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MONDAY 6th / TUESDAY 7th February 2023

Information for the Public during

Royal College of Nursing Industrial Action And SECAmb Ambulance Staff Strike Action

The Royal College of Nursing and Ambulance services are planning industrial strike action Monday 06th and Tuesday 07th February 2023. Nurses in Sussex will be involved at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and University of Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust.

Staff from South East Coast Ambulance who are members of the GMB are striking on Mondays 06th and 20th February 2023 and 06th and 20th March 2023. Ambulance workers who are members of Unite will also strike on Monday 06th February 2023  

Sidley Medical Practice will be open, as primary care teams are not involved in the balloted action, but we support our community and hospital colleagues and will be available to help patients as we are able too. Our routine services have been restricted to enable us to support patients affected by industrial action. 

For more information please follow this link:

TUESDAY 31st January 2023


The Partners would like to offer our apologies for delays to receiving care and supporting patient access to Sidley Medical Practice this morning.

A member of staff has experienced a serious illness after arriving at work this morning and we supported their needs whilst awaiting emergency services support and transfer to a local hospital. Time was taken to re plan our activities and enable restart from 09:00

The Partners

Practice Update 24th November 2022

The existing 4 patient members of the patient group met with Pete Sims last Thursday at Sidley Medical Practice with the minutes attached as the latest Newsletter. Included is the draft constitution in Appendix B.

1. The group was meeting regularly before the pandemic started with minutes taken, Annual General Meetings held and a constitution in place. The constitution states that the group should have 10 patient members and therefore we would be looking for a total of 6 new members. Group membership should cover the patient demographic therefore this is one measure used to select new members. Ethnic and minority groups should also be represented as should working patients.

In addition there should be 2 representatives from the Practice.

After discussion the group agreed a process to select new members where a brief biography is submitted to the new patient group email address which is . These will then be reviewed by the group to select patients to join.

Patients who expressed an interest will be invited via SMS to submit their brief biography by Friday the 2nd of December.

2. The Constitution states that meetings should be held at least 4 times a year. We agreed to begin with meetings should be held monthly. Where possible the meetings will be held on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 10:15am. The group acknowledged the need to schedule meetings out of working hours to accommodate working patients and could do these once a quarter.

Practice Update 5th October 2022

My name is Peter Sims and I joined Sidley Medical Practice in March 2022. Since then I have been getting to know the team, processes and structure. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update on changes we have made, the reasons for them and current plans.

 Flu and Covid vaccinations Oct 22

We are not providing the covid vaccination service at this point in time as we need to focus on our contractual services to registered patients.

We began our flu vaccination clinics on Sept 24th and have further clinics coming up. At the clinics some patients are being asked to have their blood pressure checked because we do not have a recent reading for them. We are also vaccinating patients when they attend for appointments.

Care Home and Housebound patients will be contacted by the same organisation that provided Covid booster vaccinations earlier in the year. They will be vaccinating patients against Covid and flu at the same time so please do not contact the practice.

 Increase in clinical staff

We have increased the number of clinical sessions provided by our advanced nurse practitioners with a new full time member starting in Nov 2022. Dr Lisa Dixon, one of our long term salaried GPs has also added an additional clinical session one morning per week. We have replaced the number of appointments provided by the GP Partners who have left with the use of regular GP locums.

 Increase in administrative staff

We have recruited a number of new members of staff for the admin team to meet the higher demands all GP practices are currently experiencing. This may mean that sometimes when you contact us with a query they will need to seek advice from an experienced member of staff and I would ask for your understanding and patience. It takes time to train staff on the various operations of general practice but in the long term we will be more resilient and better placed to deal with enquiries in a timely manner. We also employed 2 additional medical secretaries in June.

 Why do the admin team ask me questions when I book an appointment? They are not clinically trained.

I frequently get asked this question and the staff ask because they have additional services they can refer you directly to. There are physiotherapists and podiatrists that you can be referred directly without seeing the doctor which frees up appointments. They can also refer to the community pharmacist for specific ailments, and the Bexhill Primary Care Network have a number of services we can access. These services have what are called exclusions, therefore the team are checking that it’s appropriate for you to be referred there. They are also looking for ‘red flags’ which could mean you need to call an ambulance or go directly to A&E.

 GP personal lists and changes to GP Partner numbers

Several GP Partners have left over the years and this means we are limited in the number of doctors who can hold personal lists. This means the majority of patients will be registered under a list named Brink2 or Asare2 for example, which means you can be seen by any doctor. As the number of GP Partners increases we will allocate patients to new personal lists. The majority of Practices operate a ‘pooled list’ so this is standard practice but we will increase the number of patients on a personal list as the number of Partners allow.

