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 Upwell Health Centre & Welle Pharmacy
 Townley Close, Upwell, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, PE14 9BT
 Practice:          01945 773671
 Pharmacy:       01945 774934
 Fax:                01945 773152

Average GP Earnings (year ending March 2017)

All GP practices are required to declare the mean earnings (i.e. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS Services to patients at each practice.


The average pay for GPs working in Upwell Health Centre in the last financial year was £84,918 before tax and National Insurance.  This is for 5 full time GPs and 2 part time GPs.


However, it should be noted that the prescribed method for calculating earnings is potentially misleading because it takes no account of how much time doctors spend working in the practice and should not be used to form any judgement about GP earnings, nor to make any comparison with any other practice.

Winter 2018 newsletter



At the end of January I will have been a GP in Upwell for 30 years. When I arrived here in February 1988 I was appointed as an additional partner to make 4 doctors. At that time the list size was just over 6000 and was starting to grow and Drs Rushmer, Millard and Bevan felt they needed an extra pair of hands to cope with the increase and appointed me. There have been a tremendous number of changes in general practice since then and the job is unrecognisable now compared to that time. When I started patients turned up in the morning, took a number and waited for their turn, we only operated appointments in the afternoon surgery which started at 4-30. In those days we covered the patients 24 hours a day 365 days a year. The job was less intense in the daytime often with periods where you could recharge your batteries in the afternoon. We still did Saturday morning surgeries and didn’t get home until gone 7 most days mind. When I arrived I was impressed to find that this was one of very few practices then which had computers on the GP desks and recorded all the consultations on computer.  This practice has always been forward looking and we have strived to ensure we are always up to date and offer the best possible care, we are very conscious that most of you have no other choice of GP practice to attend. We now have 10,500 patients, 7 doctors, a nurse practitioner and a long term condition nurse.


2018 is going to be another year of charge at the practice. The one which will have the biggest impact on the day to day work here will be the new GP computer system we are changing to in February. We have been using a GP system called Emis for many years but in this area more and more of the practices are using a different system called SystmOne. This system is also used by the community nurses and the hospital also has SystmOne terminals on the wards. We recently decided to change to SystmOne as we feel it will offer the patents a more accessible system and will hopefully address some of the issues we have been having with slow running and crashes. The main impact you will notice is the interface you see when you access the practice computers for repeat prescriptions and appointments will change. We also need to make you aware of the increased accessibility other NHS organisations and staff can have to your records, with your consent of course. Giving doctors in hospital access to the GP record is something the NHS has strived for for years as it makes sense that any doctor treating you should have access to as much information about your medical conditions as possible. The government did spend billions on trying to set up an integrated system a few years ago but that failed and was scrapped. The current approach is to allow increased access to the current systems we have and make them more interoperable rather than  to create an all singing and dancing system everyone can use.


As you would expect changing our main computer system will entail major work and some significant accommodations for a few weeks. The following bullet points tell you the important things you need to know to help you navigate the change smoothly.

  • We will be running on the new computer system from the 22nd February. Please bear with us whilst we iron out any initial unexpected issues.
  • Repeat Prescriptions - please allow 5 working days for your repeat prescription to be ready in February - this will help us enormously.
  • The new system gives patients the ability to have their medical record shared to other organisations during episodes of care elsewhere. Please ask for a leaflet or see our website for information more about how this works. We will of course endeavour to answer any questions you have.
  • Unfortunately, after the 22nd February, patients who use our online services (repeat prescriptions and appointments) will need to obtain a new password and user ID from the practice. We apologise for this inconvenience. It is inconvenient for both patients and the practice but there appears to be no appropriate alternative. 


On other matters I am really optimistic the new pharmacy and practice extension I have been trailing for the last few newsletters will come to fruition this year.  We are very close to agreeing the final plans and funding arrangements with NHS England. Once we have an agreement and some dates I will do another news letter telling you all about the plans.


2018 promises to be another landmark year for Upwell Health Centre, let us hope it is a successful and prosperous year for us all.


