Welcome to the Website

This site has been designed with you, the patient, in mind.  Its aims are to:

  • Give you the opportunity to make suggestions on topics concerning the way the surgery operates.
  • Provide explanations of why certain things are done in a particular manner.
  • Encourage visitors (i.e. registered Crawley Down patients) to share in discussions that arise from items as they are posted.
  • Offer people the ability to subscribe to the site so they can be notified every time the site is updated by us or commented on by others.
  • Give the PPG’s the ability to generate their own newsletters from it to distribute to those not PC orientated.
  • Provide information on the latest services the practice is offering like, say, immunization programmes.
  • Be a source of up to date news on health matters both on a local and national basis.
  • Provide links to other health orientated websites which may help provide answers to questions that you might have.

This will hopefully create a much more dynamic experience for you and, of course, impose on us the duty to keep the information flowing and therefore appear to be much more vital to you.

Peter Dodds and Glynn Roche (Co-Chairs of The Friends of Crawley Down Health Centre)

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.

Problems over the Christmas Period

The surgery have asked that we provide patients with the following explanation:


Crawley Down patients

In response to recent criticism directed at the practice from social media during the Christmas period.  I felt that it would be only right to respond to some of the comments made.

2017 has seen an increase in our patient list size up a further 2%. We have also seen a reduction in the number of clinicians, with one doctor on maternity leave and another starting maternity in December, plus a full time salaried GP vacancy still to be filled.  This has left a void in the number of GP appointments available, which have been filled, as best as we can by locums.

Against this are the challenges of the day-to-day running of the practice.  We wish to thank our staff for their hard work and their willingness to work additional hours to cover staff sickness and family bereavement for each other.  They have worked above and beyond their contractual duty, themselves attending work when they should be either off sick or on holiday or on a non-working day, to enable us to continue to provide a service which our patients can access.

In particular over the Christmas period staff returned on 27th December to find not only the heating system not working (now thankfully fixed), but the software packages which support our clinical system  unable to synchronise.  Despite all this the staff sat in their coats to keep warm and tried their best to deal with the expected high call volumes.  The level of incoming calls was excessive and patients had to wait longer than usual, this resulted in criticism at the receptionists and suggestions that staff were not answering the phones but having a cup of tea/chatting.

It is criticism such as this which does little to improve staff morale and makes the recruitment and retention of staff challenging at a time when the NHS has never seen such pressures.  The demand on the practice has been excessive with many patients suffering from the symptoms of flu and gastroenteritis.

We wish to thank those patients who have been patient, understanding and supportive of us over a very challenging year and for all the gifts sent to the practice over the Christmas.  Wishing you all a very healthy and prosperous 2018.

The Practice Manager

New Co-Chair and Editor of the Newsletter needed by June 2018

At our last meeting in December, I announced that I would be standing down from the committee and all offices I hold, in The Friends of Crawley Down Patient Participation Group, at our Annual Meeting in June 2018.

There is no hidden agenda involved here it is just that I believe that after 5 ½ years it is time for a change and a new/fresh voice to be heard.

So, the search is on.  Glynn Roche will continue as a co-chair so please contact him or me at (details below) if you are interested and want to know more.


Peter Dodds

Acting Co-Chair – Friends of Crawley Down Health Centre

Tel 01342 713046

[email protected]

Glynn Roche

Co-Chair – Friends of Crawley Down Health Centre
Tel: +44 7966 222 111
Email: [email protected]

Care Co-ordination at Crawley Down Health Centre

We are keen to raise awareness of the excellent work being done by our practice Care Co-ordinator, Jane Oldacre. This brochure describes the services available and how they can be accessed. Click the link: CDHC Care Coordinator booklet – web version

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

Are you a Military Veteran (Ex Armed Forces)?

The practice have asked us to share the attached notice for ex Armed Forces veterans. Click on the link: Veterans’ Health – Practice Poster

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



Latest Committee Meeting Minutes

Latest minutes are here: CDHC PPG Meeting 3rd October 2017

Important notice to patients of Crawley Down Health Centre

The practice have asked us to share this:


We have been experiencing over the last few years an ongoing issue with Doctor staffing levels. This is a situation experienced nationally – not just at Crawley Down.

We are in a CRITICAL period with this problem which we are continuing to address and hope to rectify.

Availability for appointments with a Doctor will continue to be significantly reduced. Some of the shortfall will continue to be absorbed by locum doctors. We will try to use those Doctors who have worked at the practice previously and are familiar with the practice population.

Other Duties that the regular Doctors perform such as prescription requests/enquiries, medical reports etc will also be affected.

We urge patients to consider alternatives before calling for an appointment/advice etc. Please consider the local pharmacists, NHS websites and Walk-in services. You can also call 111 the 24hr service for urgent health care needs. 999 continues to be the 24hr hour Emergency service.


  1. When calling for a Doctor’s appointment you could be directed to an alternative service which will be available during the working day. This service is a trial over this winter to try and ease pressure on local practices.
  2. Pilot for Paramedic home visiting – this planned pilot may mean that home visit requests are dealt with by Paramedics leaving GP’s free to continue their in-practice functions.

We apologise for the ongoing inconvenience. We realise the situation is very frustrating for our patients and hope you appreciate our frustration too.  We very much appreciate your continued patience and consideration

Medicines management – October CPRG- request for feedback

All PPGs are being asked for their views (as below) so please read the attached article Medicines Management CPRG Jay Voralia and give us your feed back answering these questions:

  1. Can you identify patient groups with possible scenarios and possible solutions which could apply?
  2. Can you add other patient groups to the list below?
  • Those with complex health needs
  • Those with Mental Health needs
  • Those with Disabilities
  • Those living in rural areas and living with a long term condition or vulnerability

Christmas Coffee Morning & Bric-a-Brac sale coming up Saturday 18th November

Venue: Auchinleck Court Crawley Down

Date: Saturday 18th. Nov 2017

Time: 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon.

Entrance Fee: £1.50 buys you a tea/coffee mince pie or biscuits.

Reason: Please come along, have a chat and help raise funds for the website and newsletter .

 More details click here:

Coffee Morning Nov 2017 ad


It is with sadness that we wish to announce that Dr Alan Clifford has decided to retire after 29 years at the practice.

His last working day will be Friday 2nd February 2018 and we wish him all the very best for the future.

We are delighted to announce that Dr Pavan Uppal will be joining our practice the week beginning 2nd January 2018.  Her normal working days will be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Dr Bellamy will be leaving the practice to pursue other interests within the CCG at the end of December.

Dr Yousaf will be going off on maternity leave on 8th December.

Dr Saleemi will be returning back from maternity leave at the end of February 2018.