationally demand on GP practices has increased with limited capacity of GP appointments. Assessment of clinical need and safety is our top priority. It’s really important that patients are as aware as possible of the advice and services they can access directly if they are able to do so such as 111, out of hours services, self-referral and self-management options. These are highlighted on our website. We ask that patients to make themselves more familiar with our website and navigating to content such as ‘Referral Services’ and Help and Support’ areas.

Frailty Reviews: We are undertaking detailed reviews for older patients who have a number of medical conditions and are taking regular medications. We know that this group of our patients are often at increased risk of falls, medication side effects and other complications which can result in hospital admissions and affect their health and independence at home. These reviews are very broad and all of the Practice team will be involved in gathering information as well as some Community teams, including nurses and pharmacists.

What’s involved in the review?

  • A review of patient’s medical records and medications including any changes.  
  • A patient may receive a phone call from a member of the team about their health, current care plans or regarding investigations, such as blood tests.
  • Some clinical consultations over the telephone.
  • We will be inviting some patients to the Practice for face to face consultations
  • We also document plans and patient preferences to support their care

COVID and Flu Vaccinations: We would encourage patients to get their vaccinations when they are contacted by the Practice or the Vaccination Centre at the Racecourse. We have experienced delays in our flu vaccine deliveries this autumn due to our supplier’s driver shortage which has resulted in us having to re-book vaccination appointments. We are sorry that some patients have had the inconvenience of having their vaccination rescheduled.


For some people, coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is sometimes called post-COVID-19 syndrome or “long COVID”. Visit NHS for more information on long term effects of coronavirus.

Blood Tests: Due to a global shortage in plastic, practices were asked by the NHS this autumn to undertake urgent only blood tests. We hope by the time this newsletter is published that supply will have returned to normal.

National Opt Out Programme: The data extraction programme has now been postponed without a future date planned. NHS Digital is also seeking to adopt a more transparent approach to the use of extracted data in the future. For further details and updates please check the NHS Digital website: https://digital.nhs.uk/services/national-data-opt-out

Unacceptable behaviour from patients towards staff: There are many ongoing challenges for patients and the NHS. Some of these listed above are external to the Practice, but affect our patients. We will continue to adapt to these challenges to support our patients. Please be patient with our staff as they are there to try to help in these difficult times. There had been an increase of unacceptable behaviour within the City and nationally. The Practice had seen a rise in cases of the course of this year. The NHS does have a Zero Tolerance policy. The Practice’s telephone message has been change to ask patients for their patience and understanding during these difficult times.

We thank our patients for all their support they have given us over 2021.