Latest News

PhysioLine self-referral form

You can now self-refer to our PhysioLine telephone service for muscle and joint problems if you meet the following criteria:

You are aged 18 or over.

You have had your condition for less than six months.

Your GP is in the Bedfordshire CCG (if you are not sure please contact GP surgery or visit the website).

Your complaint is regarding a single joint/area.

Please fully complete the form. Also, the form can be found in our Google Drive tab under MSK self-referral form.

PhysioLine Service

Rapid access to physiotherapy by telephone leads to early assessment and self-management and, when appropriate, treatment and begins a shift to greater empowerment.

Waiting times to access NHS physiotherapy for a musculoskeletal problem following GP referral vary enormously across the UK. Typically, this can be anything from a week to not unusually over 12 weeks. Given that the definition of chronicity is usually defined as >6 weeks, many patients will present with developed symptoms and unhelpful beliefs and behaviours that were potentially avoidable. In addition, given that the standard paradigm for rehabilitation (“right care”) suggests that active treatment should start from 48 hours, even a relatively short wait of 2-4 weeks can result in a patient who has wasted that time with a passive and or misguided approach which may cause deconditioning and be counter-productive to recovery.

Connect Health, working closely with commissioners, introduced physiotherapy assessment and early intervention by telephone (“PhysioLine”) back in 1999 and, having had nearly two decades of experience, have found it to be a successful method of addressing the delays in “right care”. With a standard for the PhysioLine consultation to take place within 48 hours of referral, the time to evidence-based advice is significantly reduced.


What is pneumococcal disease?

Pneumococcal infections are caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae which mostly lives harmlessly in the back of the nose and throat. However, sometimes the bacteria becomes invasive and causes serious illnesses, such as pneumonia, septicaemia (blood poisoning) and meningitis.

Treating invasive pneumococcal infection

  • Some invasive pneumococcal infections can be treated at home, whereas others will require admission to hospital

Diabetes and pneumococcal disease

Watch Dave's story

Shingles immunisation programme inEngland

The Department of Health introduced the national shingles immunisation programme for people aged 70 to 79 to help protect those age groups who are most at risk from shingles and its complications.

group of older people taking a selfie

Who can have a freeshingles vaccination?

The national shingles immunisation programme is recommended for people aged 70 to 79, but is being introduced in phases. If you are eligible your GP surgery may contact you and ask you to book an appointment. You can also proactively ask your healthcare professional about the programme if you think you may be eligible.

Vaccination is currently being offered to those who are aged 70 to 76, 78 and 79, and to anyone aged 77 who was born after 1st September 1942. People who are in their seventies but are not yet eligible for vaccination, will be offered vaccination in future years under the national programme.

Shingles vaccination within the current national immunisation programme is contraindicated in people with certain medical conditions.

What about people who are not aged70to79?

People under 70 will be eligible for the shingles vaccine from their seventieth birthday. People aged 80 and over are not part of the national programme because the vaccine seems to be less effective in this age group.

couple walking and holding hands

Are there any side effects with the vaccination?

Like all vaccines and medicines, vaccines are associated with certain side effects, although not everybody gets them. Further information can be found in the patient information leaflets available at:

download the leaflet here

PRINCIPLE nationwide Covid-19 clinical trials

Priory Gardens Surgery is about to start piloting a new initiative as part of the PRINCIPLE nationwide Covid-19 clinical trials. More information about the nationwide trials can be found here. This is targeted at patients over 50 who have received a positive Covid-19 test result which appears on your GP record (this test may have been taken elsewhere). If this result appears on your GP record the practice will contact you via SMS to invite you to take part in this important initiative. You do not have to participate but the more we understand about Covid-19 the quicker we are likely to find effective interventions. If you receive an SMS and you want to become involved please follow the instructions carefully. Priory Gardens Surgery is the lead Practice for this initiative across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes but many other practices will be taking part. Please read the attached Covid-19 privacy notice for more information about your rights and how we will manage your personal information during this clinical trial.

The Participant Information Sheet provides further details about this trial.

Repeat dispensing

Please be aware : Patients with regular repeat medication at Priory Gardens Surgery will be repeat dispensing your medication over the next few months in line with our new policy.
Not all medications are able to be repeat dispensed so these will need to be requested as usual (e.g. controlled drugs and PRN drugs)
Please click the link for more details on repeat dispensing.