Dr Paul Williams

January 2018

Autumn Newsletter 2017

Please forgive the lack of newsletters in recent months, things have been fairly calm here and there didn't seem much news to impart!


However, now its September we have the dates of our flu clinics so it seemed a good time to pen a new issue.

We can become a bit blasé about flu and flu injections, especially after a few years with a relatively low incidence of flu. We have been lucky the last few winters in that we have not had a significant outbreak in the area. However, the flu virus's ability to transform itself is constantly getting around our natural immunity and it is inevitable we will have a significant outbreak soon. It may be this year so it is just as important as ever you get immunised this year if you are in an at risk group.

These groups are:

Anyone 65 or older COPD sufferers

Asthmatics requiring inhaled steroids

Children who have previously been admitted to hospital with a lower respiratory tract infection

People suffering from chronic heart disease such as angina, previous heart attack, heart failure or atrial fibrillation.

People with chronic kidney or liver disease

People who have had a stroke or mini stroke or who suffer from a chronic neurological disease such as MS.

All Diabetics Anyone whose immune system is suppressed either due to ill health or medication

ALL pregnant women

People without a spleen

People who are morbidly obese, that is a BMI over 40.


If you are in any of these groups you are also highly likely to be eligible for a pneumococcal vaccine to prevent pneumococcal pneumonia. For most people you will only need one injection, however, some will need a booster dose. Ask about his when you attend for your flu injection.


This year the shingles vaccination is available for anyone 70 to 74 who was born after 1st September 1942 and who has not previously been vaccinated and people aged 78 0r 79.


The clinics are on Saturday mornings again. The dates are: September 23rd and 30th, October 7th and 28th. Please book a slot at one of these clinics with reception, over the years we have learnt that by giving people an indicative time to come it reduces your waiting time and enables us to be most efficient.


You may remember me mentioning that we had been lucky to be allocated money from NHS England to help us build an extension to the surgery. It won't have escaped anyone's notice that no building work has taken place! The good news is we have planning permission and the builders' quotes but as yet we haven't had the green light to proceed from NHS England, they seem reluctant to part with the cash! I am hopeful building work will commence in the next few months.


Since my last edition we have had further staff changes at the surgery, and I'd like to officially welcome all the new staff.

We now have a full complement of nurses. Kelly has recently joined us; Kelly previously worked at the North Brink surgery in Wisbech. Caroline who previous worked in the Community Nursing team has also joined us since the last edition.

Dr Rosier, who was here as a locum to cover Dr. McDowell's maternity leave, has finished his stint with us because she is now back in post following the birth of her second child. Congratulations Heidi.

In pharmacy Mel has joined the full time staff. Mel has recently qualified as a pharmacist and is spending her pre-registration year with us.

Our final staff change has been in the office where Charlotte, our apprentice, has completed her apprenticeship and has been employed as a receptionist in our admin team. Well done Charlotte.


I am sure those of you who regularly read my efforts will know that I spend a part of every week working at the CCG.

The CCG is the body who spend the money the government give to West Norfolk for health care. Every year the CCG gets asked to make greater and greater cost savings to allow the money provided to be adequate. So far West Norfolk CCG has delivered a small surplus every year. This year is the biggest challenge yet as we will need to deliver a saving of over £10 million if we are to come within our budget.


One of the ways we are being asked to help with delivering this saving is by making sure all the referral s we make to hospital are necessary. To this end we will be introducing a new system soon where all referrals will be discussed by the doctors as a group before being sent off to the hospital. The aim of this is to try and make sure the expertise doesn't already exist in the practice to deal with a problem to avoid the need to go to the hospital.


The CCG is also asking you, the patients, to help them deliver that saving by embracing self-care. Self-care means thinking before you visit the doctor if the problem is something you could deal with yourself, perhaps with the benefit of the advice of, or drugs from, your local pharmacist.

GPs in West Norfolk are being asked to avoid, where possible, to prescribe certain drugs such as simple pain killers, anti-histamines and other allergy treatments and other products readily available over the counter in pharmacies.

