Practice News & Blogs

20th Jun

Have your say about access


The Watling Street PCN is currently working on the best way to develop and improve access to local GP practice services. Some of this work includes the best way patients can be offered GP practice service appointments outside of normal working hours (8 am – 6:30 pm).

This may be referred to as “Enhanced Access”.

Primary Care Networks are groups of GP Practices working together as a network, in which they are commissioned to deliver Enhanced Services.

Currently, these services are provided by practices, over and above the core 8 am-6 pm contract. PCNs have been asked to undertake patient engagement, to ensure the new service meets the needs of the local population. Your views are needed to help us shape the approach to how patients can access local GP Practice services in your area.


Please share your views by completing our survey by the 10th of July 2022 You can complete the survey online or paper copies are available in your practice

Use Online Link:

11th Apr

Changes to the fit note (sick note/Med3)

From April 2022 you may notice changes to the fit note you receive from your doctor as a new version of the form is rolled out.

The requirement for the doctor to sign the form in ink has been removed and replaced by the issuer’s name and profession being included in the new form.

There will be a period during which both the new and previous version of the fit notes are legally valid.


How the fit note works

Doing the right kind of work is good for your health, including if you have a health condition.

You do not always need to be fully recovered to go back to work, and in fact it can often help your recovery. Your fit note can help you go back to work when you are able to.

Your doctor will not automatically assess that you are not fit for work if you have a health condition. Instead, they will discuss with you how your health affects what you can do at work.

They will think about your fitness for work in general rather than just your current job.

You should discuss with your doctor what you can do at work, rather than simply record your health condition, you should then discuss this advice with your employer, to see if they can make any changes to help you return to work.

17th Jan

Patient Education Sessions

We are pleased to advise patients of the Consultant led patient education sessions available during 2022.  All meetings will be held via MS Teams, run for 1 hour and start at 18:30.

Please follow the link below to book your place:





Presenting Consultant





Arthritis/ Osteo arthritis


17th March 2022




Mr Ahsan Sheeraz



Pain Management





Conservative management of Chronic pain,        over the counter options, when to seek help


28th April 2022





Dr Sarah Aturia









Thyroid Dysfunctions


 19th May 2022




 Dr Asif Humayun




Men’s health


Incontinence, bladder issues. Could  cover paediatric cases as well if and where relevant.


16th June 2022


Mr William Gietzmann







Knee pain or Bursitis


15th September 2022




Mr Ahsan Sheeraz




Men’s health

Prostate/ PSA

17th November 2022

Mr William Gietzmann

20th Dec 2021

Fit for work notes ("sick note") - new Government Guidance

From 10 December 2021 if you have a new illness that requires you to take Sick Leave from work you must now self-certify your absence (for up to 28 days).

Previously you were required to self-certify for 7 days and then request a note from your GP.

GP's will no longer be issuing sick notes for any absences of 28 days or less. 

Please see full government guidance below:

12th Dec 2021

COVID Booster Campaign

Our vaccination centre will reopen on Wednesday 21 December.  We will be actively inviting eligble patients.  If you have not heard from us and you wish to book a first, second or booster vaccinne please contact 119 to book an appointment.


Please note the Vaccination Centre is now located on the ground floor at Stony Stratford Health Centre.

Please be aware that parking is limited at the Health Centre but Stony Stratford offers lots of free parking options.  Please follow the link below for more infomation: 



“When can I get my booster?

From Monday 13 December, boosters are open to every adult over 18 who has had a second dose of a Covid vaccine at least three months ago.

People will be able to book their booster through the national NHS booking system from Wednesday.

The government says this is the "best way to guarantee your slot" but prior to that, anyone over 18 could visit a walk-in centre and get a booster jab.”

Source: BBC News (12 Dec 2021)

19th Nov 2021

Coping with the demand, a Bedford practice's view

18th Nov 2021

What have we been up to?

Between May and October our Doctor team have received and detail with 18,186 enquiries from patients. 