Explaining electronic repeat dispensing to patients - NHS Digital



Blood tests at Dunstable Health Centre

A service providing community phlebotomy will be provided from:

Dunstable Health Centre, Priory Gardens, Dunstable
(This is not Priory Gardens GP Surgery)
Services will run Monday to Friday, 8.00am until 12.00pm

This drop in service will run parallel to the phlebotomy service already provided by the Luton and Dunstable (L&D) Hospital which operates from both the Arndale House in Luton and on the hospital site itself.

The service, commissioned by BCCG, will be provided by East London Foundation Trust (ELFT) and will be available to patients registered with the following GP practices in the Chiltern Vale locality and Barton Le Clay village:

  • Kingsbury Court Surgery
  • Wheatfield Surgery
  • Priory Gardens Surgery
  • West Street Surgery
  • Houghton Regis Medical Centre
  • Eastgate Surgery
  • Caddington Surgery
  • Toddington Medical Centre
  • Kirby Road Surgery
  • Barton Surgery

Patients will be referred by their practice to the new community service, which will operate a walk in system. Patients who would normally be referred to the L&D phlebotomy service will now be offered a choice between having their bloods taken at the Arndale House in Luton or at the community-based service in Dunstable Health Centre.

Some patients will need to continue to attend the L&D for specialised blood tests.

Folic acid

Folic acid deficiency can result in some general symptoms – tiredness (caused by anaemia), weakness, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and weight loss.
A lack of folic acid can also cause headaches, heart palpitations, a sore tongue and behavioural disorders.
Deficiency can occur if you are not getting enough folate in your diet or if requirements increase (such as during pregnancy).
Sometimes you can become deficient because you are losing lots of folic acid losses (such as in Crohn’s disease or untreated coeliac disease), if you are using some medications such as water tablets (diuretics), or in alcoholism. If you’ve Been low in folic acid, please have a look at the website :

Folic Acid Food Fact Sheet

Check if you should go back into work

Use this service to find out if you should go back to work during this phase of coronavirus lockdown, and what you can do if you should not be going into work.

If you’re currently on furlough you can stay on furlough. However, if you are asked to come off furlough by your employer, you can use this service to find out if you should be going back into work, and how to return to work safely.

You will be asked about your:

  • type of work
  • health
  • household

Help and support for returning to work - GOV.UK


Drawing Competition:  My Caring Hero  (for Children aged 7-10)

To celebrate Patient Participation Group Awareness Week 2020, N.A.P.P. is holding a Children's Drawing Competition on the theme

"My caring hero".We are looking for artwork that celebrates our health and care heroes and their different jobs that give us a healthy and happy life.

kids draw

Samaritans Organisation- Supporting someone with suicidal thoughts

Simple actions can help you be there for someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts or recovering from an attempt to take their own life.

It’s also important to know when to seek professional support, and when to step back to look after yourself.

Evidence shows asking someone if they're suicidal can protect them. By asking someone directly about suicide, you give them permission to tell you how they feel, and let them know that they are not a burden.

People who have felt suicidal will often say what a huge relief it was to be able to talk about what they were experiencing.

If someone does let you know that they are having suicidal thoughts, always take them seriously. You don't have to be able to solve their problems. But, if you feel you can, offer support and encourage them to talk about how they're feeling.

To check if you have hay fever and what treatments you can use or where to get advice :

Hay fever

Do you suffer with migraines,check the NHS website for help :


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects the digestive system.
  • It causes symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. These tend to come and go over time, and can last for days, weeks or months at a time.
  • It's usually a lifelong problem. It can be very frustrating to live with and can have a big impact on your everyday life.
  • There's no cure, but diet changes and medicines can often help control the symptoms.
  • The exact cause is unknown – it's been linked to things like food passing through your gut too quickly or too slowly, oversensitive nerves in your gut, stress and a family history of IBS.

Further help and support find at:



Service logo

Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service offers a self referral, if you are suffering with anxiety or depression they can arrange affective talking therapies for you.

If you use the self-referral form  one of their friendly Admin Team will send you a text message (if permission is given) to advise that they will be calling you from a withheld number.

Once contact is made they will take your details and book you in for an assessment with a therapist within 7 days.

You can contact Wellbeing Service on 01234 880400 Option 2 to self-refer, one of their friendly Admin Team will take your details and book you in for an assessment with a therapist within 7 days.

When an assessment date is agreed and booked, you will be sent an appointment confirmation letter and a welcome pack. These documents can be emailed to you for speed or sent by post, if you prefer.

