Category Archives: Ticker Tape

Why are GP practices working differently?

GP practices are open but the pandemic is not over. In south east London there are still thousands of people getting Covid-19, with hundreds in intensive care. GP practices worked hard to stay open and treat people throughout the Covid lockdowns and continue to do so. To protect everyone, we must maintain safe infection control and minimise unnecessary physical contact.

How are practices working now?

So that the people with greatest need are seen first; and so we don’t ask people to travel and come into contact with unwell and infectious people, you will be assessed to decide who needs:

· to be seen in person by one of the team

· a phone consultation

· a video consultation

· help from a community pharmacy or another health service

How can I contact my GP?

You can contact your GP practice on the phone, but if you are able to and if your practice offers it, the best thing to do is to fill out an online form on the practice website. You will then be contacted with the best appointment for you.

If you need help with minor injuries at any time or urgent care when your GP practice or pharmacy is closed visit or dial 111. 111 can also book out of hours appointments. You can access NHS 111, contact your practice and get your Covid Pass using the NHS App. Search NHS App in your app store.

Why do receptionists ask personal questions?

GP reception staff are skilled professionals and ask questions to make sure you see the right person at the right time and treat all information confidentially. If you don’t want to speak on the phone, where possible fill in an online form on the practice website.

I wanted to see my GP, so why am I seeing someone else?

Many GP practices now include a range of professionals like nurses and paramedics. This means you can often be seen more quickly and not need to be seen by lots of different people.

Where else can I get help?

Always dial 999 in a life-threatening emergency.

Visit for advice on common symptoms and a list of local services or

speak to your community pharmacist first for advice on minor illnesses

Please be kind

GPs and hospitals are under enormous pressure, but we are open and here if needed. Please continue to be kind to our staff, socially distance where possible and wear a face mask in healthcare settings.

Abuse of our staff is never acceptable. The NHS Constitution is clear that violence, or the causing of nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises may result in prosecution or people being refused access to NHS services.

Academic Half Day

There will be NO evening surgery on Wednesday 21st September 2022. The GP’s have academic half day. All emergencies between 12.30pm and 6.30pm will be handled by  Bromley GP alliance.

Please call 03000 032314 and select option 3.

Outside of these times please call 111.

Testing for blood in your poo using the FIT test

The NHS sends out free home test kits, called faecal immunochemical test (FIT), to eligible people to collect a small sample of poo and to send to a lab. This is checked for tiny amounts of blood. The tests are for people with no symptoms and most people get the all-clear.

Everyone aged 60 to 74 years who is registered with a GP and lives in England is automatically sent an NHS bowel cancer screening kit every 2 years. The programme is expanding so that everyone aged 50 to 59 years will be eligible for screening. This is happening gradually over 4 years and started in April 2021 with 56-year-olds and 58-year-olds in London invited from May 2022.

This home testing kit was introduced in June 2019 across England and is easier and more convenient to use than the previous bowel cancer screening test.

To do the test, you use the kit to collect a small sample of poo and send it to a lab. This is checked for tiny amounts of blood. Blood can be a sign of polyps or bowel cancer. Polyps are growths in the bowel. They are not cancer but may turn into cancer over time.

Ninety-eight out of 100 people who do the test get the all-clear. Two out of 100 are asked to go to hospital for further tests. Nine out of 100 people who have these further tests turn out to have cancer.

If people have symptoms of bowel cancer at any age, they should always see a GP, even if they have recently completed an NHS bowel cancer screening test. Symptoms of bowel cancer include one or more of the following: a persistent change in bowel habit, blood in the poo without other symptoms of piles (haemorrhoids), abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always brought on by eating.

We are open and here for you and your family

To make sure you get the right care at the right time, Bromley GP practices are changing the way we work.

In a GP practice you will now find a wider team of specialists and professionals working together to help and care for you.  The larger practice team is designed to best manage the very busy workload and the range of health needs that people have.   New roles in GP practices include physician associates, health care assistants, clinical pharmacists and mental health practitioners.  These are just a few examples.

We also want to make it as easy as possible for you to make an appointment.   Due to high demand for services, the phone lines are busy, especially in the morning when lots of people call.  We are answering calls as quickly as possible, so please do be patient.

If your need is not urgent, please help your practice by using eConsult or the NHS App to ask questions, request prescriptions and book appointments.  If you need is urgent, please use the phone. ​​​​​​​

For more information on how we are working, visit