Planned changes to Addison House and Barbara Castle surgeries announced

Health / Fri 22nd Apr 2022 am30 10:33am

SINCE April 2020, Barbara Castle Health Centre Management has been merged with Addison House. This means that all practice management is contained within Addison House.

There are no changes to the services that patients receive at either practice. All staff at both practices will be available to all patients across each. However, you may be aware of a few staff changes at Barbara Castle since the merger.

They would also like to take this chance to thank Dr Ipakchi, who has now retired, for his incredible contribution to patients for more than a decade. 

A spokesperson said: “We understand that there have been a few teething issues since the merger occurred during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We understand that the communication could have been improved and we thank you for your patience. Here are some of the planned changes to improve the services patients are provided:

  • Improved telephone queue handling – A new phone system is currently being trialled where calls will no longer be terminated if a queue is too long, allowing for patients to opt to request a call-back instead of sitting in a queue. A receptionist would then call you back in a timely manner. This is due to be launched in May.
  • Continued usage of Advanced Nurse Practitioners – We have a team of Advanced Nurse Practitioners who are trained in tasks that historically only GPs would undertake. Patients may already have had experience of consulting with a Nurse Practitioner and will know how valuable the team is. 
  • Enhanced Communication – We are looking to restart the Patient Participation Group to work with the surgery to feedback and share news and updates more regularly. Please let us know if you wish to get involved.
  • Better Technology – To ensure that patients can access the services in the most convenient and easy way possible, we encourage those who can use our online systems when contacting the surgery to do so. This is expanded upon below.

Contacting the surgery:

Patients who have the capabilities to are encouraged to use the following online services, some of which can be downloaded as Apps from your relevant smartphone app stores:


Register Here: https://app.doctorlink.com/addisonhouse/register/ or by downloading the app on your mobile device via Google Play or the App Store.

Doctorlink is designed by doctors to ensure you can safely assess your symptoms at any time. It provides advice and allows you to access services provided by your practice without waiting on the phone.

  • Check your symptoms – Answer a series of relevant questions based on your symptoms and concerns.
  • Get guidance to the right care – Doctorlink will advise on how to best manage your symptoms or seek the right healthcare service to suit your needs.
  • Request or book an appointment with your GP (or other clinician at your practice) – If advised, you will be able to book an appointment directly or a member of your surgery will contact you to book you in within the recommended timeframe. Where appropriate the information you provided in step 1 will help the clinical team member to care for you.
  • Request prescriptions and fit notes (sick certificates)

You must be 16 years old to register but you can use the symptom checker on behalf of your child (age 3 or above) or for people within your care who are registered at the same practice.


To use the NHS App you must be aged 13 or over and registered with a GP surgery in England. Find out more about who can use the NHS App.

Use the NHS App to:

  • Get your NHS COVID Pass – view and download your COVID Pass for places in England and Wales using this service, or for travel abroad
  • Get advice about coronavirus – get information about coronavirus and find out what to do if you think you have it
  • Order repeat prescriptions – see your available medicines, request a new repeat prescription and choose a pharmacy for your prescriptions to be sent to
  • Get health advice – search trusted NHS information and advice on hundreds of conditions and treatments. You can also answer questions to get instant advice or medical help near you
  • View your health record – securely access your GP health record, to see information like your allergies and your current and past medicines. If your GP has given you access to your detailed medical record, you can also see information like test results and details of your consultations
  • Register your organ donation decision – choose to donate some or all of your organs and check your registered decision
  • Find out how the NHS uses your data – choose if data from your health records is shared for research and planning
  • View your NHS number – find out what your NHS number is

You can still contact the surgery in the normal ways if you do not have access to a computer or mobile phone.

Further Information: 

Clinics and Services: https://www.addison-surgery.nhs.uk/clinics-and-services.aspx

Opening times: Monday – Friday, 08:30 – 18:00

Telephone: 01279 621900

Out of hours: 111

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/addisonhousesurgery/

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13 Comments for Planned changes to Addison House and Barbara Castle surgeries announced:

Nick Churchill
2022-04-22 11:43:46

That is all very well but considering that there are a high number of elderly patients who are registered at Barbara Castle surgery who do not have smart phones or internet access what is being done for them? as usual this is another example of accountants and not clinicians taking decisions in the NHS.

