Welcome to Union Brae and Norham Practice in Berwick Upon Tweed.
We will be using this website to keep you informed of all the latest news and events happening at the practice.
Please click here to download the latest Practice Leaflet.
We have re-designed our website to make it easier to use and to showcase the wider services available within the Well Up North Primary Care Network.
Union Brae Opening Hours
Monday to Friday: 08:30am - 6.00pmSaturday and Sunday: Closed
Our phones are busiest first thing in the morning. If your call is not urgent please ring after 10:30amIf you are calling for blood test results, Please call after 1:00 pm
Norham Surgery Opening Hours
Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 08:30am - 12:30pm and 1.30pm - 6.00pmTuesday and Thursday: 08:30am - 12:30pmSaturday and Sunday: Closed
Our phones are busiest first thing in the morning, if your call is not urgent please ring after 10:30am
When the practice is closed, call 111 or if it is a life-threatening emergency call 999
Patients who are too ill or frail to come into the surgery may request a home visit during surgery hours, these visits are usually carried out by our paramedics.
Things to consider in mind when requesting a home visit:
If you can possibly come to the surgery, please do so. Our facilities here mean that the doctor can make a better assessment of your problem.
To request a home visit please phone before 10am in the morning. We may not be able to guarantee a home visit on the same day for late requests.
Your doctor will make a decision as to whether you need a home visit on the basis of clinical need – and it may be more appropriate to give you advice on the phone as to how to manage your condition.
If you require non urgent medical help and/or advice, call 111
In case of a life-threatening emergency, call 999
NHS 111 is the number to call when you need medical help fast but it is not a life-threatening emergency.
Calls to 111 are FREE from landlines AND mobiles
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (including bank holidays)
During normal practice opening hours, the practice remains your first point of contact for all routine requests. The practice may advise you to contact 111 if this is the most appropriate course of action for you.
For more information about NHS 111 and access to online help, visit 111.NHS.UK
Appointments can be made by telephone, via the eConsult system or by coming into the practice.
We offer a range of appointment types. Patients will be given a telephone slot to speak to a clinician in the first instance. The clinician can arrange for a referral to be made or medication to be issued over the telephone or via eConsult. The Clinician may organise a face to face appointment for you should this be necessary.
Our appointment system enables you to book:
If we have exceeded our capacity of available appointments, you will be directed to 111.
If you no longer need your appointment, please notify the surgery.
Please make sure you notify us if you change your address or telephone number.
Click to Book an Appointment Online or use our eConsult service
If you need medication on a regular basis you can order this in the following ways:
Leave a message on our prescription order line - 01289 330333.
Online using SystmOne
A minimum of 48 hours notice is required for us to process all repeat prescription requests.
Please allow as much time as possible to process your repeat prescription request during busy times, such as Bank Holidays, Easter and Christmas.
If you live outside the town, your doctor may be able to dispense your medicines. Please ask our reception staff if you qualify for this service.
Click to order a Repeat Prescription Online
All asthma patients are invited by letter or text to attend for a yearly check-up. This involves discussing symptoms, checking peak flow measurements and that the inhaler currently being used is suitable. It is also an opportunity to discuss any questions you may have about asthma. If you haven’t received a letter for a check-up you can telephone to make an appointment with the practice nurse at any time.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS that you need to be seen more than yearly are:
– Waking at night coughing, wheezing or short of breath
– You need to use your reliever (blue inhaler) more often than usual
– Your reliever doesn’t get rid of your symptoms as effectively as normal
At your asthma appointment we can also discuss a management plan which helps you to recognise and treat symptoms before they develop into an asthma attack.
For more information about asthma, visit the Asthma UK website or view the videos on Health TV.
Nurse Practitioner Susan Wight runs regular diabetic clinics, helped by Practice Nurse Moria Graham (at Norham Surgery) and Dawn Dewar (at Union Brae).
North of Tyne Diabetic Eye Screening Programme now takes place at The Swan Leisure Centre, Northumberland Road, Tweedmouth, Berwick on Tweed.
You can contact the booking office on 0333 666 0167 or email
For more information about diabetes, visit the Diabetes UK Website or view the videos on Health TV.
These clinics are for all patients with a history of peripheral vascular disease, ischaemic heart disease or stroke. At your appointment we will check your blood pressure, height, weight and bloods for cholesterol and blood sugar will be taken.
