18th August 2020
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
As some of you may be aware, our surgery Phlebotomist Tracy is currently unwell.
Whilst we can confirm this is NOT Covid-19 related, it is sadly a serious condition and we are all worried about her.
As you can imagine it has been hard for her colleagues and work friends to know that she is so unwell, as she is the absolute heart and soul of Hightown. I would therefore ask you PLEASE do not approach any member of staff to ask for further information at this time as this could be quite upsetting and distract from your consultation.
You are welcome to send Tracy expressions of support yourself but we are obviously unable to give out her contact details.
We will, of course, keep you updated as we hear any further news.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
Face covering exemption cards
Some people cannot wear a face covering or mask due to disability or extreme distress. The link below gives printable cards which you can show to explain in public situations.
Face mask exemption cards
Better Health Campaign
Public Health England has launched a major new adult health campaign to seize the opportunity for a nation reset moment. Better Health aims to capture the imagination of the nation, using this unique moment in time to help kick start out health to eat better and get active. Covid-19 has affected the whole country; for almost everyone, life has had to fundamentally change, but it has also prompted many people to reflect and think more seriously about their health.
The brand-new Better Health webpage is available at https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/. It provides tools to help you manage your weight loss - from checking your BMI, access to free support tools including the NHS 12-week weight loss plan. It will help you to make healthier choices by providing you with the most up to date evidence based healthy eating and physical activity advice in a magazine format that enables you to keep track of your calorie intake, portions of fruit and veg, physical activity levels and teaches skills to prevent weight gain.
PHE are also working with a number of well-known weight management providers that will be offering exclusive discounts across their weight loss programmes. Partners include, WW Weight Watchers reimagined, Slimming World and Get Slim, get health. For full details of these offers and to find out about other Better Health Partner, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/.
We are pleased to welcome our new Salaried GP, Dr Youssef El-Gingihy who joins us from the 10th June!
Get Well, Keep Well
Of course we’re not just here for when you are unwell. Our team of healthcare professionals and back-up staff offer a number of clinics and services to promote good health and wellbeing whatever your medical condition.
We hope you enjoy having a look around the site and familiarising yourself with some of the online features. Whatever your thoughts, be sure to let us know via our feedback function. [please note this function should purely be used to feedback any comments relating to this website. For any feedback relating to the practice please contact us in the usual way]
Comments and suggestions are always a great way of helping us continue to enhance the way we look after you. Please contact us directly to with any feedback.
You can also leave feedback by clicking on the Healthwatch icon at the bottom of this page.
Book Appointments, Order Repeat Prescriptions and View Your Medical Record Online with Patient Access
Log in to Patient Access
(to register go to Reception with 2 forms of identification, one should be photographic e.g. passport or photocard driving licence and one should be to confirm your address e.g. recent bank statement or utility bill)
For a greater level of access please complete this form and return to the Practice.
Application for Online Services
Please click on the link below if you would like to leave feedback about the practice.
Welcome Dr Roope!
ST3 GP Registrar Emma Roope joins us at Hightown from Feb.
Walk towards a healthier and happier version of yourself. Achieve have partnered with leading weight loss providers including Weight-Watchers, Man V Fat and Slimming World to deliver on-going support as you achieve healthy weight loss. They provide the tools and encouragement to see you through your weight loss journey.
Click on the link to GET STARTED!
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.
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
We Are Undefeatable is a national campaign to support the 15 million people who live with one or more long-term health conditions in England.
Launched in August 2019, it aims to help those with conditions such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis and Parkinson’s to build physical activity into their lives.
The campaign is led by a collaboration of 15 leading health and social care charities and benefits from our expertise and insight, along with National Lottery funding.
Click on the link below to find out more
Why the campaign is needed
One in four people in England live with a long-term health condition, and individuals in this group are twice as likely to be inactive despite evidence that being active can help manage many conditions and help reduce the impact and severity of some symptoms.
Even small amounts of activity can make a significant difference to overall health and wellbeing.
About the campaign
We Are Undefeatable has been launched to inspire, reassure and support people to be active by showing people living with a variety of conditions – both visible and invisible – on their own journeys to being active.
