It’s been a privilege to be your GP for the last 8 years. I am sadly leaving the practice as of 21.7.22. I am so sorry not to have been able to say goodbye to you individually, but I will not forget so many of you, and the journey we have shared together.

As some of you may know I was diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago, and even though things are going well at the moment it has made me re-evaluate my life.

After much soul searching I have decided to change my working life by giving up my partnership and having a break from General Practice to be able to spend more time with my young family.

I wish you all the best with the great team of GPs, nurses and staff at Birchwood whom I know will go on working hard for you all.

Dr Helen Platts





National Data Opt out (Your data matters) is the service that allows patients to opt out of their confidential patient information being used for research and planning only.


Link to further information:-





  • Your health and care information is used to improve your individual care.
  • It is also used to help research new treatment
  • Decide where to put GP clinics
  • Plan for the number of doctors and nurses in our local area.





  • NHS
  • Local authorities
  • Hospital researchers
  • Medical colleges & pharmaceutical companies researching new treatments



Patients who wish to opt-out can make this choice online, by using the web address below:-


by using the telephone service 0300 303 5678 which is open Monday to Friday between 0900 and 1700, or by obtaining a form to fill in and post to register a national data opt-out preference. The form can be obtained via the website above or the national telephone service.


This choice is then applied by NHS Digital by 31st July 2022 (delayed from March 2020 because of covid).  Please note this cannot be done in practice.



If you are happy about how your confidential patient information is used you do not need to do anything

Flu season

Our flu vaccine has been ordered and 1st deliveries are due to be delivered in September. Please keep an eye on our facebook page and practice website for further announcements.

Eligible patients will be contacted. Your practice is here to help you! Please support General Practice.



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

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.


Pneumococcal vaccine overview - NHS (


Patient Spring Newsletter

Please find our New Newsletter below:

April 2022 Newsletter.pdf



Scam Marshalls Scheme

Are you, or someone you know, inundated with scam mail? Are you tempted to respond to it? Do you want to help track down the criminals behind scams and help put a stop to their activities? If you answered yes to any of the above then why not become a Scam Marshal for the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team. The NTS Scams Team is funded by National Trading Standards and was founded in 2012 to tackle the problem of postal, telephone and doorstep scams. The team works across England and Wales with trading standards and partner agencies to investigate scams and identify and support those who fall victim to them. A Scam Marshal is any resident in the UK who has been targeted by a scam and now wants to fight back and take a stand against scams. Scam Marshals do this by sharing your own experiences, helping others to report and recognise scams and sending any scam mail that you receive to the NTS Scams Team so that it can be utilised as evidence in future investigative and enforcement work.

Follow link the below for more information

Scam Marshal Leaflet.pdf

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

Face Masks

As you may be aware, the Prime Minister has announced that all Covid restrictions will end on Thursday 24 February 2022.   


However, please note that we do not yet know whether the rules for the NHS will change.


Therefore, until this is confirmed, please continue to:

- wear your face covering/mask in the surgery

- keep a social distance when in the surgery

- arrive no longer than five minutes before your appointment time 

- avoid attending for routine care when you have covid

- please tell us if you have covid symptoms or are covid positive prior to your face to face appointment


Please help us to keep all patients safe, including those who cannot be vaccinated or whose immune systems are compromised/weak.



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 (

Contraceptive Clinics

We are pleased to announce we are offering a weekly contraceptive clinic at our Northmead drive Surgery.

We will be able to offer the following:Implants

  • Mirena coils
  • Coil checks
  • Coil removals

This is open to both registered and non- registered patients (non-registered patients will need to complete a Temporary Resident form.

To book an appointment or for further details please contact the surgery on 01202 697639.

To All Our Patients

We remain concerned about the effect of Covid-19 and, although we are pleased to see the restrictions relaxed, we are still mindful that rates of Covid in the community are very high. The demand on health care services remains significant as a result of staff sickness and patient need.  So, we must prioritise the patients who are most vulnerable. 

It is important that you continue to put your health first and seek urgent medical help when you need it.  

You may have to wait longer than usual for a routine appointment and there may be a delay in accessing some non-urgent reviews.  We are working very hard to get back to normal, so please be patient with our staff.  We are very grateful for your understanding.


Please continue to wear a face mask if you enter the practice,

infection control guidance for GP surgeries remains the same and requires us to continue to take precautions.


Before contacting the practice, please do consider self-help and pharmacy options:


Covid-19 Boosters

To book or get advice regarding your 1st, 2nd, or booster Covid-19 vaccine

Contact the National Booking Service via or ring 119

Please do not contact the surgery

We do not have access to the Covid-19 booster booking system

Help us to keep you all safe and well by keeping our phone lines free for those who need urgent medical help.

Thank you



Please follow the link below to find out how to download and use the NHS App 

NHS App - NHS ( App - NHS (

How to Download and Register the NHS App

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. 

Your GP Practice

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

We are here to help

Dear Patient

As we are still in the Covid pandemic, the NHS recommends that we triage or phone back every patient who wants advice from a nurse, doctor or other healthcare professional.

If you need medical advice or treatment, please ring us on 01202 697639

or visit our website and send us your query

Our opening hours are 08.00am – 18.30pm

We ask many of the patients we have telephoned, to then come to the surgery for a face-to-face appointment, but due to infection control measures and social distancing, we can only let patients into the surgery if they have a planned appointment.

We are keen, as we are sure you are too, to avoid transmission of infection and so to ensure social distancing we are closely monitoring how many patients are in our building including sitting in the waiting room. We need to take more precautions than shops etc due to the vulnerability of some of our patients.

We know that some of these measures are frustrating for you as they are for us. We are facing unprecedented demands with a huge increase in the number of calls we are receiving and the need for us all to catch up with the monitoring of patients which was not possible in the height of the pandemic.

 We all look forward to lockdown measures continuing to ease but in the meantime, many thanks for your patience and understanding

 Dr Goodworth and Partners/Practice Manager



New Patients

During Covid 19 we are here for all our Patients and are happy to accept new patients within our Bounadary Area 

If you would like to regiaster with us you can download the Registration Forms from the New Patients section of this website 

Male Cancer Awareness



Cancer rates are increasing Nationally; cancer can impact everyone, directly or indirectly.  Though men have higher rates of getting cancer than women, they are less likely to go to their GP with concerning symptoms than women.


There are more than 200 different types of cancer and some are most prevalent in men than women.  The three cancers that men are most at risk of are prostate cancer, bowel cancer and lung cancer.  Other male specific cancers include testicular and penile cancer.


Research has shown that men are often too embarrassed to seek medical advice when potential early warning signs show.  Men are reluctant to access services because they are often concerned about the risks of doing so or the potential outcomes for their family or work.  Early detection and early treatment are vital.


Men over 70 are less likely to present to their GP with worrisome cancer symptoms.  Reasons for this included:-


(a)          they don’t want to worry their partners or family members;

(b)          often state that they are too busy to see their GP;

(c)           fear around the diagnosis and having an intimate examination;


In general, men over 70 years are not good at discussing their health problems or potential harmful symptoms to friends and family.


One way in which you can detect cancer early is by staying up to date with National screening programmes such as the Bowel Cancel Screening Programme.  Men should also be aware of certain symptoms which should be presented to a GP.  These include:-


(a)          persistent cough;

(b)          unexplained weight loss;

(c)           change in bowel habit;

(d)          passing urine frequently;

(e)          blood in your stool or urine;

(f)           checking for lumps in your testicle and breast areas.


We want to make sure men of all ages across our Practices are seeking help and advice on symptoms that are worrying them.  We want to assure you that you can speak to us in a safe and confidential environment.  We are hear to help.


Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK. 

In the UK, about 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.

Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and your risk increases with age. The risk is even higher for black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate gland start to grow in an uncontrolled way.

The prostate is a gland. It is usually the size and shape of a walnut and grows bigger as you get older. It sits underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine (wee) out of the body. The prostate's main job is to help make semen – the fluid that carries sperm.

Some prostate cancer grows too slowly to cause any problems or affect how long you live. Because of this, many men with prostate cancer will never need any treatment.

But some prostate cancer grows quickly and is more likely to spread. This is more likely to cause problems and needs treatment to stop it spreading.

Prostate cancer that’s contained inside the prostate (called localised prostate cancer or early prostate cancer) doesn’t usually cause any symptoms.

But some men might have some urinary problems. If you do notice changes in the way you urinate, this is more likely to be a sign of a very common non-cancerous problem called an enlarged prostate, or another health problem. But it’s still a good idea to get it checked out. Possible changes include:

  • difficulty starting to urinate or emptying your bladder
  • a weak flow when you urinate
  • a feeling that your bladder hasn’t emptied properly
  • dribbling urine after you finish urinating
  • needing to urinate more often than usual, especially at night
  • a sudden need to urinate – you may sometimes leak urine before you get to the toilet.

If any of the above information worries you or you know someone it might, please phone your GP surgery for an appointment with your GP.