Charlbury Patient Participation Group: CPPG

Welcome to the Charlbury Patient Participation Group page. We will use this page to keep you up to date with Charlbury Medical Practice news, our quarterly newsletters, and occasional bulletins.

Please find our  newsletters:

Newsletters continue at the foot of this page.

Click on the PDF icon and the newsletter at the bottom of the page will open.

22 July 2021. Date for uploading GP patient records "paused" by NHS digital.

At a Healthwatch Oxfordshire webinar yesterday afternoon members of patient groups were informed that the Government decided on July 19th to postpone rollout of transfer of 10 years of GP patient data to NHS Digital until the following are in place:

·         The ability to delete data if patients choose to opt out of sharing their GP data with NHS Digital, even if this is after their data has been uploaded.

·         The backlog of opt-outs has been fully cleared

·         A Trusted Research Environment has been developed and implemented in NHS Digital

·         Patients have been made aware of the scheme through a campaign of engagement and communication.

For the time being, this seems to cover our concerns. However, we shall keep a keen eye on developments and keep you informed.

June 2021

Your health records.

The steering committee of the patient group continues to discuss the implications of the proposed new

NHS Digital General Practice  (GP) Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR).

This huge new data base will contain the health records of 55 million people who are registered with a GP in England. The information will be updated daily and kept centrally, in one big list, or data base. We feel it is important that patients know that this is happening, and understand the implications to enable us all to make an informed decision about whether to opt out of the scheme and all that implies or to remain in the scheme.  We hope the following article will help us make that choice. A representative from the patient group will join others from surgeries in West Oxfordshire early next month. They will meet Robert Courts MP to discuss the proposal.

Information on Government Proposals for NHS Data Sharing from Charlbury Patient Participation Group

Most of us would agree that medical data is indispensable for research and planning and are happy for our data to be collected and used to improve health care, but with certain provisos.  

There are 2 kinds of medical databases important to the NHS. The first allows clinicians to access the records of patients they are treating. For example:  if you arrive in A&E it is useful and may be life-saving for the medical team to be able to identify relevant medical history quickly and easily.  A new national system called Shared Care Records is expected to be in place in September, though there are still questions about privacy and access. You might not be so keen for details of sexual health to be shared with the surgeon operating on your toe.

The second, which is under discussion here, is the proposal from NHS Digital to collect all data from GP practices and place it in a central data base where it could be accessed by researchers, planners and private corporations. This has given rise to concern from patients and the medical profession in part fuelled by the way in which the scheme was introduced, the lack of time allowed to opt out, the uncertainty about who would be allowed to access the data and for what purposes, and the impenetrability of the document. It is particularly difficult to access the opt-out forms within the document.


1.      Track record. In 2013 NHS England launched a similar care data project but was forced to close it after a lawsuit preventing the government handing a contract to Palantir ( a CIA backed tech corporation) to start using the NHS data store.


2.      What will happen to the data. Although most agencies wanting to access patient data will be doing so for benign purposes, there is insufficient assurance in the document as it stands that large companies will not be able to buy the data, for example, pharmaceutical companies and  private companies considering taking over GP surgeries.


3.      Potential for identification of individuals from data. The document asserts that all data is pseudonymised which means that details which directly identify patients are replaced by unique codes. The NHS will hold keys to unlock the codes ‘in certain circumstances and where there is valid legal reason’. Some would prefer to have assurances that the data is fully anonymised, or that it can only be unblocked if the NHS is under legal obligation to do so, (but not including legal obligations entered into by the NHS, for example in a contract).


4.      Cyber Security.Given that it is impossible to give assurance that cyber-attacks will never occur, many would like assurances that their personal data is fully anonymised.

Following threat of legal action from groups such as the Doctor’s Association UK and National Pensioners Convention, and protests from the medical profession, the public and  pressure groups, the government has agreed to delay rollout of the scheme until September 1st. However, it would seem that any opt –out would need to be submitted at least a week earlier than that.

Healthwatch England   welcomed the move to extend the deadline for the GP data opt-out ‘allowing NHS Digital and colleagues across the NHS particularly those in primary care, to have the time and space to engage properly with patients and the wider public on these plans. Over the next few months we need to see a proper nationwide campaign on this reaching out to people that they can make an informed choice on how their medical records are used to support research.’ The chief executive of NHS Digital has acknowledged that  ‘we need to take our responsibility to safeguard the data we hold incredibly seriously.’

There has been some suggestion in the press that a longer time is required before rollout takes place.

Meanwhile some medical centres have refused to share their patients’ data with NHS Digital pending further clarification. Charlbury Medical Centre has preferred to allow patients to make their own decisions.

Opting out:  There are 2 types of opt-out , each requiring a separate form.

Type 1 opt out form will stop NHS Digital taking your data held by your GP . This form has to be printed out and handed in to the Medical Centre.  

