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Latest News

See the source imageYou can self refer for many services without the need to see your GP first.

These include:-

  • CAMHS and TalkingSpace for mental health services
  • Physiotherapy appointments
  • Bowel and Bladder service
  • Achieve Oxfordshire healthy weight loss
  • Smokefree Life.

See the patient self referral tab under the Clinics & Services section on this website for further details on how to contact these services.

Level 2 Heatwave alert – protect yourself

A Level 2 heatwave alert has been issued for Oxfordshire - meaning the current hot weather now poses a health risk to health for vulnerable groups.


Sustained high temperatures day and night have triggered the Public Health alert after the Met Office, confirmed threshold temperatures that can have a significant effect on health, have been reached.


The elderly, babies and young children, the sick and those with breathing or heart conditions are particularly susceptible to the heat.

Oxfordshire County Council’s public health team is offering the following advice:


  • Stay out of the heat and direct sunlight as much as possible
  • Drink plenty of cool fluids and avoid alcohol and caffeine and hot drinks
  • Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped. Use locks on open windows as children may fall out if they are able to climb on furniture to reach the window, or if they are jumping or playing on a bed near an open window.
  • wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection, wear a hat and light scarf. Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes. This should minimise the risk of sunburn.
  • avoid physical exertion
  • drink plenty of cold drinks
  • if you have a health problem, keep medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator
  • look out for others especially vulnerable groups such as the older people, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals

Danger symptoms to watch out for in hot weather include:

      • feeling faint and dizzy
      • short of breath
      • vomiting
      • increasing confusion.

Take immediate action if danger symptoms of heatstroke are present:

      • Take action to cool down as soon as possible
      • Seek further advice from NHS 111, a doctor, or ring 999 if a person has collapsed.
    • Those with heart, respiratory and serious health problems are more at risk and the heat can make these conditions worse. Babies and young children are also especially at risk especially within when they are in pushchairs or car seats.


    • Many prescription medicines can reduce your tolerance of heat. You should keep taking your medicine but take extra care to keep cool. If in doubt contact your GP.


    • Keep an eye on isolated or elderly neighbours, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool.

    Remember that it can get uncomfortably hot indoors too. Try to keep your bedroom and living space cool, by closing the curtains on windows that receive the sun and opening your windows at cooler times of the day and overnight when safe to do so. Turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat.


    Health and social care workers in the community, hospitals and care homes are advised to regularly check on vulnerable patients, share sun safety messages, make sure room temperatures are set below 26 °C, ensure patients have access to cold water and ice and that medicines are stored in a cool place.


    Stephen Pinel of Oxfordshire County Council’s public health teams said: “While hot weather is enjoyable for most people and uncomfortable for some, sadly experience tells us that exposure to excessive heat can kill, with most cases of illness and death caused by heart and lung disease. Because we are not used to these very hot temperatures in England, local plans are in place to reduce the impact of harm from very hot weather.


    Heat can be harmful to your health. In August 2003, there were over 2,000 excess deaths during one ten-day heatwave in the UK.


    Staff in training.

    From Monday 2nd July we will have new team members in our Reception team so may take a little longer than usual dealing with your request.

    Thank you in advance for your patience.

    Neighbourhood Access Hub

    Extended hours at PML’s Neighbourhood Access Hubs


    Hightown Surgery patients now have even better access to a doctor at the weekends and in the evenings. Neighbourhood Access Hubs developed by Principal Medical Limited (PML) on behalf of Oxfordshire practices in 2015, have extended their opening hours so that yet more patients can benefit from national GP Access funding (GPAF). This is great news for the 300,000+ patients registered with the 36 PML GP Federation practices in Oxfordshire.


    The aims of the service remain the same; patients requesting a pre-bookable GP appointment at their own practice, may be offered an appointment at a nearby location, with a local GP or nurse who has access to their medical records.


    This provides more appointments for patients during the day, the evenings and at weekends, while relieving GP practices of some of the pressure of providing treatment for minor illnesses.


    What does this mean for you?

    • No change in the booking process for appointments.
    • You may be offered an appointment during normal or extended hours at a Hub location.

    Further details are available in the appointments section on this website.

    NHS National Data Opt Out

    The NHS has launched the national data opt-out as part of the ‘Your Data Matters to the NHS’ campaign.  This campaign informs the public that the strict rules about how health and care data can and cannot be used have been strengthened. The NHS is committed to keeping patient information safe and always being clear about how it is used.   The campaign will also let the public know that they can choose whether their confidential patient information is used for research and planning.

    A new website  has been launched which allows the public to find out more about how their data is used across health and care and to make this choice.

    South Central Ambulance Service

    South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) NHS Foundation Trust will be delivering free defibrillation and Cardio Pulmonary (CPR) awareness session for all age groups.

