The rules regarding social distancing and mask wearing etc are changing nationally from 19th July, however, the practice is keeping its safety measures in place to protect our patients are staff: we would ask that……

  • You must wear a facemask when entering hospitals, GP practices and other healthcare settings
  • Please attend all GP and hospital appointments alone where possible
  • Please regularly wash your hands and sanitise using gel
  • Please maintain a social distance in all healthcare settings
  • Please get the COVID-19 vaccine ASAP
  • Please stay at home if you suspect you have COVID-19.  Call 119 or visit www.nhs.uk for a PCR test.


If you are aged between 18 -39 years and haven’t had your first Covid jab, please contact the practice and we can help you book an appointment.


GP Data for Planning and Research

NHS Digital has been directed to collect, process, analyse and disseminate general practice data to support the purposes set out in the GP Data for Planning and Research Direction 2021.

NHS Digital has developed a planned replacement for the GP Extraction Service (GPES), to collect data for planning and research from general practices in England. This new approach is the culmination of engagement with the British Medical Association (BMA ), the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the National Data Guardian (NDG) for the past three years.

This collection is called GP Data for Planning and Research and its purpose is to support the data needs of the health and social care system including policy development, public health, planning and commissioning of services and research.  This new collection is designed to reduce the number of requests for a ccess to data received by general practice.

Once fully established, NHS Digital will undertake a managed transition from the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) to the new GP data service. NHS Digital will also work with other organisations to enable transition from existing data flows to the new service.

More information about this data collection and the general practice obligation to provide data for this purpose is contained in the Provision Notice issued by NHS Digital to GP practices. The Data Provision Notice includes appendices whic h explain data minimisation, additional protections, pseudonymisation and the data set specification.  

More information on the legal basis for collecting, analysing and disseminating this data can also be found in the NHS Digital GP Data transparency pages.

EMIS is supporting the GP Data for Planning and Research collection including ensuring identifiable patient data items are de-identified (pseudonymised at source) before they leave the GP practice.

If you decide you wish to opt-put you can complete the form, and either post or e-mail it into us. We will then ensure your preference is coded onto your medical record. Opt out form


Urgent Eye Problems:

Emergency Eye Department at Sunderland Eye Infirmary: Patients with urgent eye problems which need to be assessed the same day can now self-refer to the Emergency Eye Department. Please ring 0191 569 9952 before attending in person


Dear Patients,

We know this last year has been hard for everyone.

We know everyone has a lot of health concerns.

We wanted to explain why it sometimes is tough to get an appointment or get a question answered as quickly as you may want.

During the pandemic we have worked flat out all the way through. Our doors have been closed to people coming in without appointments, but this does not mean we have not been working. Since March 2020 we have always been open for face-to-face appointments in a way that has been safe for everyone. We have continued to see anyone who needs seeing and we have been dealing with thousands of telephone calls every week. Our staff have been out in the community seeing patients every day, dealing with the very sick and dying in care homes, helping run the Rehabilitation Unit in Houghton and staffing the Out of Hours clinics at Sunderland Hospital.

Since Christmas we have also been in the vaccine clinic at Houghton, which runs from 8am-8pm each day. Many of you will have received your vaccinations from us there, and others will be getting your vaccines there until well into the autumn.

Now that Covid restrictions are easing, our front doors can open again.

We have never been so busy.

Each day our hardworking reception staff answer the phones to hundreds of calls, and these calls get dealt with, assessed and passed on to the doctors and nurses. We do our very best to safely prioritise everything that is truly urgent.

Our GPs and Nurses deal with all these requests for advice, prescriptions, face-to-face appointments, and home visits each day. We also sign hundreds or prescriptions, check results, read letters from hospitals and coordinate care with our colleagues.

We have worked throughout the pandemic and put ourselves and our families at risk so we can offer the very best care we can, and we will continue to do this tirelessly.

You may get frustrated that you are not being dealt with in a way that is convenient for you, but please be patient, please be kind and most of all please stay safe

Dr Jane Halpin, Principle GP Partner, on behalf of Herrington Medical Centre.



