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  • Writer's pictureCherryvalleyGP

September 2022 Update

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

Our September update includes provisional details of our upcoming seasonal influenza/Covid-19 Autumn booster campaign, as well as a change to our appointment system.

New Practice system

General Practice remains under unprecedented pressure. We have taken on board feedback from patients requesting access to a greater

proportion of routine, pre-bookable appointments. From October 2022, we plan to change our appointment system to reflect this; patients can book appointments 2 weeks in advance by phoning the Practice throughout the day. We will continue to offer a number of urgent appointments which will be available from 830am.

We are hopeful that this new system will take some pressure off our phone lines in the first part of the morning, to enable our staff to be more accessible for urgent queries.

Interaction between Primary and Secondary care

One of the factors which has increased the burden of our workload is an increase in queries relating to hospital care. Lengthy waiting lists and delays to treatment within the hospital system have impacted primary care. We regret that we do not have capacity to respond to queries relating to hospital care or write letters to expedite appointments (unless you have developed new symptoms which may impact on the urgency of referral). We would signpost you to the 'Appointments' Department of your local hospital to give updated information on waiting times.

Additionally, we cannot provide you with results or our professional opinion on investigations which were not requested by Primary care. This may relate to secondary care investigations, or private providers including those who carry out 'health checks'. For safety reasons, these should be interpreted by the requesting clinician.

Seasonal Influenza / Covid-19 Autumn Booster Campaign

We are pleased to let you know the details of our autumn vaccination campaign. This will be open to all our patients > 50 years old, as well as those aged <50 years in a clinical 'at risk' group (for example with conditions such as COPD, diabetes, heart disease, immunosuppression and neurological disease)

Our vaccination clinics will be held at Cherryvalley Health Centre on:

Saturday 1st October and Saturday 15th October.

If eligible, you will receive a text message to attend (unless > 80 years old, when a letter will be sent). Please ensure you update your contact details with us if they have recently changed.

Chronic disease monitoring

We continue to provide COPD, asthma and diabetes clinics in Cherryvalley Group Practice. Sr McIlwaine delivers diabetes and asthma clinics, supported in providing diabetes care by our Practice Pharmacist Clare Sturgeon. Sr McCulla delivers care to our COPD patients.

We often use accuRx (text messaging) to gather information about the control of your chest condition in advance of your appointment. We find this is very helpful in streamlining the assessment and individualising your care.

Our diabetic patients who are not under secondary care will be invited for blood tests, a urine check and BP monitoring, with a scheduled follow up consultation to discuss results with our diabetic team.

New services

The Condition Management Programme is a new service aimed at patients who, as a result of their physical or mental health condition, are struggling to remain in work. It is delivered by a multidisciplinary team to include Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and mental health workers. Please discuss referral with one of our GPs if you feel you may benefit from this service.


Another new service is the option to self refer to Physiotherapy. If you live in the Belfast area, you can follow this link:

It can be completed online or you can print the following form:

Download PDF • 363KB


Those who live in the South Eastern area (Newtownards, Bangor) can self refer using this link:

Maternal postnatal checks

We continue to offer women an appointment at 6 -8 weeks postnatally, on patient request. These provide an opportunity to link in with a GP to discuss issues including future pregnancy planning/ contraception and psychological wellbeing. These appointments can be booked in advance as a routine telephone call with the option of face to face appointment as indicated.

Health visiting helpline is:

028 9504 0846

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