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Latest News

Update to guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding) - 1/6/20

You will have seen that the Government has updated the guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid 19 and have been advised to shield. The update from Government comes into effect from today. In summary the changes are:

  • The advice for people identified as clinically extremely vulnerable is that they should continue to shield until at least the 30 June but from 1 June, they can spend a short period of time outdoors each day with members of their household, still maintaining 2m distance from others.
  • If the shielded person lives alone, the Government is advising they can meet one other person from a different household, maintaining strict social distancing. The advice is that this be the same person each time.
  • Important aspects of Government’s policy and guidance remain the same. Apart from going outside once per day, a shielded person should continue to avoid all non-essential face to face contact. This means they should still not go shopping or to pharmacies.
  • The support for shielded people remains in place and unchanged.

The Government has also confirmed that it will be reviewing shielding guidance alongside wider changes to social distancing, including plans to write to those on the shielding patients list with information about next steps on shielding after the next review on 15 June. 

Shielding and Anti-body Testing

Our staff have been inundated with queries regarding the new government guidelines, please avoid contacting the Practice for queries regarding the new shielding advice and antibody testing.

If you have been shielding and would like further advice on measures you should be taking please see the government website and apply to your personal circumstances.
The government has suggested antibody testing may be available to those undergoing other routine blood tests, there is not a local service agreed yet for Dorset.
As soon as we have an update we will post here.

Carers Week 8-14th June

Carers Week is an annual national event and is about recognising and valuing unpaid carers.

A carer can be someone of any age, who may be in paid work or not, who supports a friend or family member due to their illness, disability, frailty, mental health or substance misuse.


Some of us may not identify ourseselves as a ‘Carer’ because it’s something we just do.

The following organisations - Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council, Dorset Council, Dorset Healthcare, Dorset CCG, Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, The Royal Bournemouth and Poole NHS Trusts, Carer Support Dorset and Rethink are working in partnership with each other and many others organisations across Dorset to reach out, support and help celebrate carers and what they do, especially at this difficult time

‘Making Carers Visible’ is the theme this year and we are encouraging carers, and everyone in the community, to celebrate and recognise the contribution of this often-hidden group of people known as CARERS.


Even if you are not a carer, think about your friends and family, it is probable that you will know someone who is looking after another person.  

Across the UK today an estimated 6.5 million people or 1 in every 8 are carers and this includes many thousands who live in Dorset!


Get creative!

Organisations across Dorset would like you to customise the Carers Week logo with your own colours or style or create your own!

Whatever you decide to do please put it in the window and show carers that we value all they do and that they are not alone.

Please download the template here. 


If you are a carer your local carers support organisation will be holding events in the week such as virtual coffee mornings, workshops, poetry writing. They will also be available for a chat if that is what you need right now. To find out more please contact:

Carers’ Resource Information and Support (CRISP) for Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch

01202 458204


Carer Support Dorset

0800 3688349




Gillingham Medical Practice is supporting vital COVID 19 research. As part of this, we are helping to carry out a national priority research study called PRINCIPLE.

If you have symptoms of COVID 19, are aged 65 or over, OR are 50-64 and have an existing health condition, you may be eligible to join this important study.  If you'd like to discuss taking part in PRINCIPLE, please contact us.  Please see for full details of this study.  If you'd like to know more about COVID 19 research and how you can contribute, please visit the Be Part of Research site,, which is run by the National Institute for Health Research. 


COVID-19 is unlikely to cause serious illness in children, but please remember that your children can still become seriously unwell from other causes that are always around.  Please do not let concerns oer COVID-19 stop you from contacting medical services.  If you are not sure if your child needs to be seen please go to for advice, contact 111 or your GP.  For information on crying babies go to  If your child is severely unwell call 999 or go to A&E.


Gillingham Medical Practice is totally committed to supporting our patients and providing the best possible care in all circumstances.

To enable us to do this we have been forced to make some very difficult decisions.  As of Monday 16 March 2020 we are suspending all non-urgent appointments and services and moving any routine contact to telephone and video consultations and eConsult.

If you have a pre-booked appointment and think you do not need to be seen urgently, please contact us. 

We will continue to keep you updated and thank you all for your continued support at this challenging time.


