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The Vale Medical Centre - Telephone: 020 8291 7007

The Vale Medical Centre
195-197 Perry Vale
Forest Hill
SE23 2JF
Telephone: 020 8291 7007
Fax: Please Email the Practice

Attention: If your employer has requested a medical certificate please click here


Update for 5 April 2020 




Early last week there was a headline in The Metro that said, “He gave his life – they had a party”. It was referring to the death of a doctor treating patients for the virus while there were still people gathering in large groups having fun. Yes the minority, and it looks like we are starting to take this issue much more seriously than before (well done!), but as we have seen from Friday, there were nurses who have died – doing their job treating patients, and there will be more!  So, please remember, we need to stay at home whenever possible. Thank you!


Without overdoing the point, please watch this footage. Just 3 mins of your time.


The Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel Centre in East London is now open. The effort has been biblical, the results miraculous.  Whatever it looks like on the TV, in reality it is bigger! Super-quick building and not a moment too soon.  The main wave of patients will probably hit next week. But anyone who ends up being admitted there will be seriously unwell. This is a specialist hospital only dealing with Covid-19.

Well done to all who have volunteered to work there and put their own lives at risk!


As well as the new hospital’s capacity, you will have seen that the NHS have agreed the use of beds in many private hospitals to supplement the increasing need. Nearly all the beds within the NHS are now being prioritised for Corona, resulting in many non-urgent operations and care being delayed. They will get reinstated in due course.


We are getting quite a few calls from patients who have heard on the news that the NHS have sent letters to all those they believe are at significant risk, but they haven’t received one, and believe they are at risk.  I am afraid we have not had the criteria used by the NHS to determine the risk level of those who have received letters, and so we cannot check / confirm the list at this stage. We are also unable to add people to this list or create these letters on your behalf despite some people being told that we can.


The critical issue remains - if you are feeling unwell with the Covid-19 symptoms, contact NHS 111 for guidance / support.


The Easter weekend is nearly upon us, and it is anticipated there will be a need for additional resources within the NHS. Therefore, we are opening on Good Friday and Easter Monday between 8:00am and 6:30pm. The current access rules will still apply though, so you will need to call us before coming to see us. Please note that we will only have a limited staff capacity on duty on these two days to deal with queries.


Rudyard Kipling kept six honest serving men and they taught him all he knew.  Their names were: : WHAT, WHY, WHEN, HOW, WHERE AND WHO.

What will we have learned through this time? Try and construct sentences using these questions. It may be questions about how well the family coped:

  • What would your family do differently in a similar circumstance?
  • Why didn’t we exercise more?
  • When will we stop arguing about what to watch on TV?
  • How do we make sure that we are following all the proper advice?
  • Where do we get advice from in an emergency?
  • Who should I have spent more time Skyping?


Finally – a bit of FAMILY fun if you haven’t already seen it on Youtube, search for: ‘The Marsh Family – Les Miserable’ 






Just remember:

  • Prescriptions can be ordered via Patient Access, our website at or put your request on the usual form in our post box (attached to our metal gate at the street entrance).
  • Fit notes are available online. Go to for details.
  • Don’t forget you can see past updates by visiting our webpage at:

There will be another update in the week.


Hoping you manage to keep safe and well!

From your Practice Team at

The Vale Medical Centre


Update for 29 March 2020 


26 March 8:00 pm.  If you made an expression of thanks for the NHS workers – a big thank you.  It could have been applause, banging dustbins – anything (quite an emotional time!).  The main front line staff were very gratified, as were we, but it’s the front-line staff who are really pulling out all the stops right now - doing an amazing job. 

There have been a number of emails and cards thanking the practice for our updates and being open for you.  Thank you!

If you have been one of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers to support the NHS and help the country and your neighbours through this – more BIG Thank You’s.


When you come to the practice now, you will be met by staff wearing face masks as a minimum.  This to provide some protection for our staff and equally reduce the chance of cross contamination between us. We are no longer able to do throat examinations, as this area of the body will hold the greatest chance of infection. 


A QUICK HOME ASSESSSMENT YOU CAN TRY. IT’S CALLED THE ROTH SCORE after the doctor who developed it.  It is designed to assess respiratory distress – one of the possible signs of Covid-19.

  1. Take a deep breath and count out loud from 1 to 30.  If you managed 30 the likelihood is your lung capacity is doing well.
  2. If you didn’t make it to 30. How many seconds was it until you needed to take a breath?
  3. If the counting time is UNDER 8 seconds, you may need to take advice / have it checked via NHS 111.


We are still aiming to provide a full service here at your practice.  But remember that in the event of incapacity to deliver the service at ours or one of our neighbouring three practices, you may be directed to a different local practice for treatment but will likely still see one of our staff.  If we do have to close, we will update you via email, SMS, the website and posters on our gate with further information.


