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The UK is now at Coronavirus Level 5, the highest alert level.  This means that the healthcare services are in danger of being overwhelmed.  Please follow goverment advice  and stay at home if at all possible.

Over 70’s Covid Vaccination Appointments

If you are over 70 years old and have not had your first Covid vaccination appointment please use the website https://www.nhs.uk/ to book your appointment or ring 119.  Please avoid contacting the surgery as our staff are very busy dealing with very sick patients and the telephone lines need to be left open.  The Community Team are already delivering housebound vaccinations and you will be contacted prior to being visited by the team.

Who is being vaccinated next?

The NHS is prioritising vaccinating those patients who experts have agreed will benefit from having it the most.  From Monday 15th February, people in Cohort 5 and 6 are being invited to have their vaccine.

These are:

  1. Cohort 5 – All those 65 years and over.
  2. Cohort 6 – All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at risk of serious disease and mortality.

Local GP vaccination services are focusing initially on the clinically vulnerable from Cohort 6 because of the relationship between General Practice and those with long term conditions.

People in Cohort 5 may receive a letter from the National Booking Service inviting them to book at a Large Vaccination Centre.  In the North East this is Newcastle’s Centre for Life and the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Sunderland, another site will be opening soon in Durham.  People should not be worried about travelling to a large vaccination centre however, if you would prefer to have your vaccine closer to home please wait until you receive your invitiation from your own GP.  If you do want to have your vaccine from your local GP vaccination centre please do not respond to the national booking service invitation.

The NHS will be in contact with you when the time is right for you to be invited for your vaccine.  Please do not contact the NHS or GP practice, please wait for the NHS to contact you.  Thank you.


Covid Vaccines On-line

The practice is starting to send out text messages inviting patients to book a COVID vaccine online. Strict numbers of invitations are being sent out, depending on how many vaccines we are expecting. We are inviting our patients in priority order, so it is important that you do not share the link to anyone else. People not registered at the practice and not in the current invitation list will have their appointment cancelled, and will not receive a vaccine even if they turn up at Blaydon.

The text will say: Whikcham invites you to book a COVID vaccine at Blaydon by going to [link]. We are prioritising invites, so do not forward this link to anyone else. To verify this message check the practice website. If you have difficulties booking, reply to this message & someone from the practice will call you.

The link is a bit.ly short link to make it easier to type, so will not include the practice name.

The booking site will ask you for your name, date of birth, NHS number (or postcode if you don’t know your NHS number), phone number and email. The NHS will never verify your identity by asking for bank details or ask for payment; this vaccine is free and in the UK can only be given by the NHS.

Face Masks

When attending the surgery please ensure that you wear a well fitted face mask which covers your mouth and nose.  This is for safety reasons and is to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Dear patients,

The surgery is currently working with a number of other local Gateshead practices to support the COVID-19 Vaccine Programme.

A single hub site has been nominated by each group of surgeries to deliver a mass vaccination programme within their network area. The details for our nominated site are currently being worked through and as soon as we have further information we will share this with you.

The priority is to vaccinate our patients as safely and as efficiently as possible whilst at the same time keeping GP services operational and safe too. We expect to be asked to give the vaccine at short notice with rules about who can have the injection first. We may need the support of the community to bring patients to the hubs to receive their vaccine.

The practice will do its best for you, but we ask that you please do not call the surgery to book a COVID-19 vaccination yet. We will inform you as soon as we are able to offer your cohort (as decided by NHS England) the vaccine, with details on how to arrange an appointment.

This work may affect our clinical team’s ability to sustain a full level of day to day services and could possibly lead to delays or cancellation of clinics.

Thank you to all our patients for your continued support.


Please do not telephone the surgery with queries about the COVID vaccine. You will be contacted when you are due to receive it.

Any questions regarding allergies will be dealt with by the Health Care Professional at the time of vaccination,

Thank you.


Covid Vaccination Fraud – Be ALERT to these scams, please open documents below for further information.

Vaccine Fraud Guidance Document

Vaccine Fraud Poster

Do not contact the surgery with queries relating to Coronavirus or testing, please call 111.  The telephone lines are required for patients who are unwell.

Thank you.

During the pandemic and for the forseeable future all initial appointments with doctors, nurse practitioner and other health care professionals will be on the telephone. This is to comply with NHS England advice.

Our receptionists will take a few details to arrange your call with the most appropriate person to help you. Due to the extreme demand on our service we will only be able to try to call you once or at the most twice so please keep your phone by you. We will do our best to call within 1 hour of your appointment time. This may be earlier or later depending on availability of staff.

