Cancer Matters News Bulletin – March and April Awareness 2021

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness month – This is the 4th most common cancer affecting around 42,000 people each year that’s a new diagnosis every 15 minutes.  In Blackpool there are around 250 new cases per year affecting 1 in 15 men and 1 in 18 women. Additionally, the 10th March 2021 is National No Smoking Day. See the image below for further information.

Your digital medical record

Lancashire and South Cumbria has been chosen by NHS England to be a national pilot for the digitisation of Medical Records.  You may not realise, but all patients also have a paper record stored securely within the practice which is complementary to the current computerised record. Scanning these paper based records and making them digital will enable better utilisation of space, creating more clinical space, staff areas, multi team space and video hubs, removing the need for some practices to build extensions. In addition it will also make your record more easily and speedily accessible to clinical staff within your practice. 

Your complete GP medical record will be digital and stored in a secure cloud based clinical system (only accessible by your GP practice) with the paper based records being securely destroyed following BS EN 15713:2009 Secure destruction of confidential material.  Your GP will still be able to access your records easily within this system. The scanning and destruction of the paper records will follow strict data protection guidelines adhered to by the NHS.  As with paper based records, digital records are stored for the durations specified in the Records Management Codes of Practice for Health and Social Care. For GP patient records, this states that they may be destroyed 10 years after the patient’s death if they are no longer needed. 

If you wish to discuss the scheme, please inform the Practice direct either by letter or via e-mail - [email protected]

Prescription Changes

By the 19th June our prescribing system will be updated so that all prescriptions will be sent electronically.

If you have a nominated pharmacy:

Nothing will change for you. Your prescriptions will still be sent electronically direct to your nominated pharmacy.

If you don’t have a nominated pharmacy:

Ordinarily with this process you would receive a printed ‘token’ which you can take to any pharmacy in England who are able to scan it to locate your prescription on their system.

Currently we are still trying to reduce the amount of people attending surgery when they don’t have to. Therefore, if you have a mobile number we will text you a code which can be taken to any pharmacy in England to retrieve your prescription.

If we are unable to send you a text message you can also retrieve your prescription by giving a pharmacy your NHS number, which we can remind you of if you don’t have it.

Our admin team have been contacting patients over the last few weeks to ask patients if they would like to nominate a pharmacy prior to this change. If you haven’t nominated a pharmacy and would still like to you can notify us by filling in this form: Having a nominated pharmacy will save time for us and for you.

Supporting Minds – local mental health support

Stress is a normal reaction to the rapidly changing and uncertain times we are all living in at the moment. If you are feeling a bit more stressed than usual and would like to learn how to deal with common problems like anxiety, depression, panicky feelings, poor sleep and poor wellbeing then please contact Supporting Minds Blackpool for support.

Supporting Minds offers brief psychological treatment for depression and anxiety disorders.
If you experiencing any of the following…

  • Feeling low and tearful
  • Feeling depressed
  • Feeling panicky
  • Excessive worrying
  • Feeling anxious or stressed
  • Sleep problems
  • Unhelpful or distressing thoughts
  • Fear of specific objects or situations

A range of talking therapies can be offered including…

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Counselling
  • Guided self-help
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
  • Stress control course (currently being delivered online for a limited period)
  • Online CBT
  • Mindfulness classes

Supporting Minds is very much open for treatment as usual at this time and are fully operational despite the current challenges. All therapies are currently being delivered over the telephone, online and by video conferencing.

To enquire about the therapies offered, or refer yourself, please telephone the self-referral line on: 01253 955700

or Email : [email protected]

or use the self referral form –

You can also visit the website for further information:

CORONAVIRUS – What you need to know.

Updated 21/9/2020

Letter to Patients (Complaints – Covid19) – Please read this letter regarding any complaints you may have during this time, and our temporary process whilst we work through this situation.

NHS information –

Government information –

If you have symptoms, book a test (within the first 5 days of having them) –

NHS test & trace & how it works –


The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.

