Change of Personal Details 

 If you change address, contact number or any other personal information please let the Surgery know as soon as possible.  This can be done online via our website or by coming into the surgery and completing a form. 

medication supply

We would like to invite you to use the NHS APP

 The new simple and secure way to access a range of NHS Services on your smartphone or tablet

Find out more

Use the NHS App to:

  • check your symptoms
  • find out what to do when you need help urgently
  • book and manage appointments at your GP surgery
  • order repeat prescriptions
  • view your GP medical record securely
  • register to be an organ donor
  • choose how the NHS uses your data


Connecting GP surgeries to the NHS App

Patients at 95% of GP surgeries in England can now use all the features of the NHS App.

You can check if your GP surgery is connected when you open the app for the first time. If it's not, you can register your email address, and we'll notify you when they go live.

If your GP surgery is not connected, you can still download the app and use it to check your symptoms and find out what to do when you need help urgently.


Keeping your data secure

When your surgery is connected, and you register in the app, we'll carry out checks to confirm your identity. The app will then securely connect to information from your GP surgery. To keep your access secure, we'll send a security code to your phone each time you use the app.


Register with the NHS app: Quick guide ( 


MMR Vaccination

There is currently a National MMR (Measles, Mumps & Rubella) Vaccination/Immunisation Catch up Campaign. Therefore, anyone from the age of 12 months up to and including 25 years of age, will be contacted over the next couple of months if they haven’t had a complete course. You will be asked to contact your surgery and book an appointment with a nurse for the outstanding immunisation.

Should you need any further information, please click on the following link:


MMR for all: general leaflet - GOV.UK (



Quit Smoking

If you are thinking of Quitting heres some useful information that may help  you

stop smoking

Hope Courses

Please find information on the forthcoming Hope courses from Jan – April 2024. These include:


  • Parents of Autistic Children starting on 16th Jan and 16th April 2024
  • Long Covid starting on 17th Jan and 29th Feb 2024  
  • Long Term Conditions starting on 17th Jan, 29th Feb and 18th April 2024

Hope Programme for the South West — Hope For The Community CIC (


Adult Social Care

We are currently promoting Adult Social Care within our surgery. Take a look below to see what this could mean for you! Have a read of our factsheets and browse through our directory.


Factsheets –

Service Directory –


Shingles Eligibility

Shingles Eligibility

People aged 50 and over with a severely weakened immune system

You're eligible for the shingles vaccine if you're aged 50 or over and you're at higher risk from shingles because you have a severely weakened immune system.

This includes:

  • some people with blood cancer (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
  • some people with HIV or AIDS
  • some people who've recently had a stem cell transplant, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or an organ transplant
  • people taking certain medicines that severely weaken the immune system


You'll be given 2 doses of the shingles vaccine. These are given between 8 weeks and 6 months apart.


People who turn 65 on or after 1 September 2023


  • From 1 September 2023, you're eligible for the shingles vaccine when you turn 65.


  • You'll be offered 2 doses of the vaccine. These are given between 6 and 12 months apart.


  • You'll remain eligible until your 80th birthday.

If you turned 65 before 1 September 2023, you'll be eligible for the shingles vaccine when you turn 70.



People aged 70 to 79


  • Everyone aged 70 to 79 is eligible for the shingles vaccine.


  • Depending on the type of vaccine you have, you'll have either 1 dose or 2 doses (given between 6 and 12 months apart)


  • You're eligible up until your 80th birthday.


Pneumococcal Vaccine

We are sending out messages to all our patients who are eligible for the Pneumococcal Vaccine which protects against serious and potentially fatal pneumococcal infections.  Its also known as the Pneumonia Vaccine.


Please follow the useful link below for further information on the vaccine and who is eligible.

PneumoAware | Pneumococcal infection awareness | MSD



Healthy Steps Programme is Launching!


NHS have now launched The Healthy Steps programme

Their free 8-week email programme encourages families with 5–11-year-olds to eat better and move more, with budget conscious, easy and practical ideas.

How does Healthy Steps work?

Parents/carers can sign up at any time by completing a quiz about their current eating and physical activity habits follow this link Once completed the quiz weekly emails will be sent on one of these themes, tailored to quiz results:

  • Reducing sugar
  • Eating 5 a day
  • Meal planning

The content in the emails will then provide families with simple ways to take steps towards healthier behaviours.


As part of the programme, families are set goals or tasks to complete every other week, such as swapping out sugary fizzy drinks, or adding fruit or veg to their breakfasts.


Regular feedback points give families the opportunity to celebrate their successes and continue to make positive changes.


healthy steps

Extended Health Care Team

We are happy to help with all these services with the exception of Physician Associate or paramedic 

Change of Personal Details

If you change address, contact number or any other personal information, please let the surgery know as soon as possible. You can do this on our website, or by coming in to reception and filling out a form.



