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Autumn 2020 Edition

Welcome to our Autumn 2020 edition of our patient newsletter, aiming to keep you informed of the services at Townhill Community Surgery and give you important insights into general practice.

Coronavirus updates

As of Tuesday the 17th of November, we have re-opened our waiting roomin preparation for the colder months. If you have a face-to-face appointment, please check in at the main doors where one of our patients coordinators will check you in and direct you where to sit and ask you to sanitise your hands. Please bring your own face covering. 

We ask that you do not arrive more than few minutes before you appointment, and to come alone unless you have a career or require additional support. 

It takes a while for our Patient Coordinators to put on and take off the mandatory mask and protective equipment when they assist the patients. This means they may take longer to answer your call or come to the front door, but they will be with you as soon as they can.

The clinician will then come collect you once ready, and escort you out of the practice.

This is all to ensure social distancing is adhered to, with our top priority being the safety of our patients and staff.

f you need any medical help, advice or support do get in touch with us. You can contact us on 02380 472 232 to speak with one of our patient coordinators.  

We continue to encourage the use of the NHS app to order your repeat medication, or you can request your medication online by clicking here

You can submit eConsults via our website to remote consult with a clinician.

If you have any symptoms relating to coronavirus including high temperatures, a new continuous cough and loss or change to your sense of smell and taste, please DO NOT visit the practice. You will need to contact 111 online or call NHS 111 to seek advice and support.

Thank you all for your continued patience and adaptability this past year, we are very grateful for your support.

We have a brand new phone system!

We have installed a new phone system here at the surgery, with the aim of managing our calls in a more effective manner. We now have a series of options for you to choose from to ensure you speak with the right person in relation to your enquiry. 

All of our incoming and outgoing calls are recorded, which is only for training and monitoring purposes. 

2020 seasonal flu vaccines

We are well into our 2020 influenza vaccination campaign, and are able to offer those who are eligible at all age groups. 

How to book an appointment

You can contact us on 02380 472 232 to speak with one our patient coordinators who will be able tell you if you are eligible or not. If you are not eligible and believe you should be, not to worry, we can look into this for you. 

MSK Physiotherapy service now available Here!

As of October we are now offering a new service for all our patients with Musculoskeletal (MSK) problems – including injuries and diseases affecting the muscles, bones and joints of their limbs and spine.

The service allows contact with an MSK clinician within 24 hours, providing quick access to expert assessment, diagnosis, treatment and advice with an experienced physiotherapist

Currently, the initial on the day contact will be made via a telephone call, with face-to-face appointments soon to be offered. This appointment may be offered on site at Townhill, or at an alternative surgery in Woolston. 

If you have any joint and muscular pains and think this service may be of benefit, you can contact us and speak with one our Patient Coordinators who can then refer you on the day, or alternatively you can also complete an eConsult providing information on the presenting problem.

Meet the team!

We would love to use these newsletters as a chance for you to get to know us a little bit better, our different teams and to keep you updated on any behind the scenes changes!

New team members

Since our last newsletter in the summer, we have had a few new members of staff join the team!

Marc and Sue have joined as part of our patient coordinator team.

Sam has become our clinical administrator, taking on anything medicines management related.

Lets give them a BIG Townhill welcome!!

Our Doctor team

A general practitioner (GP) is a medical doctor who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education to patients. Currently, doctors in the UK may train for up to 16 years before qualifying!

At Townhill Community Surgery we have four GPs:

  • Dr David Iles
  • Dr Nadja Birch
  • Dr Stacey Copeman
  • Dr Pippa Gardiner

On occasions, you may see or speak with a locum GP, who is essentially a substitute doctor to help with cover or increased demand.

Lets get digital

Healthcare in the digital age

As technology continues to advance in extraordinary ways, new digital tools are continuously being developed within the healthcare industry as a way to provide support, care and advice in a more efficient and individualised manner.

Here at Townhill Community Surgery, we strive to provide the best for all our patients and therefore are always interested in new and exciting ways to help improve our way of working, and how you experience and engage with your health.

Our favourite tools

These are some online tools we would recommend you to take a look at, click each icon for more information. 

NHS app

Through this app, you can order repeat medication, view your medical record, book appointments and submit eConsults.


