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 will open.

April 2021

NHS prescription charges have increased recently.

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.

Who can get free prescriptions?

You can get free NHS prescriptions if, at the time the prescription is dispensed, you:
  • are 60 or over
  • are under 16
  • are 16 to 18 and in full-time education
  • are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx)
  • have a specified medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
  • have a continuing physical disability that prevents you going out without help from another person and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
  • hold a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability
  • are an NHS inpatient

You're also entitled to free prescriptions if you or your partner (including civil partner) receive, or you're under the age of 20 and the dependant of someone receiving:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Universal Credit and meet the criteria

If you're entitled to or named on:

  • a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate – if you do not have a certificate, you can show your award notice. You qualify if you get Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits with a disability element (or both), and have income for tax credit purposes of £15,276 or less
  • a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)

People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.

More information is available here:

March 2021

TalkingSpace Plus, Oxford Health NHS Foundation TrustFeeling low, anxious, or stressed?Talkingspace Plus offers free talking therapies to patients registered with an Oxfordshire GP. Therapists work with individuals experiencing common mental health problems such as depression and low mood, anxiety, health anxiety and insomnia.

Their website has been updated to give practical ideas on how to manage worries around Covid-19 including Coronavirus and Anxiety, Coronavirus and Worry, and Depression. During the pandemic help is given online or by telephone appointments.

To get in touch visit their website, or telephone 01865 901 222.   General enquiries email:

Are you caring for an elderly or disabled person?

People who care for a relative or friend (who need not be a patient of Charlbury Medical Centre) should register as a carer with the medical practice. Government guidelines state:  "At the same time as adults under 65 with long term conditions, the vaccine will be offered to adult carers - those who are in receipt of a carer's allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill." Please register with the practice if this applies to you.

Thank you to the Sports and Social Club for giving the use of their new building free of charge.

Thank you everybody for supporting the medical centre during this demanding time, volunteering to help at the clinics and helping friends and family to be vaccinated.  All the staff at CMC contributed to the remarkable achievement of vaccinating everybody aged 70 and over by 15 February.  Congratulations and thanks to all members of staff.

Vaccine scams:  Action Fraud is raising awareness of another coronavirus scam.   This comes in the form of an e-mail which attempts to trick people into handing over their bank details.  It appears to come from the NHS and asks the recipient to click on a link to accept or decline the invitation to receive the vaccine.  If they click “accept”, they are asked to input personal information and their bank card details.

So remember that the NHS will never:

·        Ask you for your bank account or card details;

·        Ask you for your PIN or banking password;

·        Arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine;

·        Ask you to prove your identity using personal documents.


If you receive a call which you believe to be a scam, hang up.  If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to: .  Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.

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

New way of 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.


A message of thanks to all the people who have volunteered to help at the flu clinics this week and to those who have volunteered to welcome patients to the Charlbury Medical Centre during the morning surgery. 

Before entering the Medical Centre, the volunteers will ensure patients do not have symptoms of Covid -19, are wearing a mask and that everything touched is disinfected both before and after each visit. We are very grateful to the volunteers working to help keep the medical centre, patients and staff as safe as possible during these difficult times.


Flu vaccinations: for people aged 65 and over:- on 29 and 30 September between 8am and 4pm.

Essential information about the clinics for Charlbury Practice patients: Bring your letter; wear a face covering; easy access to the top of your arm.  Please do not come if you have any symptoms of Covid-19, or are having to self-isolate.

The childhood immunisation programme. Make sure your child is fully up to date with their immunisations.

Young people going to college and university: Ensure you are protected through immunisation.

The eradication of polio in the UK. A vaccine success story

Is it a cold?  Is it flu?  Is it Covid-19?  A chart to help tell the difference.

All this and more in the Autumn Newsletter from Charlbury Patient Participation Group. Click on the icon at the bottom of the page to read more.


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.

Infection control at the medical centre

The practice manager reminds us of the measures that are in place to keep staff and patients safe from infection:

·         All patient visits to the Surgery are by prior appointment only.

·         All patients (and any other visitors, such as delivery drivers) need to wear a face mask.

·         The doors to the Surgery will be kept locked (except for prescription collection times) until the patient is told they are allowed to enter. The building is air-conditioned so there is no need for the doors to be kept open.

·         On arrival at the Surgery the patient should ring the bell and wait for a member of staff to come and escort them inside.

·         If there are several patients waiting outside, they should maintain a distance of 2 metres from each other.

·         The dispenser is not required to wear a mask but patients should stand at least 2 metres away from her at all times.

·         The receptionists are not required to wear a mask as this makes it difficult for them to use the phone but if a patient needs to speak to someone at Reception they should maintain a distance of 2 metres at all times.


July 2020

Summer Newsletter 2020

The patient group summer newsletter has arrived.  Read it to find out the latest symptoms of Covid-19, how to recognise the symptoms of diabetes and one person's efforts to keep the disease at bay. We also write about a mother's loving generosity in donating one of her kidneys to her son.  Important changes in the law about organ donation are summarised.

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.

The newsletter is available to read as a PDF at the foot of this page. Click on the icon to open it.

Delay in seeking treatment for visual defects

As with all other symptoms which concern you, anyone noticing a change in their vision should be seen as soon as possible, and a call made to your Practice for advice on the same day.  Specialist eye units are concerned about the drop in referrals of up to 90% in the early stages of lockdown as people were not presenting with their symptoms. 

The main condition of concern is wet Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and if this is caught early, it is treatable, but if not, it will result in sight loss. Many other visual conditions should also be seen as soon as possible. 

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 latest spring newsletter at the bottom of this page.

The Spring Newsletter from the patient group is available at the foot of the page as a PDF.

In this edition we write about some of the symptoms, other than coronavirus, which require clinical attention for both adults and children.  Clinicians worry that disease is being overlooked in our efforts to protect the NHS.  We must also remember to protect ourselves and those we care about.

Please open it to read about:
  • Heart attack symptoms
  • Stroke symptoms
  • Symptoms about which we should consult the GP
  • Children and babies: when to dial 999, or go to A&E
  • An important message for expectant mothers
  • Help lines: Domestic abuse helpline, mental health help line and a help line for diabetic patients in need of urgent clinical advice.


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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