Latest Practice News
NHS charges from April 2013 announced
The NHS prescription charge in England will increase by 20p from £7.65 to £7.85 for each quantity of a drug or appliance from 1 April 2013.
However, the cost of a prescription prepayment certificate will remain at £29.10 for a 3 month certificate and at £104 for an annual certificate.
Prescription prepayment certificates offer savings for those needing 4 or more ITEMS in 3 months or 14 or more ITEMS in one year.
In England, around 90 per cent of prescription items are dispensed free.
The dental charge payable for a band one course of treatment will increase by 50p from £17.50 to £18.
The dental charge for a band 2 course of treatment will increase by £1 from £48 to £49.
The charge for a band 3 course of treatment will increase by £5 from £209 to £214.
Wigs and fabric supports
Charges will be increased by an overall 2.5 per cent for wigs and fabric supports.
The range of NHS optical vouchers available to children, people on low incomes and individuals with complex sight problems are also being increased in value. In order to continue to provide help with the cost of spectacles and contact lenses, optical voucher values will rise by an overall 1 per cent.
Precription prepayment certificates can be ordered from the
NHS Business Services Authority, or by phoning 0300 330 1341
Choose Well Campaign
A&E attendance from June 2011 to May 2012 was over 17.6 million.
In an on-line survey carried out by the NHS over the summer, 77% of respondents said that people should start taking more responsibility for their health and self-treat common complaints so that GPs, nurses and hospital doctors can focus on helping people who really need care and treatment.
12% of people admitted to using A&E when they knew they didn’t need to - this represents a staggering 2,112,000 attendances that were wasted.
The Choose Well campaign aims to educate and inform people about the different NHS services available to them. It promotes self-care and the use of the high-street pharmacy to tackle common complaints such as coughs and colds, flu, stomach upsets and general aches and pains.
There is also advice and information about a range of common winter health complaints, including how long symptoms will last and how to relieve them, available from NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk it includes access to an easy to use symptom checker, a facility to allow people to search for local services and an interactive First Aid toolkit.
A mobile phone friendly web-link is also available at
Quality Improvement in NHS
of the challenging financial situation that the NHS is facing,
the Government has implemented a series
of sweeping changes throughout the NHS with a view to making the
service more efficient and cost effective.
Each year NHS Halton & St Helens spends around £60 million on
medicines, however we know that at least £1.5 million worth of
medicines each year are returned to chemists unused. These
medicines cannot be re-used and are destroyed. Please ONLY order
medication that you need and do not stockpile your medicines at
home. If there are medicines on your repeat prescription that you no
longer take please inform you doctor, practice nurse or chemist.
You may find
some of your regular medication is switched to a different product
which will have exactly the same effect but will cost the NHS less.
We will give you information about any changes. If you have any
concerns please discuss with your GP, Practice Nurse or Pharmacist.
mental health resource
A new online mental health resource for people in Halton &
St Helens was launched on World Mental Health Day (Wednesday 10th
has been specifically designed to help manage a person's own mental
health and wellbeing. Designed by the Health Improvement Team in
Halton &St Helens, this interactive website offers information on
lifestyle and mental health, including:
- useful local contacts
- a self help section for depression, anxiety and sleep
- information on medication
- a useful resources section with lots of downloads
- information on suicide prevention
According to the Office for National Statistics Survey of
Psychiatric Morbidity, 1 in 4 adults experience at least one
diagnosable mental health problem in any one year with the most
common being mixed anxiety and depression. This is echoed across
Halton and St Helens as this is the most common reason for referral
to mental health services throughout the boroughs.
PATIENT TEXT MESSAGE SERVICE
We recently commenced a trial of a no-reply patient text message, information and reminder facility which operates through our clinical system*. If the service proves successful we will implement it on a permanent basis. This service is optional so please tell us if you wish to opt out. If you find the text service useful please tell us. Your feedback to service redesign is always welcome. We also provide a no-reply email service
Please note: We adhere to the NHS Code of Practice for Information Security Management and will never disclose confidential information by text message.
* Garswood Surgery cannot guarantee the successful delivery of text messages to each individual recipient. The service depends on the individual cellular and mobile phone carriers to deliver SMS messages. There may be a charge by your mobile phone provider to receive SMS messages when you are abroad. It is the individual’s responsibility to access their text messages. We are not obliged to send out text reminders and the onus remains with the individual to ensure they attend for appointments and respond to message requests. If you have changed your mobile phone number or wish to register your mobile number with us please contact us and we will update your record. We do not offer this service to patients under 16 years old.
SELF CHECK IN SERVICE
We have introduced a self check in facility whereby patients can enter some basic information onto a touch screen to log their arrival for an appointment. The system has been well received and is helping to alleviate queues at the desk.
Practice E-Mail Service
We welcome your feedback and you can now e-mail any comments, compliments or complaints to us at
Although we can pass on a non-urgent message to
a doctor please note we are unable to book appointments, deal with
general clinical queries or repeat prescribing requests via the
practice e-mail service. You can, however, use it to tell us about
changes to your changes to your contact details such as a new mobile
phone number or a change of address, etc. You can also use it to
tell us if you need to cancel an appointment (please give as much
notice as possible so that we can reallocate the appointment to
When e-mailing please ensure you provide
us with your name and date of birth to help us identify you.
It is an abuse of NHS resources to use A & E as an alternative to booking a practice appointment. A & E and 999 services are for emergency and life threatening problems only.
Click here to read more about choosing NHS services appropriately.
Dr Parr now offers the
contraceptive implant (Implanon). The implant is a small flexible
rod that is placed just under the skin of the upper arm. It releases
a progestogen hormone similar to the natural progesterone that women
produce in their ovaries and works for up to three years.
Click here to find out more.
Beating Cervical Cancer
Click here to download The HPV vaccination programme. (PDF
It is now possible to obtain your repeat medicines without having to
see the doctor for a prescription each time -
click here for more