Latest News

Extension of non-dispensing period


Unfortunately, we have been informed by Primary Care Support England (PCSE) that our non-dispensing period has been extended. 

Normal service will now resume on Monday 25th March.  

We are so sorry for any incovenience this causes for patients.  This delay is completely out of our control. 


Members of the Dispensary team will be contacting patients who may be affected by this, in the next week or so to discuss further arrangements. 

Patients are asked to continue ordering their medication in the same way as usual and will be informed by dispensary if they will be affected by this delay, and if so, will be asked to nominate a local pharmacy to pick up their medication from.


Over 50? Struggling with your hearing?  Self-refer to Specavers for an assessment and ongoing care.

Please note, due to the temporary non-dispensing period (detailed in post below), today is the last day for any orders to be made to dispensary to be dispensed at Much Birch Surgery. (due to the 5 working day turnaround)
This week, please remember to wait for your text message saying that your medication is ready, before coming to collect.
If you have medication waiting to be collected, and you have received your message to say so, please remember that ALL MEDICATION WILL NEED TO BE PICKED UP BY MONDAY 5th FEB. Any medication remaining after that day will have to be returned to stock as we are not allowed to give out medication from that point (for February/beginning of March)

Management Changes at Much Birch Surgery


** Important preface to the information below :  Patients will see no day-to-day changes at the surgery ** 


Recent Changes to the Practice Partnership 

As you may already know, there have been a number of changes to the practice partnership in the last 2 years. The surgery has gone from 5 GP partners to 1, Dr Downing retired in April 2022, Dr Johnson chose to leave the partnership and become a salaried member of staff in October 2022, Dr Howe left the practice in March 2023 and Dr Horne will be leaving in February 2024.  

Drs Seftel, Johnson, Baxter, Haverty, Clegg and Vaughan will all continue to work at Much Birch Surgery as normal. 

GP Recruitment  

You will also be aware that GP recruitment nationally, particularly into partnerships, is increasingly difficult and despite our best efforts we have been unable to attract new partners. Therefore, the current workload previously shared across 5 partners has fallen to one partner - this is not sustainable. 

GP Federation 

With these management and clinical resource challenges, we have been working alongside our GP Federation (Taurus Healthcare) since August 2022, to help ensure the future resilience of Much Birch Surgery. The Federation was established by all the GP surgeries in Herefordshire in 2012 to provide such support within primary care when necessary.  

They also deliver general practice services on behalf of surgeries too, for example,  our evening and weekend hubs on Thursdays and Saturdays, including the Herefordshire Out-of-hours GP service, the overnight nursing services and Herefordshire Remote Health where they provide greater appointment capacity via a team of remote GPs, this alone has delivered over 60,000 additional appointments for all practices across the County. 

They have also provided some strategic management advice, workshops reviewing our clinical modelling, plus providing additional clinical workforce (GPs and nurses). 

New Legal Partnership 

Having discussed a number of options, the remaining partners (Dr Seftel and Dr Horne) decided that Novation was the best model moving forward, this ensured the least amount of disruption and minimal change for staff and patients plus ensured the long-term sustainability of the practice. 

What does Novation mean ? 

  • The partners will transfer all responsibility for the clinical workforce, operational and financial responsibility for delivering all General Medical Services to Taurus Healthcare.  
  • The practice team will continue to work at the practice as salaried members of Taurus staff.  
  • This alleviates all the management and financial burden from the current partners and will help ensure the Practice’s long term future. 

What changes will you see as a Patient ? 

  • None : The practice will continue to function with the same GPs, nurses, dispensing staff and reception team, so day-to-day you will see no changes. 

Who approved this change and how long will it take  ? 

  • The Integrated Care Board (ICB)  for Herefordshire and Worcestershire  
  • The application has been approved and expected to begin operating from February 2024. 

 Building Purchase  

A condition of the approval includes the purchase of the practice building (by Taurus), this will ensure the practice continues to operate from the current location. 


Dispensing Service 

As part of the transfer, regulatory rules require us to temporarily stop dispensing.

Non-Dispensing period will be between Tuesday 6th February to Sunday 24th March 


Repeat Medication  

We have made arrangements for this period, particularly if you are receiving repeat medication. If your renewal falls within this period you will be given 2 x 28 days supply.  

Auto Notification : Dispensary will be working hard to complete all prescription requests, we will notify you once your prescription is ready for collection by text message. If you have not received a notification after 5 working days of your prescription request approval, please call dispensary to talk further on your matter. 


Prescription Collection Between Tuesday 6th February  to Sunday 24th March:

During this period all other prescriptions will be available through local pharmacies, you can choose your nearest/preferred branch.   

If you have any queries about this, please call dispensary between hours of 09.00-17.00 on 01981 540310 option 3. 


Contact details and mobile number. 

We use mobile text messaging for much of our day-to-day communication with patients, please ensure we have your correct details to avoid missing important information.  

To update us please email on : 


Thank you

Dr Avril Seftel & Dr Dominic Horne 


Much Birch Surgery and the Dispensary will be closed for the afternoon on Thursday 11 January, 12.15-17.00, for essential staff training. If you need medical advice please ring NHS 111 or call back the following day, or use our online enquiry service - Contact us about your request ( If your query is urgent and cannot wait until the following morning, please call back after 5pm but be aware the phone lines will be very busy. For a medical emergency please call 999. Thank you.

