All posts by Jenny Marsh

Patient Participation Group Meeting

Thursday 17th March 1000 – 1130

The PPG is YOUR voice!

We would like to invite all interested patients to our first Patient Participation Group meeting at Lawrence Hill Health Centre. This will be held in our large Health Promotion Room with use of the garden.

This meeting follows on from our successful coffee morning last autumn and will be an opportunity for patients to give us feedback and work with us to improve our service now and in the future.

It is important that the group reflects the needs of as any patients as possible. It will not affect the normal medical care you receive from our practice.

Please come along, you will be made very welcome!

Newtown Community coffee morning

Members of the Newtown community would like to start a short walks group and are having a coffee morning to discuss ideas.

Join us for a coffee morning (or afternoon) on Thursday 17th February from 2pm at Lawrence Hill Health Centre.

Changes to our urgent prescription policy

From the 1st March we are changing our urgent prescription policy.

It is the patient’s responsibility to make sure that they request their repeat prescription in a timely manner so that they do not run out of their medications.

Urgent requests for medication will only be considered for the medications below:

  • Inhalers
  • Epilepsy medication – eg sodium valproate, lamotrigine, carbamazepine, levetiracetam, topiramate
  • Insulin
  • GTN spray
  • Blood thinners – eg. warfarin, apixaban, rivaroxaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, clexane, clopidogrel
  • Water tablets – furosemide and bumetanide
  • Hydrocortisone tablets or long term prednisolone tablets
  • Epipen, Jext or Emerade (or similar auto-injectable adrenaline preparations)
  • Medication for Parkinson’s Disease – eg. Sinimet, Madopar, Stalevo, co-careldopa, co-beneldopa
  • Antipychotics – eg. Amisulpride, aripiprazole, clozapine, olanzapine, paliperidone, quetiapine and risperidone
  • Contraceptives

Urgent prescriptions will be sent electronically to the patient’s nominated pharmacy by 5:30pm on weekdays.

No other medications will be treated as ‘urgent’. This is a decision made by the GP partners to ensure safe prescribing. The reception team cannot override this decision.

Emergency supply from pharmacists

Please note that all patients can obtain a short emergency supply of prescription medications from a registered retail pharmacy. They will need to be seen face-to-face, will need proof of identity and proof that they have received the medicines they are requesting before on prescription. There will be a charge for this as it is not an NHS service. Further information can be found at

Over-the-counter medication

In line with the latest NHS guidance, we will be phasing out the prescribing of common medication available cheaply over-the-counter in pharmacies unless needed for a defined long-term medical condition. This will include paracetamol, Calpol, medication for diarrhoea and constipation and medication for head lice.

Further information can be found at

Update on the extended covid-19 vaccination booster programme

Our local NHS is working on plans to quickly scale up our Covid-19 vaccination programme, including through GP surgeries.

The government and NHS England have asked us to focus on vaccinating in the coming weeks, so this may mean you will be waiting longer for non-urgent appointments. We appreciate your patience. As always, our team will be working hard to prioritise those who are most in need. Thank you for your understanding.

If you have already received a text message or letter from the surgery about booking your vaccine, please use the link in the text message to make your appointment.

If we haven’t yet been in touch, you will hear from the surgery when we have an appointment available. We are working hard to get our appointments set up, so this should be very soon. In the meantime, please do not contact us about getting a vaccination appointment.

How to book in the meantime

From Monday 13 December, everyone aged over 30 can book a vaccine appointment online. You can do this here. From Wednesday 15 December, this will open to everyone aged 18 and over.

From Monday 13 December, everyone aged 18 and over is eligible to get their vaccine at a walk-in centre. Full details of walk-in clinics and how to access them are available here (you may need to book an appointment in advance).

There is likely to be extremely high demand for vaccinations over the next few days. Please be assured that we are working hard to increase capacity as soon as possible. Please don’t call the surgery reception to enquire. Instead, you can:

  • Keep an eye on our website and social media for updates
  • Wait for us to contact you – you will get a letter or text message
  • Visit

Tell the NHS about coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations you’ve had abroad

This service enables you to book an appointment to show evidence for any coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations you’ve had outside of England. This is so the NHS can securely update your vaccination record.

