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Latest News

Ear Irrigation

From 8th January 2020 Ear Irrigation (Ear Syringing) will no longer be available at Constable Country Medical Practice

we endeavour to provide the best practice and high quality medical care to our registered patients. Ear syringing is no longer considered to be the first line of treatment for the clearing of ear wax and it is not a funded service within the NHS for general practice.

Current guidelines are that ear drops should be used to soften the wax which will then enable the natural movement of the wax from the ear. Further information and treatment options are available on

In line with current best practice and many other GP surgeries nationwide, Constable Country Medical Practice has made the decision to withdraw the ear syringing service with effect from 8th January 2020.

Flu Day

Flu Clinics


As last year, patients over 65 will be administered a different flu vaccine to those under 65. Unfortunately, there have again been delays in manufacture which means that delivery of the under-65’s vaccine is staged. This complicates the vaccination programme and we will therefore implement a similar system to last year.


We will hold a number of flu clinics and will send personalised letters to every eligible patient inviting them to attend on specific dates. These letters will be sent through September and October. Please attend on the earliest date possible when you receive a letter. Please don’t attend a flu clinic if you don’t receive a letter as we may not have taken delivery of the vaccine you require. If you haven’t received a letter by the end of October and you are over 65 or believe you are eligible for a free vaccination because of your medical condition, then please contact the practice.

Appointment System Update


The practice will be implementing a new appointment system on 2nd September. The two open days we held in July were a great success and we have updated our appointment system leaflet to answer queries raised by patients. Please visit our website or pick up a leaflet for more information.


Please note that there will be no pre-bookable appointments. If you need to speak to a doctor you can request them to call you the same day. If you need to be seen (about a third of all cases) the doctor will arrange for you to be seen the same day.


Patients can request a call back from a doctor online from 7am, or phone the practice or call in to request one via a receptionist. It helps if you tell the receptionist the nature of your problem as it may be more appropriate for you to speak to our pharmacy technician or another member of our clinical team. They can also inform the doctor if your need is urgent.


The new system will be more convenient for many patients as they won’t have to physically come to the practice. Having no pre-bookable appointments means that there is no need to call the practice at 8am, though if you think the doctor may wish to see you in person please call in the morning. You will usually be able to choose which doctor you would prefer to call you back. You can also submit an online consultation request via our eConsult service.


Appointment System Update

The practice will be implementing a new appointment system on 2nd September.


We will be holding open days at The Vine Lounge, Capel St Mary on Tuesday 23rd July between 2pm and 6pm, and at the East Bergholt Medical Centre on Wednesday 24th July between 6pm and 8pm. These are drop-in events and patients are welcome to call in between these times.


We will be able to explain the new system and answer any questions on either the appointment system or any other aspect of the practice. In the meantime, information leaflets will be available in waiting rooms and on our website which explain the new system. We want to ensure the new system will improve access when we introduce it and we value your feedback to enable us to finalise the details.

Extended Hours

I’m pleased to announce that from 1st July the practice will be extending its opening hours. Our Capel St Mary site will now be open every Tuesday from 7am to 8am and 6:30pm to 7:30pm for patients with pre-booked appointments between these times. We will be holding two phlebotomy clinics between 7am and 8am and a dressings clinic between 6:30pm and 7:30pm. These appointments are pre-bookable via our reception team. We will also be holding GP surgeries between 7am and 8am, and 6:30pm and 7:30pm. These will be bookable by the doctors. So if you need a GP appointment outside normal working hours, please let the doctor know when you speak to them. Please note that no other service will be available during these times e.g. appointment booking or general queries.

Appointment System Update


Further to last month’s announcement, I can confirm that the practice will be implementing a new appointment system on 2nd September.


The new system will be a call back system which has been successfully implemented at many practices across Suffolk. Our medical receptionists will continue to take details from patients and will determine how they can best help them. This may include booking an appointment with a practice nurse or HCA, directing to a pharmacist, booking a minor illness appointment with a nurse practitioner, or liaising with a doctor on the patient’s behalf.


Where a patient needs to talk to a doctor, they will be placed on the list of the doctor of their choice who will call them back within an agreed time slot. They will discuss the patient’s problem with them and if necessary arrange for them to see them or another clinician the same day.


The system is an on-the-day only system. There will be no pre-bookable appointments. These will not be needed as patients will be able to speak to a doctor and see them the same day if necessary. The only exceptions to pre-booking will be patients with medial conditions which require arrangements to be made for them to attend the practice.


We will be holding open days at East Bergholt and Capel on the afternoons of 23rd July at The Vine Lounge, Capel St Mary and 24th July at our practice in East Bergholt, where we will be able to explain the new system and answer any questions on either the appointment system or any other aspect of the practice. In the meantime, information leaflets will be available in waiting rooms and on our website which explain the new system. We want to ensure the new system will improve access when we introduce it and value your feedback to enable us to finalise the details.

New Appointment Cancellation Service


If you need to cancel an appointment, you can now send us a text message. This should help reduce the number of non-attended appointments and also provide a simple method for patients to let us know they need to cancel rather than wait in the telephone queue first thing in the morning.


To cancel an appointment, simply send a message to 07562618401 and include your name, date of birth and the date and time of the appointment you wish to cancel. Please note that this number can only be used for appointment cancellations. Any other enquires will not be answered if sent to this number.

Christmas Jumper Week!

- Posted 17th December 2018

Week commencing 17th December all Clinicians and Administration staff will be wearing Christmas jumpers to support “Save the Children”.