Join a COVID-19 clinical trial

The PRINCIPLE trial aims to find treatments that reduce hospital admission and improve symptoms for people with COVID-19. You could be eligible to join if

  • You have had these symptoms for fewer than 15 days:
    • a continuous new or worsening cough
    • a high temperature
  • You are aged 50 to 64 with a pre-existing illness
  • You are aged 65 and above
  • Find out more:

Patient Participation in the PRINCIPLE Trial

A clinical trial exploring treatment for the COVID-19 virus is taking place at our Surgery. We are looking at patients over 50 years old.Principle trial

If you experience a continuous cough and/or a high temperature and have had it for less than 8 days, please click here: , if you would like to find out more.

Please call the Trial Team if you have any questions or do not have access to online systems: 0800 138 0880

Covid 19 Advice for parents

Advice for parents during coronavirus

Whilst coronavirus is infectious to children it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is likely to be a non-coronavirus illness, rather than coronavirus itself.

Whilst it is extremely important to follow Government advice to stay at home during this period, it can be confusing to know what to do when your child is unwell or injured.

Remember that NHS 111, GPs and hospitals are still providing the same safe care that they have always done. Here is some advice to help:


*** Easter Opening Hours ***

We will be open on Good Friday (10th April) and Easter Monday (13th April). We will be open from 8:00am to 18:30pm as normal.

COVID-19 Privacy Notice

(This Privacy Notice is to run alongside our standard Practice Privacy Notice)

Due to the unprecedented challenges that the NHS and we, Priory Gardens Surgery face due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater need for public bodies to require additional collection and sharing of personal data to protect against serious threats to public health.

In order to look after your healthcare needs in the most efficient way we, Priory Gardens Surgery may therefore need to share your personal information, including medical records, with staff from other GP Practices including Practices within our Primary Care Network, as well as other health organisations (i.e. Clinical Commissioning Groups, Commissioning Support Units, Local authorities etc.) and bodies engaged in disease surveillance for the purposes of research, protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the Covid-19 outbreak and incidents of exposure.


The Secretary of State has served notice under Regulation 3(4) of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 (COPI) to require organisations to process confidential patient information in the manner set out below for purposes set out in Regulation 3(1) of COPI.


Purpose of this Notice

The purpose of this Notice is to require organisations such as Priory Gardens Surgery to process confidential patient information for the purposes set out in Regulation 3(1) of COPI to support the Secretary of State’s response to Covid-19 (Covid-19 Purpose). “Processing” for these purposes is defined in Regulation 3(2) and includes dissemination of confidential patient information to persons and organisations permitted to process confidential patient information under Regulation 3(3) of COPI. This Notice is necessary to require organisations such as Priory Gardens Surgery to lawfully and efficiently process confidential patient information as set out in Regulation 3(2) of COPI for purposes defined in regulation 3(1), for the purposes of research, protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the Covid-19 outbreak and incidents of exposure.

Requirement to Process Confidential Patient Information

The Secretary of State has served notice to recipients under Regulation 3(4) that requires Priory Gardens Surgery to process confidential patient information, including disseminating to a person or organisation permitted to process confidential patient information under Regulation 3(3) of COPI.

Priory Gardens Surgery is only required to process such confidential patient information:

  • where the confidential patient information to be processed is required for a Covid-19 Purpose and will be processed solely for that Covid-19 Purpose in accordance with Regulation 7 of COPI
  • from 20th March 2020 until 30th September 2020. 

Covid-19 Purpose.

A Covid-19 Purpose includes but is not limited to the following:

  • understanding Covid-19 and risks to public health, trends in Covid-19 and such risks, and controlling and preventing the spread of Covid-19 and such risks
  • identifying and understanding information about patients or potential patients with or at risk of Covid-19, information about incidents of patient exposure to Covid-19 and the management of patients with or at risk of Covid-19 including: locating, contacting, screening, flagging and monitoring such patients and collecting information about and providing services in relation to testing, diagnosis, self-isolation, fitness to work, treatment, medical and social interventions and recovery from Covid-19
  • understanding information about patient access to health services and adult social care services and the need for wider care of patients and vulnerable groups as a direct or indirect result of Covid-19 and the availability and capacity of those services or that care
  • monitoring and managing the response to Covid-19 by health and social care bodies and the Government including providing information to the public about Covid-19 and its effectiveness and information about capacity, medicines, equipment, supplies, services and the workforce within the health services and adult social care services
  • delivering services to patients, clinicians, the health services and adult social care services workforce and the public about and in connection with Covid-19, including the provision of information, fit notes and the provision of health care and adult social care services
  • research and planning in relation to Covid-19. 

