Practice News

21st May

Infected Blood Inquiry

Following recent media coverage about the Infected Blood Inquiry, we understand that some people may be concerned about their own health.

Please see the dedicated NHS webpage for key information about this and signposting on where to find support:

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.

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. If you are worried about risk of hepatitis C, you can order a confidential test online through the NHS website:

Patients who want more details about the safety of blood from donations in England can find more information here: 

A screenshot of the BBC website. The headline reads "King Charles to be treated for benign prostate condition." There is a photo of King Charles III beneath.
26th Jan

Should I have a PSA test?

Following news about King Charles’s treatment, we’ve had quite a few questions about prostate cancer screening, so we thought we’d share some information on it.

There are currently national screening programmes for three types of cancer – breast cancer, bowel cancer, and cervical cancer – but not prostate cancer. This is because the tests used for prostate cancer are less accurate.

The blood test for prostate cancer is called PSA (prostate-specific antigen). A raised PSA may be a sign of prostate cancer, but can also be a sign of another condition, such as an enlarged prostate, prostatitis, or a urinary tract infection. The PSA test can also be affected by heavy exercise and ejaculation in the two days before the test.

Research has shown around 3 in 4 men with a raised PSA level will not have cancer, and around 1 in 7 men with prostate cancer would have a normal PSA result.

You have a higher risk of prostate cancer if you:

  • have a family history of prostate cancer
  • are of black ethnic origin
  • are overweight or obese
  • are over 50 years old

You can check your risk of prostate cancer online with Prostate Cancer UK.

Possible signs of prostate problems include changes in how you wee, or if it becomes painful to wee. Erectile dysfunction and lower back/hip pain are less common signs of prostate issues. These may all be caused by other conditions.

There’s more information on the NHS website.

Handle Antimicrobials With Care
18th Nov 2023

Keep Antibiotics Working: World AMR Awareness Week

It's World AMR Awareness Week. AMR stands for Antimicrobial Resistance. Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. The World Health Organisation have classed it as one of the top 10 global public health threats.

Why is AMR such a big threat?

Drug-resistant illnesses are becoming more and more common, including drug-resistant pneumonia, urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted infections. "Superbugs" which aren't treatable with existing medications are spreading rapidly across the world. In addition, countries all across the world are experiencing shortages of antibiotics.

If our current antibiotics continue to become less effective, and more superbugs emerge, more people will suffer and die from infections. In particular, medical procedures such as surgery will become much more risky. This would include common surgeries like hip replacements or caesarean sections.

What can you do to help prevent AMR?

  1. Prevent the spread of infections which might need treatment
    • Wash your hands
    • Stay at home when you're ill
    • Wear a mask in crowded spaces, or if you may have a cough or respiratory infection
  2. Take medicines as advised by your doctor or healthcare professional
    • If you are prescribed an antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal or antiparasitic medication, make sure you take the full course of medication as advised. Stopping early, even if you feel better, could mean your illness comes back and requires more treatment.
    • If you have a condition which requires long-term antimicrobial treatment, like HIV or TB, or require long-term antibiotics to prevent infection, such as urinary tract infections or prosthetic joint infections, make sure you continue your treatment to reduce drug resistance.
    • Trust your doctor to know when to prescribe antibiotics. Many winter illnesses are caused by viruses, such as COVID-19, sore throats, and many other common respiratory illnesses. Antibiotics do not work for viral illnesses, and prescribing too many antibiotics can increase antibiotic resistance.
  3. Spread the word!

Where can you find out more?

The World Health Organisation has much more information about AMR on its website.

Carers Support West Sussex
16th Nov 2023

Carers Rights Day - 23rd November

We've been updating our website ahead of Carers Rights Day on 23rd November. We now have a brand new "Carers Corner" where you can find all the information you need to know about the support available for carers in West Sussex.

Each year on November 23rd, Carers UK promotes Carers Rights Day. Whether someone has recently become a carer, realised they have been caring for a while without support or has been caring for someone for many years, it’s important they understand their rights and are able to access the support that is available to them whenever they need it.

Visit the Carers UK website to understand more about your rights as a carer. West Sussex Carers Support is also hosting some events for Carers Rights Day - visit their site to book in for an online session or find out where to visit them in person.

3rd Nov 2023

Important information for patients currently on hospital waiting lists

The NHS has been working hard to address the backlogs built up during the COVID pandemic.

