Covid-19 Out of Hours News

Priory Medical Centre, Wells, Somerset, BA5 1XJ

Tel: 01749 601 333

Contact Details


Have your say on the way your local GP services are working

Around 2.4 million people, aged 16 and over, who are registered with a GP practice in England will receive an invitation to take part in Europe’s biggest patient experience survey in early January. GP practices have had to make changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it is more important than ever that we hear about the experiences of using local GP and primary healthcare services.

The invitations go out mostly by letter to a sample of people from each of the more than 6,500 GP practices in England.  The survey team at NHS England and NHS Improvement will follow this up with a text message reminder (where a mobile number is recorded) alongside further paper questionnaires to encourage as high a response rate as possible.

Please do take the time to take part in the survey.  It provides vital information to the NHS to identify what’s working well and what can be improved. It helps to identify inequalities in experience too, as the results can be analysed across different protected characteristics.

If you want to check out how your practice faired in last year’s survey, take a look at the survey website GP Patient Survey


Important Information

As we move into the New Year and look to recover from a very busy pre-Christmas period we just wanted to share our quarter 4 figures with you. Things were much busier than the previous quarter with almost 1000 more incoming telephone calls to Reception. From the 1st of October to the 31st of December we also replaced 500 routine telephone appointments with 500 routine face to face appointments.

We wish to thank our patients for their ongoing support and patience during an extremely busy time. As always if you have any issues with, or questions about the way the practice is working then please contact our Practice Manager, Nicky Billington, who is always happy to help.


Stay Well This Winter

This time of year can be difficult for many. The bad weather and short days can have a big impact on emotional and physical wellbeing. With the added pressures of COVID-19, this year it is really important that we pay close attention to our wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around us. 

Health and care services across Somerset are here to support you to stay well this winter.

For information on how to stay well, warm, active and connected visit the Somerset CCG website


New Year New You!

On Tuesday 4th January, the Department of Health and Social Care launched the latest instalment of the Better Health campaign to encourage adults across the nation to lose any excess weight, eat more healthily and get active as we begin the new year.

Better Health is working in partnership with 15 weight management and physical activity partners who are providing both free and discounted offers and the website will also signpost to local weight management support.

From reducing the risk of serious diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and up to 12 types of cancer, to lowering the chances of being hospitalised with COVID-19, the multimedia campaign highlights the serious health conditions which could be prevented by losing excess weight and offers free support and guidance to achieve this goal.

The new campaign offers free evidence-based support and guidance on the Better Health website to those working towards a healthier weight.

Better Health has lots of free tips and tools to help people get started if they want to lose weight, eat better or get active; and the site can help you find additional weight loss support. Search Better Health


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

Across Somerset 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.

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

We are working at pace to increase the availability of appointments so that there are plenty of options for people on the National Booking System. Some local vaccination services may will also contact patients directly.

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

We will be working with all of our sites to take further steps to increase what they can offer again, including opening later and on more days.

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 with Wells City Practice, 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.

See more about the vaccination programme in Somerset, including the vaccination services: Somerset's Covid 19 Vaccination Programme


WARNING: Fake Test and Trace text messages

We are aware of a new scam which is being used to try to obtain people's bank card details involving fake Test and Trace text messages.

People have reported being sent a text message saying they have been pinged by NHS Test and Trace. The text message then asks them to go to a website and enter personal information, including their card details to pay for a PCR test kit.

The NHS will never ask you to pay for a PCR test, these are provided free of charge. Book your free PCR test here 


Gentle Reminder: Prescriptions

May we gently remind our patients that we cannot take any prescription orders over the phone. There are a small number of patients with authorisation to call in their requests otherwise we ask you to use one of the following methods:

  • email our dedicated prescription email address somccg.wellscitypractice.
  • write down your request and pop it into our post box located at the front of the building
  • register for online access and order your prescriptions online
  • discuss with your pharmacy team to see if they can order your regular repeat medications on your behalf.

In all cases you must allow 5 working days between requesting your medication and collecting it from your nominated pharmacy.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation on this.


Boost your immunity the Winter

This Autumn/Winter it's essential you protect yourself and others against flu. If you are aged 65 and over and haven't yet had your flu vaccination, please telephone the practice to book an appointment to have this done.

