The NHS Jewish BRCA Testing Programme
WHAT IS BRCA?
Some people may have a 'spelling mistake' or fault in one of their BRCA genes. Having a BRCA gene fault puts you at increased risk of developing certain types of cancer- specifically breast, ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancer.
NHS England is now offering free BRCA gene testing for anyone living in England, aged 18 or over with one or more Jewish grandparent, of any type of Jewish origin (Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrahi etc).
For more information visit the NHS Jewish BRCA Testing Programme dedicated website.
Published on 13th Feb 2024
We are excited to share the latest update from the New Leaf Recovery and Wellbeing College.
Published on 9th Feb 2024
Local NHS under great pressure - Alert from the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System
Health services across Hertfordshire and west Essex are currently experiencing major pressures.
Accident and Emergency departments at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Lister Hospital in Stevenage and Watford General, the ambulance service, our GP practices and community health services are all being stretched by the number of people calling on them for help.
The situation is so serious that health bosses and the most senior doctors and nurses in Hertfordshire have united to deliver a hard-hitting message to the public:
Dr Jane Halpin, Chief Executive of the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board, said: “The Accident and Emergency departments at our hospitals only have the capacity to treat people who have serious, life-threatening or dangerous conditions. Ambulances should only be called in genuine emergencies. If you use emergency services incorrectly you are risking the lives of others and won’t get the best treatment for your illness.
“If you come to A&E with a minor condition or illness, your care will not be a priority and you will face an extremely long wait. You may be sent away to visit a GP or pharmacist. If you call 999 for an ambulance and you don’t need one, you could endanger the life of another person in desperate need of emergency care.
“Please do not come to hospital as a patient or a visitor if you have a common winter illness, such as a chest infection, cough and cold, diarrhoea or vomiting. Spreading your minor illness to people who are seriously ill can close hospital wards and won’t get you the help you need.
“Our services are under extreme pressure, which is why it’s vital that everyone understands the urgency of the situation and what they can do to ensure that we protect essential health services for when we really need them.”
There are a number of ways to get health advice and care if you, a family member or a friend feel ill:
- Visit the NHS website – for advice and information on how to look after yourself and your family. It covers thousands of illnesses and conditions: www.nhs.uk.
- Visit a pharmacy – for expert advice and low-cost medicines to ease your symptoms and help treat your condition. Every area has a late opening pharmacy and most have consulting rooms where you can ask for advice in private.
You can now be assessed and treated by a community pharmacist for seven minor illnesses, including sore throat, sinusitis, ear infection and UTIs, without needing to see a GP. Lots of pharmacies are taking part in the scheme so just ask at your local one if you have these symptoms.
Go to www.nhs.uk to find your nearest open pharmacist.
- Contact your GP practice – GP practices have a range of staff to assess and treat you. Visit your practice website or call them to get help.
- Visit www.111.nhs.uk or call 111 – for free, round the clock help when your GP is closed, when it’s an urgent but not a life-threatening 999 situation, or if you are unsure where to go to get the right help for your medical condition. They can advise you on the help you need and even book you an appointment with a doctor when your own GP is closed. NHS 111 can also advise on late-opening pharmacies, minor injuries units, mental health help or urgent care centre services. The online service or the adviser on the phone will direct you to the nearest suitable service to where you are.
- Mental health help – if you are in a mental health crisis call NHS 111 and select option 2.
You can also get information on local health services by following local NHS organisations on social media.
Published on 8th Feb 2024
New procedure for blood tests in your area
From the 14th December 2023, patients will need to book an appointment to have their blood taken.
Click here for more information.
Published on 1st Dec 2023
News from NHS Digital
Closure of the Covid Pass service:
The NHS COVID Pass service will close on Monday 4 December and be unavailable to patients after this date.
Patients will be able to see their Covid vaccination status in their GP health record in the NHS App, but the COVID Pass is no longer needed.
There are no longer any domestic requirements to demonstrate vaccination status, and no countries require proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of entry.
Redesign of the NHS App:
The NHS App has been redesigned to make it more intuitive and simpler for patients to find and access services.
Over the next few weeks, users of the app will be prompted to update their NHS App. They will see an updated home page, simpler structure, and easier-to-understand language within the NHS App.
Some services have moved within the NHS App, but all the services patients need are still available.
Published on 1st Dec 2023
Advice and support for your mental wellbeing
Some days, you probably feel fine. But each day is different, and there may be days you’re not ok – you may feel worried, anxious, overwhelmed, depressed or you just want someone who’ll listen.
You’re not alone.
Whether you are looking for self-help resources to boost your mental health, need a listening ear or emotional support, or you are in crisis and need urgent help, we’re here to assist you.
