Old news articles

Alcohol Awareness Week (15-21 November)

Do you drink for taste, fun, stress or routine? Has anyone mentioned your drinking to you? How do you feel at the thought of cutting down for a period of time? Understanding why you drink and how it affects you and the people around you is the first step to making a positive change.

You can take the two-minute DrinkCoach Alcohol Test to see how alcohol may be impacting on you – see here drinkcoach

[posted 12.11.21]

Oxfordshire CCG is backing a campaign urging people to check their blood pressure (BP) regularly.

Know Your Numbers

The charity Blood Pressure UK is running its annual ‘Know Your Numbers’ campaign from 6-12 September 2021. People with undiagnosed and uncontrolled high BP are more at risk from serious health issues such as stroke and heart attack.


Know Your Numbers Infographics.docx

Name change for practice team

From 1st July our Reception team have changed their name to Patient Services with Receptionists being known as Patient Services Navigators.

This change is to more accurately reflect the duties of the role.

Working under the direction of the GPs and strictly in accordance with Practice guidelines and protocols, the Patient Services Navigator will facilitate the patient journey in accessing the appropriate service or healthcare professional in a courteous, efficient and effective way.

Provide the best options and reach a positive outcome for the patient while projecting a positive and friendly image, either in person or via the telephone.

Provide an important interface between other healthcare professionals and the practice team.


When servicemen and women leave the armed forces, their healthcare becomes the responsibility of the NHS.

A veteran is someone who has served in the armed forces for at least one day. There are around 2.8 million veterans in the UK.

If you are a veteran please let us know.

Telling us about your veteran status will allow the transfer of  your full medical documentation from the Ministry of Defence to us and enable you to benefit from additional veteran-specific services.

How to access the Transition, Intervention and Liaison (TIL) mental health service

If you have any questions then please speak to a member of our reception team.

Blood pressure monitor amnesty.

Have you been loaned a blood pressure monitor by us?

Could you please return it back to the practice promptly at the end of your monitoring period to ensure equipment is available for use by other patients.

Thank you.

New Bowel Cancer screening test

Bowel Scope Screening is a one-off screening test offered to men and women at the age of 55 years old. Patients aged 56 to 59 are able to self-refer. It is a new modality of screening and will run in addition to the current FOBT screening home test kit sent to people’s homes from the age of 60.  

Bowel Scope Screening patients are invited into hospital to have a one-off flexible sigmoidoscopy procedure to find and remove any small polyps in the left side of the bowel, that could eventually turn into cancer. It has been demonstrated that participation in Bowel Scope Screening can reduce the incident of bowel cancer by 40% and reduce bowel cancer mortality by 50%.

Hightown Surgery patients turning 55 years old will automatically be invited for screening.

Further information is available on the NHS link below.


Further information to help you decide:


Bowel screening FIT


Hightown Surgery are a finalist in the Oxford Mail and Oxford Times Health & Care Awards.

They received a huge amount of entries, so to become a finalist really is a fantastic achievement.

Please find our Finalists Certificate attached.

GP Practice of the Year finalist

You can watch the awards ceremony live on Facebook
Friday 21st May at 7.00pm


August 2020

Tracy Wincott

Many of you will know by now that Tracy, our practice phlebotomist, has been off sick for the last 6 weeks and that we have all been very worried about her.

It is my very sad duty to now tell you that dear Tracy passed away this morning, peacefully and surrounded by her family in her own home. 

Tracy was the absolute heart and soul of Hightown for the last 14 years and very much loved by all of us and many, many of our patients.

I'm sorry, on behalf of the whole practice, to bring this deeply shocking news and know that this will be a personal loss for some of you too.

The practice will be happy to pass any cards to the family.

Dr Louise Cornwall, Senior Partner


Parkrun 1st June

Hightown participate in park run on 1st June for the parkrun pledge day.

Across the country parkrun smashed the original target of 1,000 GPs and doubled that to 2,000 GPs pledged…PLUS 2,737 patients and staff also participating on the day!

Hightown Surgery is a parkrun practice

Banbury weekly parkrun

Hightown Surgery is a parkrun practice. We encouraging staff and patients to attend the Banbury parkrun as volunteers, runners, walkers, spectators.  

Dr Cornwall completee her 100th parkrun this January.

There's evidence that whatever level people participate at there are positive mental and physical health benefits. 


What is Banbury parkrun?

It is a 5km run - it's you against the clock.

When is it?

Every Saturday at 9:00am.

Where is it?

The event takes place in Spiceball park, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 2QU.

How fast do I have to be?

We all run for our own enjoyment. Please come along and join in whatever your pace!

