Blog Archive



When you are referred to another service you should receive information from the person who referred you about what to expect. That includes external referrals (such as hospitals or community services) and internal referrals (such as to the Social Prescribers or Care Coordinators)

Some of that information can be found here on this page but if you are unsure please contact the Practice.

Being referred to a Specialist:

Please do not ask us to ‘speed up’ your referral after it has been done, as organisations manage their own lists and waiting times; we have no control over these.

If your symptoms have changed or got worse then on occasion the GP can write an ‘expediting letter’ explaining this to send to the organisation, however more often the organisations can log this information themselves and are happy to be contacted by patients.

Unfortunately there are longer waiting lists at this time and as a Practice we cannot contact hospitals on your behalf to ask about waiting times or places in the list. If you are struggling to contact the hospital the numbers for Leighton Appointments and their PALS team are below. Our Care Coordinators can help to support patients and carers who may be unable to support themselves in doing this, please do contact us if you or a family member may benefit from this support.

Leighton Appointments Line: 01270 612 200

Leighton PALS: 01270 612410

Warrington & Halton Outpatients Appointments Line: 01925 662 038

Wythenshawe Outpatient Appointments Line: 0161 998 7070

Walton Centre Outpatient Appointments Line: 0151 556 3213

Therapy Services (MSK/Physio) Appointments Line: 01270 278 310



Oakwood Medical Centre is now a Veteran Friendly Accredited Practice.

A veteran is anyone who has served in the UK Armed Forces

This page gives patients who are Veterans an idea of what to expect and what they can access.

For more information about the scheme please see the link to the programme here:

Oakwood Medical Centre May 2022

Useful documents are here:


Domestic Violence & Abuse

The staff in your practice are trained about domestic abuse and specialist workers are available to support you. Your practice is an IRIS practice. You can talk to doctors, nurses and other staff working here if you are being hurt or controlled by your current or ex-partner, are afraid of someone at home or a member of your family. You can also contact 0300 123 7047 option 2 and ask to speak to your local IRIS Advocate Educator.

The Open the Door website also has lots of information to help if you or someone you know who is in a relationship that doesn’t quite feel right. Visit for advice and access to self-support services.

Online security: if you’re worried about someone knowing you have visited this website and other domestic abuse pages from your computer please visit:

Other ways to get support:
• women can call The Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge on 0808 2000 247 for free at any time, day or night. The staff will offer confidential, non-judgemental information and support
• talk to a doctor, health visitor or midwife
• men can call Men’s Advice Line on 0808 8010 327 (Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm), or visit the webchat at Men’s Advice Line (Wednesday to Friday 10am to 11am and 3pm to 4pm) for non-judgemental information and support
• men can also call ManKind on 0182 3334 244 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)
• If you identify as LGBT+ you can call Galop on 0800 999 5428 for emotional and practical support
• anyone can call Karma Nirvana on 0800 5999 247 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) for forced marriage and honour crimes. You can also call 020 7008 0151 to speak to the GOV.UK Forced Marriage Unit
• in an emergency, call 999


Nurses Appointments including Chronic Condition Reviews

New ways of doing assessments

Some of our assessments can be done over the telephone. Asthma and COPD reviews require some information to be completed before you have the telephone call with the nurse.

Please see the information below for completion prior to your telephone call:

After your asthma appointment the nurse may also ask you to complete an Asthma Plan, which may be sent to you via a text message link. Please see a copy of the plan below:

Our nursing team can see patients for the following things:

  • Chronic Condition Reviews i.e. Asthma, COPD, Diabetes reviews
  • ECGs
  • Child Immunisations
  • Pill reviews (if you have been started on these by a GP – if not please book a double appointment with a GP initially)
  • Depo Injections (again, only follow up injections can be done by the nursing team)
  • Smear tests
  • B12 injections
  • Flu Injections
  • 24 hour BP
  • Blood Pressure reviews

The nurse appointments can get very busy and are likely to be booked in advance. 

Unlike GP Appointments we allow booking up to 4 weeks in advance for some nurse appointments, such as Child Immunisations, and B12 follow ups.

We would ask that patients ensure they keep their nurse appointment or cancel it if they cannot make it, patients should be able to cancel by text message in the near future as well as being able to cancel online via any of the apps. This is especially important for review appointments as many are more than 20 minutes long and the nurse can sometimes have a waiting list for a specific type of appointment.

Please see this page for information on depo injections and pill reviews: How do I book a Sexual Health Check or Contraception advice appointment?



