Practice News

27th Aug

Flu Season 23/24

With Flu season fast approaching, We now have flu vaccine appointments avaiable to be booked.
Please call our reception team to book an appointment.

Please only call if you fall into one of the elidgible catgories below:

  • Ages 2 and 3years on 31st August 2023
  • Those ages 6 months - 65 years in clinical risk groups
  • Pregnant women
  • 65years and over
  • All care home residents
  • Carers (receiving carers allowance or main carer of an older or diabled person
  • Household contact of immunocompromised individuals
  • Frontline health and social care staff
30th Jun

Telephone Lunchtime Closure

Monday 3rd July 2023

We have after much thought decided to close our phone lined for 1 hour everday (starting from Monday 3rd July 2023). Our phone lines will close between 12:30 -13:30 every day. If you have an urgent medical problem please call 111. For all immediate and life threatening emergencies call 999. 

Friends and Family April 2023
26th May

Craneswater Group Practice Friends and Family Test - April 2023

Craneswater Group Practice Friends and Family Test Results

We asked our patients the simple question of - would you reccomend the service to your friends and family - and provide the following option answers: 

Of all the patients who provided a response 100% stated they would recomment the service



Friends and Family March 2023
1st Apr

Craneswater Group Practice Friends and Family Test - March 2023

Craneswater Group Practice Friends and Family Test - March 2023

We asked our patients the simple question of - Would you recommend the service to your friends or family - and provide the following option answers: 

Thes response for march can be seen in the picture, overall 100% of patients that priovided a response 100% stated they would recommend the service. 

13th Mar

Counselling Service for young people aged 5-18

A new counselling service for young people aged 5-18 will be launching in May and as a result of this, Off The Record is no longer taking referrals.

Whilst the new service is being set up, young people can access mental health support from the following services:

  • Kooth - online platform which young people can sign up to anonymously
  • Mental Health Support Teams - Every secondary school in Portsmouth has an MHST. A child or a parent can contact the school to talk about making a referral.
  • Shout - mental health support via text (text HANTS to 85258)
  • 111 - dedicated mental health triage team, available 24/7
  • Talking Change (16+) - offering mental health support and workshops


The new counselling service will begin taking referrals (including self-referrals) in May, and more information will be provided over the coming months.

For more information on the current support available for young people, visit

1st Mar

Reflection of Primary Care - Dr Foord

Reflections on General Practice February 2023

2023 marks 75 years of the National Health Service, the first universal health system to be available to all, free of charge at the point of delivery. Whilst those principles remain as relevant, and valued, today, as they did in 1948, the NHS is not the same now. The NHS has innovated and adapted to meet the needs of each successive generation, over the years, always putting patients at the heart of everything it does. However, the NHS is struggling, and needs to look at new ways of providing care to help it survive in the coming years.

1st February 2023 marks my 30th Anniversary of working in General Practice. I joined the Heyward Road Surgery in Southsea as a GP Trainee (now known as Registrar), and then became a partner at Waverley Road Surgery in 1995, merging with Salisbury Road Surgery in 2015 to form Craneswater Group Practice.

General Practice, and the care it provides its local community is also very different now, and like all areas of the NHS is struggling to keep up with demand, and to provide the care our patients deserve.

30 years ago, most local practices offered GP appointments of 5 or 7.5 minutes, in 2 hour long surgeries twice a day, plus a handful of urgent on the day extras. Computers were just appearing on consulting room desktops, notes and prescriptions were mostly handwritten, all test results and hospital correspondence reached us by post, and any recalls were done manually from a list in a filing box.

We did not have mobile phones or the internet, and the only tablets we saw were medication, usually in bottles then, not blister packs. Those days are gone. The job I did in 1993 is virtually unrecognisable now compared to what we do now, other than having a cohort of patients to support, and the privileged insight we gain into people’s lives. It is far more complex in almost every way.

The NHS has partly been a victim of its own success with an exponential growth in new treatments, screening, health promotion, chronic disease management, with people now living longer and with multiple health conditions, complex medication regimes, and frailty.

