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Latest News

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Is a new law that comes into force 25th May 2018. This regulation replaces the current Data Protection Act. For more information please see the further information section at the bottom of this website and click on "General Data Protection Regulation"

Investing in Children Membership Award Re-evaluation

The Medical Group has been awarded the Investing in Children Membership award for another year! Please see comments below from the young people who took part in our re-evaluation;

"If they do a leaflet about the group (Patient Reference Group) and why people should join then they can give it out to young people after their appointment"  "Promote it on the TV as well for young people"

"There are toys in every room which is really helpful when you go for an appointment especially if you have a toddler"

"The staff are really helpful as well and they help you out if you need it and often help me with the little one"

"It's a big deal how the information looks because you will actually read it if it's got the right amount of information on it and it's relevant"

Take a look at February Carer Support Newsletter

Caring Matters Feb 2018

Great North Care Record

At the moment, every health care organisation holds a different set of records about you. Information in different records may be duplicated or incomplete. Your Great North Care Record is the development of access for health professionals to view your electronic medical records, that will over time include a range of healthcare information to help improve the care you receive in the North East. This means the specialists providing your care can see the right information at the right time, so they can manage your care better.

As patients you choose who can see your record, your consent will be sought prior to your record being viewed at the point of care. By law everyone working in, or on behalf of the NHS must respect your privacy and keep all information about you safe. Your care record will be viewed through a secure, encrypted and audited system that meets stringent NHS security standards and government legislation including the Data Protection Act.

For more information regarding Great North Care Record please visits

Citizens Advice County Durham

Speak with your GP Surgery about Healthier & Wealthier telephone service for patients in County Durham - Information Poster


Looking After Your Child's Health

Parents and carers can now find NHS advice to help look after your children's health. Please click on the link to view the 'Looking After Your Childs Health' Booklet - Information Booklet 

You can also download the app on your mobile phone. Search for 'NHS child health'.

Children and Young Peoples Mental Health

The CCG thank those all of you who have already contributed to the review of the Children and Young Peoples Mental Health, Emotional Well-being and Resilience Plan that has been taking place over the past couple of months.


Following an extremely positive period of face to face conversations they have now extended the opportunity for people to feedback to us their views and experiences through the online surveys available on the links below.  

Named Accountable GP

From 1st April 2015 all patients must have a named GP. If you would like to know who your named GP is please speak to a member of our reception team.

Patient Online - Giving you more choice in accessing GP Services

Patient Online will help you to take greater control of your health & wellbeing by increasing online access to services. If you wish to, you can now use the internet to book appointments with a GP, request repeat prescriptions for any medications you take regularly and also view your medications and allergies online.

Once registered for Patient Online you will be given login details, so you will need to think of a password which is unique to you. This will ensure that only you are able to access your record - unless you choose to share your details with a family member or carer. If you would like to register for Patient Online please speak to a member of our Reception Team.

Please note as from Monday 9th February 2015 parental access to SystmOne online will only be available for children 11 years and younger. Children aged 12 - 15 years will be unable to access this service.

Have your say to improve your care - Friend & Family Test  Starts Monday 1st December 2014

We would welcome your feedback about the care or treatment we give you whenever you have contact with our practice.

Please tell us what is working and what you think we can improve. You can say what you think without giving your name and we will use the information to make improvements to our services, plan staff training and celebrate success.

Please ask for a  friend and family feedback form when you collect your prescription or attend the surgery for any reason. Alternatively you can complete the friend and family test via this website by following the friends & family link in the "Have your say" section.

Every month we will publish any feedback on our practice website and on posters in the waiting room.


Electronic Prescription Service

We are about to introduce an Electronic Prescription Service.  This service will mean that we can send your prescription electronically to the Pharmacy you choose to get your medication from without the need for paper in most cases. The Electronic Prescription Service is reliable, secure and confidential.

If you would like to use the Electronic Prescription Service:

•You will need to ‘nominate’ a pharmacy to receive your prescriptions electronically. You can ask a member of staff in the pharmacy to arrange this. Practice Staff will also be able to arrange this for you after Tuesday 3rd June 2014.

•You can then continue to order your prescriptions in the usual way, but instead of a paper prescription being collected by you or your pharmacy, the prescription will be sent to them electronically.

