Latest Update: 16th November 2020
Demand to access GP services continues to remain high, our phones lines are continuously ringing and our staff are working hard to answer them all. We acknowledge patients frustration at having to wait to get through but we can assure you nothing has changed within the practice, it is purely down to the volume of calls we are now receiving compared to before. We therefore ask that you are as concise as possible so that we can process the calls in a timely manner. For non-urgent appointments, medical certificates and test results, please consider calling later in the morning.
The practice has now installed intercom systems at all sites. Patients are asked to use the intercom to notify receptionists that they have arrived for their appointment. Patients should NOT enter the premises until you have been asked to. There is signage on the doors to inform patients about this - please ensure you have read these notices. You will be asked to continue to telephone the practice for all other queries.
The practice has also started to allow a number of people into the waiting room at any one time, in accordance with Government guidance around social distancing. You may be asked to wait outside the practice, or in your car, if the waiting room has reached capacity. Therefore, it is important that you do not arrive too early for your appointment.
Once in the waiting room, you are asked NOT to move around but to sit on, or if you prefer, to stand by a chair. Disinfectant wipes are located by each chair to be used to for cleaning before and after using it. Hand sanitiser gel is also available for you to use.
Please see below alternative services that are available and may help when the practice has reached capacity:
NHS 111 telephone service or NHS 111 website for medical advice/signposting
Minor Injury Clinic – Gravesham Hospital Tel: 01474 360500
Urgent Care Centres - Medway Maritime Hospital and Darent Valley Hospital
The practice has received several comments to enquire about how we are working during the pandemic. We have compiled a number of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) which we hope will help answer some of these questions:
Highparks Medical Practice Covid 19 Restrictions Operating Policy 2020
Frequently Asked Questions
- Your flu clinics are being run from Wainscott and Cliffe, so why do these sites remain closed for GP and Nurse services? In March, the practice put plans in place to consolidate staff and equipment resources into two of the four sites. This has allowed the practice greater flexibility to backfill staff that may have been self-isolating or shielding in order to maintain services in a safe way for patients and staff. The Flu clinics are being provided at Wainscott and Cliffe to reduce the footfall of patients coming to the other two sites for these vaccinations. Our nursing team are running the clinics as an addition to their other appointments and in line with the national guidance of social distancing.
- When will Wainscott and Cliffe re-open? As the country is still facing uncertainty with the pandemic, the practice will continue to provide the majority of its services at Cliffe Woods and Higham. This is as a result of revisiting the risk assessment put in place at the start of the pandemic. The risk of infection is still high and if all four sites were open, there is a greater chance that staff could become infected or have to self-isolate which may result in a complete closure of one or more of our sites.
- Why can’t patients come into the practice? The doors remain closed to prevent the public from walking into the Practice without any form of screening first. This allows us to ensure the safety of our staff and patients is paramount. An intercom system has recently been installed at all practice sites making it easier for reception to inform the clinical staff that you have arrived for your appointment. You will continue to be asked to ring the practice for all other queries.
- Why can’t I pre-book a routine appointment nor have a normal face to face appointment? The practice has a duty to consider all aspects of patient care and protection from the spread of coronavirus as well as protect our own valuable workforce who are vital for the continued running of our services. The practice has adopted the national policy of total triage which enables us to concentrate as many of our resources as possible to offering on the day appointments for acutely unwell patients. We, like all of the GP Practices in Medway, now provide remote consultations via telephone, video-conferencing. After this initial telephone triage, if the clinician feels it is appropriate, the patient will be invited to attend the practice for a face to face appointment with full protective measures. Our nursing team have been providing face to face consultation with patients throughout, dressed in full protective equipment. They are providing blood tests, monitoring of patients with long term conditions (diabetes, asthma, COPD, hypertension etc), child immunisations and cervical screening. There have been some services that the NHS has stopped that include minor operations, travel vaccinations and ear syringing. However we are constantly reviewing national guidance. We have and continue to provide home visits where necessary.
- How am I expected to make an appointment if I can’t get through on the telephones? Recently we have experienced a surge in demand which has led to longer waiting times on the telephone and increased pressure on the appointments we can offer. This has been due to a number of factors, mostly due to the coronavirus restrictions that we have to operate under and the national guidelines that the NHS has adopted for primary care added to an understandable rebound of demand following the easing of lockdown. We understand the frustrations that some of our patients have experienced and we have been looking at ways to enhance and utilise new ways of working. We are investing heavily in technology, infrastructure and recruitment to improve the service we can offer despite all the restrictions that are currently upon all of us.
- I find it difficult to travel to Cliffe Woods or Higham for a Nurse appointment, what are you doing about that? For those who are struggling to travel to these sites, please seek support from relatives, friends or the local community. Our nursing team also have pre-bookable appointments on a Saturday morning as part of our Extended Hours Access and these appointments may be more suitable for patients whose relatives or friends are able to help then as opposed to during the working week. Blood tests can also be booked at MCH House (an appointment is required, please ring 01634 471098) in Gillingham if we have reached our capacity for appointments.
