Our main flu campaign is coming to an end. If you missed your appointment for your flu vaccination and wish to have this, please contact the reception team who can book you an appointment at the surgery, alternatively if you are booked at the surgery for your covid vaccination you can have your flu vaccination at the same time.
We are continuing our covid booster clinics at Shiremoor Resource Centre and are currently vaccinating patients over the age of 40 and patients classed as at risk. You are eligible for a covid booster immunisation once 3 months (91 days) has passed since your second dose of the covid vaccine. Some patients are eligible for a 3rd dose covid vaccination at an 8 week interval since their 2nd dose, if you are in this cohort you should have been contacted by the surgery. Updated Government guidance recommends these patients have a subsequent booster following their 3rd dose, so it is important to book in for your 3rd dose as soon as possible so you can complete your vaccination course with a total of 4 doses. We will contact you to book an appointment for your covid booster/3rd dose vaccination, however if you feel you may have been missed and are in one of the above categories – please contact the reception team.
Healthy school-aged children aged 12 to 15 will receive their COVID-19 vaccination in their school. Primary Care are not involved in this programme and will not be running extra clinics for those who miss the initial vaccine, contact the TyneHealth COVID-19 vaccination team on 0191 486 2001 if your child has missed their school appointment. Click here for vaccine information for children and young people.
Please be aware Bridge Medical would never ask for payment or your bank details to book the COVID-19 vaccine. If you receive a request for payment to book your vaccine please DO NOT divulge this information.
Resolving Missing or Incorrect Vaccination Records
The Vaccine Data Resolution Service (VDRS) has been set up to resolve missing or incorrect vaccination records for people vaccinated in England. If you believe you have missing or incorrect COVID-19 vaccination data, please call 119 and ask the call agent to make a referral to the VDRS team on your behalf. The VDRS team will then call you back within 5 working days.
119 and VDRS call agents will not provide clinical advice and cannot assist at this time with queries related to vaccinations received overseas. If the query relates to personal information that is incorrect on your record (e.g. name, address), these will still need to be resolved by your GP practice.
This pandemic is an extraordinary and testing time for us all. Please be polite and courteous to our staff at all times.
Given the current pandemic, please respect the need for NHS services to remain as safe as possible. Please be aware that we are extremely busy. Please do not enter the GP surgery unless you have already arranged an appointment with a doctor or nurse. You must attend the surgery alone unless you have a carer. As lockdown restrictions ease we have been advised by NHS England to continue to reduce our footfall into the practice to keep our vulnerable patients and staff safe.
Self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test (a test that is sent to the lab) as soon as possible if you have any of these 3 symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do. Only call 111 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or cannot go online. For the latest COVID-19 advice please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
If someone you live with has symptoms of COVID-19, or has tested positive for COVID-19, you will not need to self-isolate if any of the following apply:
- you’re fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given by the NHS
- you’re under 18 years, 6 months old
- you’re taking part or have taken part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
- you’re not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
In England, you should take a rapid lateral flow test:
- if you will be in a high risk situation that day
- before you visit people who are at higher risk of severe illness if they get COVID-19
- if you have been told that you are a contact of someone who has COVID-19 but you do not have to self-isolate – how long for depends on if you live with the person or they live in a different household
If you get a positive lateral flow test result, you do not need to confirm the result with a PCR test. Click here to find out when you need to confirm with a PCR.
If you’re fully vaccinated or under 18 you no longer need to self-isolate after close contact with someone who has COVID-19. If you have symptoms you should still isolate and take a PCR test. Find out when to self-isolate and what to do on the NHS website.
Click here for information on keeping safe while isolating.
Where possible, you should try to follow the below advice:
- Let fresh air in if you meet indoors. Meeting outdoors is safer. Meeting outdoors vastly reduces the risk of airborne transmission, however, it is not always possible, particularly through the winter. If you are indoors, being in a room with fresh air (and, for example, opening your windows regularly for 10 minutes or a small amount continuously) can still reduce the airborne risk from COVID-19 substantially compared to spaces with no fresh air. Some evidence suggests that under specific conditions high levels of ventilation could reduce airborne transmission risk by up to 70%.
- Wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed settings where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet
- Get tested, and self-isolate if required. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and take a free PCR test as soon as possible. Anyone who tests positive must self-isolate. Anyone who is notified they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive should also take a free PCR test as soon as possible and self-isolate if required. The data on symptoms associated with COVID-19 is continuously being gathered and kept under review.
- Try to stay at home if you are feeling unwell
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day
- Download and use the NHS COVID-19 app to know if you’ve been exposed to the virus
What side effects can be expected from the AztraZeneca COVID Vaccination?
Headache after vaccination is possible and can be one of the common side effects. You may develop flu-like symptoms or a migraine type headache. After your vaccination you should:
- Stay well hydrated – drink 2 to 2.5 litres of fluid over 24 hours in addition to eating a drinking normally; avoid caffeine.
