Flu Season 2023-2024
From 1st September onwards we will be sending out invitations to all of our patients eligible for a flu vaccination. These invites will come to you either via SMS or a posted letter.
Currently we have clinics bookable for September, more will be added soon for October dates.
If you do not wish to have your flu vaccine this year please let a member of our team know so that we remove you from our recall invites.
If you haven’t received an invite but feel that you are eligible for a flu vaccine, i.e. you are living with a condition that puts you in an at risk category (e.g. Diabetes, Asthmatics on a steroid inhaler, Immunocompromised conditions) please let our team know.
Did you know that if you are immunocompromised members of your household are also eligible to receive the flu vaccination- if they are registered with us but have not received an invite please let us know.
Patients aged 65 and over
We are holding a Flu Open Day on the morning of Wednesday 20th September. Please come to the time-slot indicated by the first initial of your surname in this letter…
If you are unable to attend on 20th September please let us know by calling Reception on 0121 472 0129 and we will book you into one of our follow-up clinics.
Patients aged 18-64 (at risk groups/pregnant patients only)
We have multiple clinics available to book into for our patients aged 18-64 who are eligible for the flu vaccine. If you receive a text message from us you will be able to follow the ‘self-book’ link to choose your appointment or call us on 0121 472 0129.
Children aged under 18 (at risk groups only)
Children under 18 in at risk groups will be invited to have the flu nasal spray. If you receive a text message you will be able to follow the ‘self-book’ link to choose your appointment or call us on 0121 472 0129.
Your child may also be offered the flu vaccine at school, however if they miss this we can also offer to vaccinate them- just let us know.
If you do not wish your child to receive the nasal spray, or are looking for an option which does not contain porcine gelatine we can also offer the flu injection if this is preferred.
Children aged 2-3 years
All children aged 2 and 3 registered with us are eligible for the flu nasal spray- see information in the childrens section above.
August Newsletter 2023
Please take a look at our latest Practice newsletter!
Practice Newsletter - April 2023
Take a look at our latest Practice Newsletter here
May Bank Holiday Closures
The surgery will be closed on:
Monday 1st May 2023
Monday 8th May 2023
Monday 29th May 2023
We will be open as usual on all other working days in May.
Please be mindful of the closures and order repeat medications in a timely manner.
If you require medical assistance any time we are close please go to NHS 111 online or call 111 from your telephone
Covid Vaccine - Help & Advice
If you think your or your child’s COVID-19 vaccination record is missing or wrong, please call the Vaccine Data Resolution Service on 0300 561 0017.
The VDRS will ask you some questions to establish your identity and identify any errors in your vaccination record.
NHS 119 is no longer handling these queries.
If you were vaccinated outside of England, you will no longer need a face-to-face appointment to update your vaccination record. Instead, you should email evidence to the NHS about any COVID-19 vaccinations you or your child have had outside England so the vaccination record can be updated. Please follow this guidance (this includes people who had their vaccinations in Scotland or Wales).
Christmas 2022 & New Year 2023 - Practice Closure & Pharmacy Opening Hours
The Practice will be closed:
Monday 26th December 2022
Tuesday 27th December 2022
Monday 2nd January 2023
Local Pharmacy Opening Hours:
87-87A High Street, Harborne, B17 9NR
0121 427 3118
25.12.2022 – CLOSED
26.12.2022 – 10am-4pm
27.12.2022 – 10am-4pm
02.01.2023 – 10am-4pm
Unit 2, 480 Bristol Road,
Selly Oak, B29 6BD
0121 472 0155
25.12.2022 – CLOSED
26.12.2022 – 12noon-3pm
27.12.2022 – CLOSED
02.01.2023 - CLOSED
564-566 Bristol Road,
Bournbrook, B29 6BE
0121 472 0174
25.12.2022 – 12noon-3pm
26.12.2022 – CLOSED
27.12.2022 – CLOSED
02.01.2023 - CLOSED
Frankley Beeches Road
Northfield, B31 5AA
0121 475 3611
25.12.2022 – CLOSED
26.12.2022 – 10am-4pm
27.12.2022 – 10am-4pm
02.01.2023 – 10am-4pm
Please have a read of our latest newsletter October 2022 newletter.pdf
Medical Reports & Copies of Records
Our practice has decided to outsource our medical reporting to MediData, who will process your medical report or request for medical records using their system, eMR.
