April Newsletter

Issue 3


Welcome Message From: Leon Douglas, Jill Ackroyd & Renee Bernstein - Our Patient Participation Group Chair Team

Welcome to Issue 3 of the recently re-launched bi-annual Newsletter of West Hampstead Medical Centre, we hope that you will find it useful and interesting. It has been produced by a small team consisting of your fellow patients with our doctors, medical practitioners, and staff at the Medical Centre.

Since 2012, we have had an active Patient Participation Group (PPG) at West Hampstead Medical Centre (WHMC) which provides patients such as yourselves with the opportunity to keep up with what is happening at your Medical Centre. All patients were invited to and participate in our recent Open Meeting on the evening of Tuesday 5th March, where many of your questions about the practice were asked; with answers and helpful explanations being received from two of our GP Partners attending. At our regular PPG Steering Group Meetings, which are now held four times a year at WHMC in Solent Road, changes within the NHS and at the Medical Centre are presented and discussed.

If you would like to join the PPG either via the On-line PPG or, if you have the time available, applying to be part of the smaller PPG Steering Group itself, please visit our Patient Participation Group Section


Open Meeting Update

On Tuesday 5th March 2024 at 7.30pm, at the West Hampstead Medical Centre in Solent Road we held our annual Patient Participation Open Meeting for Registered Patients (this was four years after the planned Open Meeting for March 2020 which had to be cancelled because of the intervention of the Covid pandemic).

We are pleased to report that the meeting was well attended with about 40 patients, carers of patients, an outside speaker - plus two of our GP Partners, Dr Bromilow and Dr Alkizwini. The GP Partners commenced with a very informative presentation and discussion on “Patient NHS Referrals and Changes to the System- Things you need to know about the secondary care outpatient systems”. Our outside speaker, Dr Sara Garfield, a Research Pharmacist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and at University College School of Pharmacy, gave an entertaining talk and showed a short film about the “Patient Passport” and why keeping information of your medications with you, either in paper form or using one of the new phone apps, can be useful, especially when attending NHS Hospitals. The presentation and recommendations were supported by one of the PPG Members who gave examples of the benefits he had found for himself having and using a Patient Passport in his visits to secondary care locations.

The GP Partners then returned centre stage to respond to a “Question Time- Ask the Practice” session with questions coming from both the audience of patients present and those received earlier by those unable to attend the Open Meeting.

The consensus view was that this Open Meeting was a successful event and very useful in updating patients upon changes in NHS systems and explaining how West Hampstead Medical Centre is working to continue to provide excellent NHS healthcare care and service for its 22,978 registered patients.


Message from the Partners

We would like to take the opportunity to share some of the results of the last National GP Patient Survey with you. This survey is carried out by IPSOS, an independent research agency who administers the survey on behalf of NHS England. The survey is sent out to a random selection of patients registered at the practice to feed back about their experience of the care and services from their GP practice. Thank you for taking the time to complete and submit your survey. Your feedback is very important to us. The latest GP survey results has shown that West Hampstead Medical Centre scored consistently above both the national and local rankings in all domains, in particular ‘access and helpfulness of reception’, as well as high scores in ‘patient experiences of their appointment’

We congratulate each and every one of our team members for all of their hard work.

Your local GP services

  • 80% of respondents find it easy to get though to this GP practice by phone
  • 92% find the receptionists at the GP practice helpful

Making an appointment

  • 72% of respondents describe their experience of making an appointent as good
  • 77% of respondents were offerd a choice of appointment when they last tried to make a general practice appointment
  • 72% describe their experience of making an appointment as good

Your last appointment

  • 94% had confidence and trust in the healthcare professional they saw or spoke to during their last general practice appointment
  • 92% Say the healthcare professional they saw or spoke to was good at giving them enough time during their last general practice appointment

Overall experience

  • 83% describe their overall experience of this GP practice good.

We congratulate each and every one of our team members for all of their hard work.

View the results in full


Practice Updates and Changes

Dr Rachel Toner (Salaried General Practitioner) & Dr Atinuke Akinmolayan (GPST3) have now both returned from their maternity leave. We are delighted to have them both back in the surgery.

