Patient Update

NHS Pharmacy First advanced service

Patients can now access direct help for 7 conditions from local pharmacies.  This is a new service and the pharmacist may be able to provide medications as part of the service and save you having to visit the GP.


The conditions that the pharmacy can now help with are:


Clinical pathway

Age range

Acute Otitis Media*

1 to 17 years


1 year and over

Infected insect bites

1 year and over


18 years and over


12 years and over

Sore throat

5 years and over

Uncomplicated urinary tract infections

Women 16-64 years

* Distance Selling Pharmacies will not complete consultations for Acute Otitis Media.


Shingles Vaccinations

The Shingles Vaccination Programme has changed this year and the programme is split by age:

Patients who turn 65 on or after 1 September 2023

From 1 September 2023, you're eligible for the shingles vaccine when you turn 65.

You'll be offered 2 doses of the vaccine. These are given between 6 and 12 months apart.

Your GP should contact you to make an appointment to have your shingles vaccine. Contact your GP surgery if you think you're eligible for the shingles vaccine and you've not been contacted about it.

You'll remain eligible until your 80th birthday.


If you turned 65 before 1 September 2023, you'll be eligible for the shingles vaccine when you turn 70.

Patients aged 70 to 79

Everyone aged 70 to 79 is eligible for the shingles vaccine.

Depending on the type of vaccine you have, you'll have either 1 dose or 2 doses (given between 6 and 12 months apart).

Contact your GP surgery if you missed your vaccine. You're eligible up until your 80th birthday.


Patients aged 50 and over with a severely weakened immune system

You're eligible for the shingles vaccine if you're aged 50 or over and you're at higher risk from shingles because you have a severely weakened immune system.

This includes:

  • some people with blood cancer (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
  • some people with HIV or AIDS
  • some people who've recently had a stem cell transplant, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or an organ transplant
  • people taking certain medicines that severely weaken the immune system

You'll be given 2 doses of the shingles vaccine. These are given between 8 weeks and 6 months apart.

Ask your GP or care team if you're not sure if you're eligible for the shingles vaccine.


There is no scope for the practice to vary these rules and full details are at:

Shingles vaccine - NHS (


Physiotherapy Self Referral

Patients can now self refer for Physiotherapy see the link on our On Line Forms page or follow below:


Examinations and sickness certificates for schoolchildren

It should be noted that GPs are not required to provide sick notes for schoolchildren. When children are absent from school owing to illness, schools may request a letter from a parent or guardian, and this is no different during an exam period. However, children who have missed exams due to illness are frequently told by schools that a note from a doctor is required; but there is no requirement for this to be provided by a GP.

Aside from the fact that parents/guardians are responsible for excusing their children from school, GPs cannot provide retrospective sickness certification. When a child suffers from a long-term condition, any certification will be provided by the responsible specialist.

The GPC has sought and received confirmation from the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator that Awarding Organisations make no requirement for pupils to obtain a medical certificate in support of their application for special consideration. Students are asked for information in support of their application, but this may take the form of a statement by the school.

The Joint Council for Qualifications has confirmed that as far as they are concerned, if a student was absent from an examination as a result of illness and has the support of the school or centre to be absent, special consideration will be granted on that basis. Awarding organisations do not insist that medical proof is provided.

Please click the link to download copies of the appropriate letters which can be given to the school.


Secondary Care Contacts

For all queries regarding outpatient appointments, results, follow up and appointment delays at hospitals please contact the appropriate hospital direct.


If you are unable to contact the relevant department each hospital has a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) specifically to assist patients and their relatives.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospital Trust (MTW)

Patients and relatives are welcome to contact us by telephone on: 01892 632953 or 01622 224960.  If there is no-one available to answer your call, please leave a message on our voicemail facility and we will contact you as soon as possible.  Alternatively you can email us on


East Sussex Hospital Trust (ESHT)

Patient advice and liaison service (PALS)
Eastbourne DGH
Level 2 main entrance (turn immediate left on entry, the office is first on the left)

0300 131 4784 or 0300 131 5309

Open to in-person visits:
9am to 3pm – Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)


University Hospital; Brighton (BSUH)


Royal Sussex County Hospital, Sussex Eye Hospital and Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital

01273 664511

01273 664973

Monday to Friday 10:00am to 3:00 pm


Princess Royal Hospital

You can call us or ask at the main reception for directions to the office.

01444 448678

Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 3:00 pm