National Data opt-out form prevents NHS Digital sharing your NHS data with others.  This form has to be filled in on line as a PDF and e-mailed to NHS Digital.  It is impossible to sign it as requested on –line , but you can print off a hard copy and sign and post. You can request e-mail confirmation.

You can at any point change your mind and opt back in, but if you have not opted out by 24th August your data will be collected,  and cannot be returned.

In response to concerns the Government released a document on the 22nd June entitled: ‘Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data .

The strategy is being published in draft format to enable full and open engagement on the commitments made within in it , before publishing a final version of the strategy later in 2021’. A date is not specified, but presumably some time before September 1st.

Much of the document deals with the value of Shared Care Records, which is not the scheme which is being rolled out in September.

Elsewhere in the document promises are made on ‘the development of new advances in how data is collected, stored and analysed’ , (p.13). , ‘ a system –wide target for rationalisation of data collections planned  for 2012-2022’,( p19) and a promise to  ‘introduce legislation in due course to mandate standards as to how data is collected’ ( p.45) etc…

Given the amount of work that the Department of Health and Social Care recognises in this document that needs to be done to ensure secure collection and storage of medical data, the question arises as to why there is such a rush to rollout enforcement of data collection.

Would it not be better to wait until the systems are in place?

 DH, Charlbury Patient Participation Group

At the foot of this page you will find two opt-out forms, plus an article written by Naomi Lee, an editor at the Lancet, which appeared in the Financial Times today, 28 June 2021.

Forms: Make and manage your choice; type one opt out form.   Article: the public must have more clarity on governement plans for NHS data

Spring newsletter

Just in case you did not spot our latest newsletter in "News" on this website, it can be found at the foot of this page. In this edition we focus on heart health, especially women's heart health, where problems can be missed or wrongly diagnosed. The article is written by a patient of CMC. We also describe hypertension, or high blood pressure which is one of the most commonly occurring conditions in patients of CMC, and how to monitor blood pressure at home. Jason from Charlbury Community Centre encourages us to excercise more and Nikki Jackson writes about the benefits of yoga therapy. We hope you find the newsletter interesting.

April 2021

Your Vaccination Records

By downloading the NHS App, (not the coronavirus tracing app) you can see and have evidence of your immunisations, including the Covid 19 vaccination. It may take time for information to be uploaded onto the app, but it will get there.

After you download the app, you will need to set up an NHS login and prove who you are. All this can be done at home with some patience and perseverance. You only need to do it once. There is no need to visit the medical centre with your documents.

The app then securely connects to information from your GP surgery.

You can use the NHS App to:

  • See details of the vaccinations you have received.
  • order repeat prescriptions - see your available medicines, request a new repeat prescription and choose a pharmacy for your prescriptions to be sent to
  • book appointments - search for, book and cancel appointments at your GP surgery, and see details of your upcoming and past appointments (no online booking available at the moment)
  • see test results – for tests ordered by the GP or nurse, and see whether they are within the normal range
  • get health advice - search trusted NHS information and advice on hundreds of conditions and treatments, and get instant advice or medical help near you
  • view your medical record - securely access your GP medical record, to see information like your allergies and your current and past medicines
  • register your organ donation decision - choose to donate some or all of your organs and check your registered decision
  • find out how the NHS uses your data - choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning

In the NHS App you can see when your repeat prescription order is:

  • waiting for GP approval or undetermined
  • approved by your GP or issued
  • rejected or refused

You can contact your GP surgery or nominated pharmacy to find out when your medicine will be ready.

Unfortunately, at the moment we cannot book appointments online due to Covid-19 restrictions.

For more information visit:

NHS Prescription charges

The current prescription charge is £9.35 per item.

Some items are always free, including contraceptives and medicines prescribed for hospital inpatients.

A prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) could save you money on NHS prescription costs:

  • a 3-month PPC costs £30.25
  • a 12-month PPC is £108.10

How much can I save?

If you need:

  • 2 items each month – you can save £116.30 with a 12-month PPC
  • 3 items each month – you can save £228.50 with a 12-month PPC
  • 4 items each month – you can save £340.70 with a 12-month PPC

There are several payment options available. If you choose the 12-month PPC, you can pay for this upfront, or by 10 monthly direct debit instalments.

It's quickest to buy a PPC online. The PPC will start from the day you submit your application, unless you request a different start date, but the start date must be within 1 month before or after the date of your application.

If you prefer talking to someone, you can call the PPC order line on 0300 330 1341. Your certificate will be valid from the day you make the phone call, unless you request otherwise.

Make sure you have your bank details or credit or debit card details ready.

You can receive your certificate details by email if you provide an email address, print them at the end of your online application, or receive the details by post.

More information is available here:

January 2021

Winter Newsletter  The patient group's newsletter is now available as a PDF at the bottom of the page.  Click on the icon and it will open. The contents of this newsletter include:

·         The Rural West Primary Care Network: what is it?