Recording of processing

A record will be kept by Priory Gardens Surgery of all data processed under this Notice.

Sending Public Health Messages

Data protection and electronic communication laws will not stop Priory Gardens Surgery from sending public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email as these messages are not direct marketing.


Digital Consultations


It may also be necessary, where the latest technology allows Priory Gardens Surgery to do so, to use your information and health data to facilitate digital consultations and diagnoses and we will always do this with your security in mind.

Visitors to The Practice


We have an obligation to protect our staff and employees’ health, so it is reasonable for staff at Priory Gardens Surgery to ask any visitors to our practice to tell us if they have visited a particular country, or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. This must only be in pre-approved circumstances and we would also ask all patients to consider government advice on the NHS 111 website and not attend the practice.


Where it is necessary for us to collect information and specific health data about visitors to our practice, we will not collect more information than we need, and we will ensure that any information collected is treated with the appropriate safeguards.

Review and Expiry of this Notice

This Notice will be reviewed on or before 30 September 2020 and may be extended by The Secretary of State. If no further notice is sent to Priory Gardens Surgery by The Secretary of State this Notice will expire on 30 September 2020.


COVID-19 Support


Volunteers will provide help with your

shopping or collection of prescriptions

please call Dunstable Good Neighbours

Helpline 07491 455777

        or 07401 288819

All our visits are free

If you would like to help contact us on

our telephone Help Line, or


Supported by Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity

Serving communities across Bedfordshire



We will also help busy NHS staff


COVID-19 Isolation Note

If you need an isolation note for your employer, please click here

If you need to complete an Engage Consult, please use the link below. This will go to the GP who will respond the same day (not including weekends). If you can submit an Engage Consult rather than telephoning us, please do so. Thank you.

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We are receiving a lot of calls from vulnerable patients chasing their letter from NHS England.

The letters are not being sent from us, we are unable to help with your query. You will be contacted before the 29th March 2020. Sadly, we cannot do anything in the meantime.

We are telephone triaging patients, however, many patients are missing the calls from the surgery. Can you please try and keep your mobile with you at all times, we are inundated with requests, we cannot call every patient back 2-3 times.

We are currently experiencing a huge number of incoming calls. We are all answering the phone as quick as we possibly can, please bear with us. If your call can wait or can be submitted via an Engage Consult, please do so.

We are now fully telephone triaging patients. If the clinician decides, you need to come in, you will be asked at the front door to wear a face mask. The clinician consulting you will also be wearing a face mask, gloves and an apron. Please do not be alarmed, we just want to ensure both the patient and clinician are safe. When you are asked to attend the surgery, we are asking  you come alone if possible, children and vulnerable patients can bring one person with them.

 We have been inundated with calls regarding rescue packs, we will not be issuing rescue packs unless the patient is symptomatic. Please complete an Engage Consult for the GP to review and they will issue if they feel it is necessary.

We would like to reassure patients that we are continuing to issue medications when they are required after being requested. We will not be over issuing medications as this will also have a significant impact on pharmacy stock levels. Please only request the medications you actually need, there is no need to stockpile medications. We are asking all patients to nominate a pharmacy so we can send your medications directly to a pharmacy so you do not need to attend the surgery to collect your medications. Medicines can be requested online via online services. If you do not have online services, please submit a request and nominate a pharmacy at the same time.

Please be Kind!

Remember when you are ringing your GP practice tomorrow or the next coming days:

Don't get angry with the receptionist when she asks you questions why you want to be seen.

Don't get angry when they give you a telephone appointment to be triaged by a clinician and not

a face to face appointment.

Bear in mind all the staff in your GP practices are working flat out to make sure all your health

needs are catered for.

Remember we are humans too.

We are concerned about this virus too.

We have elderly family members and underlying health conditions too.

Please be kind!

Thank you to our lovely thoughtful patients who hand delivered these into the surgery for us. It

has really cheered us all up. It is very much appreciated.


In light of current concerns around coronavirus and in order to protect our patients, visitors, our staff and

the wider community, we are implementing some temporary restrictions around all visitors to our wards.

Patients are only allowed one visitor at a time.

Visiting hours are now only between the hours of 4pm and 6.30pm.

No children are allowed on the ward at any time.

No visitor should attend if unwell, particularly if you have symptoms such as a temperature, headache, cough or breathing difficulties.

Please note, if we are treating a patient with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection, there will be

additional restrictions to the above, on an individual basis.