Living Well at Katharine House Hospice
KHH are launching their new Living Well Service on Mon 30th Sept 2019. The new service is designed to reach more people in our local community; those with life threatening illnesses both with and without specialist needs, their carers, the bereaved and the general public.
The Living Well Service provides a safe, friendly and welcoming environment where you can come for advice, support and to meet people in a similar position to yourself.
Katharine House are running drop-in days on Mondays and Thursdays as of the 30th September, people can just turn up to these sessions. Service users attending drop-in will need to be independent with mobility and personal care. A range of activities will be available on these days, some of which service users will need to pre-book. However, people are very welcome to just come along to meet the team, find out a bit more about what’s on offer and join us for tea or coffee.
For more information visit https://www.khh.org.uk/livingwell
Flu Vaccination Programme 2019-2020
This year, three types of flu vaccine will be used in the flu programme.
This will benefit patients by ensuring that they have the most suitable vaccine that gives them the best protection against flu.
The three vaccines are:
- Adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine (aTIV) - This is licensed for people aged 65 years and over (on 31.03.20) [born on or before 31.03.55]
- Quadrivalent vaccine (QIV) - This is recommended for children aged from 6 months to 2 years and in adults from 18 years to less than 65 years of age who are at increased risk from flu because of a long term health condition.
- Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) - This is a nasal spray and is licensed for children and young people from 2 years old to less than 18 years of age.
Eligible patients will shortly be sent a letter or text inviting them to book an appointment for their free yearly flu vaccination.
Clinics will run on separate dates for the different vaccine types. Our clinics will run through September, October and November and will be set up to align with our vaccine deliveries.
When telephoning the practice to make your appointment please tell us the code in your letter/text to ensure you get booked into the correct clinic.
Flu is an unpredictable virus that and can be unpleasant, but if you are otherwise healthy it will usually clear up on its own within a week.
It can cause severe illness and even death among vulnerable groups including older people, pregnant women and people with an underlying health condition.
Certain people are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These people are advised to have a flu vaccine each year.
For otherwise healthy people flu can be very unpleasant, however most people will recover from flu within a week or 2.
People who should have a flu vaccine
The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to help protect them against catching flu and developing serious complications.
You should have the flu vaccine if you:
- are 65 years old or over
- are pregnant
- have certain medical conditions
- are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
- receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
Frontline health and social care workers are also eligible to receive the flu vaccine. It is your employer's responsibility to arrange and pay for this vaccine.
You may also be able to have the flu vaccine at your GP surgery if you're a frontline health or social care worker employed by a:
- registered residential care/nursing home
- registered homecare organisation
Flu vaccine for children
The flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:
- children over the age of 6 months with a long-term health condition
- children aged 2 and 3 years on 31 August 2019 – that is, born between 1 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2017
- children in primary school
Children aged between 6 months and 2 years who are eligible for the flu vaccine will receive an injected flu vaccine.
Children eligible for the flu vaccine aged between 2 and 17 will usually have the flu vaccine nasal spray.
Pregnant women and the flu vaccine
If you're pregnant, you're advised to have the injectable flu vaccine, regardless of the stage of pregnancy you've reached.
That's because there's strong evidence to suggest pregnant women have an increased risk of developing complications if they get flu.
If you're pregnant, you will benefit from the flu vaccine because:
- it reduces your chance of getting serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy
- it reduces your risk of having a miscarriage, or your baby being born prematurely or with a low birthweight because of flu
- it will help protect your baby as they will continue to have some immunity to flu for the first few months of their life
It's safe to have the flu vaccine at any stage of pregnancy from conception onwards. Talk to your GP, midwife if you want more information.
Wanted - wheelchair
The practice are looking for a wheelchair for use by patients when visiting the surgery.
If you have one going spare that you would be willing to donate to the surgery please speak to our Reception team.
Bright Sky is a free to download mobile app providing support and information for anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.
The app is available to use in Polish, Punjabi and Urdu.
A unique UK-wide directory of specialist domestic abuse support services, so you can contact your nearest service by phone from the app, searching by area name, postcode or using your current location.
A secure My Journal tool, where incidents of abuse can be logged in text, audio, video or photo form, without any of the content being saved on the device itself.
Questionnaires to assess the safety of a relationship, plus a section on dispelling myths around domestic and sexual abuse.