If you are aged between 18 and 64, eligible to have a flu vaccination and haven't yet had this done, we will hopefully be having more vaccine delivered at the end of the month. We are unable to book any appointments for this at the moment but we will be contacting everybody who needs this vaccine when our delivery has been confirmed. This contact will be in the form of a text message if we hold a current mobile number, or by letter. For more information please visit NHS Winter Vaccinations


An important message from Wells City Practice:

Thank you for bearing with us during these hugely stressful times for everyone. We have been touched by the many kind messages of support whilst we have strived to provide you with the best services we can.

As the pressures on Primary Care Services are becoming more widely talked about we would like to share with you some examples of the amount of work we are dealing with at the moment and ask again that you please try and use our services appropriately and treat our staff with kindness and respect. If you have any issues with, or questions about the way the practice is working then please contact our Practice Manager, Nicky Billington, who is always happy to help -


NHS 111 Winter 2021/22

NHS 111 Winter 2021/22

This November, NHS England and NHS Improvement has launced the next phase of the latest 'Help Us, Help You' campaign which focuses on NHS 111 Online.

If you have an urgent but not life threatening medical need, make sure you visit NHS 111 online first rather than going straight to A&E. NHS 111 online will help you right away and, if needed, a healthcare professional will call you.

NHS 111 online can direct you to an urgent treatment centre/walk in centre, emergency dental services, GP, pharmacy or another more appropriate local service.

If you or your loved one have a life-threatening illness or injury then you should always dial 999.


Helping you access care at Wells City Practice

The past 18 months have been difficult for us all and we want to thank you for your understanding and patience.  At Wells City Practice, we would like to reassure patients that we are open and here for you.

As we continue to recover from lockdown, the NHS must deal with a huge backlog of work. This backlog combined with us having some GPs away due to sickness, maternity leave and annual leave, means that for the foreseeable future, we need to make some changes to the way we operate. This will help us continue to protect patients and staff and will mean we can continue to provide care for our patients.  

What will this mean for patients?

  • We aim to deal with most requests on the same day, which we understand is what most patients would like, but this may mean you will not be able to see your preferred GP.
  • When you contact us, our receptionists will continue to use our triage system so we can   direct you to the most appropriate care for your needs. Sometimes this will be a member of staff at the practice, or for minor injuries and conditions this could be your local pharmacist or minor injuries unit.
  • For non-emergency appointments such as sunburn, insect bites, hay fever, back and shoulder aches and strains, or other minor conditions, we can now offer you a same-day appointment at your local community pharmacist who will be to offer you advice and treatments or you can contact 111 online or by phone
  • If you need or wish to, see, or speak to, a GP on the same day, we will do our best to accommodate you, by offering you an appointment with one of our two GPs who will be on call each day.  (Please note, there will only be a limited number of pre-bookable appointments with GPs available each day).

We again thank you for your patience and understanding during this most difficult time for us all when it might take a little longer to get through on the phone or to book in an appointment. #BePatient. #BeKind.


Use of your Data

A new service from NHS Digital is being put into place which will more efficiently collect primary care data and make it available for better planning of healthcare services and for use in medical research.

NHS Digital has been collecting data from GPs to meet bespoke data requests for these purposes for over ten years, through its trusted General Practice Extraction Service  (GPES). This system is now being replaced with their new General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) service, a broader general-purpose collection which will enable faster access to pseudonymised patient data for planners and researchers who may be organisations outside of the NHS. You can read more about this here: Improved collection of GP data launched - NHS Digital

There are two types of opt out available to you:

*I am content for my information to be used within the NHS as it has been previously but I do not want it shared with a third party*

If you are content for your information to continue to be sent to NHS Digital to help with future planning for the NHS, but you do not want your information to be shared with other third parties, such as universities, charities and pharmaceutical companies, then you need to complete the National Data Opt Out form.

*I do not want my information shared with anyone outside of my own Practice, except in relation to my own care*

This is not a new opt out and has always been an option for patients upon registration.

Many of our patients already have a Type 1 opt out in place and this will not need to be renewed as it will remain as you have previously requested.

However, if you did not request this opt out initially, but want to change now, then we are happy to do this for you.  

