Contrary to some press and internet stories, most GP Surgeries have never stopped seeing patients. From day 1 we continued to see patients in the surgery for assessment, review and treatments if face to face appointment was indicated. We have transformed the way we work to enable more patients than ever to be helped by rapidly replacing carpets with vinyl to allow more rooms to be opened to face to face appointment. We offer telephone, video, email consultations and yes we still do home visits. Front door triage ensures all patients having to attend are a safe and distanced as possible and leave by other doors to the front to avoid crossing paths. At no time since the start of this pandemic has anyone been away from surgery duty unless annual leave or shielding and this is a testament to the dedication of amazing team from Patient Administration dealing with over a thousand calls a week; our Nursing Team working tirelessly seeing their regular patients for dressings, injections, blood tests and urgent patching up; to Doctors who have had to adapt overnight to using technology to continue to see patients in a different way and using their skills and knowledge to try to best help those in clinical need. Whilst Covid-19 is still a threat we will continue to telephone triage ALL patient facing appointments. Therefore on entry to the surgery we will go through some covid related questions & ask that you wear a face covering because we already know that most people attending the surgery are already ill or at risk and we will try to do everything to ensure you are protected whilst in our care.
All we ask in return is for you to treat our staff with courtesy - shouting or abusive language will not be tolerated. We are doing our very best but the sheer volume of calls has more than doubled from pre-covid and we are running Covid vaccination clinics as well as surgery appointments. We have expanded the number of lines and staff but still demand is outstripping supply and we are working on this.
If your call is for a repeat prescription can we ask that you go back to putting it in writing (preferably on your repeat slip from the chemist) or use the Online Access facility if you have an email address or smart phone this is very easy to set up - just email us on email@example.com and request Access permission.
If your call is for results can you please call after 11am as the phones are generally quieter after 11.
COVID 19 Vaccine Programme
The Vaccination centre in Etchingham for Rother is only open for 2nd Astra Zeneca Vaccinations - we are calling those due but if you had your FIRST dose in January or 1st 2 weeks of February and we have not been able to call you - please the surgery ring to book.
Next phase of the Vaccination Programme begins as people aged 45 and over start to be invited - you MUST ring 119 or use the national booking system - the surgery is unable to access the national system & we are only doing 2nd dose calls at this time.
The national booking system can be accessed by visiting www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or calling 119 free of charge.
0800 433 4545
Monday to Friday, 9am – 4pm
We have started vaccination programme for patients 65 years of age and above and clinically vulnerable patients in 18-64 old. If you received letter with information how to book your vaccination elsewhere - please follow its instructions. We will contact you otherwise to offer you first vaccination at Etchingham Village Centre.
BOOK your COVID Vaccination HERE
You can only use this service if any of the following apply:
- you are aged 65 and over
- you have previously received a letter saying you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- you are a frontline health or social care worker
You also need to be registered with a GP surgery in England to use this service. You can register with a GP if you do not have one.
If you are at moderate risk from coronavirus (clinically vulnerable) the NHS will contact you to arrange your vaccination appointments.
Find out more about who is eligible to have a coronavirus vaccination.
We have now visited all housebound patients with first dose of vaccination. If you have not been contacted by us and you are registered as housebound patient please contact us, so we can add your name to additional list for community service to vaccinate you in later date.
We understand that at this time people have lots of questions about the vaccination and about the programme and its roll out across our communities.
To help support people and answer queries you may have, we have a vaccine enquiry service which can be accessed by email or by phone.
It is important to be clear this is not a phone number or email address to book your vaccination.
The national booking system can be accessed by visiting www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or calling 119 free of charge.
0800 433 4545
Monday to Friday, 9am – 4pm
Update on COVID-19 vaccination service for Martins Oak Surgery
To help provide extra capacity for Covid Vaccination in the top 4 priority groups, patients may receive a letter of invitation. This maybe from either a mass vaccination site eg The Brighton Centre or one of the few pharmacies in the surrounding areas that are able to offer vaccination. Please be wary of scams that might ask for bank details. This is not required at all and should raise immediate suspicion.
Additional information and the latest updates can be found on NHS Sussex Health and Care Partnership (see below):
Reassurance as national vaccination letters start to be received in East Sussex
People in East Sussex are starting to receive letters offering them the opportunity to book a vaccination appointment at a large vaccination centre or a local pharmacy service.
We recognise that these letters are causing confusion and we want to provide a simple summary of how people can receive their vaccination and the purpose of these letters.
In East Sussex, people in the eligible groups are able to receive their vaccination at either a GP led or local vaccination service, a larger vaccination centre such as the Brighton Centre which went live this week, a local pharmacy service, or a roving service which is visiting care homes and those who are housebound.
All of these services are working alongside each other and provide people with choice to decide where they would like to receive their vaccination.
GP led or local vaccination services are contacting patients directly by phone, text or letter to book an appointment. People will also be contacted directly if they are housebound and not able to access a service.
Appointments at the larger vaccination centres and local pharmacy services are available through a national booking system and the letters set out how you can access this – both through a website and a phone line.