How to book a COVID-19 test

Your GP Practice cannot assist you in booking a Covid-19 test and does not provide Covid-19 testing; this can only be done via the national online booking portal. Your GP Practice cannot advise you on whether or not your child or children are safe to return to school; this should be discussed with the school(s) concerned.

Please do not visit or make an appointment at your GP practice if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss of taste and/or smell).

The Government is scaling up its testing capacity even further to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October, expanding its network of testing sites and laboratories, as well as investing in new testing technologies. Whilst this scaling up is happening, the service is currently very busy. We would ask anyone who tries to book a test and is unable to do so, or who is offered a location or time which is not convenient, to please wait a few hours and then try again.

What to Expect at the Surgery

Since March the way we provide our services has changed a lot. Some services were suspended, such as cervical screening, but we are now starting to slowly re-introduce some of these services.

In order for us to carry out necessary face to face consultations whilst keeping both you and our staff safe, we ask that all patients attending the surgery do the following;

  • All patients aged 5+ must wear a face covering. You can make your own as shown below, purchase one or use something like a scarf. The clinician you are seeing can refuse to see you if you are not wearing one. Exceptions apply to those with breathing difficulties etc, similar to the rules that apply on public transport.

This Morning – How to make a face covering at home.

GOV.UK – How to wear and make a cloth face covering.

  • Make use of hand sanitiser provided when entering, moving around and leaving the building.
  • Follow any directions, such as one-way systems, in the surgeries and follow any instructions given by staff. (Below is the current one way system in operation at Harris Medical Centre).
  • Respect social distancing where possible.
  • Try not to arrive too early for your appointment. Only a certain amount of patients can be in the building at any given time.
  • Where possible, attend your appointment alone. Exceptions are made for one parent attending with a child and patients who require a carer.
  • Please only sit on designated seats. These are marked with a green tick (accompanying parents/carers may use adjacent seats which will be marked with a cross). Please do not separate your family or move seats.

For the time being front doors will still remain locked and a member of staff will attend to you on your arrival. All staff will wear face masks when moving around the building and the clinician you are seeing will also be wearing one during your visit.

Chronic Disease Reviews

Every year we invite patients to attend surgery for a review of their asthma, COPD, diabetes etc. Over the past couple of months nurses have been contacting some of these patients by phone to do these reviews and postponing any blood tests required to a later date.

In order to still reduce the amount of people attending surgery several changes will occur;

  • Asthma/COPD reviews will be done by video or in surgery where this is not possible.
  • Diabetes/Healthy heart reviews – you will be invited to attend surgery for any blood tests etc, with your follow up being done by telephone/video (those who cannot receive a telephone or video call will be invited to attend the surgery).
  • Hypertension reviews – carried out at the surgery.
  • Mental Health health check – carried out at the surgery.


Since March most consultations have been conducted via telephone or video in order to limit the amount of patients visiting the surgery. Photos sent by text or email have also become an integral part of our service.

Video consultation in particular has proven to be beneficial. So much so that we will be looking to incorporate more of this in the future post-covid world.

Whilst we are still limiting the amount of patients attending the premises the current services are still available at both surgeries;

  • Blood tests
  • Blood pressure checks
  • Childhood vaccinations (continued throughout the pandemic)
  • Other necessary injections/vaccinations
  • Sexual health/contraception
  • Smear tests
  • Chronic disease reviews (where video/telephone is not possible).
  • ECGs (when clinically necessary)
  • GP/Paramedic consultations (when necessary)
  • Medication reviews (by telephone/video only)
  • Home visits

Adelaide Street in the news!

We were recently featured in the Blackpool Gazette following our work on the NHS Rainbow Badge initiative, along with member practices;

St Paul’s Medical Centre

South King Street Medical Centre

Elizabeth Street Surgery

Glenroyd Medical Centre

Waterloo Medical Centre

Abbeydale Medical Centre

The article can be read here;

Blackpool Gazette – Blackpool doctors walk the rainbow road to NHS inclusion