If you are unsure if you have a Type 1 opt out but want one, please do not contact us to check, we do not have the staff available to answer calls such as this and want to keep our phone lines open for those in clinical need.

Instead, please follow the instructions below:

If you do not want your identifiable data to be shared outside your own Practice, except for your own care, you can opt out at any time by requesting that we record your preference, this is called a Type 1 opt out and you can do this by collecting a form from reception or contacting us via email by clicking and heading your email ‘Type 1 Opt Out’

Download the Type 1 Opt Out form

If you are only doing a Type 1 opt out and not the National Data Opt Out above, then you will need to do this by 23rd June 2021 if you wish to avoid your information to be sent to NHS Digital for their first extraction with new parameters, which begins on 1st July 2021.

Further information and our updated Privacy Notice


Public Health England Vitamin D Supplies and prescribed Medication

In response to the announcement that public health England will be supplying many extremely vulnerable people with Vitamin D tablets to reduce the risk of deficiency over the winter, the Prescribers at surgeries in West Mendip Primary Care Network would like to share the following advice:

If you are currently prescribed Calcium and Vitamin D tablets, or vitamin D tablets, continue to take these. You do not need to take any additional supplements supplied by Public health England, as long as your tablets contain at least 400units (10mcg Vitamin D)- all prescribed ones should contain these levels.

If you buy vitamin D over the counter, you can continue to take these, or take the nationally supplied ones, as long as the ones you have are at least 400units (10mcg).

You are safe to take vitamin D tablets with most prescribed medication- however if you are taking Digoxin you may need extra monitoring- please contact your GP.

If you develop any unusual symptoms after starting Vitamin D and are taking other medication, please contact your prescriber, though we expect this to be very rare.

If you accidentally take both prescribed vitamin D and public health England supplied vitamin D, there are likely to be no ill effects, however you can discuss this with your community pharmacy and they can check the amounts you have taken.


Recently had a delayed hospital appointment?

We were sorry to hear that your hospital appointment has been delayed. Covid restrictions mean that most people are having to wait longer for their outpatient appointments, tests and operations. All our referrals are graded by the relevant consultant team. We have no say about when the consultants allocate their appointments which is based on their judgement of the urgency of the clinical need.

Many patients are contacting us asking for letters to be sent to help speed up their appointment. You will see that this is something we are unable to do for the reasons explained above.

However, if you think your symptoms have changed and your need is now urgent, do please write a letter or email detailing why you think so which we can forward to the relevant specialist team. The more detail you include the better.

If you are very concerned then do please get in touch with us for an appointment which, under current NHS regulations, will be a phone call or other remote consultation in the first instance but which can be face-to-face if needs be.


Wells Coronavirus Network

The community of Wells has come together to support those who are facing difficulties due to the current emergency.   If you need help with the following:

  • Shopping for Food or Supplies
  • Collecting Medicines or Prescriptions
  • Companionship Call

Our website is at and you can email at


Health Connections Mendip

Health Connections Mendip is a new health and wellbeing service available to patients. Patients can talk to a health connector at the surgery to find out about local activities, support and services available, and can also arrange one-to-one appointments to speak to a Connector.  
Health Connections Mendip page
Mendip Directory of Services

Below is a documentary about Health Connections Mendip:


Somerset Survivors

Do you want to talk to someone about domestic abuse?

Contact the Somerset Domestic Abuse Support helpline: 0800 69 49 999

Further information can be found on the Somerset Survivors website.


Somerset Choices

Local services and information to help you choose the right care and support.  Visit the Somerset Choices website.


Training Practice Status

Here at Wells City Practice we continue to look at ways of improving the quality of care we offer our patients

We were awarded ‘Training Practice’ status in July 2011.


Named GP for all patients

All of our patients have a named GP who is responsible for their overall care at the Practice. Please contact the Practice if you wish to know who this is. If you have a preference as to which GP that is, we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate this request.

We strongly believe in patient choice and patients are able to see any of our available GPs.



Do you care for someone?

Please click on one of the documents below for more information on how to get help and more information.

View our Carers form


Are you interested in helping to influence the way your doctor’s surgery is run?

See our Patient Participation Group page for further details.

View our Patient Participation Group form