From 17 May 2021, people in England who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can demonstrate their vaccination status for international travel. A full course is currently two doses of any approved vaccine. Vaccine status will be available from:

  • the NHS App which you can download from app stores

It may take more than a week for your identity to be checked and verified so you can use this service.

If you cannot access this online service, and you have had 2 vaccines, you can request a paper letter from the NHS by calling 119. Only call 119 if you are due to travel abroad in the near future and have had your second dose more than 5 working days ago. It may take 7 working days for the letter to arrive.

This practice is not able to provide you with a letter that shows your COVID-19 vaccination status.

When you’re planning your travel, check the latest information on demonstrating your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad on the gov.uk website. Make sure there is time to get  proof of your vaccination status before you leave.


We are trialling a way of opening up availability to a number of pre-bookable telephone consultations. Patients who are registered for on-line access are now able to pre-book telephone consultations with a GP up to 7 days in advance. The first appointments are available from 10th May 2021.


Please advise the practice if you have a mobile or change your mobile number as we will be contacting patients via a text message inviting them to arrange your Covid vaccines.


We sadly announce the retirement of Dr Keith Birrell on 1st April 2021. He has been an outstanding, dedicated and extremely valued member of the practice team for more than 20 years and he will be greatly missed by patients and colleagues alike. We wish him a very long and a very happy retirement



Vaccine scam

Covid scam 2


Asked to self-isolate? Sunderland City Council can support with food shopping, medication or essential supplies www.sunderland.gov.uk/coronavirus or call 0800 234 6084


Please be aware that your GP practice or NHS 111 cannot book coronavirus tests.  You only need a coronavirus test if you are showing any of the following symptoms:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

 If you do need a coronavirus test, please go to www.nhs.uk or phone 119. If you live with someone, or someone in your support bubble, who has symptoms or tested positive for coronavirus please self-isolate for 14 days. You do not need a test unless you show symptoms yourself.


Please see attached regarding guidance for patients who are requesting exemption letters for face coverings  Guidance for patients requesting face coverings exemption letter


Please see these links regarding the use of face coverings…..


And for children …….    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6mq8V1419w


Please see a link to the Learning Disability Matters website for families, it has a range of resources to support family resilience and health and wellbeing of children and young people with a learning disability.



Please see below for info on a new app for CYP MH which is free during Covid 19:

A team across NHSX, NHS Digital, NHS England and NHS Improvement are working to identify a number of digital tools to support children and young people who are experiencing increased mental health needs as a result of COVID-19.

The first supplier to complete the process with the team and show how they meet the requirements identified in respect of the children and young people user group is Healios, for its ThinkNinja app.

ThinkNinja is a mental health app designed for 10 to 18 year olds. Using a variety of content and tools, it allows young people to learn about mental health and emotional wellbeing, and develop skills they can use to build resilience and stay well.



Keeping People Connected information: for anyone who is autistic or has a learning disability or both in response to Coronavirus:-

Sunderland KPC Flyer – Final Version 29.04.20


You may this document useful:  Corona directory Washington


**24 Hour domestic abuse helpline is open – 0800 066 5555**

Wearside Women in Need’s advisors offer confidential, non-judgemental support and information to survivors, anyone experiencing domestic abuse, and their friends and families. We know that the Covid-19 outbreak will have serious impacts on the lives of victims and children. We fully recognise the enhanced risk and hardship that restrictions are putting upon those who are in abusive and controlling relationships. Our plea to all community members is to be vigilant and look after the people around you. If you have concerns, report to the Police – all police referrals are assessed and forwarded on to support services.



Information for patients: How patients can help the local NHS at this time

We are all going to have do things differently!

You can help the NHS by taking steps to help us work with you…. if you need us.

