Autumn Newsletter 2023

Northgate Medical Practice

This newsletter is produced by the Northgate Medical Practice Patients Participation Group (PPG). The PPG is made up of patients whose role is to act as a communication link between the professionals at the practice and the patients, to channel the views, ideas and concerns of patients back to the team and offer help if needed. The PPG also undertakes a range of activities and initiatives to support patients and the work of the practice. If you wish to contact the PPG, you can send an email to


In August, the PPG with support from the team at Northgate Medical Practice, organised a patient consultation event. The event was designed to enable an invited cross-section of patients to provide feedback and exchange ideas for future development with the Practice staff. The event was also supported by local charities and organisations who were able to provide patients with support and advice and join the conversations. The team at the Westgate Hall provided an excellent environment for the event and James Jesty, from Shape New Ideas, facilitated the day.

The Event began with a presentation from Dr Lindsay on the current situation with the NHS and how the practice is working in partnership with other practices to better meet the needs of patients. Following this, there were round table discussions considering ideas and suggestions to improve health and well-being. Capture sheets were used to record the ideas of each discussion which formed the basis of a plenary session at the end where ideas were shared.  This feedback has already formed the basis of some new initiatives that are being developed by the PPG.

The event was a great success, and this was due to the excellent participation of so many patients, the charities and community organisations that gave up their time to contribute, the commitment of the Practice with so many of the GPs, managers and key staff coming to the event to talk to patients.

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In this section of the newsletter we will aim to provide you with an update on the ideas and initiatives that we are taking forward following the consultation event.


At the Event, several participants requested that a walking group is set up for patients, to help promote fitness, well-being and to increase social contact. The first working group meeting if you would like to be involved please contact the PPG at


There were several requests for a wide variety of patient support groups to be set up to enable patients to share experience and support each other. The PPG are going to start by trying to set up a support group for diabetic patients with help from Diabetes UK. Please contact the PPG if you would like more information or would like to be involved.



There are a number of national health and well-being events that the PPG would like to participate in for the benefit of our patients and local community. Events include:


Macmillan Cancer Support

Many of our patients and their families have received excellent support from Macmillan, so the Patients Participation Group in partnership with several staff from the Practice, baked cakes and held a cake sale. The grand total raised on the day was £249.34. We are very grateful to all the patients and staff who purchased cakes and made donations. If anyone missed the event but would still like to donate, they can use this link to the QR code to make a donation:

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is breast cancer awareness month, and the PPG will be promoting breast cancer awareness at the practice and at various community venues. Talking to people about the importance of checking, the symptoms of breast cancer and treatments. If you would like to be involved please contact the PPG.

Carers Rights Day

A number of our patients are carers and we hope to provide some support on Carers Rights Day which is on the 23rd November. Further details of this event will be available on the website and next newsletter. For anyone who would like to be involved, help or come along on the day, please contact the PPG.

Details of events being organised for next year will be in our next newsletter.

Urgent Care Centres

On occasions you may be recommended to go to an Urgent Care Centre. The two nearest ones are Kent and Canterbury Hospital in Canterbury and Estuary View at Whitstable. These centres can help with minor injuries and health problems.

  • Kent and Canterbury Hospital is open 24 hours every day: Ethelbert Road Canterbury CT1 3NG.
  • Estuary View Urgent Treatment Centre is open 08.00 – 20.00 every day: Boorman Way, Whitstable CT5 3SE.
  • Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital is open 08.00 – 20.00 every day: King Edward Avenue Herne Bay Kent CT6 6EB.
  • You can use the Wait Less app for information about waiting times.   
  • Android - Google Play Store
  • Iphone - Apple Store

Help phone numbers for mental health issues

Depending on the circumstances the following contacts offer help to patients with mental health issues both urgent and ongoing. They supplement the care provided by GPs and hospitals.

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust helpline: 0800 783 9111. Calls are free, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You can also dial 111 and choose option 2.