There are no longer enough GPs to go round. Going forward there is far too much primary care work for GPs to manage, with fewer GPs working now, on average working less hours, though working far harder in those hours, and with little prospect of an increase in numbers in the foreseeable future. So, other health professionals are now starting to take on some of that work.

We are very fortunate to be fully staffed in Craneswater Group Practice at present, with 2 new GP partners joining in the past year, but we are unable to just take on yet more additional staff, even if we could find some, as we have limited funding and need to remain financially viable. We do our best to cover when staff are unwell, but with increasing absence now with illnesses like Covid, this can sometimes leave us having to cancel appointments at short notice.

2 other practices in Portsmouth have closed in the past 2 years; we are working hard to ensure we remain open.

The demand for our appointments has also increased hugely since before Covid. More people wanting to be seen for an ever-increasing variety of issues, many very complex. The need for telephone triage of all calls during the covid pandemic, has put huge pressure on phone systems so we have upgraded, and have more lines in to the surgery. We do understand how hard it can be to get through on the phone; I personally have been number 30 in the queue to my own surgery trying to book an appointment, so we do know what is like everywhere. We have plans to open up more face-to-face appointments which should help. But we simply cannot offer face to face appointments for everyone who wants one, as there is not enough room in our surgeries to accommodate that, nor enough clinicians to see them all. Thus, we have to prioritise, and look at alternative ways of managing.

Thank you for reading this far. We want to acknowledge that the NHS is under pressure, and that we, like most GP surgeries are struggling with capacity. There is too much work, traditionally done by GPs, for those in place to manage.

The NHS expectation is that some of our GP workload will be taken over by other groups of health professionals. You may well have met Donna and Laura, our Nurse Practitioners, who assess, manage patients, and prescribe, for a variety of health conditions. On the next page there will be examples of our other clinical staff, and some developments which should be helpful.

Our reception team are trained in care navigation, so if they suggest you have an appointment with someone other than a GP, that is likely to be a good place to start. They have an important role in helping us to manage patient expectations and demand, and they are following advice they have been given by the GPs. We do understand how frustrating it can be when you cannot get an appointment with the person you want or at the time you want, but we all have limited capacity. You could also consider self help, there are links on our website for many minor illnesses, and local Pharmacies are able to advise on a wide variety of problems. Please don’t waste appointments. It still amazes me how many people do not turn up for booked appointments without cancelling, or don’t answer their phone for a telephone appointment. Other people could have those slots.

The whole team at Craneswater Group Practice is dedicated to supporting you with your healthcare, however often you make contact. Each and every one of our staff does a fantastic job, sometimes in very challenging conditions. We have an amazing group of people working in our team, please help them to help you by remaining courteous, and calm. It’s always good to hear if things are going well, so let them know if you think they are doing a good job.

With all good wishes for a healthy 2023.

Richard Foord, GP

January Results
14th Feb

Craneswater Group Practice Friends and Family Test – January 2023

Craneswater Group Practice Friends and Family Test – January 2023

We ask our patients the simple question of - would you recommend the service to your friends and family - and provide the following option answers:

Of all the patients who provided a response 97% stated they would recommend the service. 

14th Feb

Downloading the free NHS APP

Download the NHS App, or open the NHS website in a web browser, to set up and log in to your NHS account. Owned and run by the NHS, your NHS account is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services online.


To have an NHS account, you must be aged 13 or over and registered with a GP surgery in England.

The NHS App is available on iOS and Android:

NHS App and your NHS account - NHS (

Blood Pressure
14th Feb

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and is given as 2 figures:

  • systolic pressure – the pressure when your heart pushes blood out
  • diastolic pressure – the pressure when your heart rests between beats

For example, if your blood pressure is "140 over 90" or 140/90mmHg, it means you have a systolic pressure of 140mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 90mmHg.

