IVY GROVE SURGERY Mental health support Self-refer Self-care Symptoms GP 2.0 Latest News Register

Latest Status / News Update SHORTCUT

NEW! This news update has just been published

July 20, 2022

Dear Patients

This is our latest status/news update following on from our last one in April. Previous updates issued throughout the course of the pandemic can be found here.

Things remain difficult and we continue to try our best in what are very trying circumstances. Lots to talk about this issue, so please take your time with it.


Face Coverings

Since a new update June 1, 2022, there was no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering, however the situation with the pandemic is still precarious.

The government still advises you to wear a face covering when attending a healthcare setting, especially if you are attending with any respiratory symptoms.

Government guidance states:

For health and care staff:

  • Health and care staff should continue to wear facemasks as part of personal protective equipment required for transmission-based precautions when working in COVID-19/respiratory care pathways, and when clinically caring for suspected/confirmed COVID-19 patients.

    This is likely to include settings where untriaged patients may present such as emergency departments or primary care, depending on local risk assessment. In all other clinical care areas, universal masking should be applied when there is known or suspected cluster transmission of SARS-CoV-2, e.g., during an outbreak, and/or if new SARS-CoV-2 VOC emerge.

For outpatients, urgent and emergency care and primary care::

  • Patients with respiratory symptoms who are required to attend for emergency treatment should wear a facemask/covering, if tolerated, or offered one on arrival.
  • All other patients are not required to wear a facemask unless this is a personal preference.

Additionally, early July, NHS England is now recommending universal face coverings as we have now entered the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please see the latest NHS England advice below. Whilst we appreciate that we cannot enforce mask wearing amongst patients (and we have first-hand knowledge of the abuse and backlash we have received from patients whom we challenge), we hope you can understand that throughout all of the pandemic we have been following best practice guidance in keeping you all safe. So our staff will return to mask wearing, and any doctors seeing patients will be wearing masks.

You know we don't want to catch covid off you, but can you also be sure that you won't catch covid off us? Please help us to keep everyone safe by continuing to wear a mask whenever you are in the surgery. Many thanks.

covid symptoms

So, you will know that the pandemic is definitely still here, therefore in order to limit spread, if you have active covid, please do not come to surgery, even if you are wearing a face covering. This is so that we can keep other patients and our staff safe, some of whom will be highly clinically vulnerable.

If our healthcare staff develop covid, then they must self-isolate, and we wish to avoid any outbreaks within the practice, as we still need to maintain sufficient staff numbers in order to provide a safe and efficient service.

If you have a booked appointment but have since developed covid, or are awaiting the result of a test, or are self-isolating, please do not attend your appointment. Please ring us to cancel, and we will agree with you an alternative method of providing you with the care that you need.

GOV: Current guidance NHS: Mask wearing guidance NHS: Coronavirus advice



GP numbers compared to hospital doctors and population

Our the last 10 years the total population has grown by about 10%, at the same time the numbers of those aged 65 years and over has grown about 25%.

Hospital work has increased around 30%, whilst the number of hospital doctors to meet this work has increased by a similar amount.

But wait, during this time, you've guessed it, the number of GPs has fallen by about 10% over the same time period.

We have nothing at all against our hospital colleagues as they are busy too, but we have witnessed this steady investment and increase in hospital posts first-hand ourselves. Whilst the number of partners in the surgery has remained much the same over the last decade, we have seen some hospital departments increase their number three or four-fold to match the escalating workloads.

The graph on the right illustrates this dichotomy perfectly.

As we have repeated time and again, there are not enough GPs to match the escalating workload, and this could well be the single biggest reason why getting to see or speak to the GP is immensely difficult!


We remain as busy as ever, and struggling with staff shortages due to sickness and vacancies, compounded by a lack of sufficient locum cover. This is not unique to our practice or even wider General Practice, with similar situations being experienced in all walks of life.

Specifically with regard to General Practice, a recent Health Foundation study said the current shortfall of 4,200 GPs could rise to more than 10,000 by 2030-31. A sixth of GP posts are currently vacant, rising to a quarter within a decade.

In fact, General Practice has been so busy that the UK economy showed surprise growth due to the large increase in GP appointments in May! The Office of National Statistics said health was the biggest driver as more people saw GPs.

So, please do not be surprised to find that it is difficult to get to see us, all the figures speak for themselves.

GUARDIAN: UK economy returns to growth thanks to holiday boom and GP visits BBC: Quarter of GP posts vacant within a decade in England, study warns INDEPENDENT: NHS faces ‘disastrous’ shortfall of 10,000 GPs by 2030, report warns SKY: GP workforce experiencing 'worrying workload' amid staff shortages DAILY WAIL: England's GP crisis laid bare: A sixth of posts are vacant amid recruitment 'nightmare' and figure could rise to a quarter within next 10 years

Sadly, we ourselves are still looking to hire a salaried doctor as one of our partners is relocating, but we have so far received no applicants in four months of advertising. This again is reflected in other staff groups, with difficulties in finding, hiring and retaining staff to work in healthcare.

There are fewer and fewer people around who want to work in healthcare in the current climate as quite frankly it is rubbish (to put it mildly). In previous years, we would get dozens of applicants for posts. Now it is barely a handful of applicants for each post, or with GP positions, no applicants at all.

At the end of the day, seemingly the only two things that holds everything together are, on the one hand, the sense of teamwork and camaraderie and the willingness to help and support each other through the gruelling days, and on the other, the thanks and support we get from grateful patients who appreciate what we are doing for them, under very difficult circumstances.

At the time of writing, another doctor is relocating to another country with his family, therefore we have a further salaried doctor vacancy.

IGS: Salaried Doctor adverts

The government has already promised to recruit 6,000 extra GPs by 2024 but has already admitted it is unlikely to meet this target. Rather than simply quoting ridiculous 'pie in the sky' figures, we do wish the government would actually invest properly in GP surgeries and tackle the true causes of the crisis.

To name some of what is currently wrong with General Practice, but not necessarily in order of priority: increasing demand, lack of investment in staff and resources, target-driven culture and over-regulation, over-emphasis on GP rather than GP team, a skewed focus on providing frivolous support skirting 'around' GP teams, rather than real tangible, genuine support specifically directed at GP teams, a litigious and risk-averse yet entitled society and increasing blame culture, excessive red-tape and administrative burden, commercialisation of healthcare with health as a commodity, failure to recognise the need for and to support social care, transfer of care (often complex) to community without resources to match and the continued deprioritisation of the key principles of resilience, self-care and self-reliance in the public.

The end result is that more and more work rests on the shoulders of fewer and fewer staff, with consequent impact upon patient care, patient safety, waiting times, staff workload, staff morale, satisfaction levels and workforce health, amongst many other dire effects affecting everyone.

As any carer will tell you, there is always a limit to how much healthcare staff can care for and look after others when no-one cares for or looks after them. Something will break. This brings us to our next section.


Our very own local Derbyshire GP, Dr Peter Holden, has been busy addressing colleagues at the BMA annual representative meeting recently. Dr Holden called for doctors to be given a right to switch off from work, warning that not a single doctor could have emerged from the past 28 months without having incurred some adverse consequences.

Dr Holden warned that the rise in digital technology during the pandemic had ushered in a 24/7 approach to work for many doctors and an Amazon Prime level of expectation of what health services could provide by some patients.

He added that the situation was being further compounded by the unrealistic expectations being fostered by politicians as to what an understaffed and traumatised health service could achieve, all of which was having a tremendous human cost.

All sentient human beings have been impacted by the pandemic, but as clinicians we’ve witnessed terrible events which we never thought we’d see and of which the public cannot possibly conceive.

As a group we are damaged [and] the damage is being compounded by politically encouraged demand for NHS services we are too short-staffed to meet and consequently we, and our support staff, are bearing the anger of patients’ and their families whose disappointment is reflected in aggression towards us.

Doctors are not... automatons, not political soundbite fodder. We are human beings with failings, families, friends and feelings just like everyone else.

We need time like everyone else to recover and recuperate and must move away from the Work Sleep Work Sleep Repeat treadmill of the pandemic.

With kind permission, Dr Holden has made his entire speech available to download for further reading:

BMA: Doctors seeks right to respite PETER HOLDEN: Right to Disconnect


We have had many comments about our phone lines being busy. This is because it is busy and our 16 lines are all being occupied by calls between patients and doctors, patients and staff, clinicians and colleagues.

We appreciate your patience in trying to contact us, but ask you to bear with us during these difficult times - we are all trying to do our best. The following might be helpful to consider when contacting us:

  • Please consider if another member of the extended healthcare team can help you, for instance, a pharmacist, physio, care co-ordinator, health and wellbeing coach and see if you can self-refer to them directly (see link below)
  • Are you ringing to provide a BP reading? Feel free to drop us a piece of paper with your name and date of birth on it, with your reading, or submit a reading online - it is very quick and easy (see later regarding BP readings)
  • For example, you can self-refer to popular workers in the NHS without contacting the GP first, for example, physio, counselling, mental health resources, sexual health services, continence advisory service
  • Consider the use of official and validated sources of clinical information like the NHS site or if you need the answer to a simple clinical question (see links below)
  • There is no need to ring us about your results - we will always contact you should there be a clinical need or abnormality in your result
  • If you do need to hear about a result, please ring us late afternoon when it is less busy on the phones but do give us about two weeks from the date of your test to allow for the result to be processed
  • Remember we will always contact you urgently if your result indicates something abnormal or serious - so if you don't hear soon after your test, that is generally good news
  • If you desperately need an appointment that day and cannot get through on the phones, try to come down to the reception desk and speak to our staff in person, or if you cannot attend, a relative or friend might be able to book for you
  • Check our website before you ring: do you need a doctor, or are you seriously ill, can you self-care, are you worried about cancer? (See links below)

Please note, when you have a booked appointment with us, we may ring you at any time during the session. Although you may wish to indicate to staff times during which you are not available for a callback, whilst we do our best to accommodate this, unfortunately we cannot guarantee a callback at a specific time, due to the nature of the work nowadays.

NHS: official site PATIENT.INFO: official site IGS: Self-refer page IGS: Symptom checker page IGS: Get help summary page IGS: Seriously ill page IGS: cancer red flags page


One problem per consultation poster

We know it's difficult to get through on the phones and difficult to get an appointment with the GP. And once you are there either speaking to your doctor or in front of them, we understand that you do want to get your 'value for money' and make the most of your appointment. We understand that it will be very tempting to say, 'whilst I'm here, doctor...' or 'can I just mention...' or 'can you just have a look at my (relative's)...'

However, we encourage all our patients to try and stick to our policy of One Problem per Consultation. By doing so you will ensure that:

  • The GP is not distracted by multiple problems and is therefore less likely to make a mistake that may cause harm
  • The GP will not be rushing through things and will therefore be able to give your problem the care and attention it deserves
  • The GP can concentrate on you and be less likely to miss the danger signals (red flags) that could indicate serious illness
  • The GP can spend the time completing referrals or forms and ensure that your consultation is properly documented for the benefit of all, including those who may treat you in the future
  • We will be able to move onto the next patient who has been waiting patiently in the telephone queue or in the waiting room, without making them late
  • Ultimately, we will be able to help more people over the same amount of time

Therefore please do not take offence if we kindly ask you to present only your most pressing issue or if we ask you to rebook for other problems you may have. We have no problem with patients requesting two appointment slots (where available) if they have two problems to discuss.

IGS: One problem per consultation poster


As with many other industries serving the public, we have seen a huge increase in levels of hostility against staff, threats, violence and general abuse all round. Consequently we have had to protect ourselves and our staff through the use of security doors, partitions and CCTV. This has been unheard of in 50 years of General Practice.

As with many other surgeries, we have also faced a significant increase in levels of complaints. We recognise that we do not always get things right, and we do welcome complaints as a learning exercise and to help improve our processes where we have clearly made a mistake in our care for you.

The level of complaints is something that has not been previously experienced. Whilst not singling our any particular complaint we have received, we can say that in general, there are clearly trends of increased levels of impatience, intolerance and lack of sympathy from the public to the situation that all of us find ourselves in.

Dealing with complaints that we would not have ordinarily received in the course of events does have a negative impact. The clinician having to respond to the complaint will have to take time out that they would have ordinarily used to care for patients to respond to a complaint.

