Notice to Patients: Electronic Prescription Service goes live on 10th April

The surgery have asked us to let you know that, on Tuesday 10th April 2018, the practice will be improving the service by moving on to electronic prescribing. See our earlier post here for more details on what this means and how you can take advantage of it.

During the day doctors and staff will be trained and as such the number of available appointments will be reduced.  The surgery apologises in advance for any inconvenience this may cause you and ask patients to bear with us through this process.

Have your say in shaping future local NHS Dermatology services

The NHS are proposing changes to your local dermatology services.

Our local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) wants to hear about and use your experiences, comments and feedback to help shape a new service and are running 2 local events: 

When Where
Monday 23rd April, 2-4pm Crawley Baptist Church, Crabtree Road, RH11 7HJ
Tuesday 24th April, 10-12pm Clair Hall, Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 3DN

If you, a member of your family or someone you care for has seen a dermatologist recently they would like to hear your views. Or, if you are interested in how this service will be developed please do go to one of these events. They particularly want to know:

  • What works well?
  • What could be better?
  • What would you change?

Take a look at this flyer for more details: Dermatology Events Flyer FINAL 3.04.18

This document is a PDF file which requires PDF reader software to be read.  Adobe Reader is a free program for this purpose and can be downloaded and installed here.

CDHC PPG Meeting 3rd April 2018

Please click here to read the minutes: CDHC-PPG-Minutes-3rd-April-2018

This document is a PDF file which requires PDF reader software to be read.  Adobe Reader is a free program for this purpose and can be downloaded and installed here

Newsletter No 10 March 2018

Click here FriendsOfCDHC Newsletter No 10 to read the latest newsletter.

It has also been delivered to most homes in Crawley Down and Turners Hill in hard copy over the last few days.

This document is a PDF file which requires PDF reader software to be read.  Adobe Reader is a free program for this purpose and can be downloaded and installed here.

Newsletter emails update

For an unknown reason our newsletters appear to have stopped.

This is being rectified and if you can see this in a newsletter it has already been fixed.


Crawley Down Health Centre 50, Going on 60 Years Young

Caroline Custard has written a fascinating article about the history of our surgery Crawley Down Health Centre 50-60 Years Young. We hope you will find it interesting.

This document is a PDF file which requires PDF reader software to be read.  Adobe Reader is a free program for this purpose and can be downloaded and installed here.


Dermatology Services – engagement opportunity

Health commissioners in our CCG are working closely with our Dermatology services to review pathways. In addition to engaging with relevant  patient support organisations, commissioners are keen to invite those in our community, who have an interest in or experience of using these services,  as well as their friends and families.  If you are keen to get involved, or have your voice heard; whether in discussions about pathways, procurement, or about  how service change is communicated. Please contact Kim directly,  Email:   [email protected]


Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) – A new way to get your medicines and appliances

The surgery have asked us to share this news with you. It looks like a very useful new way for the doctors to more efficiently send your prescription to your preferred pharmacy:

On the 10th April 2018 we are moving over to Electronic Prescribing. We have provided some information below about what this means, how it will work and how you go about nominating yourself for this service. 

The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is an NHS service. It gives you the chance to change how your GP sends your prescription to the place you choose to get your medicines or appliances from.

What does this mean for you?
If you collect your repeat prescriptions from your GP you will not have to visit your GP practice to pick up your paper prescription. Instead, your GP will send it electronically to the place you choose, saving you time. You will have more choice about where to get your medicines from because they can be collected from a pharmacy near to where you live, work or shop. You may not have to wait as long at the pharmacy as there will be time for your repeat prescriptions to be ready before you arrive. 

Is this service right for you? 

  • Yes, if you have a stable condition and you: 
  • Don’t want to go to your GP practice every time to collect your repeat  prescription 
  • Collect your medicines from the same place most of the time or use a prescription collection service now 

It may not be if you: 

  • Don’t get prescriptions very often 
  • Pick up your medicines from different places

How can you use EPS? 

You need to choose a place for your GP practice to electronically send your prescription. This is called nomination. 

You can choose :  

  • A pharmacy
  • A dispensing appliance contractor (if you use one) 
  • Your dispensing GP practice (if you are eligible) 
  • Ask any pharmacy or dispensing appliance contractor that offers EPS to add your nomination for you. You don’t need a computer to do this. 
  • Please go into the pharmacy of your choice and ask to sign up to EPS, the Pharmacy will take your details, add your nomination and notify us as your GP Practice

Can I change my nomination or cancel it and get a paper prescription?
Yes you can. If you don’t want your prescription to be sent electronically tell your GP during the appointment. If you want to change or cancel your nomination speak to any pharmacist or dispensing appliance contractor that offers EPS, or your GP practice after the 10th April 2018. If you want to change your nomination permanently, tell your GP Practice before your next prescription is due or your prescription may be sent to the wrong place. 