What does it cost to join in?

Nothing - it's free! but please register before your first run.

For more information on this years Banbury parkrun click here Banbury parkrun   Love parkrun

New telephone system

From 30th April we have a new telephone system in the practice.

Please note that calls are recorded for training and monitoring purposes. This includes calls you make to us, and calls we make to you.

Please see section 9. Practice Policies for the phone call recording policy.

Oxfordshire breast screening 2019

Oxfordshire breast screening programme are inviting women registered with the practice for screening in June and July 2019. The women will be asked to attend the mobile unit at The Horton Hospital Banbury.


The breast screening programme are currently running an age extension trial, meaning that women from either the younger age group (47-49) or from the older age group (71-73) will be invited for screening as well as the routine age group (50-71st birthday).


For futher information please click on the links below;


Breast screening - helping you decide

Easy guide to breast screening

Its National Breastfeeding Celebration Week -

from Monday 17th June

Breastfeeding is a skill that takes time to get the hang of - for helpful tips check out Start4Life.

With all the great stories going around, it's important to remember that it can take a while to feel confident about breastfeeding. If you ever need any help or support, don't be afraid to get help.

Breastfeeding Celebration Week


1st June 2019 - GP parkrun pledge day

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the parkrun success Hightown Surgery GP's and practice staff are joining the GP parkrun Pledge Day on 01 June 2019 - a chance for GPs and practice staff across the country to pledge to participate (be it walk, run or volunteer) at their local parkrun.


We have sadly had to say farewell to Partner Dr Park and Associate GP Dr Subramaniam as they embark on their exciting new adventures in New Zealand and Australia! They will be greatly missed by all staff and patients at Hightown Surgery but we wish them both the very best of luck for the future.

Furthermore, Dr Ahmed, Dr Harrison, Dr Chellar and Dr Nichols will be covering regular locum sessions with us over the upcoming months as we are still yet to recruit a regular GP.

An afternoon with Oxford maternity staff

On Saturday 18 May 2019, Oxford University Hospitals and Oxfordshire Maternity Voices Partnership will host an open afternoon called 'Your journey to parenthood: from planning a pregnancy to becoming a family', where attendees will have the opportunity to access a wealth of knowledge from experts working in the various areas of Maternity Services. For further information, please Click here

Practice planned move update

After much consideration and discussion within the practice, the partners of Hightown Surgery have decided that we are no longer able to proceed with the planned move to a new surgery at Longford Park. The main reason for this decision is the increasing financial risk to the partners as the costs of the new build and other project costs have escalated over time. This is no longer manageable for the partnership, especially in the current climate of worsening destabilisation of general practices in the UK.


When we applied in good faith for this project in 2015, there was still hope that national and local developments could and would make general practice sustainable for partnerships, both clinically and financially, but this has very much turned out not to be the case in Banbury as elsewhere in the UK. With escalating difficulties around recruitment,  increasing clinical risk, and impaired stability in other local practices, we simply cannot afford to take on an additional financial risk of this magnitude at this time, however great the potential benefits are for primary care in Banbury or to manage the increased workload on the partners and the practice manager to deliver this project which is time taken away from the day to day running of the practice at a time when we need to prioritise patient care.


We know that this news will be disappointing to some local stakeholders and to our patients, as indeed it is to us, but we feel that the choice is between remaining open as a practice or taking an unconscionable and unjustified risk to our future as a practice, and therefore must choose the path of continuing to provide high quality care for our patients from our current premises for the foreseeable future.

Do you order your repeat prescriptions by fax or via the Hightown website?

From October 2018 we will no longer be accepting repeat prescription requests by fax.


From January 2019 we will no longer be accepting repeat prescription requests via the Hightown website.


Please speak to our Reception Team about signing up for Patient Online Services which is a more secure system.

Did you know? ...You 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.

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.

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. Maureen.cox@btopenworld.com 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.

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  http://bit.ly/iphoneappchoosewell or http://bit.ly/androidappchoosewell

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 http://www.principal-medical.co.uk/Community_Services.php

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.


The NHS 111 'Help Us Help You – Know What to Do’ campaign.

This winter NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England is once again running the overarching NHS Winter Pressures campaign – ‘Help Us, Help You’ - to help the public understand how they can stay well this winter and access appropriate services.

This phase aims to increase the number of people contacting NHS 111 when they have an urgent, but non-life-threatening, medical need so that they can be directed (either over the phone or online) to the most appropriate service. The campaign encourages people to go straight to NHS 111, instead of worrying, self-diagnosing or second-guessing what they should do when they have an urgent health problem.

Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website