The health service is in a state of constant change. This is where we will provide you with a selection of interesting news about our practice.
December 2021: Omicron NHS response
As you may be aware from the Prime Minister's announcements, efforts are underway to rapidly increase the vaccination numbers in the face of the highly rapid spread of the Omicron Variant of COVID, with some areas seeing case numbers doubling every two days.
There is good evidence that the booster dose of COVID vaccines provide better protection against Omicron than the first two doses.
This means that all NHS Employers have been asked to free up as much capacity as possible to staff the vaccination centres, seven days a week, amidst the likely impact of our staff being infected by the new variant.
Routine appointments will be affected during these efforts from now until the New Year
Urgent care, Screening and Cancer care will continue in the surgeries amongst the staff not requested to work in the vaccination centres.
We appreciate the impact this will have on accessing your health services, but it is very clear that the potential numbers for the population risk overwhelming NHS Services in January without the concerted efforts of NHS staff now.
All adults can now access the national booking system and when eligible can make your own COVID vaccine booking or book for someone else; the system is likely to struggle with the highest concentration of vaccine requests seen in British history, so we thank you for your patience and kindness amidst such a challenging time for the NHS and the people we care for.
May 2021: Face to Face Appointments
Following the recent NHS England guidance we have discussed how we can move forward with greater numbers of face to face appointments from our current pandemic practice of dealing with patients over the phone initially.
We have been seeing patients face to face following remote clinical review throughout the pandemic in addition to the COVID Vaccination Programme.
Most importantly we need to ensure our patients are safe and socially distanced when they attend the surgery, but we are aware of patient views that they value the face to face experience and the advantages that brings. This has involved planning to ensure we can reduce the chance of crowded waiting rooms and the COVID risk that could represent.
For our patients who feel it would be more inconvenient to travel to the surgery for a problem that can be dealt with remotely, we will retain the option to have telephone or video consultations.
We will be creating face to face appointments for each GP across each surgery for patients to book into, with the necessary check before booking to ensure those booking do not have symptoms of fever, continuous cough or change in smell or taste.
For the time being with requirements of social distancing and room cleaning this may impact the total number of appointments but this is to ensure the choice of face to face consultations are available to those who need this.
Thankyou for your kindness and consideration for our wonderful reception team who are doing their best to get you the care you need in these circumstances.
We thank you for your patience on this and would value your comments and suggestions as we work together towards the future of General Practice.
April 2021: Cath Millard Retirement
Sadly after a wonderful 25 year career as our practice nurse Cath Millard has retired. We are so grateful for her years of service and will miss her kindness and professionalism greatly.
We wish her, on behalf of the thousands of patients she has cared for, a long, happy and healthy retirement after such an immense contribution to the health and care of our patients.
COVID Vaccine Programme: December 2020
As you may be aware, the COVID Vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech has been approved in the UK and the vaccination programme has started. Further versions of the vaccine may be approved in the next few weeks and months and we will keep you updated as we know more.
What do I need to do?
We are contacting our patients who are eligible for the COVID Vaccine to arrange the appointments at the venue chosen to carry out the vaccination.
The vaccines will not be given at our surgery sites.
We are working together with other GP surgeries in the local area to help us administer the 975 vaccines every 5 days to those most at risk. This is a very challenging and complicated process, so we ask you to not contact the surgery to ask about the vaccine, as our staff are working through our patient lists and when we call you we'll get your appointments booked in.
Who can have the vaccine?
In December we are contacting our patients over 80 to arrange appointments, while we await confirmation about the process for our Care Home Residents and Care Home Staff. These are the top two groups who are most at risk if they catch the virus.
The picture below shows the other groups, in order of priority, who will be contacted next for their vaccine appointments. For our surgery alone this will be over 500 people to call, go through the information and get consent to proceed.
Will the Vaccine give me COVID?
It's a bit like a cake recipe. We're not giving you the cake in the vaccine, but giving your body the recipe for the cake for your body to then advertise to your immune system.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is an mRNA vaccine- it presents the genetic code from the virus to our immune systems without giving us the virus. The genetic code part is only on loan, it lasts only for a few days but our immune reaction protects us against the virus after the two doses of the vaccine are given.
What's in the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID Vaccine?
