June 2020 Patient Newsletter – Update from Dr Shields

Posted by: Mark - Posted on:

Last year our practice team were trained to identify sepsis and would invite patients in if they were hot, breathless confused etc. We also had plans to start a gardening club to reduce loneliness and isolation. Suddenly we were confronted with the prospect of telling sick patients to stay at home, and lonely patients to,,,stay at home. We decided from the start to have access for pandemic cases, access for the sick non-covid cases, access for long term condition care and to do this with risk reduced as possible. We now screen calls, distance patients, keep our volunteers dry in the shelter, and have made a new doorway into the building.  We have tried to keep the morale up and this has been helped by kind patients, and great volunteers. Our biggest concern now is the backlog of referrals on hold. Cancer clinics have been running but there are many of you that will be waiting for rheumatology/cardiology/ gastroenterology etc.

We will do our best to embrace any innovation that reduces the backlog, and I am in weekly contact with the hospital and GP federation regarding this important work.  We value feedback, it helps us put effort in the right places, and we value humour, it is a form of medicine.

Staff changes

Dr Laura Grady is now on maternity leave and welcomed the arrival of baby Daniel last month.

We’ve recently welcomed two new members of staff to the practice; Dr Matthew Crowson joined us in May as a Salaried GP and works Monday, Tuesday and Fridays. In April, Debbie Brading joined us and works Monday and Wednesdays. Debbie is a highly experienced Advanced Nurse Practitioner who has joined us for a year.


  1. All of our patients are eligible to access extended hours appointments which means you can see a Doctor or Nurse at a time that suits you.

These are available for routine appointments for adults and children:

Monday – Friday: 6:30pm – 8:15pm

Saturday – Sunday: 8:30am – 12:15pm

Please phone us on 01480-860-770 to book an appointment. There are a number of locations, the closest being five miles away at Buckden Surgery.  Further information is available here:

Please remember to let the surgery know if you change your details. We are working with text messaging and emails more than ever and it is important that we hold the correct details for you.


We are currently operating a total triage system- all appointments will be conducted over the phone in the first instance. If deemed appropriate by the clinician they will then book a face to face appointment.

We are asking patients who do attend an appointment at the surgery to wear a face covering if you have one available. On arrival your temperature will be taken and you will be asked to use hand sanitiser.

All staff are wearing masks and our clinicians are wearing scrubs.

Update from the Dispensary team

  • The team would like to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the wonderful volunteers who have been collecting prescriptions for our patients.
  • Please phone reception on 01480 860 770 if you would like to be set up with access to our Patient Online Service, SystmOnline, allowing you to view and order your medication online.
  • Please can we remind patients that prescriptions take three working days to be processed.
  • Repeat slips must be ticked to indicate which item is required.
  • If emailing your prescription request please include full name, address, date of birth and full details of the item requested.
  • Non-contact card payments are preferred

Flu Clinic

We are currently looking at ways to provide this year’s flu vaccination clinic in a safe way, allowing for social distancing. We will be in touch with eligible patients once this has been agreed.

Thank you

You may have noticed a new shelter at the front of the surgery. This allows patients to be socially distanced and sheltered from the weather while waiting. It was built by volunteers and was funded by your Patient Participation Group (PPG) which fundraises for the surgery throughout during year with raffles, cake bakes etc. Unfortunately these activities are on hold for now.

Again, all staff would like to thank the volunteers who ensure our patients are getting their medication.

And last but not least, thank you for all the lovely treats which have been bought in for staff over the last few months- they are very much appreciated.

From the team at Great Staughton Surgery