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Latest News

Welcome to Abbotswood Medical Centre

With patient’s needs at the heart of everything we do, our website has been designed to make it easy for you to gain instant access to the information you need. As well as specific practice details such as opening hours and how to register, you’ll find a wealth of useful pages covering a wide range of health issues along with links to other relevant medical organisations.

Dr Sara Khan is leaving the practice

We are sorry to announce that Dr Sara Khan is leaving Abbotswood in May 2017. She is sad to say goodbye to her patients, and is moving to Switzerland with her family. She has really enjoyed her 6 years at the practice. Dr Saira Awan will be taking over her sessions.


Self Care Week 2016 takes place from 14th – 20th November and has the theme “Understanding Self Care for Life.” Look at our facebook page for helpful hints and tips on this theme.

Meningitis B Vaccine

There has been a lot of information in the news and on social media about Meningitis B in the past week or so. We are aware there is a campaign for the vaccination to be offered to all children not just those eligible for NHS vaccination. At present the vaccine (Bexsaro) is being offered to babies born on or after 1 July 2015. Doses are given at 2 months, 4 months and a booster at 12 months. Men B vaccine will given alongside other routine vaccines and parents will be contacted in the usual way.
Babies aged under 12 months are at the greatest risk from meningitis B and this is why the vaccination is being offered to them. There are currently no plans to offer the vaccine on the NHS to children in other age groups.
Parents have been asking about having their children immunised privately against Meningitis B. It is not possible for an NHS GP to vaccinate children registered at their surgery privately. This is as a result of some complex NHS England regulations and if an NHS GP were to offer such a service they would be in breach of their NHS contract. Dr S Khan has researched the position at some length because as a parent herself she understands how worrying some of the news stories have been. If there was a way to offer the vaccination privately without breaching our NHS contact we would gladly do so however this is not possible.
The vaccine has been offered by a number of private travel clinics and private GP services in the UK however there is currently a global shortage of the vaccine and the manufacturers are prioritising supply to NHS services immunising those babies at highest risk as per the NHS programme.
If you wish to have your child immunised most clinics are running a waiting list and it is anticipated vaccine availability will be restored in June 2016.

Electronic Prescribing Service

We will be switching over to the NHS Electronic Prescribing Service (EPS) on February 18th 2016.

What does this mean?

If you collect your repeat prescriptions from your GP you will not have to visit your GP practice to collect your prescription and your GP can send it electronically to help save time.

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 prescription and if you collect your medicines from the same place most of the time.

How can you use EPS?

In order to use this you will need to nominate a pharmacy for us to send your prescription to electronically.

Ask any pharmacy that offers EPS to add this for you.

For more information, visit:, your pharmacy or GP practice

Now every patient in our surgery has a NAMED ACCOUNTABLE GP

What is the named GP requirement?

This is a contractual requirement and builds on the 2014-2015 agreement to provide a named and accountable GP for over 75s. The named GP requirement has now been extended to all patients. By 31 March 2016 all practices will need to include on their website reference to the fact that all patients, including children have been allocated a named, accountable GP.

Will practices have to write to patients to tell them their named GP?

There is no requirement to write to any patients regarding their named GP. Practices are required to inform patients of their named GP at the next appropriate interaction and it is for practices to decide what is appropriate.

If you don't know who is your named GP, please ask from reception. If you want to change your named GP, please ask reception staff. Please be aware that this does not affect your ability to make an appointment with any of the GPs in the Practice of your choosing.


We are fortunate to have received extra funding from Herts Valleys CCG to support the increased pressure over winter with appointments. We will be having extra surgeries and have set aside extra appointments especially for children after 4pm, to help prevent A&E attendances.

If you need an urgent appointment please call us at the surgery and we will endeavour to fit you in.

Sexual Health Services in Hertfordshire (28/7/2015)

People living in Hertfordshire now have one telephone number to call to take advantage of a new sexual health service, which provides specialist clinics across the county.

The service includes the full breadth of genitourinary medicine and contraceptive services as well as online information. There is also a dedicated outreach team that works with community groups, voluntary organisations and other healthcare providers to allow young people, and those at high risk of poor sexual health, greater access to services.

Appointments for the wide range of sexual health and contraceptive services can be made via the central telephone booking number: 0300 008 5522.  Lines are open 09:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday and 09:00 – 13:00 on Saturday.

Clinics are located at 18 sites across Hertfordshire, based on local need, and most will provide services to meet both sexual health and contraceptive requirements.

Free Shingles Reminder

Free shingles vaccine reminder

Shingles awareness

Herpes zoster (shingles) is a common, painful skin disease caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus in people who have already had chickenpox.1 In the UK, chickenpox is so common during childhood that 9 out of 10 adults will be susceptible.2

Although it is not known why the virus can become reactivated, it is linked to states of lowered immunity, which includes old age (particularly over the age of 70 years), periods of physical and emotional stress, those having recently had a bone marrow transplant, those with HIV and those undertaking chemotherapy.

It is estimated that one in four people will have shingles in their lifetime3,4 and, while most cases are mild and resolve within one to three months, some people suffer severe post-herpetic neuralgia lasting months if not years,5,6with the elderly more seriously affected in terms of incidence and severity.5,7

Shingles is not contagious, but it is possible for someone who has not had chickenpox to contract the chickenpox virus particles from the blisters that manifest in those who have shingles.2

NHS vaccination programme

In 2010, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation was asked by the Secretary of State for Health to review all available evidence related to offering a universal vaccination programme for shingles, and in 2013 recommended a shingles vaccination programme to be rolled out over several years for adults aged 70-79.8

Vaccine groups are defined by age on 1stSeptember. In the first year of the programme the vaccine was offered to those aged 70 and 79 years on 1st September 2013. The programme is currently in its second year and offers the vaccine to those who were aged 70, 71, 78 or 79 on 1st September 2014. Year 3 commences on 1st September 2015, offering the vaccine to those aged 70,71,72, 78 and 79 on this date.

Therefore, any patients aged 79 years on 1stSeptember 2014 must be vaccinated before 31stAugust 2015 otherwise they are no longer eligible to receive a free shingles vaccination under the national programme.

Patient Participation Group (PPG)

Dr Sara Khan is the PPG lead for the practice and is hoping to re-invigorate face-to-face meetings. If you are interesting in joining this group or would like to become the PPG Chair, please contact her via reception.

Dementia Friendly Practice

Abbotswood Medical Centre is hoping to become a "dementia friendly practice". We have started fomulating an action plan towards this, and are hoping for a Dementia Action Alliance to form locally. If you have concerns about your own or a relative's memory, please don't hesitate to arrange an appointment with one of the GPs to discuss this.

 Friends & Family Tes

Please take the opportunity to complete one of the response cards in the waiting room or fill in by clicking this link: Friends & Family Test.  Further information about the FFT can be found on NHS Choices website: FFT information

 NHS Constitution - CLICK HERE

Online appointments & repeat script requests

Patients are now able to make appointments online as well as request repeat prescriptions.




Health News from the BBC and the NHS

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