Helping us work with you remotely

  • Give your practice your up-to-date mobile number. Your practice may have to manage things differently e.g. by phone or video to your smartphone or computer. If you have changed your number, please let the practice know.
  • If you can, please register for the NHS app if you don’t already have it (or other app such as Patient Access)Either you or the practice staff might need to manage things while you are still at home. This can only work fully if you have fully registered for our online services. Download the NHS app at: www.nhs.uk/apps-library/nhs-appIf you use the NHS app, you can complete the full process online and don’t need to go into the surgery to register. By doing more online, you will help keep the phone lines from being too busy for those who need them. This will give you access to:
    • Your records (so you can check for test results)
    • Ordering medication and nominating a pharmacy to get your medication from
    • Booking appointments (for now these will be phone and video appointments if these are being offered).
  • Prescriptions: If you have regular paper prescriptions, we would like to ensure your prescriptions can get from your doctor (who may be working away from your practice) to your pharmacy. This means the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) – will send prescriptions to your pharmacy. You need to give your permission to your nominated pharmacist or to your practice or via your online practice account (such as Patient Access).This also reduces the need for you, practice staff, and staff at your community pharmacy to physically handle paper prescriptions. You can change your nominated pharmacy at any time. You can sometimes go to other pharmacies and they can retrieve the electronic prescription. More information on EPS is available on the NHS website:
  • Coronavirus information: If you have any queries, please check www.111.nhs.uk before ringing the practice or other parts of the NHS such as NHS 111. Do not go to your practice if you might have Coronavirus. www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/pharmacies/electronic-prescription-service


In light of recent developments, please be advised that with immediate effect we are closing the practice to non-essential visitors. Please do not attend the practice unless you have already spoken to a GP or nurse and have been allocated an appointment.

For the latest Covid-19 advice please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. If you have a new persistent cough or a high temperature please stay at home for 7 days. If your symptoms are serious or get worse visit the NHS111 online service. Under no circumstances come to the practice. 

Thank you for your co-operation during this difficult time.


 Please note we are closed Monday – Friday between the times of 12noon – 1.30pm. Only emergency telephone calls may be dealt with during this time.

During September 2017 we will begin to use a text message reminder service for appointments. Could you please ensure we have your most up-to date mobile phone number. If you do not wish to receive texts from us please let one of our receptionists know.


Our Practice is highly patient focused and we have a multidisciplinary approach to patients’ health care. We aim to deliver the best for our patients by combining the skills of the practice team with other health and social care workers in the community.

We provide modern health care facilities and focus on continually improving the health of our patients and residents of the community.

This website is aimed at providing you the important information about our practice, our services and our staff in addition to some other useful information and tools available for you to use. Please have a look around and send us any comments or suggestions if you like. We can use your comments and ideas to improve our online services and develop the content of this site accordingly.

A ‘healthy lifestyle’ is what we recommend:

  • Stop smoking
  • Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veg
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep alcohol intake within recommended limits


Here at Herrington Medical Centre we are continually working to provide a high quality and effective healthcare service to our patients.

 As part of the improvement process we are conducting a Family & Friends Test – this consists of 2 questions. You may be given one at the time of your appointment, or you can answer the questions by completing the form at Reception, or you can complete the Contact Form available on this website with your response. We welcome your feedback and comments.

 The 2 questions are:

 1.     We would like you to think about your recent experience of our service. How likely are you to recommend our GP Practice to family and friends if they needed similar treatment? (please tick appropriate box) 

Extremely likely  
Neither likely nor unlikely  
Extremely unlikely  
Don’t know  

 2.   Is there anything we could have done differently today?



Patients in Sunderland will be able to access NHS urgent care services more simply and closer to home after 1st August 2019.

From 1st August 2019, the best way to access NHS urgent care services will be to contact your GP practice or local pharmacy, or call NHS111 when they are closed.

Urgent care is for minor injuries or illnesses which need medical attention the same day, but are not serious enough for the Emergency Department.

From 1st August 2019, these will be the main urgent care services for patients in Sunderland:

  • GP Practices – collectively providing extra appointments in evenings, weekends and bank holidays. These can be booked through your GP practice, at one of five locations around Sunderland, Washington and Houghton.
  • Pharmacists – local pharmacists are highly trained and provide free, confidential advice on minor illnesses from sickness and diarrhoea to hay fever.
  • Urgent care centres at Pallion or Bunny Hill health centres, open 10am – 10pm Monday to Friday; 8am – 10pm weekends and bank holidays, no appointment needed.
  • NHS111 0 if you have an urgent need which is not life-threatening, NHS111 health advisors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help you get the right medical attention for your needs.

To find out more, please visit http://www.sunderlandccg.nhs.uk




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