Spring Newsletter 2024

Thank you to everyone who passed us gifts and cards over Christmas. They are very much appreciated.


We remain extremely busy and thank you to everyone for bearing with us during these very pressured times. 

Self Care

Self Care

  • Hangover
  • Cough & Colds
  • Grazes & Small Cuts
  • Sore Throat

Self-care is the best choice to treat minor illnessess and injuries.

A large range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest.



  • Diarrhoea
  • Earache
  • Painful Cough
  • Sticky Eye
  • Teething
  • Rashes

Pharmacists advise and treat a range of symptoms. This can avoid unnessary trips to your GP or A&E Department and save time.

No appointment is needed and most pharmacies have private consultation areas.



  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Back Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach Ache

GPs and Nurses have an excellent understanding of general health issues and can deal with a whole range of health problems

Minor Injuries

Minor Injuries

  • Cuts
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Bruises
  • Itchy Rash
  • Minor Burns

Minor Injuries Units, Walk-in Centres and Urgent Care Centres provide non-urgent services for a range of conditions

They are usually led by nurses and an appointment in not necessary


A&E or 999

  • Severe Bleeding
  • Breathing Difficulties
  • Severe Chest Pain
  • Loss of Consciousness

A&E or 999 are best used in an emergency for serious or life-threatening situations.


NHS 111

If you are feeling unless, unsure or it you want health advice and guidance for non-life threatening emergencies call or use NHS 111

24 hours a day
7 days a week

Your GP is not the only health care professional who can help you. We have joint specialists who can help with any musculoskeletal problem. Sore hips, backs, wrists, shoulders etc. They can organise scans, give steroid joint injections and refer on for physiotherapy. Clinical Pharmacists can help with any medication query, manage high blood pressure and HRT. Social Prescribers can help with any social issues such as debt, grief, mental health problems and lonliness. Our receptionists are trainined in pointing patients in the right direction so please do take full advantage.

We currently have an Advanced Nurse Practitioner available across the Tonbridge Primary Care Network and we very much hope this service will continue.

We also have a frailty visiting service across the Tonbridge Primary Care Network who visit elderley and frail patients.


Abuse in the NHS

Sadly abuse towards NHS staff is on the rise. Should a patient be rude, or swear at any of our staff the patient will receive a warning letter in the post, asking them to reflect on their behaviour and asking them to refrain from abusing our staff in the future. If the patient repeats the abuse they will be taken off our list of patients. NHS England will write them a letter informing them they have 8 days to register somewhere else.

If a patient verbally or physically threatens a member of staff they will be immediately deducted from our list. They are then placed on the Special Allocation Scheme. This is a an NHS scheme which allows abusive patients to be seen by a GP (not at Woodlands) who have been specifically trained to deal with threatening patients and have extra security on site. The patient will not be able to register at an alternative surgery.

We had a situation recently where a patient smashed the screen in reception, splintering it, and facially injuring one of our lovely receptionists. Our other lovely receptionist was badly shaken up by the incident.

Clearly this is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Please be kind. We are here to help.


Dr Ben van Wyk

Dr Ben is retiring later in the year. We wish him all a long and happy retirement. Dr Richard Tosh will be replacing him, taking on all of his patients.



Please remember we do not take prescription requests over the phone. Our prescription query line is open between 11-12 and 3-4.



If you have a query regarding a referral please speak to our team between 10-11 and 2-3.



Please register for online access to view all your results. If you are unable to do this please ring us between 11 and 2


Patient Participation Group (PPG)

Our group meets every other month to discuss all issues surrounding the surgery. It gives a platform for patients to make positive suggestions about the practice, and to be an advocate for patient preferences when appropriate. It provides a means for practice staff to inform patients about the reality of running a General Practice. Our PPG represents the whole practice population, not personal or individual views. If you would like to get involved please speak to the practice manager, Sarah Baker or simply turn up to the next meeting. This is at 6pm on the 29th April 2024 at Woodlands


Personal List System

As many of you will be aware we operate a personal list system which means each of our doctors has a list of patients that they take care of. This provides continuity of care, reduces the need for patients to repeat their problems and statistically patients who have their own doctor live longer. We try to keep families together do the GP has an over view of what is going on in the family unit. This does sometimes mean patients may have to wait until their own GP is in surgery. Of course if the problem is medically urgent for that day and the GP is not in surgery the patient will be contacted by the duty doctor.



Our Facebook page continues to thrive and we frequently promote campaigns and keep patients updated with any issues we are experiencing and updates. Search Woodlands Health Centre. We would be very grateful if you could “share” any items we post. We currently have 335 followers.


Contacting the Practice

Telephoning us is not the only way to contact us. Sending an econsult is a quick and easy way to get in touch.

If you do need to ring us please avoid Monday mornings if you can. This is our most busy time of the week, so if your query is not urgent please ring us at a different time.

Don’t forget Patient Access. You can look at your medical records, order repeat medications. Fill in a form which can be found in the glass atrium at the front of the building. The form is also available on our website.

We ask that you do not contact us via our email address. We receive hundreds of emails every day and it could take up to a couple of weeks for us to get back to you.

Please submit an econsult or send us a message through our website. This will speed up our ability to respond to you.



Carers are defined as people who look after a relative or friend who needs support because of age, physical or learning disability or illness including mental illness. If you are a carer please ask reception for a carers pack.


New Pharmacy First Scheme

The new Pharmacy First Service will enable community pharmacists to complete episodes of care for patients without the need for the patient to visit their general practice. This, alongside expansions to the pharmacy blood pressure checking and contraception services, will save up to 10 million general practice team appointments a year and help patients access quicker and more convenient care, including the supply of appropriate medicines for minor illness.

The Pharmacy First Service builds on the previous Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) by enabling community pharmacies to manage patients for seven common conditions, following specific clinical pathways.

The seven conditions are:

  • Acute Otitis Media (ear infection) Aged 1-17
  • Impetigo Aged 1 and over
  • Infected insect bites Aged 1 year and Over
  • Shingles Aged 18 and over
  • Sinusitis Aged 18 and over
  • Sore throat Aged 5 years and over
  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infections Women aged 16-64

Blood Pressure

New hypertension campaign launches

The Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS is urging eligible adults aged 40 and over to get a free blood pressure check at their nearest pharmacy. High blood pressure is responsible for one in four deaths in England; it can have no symptoms but it can be easily treated. An estimated 4.2 million people in England are unaware they have it and the only way to know is to get a blood pressure check. You can get a free NHS blood pressure check at a local participating pharmacy


Up and Coming Bank Holidays

We will be closed on Friday 29th March, Monday 1st April, Monday 1st May, Monday 8th May, and Monday 29th May. If you have a medical problem that cannot wait on these days please contact 111. If it is life threatening then dial 999. Please see this link for details of pharmacy opening times over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Find an open Pharmacy


Woodlands Mailing List

And finally if you would like to sign up to our mailing list and receive our newsletters and other useful information via email please complete the form below. 

Published: Mar 25, 2024