Category Archives: News

Track your NHS Referral

If you have recently been referred to the NHS via the electronic referral system E-RS (previously known as Choose and book) and we have your mobile number recorded, you will have received a text with the information required to track your referral.

Visit Book an appointment using the NHS e-Referral Service – NHS ( where you will need to enter the booking reference number, year of birth and your unique access code, all of these can be found on the text you received.

Message to our patients – update on the COVID-19 booster programme

With the rapidly escalating numbers of Covid infection, many involving the new Omicron variant, it is vital that all adults receive their booster as soon as it is recommended after their second dose. This is essential to reduce the spread of infection, reduce hospitalisations and protect the NHS which is already working at maximum capacity.

Across Hertfordshire the NHS and its partners are working extremely hard to roll out the COVID-19 booster vaccination programme to our communities.

All adults are eligible from Monday 13 December, and you will be able to book via the National Booking System from Wednesday 15 December.

NHS: Book or manage coronavirus vaccine – NHSUse this service to book a 1st, 2nd, 3rd or booster dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine or manage an appointment. The NHS is working on plans to offer: a booster dose to everyone aged 18 to 29 years old a booster dose to people aged 16 years old and over with a severely weakened immune system.

You can book your booster for 3 months from the date of second vaccine, and you can access the National Booking System (as above) to book the appointment from 2 months.

Our local vaccination services at Allum Hall in Borehamwood will also be contacting our patients directly and inviting you to book.

New appointments are being added every day across our vaccination services. Further availability will come online from Wednesday 15 December.

All of these appointments will be added to the National Booking System and so we encourage everyone who is aged 18 and over, is yet to have their booster and who is approaching 3 months from your second vaccine to use the National Booking System to arrange your appointment when you are able to do so.

In terms of any planned appointments at the Red House Surgery Group, there are no changes at the current time and everyone should attend your planned appointments as normal. If we need to make any changes, we will contact you directly.

Letter to patients – July 2021

Dear Patients,

We are in unprecedented times, with all of us experiencing huge challenges and changes in how we live our day to day lives. We felt it was important to update you on how we are currently working at the Red House Surgery, the changes that we have made and plan to put in place and also to make you aware of the escalating levels of demand which we are now facing.

The past 18 months have been utterly unimaginable and it has affected every one of us. Whilst a lot of sectors and industries have shut or reduced their capacity in an effort to keep their employees safe, General Practice has not only remained open, but has increased the number of appointments available, ensured that all premises are COVID secure, changed the way we work overnight to maintain services safely, whilst at the same time delivering 75% of all COVID vaccines.

The Red House Surgery has adapted how we work to ensure that you continue to receive the care you need. Changes such as telephone and online triage were brought in, as requested by NHS England, not only to protect patients, but also to mitigate risk and protect the staff as much as possible, thereby ensuring that staff were able to come into work every single day throughout this pandemic. Whilst accessing us may have been different, we have always been open and have been seeing patients that needed to be seen.

During these challenging times for the country and the NHS, patients are, on occasion, expressing anger and frustration due to difficulties in how they access health care as a whole. Whilst most of our patients have sent messages of thanks and support, sadly there is an increase in verbal abuse that our reception staff and clinicians have had to experience. This, together with negative comments which are posted on social media, is demoralising when we are all trying our best to deliver care during these times and it has led to some staff feeling they need to reduce their hours or leave.

It has long been recognised that there is a huge problem in terms of recruitment and retention of GPs and whilst the Government have in the past pledged to increase GP numbers, the profession continues to see GPs leaving in large numbers with a predicted shortfall of 7,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) GPs in 2023/24 rising to 11,500 FTE GPs by 2028/29. In order to try to address this, NHSE made the decision that GP practices should start working together as Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and to fund aspects of Primary Care through these networks. The Red House Surgery is in a PCN with practices in Borehamwood, Elstree and Bushey. Despite the difficulties in recruiting GPs we are delighted to announce that we will have a new salaried GP starting with us in the next few months.

The Government has provided funding for PCNs which is ring fenced for employing certain staff, for example, physios, clinical pharmacists and paramedics and the Red House has welcomed these allied health care professionals to the practice. For this reason, when you call for an appointment you will be asked questions by our trained admin team as to the reason for your appointment. You may then be booked an appointment directly with one of these team members, who will be appropriately qualified to deal with your problem. For example, if you have an acutely painful knee you may be given an appointment with a physio, if you are not tolerating a medication you may be given an appointment with a clinical pharmacist. In addition we have a skilled and experienced team of paramedics and advanced nurse practitioners, all of whom are experts in dealing with a variety of minor illnesses.

Demand at The Red House, has been the highest we have ever faced, as we continue to deal with acutely unwell patients with Covid, as we attempt to support patients struggling to access secondary care due the immense backlogs resulting from the pandemic, as we adapt and change how we run the organisation in order to safely provide ongoing medical care to patients, as well as successfully delivering the largest and most important vaccination campaign in the history of the NHS.

On occasion, unfortunately some patients feedback that they struggle to get an appointment with a clinician in the timeframe they feel they need. As a result we reflected on this and we have reviewed our data. In April of this year we offered 7,333 appointments compared to 6,724 in April 2019, showing that in fact we have increased access by 609 appointments/month. We have also compared the waiting time to see GPs and there is no significant difference between 2019 and 2021; some GPs the wait was a little less, some a little more.