Information about domestic abuse, the different kinds of support available, tips to improve your online safety, and how to help someone you know who is experiencing domestic abuse.
Advice and information on issues around sexual consent, stalking and harassment.
Contact details and the ability to call national helplines providing support for those affected by domestic and sexual abuse across the UK.
Links to further resources and information on topics around domestic abuse.
* If you ever feel in immediate danger, contact 999 immediately.
* For your safety, we advise you to only download the app onto a device which you feel safe using and which only you have access to. Only take the questionnaires in a private place, preferably on your own so that nobody is able to influence the outcome.
* Before using the app’s My Journal feature, make sure that you have an email address which is secure and that nobody else has access to. If you need to, you can make a new one.
* For confidentiality purposes, most of the addresses given in the app’s FIND HELP tool are those of the service’s local authority or council offices, not the organisation’s own address. You are able to contact advocates via telephone.
* Please be aware that any calls made will show in your phone’s call history and on the billpayer’s phone bill.
* The ‘Am I at Risk?’ questionnaire within the app is designed to give users an indication of the signs of potential abuse within their relationship, or in ‘Family or Friend at Risk?’, the relationship of a friend or family member. However, this should not be taken as the only indication of the health of any relationship. If you are unsure, we always advise you to contact your nearest support service, or learn more about how you can help someone you know, which can be found using the Bright Sky app.
Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in. It is particularly common in older people due to:
- medications - some medications have a diuretic effect whilst others can cause increased sweating.
- decreased thirst - a person's thirst can lessen with age
- mobility problems - or reliance on others to provide drinks can result in insufficient fluid in-take.
- memory problems - without prompting some people forget to drink enough fluids
- reluctance to drink - many older people are reluctant to drink to avoid the need to go the toilet.
- decreased kidney function - as our bodies age they lose kidney function and ware are less able to conserve fluid.
Recognising the signs can help prevent serious illness.
Mild to moderate symptoms
- feeling thirsty and lightheaded
- dry mouth
- dark coloured, strong smelling urine
- passing urine less often than usual
- dry skin
As people age, their sense of thirst and appetite reduces and they become less interested in cooking nutritious meals and maintaining good levels of hydration.
There are many reasons why a balanced diet and adequate levels of hydration are beneficial. Patients that are well nourished and hydrated are less likely to get a urinary tract infection. A balanced diet that includes 6-8 glasses of water a day can improve a patients immune system and reduce their recovery time from common minor ailments.
Hydration does not always have to come from fluids. There are lots of foods out there that are not only nutritious, but have a high water content too. Elderly patients and children may find them more enjoyable.
Some examples are cucumber, melon, ice cream, soup.
To check if you are drinking enough click on the link below.
Are you drinking enough
Protecting against HPV infection to help reduce risk of cancer.
The universal HPV immunisation programme
The HPV vaccine has been offered to all girls in school year 8 for over 10 years. From September 2019 the vaccine will also be offered to year 8 boys. This is because the evidence is clear that the HPV vaccine helps protect both boys and girls from HPV-related cancers.
For further information please click on the link below
HPV vaccination leaflet
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.
We are now using Chain SMS to message patients !
Chain SMS is ...
A system which allows us to easily sent text messages to patients. It means we can be much more proactive about some communications, messaging you quickly and securely, so you are now waiting around to hear from us!
Some examples of how we might use it...
- Reminders or notifications (e.g. prescription ready)
- Responding to simple queries (e.g. if you had a quick question about your medication)
- Letting you know we tried to call.
- Sending you advice at the end of a consultation.
The practice name will always be at the bottom of the message. You won't be able to reply to them. Please help us to help you by keeping your number up to date. If you don't want us to contact you in this way please let us know.
Health Visitors run a drop in clinic every Friday 9.30 - 11.30 am for practical feeding advice and support from pregnancy, birth and beyond.
East Street Children's Centre
Calder Close, Banbury, OX16 3WR
Please click on the link below for further clinic locations, contact details and other resources.
Single Point of Access
Single Point of Access can help you or someone you care for access help from Occupational Therapists, physiotherapists or Social Services. Ring (their number) to discuss your care needs
Please call 01865 903750
Blandford Fly Bite Advice
For the latest advice from the NHS Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group regarding what to do if you are bitten, please Click Here
Do you have a child at primary school that gets anxious and worried?