The letters are being sent to anyone in the eligible priority groups who live in a 60 mile radius from a vaccination centre or a local pharmacy service. It is important to say that this is not just in Sussex and if you live in proximity to a vaccination centre or pharmacy in Hampshire, Kent or Surrey, you are able to book for these and have your vaccination there.
If you have received a letter, you can either use the national booking system to arrange an appointment at a large vaccination centre or pharmacy, or you can leave the letter and you will continue to be contacted by your GP led or local vaccination service (supported by your GP practice) to arrange an appointment.
Patients start to be vaccinated at Brighton Centre
Patients across Sussex have started to receive their COVID-19 vaccination at the Brighton Centre.
This week’s launch of the vaccination centre at Brighton Centre is the latest step in the ongoing phased roll-out of the Sussex vaccination programme and will enable the NHS to protect as many people as possible in the coming weeks.
Those in the initial priority groups are being invited to book an appointment via the national booking system - and the first attended for their vaccination today. They were welcomed by the teams from Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and provided this vital protection.
The service is by invitation only and gives those who are eligible another option to receive their vaccine, in addition to their local GP-led vaccination services.
Fresh warning over COVID-19 vaccination scams
The NHS is issuing a fresh warning to residents to be on their guard against fraudulent messages as new scams are being sent to patients.
This week there have been fresh reports that some people are receiving fake fraudulent calls, emails and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination.
In the most recent case people are receiving a notification of their ‘vaccination appointment’ and are being asked to confirm it by clicking on a link.
This looks very similar to the genuine texts being sent by GP practice vaccination teams and the NHS is worried people will be conned by them or will not respond to their genuine invitations.
The NHS has this advice for patients:
- An official NHS text message will include details of your GP practice. It will also include details of the local vaccination service and its location;
- Scam text messages and emails are not including local information such as your GP practice details or where you are invited to attend;
- The COVID-19 vaccination is only available by the NHS and it is free – you will never be asked to pay for it or your bank details.
If you are worried about a text message you have received, please be assured you will remain on your GP practice list for vaccination if you don't respond.
We are pleased to confirm the arrangements for our patients to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
The GP led vaccination service at Etchingham Village Hall is set to go live at the start of next week and will be where our patients can receive this vital protection.
The service is a partnership between our practice, our partners in Rural Rother Primary Care Network and Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.
It will cover all registered patients at:
Fairfield Surgery, Ferry Road Health Centre, Martins Oak Surgery, Northiam and Broad Oak Surgery, Oldwood Surgery, Rye Medical Centre, and Sedlescombe and Westfield Surgeries
The service will offer vaccine appointments to registered patients at the GP practices in line with the national priority groups, starting with those who are over the age of 80.
Preparations at Etchingham Village Hall are being finalised this week with the aim that the first vaccines will begin to be administered at the start of next week, subject to a confirmed vaccine delivery date.
Our practice teams have been identifying their patients who are eligible at this stage and appointments will be booked in over the coming days.
In terms of the way the vaccination programme is being rolled out, the model for GP vaccination services has been agreed nationally and each area is typically allocated one GP-led vaccination site where all patients from a group of GP practices receive their vaccinations.
Each of our GP practices have small sites and small staff numbers compared to large urban practices, and so we did not feel we could continue to provide high levels of care for our patients and support the programme initially in the way it had to be implemented according to the national model.
However, this new GP led service will mean the GP practices and SCFT work together to bring all of our local knowledge to support the roll out of the vaccination programme to our patients.
We recognise that at the current time, with one site at Etchingham, some people will have to travel further than others to get their vaccination depending on where they live in the local area. We would like reassure everyone that there are discussions about further locations in the area and how the vaccination can be offered from GP practices. This is a fast moving programme and over the coming weeks, there may be the option to provide the vaccine from more sites across our communities.
The location of the GP-led vaccination service does not affect the speed by which people living in the Rural Rother area will receive their vaccination. The timing for when people will be able to get their vaccination depends largely on the availability of the vaccine and the priority group they are in.
If anyone is concerned about how they will travel to get a vaccine during lockdown, it should be noted that, under the national guidance, it is permissible to receive a lift from someone or there are community transport providers offering this support in terms of transport for medical appointments.
You can find information about community and non-emergency transport (NEPTS) on the East Sussex County Council website, or call the community hub on 01273 099956.
People are asked not to contact your GP practice but to wait until you are contacted. You will be contacted as soon as an appointment is available for you.
We are also asking people not to turn up early for their appointments. Arriving on time will help us manage the number of people at the venue and help keep our patients and staff safe.
Our teams are also vaccinating at care homes across our local area. Many care homes have been visited and we expect to have completed all our homes by the end of the month.
The Covid-19 vaccination programme is the biggest immunisation programme ever undertaken by the NHS. As we roll out vaccines, we’d like to remind people of 3 things:
- The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn, so please do not contact us beforehand.
- Please act on your invite when it comes.
- Remember Hands, Face, Space. It will save lives and help the NHS
Why is the vaccine not available at other locations?
As soon as the NHS started to make plans for the COVID-19 vaccination programme we began exploring where we could offer the COVID-19 vaccine to our patients in Rural Rother.