 Appointment types

We have to provide a mix of same day and pre-bookable appointments to ensure that patients who need to be seen on the day can do so, but also there is some availability for those who can wait.

 We continue to offer telephone triage as this is the safest way to manage patients. Clinicians will book patients in with themselves if they believe they need to see them face to face and this is happening. A clinician can only book a patient in for a face to face appointment with themselves, the staff cannot do this.

 Covid infections

Whilst Covid infections have been reported as decreasing we have seen in increase recently with 3 members of staff testing positive last week and another 3 so far this week. Staff cannot return to work until they have 2 negative test results from Day 5 therefore can be off for 10 days. We continue to test clinical staff twice weekly and symptomatic staff. This is to ensure we continue to provide a safe service and have managed to keep Covid infections out of the building.

 Additional appointments via the new Extended Access Service

A new service started on the 1st of October and this offers additional appointments during the day, evenings and weekends. GPs have access to our clinical system and offer a mixture of remote and face to face appointments. Face to face appointments are currently provided in Eastbourne but they hope to be able to offer them in Bexhill soon. LIVI is no longer an option and the number of appointments they used to offer is now covered by extended access.

List Closure 28th September 2022

Sidley Medical Practice has applied to close the list to new registrations and this has been approved today the 28th of September 2022. New registrations take time to process as this includes summarising new records once received and clinicians getting to know the new patients. The requested time period for the closure is 9 months during which time we will be using the freed up capacity training new staff and restructuring to ensure we continue to provide the best care possible for our registered patients. 

The GP Finder link below is for patients who are needing to find an alternative practice to register with.  

Patients then need to put their postcode in to be directed to their nearest practice.

Please visit Find a GP to search for an alternative nearby GP Surgery

Resignation Dr Clare Ilsley June 2022

 A message from Dr Clare Ilsley

I write to let you know that I will be leaving Sidley Medical Practice in July this year. This has been a very difficult decision to make . I have worked here for 11 years and have hugely enjoyed my time here . The last couple of years over COVID have been extremely hard for many, and I think have given a lot of us an opportunity to reflect, and I feel that this is the right decision for me and my family .


I still hugely enjoy being a GP and it has been an honour to be involved in so many of your lives for so long. Its been a privilege to watch your kids grow up, to  share the good and bad bits of your lives, to be able to support you in the tricky times and to be there at the end . I am grateful for the trust that many of you have placed in me , and I have been amazed by  the kindness, humor, stoicism and positivity that many of  you have showed me over the years. This is a job that one never stops learning  in, and my patients have often been the best teachers. 


I would like to thank my partners  and all the staff here at the practice for their exceptional hard work, especially over the last few years where we have seen so much change. And I would like to thank my patients for helping me to develop as a GP over the last decade. I will miss you. 

Dr Clare Ilsley

GP Availability March 2022

At this time we are currently 3 full time GPs short of providing full and comprehensive service to all registered patients.

The practice continues to provide significant primary care services such as women's health screening and contraception services , immunisation and child health screening, learning disability and chronic disease monitoring.

We also do medication provision and acute medical condition support with help from our prescribing allied health practitioners also known as advanced nurse and paramedic practitioners. With our sessional salaried GPs we endeavour every day to meet the needs of general medical and health concerns. 

We have welcomed our new Practice Manager Mr Peter Sims this week who has significant experience across East Sussex the last 17 years and will now take forward maintaining and improving where needed the quality and standards required and expected of all clinical staff and patient facing services. 

We have paused Minor Procedures / Operations at this time to improve access to other key services

Retirement Dr Chris Dixon October 2021

It is with great sadness that I write to you today. As many of you are aware I was very unwell with COVID last year and had to take considerable time off. Sadly, I am still not 100% recovered.

Being seriously ill has put a lot of things in life into perspective and I have felt it necessary to make some significant changes. To this end I will officially be leaving the practice as of October the 1st. 

I will leave the practice exactly 21 years after starting work here. Taking over from John Emmanuel was a herculean task as he was so very highly regarded and loved, but you made this easy by being kind and welcoming.

Looking after you and your families has been an utter privilege that I never once took for granted. Many of you I see more as friends than as my patients, we have been through a lot together over the years. I will never forget your humour, your compassion or your bravery. 

This last year or so has been life changing in so many ways for so many people, I thank you for your patience and understanding at what has been the hardest of times for the NHS. We are not yet out of the woods with COVID , but together we will get through I have no doubt.

The vaccine programme earlier in the year was something I was hugely proud to be a part of with 42,000 vaccines given from our Sidley Surgery, proof of what we can all do if we work together.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your trust, your company and your counsel

I will miss you, and wish you good health and above all, happiness in the future

Dr Chris Dixon

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