By submitting an eConsult you can remotely consult your chosen GP, request fit notes and self-check your symptoms. 

My mhealth

A range of apps offering the self-management of chronic diseases through easy-to-use tools, education courses and reporting mechanisms.

Patient Access

If you don't have a smart phone, you can use Patient Access on your computer to order medications & view your medical record. 

My mHealth

The my mhealth range of user friendly and intuitive apps offer patients the ability to link with our specialist nursing team to help guide, manage and support patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, diabetes & heart disease.

Contact Connor on 02380 472 232 extension 5 for more information and to sign up.

Online Self-referral services

Did you know that there are some free NHS health services you can access without needing an appointment with you GP? 

These are called self-referrals and could help you find the care you need quicker and more easily than going through the practice. You can register for most of them online by completing a form, or even just by phoning.

There are a few online referral services that we recommend within Southampton.


Earlier we mentioned our new MSK service; however, there is also an alternative service available for those patients wishing to have physiotherapy for musculoskeletal problems such as back/ neck pain, joint pain and soft tissue injuries.

You can self-refer to Southampton Primary Care physiotherapy service, where you will be provided with a 40 minute treatment session. To do this, you can use their online form by clicking here, or you can contact them on 02380 170 611. Please note, you need to be over the age of 16 for this.

Maternity self-referral

If you are at least 6 weeks pregnant, you can now refer yourself directly to the maternity service at the University Hospital Southampton through an online form. Once the form has been processed, a triage midwife will contact you in order to discuss your referral and let you know the next steps. You can find the form by clicking here, or call the maternity team on 02381 208 714.


If you experience problems with low mood/depression, anxiety or stress, you can get help with Steps2Wellbing. They can offer you a range of different types of treatments through a self-referral service for anyone over the age of 18. Once your referral has been accepted you should receive a reply within two weeks. 

You can access the online form by clicking here.

If you need urgent help, you can contact the surgery on our usual number to speak with a clinician, or contact the Samaritans on 116 121.

Appointments in General Practice

We thought it would be a good idea to give you a bit of insight into what goes on behind the scenes here at the practice. A key area is appointments, which involves a lot of monthly planning and strategising, to ensure we have the right amount of availability to meet the demand.

Here at Townhill Community Surgery, we have 9 clinical staff all of who can support and assist you with your health needs. We therefore need to plan and organise how their time will be best to utilised on a weekly basis.

We have dedicated clinics and appointments for urgent support for problems that need to be dealt with on-the-day. Contrasting this, we also have appointments for non-urgent routine problems and conditions, for example, chronic disease management, injections and follow ups. 

This is why when you call in to ask for some advice, support or an appointment our Patient Coordinators will ask what the appointment is needed for – it’s not because they are being nosey, it’s so they can ensure you are seen by the right clinician within the right time frame.

COVID-19 has forced us to rethink how we handle appointments, with the majority of our appointments over the past 6 months having been carried out over the telephone or even as a video consultation. More recently, we have started to carry out face-to-face appointments again with appropriate health and safety measures being carried out. 

Below shows our October statistics to give you an insight into what we can expect on a monthly basis. 

October Appointment Statistics 

Appointment Type



GP routine



Nurse Routine



On the day urgent



Appointments on a national scale

For the month of September, an estimated 26.7 million appointments took place in England, with 33% taking place over the telephone.

Within Southampton, there were 116, 676 appointments - out of these 4,154 patients did not show up for their appointment. If you can't make your appointment it is always important to let the service know.

Winter Opening Hours

It's that time of year again, Christmas is upon us! Please see below our 2020 opening days for the festive period.

Thursday 24th December - OPEN

Friday 25th December - CLOSED

Monday 28th December - CLOSED

Tuesday 29th December - OPEN

Wednesday 30th December - OPEN

 Thursday 31st December - OPEN

Friday 1st January - CLOSED

If you need any medical support or advice during this period and we are closed, please contact 111 or in an emergency call 999. 

And we wish a very
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all our patients!

Our website contains a wealth of resources and information that you might find useful, click the button to check it out!
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Townhill Community Surgery

Townhill Community Surgery, Wessex Road West End, Southampton, United Kingdom 02380472232

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