Category Archives: Hot Topic

Global Blood Test Tube Shortage

“The NHS has been advised of a global shortage of some equipment used for taking blood tests.


As I am sure your GP practice has explained, this shortage of bottles for blood tests has an impact throughout the country.


This has meant that we must follow national guidance and can only perform the most urgent and emergency blood tests at this present time.


As a result, your GP may have agreed that your blood test should be postponed in order to help ensure that we have enough blood bottles available for those in most urgent need.


I understand that this may well cause you some anxiety and uncertainty, and I am sorry for that, but your GP will have made this difficult decision based on clinical priorities and need.


Given the nature of the shortage, we cannot give an exact date for when the test will be rescheduled, but please be assured that if your condition or symptoms require it, then you will get a test, and we will be doing everything we can to re-book your test when supplies become more easily available.


Thank you for your patience and bearing with us.”

There is currently a global shortage of blood test tubes for the next few months.

In response to this, we are unable to carry out routine blood tests with immediate effect until the supply issue has been resolved. We would like to reassure patients that we will only be doing bloods for those who are acutely unwell.

Please do not call us regarding this issue as the situation is completely out of our control. If you currently have a routine blood appointment booked with us, please expect a call from us promptly to cancel the appointment.

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus & Vaccine)

Lifting of Restrictions from 19th July 2021

As of 19th July covid restrictions will be lifting, however, cases are currently extremely high. Medical settings are a higher risk environment and will need to be subject to more control measures than other public facilities.

Due to being a medical setting, our doors will remain closed, with access to the building for those who have appointments using our intercom that is currently in place. The wearing of face masks or a face covering is still required when entering the building and attending appointments. We are acting very cautiously and maintaining social distancing and the use of PPE for our healthcare staff. This is to protect our patients and staff in a high-risk environment.

We now only have one member of staff at the front desk but a large team of receptionists manning the phone lines and our online consultation service. We strongly advise you to take advantage of this by phoning in if you wish to speak to us or filling out a form using eConsult, rather than coming to visit us.

Our phone lines have vastly improved recently, going from a missed call rate of 15% last year to 1% this year. Those filling in an eConsult will generally get a quick response just a few hours after submitting their form to within the next working day.

Please note that although restrictions are lifting on 19th July, we have a duty to do all we can to keep both our patients and our staff safe whilst we deliver our care. Therefore, we will not be opening our doors, and face coverings, social distancing and PPE will still be required.

Covid-19 Vaccinations

For COVID-19 vaccinations please contact the National Booking Service to make an appointment, not your GP practice.

All local sites are now available through the National Booking Service online or by calling 119 and it’s the best way to get an appointment for both first and second doses if you don’t have an appointment already.

Please don’t hesitate, when it’s your turn to be vaccinated please do so as soon as possible.

The NHS appreciates that at times the system can be busy and but be assured we will make sure everyone is offered the opportunity to be immunised so please keep trying.

New clinics are being set up all the time at various locations including some community pharmacies so your patience is appreciated.

We have now offered a Covid vaccination to all our patients in Cohorts 1-9.  We will not be offering any further vaccinations unless you are housebound or already have your second vaccination booked. We will have offered a second vaccination to all housebound patients by the end of June

If you are eligible for a vaccine and would like to book an appointment at a vaccination centre, please call 119 or follow this link,

We are aware that some countries such as Malta, may not be accepting the NHS app to prove you have had both your covid vaccinations. If you are travelling and need a letter as proof, please follow this link…/covid…/get-your-covid-pass-letter/ or call 119. Please do not contact the surgery as we are unable to get this letter for you.


The Avenue Surgery will be closed during the lunch period- 1.00pm- 2.00pm for the foreseeable future. We will reassess as the situation develops.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the Drop in Blood Clinic and online booking via SystmOnline is currently suspended. Please submit an eConsult if you wish to be seen

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice

  • If you live alone and you develop symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
  • If you live with others and you or one of them develop symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
  • For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared. Regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.
  • For the latest advice please go to:

If you have coronavirus symptoms:

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111

For a medical emergency dial 999

To delay the spread of COVID-19 and to protect patients and staff, we are limiting routine services. Most appointments will be via a telephone consultation.

Our team is currently working hard to contact patients with upcoming appointments to discuss their needs and advise them of any changes.

If you are needing an appointment please phone 01985 224600 and a member of our team will be able to advise you on what type of appointment will be best.

Message from Prescriptions Ordering Direct (POD):

Telephone lines continue to be fully operational, however we have additional staff actioning requests via a NEW EMERGENCY USE POD EMAIL ADDRESS for use during COVID 19 period ONLY

Please email your request to

By sending this e-mail you have given your consent for POD staff to access your medical records in order to process your prescription request.

You will not receive confirmation but can assume the prescription request should be ready for collection in one week.

If your prescription request is urgent can you please telephone the POD in the usual way to ensure it is dealt with the same day.

The essential information required is :

  • GP practice
  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Medicines required
  • Your usual pharmacy
  • Any changes from usual (e.g. going on holiday, or a different pharmacy).

If any of these details are missing it will delay processing of your request. 

Please note all e-mails will be deleted after one month.

Thank you

BSW Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) Service

Be Clear on Cancer


Regarding symptoms of Cancer

As you may have seen in the media we would like to encourage anyone who has potential cancer signs to contact us promptly.

We would like you to complete an online eConsult or call the surgery if you have any of the following:

  • A mole that is changing, growing, itching or bleeding.
  • A lump in your breast or testicle or an unusual lump elsewhere.
  • A persistent change in your bowels especially if you are going more often. *
  • Blood or discharge from your vagina, bowel, nose or in your urine.
  • Indigestion that is severe or persistent or if you have difficulty swallowing. *
  • Persistent cough or hoarse voice. *
  • Unexplained weight loss, bloating, fatigue or night sweats.
  • An unexplained pain or other symptoms that are worrying you.

*We would consider anything that has lasted for 3 weeks or longer to be persistent.

If you know anyone who has any of these symptoms, please tell them that they should contact the surgery so they can get it checked out.

In the majority of cases there will be nothing to worry about but it is important that we detect cancers early and if possible reassure you.

You are twice as likely to survive cancer now as you were 40 years ago.

Evening and Weekend Appointments

You can now access additional Primary Care Services in the evenings and at weekends.


Improved Access is a Wiltshire-wide initiative where local practices are working together to offer increased availability of services and appointments in the evenings and the weekend. These appointments are available 18:30-20:00 Monday-Friday, and Saturdays,Sundays and bank holidays. This collaboration  by  practices  will ensure all patients in Wiltshire  have this option, but this might mean you will be offered an appointments at another practice.


Appointment types will vary – some being face-to-face, some on the phone – and there will be a mixture of bookable and same-day appointments available across the week. We will be offering  appointments with GPs as well as with other healthcare professionals, such as a Practice Nurse or Health Care Assistant . We are keen to balance the importance of continuity of care with convenient access for patients, while ensuring that the service is safe.


To book such an appointment, contact your local Surgery during normal opening times. A receptionist will explain the process, and ensure the booking is appropriate. You will need to give consent to use this service.


For more information, please contact your usual GP surgery.