This increased access has been mirrored nationally with 8.4% more GP consultations in April 2021 than April 2019. GP clinical administrative workload – covering prescriptions, referral letters, messages to patients and other tasks – continues to increase and was 34% higher in April 2021 compared with the same period in 2019.

We are immensely proud of all our staff who have worked tirelessly, sometimes at a cost to themselves and their loved ones to ensure that patients get the best possible care that we can deliver under such challenging circumstances and understandably this has taken its toll. The risk of workforce burnout has been addressed by the Health and Social Care Committee chair, Jeremy Hunt, who said: ‘Workforce burnout across the NHS and care systems now presents an extraordinarily dangerous risk to the future functioning of both services. It will simply not be possible to address the backlog caused by the pandemic unless these issues are addressed.’

As we all continue to fight against this pandemic together, we ask that we show each other mutual respect and consideration. We will continue with our aim to provide the best care and support needed to our patients whilst keeping everyone safe.

Thank you.

Dr William Bagg, Dr Krish Gupte, Dr Bhavin Patel and Dr Violaine Carpenter

Partners – Red House Surgery

Face masks mandatory in general practice

We need to continue to do what we can to keep people safe from catching Covid-19. One way we can all help with this is by continuing to wear a face-covering in our practice and we are asking all patients to do that, as well as our staff. Keeping our staff safe is essential to keep operating efficiently.

We are also continuing to make sure we don’t have large numbers of patients in our waiting areas and on the premises – again this is about reducing the chance of infection when there are rising rates in the community.

The various measures we have taken, including increased use of personal protective equipment, patients wearing face masks, holding more virtual consultations, social distancing and extra premises cleans have helped protect staff, patients and visitors over the past year. Taking these steps has also enabled us to continue providing many of the non-urgent services that would otherwise have been postponed.

We want to make sure you can all be confident about accessing or visiting local healthcare services safely.

Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation with this – it makes a huge difference.

We have so far booked and vaccinated 15,351 patients…

We have so far booked and vaccinated 15,351(84%) patients for their 1st dose of Covid Vaccination at the Allum Hall site in Borehamwood as at 4th July2021

We have vaccinated 12,905(70%) patients for their 2nd dose of Covid Vaccination.

Please do not call us as or email us for your Covid Vaccination. The surgery will contact you to book an appointment. Many thanks.

Data Opt-Out Information 2021

The national data opt-out is a service that allows patients to opt out of their confidential patient information being used for research and planning.

The data extraction switch-on has now been delayed until September 2021

NHS Digital has been collecting anonymised data from GP practices for research purposes for years. On 1 September 2021 a new, daily, data collection process will begin. You can find out more about this on the NHS Digital website. You may not want your identifiable patient data to be shared for purposes except for your own care. If this is the case, you can opt out by registering a Type 1 Opt-out.

If you do not want your data to be shared with NHS Digital please register your Type 1 Opt-out with the surgery before 1st September 2021.

The data held in your GP medical records is shared with other healthcare professionals for the purposes of your individual care. It is also shared with other organisations to support health and care planning and research.

You can register a Type 1 Opt-out , for yourself or for a dependent (if you are the parent or legal guardian of the patient), by completing the Type 1 Opt-Out Form Forms should be returned to the surgery before the 1st September 2021. For more information click on the links below.

Make your choice about sharing data from your health records – NHS (

GP data sharing: What is it and can I opt out? (BBC News Website)

GP Practice ‘re-opening’ Update From Monday 17th May

You may have seen on the news that from Monday 17 May, doors at GP practices are ‘re-opening’. As you will know, our GP practice has been open throughout the pandemic, offering patients telephone and online appointments, with face to face consultations available for those who need them. This was in-line with national requirements to keep patients safe, whilst COVID infection rates were high and before the vaccination was widespread.

GP practices are now being encouraged to offer patients a choice of whether they would like a remote or face to face consultation. However, before we have more people coming into the surgery to see us in person, we need a bit of time to put in place measures to keep everyone safe.

As we wait for further national guidance on doing that, we ask that patients continue to contact us by phone or online as you have been doing. We are facing unprecedented demands for our services and will need to continue to adjust how we use our clinicians’ time to best support our patients – particularly those who need us the most.

We will keep you updated as soon as we are clear about how we can re-open our reception areas safely. Thank you for your support.

Information for patients about the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Clinical Commissioning Groups in Hertfordshire and West Essex have provided information for patients about the Astra Zeneca vaccine. You may be aware that some European countries have temporarily paused its use as a precautionary measure, following reports of blood clots in a small number of people who had recently had the vaccine.

Question: Does the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine cause blood clots?

Answer: Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon. Reports of blood clots received so far are not greater than the number that we would normally expect to see amongst the groups of the population who have been vaccinated. People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.

More than 11 million doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine have now been administered across the UK. Vaccine safety is of paramount importance and the regulatory agency, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) continually monitors the safety of vaccines in the UK.

For more information and a statement from the MHRA, please visit

The above information, along with answers to other frequently asked questions about the vaccine roll-out, is available on the A Healthier Future COVID-19 website.