We have been asked to spread knowledge of a new App that is helping the NHS monitor the spread of the disease.  It has been developed in conjunction with King’s College London. It is simple to use and to be most effective needs to be used daily by as many patients as possible.  Go to: where you will find information on how to download to your smartphone. Thank you!



At the very least wash your hands often!




If you are surrounded by family, we hope you are still enjoying being home together!  Look – not an iPad in sight!  It can be done.


Just remember


There will be another update in the week.

Hoping you manage to keep safe and well!

From your Practice Team at The Vale Medical Centre


Update for 23 MARCH 2020 


So… when the initial news broke over a month ago there was this odd thing called Corona Virus taking hold in China, if you were anything like me you thought little of it.   It was a long way away and unlikely to cause any ripples in Europe. How wrong can one be?  So, for what we believe should be obvious reasons, and sorry for any duplication, please read the following.

It is still early days, but so crucial that we all heed the advice from the medical experts, which currently is:

  • Wash your hands very regularly with soap and water
  • Not gathering in groups outside to socialise, and stay 2 meters apart
  • Being determined to self-isolate if you feel you have the symptoms (temp over 37.8 and or continuous dry cough)
  • Only go out when absolutely necessary
  • If you share a house with someone who has or may have the virus – keep apart, including sleeping / resting / washing
  • If not using a dishwasher – wash and dry kitchen items thoroughly


Regarding visiting the surgery – what happened last week is at least two patients came to the practice who it appeared Corona was their likely illness.  Apart from multiple sources of guidance not to come with those indicators, the result was we spent considerable time decontaminating the rooms they were seen in, and then the rooms were out of action for 48 hours.  Too many visits of that type and we won’t have rooms to offer a service from.


There was a simple poster at another surgery that said –

“I stayed at work for you.  You stay at home for us”.

Wherever possible please follow that simple guide.


It is highly likely services from ours or another local practice will be disrupted in the coming week, and this may mean anyone who needs to be seen after their triage call will be directed to a different local practice.

If there are changes you will of course be advised at the time.


In expectation that someone within your household will get the virus, have you discussed what you will need to do to cope?  Please don’t underestimate the impact the virus could have for you and your family.


Self-Isolating?  You are not alone.  You can contact Sydenham Mutual Aid who are providing community Assistance during Covid-19.  They can help with errands, advice, food prep, shopping, dog-walking, sending post, or just for a chat if you start to feel lonely or need help accessing services.

Call or text them on:    07466 673 185, 07405 845 997, 07404 060 906.

Find more information about Mutual Aid Groups by visiting:


On a lighter note, please see the letter from a 7 year old to the Prime Minister.



We hope you are generally keeping well and safe.  We will update you when other important guidance is issued.

From your Practice Team!


Update for 19 March 2020


Thank you for your understanding as the CoronaVirus begins to take hold.  Clearly we have no idea how long these events will last, but changes at the surgery will last for some time, and will always be open for review in case further restrictions on the service are needed.

The current plan of not offering immediate appointments, and where a doctor speaks with you to determine the best course of action is working well for us, we hope it is for you.

Remember, if you believe your issue is Corona Virus related, do not approach the practice, but use NHS111 on line for initial guidance.  It may be that all you need to do is self isolate.

A local GP who had a serious bout of Corona Virus and pulled through had the following to say when asked: What advice would I give, going forward?

“Each family needs a plan as to what to do when we get sick. This should include calling each other regularly.  Someone who is low risk might be a designated carer, to be with the sick person (even if covered by a mask and more than two metres away). This is better than being alone.“

Just remember:

i.      Prescriptions can be ordered via Patient Access, our website at or put your request on the usual form in our post box.

ii.     Fit notes are available on line. Go to for details.

Our BIG hope; you'll wash your hands often because it may well mean one less person on a ventilator, or even saving a life! Now that’s worth having clean hands for!

When we believe it helpful, we will send further guidance – we are conscious of not wanting to overload you with multiple or duplicated information.

Hoping you manage to keep well!

From your team at

The Vale Medical Centre

Update for 12 March 2020

Due to current concerns with regards to CoronaVirus (Covid-19) with effect from Monday 16th March we will be operating on a telephone triage system only.

If you have a clinical need to be seen by a doctor please telephone the surgery on 0208 291 7007 from 8:00am and the receptionist will put your name on a call-back list for a doctor to call you ASAP.

Attendance for the blood clinic also needs to be approved by the doctor.

Please do not come to the practice unless you have been first contacted by a doctor to attend otherwise we will not be able to see you.

We regret that we have had to take these precautions but it is for the safety of your fellow patients and the staff.

We will notify you ASAP if any changes to this policy occur.

You can find information about Coronavirus on our website at

If you need to order a prescription, please use either patient access, our webpage or post the prescription into the box attached to the front gate.  For any patient that does not at present have a nominated pharmacy, the prescription will be sent to Perry Vale Pharmacy, next door to the surgery for you to collect.

Thank you for your understanding at this time. Dr Jaideep Israel - Partner

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