To get more information on this issue why not visit the West Norfolk CCG website (http://www.westnorfolkccg.nhs.uk/) where you will find a monthly blog I write. In that blog over recent months I have spoken a lot about self-care. More information can also be seen at the Self Care Forum website, http://www.selfcareforum.org/ or visit the Self Care section of this website.


Paul Williams

Booking an appointment

You may be aware from recent press coverage that nationally there is a shortage of GP's and those remaining are under pressure as their workload is getting larger.  Here at the Health Centre our workload is also increasing and so are the numbers of patients now registered at the practice.  We therefore find ourselves looking at alternative ways to ensure that our patients are being seen by the people that are best able to help them within a time scale that is medically appropriate.


To enable us to do this, in the next few weeks, we will be trialling different ways to deal with the appointment requests.  You may notice that if you are requesting a same day appointment the reception team will ask you for a brief description of why you need to be seen today.  Please do not be offended or alarmed by this, we have instructed the team to ask this as it will allow us to prioritise your care.


You may also find that the doctor may telephone you back to discuss your appointment over the telephone rather than you having to come in for a face to face consultation or they may need to ask further questions in order to establish the urgency of your problem and suggest a suitable appointment time.  Please could we ask that if you are waiting for a doctor to call you back, you give the reception team the most convenient number to reach you on and that you remain available to take the call.


Please note that this is a trial and we ask for your patience whilst the changes are in progress however please be reassured that you will always be seen if you have an urgent medical problem.


Thank you


The Doctors at Upwell Health Centre.

Changes to Physiotherapy Services

The Physiotherapy service  for Upwell Health Center is under transition to a new supplier, NCHC, who provide the service for the rest of the West Norfolk surgeries and in the long term it is planned that they will continue to hold clinics here at the surgery one day a week.  In the interim however it has been necessary to relocate the clinics to the North Cambs Hospital in Wisbech.  We are hoping that the normal clinics at Upwell Health Centre will resume in October.

A polite request from the Doctors

Unfortunately we are encountering an increasing number of patients who either forget or choose not to order their repeat medications on time.  Whilst we fully acknowledge that occasionally everyone forgets it really helps us here at the Practice if people order in good time.


It is your responsibility to order your medication on time.

When you forget to order your repeat prescription it causes you inconvenience and creates unnecessary work for the doctors and dispensary staff. It interferes with the care we are trying to give to other patients which is very important to us and to them.

In future if you forget to order your medication you will be asked by our Reception Team to come back the next day or the day after to collect it, depending on what time you make the request.

There are very few drugs where a delay of 24 hours will have a clinically significant impact. If your drug is one of these the Reception Team will message the GP and ask you to come back between 5 and 6PM the same day. Please note that you may still have to wait for a time when you come back, but the GP will endeavour to get the prescription ready for you as soon as practical. Please note we do not interrupt surgeries or meetings for prescription matters.

So please remember:

  • We need 2 full working days to process and prepare your prescription. 
  • Requests can be made using the prescription request slip or online.
  • Online Requests are available to all of our patients and is by far the easiest way for you and for us to manage your repeat request. If you have internet access we strongly urge you to use it. Contact our Reception to register.
  • The following schedule applies to both paper and online repeat medication requests.


Requests Made By

Medication Ready For Collection

Monday before midday


Tuesday before midday


Wednesday before midday


Thursday before midday


Friday before midday



Please help us to help you by ordering your prescriptions on time!

Thank you.

Average GP Earnings (year ending March 2016)

All GP practices are required to declare the mean earnings (i.e. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS Services to patients at each practice.


The average pay for GPs working in Upwell Health Centre in the last financial year was £81,180 before tax and National Insurance.  This is for five full time GPs and two part time GPs who worked in the practice for more than six months.


It should be noted that the prescribed method for calculating earnings is potentially misleading because it takes no account of how much time doctors spend working in the practice, and should not be used to form any judgement about GP earnings, nor to make any comparison with any other practice.

Do you suffer from urinary incontinence problems?


For more information please look at the following link to view a video on Pelvic Floor Exercises for treatment and prevention of stress urinary incontinence.


