Newsletter - Summer 2024




Welcome to our Summer Newsletter.

We hope you enjoy the various articles, some very topical!

These are uncertain time for the NHS, and for Primary Care in particular. A general election may bring a change of government, with new ideas of what is best for general practice. Until then, all current projects and developments are on hold and there will, of course, be some delay before a new Department of Health team gets up and running.

In addition, the doctors' union, the British Medical Association (BMA), is actively exploring possible industrial action by GPs. This is in response to imposed contract changes for 2024/25 and a rather derisory funding uplift of just 1.9%. This clearly will not cover the salary increases our staff rightly deserve nor the cost increases in energy and all other areas. We will have to think very carefully how we respond to any call for action but we can assure our patients that we will always put their wellbeing first and foremost.

As a practice we have always taken a pragmatic approach to imposed changes, be it from the national government or local NHS departments (e.g. what used to be the CCG but is now the ICB, Integrated Care Board). We welcome positive progress and developments but where we are less certain, we make change work in the best possible way for our practice and patients.

Despite all this uncertainty, we remain very positive at Ryeland Surgery. We have a strong and committed team in all departments. In our doctors' team we are delighted that some enthusiastic and excellent young GPs have recently joined us.

Last year it was Drs lona Clark and Daniel Mulvihill; this year we welcome Drs Lucy Glasgow and Priya Mehra. Lucy completed her specialist GP training with us - it is always heartening when our best registrars want to stay on as GPs! Priya moved to this area from Birmingham and was impressed with our set-up and team spirit.


doctor with a patient

GP Registrars

At Ryeland Surgery we are actively involved in training the GPs of the future. (One such, Dr Lucy Glasgow, having recently completed her training with us, has joined us as a permanent GP at the practice).

They are known as GP registrars. On occasion, your appointment will be with one of these members of our team. You will be informed of this when you book your appointment.

Seeing patients is invaluable to their training experience. GP registrars learn more from you, the patient, than they do from either books, the internet, or us, their GP trainers!

When you are offered an appointment with one of our registrars it is important for you to know that they are fully qualified doctors who have chosen to specialise in General Practice. The time they spend with us is to develop their skills in this specialty. They are always supervised by one of the regular GPs in the surgery and will relay any questions or concerns to us.

Your help and engagement in their training is invaluable, so thank you for helping us to develop the GPs of the future!


Ryeland Surgery is a RCGP Military Veteran Friendly registered practice.

What does this mean?

It means that the surgery staff are actively supporting our military veterans and ensuring they receive appropriate care and treatment pathways and, where possible, a faster access to priority services.

No veteran should face disadvantages in accessing health services and should receive priority care for military attributable conditions subject to clinical need. So who can claim to be a Veteran? Anyone who has served for one day in any of the branches of the British Armed forces, Regular and Reserve and National Service and also members of the Merchant Marine who have served in a combat zone from WWII, the Falklands and the Gulf. Simply let the reception staff know or your clinician next time you are here and we will register you as a Veteran.

Some services can be accessed by self-referral and we can help point you in the right direction. Op Courage is for Mental Health Support for Veterans, service leavers and reservists. Op Fortitude can help homeless service leavers finding homes. Op Restore is for veterans and service leavers who have sustained injuries and are having ongoing medical treatment. This is a GP referral only.

Op Community is a phone line that helps veterans navigate the services available, and those in the criminal justice system can find support. We have a clinician who is responsible for Veteran related matters, who can advise other staff on how to best access the services they need. Please register with the surgery if you have not done so already.

veteran friendly



Dr Paul Haverty left the practice in May for pastures new and Dr Emma Derbyshire will also be moving on later this summer. Both have given years of loyal service to Westfield Surgery and then Ryeland Surgery when we merged two years ago. We would like to thank them and wish them well for the future.



Image of Dr Lucy Glasgow

Dr Lucy Glasgow, who has been on placement with us for the last year whilst completing her specialist GP training, is now fully qualified and we are delighted that she has chosen to join the team permanently. She will be working Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Dr Priya Mehra has also joined us following completion of her specialist GP training in Birmingham earlier this year. She will be working Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Image of Dr Priya Mehra


Image of a young family putting on suncream

Taking care in the sun

Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide...

