Newsletter - Winter 2023




Welcome to our Winter Newsletter

As we enter another busy winter for the NHS, we at Ryeland Surgery have been pleased to welcome two new permanent GPs, taking our total to 13 GPs. Drs Iona Clark and Daniel Mulvihill have settled in well and are enjoying being members of the team. All our patients have a "usual GP", with all the GPs, including Iona and Daniel, having their own patient "list". Where possible, we try to arrange that you see your usual GP for ongoing issues. Your usual GP will sign all your repeat prescriptions, receive hospital and other letters about you, and view any investigation results. All new patients registering with the surgery who are receiving repeat medications will be invited to an appointment with their new usual GP.

We say farewell to Cheryl Poole, our dementia nurse. Ryeland Surgery is the only practice in Herefordshire (possibly in the country?) to have employed our own dementia nurse. Cheryl, with her years of experience working with patients and their families, has been amazing. We will miss her greatly, as will many of our patients. We all wish her a long and happy retirement. We thank all our staff who were involved in the four consecutive Saturday vaccination clinics we held this autumn. They all volunteered to work overtime to man the busy clinics. We gave flu and Covid boosters to 5235 patients. No mean undertaking! (If anyone missed out, they can still access flu vaccinations with us or local pharmacies and Covid vaccinations in Hereford by phoning 119.)

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year.


Patient Feedback

Friends and Family Test forms are offered to patients randomly as they attend the practice, and a random selection are also sent a text asking for their feedback

Results are as follows:

  • Very good/good: 97%
  • Neither good nor poor: 1.4%
  • Poor/very poor: 1.6%

Example comments

  • Very friendly at reception - quick and painless!
  • The nurses have been exceptionally caring and supportive
  • The reception team have gone above and beyond, nothing has been too much trouble for them
  • Dr Johnson is one of the kindest and most understanding people I’ve ever met

Christmas & New Year Opening Times

Christmas banner

Ryeland Surgery

  • Friday 22nd December: 8:00am to 6:30pm
  • Saturday 23rd December: Closed
  • Sunday 24th December: Closed
  • Monday 25th December: Closed
  • Tuesday 26th December: Closed
  • Wednesday 27th December: 8:00am to 6:30pm
  • Thursday 28th December: 8:00am to 6:30pm
  • Friday 29th December: 8:00am to 6:30pm
  • Saturday 30th December: Closed
  • Sunday 31st December: Closed
  • Monday 1st January: Closed
  • Tuesday 2nd January: 8:00am to 6:30pm

Bodenham Surgery

  • Friday 22nd December: 8:00am to 12:30pm
  • Saturday 23rd December: Closed
  • Sunday 24th December: Closed
  • Monday 25th December: Closed
  • Tuesday 26th December: Closed
  • Wednesday 27th December: 8:00am to 12:30pm & 2:00pm to 6:00pm
  • Thursday 28th December: 8:00am to 12:30pm
  • Friday 29th December: 8:00am to 12:30pm
  • Saturday 30th December: Closed
  • Sunday 31st December: Closed
  • Monday 1st January: Closed
  • Tuesday 2nd January: 8:00am to 12:30pm & 2:00pm to 6:00pm

When the practice is closed

  • Visit 111 Online or phone 111 for advice on urgent medical concerns
  • Phone 999 for life threatening emergencies

Repeat Prescriptions Over the Festive Season

Please ensure you order your repeat prescriptions in good time. It takes the practice 3 working days to process your request and can take some pharmacies a further 2-3 working days to prepare your medicines for collection. Please do not leave your ordering until the last minute.

The best way to manage your repeat prescriptions is via the NHS App.


Keeping Well This Winter

We all get under the weather from time to time and there are plenty of things we can do to help ourselves and relieve common symptoms, so it is good to be prepared with a well stocked medicine cabinet at home.


Paracetamol eases pain.

It also reduces distress when a child has a high temperature. It comes in  tablet form for adults and older children and as a liquid for young children and babies. You can also obtain soluble tablets and melt-in-the-mouth tablets for those who have difficulty swallowing tablets. If you have young children, paracetamol is perhaps the most important medicine to keep in at all times.