We would take this opportunity to remind all family members, relatives and friends of patients to follow guidance

on washing your hands regularly with soap and water, and use the alcohol hand gel before entering the ward.

Please speak to the Nurse in Charge of the ward if you have any further questions and please accept our thanks for your support.

Special Clinics

We are dedicating protected times for baby immunisation clinics and INR clinics. During these

dedicated clinics, we will be limiting patient access to ensure the safety to unvaccinated babies

and patients who require regular INR testing.

Clinics will be as follows:

INR clinics will be held every Wednesday 2pm-4pm

Baby immunisation clinics will be held every Thursday and Friday 2pm-4pm

We would like to thank all of our patients for their continued support and understanding at this

uncertain time.

We have been advised by the L&D Hospital that from Monday 23rd March 2020 routine

(non-urgent) requests for blood tests and urine tests from all GP practices will be ceased

until further notice to help with the pressure the labs are facing at this difficult time. We

will continue to keep you all updated.

Advice on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) infection for patients under the care of the Luton and

Dunstable Rheumatology Department.

For those patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases whose immune system may be re

duced by any of the following drugs:

Abatacept, Adalimumab, Anakinra, Azathioprine, Baricitinib, Belimumab, Certolizumab,

Ciclosporin, Etanercept, Golimumab, Infliximab, Ixekizumab, Leflunomide, Mepolizumab,

Methotrexate, Mycophenolate, Sekukinumab, Rituximab, Tacrolimus, Tocilizumab, Toficitinib,

Ustekinumab or Prednisolone more than 5mg daily for at least 2 weeks.

(Note to patients: Please read packaging carefully to check if your drug is on the list of

immunosuppressants. The drug company name for the medication is different from the name of the drug ingredient).

You should NOT alter your medication dose or stop any drugs at this stage.

You are now considered to be in a high risk group and are recommended to follow the advice of the government and self-isolate for 12 weeks. You will need to ensure that you have enough medication and blood test forms.

Hydroxychloroquine should always be continued and therapy with this alone is not considered as high-risk. Sulfasalazine is also not immunosuppressing.

You must not stop Prednisolone (steroids) suddenly.

If you think you might be infected with COVID-19, please ring 111 and follow the current

government advice. If you have the symptoms, please stop any of the drugs listed above, except Hydroxychloroquine and Prednisolone, until symptoms have settled. Then contact the

Rheumatology department to be given individualised advice about when to restart your

medication from your consultant. It is also being recommended that you avoid taking non-

steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs such as Ibuprofen/Naproxen etc).

This advice will be updated in the light of any new information about COVID -19 infection in

rheumatology patients.

UPDTAE: In regards of the current situation of Covid-19 we have change the way of booking appointments, all our appointments are telephone triage appointments.

You can continue to send your queries via engage consult and request your

prescriptions via online services. To the patients that do not have online service

please send us your request and will approve it.

We will like to inform as from 21-03-2020 our Saturday clinics will be CLOSED.

From Monday 9th March 2020, we will be closing all our sit and wait clinics. We will NOT be offering same day appointments with the GP or Nurse. I

f you or a family member have been abroad OR in contact with anyone that has been abroad within the last 2 weeks and experiencing flu like symptoms or difficulty breathing- DO NOT ATTEND Priory Gardens Surgery. Call NHS111 for further advice visit: If you have another health concern, you can submit your concerns via Engage Consult ( or you can call the surgery but will be booked for a telephone triage by the GP or Nurse who will try to help you over the telephone. If you are required to come in, you will be advised by the clinician of the next steps.

If you or a family member have been abroad OR have been in contact with anyone that has been abroad within the last 2 weeks and are experiencing flu like symptoms or difficulty breathing- DO NOT ATTEND Priory Gardens Surgery. Call NHS111 for further advice visit:

Coronavirus: latest information and advice

The NHS in Bedfordshire and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely 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 risk to the general public is moderate. If you have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days, follow the specific advice for returning travellers.

Anyone who has travelled to China or places listed above in the last 14 days and develops symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, should immediately:

  •  Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  •  Call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan, Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.

Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the GP practice and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.

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.

 You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at



Information about the virus

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

Situation in the UK

As of 29 January, a total of 130 UK tests have concluded, of which 130 were confirmed negative and 0 positive.

The Department of Health and Social Care will be publishing updated data on this page on a daily basis at 2pm until further notice

There are currently no confirmed cases in the UK or of UK citizens abroad, and the risk to the public is low. The government is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and international community.