Here's the technical parts of what's in the vaccine, which has no animal products nor preservatives. Allergies to any of the ingredients in the vaccine would mean that we cannot give the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to you, but other vaccines that are yet to be approved could potentially be used.
If you have ever had a life-threatening reaction to any substance or trigger, (an anaphylactic reaction), you will not be offered this vaccine.
Coronavirus Pandemic: March 2020
The practices have to change the way we are seeing patients during the peak phase of the Pandemic- we ask for your understanding and tolerance of the changes.
From Monday 16.03.2020 we are switching to a system of calling every patient who rings in for an appointment. Online appointments will not be available during this time. We cannot risk patients walking in and exposing the most vulnerable patients and staff to possible infection.
This system is called triage, and means everyone inside the surgery and in our waiting rooms has been checked over the phone by one of our clinical staff before they have arrived.
The current UK advice remains as stated on our homepage:
if you have a NEW high temperature and/or if you have a continuous cough,
DO NOT COME TO THE SURGERY and risk the safety of other vulnerable patients and staff.
If you live alone: Stay at home for 7 days, 14 days if you live with others.
See the current guidance via this link
As we have seen across the world in many thousands of fully recovered patients who have had the virus, most of us will fully recover from Coronavirus infection without further need for medical attention.
If you are self-isolating and getting worse, use 111 online or call 111 for advice. They will give advice and if necessary, pass on any patients to the practice triage system.
Such patients will be kept separate from those in the waiting room with non-infective symptoms.
Worsening patients with suspected Coronavirus infection will then be seen and assessed by a designated clinical staff member who will be wearing protective equipment (face mask, apron and gloves).
Split Site Update: 23.03.2020
Following further developments in the National Coronavirus picture, patients who are highest risk have been identified and contacted by the NHS by text and letter today, with advice on shielding and protecting those defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable (see link).
The practice had decided to use the split-site nature of the surgeries for the advantage of patient safety, where we kept our higher risk staff members at Horseley Heath Surgery but didn't conduct face-to-face consultations in Tipton.
In September we have opened up the option of face-to-face appointments at Horseley Heath as with Tandon, but reserve the right to change these arrangements again should the developing rise in local cases continue.
Patients registered in Tipton will continue to receive care from the team, and can call the surgery from the usual number should access to a Nurse or GP be required, with the call being allocated to one of our clinicians accordingly.
Following the triage above, face-to-face consultations could, if required, take place at either site.
- can be ordered over the phone, or 7 days in advance.
- They are taking longer to process by pharmacies who are understandably busy during this time, please only order what you need.
These new arrangements applied from Tuesday, 24.03.2020.
We will return to normal patterns of working when the Coronavirus situation allows and thank you again for your understanding during this time of change.
Staff Changes: August 2019
August is here, and there will be a few staff changes to keep you informed of.
As normal, our trainees are finishing their posts here at the Surgeries as we congratulate Dr Lort on completing her training, and wish Dr Rai every success as she enters her final year of training at another practice.
Sadly we are also saying goodbye to two of our Doctors.
Dr Hurley is leaving the UK to continue his career in Canada, having joined the practice as a trainee in 2016 and staying with us after completing his training.
Dr Baldwin is also wished a fond farewell having joined in 2017 as he moves to a new practice closer to home and family.
We have greatly enjoyed working with them both over the years and wish them well in the future. They will both be greatly missed by staff and patients.
We will have two new trainee Doctors joining the practice, Dr Khan and Dr Majeed, for their training placements, and we will also be welcoming a new permanent GP, Dr Rakhra.
We have also been joined by Dr Gupta and Dr Sheikh to help replace the losses of Dr Hurley and Baldwin, and thank you for your patience during their appointment process.
Practice Closures in the last 12 months:
Staff Training Closures:
Bank Holiday Closures:
The Surgeries were closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday, 2nd April and 5th April 2021 respectively, reopening as normal on Tuesday.
The Surgeries were closed on Christmas Day, Friday 25th December, Monday 28th December, as well as New Years Day, Friday 1st January 2021
The Surgeries were closed for Bank Holiday Monday, 31st August 2020, reopening as normal on Tuesday
The Surgeries did NOT close on the Bank Holiday, Friday 8th May but closed on Monday 25th May 2020
December 2018: Kim Dyas Retirement
We wish our long-serving Nurse Practitioner Kim Dyas a long, happy and healthy retirement after 27 years at the surgeries. She has been such an invaluable member fo the team for so many years and we'd like to place on record, on behalf of all the very many patients she has cared for, our heartfelt thanks.