Thank you for your understanding. It is a very difficult time for everyone.

Do It For Yourself Campaign

We’re proud to be supporting the Do It For Yourself campaign as part of a collation which aims to raise awareness of the signs of lung cancer and encourage people to contact their GP if they’ve been experiencing a cough or ongoing breathlessness for three weeks or more.

This year, we’ve become a nation of DIYers with more of us taking care of our homes, whether it is a rattling boiler, a leakytap, or a washing machine that has stopped spinning. But when it comes to our health, when we notice something isn’t right, like a cough that’s been going on for a longtime, rather than getting on with things, we can bury our heads in the sand.

So, if you are concerned about a persistent cough or lack of breath don’t delay, contact your GP today. The NHS is open and has introduced a range of measures to see patients safely, such as initial phone consultations and frequent hand sanitising. GPs across the region are ready and waiting to hear from you.

If you have been impacted by lung cancer and want to share your story to help spread the message, then please get in touch. And, if you’re experiencing symptoms, contact your GP and ‘Do it For Yourself.’

Flu clinics

We are happy to announce that our annual flu vaccination campaign this year will commence in September. Please contact reception to arrange your appointment or book on-line


We encourage all eligible patients to consider vaccination in these unprecedented times.

Eligible patients are those aged 65 years and over, all pregnant women, carers, health and social care staff, household contacts of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List and patients who have a long term conditions e.g. asthma, heart disease, diabetes etc.

If you are unsure if you can have a flu vaccination we will be happy to assist you.

The safety of our patients and staff is our priority and we will endeavour to abide by strict socially distancing guidelines as specified by the Government. Please abide by these rules.


 Please do not attend early for your appointment, this is to enable us to manage the patient flow and ensure social distancing

When you attend the surgery please ensure you wear a well fitted face mask which covers your mouth and nose.  This is for safety reasons and is to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Please wear loose clothing that can be easily removed. You will be asked to remove your coat when you enter the building so our clinical staff can administer the vaccine

Please do not enter the building without being invited by a member of staff, there will be a one way system in place which will be managed by practice staff

You will be asked to wait outside prior to your appointment so please take this into consideration as the weather may be cold or wet.

We are continuing to carry out vital health screening particularly cervical smears.  Please book an appointment if you have received a reminder letter.

NHS Diabetes Advice helpline

A temporary diabetes helpline has been launched in response to disruption to normal diabetes services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NHS Diabetes Advice helpline is intended to be available until mid-March 2021 (continued provision after this date will be reviewed based on service pressures and ongoing need for the helpline) and is for adults living with diabetes who use insulin to manage their condition and require clinical advice.

Patients can access NHS Diabetes Advice helpline on 0345 123 2399 Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm.

Plasma donation

The NHS needs more people who were seriously ill with COVID to donate plasma in Newcastle and Gateshead.

Donation is safe, easy and your body quickly replaces the antibodies.  Please click on link below for further information.

Keeping well at home

What is Keeping Well at Home?

It is more important than ever before that older people maintain their physical health. Nearly one-third of over 65s do not have access to the Internet, which means they cannot take part in those classes.  Gateshead Older People’s Assembly has teamed up with Tyne & Wear Local TV to offer daily evidence-based exercise classes which will be accessible to everyone with a television. While Keeping Well at Home classes are targeted at over 65s, we’re sure they’ll be beneficial to people of all ages.


Tackling Loneliness



15/05/2019 eConsult
Here is a video about our new eConsult service.

12/03/2019 Recording of Phone Calls

Please be aware that for training and quality purposes all telephone calls both incoming and outgoing from the practice are recorded.


We are now on Twitter, please follow us @WhickhamGPs


The surgery will be closed from 12.30pm on the following dates.  This is to carry out important training for all practice staff and is a District wide initiative which has been arranged by Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group.  In an emergency during these times please telephone 0191 4885555 and listen to the message.

Wednesday 17th March 2021

INFORMATION FOR Dr Andrew Porter’s patients

Dr Andrew Porter – Appointments

Named GP for all Patients
All of our patients are allocated a named, accountable GP when they register with the practice. If you are unsure of your named GP please ask at your next appointment or contact one of our receptionists.

Would you prefer to read this website in another language? Google Translate offers a free automated translation. Simply go to https://translate.google.com/, type in our web address https://whickhampractice.nhs.uk into the left hand box, choose your language in the right hand box and click translate then it will show our website in the language of your choice.

Please click on link below to see Covid-19 National Guidance in another language.



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