Electronic Prescription Service

We are upgrading to the next phase of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) which will mean that almost all our prescriptions will be processed electronically from 30th January 2020.

You will receive your prescriptions in the same way as you do now.

For more information, please see EPS on the NHS website


Hub of Hope

The Hub of Hope is a national mental health database which brings together organisations and charities, large and small, from across the country who offer mental health advice and support, together in one place.  Please look at their website using the following link for further information.  You can also download the app.



Each month we check how many appointments were booked but the patient failed to turn up - we call these Did Not Attends (DNA's):

By not turning up for appointments patients waste Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Practice Nurses and Health Care Assistants' time and prevent other patients from seeing a clinician.  Please help us to help you by cancelling appointments if not needed so we can offer them to other patients. 

If you receive text message reminders for your appointments, you can now reply "CANCEL" if you are unable to make your appointment and this will automatically be cancelled for you.



Top tips to get the most out of your GP appointment

Is your issue urgent? Do you need to see a specific GP?

Is it important you are seen quickly or would you rather wait for an appointment with a particular GP? If you have a long-term illness would you benefit from seeing a GP who knows your history personally? Alternatively could you see the Nurse Practitioner or Practice Nurse? In many cases, another member of the clinical team could deal with your concern, so consider this as an alternative to making an appointment with a GP. 

Many problems? See if you can book a double appointment

If you have a number of issues that you would like to discuss with your GP, ask at reception to see whether it is possible to book a double appointment to give you more time to talk them through. 

Discuss important things first and stick to the point

Make sure you tell the doctor about the important things first and try to get to the point. Do not feel you have to justify being there or leave your main concern to the end. 

Take notes to help you

Before you see your GP, be clear in your own mind what you want to say. Make a note of your symptoms, worries and any questions that you would like to ask.

Take a list of your medicines - prescribed or otherwise

Bring a list of any medication you are taking, including over-the-counter and/or alternative medicines, or anything prescribed after a hospital visit.  This includes tablets, liquids or creams. Your GP needs to know about everything you are taking.

Not clear on the treatment plan? Ask again

Make sure you fully understand the next steps before you leave the room.  If you don’t, then don’t be afraid of asking your GP to go through the plan again.

Ask who to contact if you have any more questions

You may think of questions that you would like to ask after your appointment. Find out who you can contact to ask questions, as well as any support groups that can provide reliable information.

If you need support, take a relative, carer or friend

If you feel your situation needs it, take a relative or friend for support. They can help you understand or explain.

Unhappy? Ask to see another GP

If you’re not happy, you can ask to see another GP in the Practice. You can also change GP Practices, but you should as a first step, always discuss your concerns with a practice member of staff.

You can always ask for help or advice from the Reception Team and they will direct you to the most appropriate service. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Walking for Health

Keith Harrison, the Health and Wellbeing Officer for North Dorset GP Practices attended the Walking for Health Christmas party luncheon on Saturday 8th December at the Royal Chase Hotel in Shaftesbury along with approximately 100 people.  This was arranged by the volunteers from Gillingham and Shaftesbury Walking for Health groups.  They held a raffle and raised £275 for the youth clubs in Gillingham and Shaftesbury.

What an amazing job they do, running numerous walks all for free.  All are welcome and they cater for all levels of fitness.  No need to book, you can just turn up.  Sensible shoes and waterproofs are suggested for this time of year and well behaved dogs are most welcome too.

The North Dorset Walking For Health Scheme was established in late 2017 to create opportunities for people to benefit from group walking.  There is a Monday afternoon walk starting at The Barn Surgery and a Tuesday afternoon walk starting at Peacemarsh Surgery.  All walks are free.  For further information, please click on the following link, take a look at their Facebook page or see the attached leaflet

Could you be a volunteer Health Walk Leader?

Walking is a great way to stay healthy, both physically and mentally and lots of evidence suggests that regular walking with a group adds social benefits too. A free one-day training course for volunteer Walk Leaders will take place in Sherborne on Monday 22nd October. No prior experience is required, just lots of enthusiasm and an interest in supporting others to stay healthy. The North Dorset Walking For Health scheme has trained over 50 volunteers who now provide weekly Health Walks in Sturminster, Blandford, Shillingstone, Gillingham, Shaftesbury and Sherborne. These are opportunities for those who want to walk a short distance of 1-2 miles at a steady pace in a friendly group. All walks are free and local GP practices are supporting the scheme as they are keen to promote the health benefits associated with regular physical activity.