Our Practice is accessible from the main car park and located next to the disabled car parking spaces just at the entry.

The clinical rooms are all based on the ground floor with wide corridors and an easily accessible waiting area.  


If you require assistance with a wheelchair please let us know beforehand so we can ensure it is ready for you (a member of staff will need to control the wheelchair).

Guide dogs

Guide dogs are permitted on site, but all other dogs are not permitted.

Hearing loop & Sign Language Support

There is a hearing loop available in the building.  If you require support during your appointment please let the reception team know.


Makaton signs are available on the leaflet stand in main reception should anyone need to access them to help support their appointment.  In the next few months they will be put up around the practice in relevant areas.


If you have any suggestions on how to ensure the building is more accessible please contact or use the suggestions slips in main reception.


Patient Self-Care

Self Care is the actions that individuals take for themselves, on behalf of and with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, well being or wellness.

Our CCICP Colleagues have produced some self-care leaflets for Physiotherapy and common ailments – please click here

We have produced a short guide to Self Care that you can pick up in the practice. Please click here..

This is based on the longer ‘When to Worry’ booklet. This booklet is a bit longer so please be careful when printing – Please click here.

You can see more about Self Care from the Self-Care Forum website –please click here. 

Our colleagues at Oaklands Medical Centre have created a self-care guide for Ear Care. Please click here:  Blocked ears self care

We have highlighted some of the information below:

Self-Care and Schools/Nurseries

Guidance has been released by the local Medicines Management Team to clarify the position in relation to giving medicines in schools/nursery settings that are not prescribed.  Essentially the guidance allows for parents to consent to medication being administered and a prescription for medication is not required.

For the full guidance please see the MMT website or ask for a copy of the guidance in the practice.

We have also created a handy small guide for parents, incorporating the advice from the CCG about when children are recommended to go back to school and links to the self-care information.  You can pick up a copy in our reception area.  We have liaised with local schools to send this to them.

Why is self care good for people?

Empowering people with the confidence and information to look after themselves when they can, and visit the GP when they need to, gives people greater control of their own health and encourages healthy behaviours that help prevent ill health in the long-term. In many cases people can take care of their minor ailments, reducing the number of GP consultations and enabling GPs to focus on caring for higher risk patients, such as those with comorbidities, the very young and elderly, managing long-term conditions and providing new services.

More cost-effective use of stretched NHS resources allows money to be spent where it’s most needed and improve health outcomes. Furthermore, increased personal responsibility around healthcare helps improve people’s health and wellbeing and better manage long-term conditions when they do develop. This will ultimately ensure the long-term sustainability of the NHS.

The evidence

Around 80% of all care in the UK is self care. The majority of people feel comfortable managing everyday minor ailments like coughs and colds themselves; particularly when they feel confident in recognising the symptoms and have successfully treated using an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine before.

On average, people in the UK experience nearly four symptoms every fortnight, the three commonest being feeling tired/run down, headaches and joint pain and most of these are managed in the community without people seeking professional healthcare.

What happens when people give up on self-care?

Despite people’s willingness to initially self-treat, there are still 57 million GP consultations a year for minor ailments at a total cost to the NHS of £2 billion, which takes up, on average, an hour a day for every GP.

Research shows that people often abandon self care earlier than they need to, typically seeking the advice of a doctor within a period of 4-7 days. The main reasons for this are:

  • Lack of confidence in understanding the normal progress of symptoms (e.g. a cold can last up to 14 days)
  • The perceived severity and duration of symptoms
  • Reassurance that nothing more serious is wrong
  • A prescription to ‘cure’ the illness, even though the same medicine may be available over-the-counter


May 2021

We are still encouraging all patients to sign up for online access if possible to order their medication.

If you do not have online access please complete the form and return to the surgery with your ID.  We will e-mail you your details.

If you cannot access online please post your prescription request in the post box in the foyer, or if we are closed (in an evening) you can use the post box on the wall near the disabled car parking spaces.

If you will struggle with collecting your medication please contact the surgery and we will put you in contact with our Social Prescribing Team.

You can use the AccuRx Online Consulting section on our website to order medication if you are struggling to order using patient access.

Please be aware that we can take up to 2 working days to process a prescription request.    Why so long? Please see our ‘Journey of a Prescription’ document to show the number of steps a prescription must go through before it reaches you.  Please note we do not take prescription requests over the phone.