What is eMR/MediData?
MediData is a NHS Digital accredited company who have developed a digital system called eMR, which enables GP practices to create digital, GDPR compliant medical reports.
eMR helps GP Surgeries with data security, speed and efficiency
eMR also helps you to easily see your medical data, stay in control of it and decide who you want to share it with.
MediData has worked hard to develop their NHS GP IT Futures accredited technology, eMR, which interfaces with our GP practice’s system to extract your medical record. This means you can receive a full copy of that information securely and share it with others as you wish, keeping your data safe.
If you wish to speak to a member of the MediData team regarding your medical report, or any concerns you may have regarding your data, please contact MediData directly on:
Phone - 0333 3055 774
Email - email@example.com
Please be kind
We recognise that in recent times patients can struggle to get through on the phones and also to book appointments, this is because we are seeing much higher demand than before the pandemic.
There are many reasons for this – patients whose mental health has suffered as a result of social isolation, patients who we are managing in primary care while having extended waits for hospital treatment and those who have delayed contacting us because they didn’t want to.
Unfortunately, we are finding that a minority of patients are taking their frustrations out on our staff members. Small acts of kindness, such as thank you, can make a positive impact on someone’s day, and help staff feel valued and positive about the difference they are making to people’s lives. However, some NHS staff have experienced feeling hurt and upset following comments from patients.
Staff at Bournbrook Varsity Medical Centre are determined to continue to do the best we can for all of our patients, to ensure clinical needs are met and general practice can respond to future needs by also supporting the wellbeing of our staff.
What’s been happening?
Since the start of the COVID pandemic we have seen unprecedented changes across the country. We have all had to learn to adapt to this, especially as a busy GP Practice.
Over the past couple of years we have adapted our working to make the Practice as safe as possible for both our staff and patients. We are now doing more phone and video consultations than we ever did before the pandemic because we are finding that many patients prefer this, but we have also never stopped seeing patients face-to-face.
What’s happening now
There are more ways than ever of contacting us which enhances access for our patients. Our website has forms which you can complete to send us messages and patients are able to email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Usage of online Apps such as the BSOL App/ Patient Access and the NHS App have also increased which allow patients to book appointments, request repeat medication and view medical records.
To manage phone calls safely our Receptionists will ask you questions when you call in order to prioritise those patients whose needs are most urgent and to decide which member of our clinical team is best placed to support each patient. We work alongside not only Practice Nurses, GP’s and Health Care Assistants but also have access to First Contact Physios, Clinical Pharmacists, Paramedics, Mental Health Practitioners, Community Pharmacy services, as well as other Allied Services that work with us.
Help us to help you
If you have a query regarding Hospital and Specialist Care treatment, please contact them directly rather than us/our reception team as we do not have access to their systems. They remain open and seeing patients and have also adopted remote consultations alongside face-to-face services.
You can help us by getting advice about minor conditions from your local pharmacist first or trying self-care.
We also have some great self-referral services available to patients that you can access directly without needing to see your GP first. Lots of information about these and other services we offer can be found in the Services section.
Please continue to contact us if you need us. We are here to help you. There are more ways than ever to get in touch.
Birmingham & Solihull Shared Care Record
The Birmingham and Solihull Shared Care Record is a way of bringing together all your separate records from the different organisations involved in your health and care.
The Shared Care Record is confidential. It will let professionals see relevant information about the care and treatment you’ve had across all services.
Local GP practices, hospitals, NHS 111, community, mental health, ambulance and social care services will be able to see your records.
Your health and social care records contain important information about you. This might include, for instance, your contact details, medical history, medications, allergies, test results and details of any support you've had from social care or mental health services.
