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'Redbourn Community Newsbite'

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The Elms Practice Manager gives an weekly update followed by local news, important announcements, useful information all given by fun, friendly caring local people.


Please click HERE to complete a quick anonymous survey for our surgery Primary Care Network (PCN)

Dear Patients,

Arthritis, cancer and diabetes engagement sessions

We have organised some virtual engagement sessions, please let know if you would like to attend. The meeting links and any other information will be sent nearer the date.



Date / time

Summary of session

Arthritis Action

Tuesday 11 May

11.30 – 12.30


Arthritis Action is the only UK charity giving hands-on, practical help to improve the quality of life of people affected by arthritis. We offer an integrated self-management approach, which looks at both the physical and mental health impact of living with arthritis. We support people living with musculoskeletal conditions through healthy eating advice, mental health resources, pain management techniques, local Groups, and exercise advice and resources. Since April when the first lockdown began we moved all of our services online and have been running the groups using zoom, these have been a huge success.

Cancer services – an update

Thursday 13 May

1 – 2pm

The cancer team will give an update of the work that they are doing in west Herts and the projects that are currently running including ;  the Vague Symptoms Pathway project and the Learning Disability Cervical Screening project. They Herts Valley website  cancer pages have also been updated and we would welcome your thoughts and comments on the content.

Diabetes services – an update

Tuesday 25 May

3 - 4pm

There have been very significant improvements in diabetes care in west Herts  over the last few years for patients with complex diabetes. We are now looking to see how we can reduce variation, improve patients outcomes and look at how we can increase the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

We are keen to share what we know and our thinking to date on this transformation and get feedback from you.


Public Engagement Manager


IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ IF YOU WISH TO HAVE A COVID VACCINE: Please find the COVID VACCINE INFORMATION LEAFLET which you will need to read to enable your informed consent to have the vaccine. Go to our COVID-19 web page for more details.


Patient volunteer opportunity

There is a vacancy for a patient volunteer on the Medicines Optimisation Clinical leads (MOCL) meetings. The group is technical as a prescribing committee for primary care but would benefit from a patient perspective in discussions. There are five meetings a year which last three hours with additional time needed to read papers which are circulated one week prior to the meeting. For anyone interested the dates up to February 2022 are available below.

 The role of the patient representative for this meeting would be to provide a patient perspective and to give the views of a patient who has user experience of the NHS and medicines.

 Currently the meetings are all being held virtually but may revert back to face to face meetings in due course.  When they do the patient volunteer will be able to claim travel / parking expenses.

Dates are as follows (all are 1.30pm – 4.30pm):

11th May 2021

13th July 2021

12th October 2021

14th December 2021

8th February 2022


If you are interested in finding out more about these roles please contact 


to the lovely person/persons who left these outside out front door. It made everyone's day and continues to make everyone smile. THANK YOU X

Thank You



Appointments during the Pandemic

On the 4th June we moved to a new Clinical Computer System called EMIS. This affects our usual online digital services and necessitates a change for all patients to either register with the new online service called 'Patient Access' and/or download the NHS App. Both are linked to our clinical system and your records. Please look at our Online Services page for more information. If you do not wish to use our online facilities, please continue to request your repeat prescribing in the same way you have done in the past and please continue to call the practice on the phone if you wish to speak to a clinician.

On-line bookable telephone appointments for GPs are available again, although we are unable to set them too far in advance due short notice self-isolation and other unforeseeable Covid related national changes to Primary Care. If you book a telephone consultation , please be aware that the slot time is not exact and that a GP will aim to call patients within an hour of that allotted time.

We are now part of a Primary Care Network (Harpenden Health PCN) and all practices need to be on the same clinical system, hence the move to a new system called 'EMIS'. A huge upheaval for the practice and staff particularly in light of the COVID Pandemic, however we are excited by this as already benefitting our patients e.g. more after hours appointments available in Harpenden and St Albans. Also 111 and Herts urgent Care are now able to book directly into our system.

We thank you for your patience and kindness during these vital necessary changes.

Please use our 'NEW' ONLINE CONSULT SERVICE. Our patients do not have to register for this service , simply click on the link and away you go. Patients can use this as an alternative to contacting us by phone enabling patients to make any request or general enquiry as long as it is not urgent. Also by using this service many patients find they do not need to contact the practice as the service is full of self-help information, videos, photos and where to get the appropriate treatment, support or medication. You can also request a non-urgent telephone appointment this way and we aim to get back to you within 2 working days.

If you do need to ring the practice for an appointment, our receptionists will ask you questions to ascertain a little as to why you need an appointment. This is done under the guidance and training of the clinical team and it ensures we signpost you to the correct clinician and that all our patients are cared for effectively and appropriately. This can sometimes lead to longer waiting times on the phones but we have a full team answering calls and you will get through.

If you have concerns you may have Covid symptoms or have become poorly with Covid, please call 111 or use their online services. Please always seek help, do not suffer in silence.

Wherever possible, this consultation will be over the phone. If a GP feels they need to see you they may ask you to have a video consultation or if you need to be examined you will be invited to make an appointment with them or another clinician. If it is a video call the GP will send a text with a link and invite.