The Journey of a prescription 2018

Hospital Prescriptions

There are certain rules and guidelines that we must follow around requests from hospitals/consultants and other outside agencies. For more information please ask the Practice Pharmacist or see the Medicines Management website:


Two working days for us to process a prescription does not mean that the chemist will automatically be able to give you your medication, especially if the medication needs to be ordered. Speak to your chosen pharmacy to ensure you don’t have any issues.

New Patients

At Oakwood we may need to see you personally before we  can issue your medication as a new patient. Please ensure you order with enough time to book an appointment if you need one.

Our Practice Pharmacist will review your medication with the GP and will contact you if an appointment or telephone consultation is needed.

Please remember that different areas and surgeries have different rules and regulations to follow so we may not always be the same as your previous practice.  If you have any concerns please speak to a GP or the Practice Manager.

If you have set up EPS (Electronic Prescriptions) please ensure you have removed this from your old pharmacy – we have had patients whose prescriptions have gone to London, Manchester, Liverpool etc as they used to live there – your ‘nomination’ will follow you when you move practices and will not be automatically removed.  Please ensure you check this before you request your prescription.

Bank Holiday Closures

We will always endeavour to inform you of bank holiday closures and what that means for your prescription.  Please see our front desk/doors for up to date bank holiday information.


Non-NHS Services & Fees

Fees list 2019 Feb

Some services provided are not covered under our contract with the NHS and therefore attract charges. Examples include the following:

  • Medicals for pre-employment, sports and driving requirements (HGV, PSV etc.)
  • Insurance claim forms
  • Prescriptions for taking medication abroad
  • Private sick notes
  • Vaccination certificates

The fees charged are based on the British Medical Association (BMA) suggested scales and our reception staff will be happy to advise you about them along with appointment availability.

Please note that these non-NHS Services can take a little while to action as NHS work has to take priority.  If you concerned about timescales please inform the reception team who will be able to ask the GP for approximate time-frames.

Please note: Passports and shotgun licences are no longer signed by the doctor.

Your Questions Answered

Isn’t the NHS supposed to be free?

The NHS provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are some exceptions for example: medicals completed by the GP, medical reports for insurance companies etc.

Surely the Doctor is being paid anyway?

It is important to understand that GPs are not employed by the NHS, they are self-employed and they have to cover their costs, for example, staff, heat and light like any other small business. The NHS covers these costs for NHS work but not for Non NHS work. The fee charged for Non NHS work therefore goes towards covering these costs.

What is covered by the NHS and what is not?

The Governments contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients. In recent years more and more organisations have been involving GPs in a wide range of non-medical work. Sometimes the only reason that GPs are asked to be involved is because they are in a position of trust in the community or because an insurance company, employer or solicitor wants to be sure that information that you have provided them with is accurate and true.

So what sort of thing will I be charged for?

As an example there will be a charge for medical reports for insurance companies or mortgage applications. Some travel vaccinations can only be provided privately as they are not available on the NHS. Forms that need completing because you have had to cancel your holiday will incur a charge. Questionnaires that need completing for personal reasons will incur a charge as will a letter that may be required if you want to leave a private gym for health reasons.

Is it true that the BMA sets fees for Non NHS work?

The BMA has in the past provided guidance for GPs in setting their fees. This is less common now and GPs are able to set their own fees to ensure that their costs in delivering the services are covered. Time spent completing private reports and undertaking private medical examinations are generally done outside of normal working hours as an extra commitment to a GPs workload.
I only need a Doctors signature – what’s the problem?
When a Doctor signs a certificate or a report, they can only sign for what they know to be true and accurate. In order to complete even the simplest of forms the Doctor will need to check the Patients medical record. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the Doctor as well as the patient.

How long will I wait for a report?

A Doctors priority will always be the care provided for patients under the NHS. The work described here that is non NHS work is often carried out outside of normal working hours and the waiting time is therefore affected. We suggest one to two weeks for completion of a basic report providing the GP who knows you is available. Appointments for private medicals can usually be arranged within a couple of weeks. Appointments for private travel vaccinations with our Practice Nurses can generally be arranged within 4-6 weeks but a travel health questionnaire will need to be completed in the first instance. Please ask our reception team for further details of appointment times.

How much will I be charged?

Please see the list of charges for the most common services at the top of this page

Payment for services can be made by cash or cheque made out to Oakwood Medical Centre. A receipt will be provided on all occasions.
If the service you require is not on the list please contact our Practice Manager to arrange a quotation.


When Someone You Love Dies

A big ‘Thank You’ to our colleagues at Ashcroft Surgery in Bradford for allowing us to use this information to help support our patients ( 

When somebody loses a loved one, it is usually very difficult and trying time. The emotions you are going through are probably quite normal. Often, people think they’re going mad or crazy because they either see things or can’t quite get their ‘head’ straight. But all of this is quite normal.