Lorna Twiner
2022-04-22 12:14:13

I'm sorry to read that my GP has retired. I've had no notification of this so I'm curious to know who my doctor is now?

Terry Elliston
2022-04-22 14:29:12

I never even received any notification of this 'merger', and knew absolutely nothing about it until I rang the number stored in my phone for Barbara Castle and got answered by Addison House!!!! Very poor communication! Also my doctor has now retired but I have no idea who my new 'allocated doctor' is???

Linda Joy Leadbeater
2022-04-22 16:22:02

I would liked to have been told earlier that my Doctor has retired. And I would like to know who my new Doctor is.Thank You

2022-04-22 17:57:35

I would like to know what hours the Doctors are doing. Why they are not holding surgeries. We can go to hospital outpatients. What level of training and pay, do advanced practice nurses receive, for the responsibility of doing a Dr.'s work. I have been told, that Barbara Castle patients no longer have named doctors. How can that help in the continuance of good care, seeing a different doctor each time, many of whom don't know our medical history. Is the patient group from Barbara Castle being amalgamated and if so how often and when are the meetings to be held. Have the the same remit? There is still a Doctor from Barbara Castle, working pa rt time from her home in India. When is there going to be a Doctor in residence at Barbara Castle, or are they all at Addison House?

Kerry Willison
2022-04-22 20:12:59

It would actually be lovely to see a DR without having to stay in a queue to book to talk to a nurse who then decides if you should see a DR who will then book yet another appointment. This is why the hospitals are over run, because of poorly managed surgeries. Before covid is wasn’t anywhere near as bad, since covid you have deemed it easier for your staff to talk over the phone. Isn’t it our human right to be seen by a doctor when we request it? We pay national insurance for a reason.

2022-04-22 20:49:12

Dr Ipakchi retired best part of a year ago and this is only now being generally announced. Outrageous! The statement that 'there are no changes to the services that patients receive at either practice' is not true. Recently, I went to the pharmacy across the road from Barbara Castle Health Centre (BCHC) and I was told I had a message from the surgery to get a blood test. Consequently, I went into BCHC to arrange this and was told there are insufficient technical staff so I would have to go to Addison House or back to the pharmacy to get this done! In the past I have had blood tests done at BCHC so this is clearly a detrimental change for patients. It is this sort of statement that diminishes my trust in the health centre management. What other detrimental changes are we to suffer? This 'merger' is clearly reducing the quality of service to patients at BCHC (and possibly to those at Addison House?). Also, I understand Dr Ipakchi is still working for the NHS elsewhere in Harlow. I for one want him to return to BCHC so we can once again benefit from his unparalleled excellent manner and care. My guess is there are many BCHC patients who would agree with me!

2022-04-22 21:33:05

Seems like the receptionist are now trained drs as well. Everytime I ring up they seem to deem whether my issue is worthy of a Dr and I can’t remember the last time I physically saw one, even my asthma reviews are done over the phone which really baffles me!

2022-04-23 07:23:50

I would like to know what our MP thinks about this come Mr Robert Haflon get involved please.

2022-04-23 07:45:50

Sorry, a correction to my post of yesterday evening. The problem I had was related to a blood pressure test and not a blood test. One would have thought this would require much less technical expertise. I have explained my thoughts and experiences to Mr Halfon.

Worried patients
2022-04-23 20:42:15

Waste of time trying to see a Dr l know people who have been trying for two years and are just fobbed off, passed to email, text or a phone call never to see a Dr which is terrible. We use the hospital, which we shouldn’t have to do. Everyone says oh they do see patients but they don’t

2022-04-23 22:27:17

First I knew about this ‘merger’ was via a ‘nurse practitioner’ who keeps calling me telling me she wants to review and reduce my medication- she doesn’t give her name and dials from a withheld number - shocking way to treat patients

2022-04-24 15:22:18

Addison house has no parking facilities. I work full time and live in sumners, making accessing the surgery difficult. I am So unhappy I changed from Addison house when I moved to sumners and have always been happy with the service. Now I'm forced to a gp I find poor, and Dr Anorah is the most unprofessional rude doctor. There are Up and coming elections so Sumners and Kingsmoor candidates deal with this....Get our doctors back

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