The government’s approach is guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer.

If and when a first case in the UK is confirmed, it will be announced as soon as possible by the Chief Medical Officer of the affected country. This will be followed by a statement by England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty.

For more information please visit .


A support group open to people

with any form of lung disease,

their carers, friends and family.


Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month


Starting at 2pm – 4pm, The Peter Newton Pavilion,

Skimpot Road, Dunstable, LU5 4JU


Guest Speakers in attendance at all meetings bringing you a variety of information.



Thursday 12 December 


Thursday 9 January 


Thursday 13 February 


The group is free to attend. Refreshments will be available.

Any enquiries, you can contact our Helpline 03000 030 555

FLU Vaccinations


We now have our delivery of flu vaccinations for eligible patients aged under 65 years.

You can book an appointment or pop in Monday to Friday between 8:30am-12pm or 2pm-6pm and the next available clinician will give you your vaccination.

We are awaiting our vaccinations for the over 65’s and the child nasal flu.

We will notify you when we have these available.

Eligible patients will be invited in for their vaccination via text, e-mail, letter and telephone depending on the patients contact preferences.

We are currently taking bookings for this years flu vaccinations.

We have scheduled two Saturday clinics which are on the 12th October 2019 and 26th October 2019.

If you would like to book an appointment, please call us on 01582 699622.

See the source image

Primary Care Networks (PCN)

Since the NHS was created in 1948, the population has grown and people are living longer. Many people are living with long term conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, or suffer with mental health issues and may need to access their local health services more often.

To meet these needs, practices have begun working together and with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local areas in primary care networks.

`Primary care networks build on the core of current primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care. Clinicians describe this as a change from reactively providing appointments to proactively care for the people and communities they serve. Where emerging primary care networks are in place in parts of the country, there are clear benefits for patients and clinicians.` NHS England.

Watch a short animation that explains the concept of primary care networks (PCNs) and how this new way of working enables health and other services to work together to provide better access for patients.

What does this mean for Patients?

Six surgeries has decided to work together in our PCN. They are:

  1. Priory Gardens Surgery
  2. Eastgate Surgery
  3. Kingsbury Court Surgery
  4. West Street Surgery
  5. Kirby Road Surgery
  6. Caddington Surgery

We will have approximately 51 000 patients in our PCN and over 120 staff.The aim is to offer more personalised, coordinated health and social care to our local populations.

Trough the PCN and DES (Direct Enhance Service) will come the majority of our founding. The majority of this funding will be enable us to hire additional staffing groups to join our practice team. These staff groups are Practice pharmacists, social prescribers, physiotherapists, physician assistants and paramedics. Their purpose will be to provide additional clinic capacity, free up GP time for patients who need more input, work with nursing homes and housebound and broaden the skill mix in our Practice teams. The PCN will ensure that all our patients have access to the Extended Hours Service.

We will keep your informed of the progress of our PCN.

If you would like to be more involved, each Surgery has a Patient Participation Group (PPG) who will be consulted and involve in the development of the broader PCN.

CQC Telephone inspection

We are Proud to announce that our Surgery has passed the CQC telephone inspection.

We have been advised they have no concerns, the information provided does not indicate there are significant changes to the quality of service being provided by the surgery. Please see the letter under the Care Quality Commission.

Veterans: priority NHS treatment

A veteran is someone who has served in the armed forces for at least 1 day. There are around 2.6 million veterans in the UK.

When servicemen and women leave the armed forces, their healthcare is the responsibility of the NHS.

It's highly important for continuing healthcare that you register with an NHS GP and remember to tell them you have served.

Telling the GP practice about your veteran status will trigger the transfer of your full medical documentation from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to your GP, and

enable you to benefit from veteran-specific services like prosthetics and mental health.

Fit Note Guide

We are receiving a high number of calls regarding medical certificates. If you are not fit for work, you must self certify for the first 7 days of your illness (SC2 form, which can be downloaded or available from employers).

If the illness continues beyond 7 days, please make a face to face appointment with a health care professional. If however, you are unable to make an appointment, the clinicians can backdate the certificate.

However, clinicians cannot post date the medical certificate. During the time you are signed off, if you feel fit enough to return to work, you can return to work, you do not need a 'Fit note' from a GP.

However, if your GP feels you require a phased return to work, altered hours, amended duties or workplace adaptations; after your medical certificate expires, the clinician can issue, at their discretion, a medical certificate stating the required changes. Please feel free to share this document with employerd and line managers.