The sites need to be able to accommodate large numbers of people on a daily basis (at least 300 a day.) We also need space for people to wait for their appointment and be monitored for a short while after their vaccination.
The site also needs to have internet access, IT and facilities to be able to carry out the vaccination safely and in line with government guidance.
We have received incredible support from our communities and our partners with helpful suggestions of locations. However, the tight criteria meant that other sites, some of which were more centrally located, were not suitable.
It was also important that we had long term access to the site, as the vaccination programme is likely to continue for months over the course of this year.
Please see Sussex Care and Health Partnership FAQ website for latest information
Martins Oak is part of a wider network of Rother GP practices teamed up with the Sussex Community Foundation Trust (SCFT) to administer the COVID 19 vaccinations locally. The Trust are coordinating the complex logistical arrangements and staffing for the vaccination centre. Patients will be invited as per the government's priority list starting with the over 80's, care home residents and front line workers. Please do not contact the surgery as we cannot book appointments for you as this will ultimately come from the site itself. We realise this is very frustrating for patients, as it is for us. We hope to announce the start date very soon.
We will post here and on
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as soon as we know any more details.
If you need help outside surgery hours ring NHS by dialling 111
For online help & advice go to www.nhs.uk
In an emergency ring 999
For the latest information about the Coronavirus please visit: www.gov.uk/coronavirus
DO NOT COME TO THE SURGERY UNLESS YOU HAVE A PRE-BOOKED APPOINTMENT
You must ring 01424 772060 to book and you will be asked the reason for your appointment and you will be triaged by a GP who will call you back and assess if you need a face to face appointment or visit - if we suspect coronavirus you will be asked to go to 111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19/ for advice.
The surgery is taking every precaution to ensure risks are minimal. We ask patients to be vigilant and aware of guidelines on self-isolation if any chance of contamination - with posters on the main door requesting anyone with symptoms of even a cold to not enter but go home and check the Gov.uk website for up to date advice & guidance
We are phone triaging ALL requests for appointments or home visits where a GP will decide on appropriate course of action/s.
It is imperative to maintain surgery services that anyone who thinks they might have, or have been in contact with, coronavirus
DO NOT ATTEND the surgery
Self isolate using the www.gov.uk
People who have been told to by a healthcare professional self isolate, they can obtain a sick note form by using the following link:-
Community Support for Coronavirus
Local volunteers are on hand to help people with food deliveries and prescription collection. If you are self-isolating and need support, get in touch with one of the groups below:
Good SAM 08081963646
Battle Town Council 01424 772210 or 07309 732536
Crowhurst Support Group - 07395 932 355 CrowhurstGroup@gmail.com
County Council Website for contact information -
Martins Oak Surgery
With patients' needs at the heart of everything we do, our website has been designed to make it easy for you to gain instant access to the information you need. As well as specific practice details such as opening hours and how to register, you’ll find a wealth of useful pages along with links to other relevant medical organisations.
Of course we’re not just here for when you are unwell. Our team of healthcare professionals and back-up staff offer a number of clinics and services to promote good health and wellbeing whatever your medical condition. If you need help when we are closed phone 111 or go to www.nhs.uk
In an emergency call 999
Local Services, Groups & Hobbies, Advice & Information, Local Events and much more
Getting help in East Sussex - Local groups and services to support you, your family and friends
You can view our CQC report and rating by clicking on item 1 in the list on the right but in a nutshell we are GOOD in all areas.
Follow TAB to the right of here with detailed information and policies but we do not use or pass on any contact information for marketing or sales and all our contacts are for direct patient care whether letter, phone, text or email. At any time you can ask us to remove your contact information and please always let us know if you have changed any of your held details including contact details, next of kin and Carer status.
We hope you enjoy having a look around the site and familiarising yourself with some of the features. Whatever your thoughts, be sure to let us know via our feedback function. Comments and suggestions are always a great way of helping us continue to enhance the way we look after you. Also, please use the Online Services link below to take the Friends and Family Test which tells us how YOU think we are doing.
All of our consulting rooms and our main patient toilet are on the ground floor and disabled accessible. Unfortunately, we have no on-site parking available for any patients. We also have a loop-induction system for patients who use a suitable hearing aid.
Now Available Online
Appointments, Prescription ordering and Medical Summary viewing. All you need as a registration form with details of how to log in and a personal access pin code. Over 2,000 patients have registered to date for online services.
Care for Carers East Sussex
Contact the Carers hub
Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm
You can also message them on facebook
The team are working remotely so please leave a message and they will get back to you. You can also contact the carers lead for the surgery, Vicki
The Young Carers Action Day is the 16th March 2021 to find out more or refer a young carer, please contact our young carers together team by using the email above! Alternatively you can call 07874853703 or look on our website www.cftc.org.uk/young-carers-service-east-sussex
Sussex Armed Forces Network
This covers veterans and serving personnel alike. Contact can be made via
or by downloading the forces connect app which is free on google play and Apple App Store. This provides details and various websites.
Contact can also be made via the service champion for the surgery, Vicki
(Site updated 04/05/2021)