Publication of Earnings 2014/15 (March 2016)


All GP practices are required to declare the mean earnings (i.e. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS Services to patients at each practice.


The average pay for GPs working in Upwell Health Centre in the last financial year was £75,731 before tax and National Insurance.  This is for 5 full time GPs and 2 part time GPs who worked in the practice for more than six months.


It should be noted that the prescribed method for calculating earnings is potentially misleading because it takes no account of how much time doctors spend working in the practice, and should not be used to form any judgement about GP earnings, nor to make any comparison with any other practice.



Coping with Colds and Flu (Autumn 2015)


Most of us will have a cold this autumn or winter and some of us will have flu. Here's how to look after yourself if these viruses affect you.


Colds and flu are caused by viruses. There are more than 200 common cold viruses and three types of flu virus with many different strains, so they're hard to avoid.

These viruses can be spread through droplets that are coughed and sneezed out by an infected person. The viruses can also be transferred on a person's fingers. For example, if you have a cold and you touch your nose or eyes and then touch someone else, you may pass the virus on to them.

Cold symptoms

The main symptoms of winter cold and flu bugs are:

  • coughing

  • sneezing

  • blocked nose

  • sore throat

  • headache

  • a slight temperature

If these are the only symptoms you have, it’s unlikely that your GP will be able to do anything.

You may want to visit your local pharmacy, where you can get advice on how to manage the symptoms and buy over-the-counter medicine.

Children and colds

Children can be treated using some over-the-counter painkillers to ease discomfort and help to bring down a fever. Both paracetamol and ibuprofen are available as a liquid for children and can be given from the age of about three months. Always check with your doctor if you aren’t sure which treatments you can give your child.

There are some benefits, particularly for children, in catching a few coughs and colds. “Children tend to get a lot of colds because the body takes time to build up immunity. Your body learns to fight off a particular kind of virus every time you get an infection, which is why you get fewer colds as you get older," says Angela Chalmers. Find out more about children and medicines.

When to see a doctor

While most bugs will run their course without doing any real harm, there are certain cases when you or your child should see a GP. These include:

  • if you or your child have a chronic condition such as asthmadiabetes or heart disease

  • if you have a very high temperature and feel ill, for example if you also have an unusually severe headache or abdominal pain

  • if your child is vomiting but does not have diarrhoea, or has a rash in addition to the fever

  • if your child stops drinking and is unusually lethargic

  • if your child’s fever doesn’t respond to paracetamol or ibuprofen

Babies should get help if they're unwell. All babies under three months with a temperature of more than 38°C (100.4°F) should be urgently assessed by a doctor, as should babies aged three to six months with a temperature higher than 39°C (102.2°F).



Online Access to Your Medical Record


Our practice is now offering patients the facility to view more areas of their medical record online. The areas which are now available to our patients to view are a summary of information relating to medications, immunisations, allergies and adverse reactions.  As well as viewing this information, there is the facility to download and print it.  This new system is now available to view. If you require an online access log in to view your medical record you will need to speak with a member of the practice reception team who will facilitate this.


Thank you.

Friends & Family Test

Would you recommend our Practice to friends and family?


The friends and family test (FFT) is an important opportunity for you to provide 

anonymised feedback on the care and treatment you receive and to help the Practice improve its services. Please complete the Friends and Family Test (FFT) Survey  and return the completed survey to the practice via reception. You can put the completed form in the Friends & Family test box on the reception desk.

The results of the surveys will be published monthly on our website from November 2014.

Important Changes To Your Medical Records

Click here to find out more.

Patient Experience Survey Results 2012/2013

For the results of our  patient survey please click here.


For our report following our patient survey please click here.

Hunter-Rowe Trust

Thanks to the generosity of our patients we administer a Registered Charitable Trust. Through this we can purchase expensive equipment and useful aids and appliances that our patients can borrow when necessary. Please ask at reception if you need to borrow any equipment. There will be a deposit for some of the larger items such as wheelchairs. Please remember that this equipment is only for short time loan and if you require an item such as a wheelchair for longer than a few weeks then please discuss this with us.
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