Cervical screening can be carried out by any of our qualified nursing or clinical staff. All cervical screening invitations are sent by NHS England or NHS Scotland inviting you to make an appointment to have a smear done at the surgery.
If you have unprotected sex and are concerned about pregnancy please contact your local pharmacy.
Family Planning/Sexual Health
The practice offers regular family planning clinics with a specialist nurse practitioner. This clinic offers general contraception advice, contraceptive implant fitting and removal, coil fitting and removal and general sexual health advice.
Flu vaccines are available annually and usually start in September/October.
NHS England is responsible for identifying at risk patient groups eligible for flu vaccine. These include:
– All patients aged 65 and over
– Patients with diabetes
– Patients diagnosed with chronic respiratory (lung) problems (these include asthma and COPD)
– Patients with long-standing kidney disease
– Patients with heart disease
– Patients who live in nursing homes, residential homes or any long-stay facility
– Patients whose immune system is not working well either because:
You were born with it not working
You are having a course of treatment such as steroids, cytotoxics i.e. cancer killing drugs, radiotherapy
You have a disease eg AIDS or HIV, no spleen or your spleen not working normally
Patients who are between 44 – 74 years of age and at increased risk of cardiovascular disease will be invited in for a CVD Risk Assessment appointment. Depending on your risk score, this may then be followed by an appointment to discuss the results and how to manage any risk.
Newcastle Hospitals lease rooms from Union Brae to provide the following clinics:
To make an appointment with the hearing aid clinic you need to ring the Audiology Department at Freeman Hospital direct on 0191 2231043. Freeman have asked for all telephone calls to be handled by their specialist team of audiologists to ensure the patients are all booked into the correct appointment slots. Union Brae have welcomed this decision as it frees up the telephone system for our patients to get through to speak to our staff. You will still be seen at Union Brae Surgery in Berwick but we are no longer booking the appointments.
All appointments for Dermatology, ENT and Ophthalmology are made by Newcastle Hospitals. Any queries about your appointment should be made to the telephone number on your appointment letter.
To register with the practice either come in to either of the surgeries and ask for a form at reception, or complete the forms on this website (see section below) and bring them into either surgery.
We may ask you to provide two forms of identification, one with a photograph and one with your address. Full details are on the registration forms. You can then be registered with the practice and will be allocated a named GP.
Our area is 5 miles to the north, 5 miles to the south and 12 miles to the west.
If you would like to register with the practice, please complete the required forms below and bring them into reception. If you are unsure if you are resident within the Practice Area please contact reception with your postcode for advice.
New Patient Registration Form (GMS1)
New Patient Questionnaire
We need two forms of ID – one with a photograph and one proving your current address.
Local authority rent card
Paid utility bills
Bank/Building society cards/statements
National Insurance number card
Letters from the Taxman or Benefit Agency
Papers from the Home Office
A copy of these documents will be made and kept on your medical record in accordance with GDPR regulations.
Since April 2015, it has been a contractual requirement of NHS England for all GP practices to have a Patient Participation Group (PPG) and to make reasonable efforts for this to be representative of the practice population.
A PPG is a group of patients, carers and GP practice staff who meet to discuss practice issues and patient experience to help improve the service.
Who is part of the PPG?
A PPG is open to every patient on the GP practice list. All communities, groups, genders, ages, ethnicities, and disabilities representing the patient list are encouraged to join.
What is the role of the PPG?
• The aims and work of each PPG depends entirely on local needs, but they all have the aim of making sure that their practice puts the patient and improving health at the heart of everything it does
• It is important for the PPG to have an inclusive and diverse membership to ensure that the PPG represents as many types of patient voices as possible
• PPG members can act as ambassadors within the community and this can help with recruitment of new members
• By being as outward facing as possible, the PPG can learn about innovations which are happening in the local community and bring these back to the practice
• PPG members can help to promote health initiatives being introduced within the practice
• PPGs can work alongside the practice and local health commissioners to ensure that the right services are available to the local population
• PPGs can give patients and practice staff the opportunity to meet and discuss topics of mutual interest
• PPGs can provide a means for patients to become more involved and make suggestions about the healthcare services they receive
• PPGs can explore issues from patient complaints and patient surveys, contribute to actions plans and help monitor improvements.
• PPGs can contribute feedback to the practice on National Patient Survey results and Friends and Family Test feedback to propose developments or change
• PPGs can support the practice in promoting health awareness and patient education.
For more information, visit the Patients Association website.
If you are interested in taking part, please contact the surgery.
Dr Sarah RuffeMB ChB, DRCOG, DFFPJoined the practice in 1997 and is now senior Partner.
Dr Neil ForsterMB ChB, MRCGP, DOccMedJoined the practice in 2004 and is a partner.
Dr Katherine ReayMB ChBJoined the practice in 2019 and is a partner.
Dr Jane HowsonMB ChBJoined the practice in 2014 and is a salaried GP.
Dr Gillian GuthrieMB ChBJoined the practice in 2014 and is a salaried GP.
Christine RitchieChristine works as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner
Susan WightSusan works as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner
Zoe Perks (RGN)
Dawn Dewar (RGN)
Moira Graham (RGN)
Lynsey Falconer (RGN)
Leoni Renton (Student Nurse)
Sarah AllenSarah works as a Phlebotomist.
Julie Blythe - Practice Manager
Susan Rutherford - Finance Manager
Anne Kossmann - Business Manager
Katherine Wootton - Medicines Manager
Jan Ross - Lead Dispenser
Margaret Minto - Receptionist
Laura Matthews - Receptionist
Gemma Stephenson - Receptionist
Julie Storm - Receptionist
Tracey Purves - Receptionist
Sara Lee - Receptionist
Lily Munro - Apprentice
Gail Hope - Secretary/Dispenser
Ellie Drummond - Administrator/IIF Care Coordinator
Tracey Cumming - Secretary/Administrator
Deborah McLeman - Branch Manager
Fiona Lowe - Receptionist/Dispenser
The Practice aims to provide the highest standards of care to all its patients.
The Practice will respect your individual needs and listen to what you have to say.
The Practice will always explain as fully as possible any treatment we propose, possible side-effects and any other options before a decision is made.
The Practice aims to ensure you receive the best possible care from the NHS at all times. Should you need to be referred, we will do our utmost to ensure you receive the necessary care and treatment from consultants, specialist health services or other agencies. Where possible/appropriate, the GPs will offer you a choice of referral in line with the Government’s Choose and Book scheme.
The Practice welcomes your comments/suggestions/complaints and act upon them accordingly.
Please complete the Friends and Family Test form to provide your feedback.
Our Receptionists are very knowledgeable and will answer any questions you may have. Our receptionists will signpost you to the most appropriate service for your needs. If you wish to speak in private away from reception please mention this to the reception staff
Should you wish to raise your concerns or make a complaint please ask to speak to one of our Complaints Managers; Julie Blythe or Anne Kossmann.
This is what you can do to help us:
If you cannot keep your appointment please cancel it as far in advance as possible so we can offer it to someone else.
Please inform the Receptionist when you arrive for your appointment.
The Practice values all our staff who are working very hard to provide you with the best service possible. We would request that you treat them with respect at all times.
The Practice operates a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse towards any member of staff. This may include any physical threats of harm, verbal and/or written abuse. Any abuse of our staff (including on social media sites or outwith the practice), will be dealt with using a formal conduct warning which may result in the perpetrator being removed from the practice list and/or reported to the police.
It is a contractual requirement that all GP Practices undertake the NHS Friends and Family Test (FFT).
The FFT is a feedback tool, that helps us to improve our services.
Would you recommend us? Tell us what you think about our service by completing our FFT.
Everyone in the UK now has a summary care record as part of their medical records. This is a summary sheet containing your medication details, allergies, and long term medical conditions. This information will only be used by medical professionals in an emergency situation and where you or someone with you is unable to give consent to release this information to assist your care. If you DO NOT want emergency services to be able to access this information please let us know and we will mark your medical records accordingly.
We respect your right to privacy and keep all your medical information and records secure. We will only pass information about your medical conditions to other health professionals who are involved in your care. We will not disclose any information to a third party without your written consent. If you would like us to discuss your treatment or medication with a family member or carer, please complete a consent to share form and return it to the surgery. We will then update your records accordingly.
How data in your GP record is used and how you can control the use (opt-out)
As a practice, we fully respect your right as a patient to control your data. The collection start on 1st September 2021. If you register a Type 1 Opt-out after this collection has started, no more of your data will be shared with us. We will, however, still hold the patient data which was shared with us before you registered the Type 1 Opt-out.
You have the right to opt-out at any time from data being shared.
Your data is used in broadly two different ways:
1. To provide you with care. This is called “Primary Use“2. To allow for planning and research to be done. This is called “Secondary Use“
Both uses will only be made where it is considered secure and appropriate to use patient data.
Opting-out of data sharing is an option for all patients, however it is not without potential downsides. For Primary Use data, if you opt-out and need care in a local hospital, for example, it may be much harder for the staff to access important medical information about you needed to provide safe and effective care. For Secondary Use, the downsides are more indirect. If everyone in the country were to opt-out, it would make it much harder to ensure funding is used in the NHS to develop services where they are needed. It would also be harder to develop new treatments.
It is possible to opt-out of specific parts of data sharing, while keeping some elements of data sharing in place. It is very common, for example, for people who have privacy concerns about Secondary Use, to be happy to continue sharing data for Primary Use/Direct Care.
The below table summarises what opt-outs are possible, and how to request them:
Primary Use - sharing your data for your direct care
Secondary Use - Using your data to design health services and do health research
Type-1 opt out form
GDPR - Privacy Notice
How to manage your sharing preferences using the NHS app
You can view or change your current preference at any time.
To view and change your preference in the NHS App:
1. Go to Your health
2. Select Choose if data from your health and care records is shared for planning and research.
3. Select Make your choice.
4. Review the information on the page, then select Start now.
5. View your preference, then select Change if you want to change it.
6. Update your choice, then select Submit.
You can also visit NHS.UK
We realise that some patients may wish a family member or friend to accompany them to an appointment. We will facilitate this where possible.
If you require an interpreter for your consultation, we can arrange for an interpreter to be available via telephone during your appointment.
Union Brae and Norham Practice operates a smoke-free policy. Smoking is not allowed on any part of either practice premises.
You can give us feedback by completing our Friends and Family Test. Medical matters and official complaints cannot be dealt with via these forms.
Our aim is to provide the highest level of care for all our patients. We are always willing to hear if there is any way you think that we can improve the service we provide.
Making a complaint
If you wish to make a complaint please contact the surgery in the first instance. Julie Blythe and Anne Kossmann are the Practice Complaints Managers who are responsible for managing all complaints and ensuring adequate investigations are carried out. The Clinical Partner responsible for complaints is Dr Neil Forster.
We aim to resolve any issues raised as easily and quickly as possible. If the issues cannot be sorted in this way and you feel it necessary to make a formal complaint, please contact the complaints managers at the surgery as soon as possible.
Please note that there is a time limit for making complaints which is normally 12 months from the date on which the event occurred or 12 months from the date on which the complainant noticed the issue.
For full details please click here to download our complaints procedures.
The NHS Constitution sets out your rights as a patient, and explains the commitments the NHS has made to providing you with a high quality service. Organisations providing NHS care must take account of the NHS Constitution when treating you, so you may find it helpful to refer to it if you are thinking about making a complaint.
How do I get my test results?
The doctor or nurse will tell you when your results are expected to be available. You can ring for results any day after 1pm. Our reception staff are only able to give out information documented on the result by a clinician. They are unable to advise you what a test may mean or give advice on any medical issues relating to the test result.
I have concerns about a relative - can I come and talk to a doctor about their care?
Doctors can only discuss another patients with you if they have the patient's written consent to do so.
I would rather have treatment in Scotland - is this possible?
Although the independence referendum left Scotland and England united, the health services in the 2 countries have moved further apart than ever. Northumberland CCG has decided that for patients living in England it is not possible to be referred to Edinburgh for any condition whatsoever. Referral to the BGH is not possible to Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics or for suspected Cancer cases, except in exceptional circumstances. Referrals for other specialties are possible but discouraged. For patients living in Scotland, Borders Health Board have decreed that all referrals for X-rays, physiotherapy and to hospital specialties must be to the BGH except by prior arrangement with the Health Board. Your doctor will discuss the options with you.
Union Brae Surgery, Tweedmouth, Berwick upon Tweed, TD15 2HB
Telephone: 01289 330333
Out of Hours Telephone: 111
Pedwell Way Surgery, Norham, Berwick Upon Tweed, TD15 2LD
Telephone: 01289 382265
Click here to view in PCN Locations
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