We have added a document to our Google Drive regarding medical certificates published by the Department of Work and Pensions, if you require more information click here.


If you under 40 years of age and have not been vaccinated against MMR or not had both vaccinations, you are at risk of contracting measles and require the vaccination to be fully immunised.

Please contact the surgery on 01582 699622 to book an appointment with the practice nurse.

Care Choices

Care Choices announced today the launch of its new redesigned website, to support people who are looking for care and support.

Finding care can be a daunting task, whether someone is looking for themselves or a loved one. The processes are complex and knowing where to begin can feel impossible.

Presented in bitesize chunks, with links to useful contacts and local information, the guidance on the Care Choices website will help the public to understand the social care system.


 Care Choice

Priory Gardens Surgery is now offering video consultations with a GP.

We are now offering video consulting, however, an Engage Consult will need to be completed and if the GP feels the consultation is suitable for a video consultation, admin will contact you to book you an video consultation (smartphone/tablet required with internet connection*).

The GP will video you between 9:30am – 11:30am and 14:30pm – 16:30pm. This video call will be booked with the GP who is doing sit and wait on the morning or afternoon. Although you can state who you prefer to speak too, however, this cannot be guaranteed due to working schedules.

When the GP video’s the patient, the patient will receive an SMS/e-mail depending on the patient’s preference. The patient will click the link which will directly take you to (our encrypted software provider), a pop up may ask you to give permission to access the camera (for video) and microphone so the GP can hear you. You and the GP will now be able to see and hear each other. The GP will consult with you as normal and document in your medical records.

* Any devices which have a camera/video facility including tablets and iPads.

* Wifi or data internet required


Our iCaSH (integrated Contraception and Sexual Health) service provides all aspects of sexual and reproductive health, including contraception, sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV testing and treatment. iCaSH is available from easily accessible single locations across Bedfordshire. Please click here for more information.

Try the new NHS App

If you’re a patient at our practice you can now use the new NHS App, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or

tablet.You can use the NHS App to check your symptoms and get instant advice, book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP medical record

and more.If you already use [insert name of GP online service available at practice] you can continue to use it. You can use the NHS App as well.

For more information go to'(You might also need to review existing website content to make sure it covers the different options patients have to connect with online services.)



Cervical screening isn’t a test for cancer; it checks the health of the cervix and can prevent potentially harmful cells from developing. Don’t ignore your #CervicalScreening invite.

If you missed your last one, book an appointment with your GP practice today #CervicalScreeningSavesLives

Cervical screening only lasts five minutes and you only have to go once every three or five years depending on your age. That’s five minutes that could save your life. Don’t ignore your cervical screening invite #CervicalScreeningSavesLives

Cervical screening can stop cancer before it starts. Don’t ignore your cervical screening invite. If you missed your last one, book an appointment with your GP practice today #CervicalScreeningSavesLives

Dementia Research

Join Dementia Research information:

Join Dementia Research is a national service that makes it easy for anyone to take part in vital dementia research studies. People with dementia or memory problems, their carers and anyone who are interested can sign up.

Only through research will we find new and better ways to prevent, treat, care for and one day beat dementia. Simply register your details and a researcher will be in touch when an appropriate study becomes available. You do not have to take part in any particular studies. It is always your choice whether or not to take part.

Sign up today online at or call Alzheimer's Research UK on 0300 111 5111, or the Alzheimer's Society on 0300 222 1122.

Phlebotomy Clinic

The new Phlebotomy Clinic it is been delivered by CCG  at Dunstable Health Centre  NOT the Priory Gardens Surgery!!!Please do not call the Surgery as soon we have more details about this service will let you know.

Priory Gardens Surgery Online Access

Total Online Access: 5,416

Total % Online Access: 41.87%

Chronic Disease

Total Diagnosed

% Registered Online

% Active

















Mental Health








Rheumatoid Arthritis





Our quarterly newsletter is now available to download. Click here to view it.

Evergreen App


For all patients with Online access to the clinical system you can now download the free EVERGREEN app to your phone, tablet, laptop or computer. The app allows you to log into your electronic health record and access online services.

The app is recommended by the NHS.

Click on the link : Evergreen  

  • You will be able to read what your doctor or nurse has done for you so that you no longer need to try to remember everything.
  • Go online where ever you are and order repeat prescriptions or send a secure message to the surgery knowing staff will be able to pick it up and act on it when the surgery opens!
  • Go online to check for yourself the results of a blood test or an Xray
  • If you fall ill when on holiday you can log into your records and show what your GP can see even though you may be abroad.



