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Calling all men of the North East

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAAs) are a weakening in the aorta that can swell and rupture causing fatal internal bleeding. They usually don’t have symptoms and are most common in men aged over 65.

AAA screening is a free NHS national programme that invites men in the year they turn 65, to attend a quick and painless 10 minute ultrasound scan.

131 Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAAs) were detected by the North East and North Cumbria AAA Screening Service in 2019 – 20.

Approximately 3442 Men in the North East and North Cumbria did not attend their invitation for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening in 2019 – 20. Don’t be one of the men who miss their appointment,

However, approximately 600 men in Co Durham did NOT attend their Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening appointment in 2019 -20. Don’t be one of the men who miss out.

The North East and North Cumbria Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm screening service is open for business.

Yes we are safe

Yes our staff are wearing PPE

Yes there are covid measures in place

You will receive your invitation through the post when you’re eligible. Please DON’T ignore it. It could save your life!

If you need to rearrange your appointment give us a call on: 0191 445 8747 For more information visit: QE Gateshead Website: Watch our AAA Video:


To protect everyone, meet increased deman from winter illness and deal with the back log, general practice will continue to work differently for some time to come.

For further information on this please click here


Throughout the pandemic we have strived to make the surgery as safe as possible for all of our patients and staff. We will continue this going forward.

From 19th July nothing will change at Dunelm. As we are a healthcare setting, patients who are able to do so, must still wear a mask or face covering, socially distance and use the hand sanitiser provided when coming in to the surgery. Our staff will continue to where PPE. We do understand that it can be frustrating but we know that when people come to see us they are sick and vulnerable (some cannot receive their Covid vaccinations for medical reasons).

 In terms of opening up, as many of you know, we have never been closed. In fact we have consulted with much higher numbers of patients than we did pre-covid (face to face, by phone, by e consult and by video consult), not counting 90% of the adult population twice in the last 8 months.

 Our Community has come so far in trying to minimise the impact of covid and we are sure that you understand that we need to keep the surgery safe for patients and staff alike."


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.

For information on how to obtain your covid vaccination passport please follow the following link

When you're planning your travel, you should check the latest information on demonstrating your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad on the website. Make sure there is enough time to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status before you are due to travel.

Please note your vaccination status is only available after you have received 2 doses.  


We are receiving unprecedented amounts of e-consults. We would ask in the first instance that you look at the ‘I want help for my condition’ section of eConsult. You can pick the problem area and click ‘I want to help myself’ which gives current advice and 1st line treatments for many health problems. You can also try a local pharmacy for advice about a range of conditions. Please try this advice before submitting an e-consult to the Practice. The eConsult service for submitting a problem to a GP is available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, however the self help option is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Social Prescribing Link Worker

This service is provides a 1:1 personalised support service which can help with a wide range of emotional, practical and social needs.  For more information on how they can help you and how to access the service click on the following SPLW Well Being for Life  SPLW NHS Leaflet

COVID-19 Vaccine Oxford-AstraZeneca and blood clotting

Recently there have been reports of an extremely rare but serious condition involving blood clots and unusual bleeding after AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccination.  The national committee which recommends on vaccines has therefore recommended that patients under 40 years are no longer offered this vaccine for their first dose. If you have already had a first dose of AZ vaccine without suffering this rare side effect you should still complete the course with the AZ vaccine for your second dose, even if you are under 40.  For more information please see

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It is important that we continue to vaccinate the remaining population and that everyone receives both vaccinations and their booster when eligible.  We are rapidly moving through the cohort groups in line the Government vaccination programme and we will be contacting patients as soon as we are instructed to call forward their age group by telephone or SMS message.  If you think you should have been offered the vaccine or have not been called for your subsequent doses please contact your surgery.
It would be very helpful for us if you could ensure we have your up to date mobile number as we are sending text messages containing links to book appointments.  The national booking service link is
If you are given an appointment at our Brandon Lane vaccination site rather than your own surgery and need directions please Click here 

Booking a COVID Test

COVID tests are provided by the national NHS Track and Trace service to anyone who has the following symptoms:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

To book a test, call 119, or follow the link below

Book a COVID test through the Government portal

Online Telephone Appointments

Telephone consultations are now available to book online.  These are available to book 7 days in advance and on the day from 00.30am.

Repeat Prescriptions

As from 2nd November 2020, we will no longer be taking repeat prescriptions over the phone. To order your prescription please do so via: 

  • NHS APP (you do not need a username and password for this) More information on this in this prescription section.
  • Online (you will need to request your username and password from the surgery if you don't already have one) 
  • Put your paper prescription in the prescription box (tick boxes) - if you have lost your paper prescription, please write your name, DOB and what you need to order on a piece of paper 
  • If the surgery is closed, you can post your prescription through the letterbox and it will be picked up the next working day


Exemption from wearing a face covering

We are aware that some patients might be understandably anxious about the Government’s recent announcements around the use of face masks in various public settings. GPs are unfortunately not in a position to provide individual risk assessments or letters for patients who feel that they should be exempt from wearing a face mask. The government guidance on exemptions suggests there is no requirement for evidence for exemption therefore it is sufficient for an individual to self-declare this. The responsibility for issuing exemptions lies with the transport provider not your GP. Similarly, practices are under no obligation to provide letters of support for anyone who does not fall under the list of exemptions but considers them to have another reason to be exempted. Government advice on the use of face coverings can be found here Some people don’t have to wear a face covering including for health, age or equality reasons. Some transport staff may not wear a face covering if it is not required for their job. We hope that this guidance provides some reassurance for you on this issue.



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