GP Registrars (Rotating Basis)

est Hampstead Medical Centre is a GP training practice, and we host and provide training for several Registrars each year. Each Registrar will generally stay with the surgery for 6-12 months. This is an individual 3-year programme and we host Registrars from each year group depending on what year they are up to in their training. You may hear them classified as GPST1, GPST2, and GPST3 placements. The Registrars will have face to face patient clinics during their placements along with supervision, training and tutorials. Some of our Partners and a few of the Salaried GPs are GP Trainers and are part of the GP Training Programme Scheme. Several of our GP Registrars have subsequently joined the team as Salaried General Practitioners, following the completion of their training.

Our Trainee Nursing Associate Razan is continuing her joint 2-year University placement and will be with us until May 2025. Razan is holding face to face clinics in the surgery. This is for patients who require blood pressure checks, foot checks, B12, some vaccinations or simple dressings, so please do book in to see her if appropriate

View a full list of the team


Appointments & Surgery Opening Hours

All clinical appointments are automatically available to book as face-to-face, which is the clinicians’ preferred option. There is still the option to book a telephone appointment with a clinician, providing the reason for the appointment does not include the need for a physical examination.

When you call or come to the surgery, please be aware that you can book appointments with our Clinical Pharmacist or one of our Physician Associates for a wide range of medical issues and minor illnesses, rather than waiting for an appointment with a GP. If you are ever unsure which clinician it would be best for you to see, please do discuss with our reception team who should be able to assist and advise you further.

Please note at present, only the GP and PA appointments are bookable online. If none are available at the time of booking or you are trying to book another clinical appointment ie: with a nurse or pharmacist, please book through reception. Each clinician has their own appointment list and our team will try their best to get you seen as soon as they can

Please be aware that if you wish to speak to a specific Clinician or Medical Professional, you may have to wait slightly longer for your appointment.

Learn more about our opening hours


Meet the Team

  • GPs: full range of clinical problems
  • Nurses: cervical screening (smear tests), immunisations, dressings, diabetic foot checks, ear checks, asthma checks
  • Trainee Nursing Associate: blood pressure checks, foot checks, B12 vaccinations or simple dressings
  • Physician Associate: similar workload to GPs but no children under 10 years old
  • Clinical Pharmacist: annual medication reviews, diabetes care, asthma reviews, mental health medication reviews
  • Mental Health Nurse: new mental health conditions and mental health reviews of existing conditions
  • Social Prescriber: social problems, housing issues, isolation issues, exercise groups
  • Care Navigator: sign-posting patients, patient recall for long-term monitoring
  • Midwife: providing weekly community antenatal clinics
  • Community Links Volunteer: providing information and sign-posting patients (every Tuesday between 10-12)
  • Health & Wellbeing Co-Ordinator: supporting patients to improve their mental health, physical health and overall wellbeing.

We have a photo board in the Reception Foyer with Photographs of all the clinical team members.

The next time you are in, why don’t you take a look! You can also see our team online.


Focus on Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention

Each year, more and more people are being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. If you have recently been told by a GP that you have a pre-diabetic blood test result or think that you may be at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, now is the perfect time to get active and start to make those lifestyle changes to reduce your risk. There are lots of support programmes available via GP referral as well as some via self-referral.

The National Diabetes Prevention programme (NDPP) – GP Referral Only

Living Well Taking Control is a local NHS Healthier You Programme provider, with a mission to support service users in leading a healthier lifestyle. Their goal is to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes through a free, non-medical, 9-month self-management programme for patients who are found to be at risk of Type 2 diabetes on their blood tests (HbA1c 42-47mmol/mol) or patients with a past diagnosis of pregnancy related diabetes.

Digital Weight Management Programme – GP Referral Only

The digital weight management programme offers online access to weight management services to people living with obesity who also have a diagnosis of either diabetes, hypertension, or both. It is a 12-week offer with three levels of support available and is designed to give service users a personalised level of intervention to support them to manage their weight and improve longer-term health outcomes

More Life – Adult Weight Management Support – GP and Self Referral

The scheme provides a psychologically informed 12-week programme. Participants will have access to weekly, group based weight management sessions at a local community venue or online via Zoom, plus additional support in between group meetings if required. Patients will be supported to make gradual changes towards a healthier lifestyle by a dedicated weight management practitioner.