New drug available for breast cancer treatment

NHS England recently announced the availability of the drug Anastrozole as a preventative treatment for those with a family history of breast cancer.


If you think that you may be eligible to receive this drug, please complete this form and send it direct to the Genetics Unit in Birmingham:

Address: WMFACS, Clinical Genetics Unit, Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TG.


They will then assess whether Anastrozole will be suitable for you and will respond to you direct.


All patients over 65 years, and those under 65 years, with an underlying health condition are eligible for a flu vaccination at Much Birch Surgery.
Enquire with Reception today to find out if you are eligible and book in.  Ring 01981 540 310 or use our online consult option by clicking the below link:


Happy Christmas!

We wish all our patients a very Happy Christmas and happy and health New Year! We will be closed on the Bank Holidays - 25th Dec, 26th Dec and 1st Jan.  Please order any medication by Monday 18th December to be able to pick up on the Friday 22nd Dec. Any orders placed after this time will be completed after the Christmas long weekend. As we are only closed on the 3 bank holidays, you do not need to order extra or earlier than you usually would.  If you need medical advice during the weekends and bank holidays, please call NHS 111. 

Flu Vaccines 2023

We are currently planning our Saturday Flu Clinics and the invitations will be sent out in August.   

The first batch of invitations will be sent by text to all eligible patients with mobile phone numbers on our records. If you have a smartphone, you will be able to book your appointment directly.  If you do not have a smartphone but receive the text message, you can either pop in or call the Surgery after 2pm to book your appointment.  

Patients without a mobile phone number on our records will be called on their landline or sent a letter, if they do not have a phone. 

We will be holding several clinics in October and will invite in age order.  Please wait to be invited.  If you have not heard from us by the end of September, please pop in or call us after 2pm from the 1st October.   

We have over 2000 patients to invite for vaccination this year, we're going to be very busy inviting all eligible patients as well as providing our usual service. 

Autumn Covid Vaccinations 2023

Taurus Healthcare and NHS England will be inviting eligible patients soon. 

If you wish to check your eligibility in the meantime and book directly with the National Booking Service, please call 119.

 Unfortunately this year, we will be unable to offer them at Much Birch Surgery. 


Due to high temperatures, the Dispensary collection unit in the carpark is closed for the summer.

Please collect medication from the Dispensary, inside the surgery. Opening times remain 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.


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Hayfever treatment


Prescribing of over the counter medicines is changing

Prescribing of over the counter medicines is changing

Herefordshire Remote Health (HRH)

When ringing the surgery with an urgent query that needs same day advice,
you may be offered a telephone call with one of our HRH (Herefordshire Remote Health) team.

HRH is a team of GPs, Advanced Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Associates who operate
between practices across Herefordshire, providing telephone appointment support in daytime hours.

They are highly skilled, knowledgeable and experienced and very much part of our surgery's team.
All HRH practitioners have access to your full patient record. They can send prescriptions to our dispensary
or any community pharmacy, as appropriate. This ensures continuity of care and that you
get the right help for your issue or concern.

If your issue can be managed on the phone, you may be offered an appointment with this team.
If, during your phone consultation with the HRH clinician, it is decided that you do need a
face to face appointment, this appointment will be here at the surgery as usual.

This service helps to improve access to appointments on the day for patients, meaning there are more
appointments available in practice for those people who really need a face to face appointment,
have long term conditions or are at a time in their life when the relationship with their
care provider is really important.

We have been using this service since the Autumn and have had very positive feedback from patients.



We are proud to support #AskAboutAsthma by making sure that our patients with asthma are aware of the four asks to manage their asthma: 1. Get an asthma action plan in place 2. Understand how to use inhalers correctly 3. Schedule an asthma review – every year and after every attack 4. Consider air pollution and its impact on lung health Find out more about the campaign here:

Type 1 Diabetes Meet Up

Who is this for?

Adults aged 18+ who have type 1 diabetes and would like to meet others with type 1 diabetes



De Koffie Pot, Left Bank Village, Bridge Street, Hereford, HR4 9DG - upstairs in the Gallery Room



  • Wednesday 12th October 10am-12pm - insulin Smart pens
  • Wednesday 14th December 1-3pm – Patient talk about Diabetes M bolus advisor app


Do I have to pay?

Not for the group, only for any food or drink you have.


Do I have to book?

No, this is a drop in session and you can stay as long as you want to.

Contact: for other enquiries (no need to book)


How can I stay updated about the group?

If you would like to be added to a mailing list, that will send updates about this group, please email: with your full name, and write the following ‘I give permission for my email address to be used to send communication regarding the T1DM meet up group’. We will send the emails confidentially, no one else will be able to see your email address. We cannot send emails without your permission.

Information for Patients Following Referrals to Hospital

Our secretarial staff have had a very high number of calls recently asking for information regarding their referrals.   Unfortunately GP Surgeries in Herefordshire do not have access to Hereford Hospital's Appointments Systems.

We would therefore be grateful if you could telephone The Referral Management Centre on 01432 383100, as this is a dedicated line for patient queries.

If your query relates to a Radiology Referral, please call 01432 364014.