As a general guide:

  • ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg
  • high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher
  • low blood pressure is considered to be below 90/60mmHg

We advise all patients that can purchase a home blood pressure monitor to do so to help stay in control of your own blood pressure. Craneswater Group Practice only have a limited number of machines that are available to be loaned out to patients. if you are diagnoised with high blood pressure owning your own machine will allow you to keep a much better check on your readings. 

We do not reccomend any particular brand of machine but suggest looking at the link below for a list of all approved machines. 

For Home Use - British and Irish Hypertension Society | Registered UK Charity No. 287635 (


Please take alook at these helpful videos from The British Heart Foundation to help you understand your blood pressure and how to take a correct and accurate reading. 

British Heart Foundation - How to measure your own blood pressure - YouTube

Understanding Blood Pressure (Subtitles) - YouTube  


16th Dec 2022

Strep A Update

On top of our normal high winter workload, we, like every other practice nationally, are seeing a large number of calls related to concerns around strep A and scarlet fever, following reports that there has been an increase of cases. While most children will only have a mild illness, some may become seriously unwell, so if you are concerned about your child, please seek medical help.

You can get more information on what to look out for and when to seek medical help on the Healthier Together website:

or by watching this video:

We are doing our best to ensure patients who need to be seen on the same day can be. We may not have capacity to see everyone and understand that delays getting through can be frustrating. We apologise for longer than usual waits to speak to our reception team.

If you are unable to attend an appointment or need to rearrange, please let us know as soon as possible, so that we can offer it to others.

Please be patient with us and if your reason for contacting us isn’t urgent please consider getting back in touch on another day. If you can have your request dealt with online such as repeat prescription requests, general queries or fit to work certificates, please visit our website or use eConsult. 

Parents or guardians of children can also download the Healthier Together App for free onto their smartphone or through the website for instant advice on many common conditions:

Your local pharmacy can help with some minor ailments such as the common cold, upset stomach, or aches and pains. However, if you are getting worse or things change you can visit NHS 111 online, find your nearest Urgent Treatment Centre, or in an emergency, dial 999 or visit the emergency department.

Thank you for your understanding.

Self Care Week
14th Nov 2022

Self Care Week 2022

This week is Self Care Week. We are using the 5 steps to wellbeing to help you manage your wellbeing.

Please visit our Facebook page for more guidance and information. Alternativley follow the links below to find out more information. 


Self Care Week - Self Care Forum  


7th Nov 2022

Helpful Abbreviations

By following this helpful link you can find out what some of the most common medical abbreviations and what they might mean.

This may be useful if you want to understand your health records. An abbreviation is a short way of writing a longer word or phrase.

Healthcare staff sometimes use the same abbreviations to mean different things.

If you do not know what something in your health records means, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.


Abbreviations you may find in your health records - NHS account help and support - NHS (
Flu season 2022/2023
4th Oct 2022

Flu Season 2022/2023

On Saturday (1st October) we held our first flu clinic for the 22/23 season, during this clinic we successfully vaccinated over 500 of our over 65 age group. We have lots of flu appointments available during the week and in our next weekend clinic Saturday 8th October. Please contact reception to book an appointment. We will also be sending out text invites that allow you to book an appointment directly by following an invitation link.


The age groups we are currently inviting are:


Anybody over the age of 65.

Ages 50 -64 in a clinically at risk group.

To be classed as clinically at risk you need to have a diagnosis of any of the following:

Diabetes, Chronic Heart Disease, Immunosuppressed, Chronic Respiratory Disease, Chronis neurological Disease, Chronic Liver Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease.

4th Oct 2022

COVID- 19 Booster Programme

There are 2 booster doses of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine you may be able to get:

A 1st booster for everyone aged 16 and over, and some children aged 12 to 15, once they have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccination course

A seasonal booster (autumn booster) for some people, including those aged 65 years or over, those at higher risk or who are pregnant, and frontline health and social care workers

You can have your seasonal booster (autumn booster) if it's been at least 3 months since you had your previous dose.

If you have not had a 1st or 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine yet, you should have them as soon as possible.

If you have not had a booster dose yet, you're still eligible and can book anytime please just call reception to organise an appointment.