    This is open to individuals,  businesses and all recreation groups large or small. This is a non certificated practical session. If you are interested in knowing more please mail. who will pass on your details to SCAS.

    The sessions can be delivered locally or at a venue of the groups/business’s choice

    Appointment Access Update

    We are currently trialling an urgent care GP triage system for same day appointment requests. When you call and request an urgent appointment our Receptionists will direct you to the most appropriate service. These include:-

    • Local Neighbourhood Hub appointment at Banbury Health Centre
    • Practice Pharmacist
    • Nurse Practitioner - express clinic
    • Local Optician - minor eye service (MECS)
    • Primary Care Visiting Service (PCVS)
    • Urgent care triage GP call list.

    The Triage GP will call you back to discuss your case. If this GP feels that you need to be seen urgently they will book an appointment for you to come into the surgery to see them later the same day. If less urgent they will book you in for another day. The Triage GP will also deal with all home visit requests.

    Please help us by making sure we have your up to date contact telephone numbers and that you are available to take their call.

    New Premises Update

    We have secured land (subject to contract) on the Longford Park housing estate in Bodicote to build a new surgery (we hope to be in by April 2020). As previously reported we have received a grant from NHS England to enable this to happen and we are currently working with our Project Managers to design the new building. Our new building will include more consulting and treatment rooms as well as many more car parking spaces. Our vision is to retain the spirit of Hightown but in a building more suited to modern general practice.

    This is an exciting time for Hightown and we will keep you updated as the project develops.

    A new way to get your medicines and appliances

    The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is an NHS service. It gives you the change to change how your GP sends your prescriptions to the place you choose.

    To find out more

    Electronic Prescription Service patient leaflet 

     Volunteer Connect Transport Scheme

    The Volunteer Connect Transport Scheme provides a service where volunteer drivers use their own cars to take people to essential appointments, where there is no reasonable alternative for them to travel (including appointments at GP surgeries).

    All the drivers are volunteers and give their time without charge.

    Passengers pay a mileage charge to help cover the driver's fuel cost.

    To book a journey or to find out about joining the team as a Volunteer Transport Telephone Administrator or a Volunteer Driver please call 0300 3030 125.

    Volunteer Transport    

               ‘Health and Care Oxfordshire’ app

    Download OCCG’s ‘Health and Care Oxfordshire’ app to your smart phone to find health services closest to where you are in Oxfordshire.

    Visit the app store to download the app for Android or iOS operating systems.

    See or

    Friends & Family Test

    Care Quality Commission 

    IT Developments

    New contractual arrangements came into force on 1st April 2014 requiring GP practices to make available a statement of intent about IT developments. Statement of Intent.pdf

    GP Federations

    GP practices in Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire are now working together as part of the PML GP Federation.

    The Federation is a new way of working for GPs and it was created to enhance the delivery of health and care services for the people in our area.

    There are 40 GP practices in Oxfordshire and 16 GP practices in Northamptonshire aligned to the PML GP Federation, covering a population of over 430,000.

    In Oxfordshire the Federation works in four locality groups covering the North, North East, West and part of the South West areas of Oxfordshire.


    In Northamptonshire, 16 GP practices are working with PML.


    Your GP practice is part of the NOxMed group, which is made up of 11 practices in the North of Oxfordshire.


    PML’s central office in Banbury provides administrative and management support, governance and strategic planning and each locality has its own clinical and administrative lead to ensure our health plans are tailored for our local population. 

    Find out more about the PML GP Federation follow the link

    The PML Federation has been awarded funds to pilot new ways of delivering services to help GP practices meet increasing demand.
    The aim is to improve services that patients receive through their GP Surgery. We are spending this new money on service trials in a number of locations. We will, over time, be able to measure the impact these new ways of working might have on patient care and on GP workloads.
    Where services are successful, we hope they will become mainstream and enable even more patients will benefit.

    Early Visiting Service
    The Early Visiting Service (EVS) is made up of a team of emergency care clinicians who will work closely with GP practices to provide home visits to the elderly and housebound.

    Named Accountable GP

    From 1st April 2015, the NHS has said that all GP Practices should allocate a named accountable GP to all patients, including children.

    Our patients are already assigned a named GP, (usual GP), and many of you will already know who this is for you.  If you would like to know the name of your accountable GP please ask next time you contact the practice.  

    This change will have no impact on the service you receive regarding provision of appointments at Hightown Surgery, your treatment, or which GP you can see. If asked by other Doctors please continue to use the name of the GP you normally see.

    Patients will still have access to all of our GPs and you can still request to see the Doctor or Nurse of your choice.

    Should you wish for your assigned GP to be changed we will do our best to accommodate your requests.


    Health News from the BBC and the NHS

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