Blog Archive

Online Consulting

Contact us online

Welcome to Firdale Medical Centre.

We have an online consultation service called PATCHS. You can access PATCHS by visiting our website and clicking on Online Consulting Tile in the main top menu. Alternatively click here PATCHS

Contacting using PATCHS instead of by telephone has several advantages for you including:

  • Getting help quicker from a GP.
  • No queuing on the telephone.
  • Doing everything on there, consultations, sick notes, checking results etc. Though you shouldn’t use it for emergencies.
  • Submitting requests on behalf of someone you care for.
  • If the doctor or nurse decides you need an appointment, they will see you ASAP (usually on the same day).

Using PATCHS also has advantages for us including:

  • Seeing what your request is up front in writing helps us plan our work better.
  • Freeing up the telephone for people that cannot use PATCHS e.g. those with emergency problems or if they cannot physically use the internet.
  • Helping us save face-to-face and telephone appointments.


We use specialist equipment to photograph your skin wound, lesion etc. and upload it straight away to a specialist for further consultation. This gives us quicker access to specialist consultations and more insight into you problem.

Family Planning

We offer a wide range of contraceptive services, and offer guidance regarding unwanted pregnancies and safer sex. Please speak to one of our receptionists to arrange appropriate support.

Cervical smears

Our computerised system will automatically advice you by post when your smear is due. You will be asked to make an appointment at the smear clinics which are held regularly by our practice team.

Please access following link to find out why cervical screening is important Cervical screening – Why it’s important – NHS (

Disease Management Clinic

Our practice nurses Helen, Emma and Louise provide clinics for patients with long term illnesses such as high blood pressure, asthma, COPD and diabetes.

Long-term illnesses are managed by the whole health care team – including GPs, nursing staff and clinical pharmacists.

We encourage our patients to take an active role in helping to manage their own conditions, but it is helpful to come for a review once a year.

Most chronic illness require yearly reviews and are looked after by our nursing team. Some medications or conditions require yearly blood tests – it is helpful if you arrange to have these done before your review, to assist the clinician in monitoring your progress. If you are on regular medications it is often necessary to have a check up before we can safely continue to prescribe your medications.

Inflenza (flu) Immunisation

Influenza can be a debilitating and serious illness, particularly for the elderly, so we advise all patients over the age of 65 and those at risk with conditions that include chronic respiratory disease, chronic heart disease, chronic kidney disease and diabetes, to be immunised usually in October or November. We will contact you closer to the immunisation time with more details.

Mental Health

We offer clinical appointments tailored to those who experience mental health conditions available through one of our Mental Health Lead GPs. 

Self Certification

You do not require a doctor’s sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.

Evidence that you are sick

If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).

It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.

You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.

We encourage all our patient to firstly submit requests for Fit Notes through our Patchs Online Consulting platform PATCHS. It is easy and allows you to leave a trace of your request on your medical record. We will review your request and depending on circumstances our GP will either issue your with the fit not or our reception team will contact you to advise if you need an appointment first.

When submitting your request please choose Admin Request tile.

Statement of Fitness for Work – ’Fit Note’

The ‘fit note’ was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer’s support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.

For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced).

Think Pharmacy – Minor Ailments Scheme

At Firdale Medical Centre we have access to Community Pharmacy Services and will often signpost our patients to their services.

Pharmacists play a key role in providing quality healthcare to patients.  Working in the community, pharmacists use their clinical expertise together with their practical knowledge to ensure the safe supply and use of medicines by patients and members of the public.

Many pharmacies in the local area offer the ‘Think Pharmacy’ service. This service is an alternative to visiting your GP, making it easier for you and your family to get healthcare and advice on minor ailments at a time that suits you.

Your local pharmacy can offer advice and if necessary, prescribe medication to treat the following ailments under the Minor Ailments service:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Cystitis
  • Impetigo
  • Oral thrush in babies
  • Scabies
  • Threadworm
  • Vaginal thrush

Pharmacists can also offer advice on common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains as well as healthy eating and stopping smoking.

You can talk to your pharmacist in confidence, even about the most personal symptoms and you don’t need to make an appointment; most pharmacies now have a private consultation area where patients can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard by other members of the public.

Consultations are always free and confidential, regardless of whether the pharmacist gives you any medication.

Find your nearest pharmacy

Test Results

Test Results

Results of the tests requested by our clinicians will automatically return to the practice and will be saved in your records. If you haven’t heard from us after your test there is nothing to worry about and the results are fine. If you require a further appointment, you will be contacted by the surgery.

You can still find out what your results were by submitting Admin Request via our Online Consultation Platform PATCHS. This is our preferred method of contacting the practice as it is easy to use, provides with clear record of your request and allows our team to manage our workload more effectively.

Alternatively you can telephone the practice please between 2pm and 4pm , when a staff member will be available to deal with your request. Call 01606544300 option 2.