Latest News

Encouraging pupils to make healthier choices

Research shows that nearly 28% of pupils in Reception are overweight or obese, rising to over 40% of pupils in Year 6.
The NHS Food Scanner app is a handy health hack to make it easier for families to find healthier food and drink options.
Our new Scan, Swipe, Swap activities toolkit uses the excitement of the app to encourage young people to explore what’s in their food and make healthier choices.

Better Health

After successfully kickstarting the nation’s health at launch in 2020, the Better Health campaign is returning in January 2022 with positive and motivating messages to support us all to take action to improve our health. The campaign will show the public the simple steps they can take to help them feel better.

For almost everyone, life in 2020 and 2021 has been fundamentally different. It has prompted people to reflect on what really matters to them, with many of our audience refocusing on family, friends, and health. Recent research revealed that 80% of adults planned to make at least one change to their health and wellbeing in 2021.

Public Health England’s Better Health campaign launches on Tuesday 4th January, to help provide the nation with the resources to take the first steps towards making positive, healthier choices in 2022. As they look towards the start of a new year, people are looking for support to take practical actions that could make them feel better, so January’s Better Health campaign provides just that, whether people want to lose weight, quit smoking or increase their activity levels.

The Better Health website has information and tools available to help get people started. 


A new public health behaviours campaign ‘Stop COVID-19 hanging around’ has launched demonstrating the importance of simple actions, and how they reduce the risks of catching COVID-19 this winter; such as ventilation, face coverings and testing.

With around one in three people with COVID-19 showing no symptoms, the virus could be passed onto others without knowing. With fewer restrictions in place this winter following the success of the vaccination programme, the act of refreshing air in the home when people have visitors, testing before higher risk events and wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces, is even more important for everyone to keep infections down.



NHS England and NHS Improvement, and Public Health England ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign - ‘Lung Cancer Symptoms’ and Abdominal and Urological Symptoms of Cancer’ launched on the 16 August 2021. 

The campaign will seek to address the barriers that are deterring patients from accessing NHS services. This phase focuses on encouraging the public to contact their GP practice if they are worried about a cough that lasts three weeks or more, which could be a sign of lung cancer.

Also if they are worried about symptoms of abdominal and urological cancers such as tummy discomfort or diarrhoea that lasts for three weeks or more, or if they've seen blood in their pee - even just once. 

Your NHS wants to see you. Help Us, Help You.




Giffords Surgery 's 19th July Update


Starting from the 21st June

Starting from Monday 21st June more restrictions have been lifted. 

As we move through each of these phases in the roadmap, we must all remember that COVID-19 remains a part of our lives. We are going to have to keep living our lives differently to keep ourselves and others safe. We must carry on with ‘hands, face, space’. Comply with the COVID-Secure measures that remain in place. Meet outdoors when we can and keep letting fresh air in. Get tested when needed. Get vaccinated when offered. If we all continue to play our part, we will be that bit closer to a future that is more familiar.

It is also important to check in from time to time with others.




As per the government guidelines, from Monday 15th June it will be mandatory for all patients attending a medical environment to wear a face covering. 😷

The safety of our patients and staff is paramount and we ask that you continue to telephone with any enquiries and do not attend the surgery.

For all patients who need to attend for an appointment, we ask that where possible you do so alone.

If you attend and do not have an appointment you will be asked to leave and telephone. 

In what are difficult and ever-changing times for all, we want to express our thanks and gratitude for your patience and continued co-operation.

#helpustohelpyou #stayalertcontrolthevirusprotectthenhs

Hands. Face. Space


Three steps to help protect you and others around you.

HM Government has launched Hands. Face. Space. A new campaign that urges the public to continue to wash their hands, cover their face and make space to control infection rates and avoid a second peak. 

Click the link below for more information on this campaign and how you can help control the virus. 



First Contact Physio

In March 2020 Giffords Surgery employed Emily Thomas in the ‘first contact‘ physiotherapist role, to help improve the care delivered to patients suffering with musculoskeletal conditions.

 If you contact the surgery regarding any joint pains (including upper limb and lower back) you may be offered a direct appointment with Emily rather than a GP.

Alternatively patients can directly request an appointment with the Physio.