The Samaritans are there to listen: they do have contact details of specialist organisations who may be able to help. Telephone 116 123; calls are free, and the lines are open 24/7.

Shout is a free confidential 24/7 text support service for anyone who is struggling to cope.  To start a conversation, text the word ’shout’ to 85258 they are there to listen at any time day or night.

If you text ‘Kent’ followed by the same number 85258 you get through to Kent County Council, or they have a helpline 0800 107 0160

Live Well Kent offers free mental health support for younger people and adults: 0800 567 7699. They are a charity working with the NHS and KCC and have contacts with a wide range of services.

CALM  stands for Campaign Against Living Miserably and they are a national charity who operate a helpline from 5 pm to midnight on 0800 58 58 58

The Canterbury Safe Haven offers out-of-hours support for those in distress.  It is based in the Age Concern HQ in 22-23 North Lane Canterbury CT2 7EF  and operates from 6 pm to 11 pm every day. Phone 07876 476 703 or 07483 163 953.

Canterbury Umbrella  is a social mental health support centre in St Peter’s Place Canterbury, and is open from 8 am to 4 pm Monday – Friday.

COVID and Flu Vaccinations

Eligible Patients may walk-in to the Sea Cadet Hub, Vauxhall Road, Canterbury CT1 1ZN for a COVID and/or Flu vaccine, - Monday 15th Jan 2024 - 8.30am - 4.00pm

    • All persons age 65 and over
    • Persons age 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group
    • Front line health and social care workers
    • All immunosuppressed persons
    • Persons aged 12 to 4 years who are household contacts of immunosuppressed   
    • All pregnant ladies
    • Persons aged 16-64 who are carers

New Shingles Campaign

From 1 September 2023: those aged 70-79 will still be able to get the shingles vaccine from the GP practice. They will either be offered one dose of Zostavax or two doses of Shingrix (6 to 12 months apart).  All those aged 50 and over with a weakened immune system will be offered two doses of the Shingrix vaccine (8 weeks to 6 months apart). Those turning 65 and 70 will be offered two doses of the Shingrix vaccine (6 to 12 months apart) as they become eligible (eligibility will go down to 60 years old in September 2028). Invitations will be sent, some offering the self-book service.

Parking - Cars and Bicycles

Parking for patients is available at both Northgate and Chartham surgeries.  It is limited and patients are asked not to treat it as free parking while they go elsewhere.  There is a dedicated (and fully signed) bicycle parking facility at Northgate to the right as you approach the main entrance. 

Comings and Goings

  • Members of staff who are moving on are Dr Salyem (GP), Mel (Healthcare Assistant), Ben (Information Technology) and Taiwo (Administration).                                                                                                     
  • Joining us are Lanalea (Healthcare Assistant), Nikki (Nurse Associate, in October) and Khusubu (Receptionist).  Thanks/greetings to all.

A Reminder To All

Everyone is reminded that smoking and vaping are not permitted on any of the three sites (Canterbury, Chartham and Blean). Should smoking be required on official breaks, please remove yourself to outside the perimeter of our boundaries on all sites. Please do not smoke outside any of the emergency exits.

Thank You: An Appreciation Wall at Northgate Medical Practice

The staff have created an appreciation wall just behind the receptionist to show our gratitude to all our patients that donate biscuits, sweets, homemade cakes etc., throughout the year. We would like to thank you.

DNA: Missed appointments

In August the number of appointments where the patient did not attend (and did not cancel) was 159, the equivalent of 7.8 hours.  There are bound to be occasions when a situation makes it impossible to contact the surgery, but whenever it is possible patients should ring in advance taking the ‘cancel’ option.  The appointment can then be offered to someone else.  It is a good idea to let the surgery know if you have missed an appointment: a missed appointment with no explanation can lead to sanctions.

Contact the Patients Participation Group

If you are interested in membership of the group, or have any helpful observations on the work of Northgate Medical Practice, email us on

Previous Newsletters

Spring 2022, Spring 2023