Our Spring Booster campaign is underway – all patients over the age of 75 are eligible for a Spring Booster 6 months after their last dose. Patients over the age of 12 with a weakened immune system are eligible for a Spring Booster 3 months after their last dose. You will be invited to a clinic when you become eligible. If you feel you have been missed please contact the surgery.
We are continuing our regular covid booster clinics. 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. 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. If you wish to have any dose of the vaccine (1/2/3/booster) please contact the surgery to book an appointment.
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. 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.
All healthcare workers still must not go into work if covid positive, you should not return to work in a healthcare setting until you have 2 negative lateral flow tests on days 5/6 at the earliest.
For the latest COVID-19 advice please click here.
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
- 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
Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status
From 17 May 2021, people in England who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can demonstrate their vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of any approved vaccine. Vaccine status will be available through the NHS COVID Pass service from:
the NHS App which you can download from app stores
the NHS website
119 – by requesting a paper letter
You will need to register to use the online services, if you have not already. It may take more than a week for your identity to be checked and verified.
If you cannot access the online services, and you have had both doses of the vaccine, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you are due to travel outside the UK in the near future and have had your second dose more than 5 working days ago. It may take up to 7 working days for the letter to arrive.
This practice is not able to provide you with a letter that shows your COVID-19 vaccination status. Please do not contact the practice about your COVID-19 vaccination status unless you have been advised to by the 119 service.
Read more information on travelling abroad during COVID-19.
You should check that your first name and your surname on your passport match how they are displayed by your NHS COVID Pass at least 3 weeks before you travel. If the names are different, contact your GP practice to have your details updated. Please note, name changes could result in temporary issues with matching your GP record to your hospital and prescription records.
How can I check if I am eligible for a COVID exemption certificate?
Please contact NHS119 who will go through this with you and if you meet the criteria, they forward you a form to fill in and you then hand this to the GP surgery . Dr Sarah Hartley, GP Partner and Covid Lead, reviews these requests with your medical records and processes them. You do not need to specifically ask for a GP appointment to discuss this. Click here for more information.
Am I eligible for COVID medication treatment?
There are some vulnerable patients who are eligible for anti-viral therapy if they test positive for covid-19 ( it’s often a similar group that were asked to shield early in the Pandemic). Some of you may already know this and have received a letter from NHSE informing you of this. If you believe you could also be eligible due to underlying health conditions then ring NHS119. Click here for more information.
What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?
If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and you have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you no longer feel unwell.
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.
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.
Your Private Information
The practice has supplementary COVID-19 privacy statements which you can access here: