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BABIES CRY! Infant crying is normal and it will stop.  You can cope!

Infant crying and how to cope - ICON - Information for parents and carers 

Click on this link for more information



Telephone Triage Appointments

We are operating a telephone triage first system, however, we cannot guarantee that we will ring you at the specific time of your telephone appointment.  THis is due to the demand on patients also being requested to attend the surgery following telephone triage.  Rest assured that you will be contacted wither in the morning or afternoon.

Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time.

We would like to welcome Dr Nari Pindolia Locum GP who will be working on Fridays 


The first phase of the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme has started.

When it is the right time people will receive an invitation to come forward.

For most people this will be a letter, either from their GP or the national NHS.

This letter will include all the information you will need to book appointments, including your NHS number.

Please do not contact the NHS to get an appointment until you get this letter.

Information on the vaccine is available at 

50-64 year old Flu Vaccination available from 1 December

If you are aged 50-64 you are now invited to make an appointment for a flu vaccination from the 1st December online or by telephoning the surgery.  Weekend and evening appointments will be available.  There is limited stock available now.  The majority of vaccinations will be available from Monday 14th December.  




When your GP practice is closed DDHF provides extra appointments at weekends and in the evening. Patients can access these appointments by calling the surgery or 111 if the surgery is closed

Trained staff will ask the nature of the issue and work out the best person to see you, and schedule an appointment at the ‘hub’ at Bishop Auckland Hospital.  This service is available 7 days a week, after 6pm on weekdays and up to 8pm on weekends. The service is staffed by DDHF nursing team, who have access to a patient’s record through the out of hours unit.

Not everyone will need to be seen by a GP, or at all. In some cases a Nurse Practitioner will see patients, or signpost them to a local pharmacist for advice and over the counter medication.

For more information click on this link



A Guide to being active at home during the coronavirus outbreak

PHE Active at Home Booklet

Who can have the flu vaccine?

You can get a free flu vaccine if you:

  • are 65 years old and over (including those aged 65 by 31 March 2021)
  • have certain health conditions
  • live with someone who is on the NHS Shielded Patient List
  • are pregnant
  • receive a carer’s allowance
  • are the main carer of an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick

Children aged 2 to 11 on 31 August 2020 are also eligible for the flu vaccine (with 2- and 3-year-olds offered it in GP surgeries and school-aged children offered it in school).

You can get the flu vaccine at your GP surgery or a pharmacy if you’re a health and social care worker employed by a:

  • registered residential care or nursing home
  • registered homecare organisation
  • hospice

You can also get the flu vaccine at your GP surgery or a pharmacy if you provide health or social care through direct payments or personal health budgets.

This year the free flu vaccine will be offered to healthy 50- to 64-year-olds later in the season. People in this age bracket with a health condition that makes them more at risk from flu will be offered it sooner.

Visit NHS.UK to check whether you are eligible.

Even if you are in one of the listed groups, you may be asked to wait to have your flu vaccine

Overall, there is enough flu vaccine for everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated before the flu season starts, which is usually in December. Flu vaccine is delivered to GP practices, pharmacies and other services in batches in the run-up to and over flu season. This year, early demand for flu vaccine has been higher than usual.

This has meant that while a lot of people have been able to get vaccinated, some people have not been able to get vaccinated straight away as some GP practices and pharmacies have used their early supplies of flu vaccine, due to the level of demand.

If you are eligible and haven’t been able to get your vaccination yet, you will still be able to have it before flu season starts.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, how you contact your GP Surgery will be different at the moment. This is to limit face –face contact where possible and help stop the spread of coronavirus

Face-to-face appointments are available to all patients, but you may be asked to discuss your conditions over the telephone or online first to assess what would be most appropriate for you

In addition to face-to-face consultations, many GP practices are offering consultations online or over the telephone. This can be convenient and flexible way to receive healthcare but if you would prefer to see a GP or healthcare professional in person then this will be arranged for you. If you are waiting for a check-up, please be assured we will be in touch.

Four ways to seek healthcare advice from a GP

  • Call your surgery to discuss a face-to-face or telephone or video appointment
  • Visit your GP Surgery website and complete a confidential online form to receive a response before the end of the next working day
  • Call NHS 111 or go online to seek advice
  • Download the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions, book appointments and check your symptoms.


  • If you have been referred to your GP by 119 for a Covid test we are sorry but we are unable to help. We do not have the ability to test. Please be patient and continue to try 119. If you wish further advice on Covid - please contact NHS direct on line or phone 111.There is currently a capacity issue with testing via 119. Your GP Practice are not able to provide tests or diagnose Covid. Please be patient and continue to isolate until you are able to obtain a test.


Face Mask Exemption Requests


Face masks or coverings are now mandatory in most public areas.

We understand that some patients will be anxious about wearing a mask especially those with certain medical conditions.


GP’s are not required or in a position to provide exemption letters for patients who believe they should be exempt from wearing a face covering.

The current guidance suggests there is no requirement for the public to provide medical evidence for exemption from wearing face masks therefore a self- declaration should be sufficient.

Please visit the GOV.UK link below for more information on the use of face coverings.

or this page for an exemption card that you can print off at home

For specific requirements in reference to public transport, shops or other areas where masks are required please contact those specific companies for further information.

Staindrop Branch Surgery will be open for collection of medication on

Monday 12pm - 1pm

Thursday 9am to 10am

Alternatively you can still choose to collect from Cockfield Surgery

Please observe the social distancing restrictions in place

Support for shielded high risk patients

If you are struggling as a result of Coronavirus please visit to get information on the range of support options available. If you need urgent help and have no other support, please contact your local council.

NHS Volunteer Responders are also here for you. This support will continue beyond the end of July. NHS Volunteer Responders can help you with:

  • collecting shopping, medication (if your friends and family cannot collect them for you) or other essential supplies;
  • a regular, friendly phone call which can be provided by different volunteers each time or by someone who is also shielding and will stay in contact for several weeks; and
  • transport to medical appointments.

Please call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm to arrange support. More information is available at


Thank you for your co-operation during these difficult times

Whatever your age, if you are experiencing a mental health crisis you can call TEWV crisis services on a single point of access telephone number 0300 0200317


The line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for those living in County Durham, Darlington, Teesside and North Yorkshire and York.


People with learning disabilities and/or autism can also contact crisis services using this number.


You also may find this advice and information on what to do in a mental health emergency helpful,

Mental Health Crisis Service 0300 0200317


It is so important that people who think they might have a cancer symptom get in touch with their GP.  Putting off getting in touch won’t be helpful in the long run so please do take that first step. It is important to remember that most of the time symptoms that could be cancer don’t turn out to be cancer, and if they are, the sooner you get some help the better.  Please contact the surgery if you have any worrying symptoms.

General Practice Transparency Notice for GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

The NHS in the North East and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

The Chief Medical Officer has announced that the country is moving into the ‘Delay’ stage of the response to coronavirus from Friday, 13th March 2020.

The new advice issued by the Chief Medical Officer is as follows:

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Stay At Home advice can be found here

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

More information can be found on the NHS website here


RPOS – Repeat Prescription Ordering Service

Physiotherapy Self Referral

If you feel that you are suffering from a musculoskeletal complaint that could benefit from Physiotherapy, you are now able to make a direct referral to the County Durham Integrated MSK Service (CD IMS). This offers patients greater choice and faster access to hospital services without the need to visit your GP.

Please click on this link cddft Physio Self Referral

Repeat Prescription Requests

We now only accept repeat prescription requests over the telephone if you are housebound or have exceptional circumstances.  We encourage you to register  and use the online service or you can drop your prescription off at your local branch or send by post.


When your GP Practice is closed ring 111

Patients urged: ‘Talk Before You Walk’ when your GP practice is closed

 Patients across Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield have been reminded to ‘Talk Before You Walk’ when in need of care when their GP practice is closed.


By phoning NHS 111, patients who need to be seen urgently on the same day will be offered an appointment with a healthcare professional either at their own GP surgery or at another surgery nearby called a Primary Care Service or a hub.


Primary Care Services are available across the area.


GDPR Important Information 

How we use your medical records

Care Navigation - New ways for your local GP practice to help you get to the right support.

Across County Durham, all GP practices want to make sure their patients are seen quickly by the right healthcare professional. We know that when you are not feeling well you just want to feel better quickly.

Throughout June and July, your GP practice staff are receiving specialist training developed by clinicians, to help them provide you with information about choices you have to see an appropriate person for your healthcare needs. Sometimes a GP isn’t the best person to see. Within your GP practice for example a Practice Nurse (for matters including dressings, immunisations or ear syringes) or a Nurse Practitioner (who can examine, diagnose and prescribe) may be better. You could also be directed to a healthcare professional in the community such as a community pharmacist, optician or sexual health nurse.

 So shortly, when you contact your GP practice, receptionists may ask you a few questions to help navigate you to the best person to help you quickly. They won’t try to diagnose your problem, but you may need to tell them a little bit about why you are calling. You don’t’ have to of course, the choice is yours and you can always still request to see your GP, but you may be able to be seen faster by someone who is able to provide the right care for you using ‘Care Navigation’ to help.

SELF CARE CAMPAIGN see latest news

For minor illnesses have you thought about talking to your pharmacist and buying what you need?

Prescribing readily available medication like paracetamol costs the NHS millions every year, adding unnecessary strain to local GPs and the NHS. Processing these prescriptions can cost 20 times the price of buying identical medication at your local pharmacy or supermarket.

Before you call a GP, talk to your pharmacist. You don’t need an appointment and for most minor illnesses it’s faster and easier.

If you take care of the little things, your NHS can keep taking care of you

Aches and Pains Patient Information

How to Make An Appointment Patient Leaflet click here

Get Well Soon without Antibiotics click here to view the leaflet

NHS Child Health App

Medical advice at your fingertips for parents

Parents and carers can now find NHS advice at their fingertips to help them look after their childs health.  The newly developed parenting app gives easy to understand guidance on common childhood illnesses, recognising when your child is unwell, and advice on when and where to seek further treatment.

The app, which is also available as a booklet, has been created by healthcare professionals across the region as part of the North East Urgent and Emergency Care Network.  The booklet and app contains everything from oral health, upset tummies and diarrhoea to advice on bumps and bruises.

Download the app now, available on Google Play and the App Store by searching the NHS Child Health or view the booklet online at

Register for Patient On Line Access

Patient Online will help you to take greater control of your health and wellbeing by increasing online access to services.

 Patient on line access poster.pdf

Patient Information Leaflet - click here Patient On Line Leaflet

Cancer Information and Support Centre

The Cancer Information and Support Centre at Bishop Auckland Hospital provides a free and confidential drop in service for anyone affected by cancer, either as a patient, family member or carer. We offer information on a wide range of cancer related topics, financial and welfare advice, a bra fitting service and advice on headwear for cancer patients.

Our team can help you access counselling services and local support groups.

Most importantly we offer a cup of tea, a friendly face and the opportunity to talk over any problems that you may be having.

Our Centre is in the Outpatients Department at Bishop Auckland Hospital with easy access. Call on 01388 455230


Health News from the BBC and the NHS

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NHS Choices Behind the Headlines
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