Well it's that time of year when we start stocking up on sunscreen. It can be very confusing - so many abbreviations, stars and numbers to choose from! So, we hope to demystify and give some simple facts. There are three types of radiation from the sun - UVA, UVB and UVC.

There are only two types of radiation which commonly cause skin cancer, UVA and UVB, as the third, UVC, is mostly blocked out by the atmosphere. UVA accounts for 95% of the radiation. It can penetrate the skin deeper causing skin cancer, premature ageing and pigmentation. UVB is the main cause of skin cancers, as it causes skin burning and reddening. Easy way to remember is UVA=Ageing and UVB=Burning.

All ages of adults should be wearing sunscreen! Often people think as we age there is less need - absolutely not, sunscreen is for all of us! We would recommend a minimum SPF 50 on face - including ears! And at least SPF 30 everywhere else.

UVC - Skin Surface

  • Shortest wavelength
  • Do not reach the earth
  • Harmless (unless you're in space)

UVB - Epidermis

  • Affects the top skin layer
  • Make you tanned
  • Redness, burns, akin cancer

UVA - Dermis

  • Longest Wavelength
  • Do not make you tanned
  • Skin aging. DNA damage

All sunscreens display a number followed by SPF, remember sunscreen only blocks UVB=Burning.

The higher the number the more protection given.

To protect against UVA=Ageing look for the star ratings, ideally, pick one with a minimum 4 stars. 

Though people who are fair, with blue eyes and blonde hair would be safer with SPF 50.

Remember babies under the age of 6 months should not be in direct sunlight and older children should be applying SPF 50.

Ideally apply sunscreen 2 hourly, more often if in water. Though this can be tricky with busy lives, it is really important; the more frequently applied the better!

When considering how much to apply; a full shot glass for adults should be adequate. An example of an application would be Face and neck: Half a teaspoon, Arms: One teaspoon, Legs: Two teaspoons and Front and Back of torso: Two teaspoons.

Lastly, remember - enjoy the sun but be sun safe; drink plenty of water, slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek shade and slide on some sunglasses for maximum protection!



Ryeland Surgery would like to invite you to use the NHS App

  • The new, simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.



Infected blood: advice for patients

If you or a family member think you/they may have been affected by infected blood (if you/they had a blood transfusion, blood products or an organ transplant before September 1991) you can access support on the NHS website.

Given the time that has elapsed since the last use of infected blood products, most of those who were directly affected have been identified and started appropriate treatment. However, there may be a small number of patients where this is not the case, and particularly where they are living with asymptomatic hepatitis C.

blood results

What to do if you have a health concern related to infected blood

If you are concerned about a possible hepatitis C infection, you can book a home NHS test online. The tests are free and confidential. To receive a self-testing kit which can be quickly dispatched to your home visit the NHS website.

Hepatitis B is also linked to infected blood, this usually clears up on its own without treatment, but could develop into chronic hepatitis B. Patients can find out more information here

HIV testing is also provided to anyone free of charge on the NHS. Home testing and home sampling kits are also available. You can find out more about HIV diagnosis and the HIV testing services search tool on the NHS website.

What are the current arrangements for managing donated blood?

Since 1991, all blood donated in the UK is screened and distributed by NHS Blood and Transplant following rigorous safety standards and testing to protect both donors and patients.

Since testing has been introduced, the risk of getting an infection from a blood transfusion or blood products is very low.

All blood donors are screened at every donation and every donation is tested before it is sent to hospitals. Blood services and blood safety has been transformed, not only in terms of technological advances in testing but also in the way donors are recruited and checked they are safe to donate.

Blood is now distributed to NHS hospitals by NHS Blood and Transplant, which was established in 2005 to provide a national blood and transplantation service to the NHS.

Modern safety standards are extremely rigorous and NHS Blood and Transplant's services follow strict guidelines and testing to protect both donors and patients, and are subject to regular inspections by independent regulators.

Patients who want more details about the safety of blood from donations in England can find more information on the Blood UK website