•You should try to ensure that on most occasions you collect your prescriptions from your nominated Pharmacy. However, if you don’t wish to use your nominated Pharmacy for a particular prescription just make sure you let the surgery know when you request the prescription. For example if you wish to collect a prescription from the surgery reception, or a different pharmacy.

•Nomination is very flexible and can be cancelled at any time by asking a member of staff at the pharmacy or the surgery


How sharing information in your medical records can help the NHS to provide better care


Using information about the care you have received, enables those involved in providing care and health services to improve the quality of care and health services for all. The role of the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is to ensure that high quality information is used appropriately to improve patient care.

NHS England has therefore commissioned a programme of work on behalf of the NHS, public health and social care services to address gaps in information. Our aim is to ensure that the best possible evidence is available to improve the quality of care for all.

It is important that the NHS can use this information to get a complete picture of what is happening across health and social care and to plan services according to what works best. The new system will provide joined-up information about the care received from all of the different parts of the health service, including hospitals and GP practices.

Your date of birth, full postcode, NHS Number and gender rather than your name will be used to link your records in a secure system, managed by the HSCIC. Once this information has been linked, a new record will be created. This new record will not contain information that identifies you. The type of information shared, and how it is shared, is controlled by law and strict confidentiality rules.

Sharing information about the care you have received helps us to understand the health needs of everyone and the quality of the treatment and care provided and reduce inequalities in the care provided. The new system will also provide information that will enable the public to hold the NHS to account and ensure that any unacceptable standards of care are identified as quickly as possible. Information will help to:

  • find more effective ways of preventing, treating and managing illnesses
  • make sure that any changes or improvements to services reflect the needs of the local patients
  • understand who is most at risk of particular diseases and conditions, so those who can plan care can provide preventative services
  • improve your understanding of the outcomes of care, giving you greater confidence in health and social care services
  • identify who could be at risk of a condition or would benefit from a particular treatment
  • make sure that the NHS organisations receive the correct payments for the services they provide
  • improve the public’s understanding of the outcomes of care, giving them confidence in health and care services
  • guide decisions about how to manage NHS resources so that they can best support the treatment and management of illness for all patients 

It is important that you read the leaflet  Better information means better care (PDF, 2MB)  so that you understand how information in medical records can be used to improve the way that healthcare is delivered.

If you are happy for your information to be used then you do not need to do anything. But if you have concerns you should talk to your GP practice.

If you do not want information that identifies you from being shared outside your GP practice, as described here, talk to a member of staff at your practice. They will make a note of this in your medical record. This will prevent your information being used other than where necessary by law, such as in case of a public health emergency. You will also be able to restrict the use of information held by other places you receive care from. However, this will not affect the care you receive.

You can change your mind at any time and as many times as you wish. Just speak to your GP practice and ask them to record your wishes. 

Information from GP practices will begin to be extracted and sent to the HSCIC in the spring 2014. The GP data will be linked with the hospital data already held by the HSCIC.

For more information about how data is collected and shared, including confidentiality, read the Q&A below or the Patient FAQs (PDF, 52Kb)  produced by the HSCIC and NHS England.

Call our dedicated patient information line in relation to data sharing on 0300 456 3531. Translation and text phone services are also available.


Why do I need to read the leaflet ‘Better information means better care’?

The leaflet contains important information about your health records. It explains that NHS organisations share information about the care that you receive with those who plan health and social care services, as well as with approved researchers and organisations outside the NHS, if this may benefit patient care.

It is important you know how information about your health is used, shared and protected and what choices you have.

Why is information collected?

By using information about the care you have received, those involved in providing health and care services can see how well different services are performing and where improvements need to be made.

Sharing information about the care you have received helps us understand the health needs of everyone and the quality of the treatment and care being provided. It also helps researchers by supporting studies that identify patterns in diseases, responses to treatments, and the effectiveness of different services.

What is the 'secure environment' mentioned in the leaflet?

The secure environment is called the Health and Social Care Information Centre, which is a public body based in Leeds. The Health and Social Care Information Centre was set up in April 2013 as the central source of health and social care information in England.

The role of the Health and Social Care Information Centre is to ensure that high quality information is used appropriately to improve patient care. The organisation has legal powers to collect and analyse information from all providers of NHS care. It is committed, and legally bound to the very highest standards of privacy, security and confidentiality to ensure that your confidential information is protected at all times. Access to information is strictly controlled. Further information about the Health and Social Care Information Centre is available at

What is changing?