- Take regular paracetamol and ibuprofen (unless you are allergic/sensitive to these) and continue for ~24 hours after the headache has cleared.
- If the headache continues to get worse despite re-hydration and analgesics; if it gets worse if you lie down; or if you have any weakness, numbness, blurred vision or confusion then you can ring your GP or dial 111 (if out of hours).
New onset of severe headache, which is getting worse and does not respond to simple painkillers
- An unusual headache which seems worse when lying down or bending over, or may be accompanied by blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, difficulty with speech, weakness, drowsiness or seizures
- New onset of unexplained pinprick bruising or bleeding
- Shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain
Should you develop any of the above symptoms it is important you seek medical advice. Furthermore anybody with new onset of severe or persistent headache that does not respond to simple painkillers starting four days or more after vaccination should speak to their doctor
What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?
If you have a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, do not visit your GP surgery or book an appointment. There is no need to call the surgery. You should self-isolate for ten days. Anyone you live with should self-isolate for 14 days.
You can also order a test to see if you are infected with COVID-19. For more information on the government’s test and trace policy, see the FAQs further down this page or visit their website.
When should I seek medical help for COVID-19?
Contact NHS 111 as soon as possible if you experience any of the following COVID-19 symptoms:
- Feeling breathless or difficulty breathing, especially when standing up or moving
- Severe muscle aches or tiredness
- Shakes or shivers
- If you use a pulse oximeter, your blood oxygen level is 94% or 93% or continues to be lower than your usual reading where your normal oxygen saturation is below 95% (re-take a reading within an hour first)
- Sense that something is wrong (general weakness, severe tiredness, loss of appetite, peeing much less than normal, unable to care for yourself – simple tasks like washing and dressing or making food)
A minority of people with COVID-19 will suffer more severe symptoms. You should attend A&E as quickly as possible or call 999 immediately if you experience the following:
- Your blood oxygen levels are 92% or less (retake your reading immediately first)
- You are unable to complete short sentences when at rest due to breathlessness
- Your breathing gets worse suddenly
OR if you develop these more general signs of serious illness:
- Cough up blood
- Feel cold and sweaty with pale or blotchy skin
- Collapse or faint
- Develop a rash that doesn’t fade when you roll a glass over it
- Become agitated, confused or very drowsy
- Stopped passing urine or are passing urine much less than usual
Can I still attend the GP surgery for my appointment?
Yes, but you should not come to the GP surgery unless you have been asked to do so.
In order to reduce the risk to patients and staff in the practice of coronavirus infection, the government has ordered all GP surgeries in England to implement a system known as ‘total triage’. This means that you will always have a telephone conversation with a doctor or fill in an online eConsult before seeing a doctor face-to-face. Research has shown that only 10-20% of patients that contact the practice (by telephone or eConsult) need to come into the surgery.
Please contact us by phone or online, and give us as much information as possible. If the GP feels that they need to see you in person they will arrange to do this. We will respond to eConsults within 24 hours Monday- Friday.
Should I wear a face mask to come into the surgery?
Please can all patients and carers consider wearing a face covering while in our practice. For more information on how to use one and who is exempt please click here.
Please wash your hands before putting your mask on and after taking it off. Whilst wearing your mask you should not touch your face if possible. We are aware some people are exempt from wearing masks or do not have access to them; these people are of course welcome to come without a mask.
Can I still drop off my prescription at the surgery?
Yes; if you have a prescription to drop off at the surgery, there is a box on the outside of the building for you to use. Please do not enter the building.
Where possible order prescriptions online to reduce your risk. You can also post these to us using Royal Mail services.
How can I collect and drop off specimen pots?
If a GP or nurse asks you give a sample, specimen pots can be collected to the right-hand side of the main door, below the letter box. This is to avoid you having to enter the surgery.
To drop off specimen pots, there is a box located on the outside of the building. You will not need to enter the surgery to do this. This box is emptied and cleaned regularly. Remember to always put your name and date of birth on any sample.
How do I get a statement of fitness for work (fit note)?
The best way to request a fit note is to fill in an eConsult from this web page. Alternatively, you could call the surgery. These will either be posted out to you or sent to your mobile via Accurx to prevent you from needing to enter the surgery.
What if I have been asked to have a blood test?
If a GP has asked you to have an urgent blood test, they will have alerted the reception desk that you will need to be allowed to enter the surgery to collect the blood form, which you should do. If the blood test is not urgent, the blood form will be sent to you in the post.
To minimise the risk, it is best if you go to the Pathology Dept at NTGH (Rake Lane): 8am – 9am: patients of working age ONLY; 9am – 12pm: all other patients – the last admission time is 11:40am. You do not need an appointment. If you are not able to do this please telephone reception.
Do I need to collect a form to have an x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan or ECG?
For X-rays you do not need to collect a form from your surgery, but after your GP has made the request electronically you do have to make an appointment by calling 0191 2932541.