Being able to see your information will help us give you better, safer care.
If you don't want your records to be available to view through the Shared Care Record, you can opt out here
If you need help
Phone: 0345 6461163
For further information, visit: www.livehealthylivehappy.org.uk/birmingham-and-solihullshared-care-record/ & view the patient information leaflet
Changes to Service - NHS now operating in level 4
As part of our response to COVID-19 and in light of the increased transmissibility of the new variant, Omicron, we have made some key changes to how we are currently working. The measures described below are in line with national guidance and ensures we can continue to provide care whilst keeping our patients and staff safe.
All appointments will now be telephone or video based first, with face-to-face appointments offered where there is a clinical need to do so. This helps to ensure that patients are only attending the practice in person if absolutely necessary, keeping everyone as safe as possible.
When you call to book an appointment, you may be asked a series of questions around what you’re calling for. This will be to ensure you are directed to the most appropriate service or health professional for your condition, so please do provide as much detail as you can.
For those who are invited to attend our practice in person, please be assured that we are continuing to follow strict infection control and social distancing measures to keep you as safe as possible. As part of this, we ask that you wear a face covering at all times whilst in the practice. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, have received a positive PCR test result or if you meet the criteria for self-isolation, please do not attend.
Given the significant demand our services are currently experiencing, and following the national ask to clinically prioritise the most urgent services such as vaccines, urgent care, immunisations, cancer and high risk patients, some of our routine services may not be available as quickly as you are used to. We apologise for any inconvenience but assure you that we are working hard to provide care in the safest and most effective ways.
Don’t forget, you can download the NHS App or use online services for things like prescriptions or other healthcare needs. You can also use 111.nhs.uk or call 111 for urgent but non-life threatening concerns. Your local pharmacy is also available to support with minor conditions or to provide further advice.
For vaccine or COVID testing queries, you can call 119 where a trained call handler will be able to support you to book vaccine appointments, including boosters, or get a free PCR or lateral flow test. For more information on the services 119 provides visit the NHS website or for more information on vaccination clinics near you, visit the Birmingham and Solihull COVID vaccine website.
These measures will be reviewed on a regular basis and as soon as it is safe to do so, we will return to offering more face-to-face appointments. We thank you for your patience.
Covid Vaccines Abroad
THERE IS NEW GUIDANCE FOR PATIENTS WHO HAVE HAD THEIR VACCINES ABROAD who need their vaccines added to their UK COVID Passport.
Please READ THE INFORMATION ON THIS LINK https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-covid-pass#residents-in-england-who-have-received-covid-19-vaccinations-overseas.
The NHS App shows all COVID vaccines including boosters, whereas the paper version only show the first two dose and don't yet show the boosters.
More details can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-pass/
In line with the Government’s announcement, the NHS is aiming to offer every adult the chance to book a COVID-19 booster vaccine by the end of the year. This means our practice is now prioritising the booster rollout.
As part of this, some of our routine services may be stood down temporarily to allow us to focus on protecting as many patients as possible.
We are still there for anyone who may need care for an urgent need, but would ask for patience as we support this key national priority over the coming weeks. We hope to be able to stand back up any services as soon as possible and will update this page as soon as we know more.
Please don’t forget there are many services available for you, depending on your condition. These include:
- Self-care – This is the best choice to treat minor illnesses and injuries such as hangovers, coughs, colds, grazes, small cuts or sore throats. Many of these can be treated at home, simply with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest.
- Pharmacy – Pharmacists can give advice on and treat a range of symptoms. They can support you with things such as diarrhoea, earaches, painful coughs, sticky eyes, teething and rashes.
- NHS 111 – You can access 111 online or via the telephone. This is for any urgent but non-life threatening health concerns. They will be able to signpost you to the relevant service and provide advice where appropriate, or book you in to an Urgent Treatment Centre.
- A&E / 999 – You should only attend A&E or dial 999 in a life-threatening emergency such as severe bleeding, breathing difficulties and severe chest pain.