If you are invited to come to the surgery, you may be asked to remain in your car until called by the clinician. We have a new intercom entry system to allow access into the surgery. If you do not have a car or you come by taxi you will be invited in by one of the reception team to sit in the waiting room. Seating is very limited due to the need for social distancing and the need for a safe flow of patients entering and leaving the building. Please When attending the practice please ensure you are wearing a face mask at all times. You will then be invited to go straight through to the clinicians consulting room.


Please see the Online Service webpage for details of how to access the new online services or how to download the NHS app

Repeat prescriptions

We aim to send all prescriptions, including repeat prescriptions, through the electronic prescription service (EPS) to your nominated pharmacy. If you do not have a nominated pharmacy please ensure you choose one online or ask your usual pharmacy to set this up for you. You can also order your prescription direct through the pharmacy.

Any prescriptions not sent through EPS will need to be collected at the practice. If you haven’t nominated a pharmacy we will ask you to do so. Please wherever possible use our on-line system for ordering repeat prescriptions rather than coming to the practice to drop the prescription off. If you do drop the prescription off at the surgery please ensure it is in a sealed envelope. Prescriptions will be turned around as soon as we are able but please be advised that Pharmacies make take longer than usual to dispense them due to the high number of requests. Please allow 2-3 working days for repeat prescriptions.


If you currently manage your own prescription requests and your prescription can’t be sent through EPS to a nominated pharmacy you will need to contact the GP practice

Please be aware that home deliveries by community pharmacy is not an NHS funded service. Some pharmacies do offer a delivery service which you may be charged for.



Registering as a new patient with the Practice

Please either use our website registration facility or pick up a registration for and either post these through the front door in a sealed envelope, post them through the royal mail, or email them to us at



Letters and other documents

Wherever possible we will send any requested letters, test results or any other documents via your direct personal email. Please double check with the Elms team that we have an appropriate and up to date email address. By giving us this information we will accept this as consent to send data to your home email address. If you don’t have an email address then please come to the surgery wearing a mask, use the intercom to let us know you are here and we will pass the requested documents to you. If you are housebound we will try and post these to you, however be aware you may be asked to post a self-addressed envelope to the practice so that this can be actioned. Completion of forms and letter requests will take between 5 – 10 working days dependent on urgency and direct care of patient. There is a fee for letters and completion of forms and this will have to be paid for in advance, so please request our surgery BACs details and send a copy of your BACs transaction to confirm payment has been made. This is a new system for us so please be patient.


We want to ensure we have a safe and efficient service not only as we deal with the Coronavirus challenges but also moving ahead, continuing to meet demand, ensuring our continued high quality of care for all our patients.


Thank you for your continued support and kindness.



Diarrhoea and Vomiting




The Elms Medical Practice is now a Teaching & Training Practice

Health Education England has approved The Elms Medical Practice for teaching and training within the East of England Deanery. This means we are able to host newly qualified doctors within their Foundation years, as well as those undertaking General Practice training. 

We have also established strong links with other educational institutions and provide training to:

·     Physician Associate trainees (University of Hertfordshire)

·     Final Year Medical Students (University of Cambridge)

·     Year 5 Medical Students (University College London)

·     Year 5 Medical Students (Kings College London)

 The practice team are enthusiastic about the delivery of high-quality teaching and training, and are supported by a dedicated team of educators and administrative support:

Dr David Hemsi (Associate Trainer)

Dr Charlotte Allam (Associate Trainer)

Dr Rebecca May (Associate Trainer)

Dr Ellen Sibly (Associate Trainer)

Dr Vidya Kanthi (Associate Trainer)

Mrs Sarah Brindley (Practice Manager – Education Non-Clinical Lead)

Miss Emma Heaton (Deputy Manager)
Appointments with our learners may be offered to you and booked only with your consent. All learners are closely supervised by a named GP Partner. For training purposes, learners may require video recordings of some consultations and again, only with your consent. These are used solely for teaching and confidentiality is upheld between both the learner and GP educator.  

We hope you will support our commitment to the teaching and training of undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare professionals, and we would welcome any feedback regarding your experiences with them.

Check out how HCPA StopFalls can support you

Harpenden Primary Care Network - Please Click here to read information sheet for details.



Local Data Sharing Scheme My Care Record

Heart Age Campaign

This is to increase awareness of heart health and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, the campaign encourages adults to complete the ‘One You Heart Age Test’ which reveals your heart age compared to your real age and gives advice on how to lower it. Click HERE to link to the Heart Age Campaign website.




Improving Access in our Locality



Gluten Free products are no longer available on prescription in Hertfordshire

Do you get gluten-free foods on prescription? Gluten-free foods are no longer available on prescription.
You can buy these foods from supermarkets, pharmacies and online without a prescription.
For more information please contact us at or 01442 898865

Gluten Free Information Leaflet

What happens when you are referred by your GP to a specialist

Please can you take a moment by accessing the link above and answer the surveys about changes the CCG is proposing on access for IVF, gluten free foods, over the counter medications, female sterilisation, vasectomy and being fit for surgery (i.e. BMI and smoking policy).

These are very important issues and it is important that patients have a say. The deadline is 14th September. Thank you in advance for your time on this.

Fever in a child under 5 - use the traffic light table to help you determine the most sensible action to take


Have your say – join our Patient Participation Group

We value your feedback – take the Friends & Family Test

Health News from the BBC and the NHS

BBC Health
NHS Choices Behind the Headlines
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