At standing in the gap we know...
families come in many different shapes and sizes. However sometimes families need advice and support to help the children manage BIG emotions. BIG emotions include fear, anxiety, anger and bereavement.
Often when children become anxious its hard as parents and teachers to know what to do for the best. Do we ignore it, reassure them or hope its a phase they will grow out of. If your child is a worrier come along with them and learn about what anxiety is, using our crazy doorbell. Find out what can help and what techniques as parents you can use to help your child to move forward.
Standing in the gap off free workshops to help children 0-11 manage big emotions
Workshops take place every month in the community room at Waitrose store on Southam Road Banbury.
Please click on the link below for further information.
Managing the wibbles and wobbles of anxiety
Smokefreelife Oxfordshire is a service by Solutions 4 Health
Offering drop in sessions with fully trained advisors at clinics across Oxfordshire.
Free weekly, one to one or group sessions over 12 weeks, as well as free weekly supply of Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
Clinics are within local community settings including, shopping centres, community centres and worship places.
For further details visit: www.smokefreelifeoxfordshire.co.uk
text: QUIT to 66777
Keep it or cancel it - but please don't waste it.
Did you know that there are around 12 million missed GP appointments every year?
That's over 46,000 appointments every week, and costs the NHS around £162 million.
Missed appointments waste NHS resources and can cause serious delays in treatment for other patients.
If you no longer need your appointment or cannot attend please let us know as soon as possible so that we can offer it to another patient.
Free online sleep therapy
Sleepio is a fully automated online sleep improvement programme for poor sleep, which delivers tailored and engaging advice, 24/7 based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). It is also NICE evaluated and NHS endorsed.
Around 20% of the adult population have persistence poor sleep. Sleepio is clinically proven to help those with insomnia make the changes necessary to achieve healthy sleep levels. In addition to better sleep, Sleepio users report improved productivity, more energy during the day and a reduction in anxiety and depression.
Anyone can access the Sleepio programme.
Click here for the link. https://go.bighealth.com/sleepio_nhs
School Health Nurse
If you have a child aged 5 - 11 years attending a primary school in Banbury, Burford or Carterton parents can contact the school health nurse team directly to request help or advice for their child.
For children at Banbury primary schools please telephone 01865 904234.
Further information on the service is available on the link below.
Oxfordshire Mind - Peer Support Groups
Oxfordshire Mind peer support groups are a safe, welcoming space to share activities, issues or thoughts and to meet people who may have experienced similar issues.
Groups take place in Banbury, Witney, Bicester and Chipping Norton each week.
For full details please click on the clinics & services tab at the top of this page and then select mental health.
NHS Zero Tolerance Policy
Our staff are here to help you and will always try to be as polite and helpful as possible even during difficult times.
There is an NHS Zero Tolerance Policy against shouting, swearing or threatening behaviour, which will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Patients and members of the public who are abusive or threatening towards our staff maybe asked to leave. It may sometimes by necessary for patients to be removed from our list.
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.
Physical activity opportunities in Banbury
There are three new physical activity initiatives in and around Banbury. All are directly accessible – no referral needed.
- MAN V FAT Football
- Families Active, Sporting Together (FAST)
- Banbury weekly parkrun
For further information please click on the tab at the top of this page (Clinics & Services - Patient Self Referral Services)
Oxfordshire Health Visiting Team
Delivering guidance and support to parents of babies and toddlers.
Tel 01865 904 440
Click on the link below for full details.
Heath Visiting Team - how we can help
If parents wish to weigh their baby or toddler or if the query isn't urgent you can attend the Banbury weekly well baby clinics:
Wednesdays 10am - 12 noon Thursday 10am - 11am
East Street Children's Centre, Grimsbury Sunshine Centre, Bretch Hill
Free wifi now available in practice.
look up health information, download health apps and browse the internet.
There is a simple registration process to set up your account on first use.
Oxfordshire County Council – Live Well Oxfordshire website:
Have you ever wondered how to find out about local wellbeing activities and services for your patients? The Live Well Oxfordshire website is Oxfordshire County Council’s online directory of over 2000 activities and services available across the county.
For more information please click on the attachment
The directory can be accessed here: livewell.Oxfordshire