If you are now eligible for your COVID-19 booster please book it as soon as you can. It is vital as many people as possible get boosted as soon as possible. Please do not ring the practice regarding your boosters, instead visit https://www.birminghamandsolihullcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/ or call 119 to book an appointment or to find a walk-in clinic near you. You can also find out more about who is eligible, how the vaccine is given and other frequently asked questions. If you are a housebound patient, there is a community team which will be coming out to you to vaccinate you, so please do not contact your GP as the team will be making contact with you.
The government has announced that all people over 18 are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster vaccine. We have been instructed to focus on the most vulnerable patients in the first instance. You will be contacted to invite you for your vaccine when we are ready to give it to you. We kindly ask that you do not call your GP practice and be assured you will be called in the forthcoming weeks for your vaccine
World Antibiotic Awareness Week 18-24th November 2021
Want to know how you can play your part in protecting antibiotics for the future? 💭
Simply return unused or old antibiotics to any local pharmacy in the Midlands 🙌
Find out more: https://bit.ly/3D55yRa
Incorrect Covid-19 Vaccination Data
If you believe you have missing or incorrect covid-19 vaccination data on your vaccination passport or record please contact 119 and ask the agent to make a referral to the VDRS (Vaccine Data Resolution Service) on your behalf. The VDRS team will call you back within 5 working days to help you resolve any issues.
We are unable to amend any entries at the Practice.
Covid Vaccination Information Sheet
If you have an appointment booked at Harborne Medical Centre for any of your Covid vaccinations please take along this pre-vaccination questionnaire.
This will help the vaccination team to get you details on to the system and hopefully make your appointment quicker.
The Bournbrook Varsity Medical Centre has pledged to be an Antibiotic Guardian. Our actions protect antibiotics.
Diabetic Low Calorie Diet Programme
Have you been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the last 6 years?
If you are aged 18-65 years and are overweight you may be eligible to join the NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme.
Research trials have shown patients could achieve remission (no longer have diabetes) or reduce their anti-diabetic medications after restricting their calorie intake.
Your GP will be able to inform you if you are eligible for the programme.
To see if you would be suitable to participate please complete the Self-Assessment Readiness Tool – Low Calorie Diet Programme
More information about the programme can be found here.
Ill Child – When Should I Worry?
Having an ill child can be a very scary experience for parents.
If you understand more about the illness it can help you to feel more in control.
This booklet is for parents (and older children) and deals with common infections in children who are normally healthy.
You should not rely on the advice in this leaflet for children who are less than 3 months old. Babies younger than this can respond differently to infections.
Structured Medication Review
We have two PCN Pharmacist who will be contacting patients via the telephone to undertake Structured Medication Reviews.
A structured medication review is a consultation to talk about the medicines you are currently taking; an opportunity for you to discuss your medication and ensure that you are getting the best from the medicines that are prescribed for you.
A structured medication review may be called a Polypharmacy Review if you are taking a lot of medicines – reviews in this case are helpful to ensure that the combination of medicines is still required and safe.
When you are first prescribed a medicine it is usually the best one for you, however, things change:
- You might have developed a side effect
- Your health may have changed, such as developing a long term condition or a change in a long term condition you already have
- The way your body handles medicines changes over time and may require dose or medication change.
Any of these reasons, as well as others, can mean the medicine might not be right for you anymore.
For more information about the Structured Medication Reviews take a look at the Structured Medication Review Patient Leaflet
Pause @ UoB
Pause@UoB is a drop-in service for students at the University of Birmingham, under 25 years to talk about their mental health & wellbeing.
They are there to discuss any worries or concerns you might have – not necessarily connected to academic life.
They can help you access more specific services, refer to other organisations and share useful resources.