Flu 2018

Patients who are eligible for a free flu vaccination this year will receive personal letters inviting them to one or more flu clinics we have organised.


The vaccination programme is complex this year as there are three different vaccines aimed at specific age groups. Also, the practice will take delivery of these vaccines through September, October and early November.


Some patients will therefore not receive an invite letter until late October, but the advice from Public Health England is that vaccination in November will still offer protection in time for when influenza activity starts to increase which is usually early December.


It is therefore important that when you receive your letter you make every effort to attend on the clinic date(s) specified. Patients who believe they are eligible but have not received a letter, should wait until 31st October before contacting the practice.

Posted - 10th September 2018


Capel Premises - Week commencing 24th September 2018

Alterations to the Capel surgery waiting area and receptionist room will be undertaken during the week commencing 24th September.


To enable the work to take place and to minimise health and safety risks to both staff and patients, we will operate a restricted service at Capel from Friday 21st September to Friday 28th September. During this time we will have the same number of doctor, nurse and phlebotomy appointments available, but these will be offered mainly at our East Bergholt site. Thank you for your understanding over this period.

Posted - 23rd August 2018

BEAT - Eating Disorders Awareness Week

26th Feb - 4th March 2018

BEAT is the UK's eating disorder charity. The charity are a champion, guide or friend to anyone affected by eating disorders, giving individuals experiencing an eating disorder and their loved ones a place where they feel listened to, supported and empowered.

For more information on who they are, what they do and how they could help you or a loved one please go to their website.

Posted - Wednesday 28th February 2018


Capel St Mary - Building Refurbishment

The refurbishment dates have been confirmed as 

Monday 5th March until Thursday 29th March.

During this period we will only be able to operate out of one clinical room whilst the other two are being upgraded. During this time a doctor will be available but all nurse clinics will be temporarily moved to East Bergholt. If a nurse is needed urgently at Capel then one of our nurses will attend as necessary.


Over this period, we would be grateful for your understanding. We will open all clinical rooms as soon as possible which may be before 29th March. Note that phlebotomy appointments are not affected.

Posted - Monday 19th February 2018


Capel St Mary - Building Refurbishment

Over the past few months the Practice has been planning to refurbish the Capel Building. We have applied for financial support from NHS England and this has now been approved, so we are now finalising plans. Essentially, we will be replacing the current front doors with automated doors, and completely refurbishing the two doctors’ rooms and the nurse treatment room. We will also take the opportunity to redecorate. Separately, we are also looking at options for improving the waiting area.


We anticipate work will take place through March and as soon as we have exact dates we will inform patents.


We aim to complete the work by mid-April when we will have a building which is easier to access physically, safer, easier to clean and offers a much improved environment for our staff to work in and our patients to visit!

Posted - Monday 12th February 2018

Sue Ryder - "Dementia Together"

A representative from the Sue Ryder "Dementia Together" team will be visiting the practice on a monthly basis!

Feel free to drop into our East Bergholt site on the first Monday of each month during the hours of 10am - 1pm. These sessions are all drop in's, so no appointment is necessary.

Any questions concerning Dementia whether it be about yourself or a loved one then please come along!

Posted -Monday 29th January 2018

Press release 24th December 2015

GP practice is delivering good patient care

The Constable Country Medical Practice has been removed from special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The practice, with surgeries in Capel St Mary and East Bergholt, has now been rated as “Good” overall, the same rating as around 80% of practices in the country, and “Good” in every area assessed.

In April 2015 the practice was placed in special measures by the CQC, meaning improvements were needed to ensure the 10,800 patients received the best healthcare services. A further inspection last month showed that the practice has responded quickly to the issues raised and moved to make the needed improvements.

In its most recent findings the CQC highlights that patients have reported the practice service has improved significantly and staff are helpful, caring and treat them with compassion, dignity and respect.  The report also shows that the needs of patients are effectively assessed and staff receive extra training to help them better deliver good patient care. A new appointment booking service has been introduced to ensure patients who need advice from a GP are seen the same day. The practice is committed to never turning a patient away. Practice GP Partners and management team have been praised for their support of staff to do a good job. Patient feedback is proactively sought and a new patient participation group has been created, so that patients can be more involved in how the practice operates.

Dr Fayez Ayache, Senior GP Partner from Constable Country Medical Practice, said: “This new rating is fantastic news and we are thankful for the overwhelming support we have received from our patients, staff and the local community in making it happen.

“Being placed in special measures was obviously a disappointment. However we were determined to make the needed improvements as quickly as possible and with help of our management team we have done that. Over the last few months we have addressed the areas of concern so that the community now has a GP practice which is effective in delivering good patient care. The CQC has indicated that the action we have taken represents the most effective turnaround of any GP practice placed in special measures.

“The creation of a patient participation group is an integral part of the changes. We look forward to working with those patient members to identify how we can further improve and respond to patients’ needs.”

Dr Mark Shenton, chairman of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, of which the practice is a member said: “I welcome this turnaround by the practice which shows a real determination by every staff member to make primary health care services are the best they can be. The CCG will continue to support Constable Country Medical Practice and help them maintain good patient care.”




Issued by The Communications Team on 01473 770014


NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group –


NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group –


Statement of Intent Regarding IT Developments

New contractual requirements came into force from 1 April 2014 requiring that GP Practices should make available a statement of intent in relation to the IT developments.

Click here to read our statement

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