For ECGs, Ultrasound scans, and CT scans you do not need to collect a form from your surgery, and after your GP has made the request electronically the department will contact you.
Should I still come in for my routine cervical screening (smear)?
Yes. Cervical screening is one of the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer.
Cervical screening checks a sample of cells from your cervix for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Finding high risk HPV early means you can be monitored for abnormal cell changes. Abnormal changes can be treated so they do not get a chance to turn into cervical cancer.
Can my baby still have its routine immunisations?
Yes, routine vaccinations for babies are continuing as normal.
One of the best ways to protect your baby against diseases like measles, rubella, tetanus and meningitis is through immunisation. Your baby needs their first injections at eight weeks, then 12 weeks, 16 weeks and one year. Vaccinations are offered free of charge in the UK – just ring to book your appointments with us. Remember, as well as protecting your own baby, you’re also protecting other babies and children by preventing the spread of disease.
Should I order extra medication?
You should order your medication as normal, which is every two months. If you are on medication that needs monitoring, the pharmacy team will be looking to check if your monitoring tests have been stable in the past. If you do need monitoring the practice will be in touch.
Please order your prescriptions online whenever possible to free up telephone lines for staff to speak to patients.
Can I ask the GP if I am exempt from wearing a face covering?
We are aware that some patients are understandably anxious about the new government guidance on face coverings in public places. GPs are unfortunately not in a position to provide individual risk assessments or letters for patients who feel they should be exempt from wearing a face covering.
If you would like more information about this, please review the open letter from the Local Medical Committe here.
What is happening to my referral?
Northumbria and Newcastle Hospitals are now open to routine referrals. The hospital will contact you directly with an appointment (either telephone or face-to-face). For any queries regarding appointments please call:
Northumbria: 0344 811 8118
Newcastle: 0191 253 6161
Referrals cannot be upgraded to urgent unless there is a clinical need to do so. If your symptoms have changed since your initial consultation please contact the reception team as you may need to speak to the GP again.
How does the NHS Test and Trace work?
Part 1: for someone with symptoms of coronavirus:
- Isolate: as soon as you experience coronavirus symptoms, medical advice is clear: you must self-isolate for at least ten days. Anyone else in your household must self-isolate for 14 days from when you started having symptoms
- Test: order a test immediately at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119 if you have no internet access
- Results: if your test is positive, you must complete the remainder of your ten-day self-isolation. Anyone in your household must also complete self-isolation for 14 days from when you started having symptoms. If your test is negative, you and other household members no longer need to self-isolate
- Share contacts: if you test positive for coronavirus, the NHS test and trace service will send you a text or email alert or call you with instructions of how to share details of people with whom you have had close, recent contact and places you have visited. It is important that you respond as soon as possible so that we can give appropriate advice to those who need it. You will be told to do this online via a secure website or you will be called by one of our contract tracers.
Part 2: if you are contacted by the NHS test and trace service because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus:
- Alert: you will be alerted by the NHS test and trace service if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. The alert will usually come by text, email or phone call. You should then log on to the NHS test and trace website, which is normally the easiest way for you and the service to communicate with each other – but, if not, a trained call handler will talk you through what you must do. Under-18s will get a phone call and a parent or guardian will be asked to give permission for the call to continue
- Isolate: you will be told to begin self-isolation for 14 days from your last contact with the person who has tested positive. It’s really important to do this even if you don’t feel unwell because, if you have been infected, you could become infectious to others at any point up to 14 days. Your household doesn’t need to self-isolate with you, if you do not have symptoms, but they must take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing and handwashing and avoid contact with you at home
- Test if needed: if you develop symptoms of coronavirus, other members of your household must self-isolate immediately at home for 14 days and you must book a test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119 if you have no internet access. If your test is positive, you must continue to stay at home for at least ten days and we will get in touch to ask about your contacts since they must self-isolate. If your test is negative, you must still complete your 14-day self-isolation period because the virus may not be detectable yet – this is crucial to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.
How can I order a test?
Please tell us about your symptoms as soon as possible and get a test to find out if you have coronavirus. The sooner you have a test, the sooner we can let you know if you and other members of your household must remain in self-isolation.
Members of the public can either go to a testing site or order a home test, click here for more information. If you are an essential worker you can order a test here.
If you don’t have access to the internet, you can order a test by phoning 119.
You will get your results by text, email or phone – and the message will advise you about what to do next.
What happens if I test negative?
If you get a negative test result, this means you are at low risk of having coronavirus.
Other members of your household can stop self-isolating. If you feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus, you can stop self-isolating. You could still have another virus, such as a cold or flu – in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until you are better.
What happens if I test positive?
If you get a positive test result, this means that when you took the test, you had coronavirus. You – and other members of your household – must continue to self-isolate.
Your Private Information
The practice has supplementary COVID-19 privacy statements which you can access here: