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Important Announcement

We understand that a number of patients have voiced concerns recently relating to the way in which the health centre is currently operating. The partners, together with the patient participation group, would like to provide all patients with an update to help address some of the concerns raised via the statement below: 
Statement from The Patient Participation Group, Partners & Management Team at Ongar Health Centre

Information for patients from West Essex CCG

All NHS services are under severe pressure at the moment, as we look after increasing numbers of patients who are sick with covid-19 and other seasonal illnesses.

We are also delivering the huge and vitally important covid-19 vaccination programme.

So that it can focus on these really important issues, you GP will understandably be prioritising urgent cases.

This means that when you contact your local practice, they will have an initial conversation with you to understand how urgent your health needs are.

If you have an issue that is not urgent, you may to wait longer than usual until your problem or concern can be dealt with.

Do please make sure that you continue to get in touch with us if you need to. This is particularly important if: 

  • your problem is urgent;
  • you have long term condition that is getting worse
  • you are worried about symptoms that might indicate cancer

Please also remember you can call NHS 111 for urgent concerns, and 999 for serious emergencies.

Your local pharmacist can also help with minor complaints0

For adults with mental health problems including depression and anxiety, you can refer yourself directly to the local wellbeing service, via their website.

If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call this Freephone number: 0800 6444 101. 

We have a childhood illnesses leaflet free to download here, full of advice and information for parents and carers of young children

Herts Help has a range of support and information to help people though the lockdown here

Thank you very much for helping us all manage under these very difficult circumstances.

Best wishes


 NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group

Caring for You During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all appointments now go through a telephone triage service, where a clinician will call first to assess your case over the phone. The clinician will then either be able to deal with the issue over the phone, arrange a secure video consultation or if necessary arrange a face to face appointment. 


Please note that dispensing patients are currently able to collect their medications from the dispensary at Ongar Health Centre between 11:30-13:30 and 16:30-18:00 only. 


In order to keep our patients and staff safe, Ongar Health Centre asks that anyone attending the practice wears a face covering or mask over their nose and mouth. We recognise that the wearing of a mask is not appropriate for all patients and therefore if you have any concerns about this, please contact the practice for advice.


We are pleased do announce that we have successfully completed our COVID Secure Safety Assessment and our certificate can be found here

The Princess Alexandra Hospital - Blood Testing Service 

Please note that from the 19th October 2020, all blood tests will be by appointment only.

Please book your next blood test appointment online by visiting our website: and following the link under the A_Z guide to blood test services. 

By booking via the SwiftQueue system, you can arrange appointments at a location convenient for you and experience much shorter waiting times, alternatively there will be a telephone line with staff available to answer your questions: 01279 827163 

This service is managed by: The Pathology department at The Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow. Telephone: 01279 827030

COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

The surgery is now sending invitations to people to receive the approved COVID-19 vaccination to those patients in cohorts 1 - 9 only, details of these cohorts below.

  • Patients who are aged 70+
  • Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
  • Healthcare Workers
  • People who live or work in a care home and or are paid carers   
  • Patients aged 65+
  • Patients aged between 16-65 in the at risk category
  • Patients aged 60+
  • Patients aged 55+
  • Patients aged 50+

The vaccine will be available and delivered together with the other surgeries in our Primary Care Network (PCN), from our dedicated vaccination HUB which is located on the site of St. Margaret's Hospital, Epping. Our PCN consists of Abridge Surgery, Epping High Street, Ongar Health Centre, Market Square Surgery, Maynard Court Surgery and The Limes Medical Centre. Collectively we are known as Epping Forest North PCN and together we need to deliver the COVID-19 Vaccination to all of our patients, which is in excess of 66,000 people.

Please note that these are strictly on a pre-booked appointment basis only and you cannot just turn up to the HUB in the hope to be vaccinated anyone that does this will be turned away and told to book an appointment to be vaccinated. 

We are currently in the process of setting up a programme for all those patients who are housebound to have the vaccine administered to them by a clinician in their own home. We are hoping to start the delivery of this service to our housebound patients in the next few weeks. 

The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm, it's given as 2 doses and you will have the 2nd dose given 3 to 12 weeks after having the 1st dose.

Stellar Healthcare are overseeing the appointment booking system on behalf of our PCN.