Published on 10th Nov 2023
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Prevention and Awareness
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect your urinary tract, including your bladder, urethra, or kidneys. Sometimes a urinary tract infection can develop into a severe infection that can cause you to become very ill and you may then need to go to hospital.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), formerly known as Public Health England (PHE) together with NHS England (NHSE) are running a joint campaign to raise awareness of UTI prevention, symptom recognition and treatment including advice on how and when to seek help.
This campaign will be targeted at older adults (65 years +), who are at higher risk of the impacts of urinary tract infections, and carers.
Successful management of UTIs requires a coordinated focus on prevention, early and accurate diagnosis, and appropriate treatment. If left unmanaged, UTIs can lead to severe infection, sepsis and in some cases death.
What should you do if you think you have a UTI?
If you think you might have a UTI, ensure you are drinking enough fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated. Take paracetamol up to four times a day to reduce any pain.
Who to contact?
Contact a healthcare professional if you think you might have a UTI, this could be your GP, a nurse, the community pharmacist, a walk-in centre or the NHS 111 service.
There are different treatment options to discuss with your healthcare professional. Antibiotics should only be taken if prescribed by a healthcare professional. Always ensure antibiotics are taken as directed on the medicine label.
More information can be found on the NHS designated website –
Published on 20th Oct 2023
ADHD Medication shortage
You may have heard about national supply issues of some medicines that are prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Stock availability will vary, and patients may need to try several pharmacies in order to get the required medicine. Depending on the medicine, the GP or pharmacist may recommend a prescription for a different brand of medicine that works the same way.
A Health Care Professional may advise on a change of medicine or to alter the medication course, for example at weekends (non-school or non-workdays). For some medicines it will be necessary to slowly reduce the dose before altering/stopping. Patients may be asked to contact the specialist who prescribed/recommended their medicine. The specialist will decide how best to manage the medicine(s) during this shortage.
It is important not to stockpile medicines. It is therefore advisable not to request medication more than 7 days before it is required.
The supply issues are expected to be resolved before the end of this year.
Published on 10th Oct 2023
The shingles vaccine helps protect against shingles. It's recommended for people at higher risk from shingles, including all adults turning 65, those aged 70 to 79 and those aged 50 and over with a severely weakened immune system.
The image below shows the eligibility for the vacine.
For more details, please visit theNHS dedicated website.
Published on 7th Sep 2023
Midway Surgery is an Armed Forces veteran friendly accredited GP practice
Published on 25th Jul 2023
Quality and Safety of Local Health Services Survey
Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board (ICB) is keen to hear from our local community regarding the quality and safety of health and care services.
The ICB are looking to understand where you think health and social care services are doing well and where they can be improved, based on your recent experiences.
The ICB would be grateful if you could complete a short survey, link below, which will complement other methods of data collection and will help to inform discussions within the ICB about patient experience and priority areas of work.
Published on 24th Jul 2023
Measles cases are rising in England this year
Measles cases on the rise in England and across the whole of Europe. Make sure you and your family are protected against becoming seriously unwell with measles by checking you are up to date with the MMR vaccine.
Across England, on average one in ten children are not up to date with their MMR vaccinations, with some areas of the country as low as two in five, putting thousands of children at risk of catching measles and the disease spreading in unvaccinated communities.
Just two doses of the MMR vaccine gives you and your family lifelong protection against catching measles. The first vaccine is given at age one year an the second at age 3 years and 4 months old. If you’ve missed any doses it’s not too late to catch up. Contact you’re GP Practice today to book an appointment to get up to date.
If you are unsure if you or your child are up to date check your childs red book or GP records and make an appointment to catch up any missed doses.
For more information on the NHS vaccination schedule, please visit the NHS vaccinations webpage.
Published on 18th Jul 2023
Hertfordshire Talking Therapies
Demand on GP practices is growing. Approximately 30% of GP appointments are mental health related. Increasing awareness of NHS Talking Therapies will provide patients with information to take control of their own mental health and self-refer to access support.
Hertfordshire Talking Therapies offers free and confidential talking therapy and practical support to people with common mental health problems. More information is available on our website including an online self-referral form: www.hpft-iapt.nhs.uk
Published on 7th Jul 2023
Love Your Bump - Hertfordshire Council's continuous smoking cessation campaign
We want all our babies to have the best possible start in life. We know that there are lots of health risks associated with smoking during pregnancy, which is why we want to do everything we can to help pregnant smokers and their partners, close friends and family members to quit. But we also know that quitting is tough, especially when you’re pregnant and having to deal with so much else going on.
The ‘Love Your Bump’ campaign has been commissioned by Hertfordshire County Council, with the aim of encouraging
expectant mothers or those who are considering having a baby, to stop smoking in order to minimise risk to their
The campaign will continue to remind and reassure pregnant smokers they are not alone and there is specialist support across Hertfordshire for them (and their families) to help them quit. It also highlights the benefits of quitting and the risks associated with second hand smoke on the unborn baby. Pregnant people may also be entitled to an incentive of up to £300 of shopping vouchers if they take up support.