17th Nov 2021

'We're not battle-axes', say GP receptionists

Please follow the link to this BBC news article:


17th Nov 2021

Watling Street Network - Chair Based Exercise Programme

Are you interested in joining our Chair Based Exercise Programme?

  • This is a sociable exercise group designed to aid movement and fitness for people who with limited mobility
  • The programme is for any patient registered at Stony Medical Centre, Hilltops Medical Centre, Watling Vale Medical Centre or the Whitehouse Surgery
  • Friendly sessions are led by a qualified instructor
  • Sessions are free of charge
  • Sessions run for 5 weeks, on a Thursday morning
  • Each session includes a guest speaker
  • Tea and coffee will be provided

Please contact the practice team if you would like to join one of the groups.


Watling Street Network PCN   |  Stony Medial Centre  |  Watling Vale Medical Centre  |  Hilltops Medical Centre  |  Whitehouse Surgery

22nd Jul 2021

Concerns over a new App which allows calls/video calls called “monkey”.

We have been advised of a new app called 'Monkey' which allows the user to make video calls to strangers. Once a conversation is finished, the user clicks next and it will then connect them to a different user which could be someone from anywhere in the world. The website states that users must be 18 plus but there is no age verification on either platform meaning anyone could download it. If users use the website from a desktop, they don't need an account to sign in and chat to people, but users of the app will.

The app is currently only available on android devices. Whilst testing the platform, reviewers found that every second or third video was of a overtly sexual nature and prompted attempts to interact. There are countless examples of adverts for sex, pornography and bestiality.

The unpredictability of the content is likely to increase the shock factor and harmful impact as users have no idea what will appear.

It is designed to attract children - Everything, from the name, to the graphics on the platform suggest this is created to attract children.

In Google Play Store, its description reads 'Make friends and chat to celebrities' and the app has copied TikTok's vertical style video feed. The location of each user is shared publicly (country and town/city) and there is no option to block this. You cannot use the app/website without having your camera on. There are screenshots of Monkey on Instagram as well as Monkey having their own TikTok account meaning young people may be driven to the site.


22nd Jul 2021

NHS Digital (NHSD) extract of GP data for Research purposes (known as the GPDPR)

UPDATED - 22 July 2021

The current NHS Digital (NHSD) extract of GP data for Research purposes (known as the GPDPR) has been delayed due to NHSD wishing to review the way in which this data will be collected, to conduct more public involvement and information about the plans and change the way in which patients can opt out of the extract of their GP data.

Currently the only way to opt out is to complete a Type 1 opt out form and return this to the practice by the 1st September.  However, this extract will not be taken until the NHSD have changed the way it will take the data and respect the patient’s choice for using their data.  NHSD are introducing the following changes to the opt out process which will mean that patients will be able to change their opt-out status at any time:


  • Patients do not need to register a Type 1 opt-out by 1st September to ensure their GP data will not be uploaded.


  • NHS Digital will create the technical means to allow GP data that has previously been uploaded to the system via the GPDPR collection to be deleted when someone registers a Type 1 opt-out.


  • The plan to retire Type 1 opt-outs will be deferred for at least 12 months while we get the new arrangements up and running and will not be implemented without consultation with the RCGP, the BMA and the National Data Guardian. 

This means that you can opt out at any time in the future and NHSD will delete data that they already have taken for research purposes, the deadline of the 01/09/2020 has been delayed until a new system of opt out is developed.  Hopefully, this will be a simple centralised approach via the NHS app or NHS website to avoid paper form and administration work for your GP.

We will update you when we know more about the NHSD plans to change how you can control who has access to your data.



ORIGINAL POST - 22 July 2021

Your deadline to opt out moved from 23 June 2021 to 1 September 2021

For details about how your information is used by Stony Medical Centre please refer to our Privacy policy within "Your Records".

Alternatively follow the link (right) to a section on our website entitled “National Opt Out & NHS Digital Data Collection from the Practice”.

