Influenza & Pneumonia Vaccines 2023



We had a very successful flu vaccination clinic on Saturday 23rd September - thank you for all those that were able to attend. We vaccinated over 2,500 people on the day.

As noted on the flu invite letters, this was the only clinic we are running this year and if you weren't able to attend - we advise that you approach a local pharmacy of your choice to obtain the vaccine.

We will however be doing some extra clinics for those under the age of 18, as pharmacies are not offering the nasal vaccine. We have sent out messages with booking links - if you have yet to receive one, please call reception to book/discuss.

Bridge Cottage Pharmacy are undertaking home visits for our patients that are housebound - they will be offering flu alongside the COVID 19 Autumn booster.

For further information about the flu vaccine, please click here.

Pneumonia Vaccines

Unfortunately, despite having extra stock in place, we ran out very quickly of our pneumonia vaccines. More stock has been ordered & will be delivered in a few days.

As such we we be putting on some additional clinic time to offer this to those that missed out over the weekend. You can call the surgery (avoiding the busy 8am and 12pm call times where possible) to book in.

Please remember this vaccine is available all year round, so can be booked in anytime ordinarily. This vaccine should only be given once in a lifetime, but is recommended every 5 years for those who have had their spleen removed or have stage 3,4 or 5 kidney disease.

Primary Care Access Recovery Plan - What it means for you

The NHS and Department of Health and Social Care have recently published their delivery plan for recovering access to Primary Care. This builds on work we are already doing but further sets out how the NHS will make it easier and more convenient for patients to get the help they need from primary care services. Primary Care is more than just General Practice, so we are working with other local health organisations on this.

It will take time to safely make all the changes in the plan and we ask you to support as we continue on our journey of improvement.

As always, we are committed to providing the very best care that we can within our given resources. Unfortunately, the demand on our services frequently exceeds the available capacity we have in our practice. Supporting us to do this is helpful, such as using online services where you can. Also, it is important to note that if you contact us via the phone you will be triaged by our practice front line reception team in order for you to be seen by the most appropriate profession within the GP practice.

For further information on the national plan visit the NHS Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB website, they are the organisation responsible for commissioning local health services.

Booking your blood test appointment

Blood test appointments, requested by GPs, should now be booked online for the following hospitals:

• Hertford County Hospital

• Lister Hospital

• New QEII Hospital

This is to help maximise the number of appointments we can offer to patients, minimise queues and continue to maintain social distancing in waiting areas.

How do I book my appointment?

Booking an appointment is easy and can be made here

What information to do I need to book my appointment?

You will need your:

✓ NHS number

✓ Name

✓ Postcode

✓ Date of birth

What if I cannot book online?

Please call the phlebotomy team on 01438 284044. This number will be available Monday-Friday between 9am-5pm.

Health Questionnaires

To ensure that we hold accurate and up to date information about our patients, we may be asking you to complete some health questionnaires. These may be sent out via SMS (text) message, email or in the post. These questionnaires are also available on the SystmOnline portal using your log in. If you do not have access to SystmOnline, this can be set up at reception for you.

We appreciate your cooperation with these matters.

New Telephone System

Following feedback from our Patients we have now had a new telephone system installed. 

The new system will make it much easier for patients to cancel appointments and will enable patients to receive a call-back when there is a long queue rather than waiting on the line.  

We anticipate the new telephone system will enable us to provide an improved service to our patients.  Do please let us know if you experience any problems with the new system, any positive feedback would also be welcomed. 

All in-coming and out-going calls are now recorded.


Closure of Kimpton Branch Surgery

After lengthy consideration, Bridge Cottage Surgery proposed the closure of the branch surgery at Kimpton.

All Kimpton patients were contacted by letter to inform them that approval was granted to close the Surgery on 31st August 2022.

Kimpton Surgery closed its doors for the last time on 31st August 2022.

Data Sharing Update - 5/7/21

Concerned about your information being shared?  What you need to know.

The NHS is planning to introduce an improved way for GP practices to share information about patients- called the General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection.  News of these plans has caused some concern to some of our patients, who have decided that they don’t want their data to be involved.

We have now been informed that no data will be shared in this new way until 1 September this year.  If you have already been in touch with the practice to ask to be ‘opted out’, your request will be honoured.  This will not affect your own care. To find out more about how and why the NHS securely collects and uses data, please go to this website.

Update 27th May 2021 - Data Sharing

Dear Patients,

There has been a lot of talk in the media lately regarding data sharing by GP Practice’s we would like to reassure you that we would never sell your data or release it to parties outside of the NHS without your consent.

Please find the below links which will give you information on how the NHS stores and uses your data.

National data opt-out - NHS Digital

If after watching the video and reading the information, you would still like to opt out of the data sharing please use the below link to complete your information or the telephone number for NHS Digital Contact Centre

You can make or change a choice for:

  • Yourself
  • Children under the age of 13
  • Someone you can legally make decision for

Make your choice about sharing data from your health records - NHS (

NHS Digital Contact Centre phone number 0300 303 5678

Your choice will be entered into your records by NHS Digital and they will inform us of the choice, there is no need for you to contact your practice regarding this.

Type 1 Opt Out

In addition to the National Data Opt-Out, the existing ‘Type 1’ opt-outs will continue to be respected until Department of Health and Social Care conducts a consultation with the National Data Guardian on their removal. Therefore, until further notice, if you inform the practice, or  have previously informed the practice that you dissent from the sharing your confidential data for purposes beyond your direct care (Type 1), your data will not be shared outside of the practice without your expressed permission, unless these is an overriding legal obligation to do so.

Data being used or shared for purposes beyond individual care does not include your data being shared with insurance companies or used for marketing purposes and data would only be used in this way with your explicit consent.

Your individual care will not be affected if you opt-out using the Tier 1 or the National Data Opt-out

If you would like to opt out please complete the form below (which will open as a word document) and return to the Surgery and we will update your record. 

Type 1 Opt-Out Form