There will be heightened stress and worry in dealing with a complaint. As doctors we are trained to get things right and indeed the sort of personality that is attracted to medicine is one that does aim to get things right (it's inherent in the job!) - there is therefore nothing that will cause more stress and worry than the doctor berating themselves when they may not have got things right.

Please therefore bear in mind that we are all trying our very best in very difficult circumstances in a completely under-staffed and under-resourced system, and that none of us who work at Ivy Grove Surgery sets out to deliberately make mistakes or cause harm to anybody, but where we have done so, we will do our utmost to help fix things.

Our information video below explains what we do to avoid complaints at Ivy Grove, how we deal with them and also importantly, the impact of complaints.

Complaints (17:49), Ivy Grove Surgery


Patients may recall that just before Christmas, GPs were tasked to take part in the covid booster campaign, in order to reduce the impact of third wave. This meant that, once again, almost overnight, GPs and their teams had to turn around their staff and their surgeries to accommodate the vaccines and move to an urgent only way of working.

The whole team pulled together: we had a duty doctor sat in the back of reception helping receptionists field calls and direct patients with non-urgent conditions to other services, and seeing any urgent cases as needed; we had a skeleton crew providing appointments; we had other clinicians carrying out covid vaccination boosters.

As part of our process of moving to urgent care only, we developed three pages on our website to help patients: a summary page detailing how patients could get help for a variety of conditions, a page to inform of symptoms that could indicate serious illness and the need to contact us, and finally, a page detailing symptoms that we consider to be red flags that could indicate cancer, along with official links to NHS advice.

Obviously we are out of the winter covid booster phase (for now), but we have left these pages on the website as they could still prove useful to patients in terms of getting the right help, and reassurance regarding worrying symptoms or symptoms that could indicate cancer.

IGS: Get the right help IGS: Seriously ill IGS: Cancer red flag symptoms


New legislation to allow a wider range of healthcare professionals to certify fit notes has been introduced by the UK government to ease pressure on GPs.

From July 1, nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists, and physiotherapists will all be able to legally certify fit notes – something that at present only doctors can do. If you’ve been off work with illness for more than seven days, a fit note provides evidence to your employer about your absence and any relevant advice on how to support you to remain in or return to work.

The change, the most significant since the fit note’s inception in 2010, will support and empower better conversations about work and health between employers and staff by making it easier to get this advice certified by the most relevant healthcare professional. This change will be delivered in general practice and hospital settings.

It will also help reduce pressure on doctors, particularly GPs, while simplifying the process of issuing and receiving a fit note – cutting bureaucracy for employers and the National Health Service.

The other change in fit note certification is that fit notes generated electronically from your medical record will no longer have to be countersigned by the issuing GP.

This change was first mentioned at the start of the pandemic when GPs had to find novel ways of generating fit notes and to send them to patients without the need for patients and staff to put themselves at risk with people coming into the surgery building to collect things at that much more dangerous time. We are currently awaiting updates to computer software in order to be able to achieve both these changes.

GOV: More healthcare professionals given powers to certify fit notes Sick notes after hospital care leaflet


As last year, we are texting our patients to ask them to submit blood pressures and send them to us. Home blood pressures have been shown to be effective, accurate and convenient for patients. By doing so, you are helping us to free up capacity and allow us to see those who still need to see us face-to-face.

There are various ways to get a blood pressure check:

  • You can purchase a relatively cheap and accurate (around £20) BP monitor - see our links below to recommended devices from the Hypertension Society or British Heart Foundation, or ask your local chemist
  • Your local chemist may provide a BP measurement service
  • You can visit our new and easy-to-use patient pod in our reception area (this also has the benefit of taking your height and weight measurements too) and drop off the readings at reception
  • You can book with our practice nurse – please ring to book this

Once you have had your blood pressure checked, there are various ways to get the result to us:

  • You can jot down your reading on a piece of paper with your name and date of birth and pop it into our letterbox
  • You can use easy-to-use online form to submit a BP reading online - see link below
  • You can ring through to reception and read the measurement out to our receptionist (best to ring in the afternoons when it is quieter)
  • If using the patient pod, the results will automatically be entered into your medical record; in addition it will print off a slip of paper for you

Where clinically necessary, we will contact you about your BP. Otherwise if you do not hear from us, you can assume that your BP is satisfactory.

Sometimes, the BP reading you provide might indicate the need to do more than just one random reading and we may therefore ask you to complete a more detailed one week's worth of readings, done four times a day (twice in the morning and twice in the evening). If this is the case, please download and print the one week BP chart using the link below.

For those without internet access, or no facility to print out the chart, you can always ask reception for a copy. For those with Excel spreadsheet software or similar, you can download our XLS version and this will help us greatly as the spreadsheet will automatically calculate your average readings for us. Instructions are provided on the chart to send the results back to us directly by email.

Please note: only use the one week BP chart if we have specifically asked you to provide a week of readings,

BIHS: BP machines BHF: BP machines Submit your BP reading online One week BP chart (PDF) One week BP chart (XLS)


Domestic abuse poster

Some of you might have been following the recent high-profile court case involving domestic abuse allegations between a famous film star and his ex-wife. It is therefore timely to remind our patients about domestic abuse and how to seek help if needed.

Contrary to popular belief, and something which may be reinforced by a mistaken mainstream media, abuse is not just perpetrated by a man against a woman. In fact, anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

Domestic abuse can take many forms and is not always violence; it can include coercive control and ‘gaslighting’, threats and intimidation, economic, online, emotional and sexual abuse.

In Derbyshire, children, young people and families who are affected by domestic abuse or violence can get support, including refuge accommodation, by contacting Derbyshire Domestic Abuse Helpline on 08000 198 668. This line is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and is a single point of contact to get the help you need.

In an emergency, please call 999.

You can also email the Derbyshire Domestic Abuse Helpline giving a number where you can be contacted safely:

Please also see our poster to the right for the telephone number of the Domestic Abuse Helpline, or download the poster below for additional resources to other relevant agencies (on the second page).

Any person, who has safeguarding or abuse concerns or is worried about the welfare of another person, be they adult or child, can contact social care for advice and assessment. It is the duty of any citizen, professional or otherwise, to make the necessary and appropriate referral to social care. You can refer to social care without having to speak to a GP first. See our social care page for details.

IGS: Domestic abuse poster and resources Ring Domestic Abuse Helpline 08000 198 668 Email Domestic Abuse Helpline DERBYSHIRE.GOV: Domestic abuse GOV: Domestic abuse IGS: Social care page


We continue to keep our mental health resources page updated as it has become a useful guide for our patients to refer to.

In addition to the grief and Rethink resources added last time, we have now added the following:

  • Bridge the Gap - child mental health clinic, lots of help on emotional literacy, wellbeing and mental health, including free resources
  • Anger management - those requiring help in managing anger can attend counselling services where you will be advised and signposted as necessary
  • Treetops Hospice - offer counselling and emotional support to adults, children and young people who are dealing with a life-limiting illness or bereavement
  • Health and Wellbeing Coach - supporting patients to identify their needs, set and achieve goals through multiple sessions
  • Chums - walks and range of activities to improve physical and mental wellbeing

See the links below:

IGS: Mental health support page Bridge the Gap IGS: Counselling information NTW: Controlling anger leaflet Treetops Hospice IGS: Health and Wellbeing Coach Chums at Eureka Park, Swadlincote


Due to a series of worrying incidents in the waiting room and car park, we have had to install a closed circuit television (CCTV) system in the surgery. CCTV is installed at the practice premises for the purposes of staff, patient, and premises security. Cameras are located at various places on the premises, and images from the cameras are recorded.

The use of CCTV falls within the scope of the Data Protection Act 1998 (the 1998 Act). This code of practice follows the recommendations issued by the Data Protection Commissioner in accordance with powers under section 51 (3)(b) of the 1998 Act.

We have installed CCTV to:

  • Ensure the safety of patients, personnel, and property
  • Reduce costs of vandalism
  • Reduce costs of theft or damage to expensive medical equipment and other assets
  • Protect staff and patients by deterring and resolving disruptive and violent behaviour in waiting rooms and other public access zones
  • Reduce risk and cost of theft of drugs from surgery
  • Deter and protect against threat of patient abductions or abuse

The practice's CCTV Policy is in place in the waiting room, reception, staff entrance and staff car park. CCTV has been installed solely for the safety and security of our patients and staff.