Pause@UoB is available to you in three ways:
Bournbrook Pavillion (Community Living Hub, 48 Aston Webb BLVD) – Tuesdays & Wednesdays 11am to 5pm
The Lodge (Just inside the North Gate) – Thursdays & Fridays 11am to 5pm
0207 841 4470 – 7 days a week, 10am to 6pm
Help for Victims of Modern Slavery
If you suspect that you or someone you have come across may be an adult victim of modern slavery and in need of help, please contact The Salvation Army’s confidential and anonymous referral helpline on 0800 808 3733 – available 365 days a year, 24/7 with interpretation services where needed.
Isolating at Home with COVID
If you are isolating at home after receiving a positive covid test this information leaflet will be a useful guide.
Covid Vaccination Information
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is our best defence against the virus.
The vaccine is highly effective against the virus causing symptoms and it is currently being rolled out across Birmingham and Solihull to priority groups.
Everybody over the age of 18 is eligible for the COVID 19 vaccination. We have invited all registered patients in this cohort who we have contact details for. If you are over 18 or have family & friends over 18 please help us protect your loved ones and encourage them to book an appointment by calling 119 or visiting https://nhs.uk/covid-vaccination
Full information about the vaccine including how to book into the vaccination centre’s can be found on the official website: https://www.birminghamandsolihullcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/ an easy read leaflet can be found here
Our vaccinations are currently taking place at Harborne Medical Practice, 4 Yorke Street, Harborne. If possible please complete this Covid-pre-vaccination-questionnaire-22FEB21 and take it along to your appointment.
From 17 May 2021, people in England who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can demonstrate their vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of any approved vaccine. Vaccine status will be available from:
It may take more than a week for your identity to be checked and verified so you can use these services.
If you cannot access these online services, and you have had 2 vaccines, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you had your second dose more than 5 working days ago. It may take 7 working days for the letter to arrive.
This practice is not able to provide you with a letter that shows your COVID-19 vaccination status.
When you’re planning your travel, check the latest information on demonstrating your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad on the gov.uk website. Make sure there is time to get proof of your vaccination status before you leave.
Post-COVID Syndrome (sometimes called ‘long COVID’) can affect your physical and mental health. Symptoms can develop during or following a COVID-19 infection and continue for more than 12 weeks.
Muscle and joint pain
Mental health issues like anxiety
For more information visit https://www.postcovidsyndromebsol.nhs.uk/index.php
COVID-19 Vaccination Status for Travel
From 17 May 2021, people in England who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can demonstrate their vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of any approved vaccine.
Vaccine status will be available from:
the NHS App which you can download from app stores
the NHS website
119 – by requesting a paper letter
You will need to register to use the online services, if you have not already. It may take more than a week for your identity to be checked and verified.
If you cannot access the online services, and you have had both doses of the vaccine, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you are due to travel outside the UK in the near future and have had your second dose more than 5 working days ago. It may take up to 7 working days for the letter to arrive.
This practice is not able to provide you with a letter that shows your COVID-19 vaccination status. Please do not contact the practice about your COVID-19 vaccination status unless you have been advised to by the 119 service.
When you’re planning your travel, you should check the latest information on demonstrating your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad on the gov.uk website. Make sure there is enough time to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status before you are due to travel.
Birmingham and Solihull Shared Care Record
The Shared Care Record is a way of bringing together all your separate records from the different organisations involved in your health and care. It’s confidential and different to anything you might have heard of before.
Ever wondered why, when you visit your GP or hospital, they can’t see all your health and care information? And why you find yourself having to answer the same old questions over and over – about things like the medicines you take, the treatment you’ve had, and whether you have any allergies?
The simple answer is they all use different computer systems to record your details. And because these systems aren’t connected, the health and care organisations looking after you can’t see the information each other holds on you.
But that’s about to change with the introduction of the Birmingham and Solihull Shared Care Record – previously called the Health Information Exchange.
Our experience of working with COVID-19 has shown how important it is for the health and care professionals caring for a person to be able to see their information without delay when needed. The Shared Care Record will make a joined-up approach to health and care much more possible.
Click here for all the information about Birmingham and Solihull Shared Care Records.
If you would like to object to the Shared Care Record visit the right to object page the the programme’s website here.