Practice newsletter

30th Aug 2023

Autumn Newsletter 2023

This newsletter is also available in PDF format. If you need to use a screen reader, read on.

Say Boo to the Flu!

It's one of our busiest times of year as we move into flu season.

Flu vaccination is important because, while flu is unpleasant for mostpeople, it can be dangerous and even life threatening for some,particularly those with certain health conditions.

Flu vaccines are very safe. Most side effects are mild and only last aday or so, such as muscle aches or a slight fever. Please note the fluvaccine cannot give you flu.

A photograph of three of our nurses in our reception. They are all wearing white t-shirts with a design printed in black. It says "Say Boo! to the flu" with a little cartoon ghost flying above the word 'Boo!' Below the design it says Furnace Green Surgery. They are all smiling at the camera.

As you can see, our nursing team are raring to go for our children's flu clinics! We will be inviting children aged 2-3 for a nasal spray vaccinein October and our nurses are ready to say boo to the flu!

We expect to start giving adult flu vaccines in early October. You will receive an invitation if you:

  • are over 65
  • are recorded as being pregnant
  • are recorded as a carer
  • have certain long-term conditions including diabetes and respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD

The same group of patients will be eligible for COVID vaccinations. Visit from October for details on how to book.

Please book a flu vaccination appointment when you receive your invitation.

If you want to decline the vaccine, please email us at

Other vaccines


Shingles is a common, painful skin disease. Some people are left with pain lasting for years after theinitial rash has healed. Shingles can also be fatal foraround 1 in 1,000 over-70s who develop it.

People in their seventies can have a vaccination against shingles on the NHS. Starting from this year, people who turn 65 after 1st September 2023 will also become eligible when they turn 65. Unlike the flu vaccine, you only need one shingles vaccine. You do not need to repeat it every year.


The pneumococcal vaccine helps protect you against bacteria which cause serious illnesses like:

  • pneumonia
  • meningitis
  • sepsis

Most adults only need one dose of the pneumococcal vaccine. You become eligible when you turn 65. If youare older than 65 and have never had a pneumococcal vaccine, you can have it late. Some younger people are also eligible if they are at high risk of serious illness from pneumococcal infections.

We will send invites to eligible patients for these vaccines. Visit for more information.

Staff news

Congratulations Hannah!

As many of you know, our nurse Hannah Edwards went off on maternity leave recently. We are overjoyed to announce that she has now given birth to a little girl, whom she has named Maisy. Mum and daughter are doing well, and Hannah would like to say thank you to all the patients who wished her well before she went on leave.


If you're on Facebook, why not give our page @furnacegreensurgery a follow? It's the quickest way we can keep you up to date and share important news. Here are some recent posts.

A screenshot of a Facebook post from Furnace Green Surgery. Text reads: Our IT system is undergoing some essential updates today from 12pm-4pm, so we will not have access to our computer system. If you need to contact the surgery but your call is not urgent, please call back after 4pm. Many thanks for your patience and understanding.A screenshot of a Facebook post from Furnace Green Surgery. Text reads: "Did you know that St Catherine's Hospice, Crawley have a new cafe open? It's attached to their brand new facility in Pease Pottage and is open now for a cuppa and a piece of cake among other yummy treats! Why not visit and support our local hospice?" Below is a post shared from Woodgate Hub. Text reads "Thank you so much to everyone who has come and supported the opening of our beautiful cafe and hub! We are now open everyday 9-4pm with a full..." Below this, there is a photograph of a cappuccinbo and a piece of carrot cake on a grey table, with a bowl of sugar sachets and a vase of pink roses behind.

A screenshot of a Facebook post from Furnace Green Surgery. Text reads: Every 30 seconds, someone loses their life to a hepatitis-related illness. On #WorldHepatitisDay, the World Hepatitis Alliance has a message: "We're not waiting!" You can access free hepatitis C testing at home from the NHS by visiting It could save your life. Below this, there is a photograph of a woman who is smiling at the camera, with the caption "I'm not waiting." Text to the side of the photograph reads "Don't wait until you get liver cancer from hepatitis. Get tested. It could save your life. World Hepatitis Day - 28 July"

Winter is coming...

It's never too early to start thinking about stocking up your medicine cabinet! Most winter illnesses can be taken care of safely at home. It's a good idea to keep your medicine cabinet stocked with over-the-counter medications you can pick up at your local pharmacy, as well as a first aid kit. If you're starting to think about how to heat your home, the NHS has some advice at including links to Government help like the Warm Home Discount Scheme. In our winter newsletter, we'll share more information about when you can care for yourself at home, and when you need to come and see a pharmacist or a GP.

If you would like a paper copy of this newsletter, please pop into reception.

3rd May 2023

Spring Newsletter 2023

This newsletter is also available in PDF format. If you need to use a screen reader, read on.

New Practice Website

We have just finished re-designing our website. The new site is fully accessible on computers and mobile phones, with in-built translation into many languages using Google Translate. It is also compatible with screen readers. We hope it will make it easier for our patients to find the information and services they need quickly, including links to book appointments and request medication online, and quick and easy online forms to request a sick note or inform us if you are a carer. Visit to check it out.

Hay Fever Season

Hay fever is usually worse between late March and September, especially when it's warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest. There's currently no cure for hay fever and you cannot prevent it. But you can do things to ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high.

Hints & Tips

  • put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
  • wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
  • shower and change your clothes after you have been outside
  • stay indoors and keep windows and doors shut
  • vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  • avoid cutting grass and walking on grass
  • do not keep fresh flowers in the house
  • do not smoke or be around smoke
  • do not dry clothes outside
  • buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter

A pharmacist can help with hayfever

Speak to your pharmacist if you have hay fever. They can give advice and suggest the best treatments, like antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to help with itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, and a blocked nose.

New clinics at Furnace Green Surgery

Blood Pressure Follow-Ups

We're improving the way we follow up patients who have a high blood pressure reading. If you have a high reading, you may be referred to our new Hypertension Clinic, run by our Healthcare Assistant Stacy. Stacy will make sure your blood pressure is re-checked, including with home readings or a 24 hour reading if needed. If your blood pressure remains high, she will send a message back to the GP so they can consider starting you on treatment or completing further investigations.

You care, so we care

At Furnace Green Surgery, we want to make sure that carers receive the support they need. We have recently started inviting our registered carers for annual health reviews, to check up on their own health needs, as well as seeing how we can support them with their caring role. If you care for someone, please let us know by filling in a quick form on our website at, where you can also find information about local services available to you.

How much work goes on at Furnace Green Surgery?

We've recently started producing these infographics to help our staff and patients understand what's keeping us busy. Look out for this information being updated monthly on our waiting room screen and our website.

April at a glance...

We now have 7,284 patients registered at the practice, with 86 new registrations in April.

We sent 398 referrals, issued 11,801 medications, and our a reception team received 2,872 incoming calls.

Our staff went out on 19 home visits.

We carried out 2,428 appointments, of which 71% were with a GP and 63% were face to face.

In April, 84 appointments were missed by patients. We saw 20% of all our registered patients last month, so every appointment is precious. If you cannot attend your appointment, please cancel so we can offer it to someone else.