To help, the NHS will be contacting patients who have been waiting a long time for hospital treatment. This is to remind people that they can ask to move to a different hospital where they may be seen quicker.

There is now a new website called the Patient Initiated Digital Mutual Aid System, or PIDMAS. If you have been waiting for 40 weeks or more, you can use this website to ask to change hospitals.

If you are eligible, your hospital will send you an SMS text message or a letter, explaining how to ask for a different hospital.

Please do not call the surgery about this, as your GP does not have any information about individual patients.

The hospital will contact you if you are eligible. Please do not contact them either.

You can find more information on hospital websites, like this one from the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

A preview of our autumn newsletter. At the top it says Furnace Green Surgery, Autumn Newsletter, with the NHS logo in the corner. Underneath, you can see the beginning of the first item, titled "Say Boo to the Flu!" with a photograph of some of our nurse team in t-shirts which say "Say Boo to the Flu!"
30th Aug 2023

Autumn Newsletter

Welcome to our autumn newsletter! You can download a full PDF version of the newsletter or, if you need a screen reader, view a text-only version. If you would like a paper copy, you can also pop into reception to request one. This time, we'll be covering:

  • our upcoming flu clinics
  • information about other vaccination programmes this autumn
  • some very happy staff news
  • and advice about preparing for the weather to get colder
14th Jul 2023

GP Patient Survey

The GP Patient Survey results are out! Thank you to everyone who responded to the GP survey this year. 78% of responders said they had a good or very good overall experience of the practice, compared to a national average of 71%. We will aim to keep improving and providing a good experience to our patients. You can see more information in the pictures below.

An infographic. GP Patient Survey, Furnace Green Surgery. Accessing the practice - 66% good or very good, national average 54%, no change from previous year. Getting through to the practice by phone - 77% said easy or very easy, compared to national average of 50%, down 2% on previous year. Helpfulness of receptionists - 85% said helpful or very helpful, +7 compared to previous year, national average was 82%. Satisfaction with appointment times available - 59% satisfied or very satisfied, up 4 on last year, national average was 53%. Offered a choice of appointment when last tried to book, 71% said yes, +3 on last  year, national average was 59%. Satisfied with appointment offered, 65% said yes, compared to national average of 72%, no change from previous year. Overall experience of this practice - 78% said good or very good, down 4 from previous year, compared to national average of 71%.

Another graphic in the same style as the previous. The healthcare professional was good at giving the patient enough time - 88% said good or very good, up 3 on previous year, national average was 84%. The healthcare professional was good at listening to the patient - 86% said good or very good, up 1 on previous year, national average 85%. The healthcare professional was good at treating the patient with care and concern - 85% good or very good, down 1 on previous year, national average 84%. The patient was involved as much as they wanted to be in decisions about their care and treatment - 92% said definitely or to some extent, up 7 on previous  year, national average was 90%. The patient had confidence and trust in the healthcare professional they saw or spoke to - 93% said definitely or to some extent, up 5 on previous year, national average was 93%. The patient's needs were met, 92% said definitely or to some extent, up 6 on previous year, national average was 91%.

What to do about hay fever
21st Jun 2023

Hay fever

It's well and truly hay fever season! Hay fever can be treated with over-the-counter medications you can get from your local pharmacy. Ask your pharmacist for advice, and follow the NHS top tips to prevent hay fever symptoms taking over your summer. We've got more tips over on our Facebook page.

Lloyds Pharmacy
11th May 2023

Lloyd's Pharmacy in Sainsbury's closing down

Lloyd's Pharmacy in Sainsbury's West Green will be closing in two weeks' time. If you need to check which pharmacy you have nominated, or choose a new pharmacy, you can do this online.

A snapshot of our facebook page, showing a button saying Follow Page
10th May 2023

New Facebook Page

Following the launch of our new website, we have also started up a practice Facebook page. Follow for practice news, quick updates on events such as the phone system being down, and health information.

A preview of the practice newsletter. The first heading is visible, which says "New practice website"
3rd May 2023

Spring Newsletter

Welcome to our spring newsletter! You can download a full PDF version of the newsletter or, if you need a screen reader, view a text-only version. This time, we'll be covering:

  • our brand new website
  • hay fever and what to do about it
  • the new clinics available at Furnace Green Surgery
  • and a quick glance at some key facts and figures about the work that goes on at the surgery each month