Emily will then conduct a phone triage followed by face to face appointment if appropriate.

 She is able to offer advice on exercises, provide rehab information and refer for further care.

This is an excellent step forward in the care of patients with these common conditions.


Mental Health and Wellbeing Numbers and Websites

Mental Health phone Numbers and websites

Samaritans - 116123

Mind information line - 03001233393

SANEline - 03003047000 - 16:30 – 22:30 daily

The Mix - 08088084994 - for under 25’s Sunday to Friday 14:00 – 23:00

Papyrus - 08000684141 10 – for under 35’s 10am to 22:00 daily (suicidal feelings)

CALM – 0800585858 – 17:00 – 00:00

Shout text service 85258

HOPElink – 08000684141 information about anxiety management


LGBT community


Switchboard – 03003300630

Domestic Volience Helpline – 08009995428


Domestic abuse


The National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 08082000247

Mens advice line – 08088010327

Mankind - 01823334244

Victim support – 08081689111


Self Harm



Cruse – 08088081677

Hope again (young persons Cruse) – 08088081677

The Bereavement Trust – 0800435455

WHY – 01373 455255

Survivors bereaved by suicide 03001115065

Dorothy House Hospice - 01225 722988


Loss of a Child


Child Bereavement UK 08000288840

Child Death Helpline – 0800282986

Compassionate Friends – 08451232304


 Online CBT first session is free then £5 for the rest of the course.   one session of online CBT




woebot app. CBT app that checks in daily and tracks mood.

Headspace app




Other support services


Kooth Counselling (online for young people)


Young Melksham offer counselling at the Canberra centre


Wiltshire IAPT (NHS) 01225731335


Wiltshire Mind 01225 706532


Relate offer free counselling to young people (under 18)


Help Counselling 01225 767459!s=1                  


Carers Information


Sometimes just having a chance to talk about how you’re feeling can really make a difference.

Carers Support Wiltshire's Talk and Support Service gives you the opportunity to talk with someone who understands exactly what you’re going through.

If this sounds like something you’d benefit from, please call 0800 181 4118 or email to be registered.

#MindfulnessMoments #DoOneThing #LookingAfterYou



Active Signposting


The surgery implemented a signposting service from April 2019 to assist patients in seeking care from the surgery and other providers such as pharmacists or NHS Choices.

We have trained care navigators to carry out this new service.

Please see below for more information.

Active signposting 2


Improved Access



Improved Access is a Wiltshire-wide initiative  offering increased availability of services and appointments in the evenings and at weekends. This collaboration between practices will ensure all patients in Wiltshire have this option, but you may be offered an appointment at another practice. Appointments are available 6.30pm-8pm, Monday-Friday, with some Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays. Appointment types will vary between face-to-face, telephone consultations, and a mixture of  same-day and bookable appointments, available across the week,with GPs and other healthcare professionals, such as practice nurses or health care assistants.

You are required to give consent to use this service.

To book an appointment, contact your local Surgery during normal opening times.




Do you want to stop smoking?

For support in stopping you can contact your local pharmacy where the majority hold a stop smoking clinic. The surgery no longer offers a stop smoking clinic.

Please see the attached form for more information and details for online support.

Access to Stop Smoking Clinics for Patients

Retirements at Giffords Surgery

Giffords GP Partners Dr Sally Rosser and Dr Maeve Duignan  retired from the Partnership in March 2019. They have over 29 and 15 years respectively delivered superb and committed care to the patient population of Melksham and have been instrumental through their hard work, drive and enthusiasm in making Giffords the successful and happy practice it is today.

We are pleased that Dr’s Rosser and Duignan will be staying on at Giffords for a day a week as retained GPs. We wish them both all the very best in their retirement and thank them for their long and productive careers as GPs here at Giffords Surgery.

We are delighted to welcome Dr Claire Garmston to partnership. Claire has already been with us for 12 months and is looking forward to stepping up to partnership alongside Dr Abby Burgess and Dr Jonathan Osborn.  In addition we have recently welcomed Dr Simon Hornby, Dr Jen Iggulden and Emma Hancock to the clinician team.

Dr Abby Burgess


Health News from the BBC and the NHS

BBC Health
NHS Choices Behind the Headlines
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