PPG Newsletter Winter 2023 to 2024




Welcome to your Winter newsletter for this year. 



There is still time to get your annual flu jab, please contact the practice if you are yet to receive your vaccination and would like to book.

Sittingbourne GPs are not offering the new covid booster vaccination, but these can be booked on the NHS App, or you can wait to be called by NHSE to one of the local centres. It is worth keeping an eye on the Health and Wellbeing section of the Kent and Medway NHS website. 

There will be a pop up clinic for the Covid vaccine boosters at Iwade health Centre on the following dates.

  • Saturday 20th January 2024 from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm.
  • Saturday 27th January 2024 from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm.

Did Not Attend

Despite our constant reminders for people to attend the appointments they have been given, patients are still not attending and not letting the surgery know.

There has been no difference to the figures which have been quoted in the past few issues of this newsletter.

It isn’t hard to cancel your appointment, and it has been made even easier if you get text reminders, because you can cancel with one click if you find out you can’t attend.


CQC Inspection

Details of the recent CQC inspection are available on the CQC website.

CQC were concerned that some patients, when invited for their reviews they ignored both letters and follow up phone call. CQC recommended that the Practice reduce the amount when issuing medication to these patients until they had been for their review. This makes a lot of work for the practice and is very inconvenient for the patient.

When you are called for a review please book an appointment so that there is no interruption to your medication.


Infection Control

Image of a woman wearing a covid mask

Please be aware that Covid has not gone away, and a new variant is doing the rounds, especially in our local schools.

It is still necessary to take precautions, especially if you are recognised as a vulnerable person. Feel free to use the hand sanitiser when visiting the surgery which is at the entrance to the waiting room.


Did you Know?

Did you know that as we get older parts of our body don’t work as well as they used to? Of course, you did. But – one such organ with less obvious deterioration as we get older is the kidney.

A recent release of searches looked at patients who had had an Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) blood test in recent months, and where two of these tests had proved to be on the border line of the preferred range.  This test measures the level of creatinine levels, a waste product that comes from the digestion of dietary protein and the normal breakdown of muscle tissue. Getting an accurate GFR level is challenging because measured GFR (mGFR) is a complicated and lengthy process; healthcare professionals use a formula to estimate GFR to help ascertain whether a patient might be at risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Often, CKD does not have any symptoms until the later stages of the disease. This is the reason why reliable estimates of GFR are so important for identifying CKD as early as possible.

Early-stage CKD doesn’t usually cause symptoms, but a GP may recommend an eGFR test if you are at higher risk of developing the disease. CKD risk factors include diabetes and high blood pressure.


Surgery News

Staffing changes

We are very sad to be saying goodbye to Donna our Advanced Nurse Practitioner who will be retiring in March 2024, we hope you will join us in wishing her well in her retirement.

New services

A new respiratory hub has opened this winter for Sittingbourne and Sheppey patients. The clinic is held at Minster Medical Centre, if you call the practice with one of the following conditions you may be offered a same-day appointment to visit the hub to have a review with one of their clinicians.

  • new cough, more breathless than normal, new wheeze, 
  • Ear pain
  • Sore throat
  • Suspected Strep Throat

New Shingles Advice

Changes to the NHS Shingles Vaccination Programme from 1 September 2023:

  • Shingrix vaccine offered as a two dose schedule (6 to 12 months apart) to those turning 65 and 70 years from 1 September 2023 to 31 August 2028 (those aged 70-79 that were eligible before 1 September 2023 will still be eligible for Zostavax until stocks are depleted, after which they will be offered Shingrix)
  • Immunocompromised: Shingrix vaccine offered as a two dose schedule (8 weeks to 6 months apart) to those aged 50 and over (no upper age limit)

Published: Jan 16, 2024