Images are recorded 24hrs a day, seven days a week and stored in a locked room and only the manager and owners of the practice have access to the recordings. The manager regularly checks that the CCTV devices are working as intended.

All CCTV recordings are stored on our recording device/hard drives for 30 days before being deleted. You have the right to view a copy of the CCTV recording or request that the CCTV recording be deleted if you believe the practice is processing it for longer than is necessary.

If you require a copy of our CCTV policy, please speak to the Practice Operational Manager


We are very sad to report that Dr Smith will be leaving the practice at the end of August. We have really valued his contribution as a doctor to our patients and as a partner in the business and we will miss him very much. Here, he writes a farewell message to you all:

It is with a mixture of sadness, anxiety and excitement that I am writing to let you know I will be leaving Ivy Grove Surgery towards the end of August. I will be relocating to the south coast of England with my wife and children, to be closer to our family. I will be continuing to work as a GP at a new practice in the south.

I am, of course, very excited for this new adventure for my family. However, I do regret having to leave Ivy Grove Surgery for it to happen.

I joined Ivy Grove in 2015, straight after completing my GP training. I became a partner in the practice in 2017. I have enjoyed getting to know so many of the patients at Ivy Grove, and I will leave with many fond memories.

It has been a privilege to be welcomed into the lives of many of you, often at very challenging moments in your stories. I am very grateful to the staff and partners at Ivy Grove for the friendship and support you have given me, particularly when I was a newly qualified GP.

I understand that from a patient's point of view, getting the help you want from any GP surgery can feel difficult and frustrating. The challenges of a national shortage of GPs, of demand outstripping supply, are not unique to Ivy Grove. However, it is fair to say that Ivy Grove has never been afraid to innovate, to do things differently, and occasionally even stir things up with the powers that be! All of this is with the aim of trying to ensure we can help you when you need us, with high quality and safe care.

I am sure Ivy Grove will continue innovating, and I look forward to seeing, from afar, what the future holds for the surgery. Please do give them your continued support. I wish to thank you all for making my time at Ivy Grove so very happy and memorable, and I wish each of you the best for the future.

Dr Pete Smith

Needless to say, we wish Pete and his family all the very best for the future.


Sadly, Charmagne, our dedicated and loyal practice manager has retired, after 23 years at the practice. Here she gives her farewell message to you all.

Well the time has come for me to say goodbye to you all. I retire from Ivy Grove on the 30th June after 23 years, but with a total of 35 years in the NHS behind me.

It has definitely been a rollercoaster over the last 23 years, with many, many changes and many ups and downs. Things have changed dramatically over the years and the Practice Manager's job is unrecognisable to the job I did when we first moved to Church Farm back in 2005. The pressure has increased intensely over the years but each time our staff have risen to the challenge.

Before I left, we reorganised the practice management structure and I leave behind two very capable Operational Managers, Janette Cavanagh and Sarah Roberts. Between them, they deal with the day-to-day running and operation of the practice.

I am happy to say I am also leaving the practice management role in the experienced hands of Ian Bonser, Practice Business Manager, who will be joining the team in August.

Over the years, I have worked with some real characters, both staff and patients and I can honestly say it has never been boring. I would like to thank all those patients who have supported the practice over the years and those who served on the Patient Group.

As a memento and a little thank you to all the staff, I planted a roof top garden. Something colourful for them to look out at – rather than the boring grey flat roof - when they manage to grab a quick lunch in the staff room. I wish the staff and the patients of Ivy Grove Surgery all the best for the future.




Sarah, our new operational manager started in September 2021, thrown in at the deep end in the midst of a covid-19 pandemic. It's been quite hectic so we've not had time to introduce her till now. Here she says her hello.

Hi, my name is Sarah and I originate from the South Coast of England. I moved to Derbyshire 5 years ago. I have two grown up children and enjoy spending time visiting them when I get the chance. I joined Ivy Grove as an Operational Manager 9 months ago.

My role encompasses HR, facilities and complaints.

What does my day look like you may ask? Well no two days are the same and what may be on my list to do that day isn’t always what takes place. I may have a list of staff appraisals to carry out, risk assessments to write and health & safety checks to complete.

When I joined Ivy Grove, they were well and truly in the grip of the Coronavirus pandemic, so for me I will never know what it’s like to work in a 'normal' GP practice!

I can honestly say I feel very privileged to have been given the opportunity to join Ivy Grove, I hope to meet many more of you in the future and, not only to assist you with issues that may arise, but for positive reasons too.


Sarah has really fit in well into the practice and we look forward to working with her in meeting the continued challenges of General Practice.


We have yet to start planning the flu clinic season in earnest, so watch this space. What we know so far is that in April 2022, the government indicated that there was a change to the eligible groups in that, those aged 50 to 64 years and secondary school children in Years 7 to 11 (between 11 and 15 years of age on 31 August 2022) were not eligible this year when compared to last year's groups.

Then only last Friday, the new health secretary overturned the above decision, and announced that the above groups would be eligible later on in the season.

We are awaiting news on how the eligible for covid boosters will receive their jab, perhaps at the same time as their flu jab.

Please keep an eye on our flu page for more news and updated.

IGS: Flu page


As more and more blood tests are being carried out these days, we are noticing an increasing proportion of patients who are folic acid or vitamin D deficient.

Much of this is related to either dietary factors, or lack of sunlight respectively.

We will notify you by text message or letter if your results indicate low levels of either folic acid or vitamin D, but in the meantime, it would help to share the three leaflets we have already written for our patients with these conditions.

We feel increased knowledge amongst all our patients about these conditions and what you can do prevent them with simple measures that everyone can take will be useful to everyone.

We will be working on a vitamin B12 leaflet, so please stay tuned.

IGS: Folic acid deficiency IGS: Vitamin D deficiency (clinically low) IGS: Vitamin D insufficiency (not quite as low)


Many thanks to all the patients who continue to pass messages of support to the practice. We appreciate the time taken to send such messages and we do share them with the entire team.

We are all jolly quick to complain but rarely say thank you . Please pass on my thanks to the perseverance, kindness and professionalism of Nurse Tracey and Dr Greer during my recent visits for a smear test. Never a pleasant experience but very necessary and made all the more bearable by the very personable considerate nature of them both. Never underestimate the difference you make Thank you – AC

Dr Wong, many thanks again for your support – LM

Very impressed with Vicky, receptionist, on the front desk. While I was waiting for my appointment, I noticed her deal with a whole range of issues, some seemed rather complex. I saw that she was extremely kind, polite, calm and helpful, even when faced with some challenges – LD

I am leaving Ivy Grove in the next month or so. Just to say a big thank you to everyone. My wife and I have had nothing but excellent service from you. Well done all – JW


The Medicines Order Line (MOL) has been extremely busy. Due to increasing wait times, an additional telephone number has been made available.

Please call 01246 942751, Monday to Friday, between 8am and 4pm as an alternative to the original number 0115 855 0260.

There are other ways to get your repeat prescription. Please see our link below for more information.

MOL Leaflet Ring MOL IGS: Ways to get your repeats


Whilst we generally welcome warmer weather, very hot weather, especially when sustained, can bring health risks. Therefore, please make sure you keep yourself hydrated, that you don't overwork in the heat and protect yourself from UV rays.

The NHS Heatwave page gives lots of top tips on what you can do to make sure you stay healthy in the heat.

GOV: Heat-health advice issued NHS: Heatwave NHS: Sun safety AGE UK: Heatwave NHS: Sunburn NHS: Heatstroke NHS: Dehydration


Thank you for reading another bumper update. By the time of the next issue, we hopefully will have hired some replacement staff to cope with the ever increasing workload. Thank you to all our patients for your steadfast support through what continue to be very difficult times for everyone. Take care.

Kind regards

Ivy Grove Surgery

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At Ivy Grove, we do our best to keep our patients informed about what is happening at the surgery and also wider General Practice. It would be great to hear what you think about our news updates.

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Written by Dr M. Wong