- I normally put my repeat prescription into Wainscott or Cliffe. If these sites are closed, what do I do? You can continue to post your repeat prescriptions through the letterbox of these sites. On a daily basis, our staff go to Wainscott to collect these and then deliver them to either Cliffe Woods or Higham where they are processed in the usual manner. All prescription requests are now sent electronically to the patient’s nominated pharmacy (with the exception of Cliffe Dispensary). Alternatively, you can request your repeat prescriptions online via MyGP App or Patient Access on our website.
- Have your opening times changed due to the pandemic? No, in fact our phone lines are now open from 8.00am – 6.30pm Monday to Friday and you can ring any of the telephone numbers for the four sites to speak to a receptionist at the practice. Lines from Cliffe and Wainscott have been transferred to Higham and Cliffe Woods respectively, so you may wish to ring these sites directly on 01474 823841 (Higham) or 01634 221410 (Cliffe Woods).
- Where can I find up to date information relating to the practice? Our website www.highparksmedicalpractice.nhs.uk is constantly being updated with information about the practice including how to register for online services.
CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS - PLEASE REFER TO THE DEDICATED PAGE IN THE FURTHER INFORMATION SECTION AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.
Flu Plan 2020/21
There is a lot of discussion now in the media regarding the national flu vaccine campaign for 2020/21. Highparks Medical Practice has orders in place for vaccines based on last years uptake.The Government has also added the over 50s to the vaccine programme which will add to the numbers we would normally expect to vaccinate. Although all this will make this years programme even more complicated especially with the extra risks of infection the Practice will endeavour to deliver a successful programme to all the groups identified by the Government.
This year the Practice will be delivering multiple, smaller flu clinics to reduce the risk of large gatherings of patients in one place. Flu clinics will be carried out initially at Wainscott and Cliffe sites in order to reduce the risk of mixing vulnerable staff groups unnecessarily.
Appointments for all eligible patients, i.e over 65 years of age, 2,3 & 4 year olds and patients under 65 years of age who have an underlying health condition such as Diabetes, Asthma, COPD, Cancer, etc. are now available to book. Please contact the practice to book your flu jab.
The Government over 50s vaccination programme: The vaccines for this group of patients have not yet been released by the Government to GP Practices for administering and it is likely that Highparks Medical Practice will only receive these towards the end of November, beginning of December. If you are a patient who is eligible under this programme, please do not contact the practice to book a flu jab at this current time. Updates regarding these vaccines will appear on this webpage.
Patients are reminded to:
To ring after 11am to book the appointment
Wear a face covering when attending the appointment and to only attend at your given time
Wear loose clothing
Maintain 2m social distancing at all time
Do not attend if you or anyone you are in contact with has COVID symptoms
We will get around to all of our eligible patients within the Government’s guidelines so please be patient as clinics will be slower this year with the extra restrictions in place. Please monitor this webpage for updates.
Please note that this practice will be closed for staff training from 12 noon on Thursday 29th October 2020 and will re-open the following morning at 8am.
If you require urgent medical care (i.e. you have symptoms that need immediate attention) during this time, please ring
If you need to make a routine appointment, request a repeat prescription, or if you are waiting for tests results, please wait until the following morning when the practice re-opens.
Welcome to Highparks Medical Practice
Highparks Medical Practice was established on 1st October 2018 as a result of the merger between The Parks Medical Practice and Highcliffe Medical Practice.
We are a ten doctor practice, five of whom are Partners. The practice team consists of ancillary staff serving a population of over 15500 patients working from four modern purpose-built fully equipped surgeries in Cliffe Woods, Higham, Cliffe and Wainscott. We also offer a dispensing service at the Cliffe surgery.
Our mission statement is: To provide high quality GP primary care to our patients in a safe, effective and efficient way. To continue to strive for excellence and putting the patients’ needs at the centre of everything we do
We are confident that our website will provide clear and concise help and give our patients the information they require in an easy and convenient format. It has been designed with the patient’s needs at the forefront of everything, from checking surgery times to letting us know what you think of us.
Please note we operate under a Zero Tolerance Policy
Our dedicated team are here to treat those minor ailments that occur as well as providing specialist management of long-term conditions and clinics covering a wide range of healthcare issues. The technology also means you can now do a lot of things from the comfort of your home such as order a repeat prescription or cancel an appointment.
DoctorLink is our new online service where you can:
- Access advice
- Book appointments online
- Request Repeat Prescriptions
- Request Sick Notes
For further information and to sign up and create an account please go to the dedicated DoctorLink Section under Appointments
(Site updated 16/11/2020)