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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.

Flu Vaccination Information click here

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

The best and worst GP surgeries in County Durham - as rated by patients


The best and worst GP surgeries in County Durham have been revealed, based on how patients felt using them.

Each year, the NHS asks patients for their views of their registered practices and publishes the results.

It includes a range of criteria including ease of making an appointment, their practice's website, the helpfulness of receptionists and whether needs were met.


Leadgate Surgery -                          99%

Annfield Plain Surgery -                    97%

Pinfold Medical Practice                     96%

Craghead Medical Centre -                96%

Cheveley Park Medical Centre -         95%

Drs Lambert & NG -                         95%

The Haven Surgery-                        95%

Woodview Medical Practice - 95%

Southdene Medical Centre-               95%

Old Forge Surgery -                         95%


County Durham, Sunderland and South Tyneside CCGs launched a survey to find out about people’s experience of access to primary care and services provided in different ways during Covid-19. This link to the survey: Access to Primary Care survey

Why are we engaging?

Covid-19 also known as coronavirus, has meant that NHS healthcare staff have needed to use different ways of providing a clinical consultation to ensure that patients still get the healthcare they need. As well as the traditional methods such as face-to-face appointments, GPs, nurses and hospital staff have been using other, safer ways to consult such as telephone, online or video consultations.

The NHS in County Durham, South Tyneside, and Sunderland are working together to understand your thoughts of the different ways people can consult with a healthcare professional at their GP practice. This survey is open to anyone over the age of 16 to complete. 

The feedback from this survey will be added to the insight being gathered through other involvement work being carried out with NHS staff. The report will be used to help us to understand how we can continue to make improvements to services and encourage more people to use digital clinical consultations with their health professional in the future.

All feedback will be treated in strictest confidence and we do not require any personal information that will identify you. This survey is available to complete until 3 July 2020 and should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

Access to Primary Care survey

Whatever your age, if you are experiencing a mental health crisis you can call TEWV crisis services on 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,


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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