·         New staff in the Rural West PCN

·         The work of the Falls Prevention Service; when to dial 999 following a fall

·         The NHS App: your own GP medical records one click away; how to access it, and the information it provides.

·         Booking an appointment at the medical practice. When is my GP on duty?               

Please share any information in the newsletter which you think might be useful with friends, family and neighbours.  Thank you.


November 2020

Getting urgent NHS care in Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire residents are encouraged to contact NHS 111 first if they are thinking of attending an Emergency Department, also known as A&E.

From 1st November 2020, people in Oxfordshire who need urgent care but whose condition is not serious or life-threatening will be advised to contact NHS 111.

How will it work?

· Anyone with an urgent care need who contacts NHS 111 in Oxfordshire will have their details taken by a call handler and asked an important set of initial questions, to ensure that an emergency response (for serious or life-threatening illness or injury) is not required and to gather key information.

· If a clinical opinion is needed, the call handler then passes all the information to a clinical team member, who will call the patient back. These are experienced senior clinicians with local knowledge, who are able to offer informed advice and/or refer the patient to the most appropriate clinical setting for assessment.

·If the patient needs to be seen in their local A&E they will then be issued with a time slot for their arrival

However, if it would be more appropriate for them to receive clinical advice elsewhere, they will be advised on:

  • how to self-care if required
  • visiting their local pharmacy, dentist, optician, or their own GP for help
  • visiting a local Minor Injuries Unit.

If people attend A&E without having gone through NHS 111, they will be assessed in a timely way by a clinical staff member and will receive emergency care and treatment if they need it. This will help the NHS to help patients get the right care in the right place.

For life threatening conditions, people must ring 999 without delay.


2020 AUTUMN NEWSLETTER: availble at the foot of this page.  Click on the icon to open.


What are my GP's normal working days?Doctors' surgery days, treatment days and times are available on the medical centre website:, under Opening Times > Surgery Days and Times. You can also find useful information about the forthcoming NHS Flu Vaccination programme on the website.

A Reminder from the Practice

If at all possible, please try to avoid ringing the medical practice on Monday mornings.  It is their busiest time, and you may have to wait in a queue. Mid week is less busy with less time to wait for your call to be answered.

July 2020

Summer Newsletter 2020

The patient group summer newsletter has arrived. It is available to read at the foot of this page.

The Charlbury Medical Centre says "thank you" to its patients for their kindness, understanding and support of the new ways of working over the last few months.  Services will return gradually to a new normal over time. The medical centre appreciates people's patience and their willingness to work with the practice as services are re-introduced as it becomes safe to do so.

May 2020

 Organ donation 20.05.20

The Source of the information which follows is:

Organ donation law in England changed on 20 May 2020 It has moved to an "opt out" system.

What is organ and tissue donation? Organ and tissue donation is the act of giving your organs and/or tissues to help save or improve the lives of others when you die. One organ donor can save or transform the lives of up to nine people. Tissue transplants can also significantly improve a person’s quality of life. This might be a cornea to help someone see again, a replacement heart valve to treat a heart defect, or skin to treat severe burns.

What has changed?

Organ donation in England has moved to an 'opt out' system. You may also hear it referred to as 'Max and Keira's Law'.

This means that all adults in England will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die unless they have recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups.

Who will the changes affect?

These changes will affect all adults in England unless they have recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the following excluded groups:

  • Those under the age of 18
  • People who lack the mental capacity to understand the new arrangements and take the necessary action
  • Visitors to England, and those not living here voluntarily
  • People who have lived in England for less than 12 months before their death

Your family will still be approached and your faith, beliefs and culture will continue to be respected.

You still have a choice whether or not you wish to become a donor. Get the facts about organ donation to help you decide. 

Why has the law changed?

The law has been changed to help save and improve more lives. Every day across the UK, someone dies waiting for a transplant.

What do I have to do?

We are asking everyone to:

1.    Record your organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register

2.    Tell your family and friends what you have decided

If you would like to speak to somebody about your choices, please call the dedicated phone line:

 0300 303 2094

Mon – Fri: 8am - 8pm 

Sat and Sun: 8am - 4pm

April 2020

WHEN SHOULD I CONSULT THE GP?Call your Practice to seek advice on any of the following:

·        Unexplained bleeding

·        Significant and spontaneous bruising in different areas of the body

·        Unexplained weight loss

·        Unusual thirst, very frequent urination

·        New and persistent headaches, not improving with painkillers, especially if accompanied by dizziness and or nausea

·        Moles which grow, change shape, colour, start itching or bleeding

·        Any new lumps anywhere on your body

·        Breast cancer can have several symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue. Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it's always best to have them checked by a doctor

More information in our 2020 spring newsletter at the bottom of this page.



Important Key Facts and more information in the article at the foot of the page. Click on the icon to open.

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