It is not part of the GPs responsibilities to provide general blood tests for patients. In the past the surgery used to perform phlebotomy as an extra service but large funding cuts in recent years has meant that this is no longer possible. We have limited staff and space and we must use our resources wisely to deal with matters such as diabetes, smoking, health checks, ECGs and the like.

It IS part of the Luton & Dunstable Hospital's contract to provide this service and they run a walk in clinic for this purpose. We do not perform blood tests if a L&D department tells one of our patients to go back to the surgery. You must attend the L&D walk in clinic.

In order to look after our most vulnerable patient we do offer a small number of appointments for the vulnerable i.e. elderly (75 and older), people with mobility issues, etc. All other patients will have to attend the L&D clinic.

The county offers a home Phlebotomy service for housebound patients so the above arrangements will not apply to them. Home phlebotomy visits will be arranged by the surgery.

The surgery is aware of proposals by the L&D to move their phlebotomy service to the Arndale shopping centre in Luton. This proposal is nothing to do with the surgery.

If any patient has a comment to make regarding phlebotomy please contact the L&D or the Beds CCG directly.

New Patients / "Out of Area"

If you live outside the surgery area we are happy to register all new patients as an "Out of Area" Patient. You will agree to do without home visits, but apart from that you will be able to access all the other services we offer. Registrations can be done online or at reception in the surgery.

Change of Personal Details

Remember to inform the surgery of any change of name, address, phone number or e-mail.

Much of what we do involves texting patients with information, appointment reminders and even test results.

Please e-mail us on (

DNA ~ Did Not Attend

I make no apologies for returning to this subject. In August we experienced another 180 appointments where patients failed to show up and did not advise us beforehand.

In the last 10 months 2,009 appointments have been wasted. The cost of providing these unused appointments is approximately £90,000. The 2,000 appointments are the equivalent of having a doctor sat doing nothing for 2 months.

If you cannot make an appointment, for whatever reason, please let us know. If we get 1 hours notice we have a good chance of giving the appointment to someone else who needs it.

Given the rising demand for appointments and the cost we are unable to ignore this issue any longer. It is a sad fact that if a patient misses appointments and continues to do so they will be required to register with another surgery.

Parent & Guardian Access to Childrens' Notes

Up to now the surgery has generally allowed parental access to the notes of children aged under 16 years. This access was subject to verification and there were some occasions when restrictions applied. We have now received advice from the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) that the limit should now be set at 11 years. Between 11 and 16 years parents would still be able to manage certain functions such as repeat prescriptions or making appointments. On the persons 16th birthday all remaining access would be removed.

In line with the guidance we will soon be changing the access permissions for all parents who have been granted access. If you believe there are special circumstances that apply please contact the surgery, we would suggest via the new Engage Consult facility.

Keep Calm & Respect the Staff


Hardly a day goes by without an incident where the staff are subjected to shouting, foul language, and abuse.

It is unfortunate that a tiny proportion of our patients believe this is an appropriate way to behave.

The surgery operates a zero tolerance policy with regard to any inappropriate behaviour.

Any patient who behaves in this manner will deducted from the practice list and will have to seek a new surgery.


iQuit Stop Smoking Study

cancer        Uni     

Priory Gardens is now working in conjuction with Cambridge University and Cancer Research UK in a study to improve the probability of increasing a persons chances of quitting smoking. You can download an information leaflet here iQUIT Leaflet

Friends & Family Test

The test can now be completed online. To find the test click on he "Have your Say" tab in the right corner.

By clicking on the link you can see a summary of opinions to date:                What You Think of Us


I have been handed a mail shot from Pharmcy2U Ltd advising that if you are registered at Priory Gardens Surgery you can register with this firm for the reordering of repeat medications and their delivery. This firm has been acting without the knowledge of the surgery. Patient choice means that patients can register with any pharmacy they wish but we want to make it clear that in line with surgery policy this firm will not be allowed to order medicines on your behalf.

Please help us reduce the number of phone calls

The volume of telephone calls we receive is rapidly increasing & patients with urgent problems or needing to make an appointment often have difficulty getting through.  Please help us by noting the following:

If you think you have missed a telephone call from the surgery, there is no need to contact us – if it is important we will always try again!!!

We need at least 3 working days to process repeat prescriptions. Please do not telephone the surgery to check if your prescription is ready.

We would also strongly recommend the use of online services to allow us to help you.

Health News from the BBC and the NHS

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