It is extremely important to check the right dose before taking paracetamol. Be careful not to exceed the maximum amount recommended on the packet.

Anti inflammatories

Most need a prescription but you can buy Ibuprofen from pharmacies and supermarkets. This is helpful for muscular aches and sprains and can be used to relieve period pain. Like paracetamol, ibuprofen also reduces distress during a fever. Ibuprofen also comes in tablet, soluble tablet, melt-in-the-mouth and liquid forms. Ibuprofen is also available as a gel or foam and can be rubbed directly into the painful area. The dose advised varies with age. Anti-inflammatory painkillers should not be used by certain people - for example, if you have, or have had, a stomach or duodenal ulcer. These painkillers should be taken with food if possible, because they can cause irritation if taken on an empty stomach.


These help to ease indigestion and heartburn. There are various types of antacids - for example, sodium bicarbonate, magnesium trisilicate, aluminium or magnesium hydroxide. They work by neutralising the acid content of the stomach. You can also buy more powerful medicines which reduce acid in the stomach - for example, esomeprazole. If you need to use antacids on a regular basis, you should see your doctor to discuss this.

Antihistamines These ease the symptoms of hay fever and other allergies - for example, itching, sneezing, watering eyes, and a runny nose. They can also be used to reduce the pain and swelling from 
wasp or bee stings. Some antihistamines may cause drowsiness - for example, Chlorphenamine (Piriton).  These may be useful for taking at bedtime, particularly for itchy conditions such s eczema or chickenpox. There are several types which cause less drowsiness and are better for during the day - for example, Loratidine and Cetirizine. Antihistamine can also be bought as a cream, which can be rubbed on to stings and bites.


A thermometer is very useful, you cannot tell if someone has a temperature just by feeling their skin.


In case of minor cuts or grazes.

Cold or ice pack

For use on swellings and sprains.


For extracting splinters.

Aways read the label before taking any medicines

Your local pharmacy is the best source of advice and information on medicines which can be bought over the counter


Are you a Carer?

Have you registered as a Carer with the Surgery?

Being an unpaid carer means you provide care and support to someone who cannot manage day to day activities without your help. This may be a loved one, family member or friend who has an illness, mental health problem, an addiction, or is elderly and frail.

Many Carers believe that caring for loved ones, family or friends ‘doesn’t count’ and therefore don’t consider themselves as carers. However, the responsibility of caring for another person can have a significant impact on both the mental and physical health of the person providing care. It is not easy to look after yourself when you are looking after someone else making it especially important that you let your GP surgery know you are a carer so that we can provide help and support to you when it is needed and can signpost you to local services who are able to provide additional support.

There are a number of ways you can register yourself as a carer with us, fill in a form on our website, pop into the reception, call the main surgery telephone line or discuss it with a clinician next time you have an appointment.


Patient Participation Group

We are currently in the process of re-establishing our Patient Participation Group (PPG) following the practice merger last year and we are keen to hear from anyone who is interested in joining the group. 

The role of the PPG

  • Being a critical friend to the organisation
  • Advising the organisation on patient perspective and providing an insight into the responsiveness and quality of services
  • Encouraging patients to take greater responsibility for their own and their family’s health
  • Carrying out research into the views of those who use the organisation
  • Organising health promotion events and improving health literacy
  • Regular communication with the patient population

The Role of PPG Members

Ryeland Surgery will encourage PPG members to:

  • Liaise with patients and carers, discussing concerns and comments pertinent to organisation services
  • Champion the PPG, actively engaging with the patient population and local community
  • Attend and contribute to meetings, sending apologies in advance to the secretary in cases of known absence
  • Remain polite and objective throughout meetings, listening to and respecting other members
  • Be constructive and balanced when contributing to PPG meetings
  • Represent the patient population effectively, expressing the views of the population in an objective manner
  • Undertake any training and development opportunities that may arise for the benefit of the PPG

If you are interested in being considered for the Group, complete a secure online form. Paper copies are available from Reception.