Happy Retirement Kim!
GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation
Here's some attached information about the way we manage your information. All of our clinicians go through regular training on handling personal information and the confidential nature of health information. There are circumstances where your information may be shared, such as if the law demands it, or for research or monitoring of the practice, where the information is shared without your personal details so that you could not be identified.
You can opt out of certain activities as explained in the documents, but for most GP surgeries the new laws on Data Protection don't make a difference to the way we deal with you in consultations and keep a record of your care.
GP GDPR Privacy Notice for patients.docx
Microsoft Word document [33.3 KB]
Generic GDPR updated How we use your in[...]
Microsoft Word document [102.5 KB]
May 2018: Breast Screening for patients aged 68-71
As announced in the news, the NHS Breast Screening computer system failed to send some patients aged between 68 and 71 their final recall appointment for breast screening.
This issue dates back to 2009, so could affect some women now aged between 70 and 79. Letters are being sent to affected patients. Patients outside this age range are not affected by the recall issue. Public Health England have announced:
On these letters being sent in the week commencing 14 May will be the free helpline phone number to discuss any concerns you may have.
The number, which has been published today on NHS Choices is
0800 169 2692
PHE go on to explain:
April 2018: Staff Changes
We are happy to welcome Dr Tara Khan to the practice as we wish Dr Dutton all the very best for her maternity leave, having given birth to a healthy baby boy.
Dr Khan will be at the practice for a 12-month period and we're very excited to have her as part of the team!
March 2018: I'm a Medic, get me out of here!
Dr Hynes won the 2018 'I'm a Medic, Get me out of here' event in March, after creating a profile and video and engaging with school students from 19 schools over a two-week period, answering questions and participating in online chats before gaining the most votes as the 7 other competitors from other General Practices were evicted!
The idea of the project was to promote careers in General Practice and give students access to healthcare professionals, giving them free reign to ask any and every question and then vote for their favourite.
July 2017: New Arrivals
We are delighted to welcome new members to the clinical team this month.
Kath Evans has taken up an Advanced Nurse Practitioner post, and we welcome Dr Baldwin to the team after his move from Hockley.
We are further pleased to announce Dr Hurley and Dr Kaur will be continuing at the surgeries after completion of their training in August.
Through these new appointments we are very happy to be able to offer more of the continuity our patients value.
As a training practice we look forward to welcoming 2 new GP trainees, Dr Randhawa and Dr Solanki from August 2017.
Information in the 'Our Team' page within the 'About the Practice' section to follow.
May 2017: Dr Hynes awarded FRCGP
Dr Hynes gratefully received his Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners in May 2017.
The FRCGP is awarded to those GPs in recognition of a significant contribution to General Practice. It is the highest level of membership and has been awarded after Dr Hynes' nomination by 3 colleagues, including Dr Dutton, was approved by the Fellowship committee.
Dr Hynes is pictured here at the RCGP Fellowship Ceremony with Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, (Current Chair of RCGP) and Dr Roger Neighbour, (Former President of RCGP). Dr Hynes is wearing the Fellowship gown worn by Dr Neighbour at his own Fellowship 30 years ago!
Notice to Patients 14 May 2017
Last Friday, 12 May, the NHS, along with many other organisations, experienced a 'cyber attack' which may be affecting our computer systems.
There are no reports of any patient information being compromised but the Practice is taking the threat very seriously and we may need to suspend our IT systems as a precautionary measure over the coming days.
This may cause delays such as making appointments and printing prescriptions.
We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we try to ensure safe care for everyone.
All GP Practices are required to declare the mean earnings (e.g. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice
The average pay for GPs working at horseley Heath Surgery and Tandon Medical Centre in the last financial year was £98,979.86 before tax and National Insurance. This is for 3 full time GPs & 4 part time GPs
Shingles Vaccination 2016 update
2013 was the first year the NHS offered vaccination against shingles to the over 70s. Shingles in this age group can have significant impact on quality of life so vaccination can help to prevent this from developing. It is not offered to everyone yet, so the NHS would like to start offering the vaccine to those of specific ages on 1st September. Eventually the vaccine will be offered to all over 70s.