To find out more visit the campain's website.
Published on 14th Jun 2023
New Leaf Recovery and Wellbeing College Newsletter - Summer 2023
This summer, we focus on CONNECTING as one of the 5 ways to wellbeing. Our In Focus article is
Click here to read or download a copy of the newsletter
Published on 25th May 2023
Why you don’t always need to see your GP - Explaining the evolution of Primary Healthcare in the NHS
Even since before the COVID pandemic, the NHS has been under great pressure and demand for appointments. General Practice in particular has seen a lot of change during this time.
Published on 22nd May 2023
Why people over 75 or with a weakened immune system should get a Spring Covid vaccination
NHS pharmacist for the East of England, Sarah, explains why people with a weakened immune system., or over 75, should top up their Covid immunity. You can book a vaccination appointment via the NHS, calling NHS 119 or booking via www.nhs.uk
Published on 11th May 2023
COVID-19 boosters for the most vulnerable this spring
Over the coming weeks, eligible people will be offered a spring COVID-19 booster.
- The vaccination will be offered to:
residents in a care home for older adults (from 3 April)
- adults aged 75 years and over (from 17 April)
- individuals aged 5 years and over who are immunosuppressed (from 17 April)
The NHS will invite eligible people for a COVID booster jab when it is their turn. If this is you, please don’t ring your practice to book an appointment until you are contacted.
Find out more about the spring boosters on the Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB website.
If you have never had a COVID vaccination before and would like to protect yourself, now is the time to act to ensure you have time for both primary doses.
First and second doses of the vaccine will not be offered after 30 June 2023, so please make an appointment online, speak to a pharmacist or ring 119 for more information.
Published on 11th Apr 2023
The Sandbox - Online mental health support for Children and Young People
The Sandbox is an NHS-funded service to support children and young people in Hertfordshire with their mental health and well-being.
In addition to providing NHS-funded support, the Sandbox is a central place for information about common mental health issues, with information on how to access additional support or emergency services.
Published on 31st Mar 2023
Primary Care Mental Health update from Hertfordshire Wellbeing (IAPT)
We are pleased to share with you the Primary Care Mental Health update by Hertfordshire Wellbeing (IAPT).
Topics covered in this update:
- Living better with persistent pain
- SilverCloud – online self-help programme
- Women's health - Breaking taboos
- Trouble sleeping?
Click here to read and/or download a copy of the update.
To find out more, please visit the Hertfordshire Partnership University website
Published on 13th Mar 2023
Support with cost of living
The rising cost of living is impacting many people, including unpaid family and friend carers. However, there is support and advice available, particularly if you are worried about finances, struggling to pay bills or want tips about how to save money or cope through this crisis. Contact or visit www.gov.uk/cost-of-living or https://tinyurl.com/Herts-cost-of-living-help
Published on 8th Mar 2023
Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB Update
The Hertfordshire and West Essex Intigrated Care Board Update is a weekly digital newsletter, sharing news on local and national updates on health and care, as well as campaigns, opportunities to get involved and events.
The latest issue can be accessed using this link - Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB Update - 3 March 2023
To find the latest and past editions of the newsletter, and sign up to receive this into your inbox every Friday, you can use the following link - Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB Update page.
Published on 6th Mar 2023
Could you save a life?
When unexpected things happen, it's vital you know what to do. Learn CPR today or teach the people you love and help us save more lives.
You do not need to be a professional to make a difference. Simple actions can dramatically increase a person's chances of surviving a heart attack.
Click here to take the 15 minutes mobile CPR training.
Ready to take your CPR skills to the next level? The British Hear Foundation website is the best place to start.
Published on 27th Feb 2023
Midway Surgery/Alban Healthcare Primary Care Network Patient Survey - Enhanced Access 2022
Many thanks to all those who responded to our survey on an extended access service. NHS England invited Practices to offer additional pre-bookable appointments later in the evenings and on Saturdays. This service is provided across a Primary Care Network (a group of Practices working together to deliver a local service). Our collaborative network is with Parkbury House Surgery and Grange Street Surgery, and across the three Practices a range of additional appointments are now being offered.
Published on 6th Jan 2023
NHS Patient Survey: Midway Surgery
NHS annual Patient Survey results 2022 have been announced. The national survey is sent out centrally to a random sample of people and are anonymous. These are really helpful for us to listen to your feedback.