Who can use this service

You can use this service if you:

  • are aged 18 years old or over
  • have an NHS number
  • have received one of these MHRA-approved vaccines outside of England – Oxford/AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty), Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) or Moderna (Spikevax)

To book an appointment visit this website.

Green Impact Inhaler Project

Reducing the Carbon Footprint

Lawrence Hill Health Centre is committed to helping the NHS reach their target of being totally carbon neutral by 20401.

We are currently reviewing our own practices to look for changes we can make to help shape an environmentally friendly and sustainable future by reducing our carbon footprint.

One change that we have identified is reviewing our inhaler prescribing. Some inhalers are worse for the environment than others. So we would like to review the inhalers we are prescribing.

What are metered dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers?

Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs) use a pressurised propellant within the aerosol chamber to help administer the medicine. The propellants used in these inhalers are potent greenhouse gases which cause damage to the ozone layer.

Dry Powder Inhalers (DPIs) are newer inhalers, where the medicine is released when the patient breathes in on the inhaler. This means that there is no need for the pressurised propellant.

Why are these inhaler changes important?

Inhalers contribute to roughly 3.5% of the NHS’ total carbon footprint2.

As mentioned, MDIs use greenhouse gases as their propellants. This means that, on average, 100 doses of an MDI releases carbon emissions equivalent to that released during a 180-mile drive in a car3. On the other hand, DPIs release 18 times LESS carbon emissions that MDIs4.

Climate change is also an important determinant of social and physical health5. In other words, reducing climate change will not only have a positive impact on the environment, but it will also improve our health in general.

What happens next?

At your next asthma or COPD review, the respiratory nurse will discuss any possible changes to your inhalers. Your health comes first, so changes will only happen if it is suitable for the patient.

We plan to review our ventolin prescribing. This is the most commonly used inhaler in the UK. Ventolin is actually the brand name (like hoover for vacuum cleaners), and the active ingredient is Salbutamol. Ventolin is a particularly large volume inhaler with lots of propellant in. Changing to a smaller volume metered dose inhaler, such as Salamol, means a lot less of the harmful propellant is released into the environment.

Find out more at Green Inhaler.

  1. NHS England. Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service. (EXTERNAL LINK).
  2. NHS Sustainable Development Unit. Sustainable Development in the Health and Care System: Health Check;2016. (EXTERNAL LINK).
  3. NICE National Institute for Healthcare and Excellence: asthma patient decision aid.
  4. British Thoracic Society (BTS) (2019) Position Statement: Environment and Lung Health.
  5. Watts N, Amann M, Arnell A, et al. (2018). The 2018 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: shaping the health of nations for centuries to come. Lancet, 392(10163):2479–2514

LAWRENCE HILL HEALTH CENTRE NEEDS YOU! Are you enthusiastic about health in your local community?

We wish to set up a Patient Participation Group who we can work alongside to ensure we provide high quality care for our patients and to help us improve our service.

We would like to recruit patients who represent all sections of our community.

All patients are warmly invited to drop in to a coffee morning in Lawrence Hill Health Centre Garden on Thursday 7th October between 0930 – 1130 to find out more.

All ages are very welcome and refreshments will be available.

Important changes to routine and non-urgent blood test appointments

All GP practices are affected by the current national shortage of blood tubes and are taking urgent steps alongside our hospitals to prioritise their use for people with the greatest clinical need. This includes testing for serious conditions such as cancer.


We are following national guidance which has been issued in response to the shortage. As a result, we need to cancel and delay a number of patient appointments for blood tests deemed routine or non-urgent. If you have a routine blood test appointment the reception team at the surgery will be in touch directly if they need to cancel your appointment, this will be by phone or by text message.


Please be assured that appointments will be rescheduled once the situation has improved, and in line with national guidance. There are a few things you can do if you are affected by this change:

  • Keep checking our website for regular updates – we will be sharing the latest patient information here as soon as we receive it.
  • Check your phone for messages from us – we will also be using our patient text service to keep people informed.
  • Please don’t call or contact us with questions about routine blood tests – we are experiencing exceptional levels of demand at the moment, and your cooperation will help us to reach those without smartphone or internet access with this critical information.
  • Do get in touch online if your condition worsens or changes so that we can prioritise your blood test if necessary following clinical review

The changes are likely to be in place for at least four weeks. We will keep all our patients regularly updated as the national situation changes. We fully understand the frustration this is likely to cause, and apologise for the inconvenience.