Is EPS reliable, secure and confidential?
Yes. Your electronic prescription will be seen by the same people in GP practices, pharmacies and NHS prescription payment and fraud agencies that see your paper prescription now. Sometimes dispensers may see that you have nominated another dispenser. For example, if you forget who you have nominated and ask them to check or, if you have nominated more than one dispenser. Dispensers will also see all the items on your reorder slip if you are on repeat prescriptions. 

Please note – until you have ‘nominated’ your Pharmacy your prescriptions will be processed in the same way as they were previously (collect, or paper copy to your Pharmacy).

If you receive a request from Pharmacy 2U please note we have not passed on your details. They are a company based in the North and are totally unrelated to this practice. We would recommend that patients select pharmacies local to them.

Benefits of EPS

  • If you collect repeat prescriptions you will not have to visit your GP practice just to pick up your paper prescription. Instead, your GP will send the prescription electronically to the place you choose, saving you time. 
  • The prescription is an electronic message so there is no paper prescription to lose. 
  • You will have more choice about where to get your medicines from because they can be collected from a pharmacy near to where you live, work or shop. 
  • If the prescription needs to be cancelled the GP can electronically cancel and issue a new prescription without you having to return to the practice – saving you extra trips. 
  • You may not have to wait as long at the pharmacy as your repeat prescriptions can be made ready before you arrive. 

Where is EPS available?
Check the EPS map to see which GP practices and pharmacies are offering EPS now, or in the near future. Just choose your area and zoom in. If you click on the coloured icons the name of the practice or pharmacy will be shown. Pharmacies will display the EPS sign to show you that they are using EPS and can be nominated. If you have any questions, you can ask your pharmacist or GP, they will be happy to help you. 

When will EPS be available to me?
EPS is available to you when both: 

  • your GP surgery has the service and the pharmacy you want to collect your medicines from has the service. 
  • Use the EPS map to see if EPS is available in your GP surgery or preferred pharmacy. You can use NHS Choices to search by your address or the name of your practice or pharmacy. 

I care for someone who has regular prescriptions, can we use EPS?
Yes, if the person you care for gets regular prescriptions you will no longer need to make trips to the practice just to collect a paper prescription. You can choose a pharmacy near to where you work, live or shop so you can collect the medicines when it is convenient for you. To set the nomination you or the person you care for will need to ask someone at any pharmacy or dispensing appliance contractor that offers EPS to add the nomination. You don’t need a computer to use EPS. 

More detail on the benefits 

  • Less time and money spent visiting the GP surgery and pharmacy:
  • No need to go back to the pharmacy for medication that is owed to you, as the pharmacy will know what you need in advance
  • No need to visit your GP practice just to collect a paper prescription as they are sent electronically 
  • If there is a problem with your prescription, your GP can cancel and replace the prescription electronically, so you won’t have to return to your GP practice to collect another one. 
  • Your dispenser can prepare your repeat prescription in advance so it is ready for when you arrive. 

More convenience and choice: 

  • Choose where your prescriptions are sent, whether near your home, where you shop or where you work. This is flexible and can be changed at any time, just let your doctor or pharmacy know 
  • Collect your next prescription in advance to cover holidays 
  • If your GP offers a telephone consultation, there’s no need to leave the house just to collect your prescription as it will be sent electronically to your chosen pharmacy for collection 
  • No need to send stamped addressed envelopes as prescriptions are sent electronically 

Improved safety: 

  • Electronic prescriptions cannot be lost so you won’t have to spend time trying to find them or asking the surgery to issue another paper prescription. 
  • Electronic prescriptions are more accurate which will reduce the risk of receiving the wrong medication. 

If you are unhappy with the nomination process
Patients must be provided with sufficient information about EPS and give their consent before a nomination is recorded. If you are unhappy with your experience of nomination, you can complain to the pharmacy, dispensing appliance contractor (DAC) or GP practice. You can also complain to NHS England or their local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) if your complaint cannot be resolved.

The Hub – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In the course of setting up and early stages of the pilot and number of questions have come in from patients. Our CCG has collected these questions and provided to us the following list of Frequently Asked Questions and their answers:

1. Why do I need to travel to an appointment? Can’t these appointments be held at my surgery too?

Unfortunately it’s not feasible to hold the additional appointments at every GP practice. This is mainly due to the number of GPs working in the local area. Instead, we have designated a number of key health settings in each area that can host these appointments safely and who have the clinical space.  These locations are only a short journey away.