Highlights of the results include:
- 100% felt their needs were met during their last General Practice appointment
- 99% had confidence and trust in the last clinical professional they saw or spoke to in their last appointment
- 85% find the receptionists at the Surgery are helpful
- 89% of patients describe their experience at the Surgery as Good
Published on 30th Nov 2022
Midway Surgery Patient Survey 2022: Future Services and Premises
Thank you to everyone for your valuable contribution to our patient survey. We asked for your feedback on future services if the Surgery was able to develop and extend premises. Your support for the care provided here was very much appreciated.
Your priorities when looking at premises development and future services were:
- develop and extend premises to increase and improve access to consultations and existing services.
- host phlebotomy/blood-taking service at Midway Surgery.
The Partners at Midway Surgery have commissioned a team of professionals to explore the possibility of an extension and your input will influence that design. We will, of course, work closely with St Stephen Parish Council and St Albans City and District Council.
Further news will follow in due course.
Patient survey results are here Midway Surgery Patient Survey 2022.xlsx
Published on 26th Oct 2022
Ukrainian support groups
Communities 1st is holding weekly sessions where Ukrainians can meet other local Ukrainians, and hosts can connect with other hosts to come together, chat and make friends. These meetings are open to all, on both the Homes for Ukraine and the Friends and Family Visa schemes.
Come along to St Albans Library, Level 2, The Maltings, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 3JQ from 10:30 to 12:30 every Friday starting from 19th August.
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on 13th Sep 2022
Information session by Arthritis Action
Arthritis Action would like to invite you to an information session which will cover the services they provide, the importance of self-management and diet, exercise, pain management and how arthritis can affect people physically and mentally. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions
The session will be between 2 – 3pm on Tuesday 13 September on Microsoft Teams, if you would like to attend please let email@example.com know. A link to the meeting and any further information will be sent nearer the date
Published on 21st Aug 2022
Green Travel Focus Groups - Calling Patient Volunteers
West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is looking for volunteers to join a focus group to help develop its Green Travel Plan. “The Trust is committed to reaching Net Zero by 2040 so it’s important to look at how people currently travel to our sites and access our services, and what could be done to improve that in the future.”
The Trust has already had a good response to a survey of staff and patients. The focus groups will be held via MS Teams and take 90-minutes. They will be held on 3 August and 4 August from 5.30pm to 7pm. The focus groups will provide an opportunity to find out in more detail how people travel, any alternatives they would consider, and any barriers that currently make it difficult to get the trust’s sites using public transport or active travel such as cycling or walking.
The Trust is working with consultants Systra, and volunteers should click here to register their interest on the website. Please note that there is a maximum number for each group, so volunteering to join does not automatically mean being invited to attend. Those who are asked to contribute will receive a £40 thank-you for their time.
If you have any queries, please contact Communications Project Manager Rosemary Carney at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on 27th Jul 2022
Slimming World free Weight Management Service for Hertfordshire
From 7th May 2022 Oviva, in Partnership with Slimming World, have been delivering Hertfordshire’s Tier 2 adult weight management service.
GP practices across the country have been at the forefront of the NHS's response to the COVID-19 outbreak and are experiencing rising demand for services. As a result, Hertfordshire County Council have produced an e-screen to promote the Tier 2 self-referral pathway. This means patients are able to access the service without seeing a healthcare professional (eligibility criteria applies).
Published on 14th Jul 2022
Covid Spring Booster Vaccinations for over 75 year olds and people with immunosuppressed system
In a new video, lead pharmacist in the East of England Sarah Cavanagh explains why people should still get their booster vaccinations to protect themselves against COVID.
Published on 9th Jun 2022
Free 7-day activity pass for all adults in Hertfordshire!
Hertfordshire’s ‘It’s Never Too Late to be Active’ campaign is back from May 2022 to help everyone – especially the over 50s - become more active.
By joining the campaign, you’ll get a free 7-day activity pass to a local leisure centre, ongoing support to help you find the right activity, and the opportunity to win £150 sports voucher and other prizes. You could also help your local school win £1000.
71-year-old local retiree Jim Furman said: “The campaign made a big difference to our activity levels as it introduced us to the great activities available at our leisure centre, where we now play badminton regularly. It has made me feel really positive about trying new things.
“I always feel better after any kind of physical activity, especially when it is enjoyable, which the activities I’ve discovered through this campaign are.”
Just 20 minutes of physical activity a day provides enormous benefits to your physical and mental health, both now and in the future.
So, let’s give it a go. Sign up to Never Too Late and keep your body strong, your mind sharp and spark the energy you need to keep doing the things you love.
Sign up at: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/
Published on 12th May 2022
New website coming soon
The Midway Surgery website is currently being updated and redesigned, and as such some pages may have reduced functionality for a short time. We apologise for the inconvenience, and will endeavour to have the site fully operational as soon as possible.
If you require any information that isn't currently available on the website, please call our friendly and experienced Reception Team on 01727 832125, who will be only too happy to help.
Published on 22nd Apr 2022