Healthy Living for people with Type 2 Diabetes – Self Referral

Healthy Living is a free, online NHS programme that supports people to live well with type 2 diabetes


Better Health

Whether you want to lose weight, get active or quit smoking Better Health is here with lots of free tools and support. Healthy changes start with little changes.

Visit the Better Health Website


What is a Practice Clinical Pharmacist?

Clinical pharmacists work as part of the general practice team to improve value and outcomes from medicines and consult with and treat patients directly. In this edition, we wanted to focus on the role of our Clinical Pharmacist and what their day looks like

Hema - Clinical Pharmacist

Why and how did you become a Clinical Pharmacist?

I was always very interested in medicine and wanted to work in the pharmaceutical industry. I initially started my career as a dispenser at Boots Chemist. I enjoyed this role immensely, so after completion of my A levels, I applied to study pharmacy at the ‘School of Pharmacy’

What did your training involve?

When I completed my training, it was a 3-year programme followed by a further 1-year training programme in the community or local hospital along with quarterly reviews and updates with our Tutor. I undertook training on the law and policies for safe dispensing, checking prescriptions, over the counter medication as well as controlled drugs. Once I had completed my training, I needed to sit and pass the Gphc Exams. These exams involved a mix of clinical and calculation questions. Once I passed the exams, I received my license number and was able to register with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Our license is renewed once a year after completing the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education Credits (CPPE) and Reflection. The current training programme in a ‘School of Pharmacy’ is now 5 years.

Tell us more about your role in the surgery?

Within the surgery, I have my own independent clinics in the morning and the afternoon where I cover a variety of clinical issues which include medication reviews and prescription queries. I also undertake clinical reviews for patient’s long term health conditions such as Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Heart Failure, Mental Health, Diabetes and Diabetic Foot Checks. As an Independant Prescriber, I am also able to see patients for some minor ailments such as coughs, colds, sore throats, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and women’s health. I manage the repeat prescribing reauthorization process by reviewing the patient requests for their repeat prescriptions and checking medication review dates.

What does your job look like each day?

My role at the surgery is a Clinical Pharmacist and Independant Prescriber.

This includes:

  • Reviewing and processing pathology (blood test) & radiology (x-ray) results on a daily basis.
  • Training and supporting other team members.
  • Reconciling patient medication lists following their discharge from hospital.
  • Working with the patients and community pharmacists to support patients to get the best outcome from their medication and identifying and addressing any medication related issues they need post hospital discharge.
  • Implementing and sharing drug withdrawals and alerts e.g. MHRA aimed at improving medicines safety.
  • Addressing the public health and social needs of patients within GP practices.
Favourite part of your job?

Seeing patients and learning new things every day, which helps with my ongoing development

What are the main differences between a Community Pharmacist and a Practice Pharmacist?

The difference between a Community Pharmacist and a Practice Pharmacist is that a Community Pharmacist is based in your local High Street Chemist/Pharmacy and a Practice Pharmacist works in a more clinical setting and deals with a broader range of clinical aspects.


Services for Patients

There are many self-referral services available to patients, without the need to see a GP first. Some of the available options are listed below. If there is a service you would like to know more about please ask at Reception.

Clinician Referral Required
Audiology for Patients 50+

Appointments for audiology are now available at several locations. Please let the clinician know your preference. Royal Free Hospital, In-Health, Specsavers or Scrivens

Patient Self-Referrals
Adult Social Care in Camden
Alcohol & Drug Integrated Services
Ante Natal Care / Maternity Services
Mental Health
Podiatry Services
Sexual Health
Stop Smoking Services

If you would like to give any feedback on our current services, you can do this online.

If you are happy to sign up to receive our newsletter via your email in the future, please let us know so we can add your details to the mailing list.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Published: Apr 11, 2024