For decades, the NHS has been using information from health records for purposes other than providing your direct care, for example to support research and to help plan new health services. However, we need to upgrade our information systems and collect information from more places where you may receive care. Doing so will make sure that we have joined-up information about all parts of the NHS, as well as public health and social care services.

Why are these changes needed?

The NHS has some of the best information systems in the world. Since the 1980s, we have been collecting information about every hospital admission, nationwide. This information is brought together at the Health and Social Care Information Centre, where it is anonymised (see question seven). The information has been invaluable for monitoring the quality of hospital care, for planning NHS services, and for conducting research into new treatments.

However, the information collected is incomplete with areas such as prescribing and test results not currently included. Additionally, while we have this type of information already for some of the care provided outside hospitals, there are significant gaps. As a result, it is not currently possible for us to see a complete picture of the care that patients receive. 

NHS England has therefore commissioned a programme of work on behalf of the NHS, public health and social care services to address these gaps. Known as the programme, this initiative has been designed to ensure that there is more rounded information available to citizens, patients, clinicians, researchers and the people that plan health and care services. Our aim is to ensure that the best possible evidence is available to improve the quality of care for all.

When will these changes occur?

The first change is that information from GP practices will be brought in to the Health and Social Care Information Centre in spring 2014. This information will be joined to the hospital information that is already held by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. In the future, we will also collect information from different parts of the health and social care system to create a joined up picture of all the care delivered.

Will confidential information be shared?

 The Health and Social Care Information Centre collects information from a range of places such as your GP practice, hospitals and community services. This information includes postcodes and dates of birth so that the information about an individual can be joined together accurately. However, there are very strict rules about what information the Health and Social Care Information Centre can release to the NHS and outside organisations. Information can be released in three ways:

  • Anonymised information: this information does not identify any individuals, nor small numbers of patients with rare characteristics or diseases. Anonymous information may be published in public reports produced by the HSCIC. 
  • Potentially identifiable information: this is information about individual patients but it does not include any identifiers (that is, there are no personal details such as your date of birth and postcode included).  We would never publish this type information because there is a risk that you might be identified. For example, if you were the only person in an area who had a rare disease then someone may work out that it was you even though your identifiers were not included. As a result, there are strict controls about how we release potentially identifiable information. For example, we would only ever release this type of information to approved organisations for approved purposes, and there must be a legal contract in place with penalties for any misuse of the information.
  • Identifiable information: information that identifies you can only be disclosed where you have given your explicit consent (such as where you have agreed to participate in a research study) or there is a legal basis for doing so (see question 22 in the full list of Patient FAQs). 

What kinds of information sharing can I object to?

There are two types of information sharing you can object to:

  • You can object to information containing data that identifies you from leaving your GP practice. This type of objection will prevent the identifiable information held in your GP record from being sent to the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s secure environment. It will also prevent researchers who have gained legal approval (see question 22 in the full list of Patient FAQs) from receiving your health information.
  • Information from other places where you receive care, such as hospitals and community services is collected nationally by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. The Health and Social Care Information Centre only releases this information in identifiable form where there is legal approval for doing so such as for medical research (see question 22 in the full list of Patient FAQs).

This legal approval is only granted where it is:

  • in the interests of patients or the wider public to do so; and
  • impractical to obtain each individual patient’s consent; and
  • not possible to use anonymised data.

If you object, this type of information will not leave the Health and Social Care Information Centre to researchers with approval. The only exceptions are very rare circumstances such as a civil emergency or a public health emergency.

Will my whole GP record be used?

No. Only the agreed amount of information required will be used. GP representatives and an independent advisory group have been involved in deciding which health, care and treatment information should be extracted. Your date of birth, postcode, NHS number, and gender (but not your name or full address) will be used to link your records in a secure environment at the Health and Social Care Information Centre but will then be removed (see question 3 in the full list of Patient FAQs).

Once this information has been linked, a new record will be created with a reference number that does not identify you. This new record will not contain any information that identifies you.

I can’t get in to my GP practice to object, what should I do? 

Please contact your GP practice by telephone to discuss with them what arrangement would work best. If you have a query or a question about the leaflet you received through your letterbox, you can call our Patient Information line on 0300 456 3531


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