Surgery News

November Patient Newsletter

You said we did

You said, we did

At the last Open Day, some of you expressed concern that you cannot, or do not find it easy to use our online services. Therefore, we aim to:

  • Reduce our call waiting times so that people who don’t use our online service find it easier to get through to us.
  • Support patients who are able to use our online services by making the experience enjoyable, easy to use and more convenient. 

Our successes

  • Online appointment booking has increased by 70%
  • 60% of our Flu appointments were booked online this year
  • ‘Engage Consult’ in October saw its largest numbers to date, over 1,100 increasing from 800 the previous month
  • Traffic on our website increased by over 50% since the launch
  • Call wait time decreased from an average of 50-minute wait in March to 6 minutes in October

Future Drop-in clinic dates

We understand that not everyone will find our online service easy to follow. Therefore, we have organised Drop-in clinics, as detailed below, to support anyone who would like to be shown how to use our online service. 

There will be digital experts on hand to help set you up and show you how to book appointments, access our engage consult and use the NHS app. 

Your feedback and experiences of what is working well and what isn’t help us shape the future of Heath Care First. Please speak to our management team on the day for any patient-related queries. We hope to see you there!

Queen StreetThursday 24th November, 1-3pm
Elizabeth Court SurgeryThursday 27th January, 1-3pm
Pinfold SurgeryTuesday 21st February, 1-3pm
Byram SurgeryTuesday 21st March, 1-3pm
Castleford Health CentreWednesday 19th April, 1-3pm
Beauforth House ClinicThursday 18th May, 1-3pm
Queen StreetThursday 15th June, 1-3pm
Elizabeth Court SurgeryThursday 13th July, 1-3pm
Pinfold SurgeryTuesday 8th August, 1-3pm
Byram SurgeryTuesday 5th September, 1-3pm
Castleford Health CentreWednesday 4th October, 1-3pm
Beauforth House ClinicThursday 2nd November, 1-3pm

If you can’t make the Drop-in clinic and you would like to share your positive or negative feedback, you can do this by email at

Be prepared this Winter

1. Get your children vaccinated

Want to know more and check if your child is eligible? Please read our frequently asked questions.

2. Stop smoking for better Winter health

Winter comes with seasonal bacteria and viruses. Cold, flu, bronchitis and other illnesses then may come into play. Perhaps you catch these winter illnesses easily? If this is the case, do you know that it may be due to your cigarette consumption?

Stopping smoking not only improves your physical health but also is proven to boost your mental health and wellbeing. Quitting can improve mood, help relieve stress, anxiety and depression. 

Get a free personal quit plan here.

3. Keeping well with Asthma/ COPD

    Cold weather can trigger a flare-up of your symptoms and make you more vulnerable to illnesses. But there are things you can do to look after your lungs this winter:

    Avoid catching colds or flu

    • If you’re feeling unwell, don’t wait! Get advice from your pharmacist, GP or nurse before it gets worse.
    • Get a flu jab – people with long-term conditions are eligible for a free flu jab.
    • Ask your GP practice about a pneumonia jab. This is recommended if you have a long-term lung condition such as COPD, bronchiectasis or pulmonary fibrosis. You should be offered one if you’re over 65.
    • If you can, avoid contact with people who have cold symptoms
    • Take care of your general wellbeing

    Stay warm

    • Heat your home to at least 18°C (64°F).
    • Wear layers of clothing
    • Have lots of hot drinks
    • Try to stay as active as you can to generate body heat.

    Look after your airways and lungs

    • Check the weather before going out
    • Carry your reliever medication
    • Try to breathe through your nose
    • Wear a hood or scarf that covers your mouth when you’re out and about

    Visit Asthma + Lung UK for more information or call our respiratory specialists/health care advisors, who will be able to help you with any concerns. You can also find out about welfare benefits when living with a lung condition.

    4. Beat the Winter blues!

      The winter months can be difficult for many of us and our mental health. With dropping temperatures, shorter days and money worries, we might feel the need to sleep for longer, notice a change in our appetite or not enjoy the things we normally do.  

      Mind Charity has information on how to spot the signs that the winter might be impacting your mental health, as well as suggestions for support and self-help.

      5. Get the right support for managing your energy bills!

        If you are on low income (less than £30,000 a year net income and have less than £16,000 in savings) Wakefield Council has a range of heating and insulation projects that could help you at no cost.

        If you are struggling with your energy bills or have energy debt, the Council might be able to help you with that as well. For more information, please contact Money Smart on (01924) 307272 or

        You can also access energy-saving tips here: Energy-saving tips – Wakefield Council