Updates 1st June 2021

Updated on 1st June 2021 at 11:12 am


Easing of lockdown restrictions

As the country prepares for the easing of lockdown, we too are looking to reopen the waiting room at Humshaugh. We have had to use the waiting room so that our staff can work in there so they can continue to do their jobs and keep the service going for you while being safe and socially distant. This remains important however we are able to open the waiting room from the 21st June. This shall be for prescription collection only, please follow the directions given to you regarding one in and one out. If attending for an appointment you shall continue to be called from your car or outside by the clinician.

We continue to offer GP telephone consultations in the first instance as this allows more patients to access the GP and allows the appropriate time and space for those who need to be seen to be seen. Each face to face appointment takes almost double the time of a telephone appointment as the room needs to be well cleaned between each patient and th clinician needs to change PPE. Telephone appointments proved popular prior to the pandemic and remain so as many problems can in fact be discussed and dealt with over the phone – without compromise to care. On average GPs are carrying out nearly 70 pre booked telephone appointments each week, of which less than half result in bringing the patient in to be seen.  This is in addition to same day telephone calls and face to face assessments

Patients attending for an appointment shall continue to wait in their vehicle or outside to be called in by the clinician.

Minor surgery service shall resume, we are currently working through our waiting list. If you have anything you would like to be assessed for minor surgery, skin tags etc. please book a non urgent telephone appointment with Dr Gregory-Smith in the first instance.

Home delivery

As the guidance to shield has now ended, if you previously opted for home delivery due to this please can you consider returning to collecting from surgery or one of our drop off points.  Currently you do not have to meet a specific criteria to have a home deleivery however it is important not to overwhlem the service so that we can continue to provide it to those who really need it.

Please also ensure you order all the medications you require in one go as our drivers shall make only one delivery to each household each week.

Team changes

We are now able to look forward and get back to as normal as we can be with the ongoing COVID
situation. During the last year we have had a few changes within the team which you may not be aware of.

New partner

Dr Jack Blissett left the Practice earlier this year and we are delighted to announce we have a new Partner , Dr Kristina Rodney joining our team. Some of you may have met Dr Rodney already as she has been doing a few locum sessions for us.

Dr Rodney: I grew up in Cumbria but have spent many years living in the North East, having undertaken my undergraduate degrees at both Durham University and Newcastle University. I qualified in 2015 and then went on to complete my Foundation and GP training in County Durham. Having recently qualified as a GP, I am excited to be starting my GP career as a partner at Humshaugh and Wark Medical Group. In my free time I enjoy gardening and walking, and am looking forward to exploring beautiful


Admin Team

After a remarkable 35 years of service, Katherine Dixon our Senior Administrator has left the practice, for a change of pace, we wish Katherine the very best of luck.

We have recruited an Admin Manager , Katie Tinlin. Many of you will know Katie from speaking with her on the phone or at the reception desk. Katie shall continue to work in reception while overseeing the day to day running of the admin and reception team as well as taking on more responsibility. We look forward to recruiting a second Admin Manager in the coming months to support Katie in covering the whole week.

Wendy Nisbit one of our dispensers, has been successfully appointment as Dispensary Manager alongside our existing dispensary Manager Joan Wisniewskwa, both shall cover the week between them, overseeing the day to day running of the dispensaries at both surgeries.


Nurse Practitioner— Joanne Blacklock

Joanne joined our team in April 2020 and has recently completed her prescribing qualification. Joanne leads the nursing team for long term conditions, specialising in respiratory conditions. Joanne also leads on frailty and emergency healthcare planning.

You can book a telephone appointment with Joanne as an alternative to a GP appointment; she can deal with minor ailments such as respiratory issues, chest infections, ear problems and problems relating to your chronic conditions such as a COPD exacerberation.


Annual Reviews

From April 2021 we shall recall patients for their annual review by ‘Month of birthday’. Patients will be contacted by letter in the month of their birthday inviting them to book their annual reviews and we will aim to streamline our systems into one process which should reduce visits to the health centre for lots of our patients. During the pandemic we were unable to offer everyone an annual review and had to prioritise those at highest risk of complications.

This system shall allow us to offer every patient an annual review within before April 2022. When you receive your letter please just ring the surgery and our receptionists will know which appointments you need. You can use your online access to book your pre clinic check blood test. If a follow up appointment is required this shall be done by telephone (unless agreed otherwise between you and the nurse).

If you have any concerns before you are due to be called, please do contact us.


COVID vaccinations

After 6 months of working on the vaccination programme our involvement is drawing to an end. Patients under 50 are now going to able to book through the national boking service for an appointment at the Tynedale Mart site in Hexham. Visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or call 119 to book, they shall continue to work down in descending age order.

Each and every member of our team has been involved in the rollout of the vaccines alongside and on top of our day to day work in the practice, clinics have run every weekend since the end of December and by mid June we will have given nearly 64,000 vaccines collectively in West Northumberland.

Thank you also to patients who volunteered their time.


COVID vaccine passport

From 17 May 2021, people in England who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can demonstrate their vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of any approved vaccine. Vaccine status will be available from:

  • the NHS App which you can download from app stores
  • the NHS website If you cannot access the online services, and you have had 2 vaccines, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you are due to travel abroad in the near future and have had your second dose more than 5 working days ago. It may take 7 working days for the letter to arrive.When you’re planning your travel, check the latest information on demonstrating your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad on the gov.uk website. Make sure there is time to get  proof of your vaccination status before you leave
  • This practice is not able to provide you with a letter that shows your COVID-19 vaccination status.
  • It may take more than a week for your identity to be checked and verified so you can use this service.