The long term plan is to offer the one-off vaccine to all patients as they reach their 70th year, and for the time being to help catch up on those over 70 the vaccine will also be offered to those in other years between 70-80.
How old were you on 1st September 2016?
If you were 70, 71, 72, 73, 78 or 79: You are eligible for the Shingles vaccination.
(Those aged under 70, 74-77 and over 80 on 1st September are not currently provided for in the programme. Next year it is likely the eligible ages will be 70-74, 78 & 79)
Winner of Royal College of GPs Midland Faculty 'Inspire' competition: Dr Hynes
This clip on General Practice was chosen as the winner of the RCGP Midland Faculty competition looking for something to inspire both the current and the next generation of GPs.
Election news: GPs meet MPs...
The practice was happy to welcome former Secretary of State for Health, (& current Shadow Secretary of State for Health), Andy Burnham, MP and his team to Tandon Medical Centre to discuss healthcare issues with staff at the practice during his visit to Dudley.
He also made time to wish our receptionist, Sue Farrow, a happy retirement after nearly 30 years of service to the practice!
Practice Website: 2nd Birthday 01/11/14
We are now 2 years into our use of this practice website, with a huge 15,500 having visited the site in that time. To add to our developments in the first year, we have added:
- Links to Online Appointment Booking and Prescription Requests
- Updated appointment reports and comparison to 2013 for transparency, showing we are offering more appointments for patients in 2014 than we did in 2013.
- Updates from the Patient Participation Group and the quarterly newsletters
- Updates on the Patient Survey and our own patient feedback on the Home Page
What's next?- we're always open to suggestions, but like the feedback we have already received, we want to know more from you about what you think of the service we provide. We've been delighted with the positive feedback you have provided at our flu clinics this year, but we will make sure that doesn't stop us looking for opportunities to improve your experience with us.
X-ray Appointments at Dudley hospitals: Sept 2014
The walk-in X-ray service at Dudley hospitals, (Corbett and Dudley Guest), has been reinstated from the beginning of September 2014. Our Dudley patients can now attend Corbett or Dudley Guest for X-rays on a 'first come, first served basis' as the system used to be.
Practice Website, One Year Old: 01/11/2013
The www.hhs-tmc.co.uk practice website has been running for a year and in that time it has seen a total of 3870 visits and counting! From our analysis of the site around half of our visitors are returning patients and half are brand new to the site.
- online access to appointments and prescriptions,
- information regarding the staff you are likely to encounter,
- what you think about the practice,
- the facilities at the surgeries,
- parts of what goes into training our trainee GPs,
- regular reports on our appointments,
- the Patient Participation Group and news at the practice,
and there's information about each surgery's location and practice area for your use...
Let us know what you think via our practice manager, Rachel Peacock.
Freedom of Information
Please see the following document regarding the practice's position on Freedom of Information.
Freedom of information act 2013.doc
Microsoft Word document [56.0 KB]
Welcome Dr Naughton
Dr Pauline Naughton has joined the practice and we are very grateful to have the benefits of her skills and experience as part of our team. You can see her profile here
News: Dr Hynes
Dr Hynes has been newly appointed as a Training Programme Director for the City Vocational Training Scheme.
This will further enhance the training provided for our qualified doctors in general practice at the surgeries. As part of the new role Dr Hynes will be helping to deliver training for the doctors in the West Birmingham Area in collaboration with the existing Training Programme Directors in the City and Sandwell Schemes.
Disruption to Dr Hynes appointments July/August 2012
Dr Hynes was on paternity leave last month as his wife delivered their first child on the 22nd July; he apologises for any incovenience caused by appointment cancellations as the baby arrrived a week earlier than expected.
Dr Hynes has now returned to regular appointments in September.
Horseley Heath Telephone System
Following your feedback, we have a new telephone system at Horseley Heath which increases the number of calls we can deal with at any one time. Instead of one phone line we now have at least two lines that can be attended, and staff at the practice can 'sign in' to add more lines to talk to patients during busy periods. If all the lines are busy there is a queueing system that may help to redirect your call if you are not calling our busiest line, (for booking appointments), and you'll be glad to hear this is not a premium rate telephone line. We hope this will make the experience of calling the surgery easier, to try and keep pace with our growing patient population.
New online Internet presence
You can now find out everything you want about our practice and the latest news from the world of medicine on the Internet. We look forward to welcoming you to our website!