If you would like more information please contact Keith Harrison, Scheme Coordinator on 07825 691508 or email Details of all walks are on the scheme website  - - and there is a Facebook page -


Self-Management Health Coaching

The surgery now has a specialist Health Coach who is able to give more time and support for any of our patients with an on-going health condition or who is a carer:

  • Coaching not Counselling
  • For knowledge, confidence and skills to manage health conditions and the impact on day to day life
  • 18 years +
  • 45 minute appointments on a Wednesday at The Barn Surgery

For further information, please speak to Reception or your GP.

GPs can refer patients to this service or you can also self-refer by booking an appointment with Reception, phoning the Health Coach Helpline on 0303 303 0153 or by emailing


Coffee Companions

Coffee Companions was developed and launched a year ago in Gillingham with the help of Support the Elderly.  This initiative has since grown out of concern about the growing number of people experiencing social isolation and/or loneliness and the aim is for it to be useful to whole communities in creating connections and companionship in an informal way.  For further information, please visit their website


What is GDPR ? (General Data Protection Regulation) 

The GDPR is a new law that will become applicable from 25th May 2018 which supersedes the Data Protection Act.  It determines how your personal data is processed and kept safe, and the legal rights that you have in relation to your own data.  Its intention is to strengthen data protection for individuals across the European Union.  It covers anywhere in the world in which data about EU citizens is processed and will apply even after the UK leaves the EU.

We will be contacting our patients during May 2018 that we hold a mobile number for via text to gain consent for us to continue using this as a method of contact.  If you wish to continue to use our text messaging service, patients just need to reply START and your preferences will be recorded.  To decline just reply STOP.  Patients will receive the text weekly as a reminder if they do not respond.  If we do not receive a response by the end of May 2018, when our campaign finishes, patients records will automatically be recorded as declined. 

Please be aware that patients can change the preferences at any time, please just let Reception know. 

If you require any further information, please read our Privacy Notice or contact the surgery.


Shingles Immunisation Programme

For further information regarding Shingles and the vaccination, please visit Please click here to look at the Shingles Eligibility poster to check whether you are entitled to a shingles vaccination and if you wish to book an appointment, please contact Reception.


Annual Reviews

Is it your birthday in APRIL or MAY - Happy Birthday from us all at the Practice, but please don't forget you need to arrange to have your annual review for any of the following conditions:

  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure, Atrial Fibrillation,Heart Failure, Peripheral Artery Disease, Angina or have a history of Heart Attack,Stroke or TIA.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Dementia
  • Mental Health
  • Learning Disabilities 


DNA Appointments

Have you ever wondered why you sometimes can't get an appointment?  Each month we check how many appointments were booked but the patient failed to turn up - we call these Did Not Attends (DNA's):

DNAs in 2020 = 

By not turning up for appointments you waste Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Practice Nurses and Health Care Assistants' time and prevent other patients from seeing a clinician.

Please help us to help you by cancelling appointments if not needed so we can offer them to other patients. 

If you receive text message reminders for your appointments, you can now reply "CANCEL" if you are unable to make your appointment and this will automatically be cancelled for you.



Support in Dorset

Please see the leaflet LiveWell Dorset for information regarding who LiveWell Dorset are, how they can help, the services they offer such as weight management, exercise and healthy living, and how to register.

For information on Living Well Courses, please click on the following link: Living Well Courses

Patient Contact Details

For information regarding child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Dorset, please visit their website


Patient Records Online

In addition to being able to book appointments online and order your repeat prescriptions. You can now request to view your detailed coded medical information online too. Please ask at Reception to register for an online account to sign-up for this service.


Friends and Family Test

Would you recommend us to your friends and family?

Please take a moment to fill out a form either online or at the surgery.  You can also use our automated text messaging service after you attend for your appointment.

Please click here  to complete an online form. 


Clinical Services Review

The Clinical Services Review website has all the latest information and further details: -

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