Update from the Surgery – 8 December 2023

Apologies…another long update. Please take a moment to note the important information below


  • Flu vaccinations
  • Pharmacy update (including update about the closure of Boots)
  • Pharmacy First – Obtaining antibiotics for simple Urinary Tract Infections directly from Peacock Pharmacy
  • Additional Roles within GP Practices – understanding who you are seeing or speaking to

Seasonal Flu vaccinations

The uptake of the annual flu vaccination for patients aged 64 and under has not been as high as previous years.

We still have free flu vaccinations for all patients aged 65 and over, and for those aged 64 and under that falls into the eligible criteria (see link below). Please call the surgery to arrange an appointment.

For those aged between 18 and 64, who do NOT meet the eligibility criteria, and wish to have a flu vaccination, can get one from Peacock Pharmacy (downstairs from the surgery) at a cost of £12. No appointment necessary – just pop in. See https://www.peacockpharmacy.net/ for opening hours.

Eligibility criteria for free flu vaccination


Peacock Pharmacy Update

We have now been dispensing for a month, and the team has settled in excellently. In our first month, we dispensed 5800 items. We have recruited additional hours, so are ready for anything that’s coming our way! We have ensured that we have enough staff hours to cope with well over 10 000 items a month.

We have now met with Boots’ Area Manager twice, to plan a smooth handover of patients towards the end of December 2023, in time for their closure on 6 January 2024. We are delighted that one of their team members will be joining us at Peacock Pharmacy following their closure, I am sure patients will appreciate seeing a familiar face!

Please remember that it is Patient Choice that determines where you have your medication dispensed, and there is no assumption that patients will divert from Boots to Peacock Pharmacy automatically. It will be unethical for us to just move patients over to our pharmacy without their consent.

If your current nomination for Electronic Prescribing/dispensing is Boots in Stansted, you need to start thinking about where you want your prescriptions to go from the end of December 2023.

Your other most local options are Peacock Pharmacy, Newport Pharmacy, or Williamsons in Bishops Stortford. If you would like to stay with Boots, please contact their branches in Bishops Stortford (01279 653294) or Saffron Walden (01799 522342).

Once you have made your choice, you can contact the pharmacy directly, and ask them to update your nomination, or you can contact your surgery. Towards to end of December we will text all patients with a Boots Stansted nomination (who are patients of Stansted and Elsenham Surgeries), with an easy text back option to nominate your pharmacy of choice.

To nominate Peacock Pharmacy for your prescriptions, you can email them on [email protected], call them on 01279 816323, our use the contact us function on their website https://www.peacockpharmacy.net/

Pharmacy First

You may have seen in the National Press that the Government is starting to roll out Pharmacy First from December 2023. The roll out will be gradual, but from MONDAY 11 DECEMBER 2023, Peacock Pharmacy will be able to start the Urinary Tract Infection pathway.

This means that our pharmacist will be able to supply antibiotics for simple urinary tract infections to patients who qualify.


Must be a patient registered with a surgery within Hertfordshire and West Essex  


16-64yrs of age 

Not pregnant, non-complicated (no catheter patients, no care home patients) 

The service is free for eligible patients, and patients can be seen on a walk-in basis. If patients pay for prescriptions, this charge will still apply. If patients have an prescription exemption or pre-payment certificate, there will be no charge for the medication. Assessments by the Pharmacist must be face-to-face, and following clinical assessment, antibiotics can be provided (nitrofurantoin / trimethoprim only). All patients will be followed up with a phone call.

There will be further conditions added to the Pharmacy First scheme as the roll out continues, and we will keep you informed as and when this happens.

To read more about the Pharmacy First Scheme, please see https://pharmaceutical-journal.com/article/news/pharmacy-first-will-be-introduced-in-england-in-2023-says-government#:~:text=Published%20as%20part%20of%20a,medicines%2C%20including%20antibiotics%20and%20antivirals

Additional Roles within GP Practices

Additional Roles have now been a part of GP Practices for a while, and many of you will have been consulted by our extended team members. These team members work in GP surgeries, but are employed by Primary Care Networks. Our Additional Roles staff are shared between Stansted, Elsenham, John Tasker House, Angel Lane, and Eden Surgeries. These roles include Physiotherapists, Clinical Pharmacists, Mental Health Practitioners, Physician Associates, Care Coordinators, Social Prescribers, Health and Wellbeing Coaches, Emergency Care Practitioners (Paramedics), Dieticians, and some administrative roles.

These roles are funded from an alternative source of funding, that does not form part of GP Surgeries per patient funding from NHSE. The roles that can be recruited via this source is directed by NHSE, and we are not able to use this funding to recruit more GPs. However, it is important to note that when the Government states that it has increased GP appointments by 50 million since 2019, this does not mean an increase of appointments with an actual GP – it mostly includes appointments by these additional roles. This is not to say that these roles have not been incredibly helpful to surgery teams – because they have been a fantastic resource – but many of these roles cannot work autonomously and need supervision by GPs. This does impact the daily workload of GPs but is of paramount importance to ensure that patients remain safe.

There have recently been some nationwide concerns that patients do not always understand the role of the clinician they are seeing when visiting their surgery. When you are booking an appointment at the surgery, and you are unclear about who you are seeing, or going to be talking to, please do not hesitate to ask. The clinical roles that work under 100% GP Supervision are Physician Associates, and some of the Emergency Care Practitioners (it all depends on their level of qualification). This means that every single patient assessed by one of these roles, gets reported to, and reviewed (either directly, or remotely) by a GP. For example, if a test has been ordered, or a drug prescribed, patients can be assured that a GP was directly involved at some stage in the process.

To understand more about the Additional Roles in Primary Care, please read https://www.england.nhs.uk/long-read/additional-roles-a-quick-reference-summary/