Blog Archive

Self Refer to Physio

Do you have a problem with your muscles, joints or bones?

If so, you may not need to see one of our doctors.

If you are aged 16 or over, you can SELF REFER to the physiotherapy department based at Dene Drive, Winsford, next to Aldi. The service is free as part of your NHS care. You do not need to see the doctor first, and do not need permission for referral.

Please ask at reception for the self-referral form, fill in all your relevant details, including your contact details and hand back to the receptionist. The physio department will contact you directly to arrange your appointment.

We also have a highly trained First Contact Practitioner at the surgery who works with the Doctors and the rest of the team to assess, diagnose and manage patients with muscle, joint and bone problems. Our reception team may offer you an appointment directly with the Practitioner, without seeing the Doctor first. The Practitioner will assess your joint, muscle and bone problems, diagnose and help you to manage your condition.


Some patients prefer to take their own swab. If you have been asked to have swabs and would like to take this yourself, please ask for an information leaflet from Reception.

Young People

Young people are often scared of coming to the doctors because they think we will mention things to their parents; THIS IS NOT THE CASE!! We see lots of young people and talk to them in the same way as we would to adults. We are not allowed to mention anything to your parents; this would be breaking confidentiality and risking our jobs! It is fine for you to bring a friend if you would feel happier with someone in the room to give moral support!

The only time we may have to tell parents or other people would be if your life or someone else’s was in serious danger but we would have to tell you this at the time. Members of staff in the surgery will not be able to mention anything to your parents either and we certainly won’t mention it if we see you with your folks in Morrisons!

We are a practice with a lot of younger members of staff, nurses and GPs – none of whom are old fashioned. We understand what it is like to be a young person and what issues and dilemmas you are going through.

If you’re a bit embarrassed by what your body looks like, or you’re not sure about something and can’t chat about it with your mates… pop in! We are happy to reassure you of what is normal, or not!

Sometimes you might not know who to turn to if you’ve been bullied, or are feeling angry, frustrated or down. As a practice, we’re happy to chat about anything with you, in confidence.

You may wish to access alternative support and within this booklet we have included a list of useful website links and contacts which you may want to consider in relation to young people and families requiring additional support.

We’re happy to talk to everyone about contraception and the different options available, and we also offer free STI checks.

If you’ve been caught out and you think you might be at risk of pregnancy then DON’T DELAY! If you ring the surgery we will always try to see you on the same day. At the weekend most chemists can give out the morning after pill for free. The sooner this is taken, the more effective it is.

Check out

Urine and Stool Samples

Some people do find it embarrassing to discuss these but please do ask if you have any questions about how to collect samples. Samples can be returned via Reception. Please always make sure that any sample bottle is labelled with your name and date of birth and that the lid is on tightly.

Self Certification

You do not require a doctor’s sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.

Evidence that you are sick

If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).

It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.

You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.

Statement of Fitness for Work – ’Fit Note’

The ‘fit note’ was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer’s support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.

For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced).

Think Pharmacy – Minor Ailments Scheme

Pharmacists play a key role in providing quality healthcare to patients.  Working in the community, pharmacists use their clinical expertise together with their practical knowledge to ensure the safe supply and use of medicines by patients and members of the public.

Many pharmacies in the local area offer the ‘Think Pharmacy’ service. This service is an alternative to visiting your GP, making it easier for you and your family to get healthcare and advice on minor ailments at a time that suits you.

Your local pharmacy can offer advice and if necessary, prescribe medication to treat the following ailments under the Minor Ailments service:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Cystitis
  • Impetigo
  • Oral thrush in babies
  • Scabies
  • Threadworm
  • Vaginal thrush

Pharmacists can also offer advice on common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains as well as healthy eating and stopping smoking.

You can talk to your pharmacist in confidence, even about the most personal symptoms and you don’t need to make an appointment; most pharmacies now have a private consultation area where patients can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard by other members of the public.

Consultations are always free and confidential, regardless of whether the pharmacist gives you any medication.

Find your nearest pharmacy

Test Results

Test results are electronically returned to the practice but can take several days. You can register to view your results on line. Please contact Reception to find out how. We will normally text your results if we have an up to date mobile number for you (please contact us if you need to update your records). We will always contact you with abnormal results that need further action.

If you want to double check your results please contact Reception after 2pm.

Prescription Charges

Extensive exemption and remission arrangements protect those likely to have difficulty in paying charges (NHS prescription and dental charges, optical and hospital travel costs).

The NHS prescription charge is a flat-rate amount which successive Governments have thought it reasonable to charge for those who can afford to pay for their medicines. Prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) offer real savings for people who need extensive medication.

NHS charges

These charges apply in England only. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales prescriptions are free of charge.

  • Prescription (per item): £8.60
  • 12-month prepayment certificate (PPC): £104.00
  • 3-month PPC: £29.10

If you will have to pay for four or more prescription items in three months, or more than 15 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a PPC.

There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website

Repeat Prescriptions

Repeat prescriptions may be ordered:

  • Online (See reception for details)
  • By Post
  • In person (Using the post box in reception)


We will try to have prescriptions ready within two working days.  You can order your prescriptions a week in advance.  Items that are not on your repeat tick list will be passed to the prescribing team for authorisation.

EPS (Electronic Prescription Service)
This service allows your prescription to be sent electronically to a pharmacy of your choice. We will be only too happy to set this up for you so please let Reception know if you would prefer this method.

Pharmacies have their own lead times and will advise you of these.


If your doctor recommends an Xray, they will give you a form which must be taken to the Xray department. Xrays can be taken at Leighton Hospital Monday – Friday 9.00am – 7.15pm and at Victoria Infirmary, Northwich, Monday – Friday 9.30am – 4.15pm. An appointment is not needed. Please report to Xray Reception with your form.