February 2021


Please be aware that the Surgery and Dispensary will be closed for staff training on Wednesday 24th February from 1pm.  We will reopen as normal on Thursday 25th. 

If you need medical advice during the time we are closed please dial 111 and speak with NHS111.  If you have a serious or life threatening emergency please dial 999. 

Thank you for your ongoing support. 

January 2021


We have been alerted by patients that there is an email in circulation claiming to be from the NHS asking you to book a COVID Vaccination.  They seem genuine in appearance but are asking for your bank details and a payment. 

COVID Vaccinations are FREE, the NHS will never ask you for a payment for this. 

Please stay safe online, if you are suspicious of any email please report it to your service provider or the police and block further emails. 

Please speak with your family and friends if you think they may be at risk from this or other types of email scams, encourage them to speak out before signing up. 

January 2021

Our Team here at Freshwell Health Centre are busy helping roll out the National Covid Vaccination Service in this area whilst still making sure your routine and urgent medical needs are being met.  We do appreciate this may impact on access to some of our services but we are hope you understand.

Please be aware we are following the Government and NHS guidelines for contacting patients for the Covid Vaccination, please do not contact us about an appointment when you become eligible you will be contacted by us or the NHS National Recall System and asked to book an appointment then.

Thank you for your continued support during these unprecedented times. 

14th January 2021


If you are heading to our COVID-19 Vaccination site at Pumphouse Surgery in Earls Colne today be aware that there is flooding enroute.  Please take additional care and drive safely.  Our PCN Team members are aware and understand there may be some arrival delays. 

December 2020 - FLU JAB UPDATE 

We are pleased to announce if you are aged 50yrs or over you can now book an appointment at our flu clinic running on Saturday 9th January from 8am. 

We have limited stock available so don't delay, call us on 01371 810328 and book now.


Christmas opening times for Local Pharmacies if you need help over the Christmas holidays. Click here:


21.11.2020 Flu Vaccines for people aged 50-64

We are currently finalising our plans for clinics to vaccinate everyone aged 50-64 in our patient population during December. If you would like to go on the waiting list, please call us to ask to be added the waiting list.


We are pleased to announce we still have appointments available at our upcoming Saturday Flu Clinic.  If you are aged over 65yrs OR have a long term health condition that places you at risk from flu please telephone 01371 810328 and book an appointment.

If you are unsure if you are eligible for a flu jab please check

Or speak to a member of the surgery team. 


In line with our CCG guidance, our next practice monthly half day training shutdowns is WEDNESDAY 16th DECEMBER 2020.  This closure also affects our dispensary and you will NOT be able to collect medication or access the practice by phone from 1pm on the day.

When we are closed if you need medical advice please call NHS111. If you have a life threatening or medical emergency please dial 999. 

5th Sept 2020

We are pleased to announce our CHILD FLU VACCINES have arrived.   

If your child is aged 2 - 3yrs old (born between 01/09/2016 - 31/08/2018) please call the surgery to book an appointment.  Clinics are running from 30th Sept onwards.  We look forward to seeing you! 

July 2020

Homerton University Hospital has produced an excelled patient information and support pack designed to help you to recover and manage your symptoms following COVID-19 infection.  You can download here -  Post Covid Patient Support and Advice

July 2020

Hearing Help Essex offers NHS hearing aid re-tubing, cleaning and maintenance.  Due to Coronavirus they are unable to visit our practice to offer this service but you can still see them by appointment at their centre in Moulsham Street Chelmsford.  They also offer a doorstop service for those who are vulnerable or have been shielding.  Please contact them direct by telephone on 01245 496 347 by Text 07950 406 173  or email

Hearing Help Essex is a registered charity (No: 113498) 

April 2020

Since 6th April we have changed our dispensary opening hours.

Medication can now be collected between 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 6pm Monday to Friday.

When ordering your repeat medication please allow 5 working days for the team to process your request.  With current pressures on the supply chain some medications are taking longer to get to us.  We don't want you to come out on a wasted trip and our team are working as hard as they can! 

Please continue to order in good time by either using Systmonline or by direct email

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.  

June 2019

We are very excited to announce the launch of the Freshwell Low Carb Project, which has been set up to help our patients eat well & lose weight. Please click here for further details.

February 2019 - Are you interested in a healthy diet and / or losing weight?

The clinicians here at Freshwell are becoming increasingly excited about the low carbohydrate Mediterranean lifestyle revolution. There is emerging strong scientific evidence for the benefits of this way of eating, which can also be a very effective means of losing weight.

Also, we are hoping to host a course to help people diagnosed with prediabetes in the near future.

Please click the link in the right hand column of the homepage on this website for further details.

GP Net Earnings

GP Net Earnings

Publication of Average Earnings

Government requires GPs to publish their earnings


Freshwell Health Centre provides this information, for those interested persons, in order to comply with requirements under the GP contract. However, we do not believe that publishing our earnings is either appropriate or relevant to the clinical care of our patients. In support of this, we provide some detailed background to this contract requirement.

Politics in the GP workplace

In September 2014, in preparation for the GP contract for the year 2015/16, negotiators for NHS Employers on behalf of NHS England had only one item on their agenda for discussion in determining the changes in the GP contract. One would think this might be adding some important clinical improvements, like enhancing the care of vulnerable patients, or perhaps some new targets for reducing serious infections, or possibly incentives to improve the care of those suffering from cancer, but no, the only new thing they wanted in the GP contract was an entirely political one, and it was that the salaries of GPs be exposed to the public. Therefore, according to our contract, average GP earnings must be published. The reason cited for this move is 'transparency', yet we are not seeing similar transparency being applied to every NHS worker or even other 'public servants' (although paid from the public purse and widely considered to be public servants, GPs are actually independent contractors to the NHS).

Consequences of such actions

Such a single-minded determination to do this clearly betrays the contempt in which GPs are held by those in power. This directive would have only come directly from the government; a government which has been intent (along with previous governments) on destroying the very fabric of General Practice and with it, the rest of the NHS. Unintended (or some would say intended) consequences of publishing income include, making it more difficult for practices to recruit doctors, continuing the downward pressure on salaries, widening inequalities between practices, localities and regions, further increasing the risks to the very business of General Practice and paving the way for an invasion of profiteering private enterprise (initial forays into this area by some such providers have already been proven to provide a poorer quality service, and contracts are often terminated early, leading to patients suddenly being without a GP).

General Practice At Risk

The single greatest asset of any workforce is actually its workers, and particularly more so with the NHS, which largely runs only because of the goodwill of its doctors, nurses and other hardworking staff. However, as aptly illustrated by its recent approach with the junior doctors, the way the government is treating its crucial staff reveals its true intentions towards the NHS.

As of March 2016, almost 300 GP surgeries in England face closure because of financial pressures and nearly half have doctors planning to leave the NHS; in total more than 900 GP practices are in a weak financial position. This is about 1 in 10 of all practices. There is therefore a very real risk that many thousands of patients will be left without a local GP surgery that can deliver the care that they need.

Take Action!

If you are at all concerned about the future of the NHS, and especially General Practice, widely considered to be the cornerstone of the NHS, you can write to your local MP or to the Health Secretary. As GPs we have already repeatedly made our feelings known, in last ditch attempts to get the message across to politicians and the public about what is happening to General Practice. As patients, but also as voters, you may wish to do the same. You can find details of your local MP at 

GP Earnings

Some Perspective and actual Transparency

Publicly available figures show that Freshwell Health Centre receives about £143 of funding to care for one of our patients for an entire year. For this, any patient can see us as many times as they need, including face to face, telephone or home visit encounters. Our patients see us, on average, about six times a year, with some vulnerable patients each seeing us 15 or more times a year.

From this £143 figure, as with other GP practices, we pay our heating, lighting, cleaning and maintenance, staff wages, training, insurance, buy all our consumables (couch rolls, gloves, envelopes etc) and anything else that is required for providing care and running a practice. What is then left over is shared between the partners who own the business.

£143 per year equates to just 56½p funding per patient per working day, or £2.75 per week

Also bear in mind that with this level of funding (which realistically would only provide for two consultations in a year if paid at normal market rates), GPs do not aim to simply provide basic low rate care. The vast majority of GPs provide not only high quality care and but also, more importantly, safe care, whilst also working towards difficult and often irrational government targets; all of this is often at immense personal cost to themselves and their families. Regardless of what you might read in the papers and what you might hear from the mouths of politicians, GPs are dedicated professionals who have an innate sense of striving to do their best to help people.

Comparing the annual costs of everyday items:

  • £143 is the cost of medical care for you for one whole year
  • £150 is the price of the cheapest 4G phone contract
  • £170 is a trip to the cinema every fortnight
  • £179 is how much a monthly haircut would cost
  • £209 is an average bottle of wine every two weeks
  • £240 is the cost of a basic Sky TV package
  • £339 is the average cost to insure your dog

Disclaimer regarding Published Figures 

NHS England requires that the net earnings of doctors engaged in the practice is publicised, and the required disclosure is shown below. However it should be noted that the prescribed method for calculating earnings is potentially misleading because it takes no account of how much time doctors spend working in the practice, and should not be used to form any judgement about GP earnings, nor to make any comparison with any other practice‡.

The average pay for GPs working in The Freshford Practice (at Freshwell Health Centre) in the last financial year was £57,370 before tax and national insurance.  This is for one full-time GP and six part-time GPs who worked in the Practice for more than 6 months.

‡ Statement as recommended by AISMA (Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants)

A full time GP here can work in excess of 52 hours a week

A 'part time' GP here can work in excess of 39 hours a week 

So now you know, but more crucially, you now know why...

Acknowledgements to Ivy Grove, West End and St James Surgeries  

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