We are inviting patients who are between the ages of 40 and 74 to attend for their Free NHS Health check.  Health checks are being offered to people aged between 40 and 74 once every five years.

Invites will be sent out in your birthday month and we will contact you either by phone, MJOG or letter.


The check should take about 20-30 minute and is based on straightforward questions and measurements. 




  • You will be asked some simple questions about your family history and choices which may put your health at risk
  • We will check your blood pressure and cholesterol
  • We’ll record your height, weight, age sex and ethnicity
  • You will receive general advice about what you can do to stay healthy.


Even if you are feeling well, its worth having your NHS Health Check – for more information please click on the link to find out more information.


Thank you


Birchwood Practice

Bowel Cancer Screening

Bowel Cancer Screening is now offered to everyone from the age of 56 and this age will continue to lower to 50 by 2024. Fit kits are sent every 2 years up until age of 74. It is important that you complete these kits as early diagnosis can save lives.
Information regarding maintaining a healthy bowel and symptoms to look out for are available on the following Webpage


Weight Management Clinic

The Birchwood Practice is pleased to be offering a free new Weight Management clinic, this is open to all our eligible patients.  In the clinic you will be seen by our HCA where your height and weight will be taken and then if eligible you will be signposted for further help.

This new programme provides an alternative way of accessing weight management support and will help you explore the different options available to you which will enable you to acheive your desired goals.  


weight management


Dorset Breast Screening Unit will soon be contacting all our eligible women patients to invite them  to book their Breast Screening appointment.  We recommend that you take up this screening opportunity as detection of early abnormalities can prevent life threatening disease. For further information visit: Breast Screening Unit (


Community Connector Volunteers

We are looking for ‘Community Connector’ volunteers to support people in the community and help reduce loneliness and social isolation.


Community Connectors are volunteers who will visit a person in their home a few times before accompanying them to activities until they feel happy to attend independently.


You will be helping people to:


  • Find out about local community services and activities
  • Participate in new activities
  • Build new friendships, reduce loneliness and feel more positive


If you would like to find out more please visit Poole Community Action Network on


We are offering training  for those interested. If you would like to become a volunteer or would like to find out more please email


IT Help is Available


Over the phone help
You can contact the Dorset Digital Hotline, which can resolve most queries.

Call them on 01305 221048.

Anyone can call the Dorset Digital Hotline with an IT question on 01305 221048 (select option 2) weekdays (excluding Bank Holidays) from 10am-12noon.

You can leave a message with your name and number outside of these times and they will call you back.

The hotline hours will be extended for 25 November from 10am–2pm to help carers to get onto the Carers Festival digital sessions. 

Book support in advance, to support with signing up on Eventbrite and to ensure you are comfortable accessing the sessions.
How Digital Champions can help
A team member will take details of the help you need and then direct your call to the best adviser available. The team can offer digital support for a wide range of issues, no problem is too small.

Free online courses
If you'd prefer to get help online, Learn My Way offers free courses on using a computer, browsing the web, sending an email and finding work online. 


General Practice Data for Planning and Research - Update

Patient data from general practice has significantly contributed to the improvement of health and care services and treatments for many years. Patients rightly trust their GP to safeguard their data, a role that we know that all general practitioners take very seriously. This is why I am writing to share more information with you about how we are working to improve how this data is collected.

NHS Digital is making improvements to how data is collected from general practice, with a new framework for data extraction called the General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) collection.

You will have seen the announcement to pause the collection of this data, to provide more time to engage with GPs, patients, health charities and others, and to strengthen the plan.

We are working in collaboration with a range of partners including the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the British Medical Association (BMA). I want to reassure you that we have heard your concerns loud and clear and will continue to listen.

I am writing now to provide an update on the four key areas of work to strengthen the plan. We hope this will foster your trust in the system and provide a strong basis for you and your patients to participate in the scheme with confidence.
Most importantly, I can confirm today that, while we are continuing to work on the infrastructure, and communication for the project, we are not setting a specific start date for the collection of data. Instead, we commit to start uploading data only when we have the following in place:

● the ability to delete data if patients choose to opt-out of sharing their GP data with NHS Digital, even if this is after their data has been uploaded;
● the backlog of opt-outs has been fully cleared;
● a Trusted Research Environment has been developed and implemented in NHS Digital;
● patients have been made more aware of the scheme through a campaign of engagement and communication.

In this letter each of these adjustments are set out, all of which are critical to the success and impact of the programme, including through better understanding of the huge benefits the programme will have to the NHS and to our ability to provide the best and safest possible care for patients.


We want to make the position around opt-out much simpler. While 1st September has been seen by some as a cut-off date for opt-out, after which data extraction would begin, I want to reassure you that this will not be the case and data extraction will not commence until we have met the tests.
We are introducing three changes to the opt-out system which mean that patients will be able to change their opt-out status at any time: 

  • Patients do not need to register a Type 1 opt-out by 1st September to ensure their GP data will not be uploaded;
  • NHS Digital will create the technical means to allow GP data that has previously been uploaded to the system via the GPDPR collection to be deleted when someone registers a Type 1 opt-out;
  • The plan to retire Type 1 opt-outs will be deferred for at least 12 months while we get the new arrangements up and running, and will not be implemented without consultation with the RCGP, the BMA and the National Data Guardian

Together, these changes mean that patients can have confidence that they will have the ability to opt-in or opt-out of the system, and that the dataset will always reflect their current preference. And we will ensure it is easy for them to exercise the choice to opt-out.

Administrative workload
We have heard from many GPs and practices that there is concern about the administrative burden that Type 1 opt-outs have placed on you and your teams. We are in the process of working with colleagues across general practice to develop a way of simplifying and centralising the opt-out process in order to remove this burden on practices. This is still in development, but we will share further information with you in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, given the changes we have agreed to the opt-outs there is now no urgency to process Type 1 opt-outs specifically for GPDPR in order to get people opted out before September. We will keep you updated on timelines for when we expect the programme to go live.
We will also ensure that the NHS Digital Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) reflecting these changes to the programme is published well before data collection commences. A template DPIA for practice use will also be made available in good time to allow practices to complete it.
Data Security and Governance

The Government has committed that access to GP data will only be via a Trusted Research Environment (TRE) and never copied or shipped outside the NHS secure environment, except where individuals have consented to their data being accessed e.g. written consent for a research study. This is intended to give both GPs and patients a very high degree of confidence that their data will be safe and their privacy protected.
The TRE will be built in line with best practice developed in projects, such as OpenSAFELY and the Office for National Statistics’ Secure Research Service.

We are also committed to adopting a transparent approach, including publishing who has run what query and used which bit of data. We are developing a TRE which will meet our specific needs and act as “best in class”.

We commit to only begin the data collection once the TRE is in place. Further, we will ensure that the BMA, RCGP and the National Data Guardian have oversight of the proposed arrangements and are satisfied with them before data upload begins.

I can also confirm that the previously published Data Provision Notice for this collection has been withdrawn.
Once the data is collected, it will only be used for the purposes of improving health and care. Patient data is not for sale and will never be for sale.
Transparency, communications and engagement There has been a great deal of concern regarding the lack of awareness amongst the healthcare system and patients. We recognise that we need to strengthen engagement, including opportunities for non-digital engagement and communication. Since the programme has been paused, we have been developing an engagement and communications campaign, with the goal of ensuring that the healthcare system and patients are aware and understand what is planned, and can make informed choices. The public rightly look to and trust general practice - through a centrally driven communication campaign, with clear messages, we will seek to ensure that the introduction of this collection does not impose an additional burden on practices.

We are developing a communications strategy delivered through four phases.

● Listening - where we listen to stakeholders and gather views on how best to communicate with the profession, patients and the public and give them the opportunity to inform the development of the programme in areas such as opt-outs, trusted research environments and other significant areas;

● Consultation - a series of events where we can explain the programme, listen and capture feedback and co-design the information campaign;

● Demonstration - show how feedback is being used to develop the programme and shape communications to the healthcare system and the public;
● Delivery - of an information campaign to inform the healthcare system and the public about changes to how their GP data is used, that utilises the first three phases to ensure the campaign is accessible, has wide reach and is effective.

Data saves lives. The vaccine rollout for COVID-19 could not have been achieved without patient data. The discovery that the steroid Dexamethasone could save the lives of one third of the most vulnerable patients with COVID-19 – those on ventilators - could not have been made without patient data from GP practices in England. That insight has gone on to save a million lives around the globe. That is why this programme is so important.

The programme and I will be providing further information as the programme progresses. In the meantime, if you have any questions, you can contact the programme at The NHS Digital web pages also provide further information at

Thank you for your continued support.
Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Primary Care and Health Promotion

Cost of Living help  


There’s a lot of information to get our heads around at a time when we’re already stressed. Here’s some information of current payments you must apply for and those you’ll get automatically:

Cost of living payments worth £600 will be paid to people on certain benefits. Split into three payments across Spring 2023, Autumn 2023 and Spring 2024. The first payment of £301 will be paid between 25 April 2023 and 17 May 2023 automatically.

Pensioner households on a low income are urged to apply for Pension Credit to help with living costs. Find out more and apply


For those who don’t have a direct relationship with an energy supplier, the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Fund will provide a £400 discount on bills. Search: “Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically”

People on qualifying disability benefits will receive £150 during the summer. This will be automatic to those eligible.


For those households who are not connected to the mains gas grid or use alternative fuels as their main form of heating, and do not have a relationship with an electricity supplier, they can apply for a £200 Alternative Fuels Payment (Alternative Funding). Applications are open until the end of May. Search: “Alternative Fuel Payment Alternative Fund”.

The Household Support Fund will be open for applications in 6 different application windows over 6 months. Successful applicants will be issued a supermarket vouchers. Find out more and apply

cost of living