2. Why can’t I see my normal GP within my normal practice? 

As is well publicised within the press, demand for GP appointments is at an unprecedented level.  If you need to see a doctor on the same day for something that is likely to be easily treated and fairly straightforward, the pilot will increase the availability of appointments and allow you to be seen without delay.  It is essential to the success of the pilot that patients use the hubs to ensure their future sustainability as they will become more and more key as local populations increase and practices are forced to adopt extended hours access.

3. If I want an appointment at one of the hub locations, can I ring that location directly?
No, you should ring your usual practice.  Each practice is allocated a specific number of appointments each day (based on the number of patients registered) and so it is imperative that you continue to phone your usual practice for an appointment as you normally would.  If you turn up at one of the hub locations without any appointment you will not be seen.

4. What happens if the clinician I see needs to refer me to another service?

The clinician will send a message to your normal practice who will make the referral. However, you will only be offered an appointment at the hub for conditions/complaints that are unlikely to necessitate a referral.

5. What happens if I need additional tests, e.g. blood tests?

Where possible these tests will be carried out at the hub. You may however need to make an appointment at your normal practice for some tests.  However, you will only be offered an appointment at the hub for conditions/complaints that are unlikely to necessitate a referral.

6. How do I give feedback about the treatment I received at the Hub?

You should send your feedback to the Practice Manager at your normal practice.  They will investigate further, contacting the clinician if appropriate.

7. If I am offered an appointment at the hub will the clinician I see make an entry on my notes that can be seen by my usual practice?

Yes, the clinician will be accessing your record (once you have given consent) in real time so any consultation notes will immediately appear within your record for your normal practice to view.

8. How do I know where to go to for my appointment?

The hub clinic in East Grinstead will be based in the Minor Injuries Unit at Queen Victoria Hospital.  The receptionist at your normal practice will give you more details regarding where you need to go when they make your appointment.

9. What happens when I get to the hub for my appointment?

Check in at the reception desk– mention to the reception staff that you have an appointment with the hub.

10. What if I don’t have transport to get me to the hub practice?

You are not suitable for a Hub appointment.  You will need to book an appointment with your normal practice.

11. I can park for free at my GP, will I have to pay to park at Queen Victoria Hospital

There are designated free parking bays to the right as you enter the car park for minor injuries at QVH that will be marked ‘Reserved for GP appointments only’.  Please use these spaces to park.  If a designated space is not available please use the pay and display public car park.  Reimbursement of the car parking charges will be available on request.”

12. Does this mean a stranger will see my health records?

To ensure you receive the best care possible the doctor will need to see your health records. 

As you won’t be seeing your usual GP, when you book the appointment you’ll be asked whether you’re happy for this to happen. If you decline then unfortunately the appointment at the hub can’t take place but you should be offered an alternative appointment at your usual GP practice subject to the normal availability of appointments and appointment booking system within your usual practice.

All GP practices that are running this pilot have signed a data sharing agreement, so that records can legally be viewed by those who need to. Please be assured that only the health professional you are seeing will view your records and that this is an everyday part of their job. All GPs and health professionals are bound by strict data sharing legislation which is checked by employing practices.

13. These extra appointments are great – is this a permanent thing the surgeries you cover are offering?

The additional appointments are a pilot project the CCG is trialling in partnership with some local surgeries. The project is due to finish at the end of March, when its success and performance will be evaluated.  An extension to this pilot is likely to be offered between April and October but is subject to availability of further funding.

In line with NHS England requirements the CCG will be commissioning extended hours during weekday evenings and at weekends from local providers from October 2018.  There will be information about this shared with patients during 2018.

14. I was offered a same day appointment at another surgery, but when my mum/dad/husband/wife called the same surgery they were told they can’t have one. Why?

I understand your frustration. As these additional appointments are held with someone who is not your usual GP, they are aimed at people who are generally well, as these people don’t need to have a continuing conversation with the same doctor. There are a limited number available so if all the appointments are filled you wouldn’t be offered one.

If your relative falls into any of the following groups, then they need to see the same doctor for consistency of care and therefore an appointment at the hub is not suitable:

  • Those with mental health needs
  • Has seen a GP previously for the same condition
  • Those with multiple or long term conditions
  • Pregnant women.
  • Has D&V

 15. How is this being paid for? I keep hearing the NHS has no money.

It’s no secret that the NHS is facing the biggest financial challenge it has ever known, but at the same time we’ve heard loud and clear from patients that access to GPs is high on their lists of priorities. The project is being funded by money that your local Clinical Commissioning Group has ring-fenced specifically for supporting your local GP practice with increasing demand for appointments.