We appreciate your be patience as we manage the additional demand the vaccination programme presents.

If you have any questions about the vaccine please go to Or

Information and Advice on COVID-19

If you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature, a new continuous cough or a change/loss to your sense of smell or taste):

1. Please do not attend the surgery.

2. Get a test to check if you have COVID-19 as soon as possible.

3. Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result - only leave your home to have a test.

Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result. For the latest advice on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the Department of Health website or click here.

There are a number of items which GPs are no longer able to prescribe as they can be bought over the counter (OTC).  This link provides more information:



New contractual requirements came into force on 1st April 2014 requiring that GP Practices should make available a statement of intent in relation to the following ICT developments:

  1. Summary Care Record (SCR)
  2. GP to GP Record Transfers
  3. Patient Online Access to Their GP Record
  4. Data for commissioning and other secondary care purposes
  5. My Care Record

The same contractual obligations require that we have a statement of intent regarding these developments in place and publicised by 30th September 2014.

Please find below details of the practices stance with regards to these points.

1. Summary Care Record (SCR)
NHS England require practices to enable successful automated uploads of any changes to a patients summary information, at least on a daily basis, to the summary care record (SCR), or have published plans in place to achieve this by 31st of March 2015.

Having your Summary Care Record (SCR) available will help anyone treating you without your full medical record, if they have a compatible computer system. They will have access to information about any medication you may be taking and any drugs that you have recorded allergy or sensitivity to.

Of course, if you do not want your medical records to be available in this way then you will need to let us know so that we can update your record.

Ongar Health Centre confirms that your SCR is automatically updated on at least a daily basis to ensure that your information is as up-to-date as it can possibly be.

2. GP to GP Electronic Record Transfers (GP2GP)
NHS England require practices to utilise the GP2GP facility for the electronic transfer of patient records between practices, where possible between compatible computer systems, when a patient registers, or de-registers (not for temporary registration).

It is very important that you are registered with a doctor at all times. If you leave your GP and register with a new GP, your paper medical records will be removed from your previous doctor and forwarded on to your new GP via NHS England. It can take your paper records up to two weeks (or sometimes more) weeks to reach your new surgery.

With GP to GP record transfers your electronic record is transferred to your new practice much sooner.

Ongar Health Centre confirms that GP to GP transfers are already active and we send and receive patient records via this system.

3.  Patient Online Access to Their GP Record
NHS England require practices to promote and offer the facility to enable patients online access to appointments, prescriptions, allergies and adverse reactions, or have published plans to achieve this by 31st March 2015.

Ongar Health Centre confirms that we currently offer the facility for booking and cancelling appointments, ordering authorised repeat prescriptions and the ability to view your summary care record on-line via the surgery website. This requires each patient to register for the service, by completing an application form and providing the necessary supporting documentation to verify a patient’s identity. Once registered for this service, patients are issued with a unique username and password.

4. Data for commissioning and other secondary care purposes
It is already a requirement of the Health and Social Care Act that practices must meet the reasonable data requirements of commissioners and other health and social care organisations through appropriate and safe data sharing for secondary uses, as specified in the technical specification for

At Ongar Health Centre we have specific arrangements in place to allow patients to ‘opt-out’ of which allows for the removal of data from the practice. Please ask at Reception for the ‘opt-out’ form.

Ongar Health Centre confirms these arrangements are in place and that we undertake annual training and audits to ensure that all our data is handled correctly and safely via the national Information Governance Toolkit.

5.  My Care Record

The people caring for you need access to your health and care record in order to make the best decisions about your diagnosis and treatment. For this to happen more quickly and to improve the care you receive, a new process has been put in place. With your permission, My Care Record will provide health and care professionals directly involved in your care, access to the most up-to-date information about you.

Fair Processing Notice

Opt In Form

Opt Out Form

To find out more please go to (this link will open in a new window - popups must be allowed)


Please help our receptionists by using the automatic log in screens when you arrive for your appointment. The only time you will be asked to go to reception is if you are more than 15 minutes late or early. By asking the receptionist to mark your arrival, rather than doing this yourself, you are diverting them away from the phones. We are more than happy to show you how to use the screen if it's your first time. It's really simple and quick and reduces the queue. Thank you for your co-operation.

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