9th Jul 2021

COVID Restriction Update - 19 July changes

Throughout the pandemic we have strived to make Stony Medical Centre as safe as possible for all our patients and staff. We will continue to do so going forward.

As you know we have never stopped delivering care to our patients.  Indeed we have consulted in higher numbers than we did pre-COVID (face to face, by telephone, by video consultation and via Kinik).  And of course we have helped to vaccinate 86% of the adult population twice in the last 6 months

Stony Medical Centre has come so far in trying to minimise the impact of COVID and we are sure you understand that we need to keep the surgery as safe for ALL patients as we can.

Therefore from the 19th July nothing will change at the surgery - patients will still be asked to wear a mask, socially distance and use hand sanitiser in the surgery and staff will continue to wear PPE.  We will continue to use remote consultation tools where appropriate while continuing to see patients face to face where it is of clinical benefit to the patient.

We do understand that restrictions can feel frustrating but we know that when people come to us they are sick and vulnerable (and some cannot receive the COVID vaccinations due to medical reasons) so we feel it would be wrong to not take these small precautions that can protect people.  

Thank you for your support.

29th Jun 2021

COVID Vax Update

To date, as part of the Watling Street Network PCN, the Stony Medical Centre team have given 23,400 COVID vaccines.

Every patient within the PCN’s catchment who lives in a care home has been vaccinated twice.

Every patient within the PCN’s catchment who is housebound will have been offered the opportunity to receive their COVID vaccination in their home.

Every patient aged 50 and over will have been offered the opportunity to receive their COVID vaccination.

Every person who falls outside the over 50 age group, but who falls within one of the government defined medically at risk groups will have been offered the opportunity to receive their COVID vaccination.

Every member of staff within Stony Medical Centre will have been offered the opportunity to receive their COVID vaccination, ensuring our staff can stay well, thereby ensuring we are able to continue to deliver our normal general practice services.

Your Stony team have collectively worked over 1,300 hours to deliver the COVID vaccination programme.  This is on top of their usual work.  Without them this vaccination programme would not have been possible.  We thank you!

A similar number of hours will have been worked by the teams at Watling Vale, Hilltops and Whitehouse.  We thank you!

We have been supported by some brilliant volunteers, without whom this vaccination programme would not have been possible.  We thank you!

Now, we pass over the responsibility for vaccinating any remaining patients to the mass vaccination centres (MVC).  The MVC’s will have ongoing availability for the weeks ahead, after all, that is their reason for being.  We now return to focussing solely on our general practice caseload and ready ourselves for starting the flu vaccination programme from September.

Thank you team!


Watling Street Network PCN   |  Stony Medial Centre  |  Watling Vale Medical Centre  |  Hilltops Medical Centre  |  Whitehouse Surgery

25th May 2021

How to use the NHS app as a Covid vaccine passport for travel

WHICH? guide to using your NHS app as a Covid vaccine passport for travel



Owned and run by the NHS, the NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.

The NHS App is available now on iOS and Android. To use it you must be aged 13 and over and registered with a GP surgery in England.

You can also access from your desktop or laptop computer.

21st May 2021

#The Abuse Must Stop


This is a short video regarding the real difficulties general practice is facing.

The difficulties are a national issue and none of the surgeries within the Watling Street PCN have been immune to abuse from a small minority of patients.

The abuse has a massive impact on the well-being of our staff.

The newly formed Institute of General Practice Managers has launched a campaign with the tag #theabusemuststop.  They have created a powerful video which we, at Stony Medical Centre, would urge you to watch.  

The video provides a real taste of real life in General Practice. 

Although none of the staff featured in the video work in Stony Medical Centre, they all work in General Practice and all of the scenarios they present (with the exception of tyre slashing) have been experienced by members of the Stony Medical Centre team.

Kindness costs nothing. 

We appreciate that kindness is a two way street; you deserve kindness from us, as much as we deserve it from our patients but please be mindful that the team member you are speaking to may just have put the phone down to a patient who has abused them and finished the call with “it’s your fault if I die”.

Thank you.