The following is a list of things commonly experienced by people who have lost a loved one. These are quite NORMAL and they will soon disappear. None of them mean that you are going mad and many are often out of proportion (like guilt or anger). Try not to be too preoccupied by them – don’t obstruct them, just let them happen. There’s no right way of coping with a death – people respond to a loss in their own individual way.

  • Preoccupation with thoughts of the dead person leading to tearfulness and to insomnia.
  • Visual phenomena Illusions of seeing the dead person and pseudo hallucination visual, auditory and physical.
  • Yearning
  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Poor concentration
  • Indecision and Restlessness. There may be periods of being able to concentrate and perform quite well amongst periods of haziness and indecision.
  • Forgetfulness
  • Fatigue
  • Searching – knowing that the person is dead but going hopefully to places where they would have been.

People who experience bereavement often wonder whether they are depressed, most of the time, they are not – instead, what they are experiencing is a grief reaction – where one’s mood is expected to be low. You may find comfort in knowing that most people manage to carry on with their lives a few months after a loved one has passed on. Grief usually passes through three stages, but these stages are not separate, nor do they necessarily follow in sequence.

  1. An initial stage of shock or disbelief when it is difficult to believe that the death has occurred. This stage may last minutes or weeks.
  2. A stage of acute anguish or anger that usually lasts from weeks to months when the feelings of depression occur. Planning the future may be difficult.
  3. A phase of resolution after months, or even years.
    It can take between 6 months to 1 year to go through these three stages. The average is probably around 6 months.


As we said before, it takes on average 6 months for a person to get through a bereavement. In some circumstances, people get stuck in the bereavement pathway, and it is in these cases where they may need a doctor to help them move on.

You should go and see your doctor EARLY (i.e. within 2 weeks of the death) if

  • Your loved one died a sudden or unexpected death
  • Your loved one died a painful, stormy or horrible death
  • You have experienced multiple losses recently
  • You feel you cannot carry on living without your loved one.
  • There is no one else at home who lives with you.
  • You have other life crises – financial, job loss, house being repossessed etc
  • You have already been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, panic disorder or any other mental health illness.

The worrying symptoms and signs of depression would further indicate that you need to see a doctor:

  • intense feelings of guilt not related to the bereavement
  • thoughts of suicide or a preoccupation with dying
  • feelings of worthlessness
  • markedly slow speech and movements, lying in bed doing nothing all day
  • prolonged or severe inability to function (not able to work, socialise or enjoy any leisure activity)
  • prolonged hallucinations of the deceased, or hallucinations unrelated to the bereavement.

If you think someone would benefit from talking further or needs more specialist support (by

phone or online), you can direct them to any of the national organisations listed below.

Local Groups Cheshire

  • Mind Mid Cheshire ‘One for Sorrow’ Provide wrap-around bereavement support based in local community hubs to anyone aged 17+ living in Northwich, Winsford or Middlewich Tel:01606 863305 Email:
  • Hospice of the Good Shepherd: Family Support & Bereavement Services.  Have a dedicated and professional team providing support to people throughout West Cheshire, who are dealing with bereavement following the death of a loved one, regardless of when, where or how they died. Counselling is also available to those affected by a life-limiting illness. /how-we-help/family-support-bereavement-services/
  • Café 71 (Chester) A non-judgemental, calm and creative space offering non-clinical crisis support both in person and on the phone T: 01244 393139 E:
  • Age UK Cheshire East Independent Mental Capacity/Health Advocacy Services Counsellor is available between 10am and 2pm, every Thursday, to book a session please call 01625 612958 or by email to
  • East Cheshire Hospice Offering counselling to adults who have lost loved ones during Covid-19, even if they have no previous link to the Hospice  | 01625 610 364

Travel Vaccinations

If you’re planning to travel outside the UK, you may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases found in other parts of the world.

We are not currently offering Travel Vaccinations while we ensure our processes are safe and effective after the pandemic.  Update training needs to be completed by staff and the process re-defined.

If you have a travel vaccination query please contact us and we will look into this in the meantime and advise.


Not all travel vaccinations are included in the services provided by the NHS so you may also be referred to a private travel clinic.

Please note, we do not issue vaccinations for work purposes and we would advise any patients who require vaccinations for work to contact their employer or relevant occupational health department.

Please see this website for more information.

The NHS Choices website also has some information on Travel Vaccinations: