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Dr CJ Shimmins & Partners

Dartford East Health Centre
Pilgrims Way
Tel. 01322 421480

Covid-19 vaccination information

Covid-19 vaccinations for our patients are being provided from Dartford West Health Centre There will be home visits for housebound patients.


We are inviting patients based on the national priority list. Please be patient and wait to be contacted about when the vaccine is available for you.


You do not need to contact the surgery until you receive a letter, text or phone call about getting the Covid-19 vaccine.


Our phone lines are very busy; please help us to keep lines open for people needing to make appointments for other health matters.


If you have questions about the vaccine please read the information below.


Why is the vaccine not available from our own surgery?

Across the country GPs are working in groups of practices to provide the Covid-19 vaccine. We understand the people would like to get the vaccine from their own practice but unfortunately this is not possible at this time. If this changes we will update this information.


Should I come for a vaccine if I have symptoms of Covid-19?

No. If you or someone in your immediate household has symptoms of the virus it is essential that you self-isolate and book a test. Your vaccine can be re-arranged after your self-isolation.


If I’ve had Covid-19 do I need the vaccines?

Yes, getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Covid-19 as it is for those who haven’t.


How soon after having Covid-19 can I have the vaccine?

It is recommended that people wait 4 weeks after recovering from Covid-19 or from being tested positive but not experiencing symptoms. We will rearrange invitations if you are in this situation when first invited to have the vaccine.


When will the second dose be given?

From 30 December the national guidance changed and second doses will now be scheduled for 10-12 weeks after the first dose.


Can I pay for the vaccines privately?

No, all Covid-19 vaccines are being provided free by the NHS. If you see any offers to get the vaccine privately it will be a scam and you must not contact them.


Find out more: For more information about the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Kent and Medway please visit www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/covid19vaccine

High Volume of Telephone Calls

Dear Patients

The surgery is currently experiencing an extremely high volume of telephone calls. Our reception team are working very hard to answer these calls. We ask that you be patient we do understand that your call is very important if you are trying to obtain an appointment. If your call can wait the lines are more quieter between 10.30am to 2pm and again between 4.30pm to 6pm.

Prescription Ordering Direct (POD)





Order your repeat prescription over the phone or via the Healthera APP with the Prescription Ordering Direct Service


(POD) - A new, convenient repeat prescription ordering service


CALL 01474 555 800 - Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday


Frequently Asked Questions


When was this service introduced?

This is a new service that was introduced to the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley area in January 2017.


What has changed?

Instead of contacting your pharmacy to order your repeat prescription, you will simply need to phone the Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service or use the Healthera app which can be downloaded on smartphones and tablets. POD is a dedicated repeat prescription ordering service provided by your local NHS. After your repeat request has been authorised by your GP, your prescription will be sent electronically to the pharmacy of your choice where your medicines will be dispensed as usual.


How does the service work?

When you call the POD telephone line you will speak to a trained Practice Medicines Co-ordinator dedicated to taking repeat prescription reqests and answering repeat prescription queries.


The Practice Medicines Co-ordinator will take your repeat prescription request over the phone or process requests via the app. They will be able to help you order only the items that you need and deal with queries about your repeat medicines. Your repeat prescription order will then be processed, signed by your GP and sent electronically to the pharmacy of your choice for dispensing.


If you require another person to ring the service on your behalf, it is important that you give consent to the POD service or your GP practice to allow this to happen.


Why is this new service being offered?

The POD has been introduced to help reduce the amount of medicines wasted across the local NHS by using the medicines repeat ordering process as an opportunity to optimise medicines use. In Dartford, Gravesham, Swanley and Swale it is estimated that up to £3 million worth of medicines are wasted each year.


A lot of waste is due to the items being ordered on repeat prescriptions each month even when these items are not required. By managing repeat prescription orders more efficiently, we can reduce waste and save valuable NHS funds.


The service will also reduce time and workload pressures for you GP practice, allowing practice staff to focus on providing better care to patients.


What happens if I already use a repeat prescription service from my pharmacy?

Starting from December 2019, requests for repeat medication will be processed by the NHS POD and your practice will no longer accept requests from your pharmacy. You wil be able to phone the POD service or use the Healthera app to order your medicines instead of phoning or visiting your pharmacy to make an order. The POD will arrange for your prescription to be sent electronically to your usual pharmacy and dispensed as normal.

National Diabetes Audit

Named Accountable GP

All patients registered at the Dr Shimmins and partners have a named, accountable GP. 


The named accountable GP will take responsibility for the patient. This does not change the way in which we operate or affect your ability to make an appointment or speak with any of the GPs in the practice.


Should you express a wish to change your named GP we will do our best to accommodate your wishes.  

Please feel free to contact the Reception Team on 01322 421480 to find out who your Named Accountable GP is.

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