** Covid Vaccination Programme **

All information regarding our Covid-19 Vaccination programme can be found by following the link below to our dedicated Covid-19 vaccine website page.

We are asking that patients refrain from calling and emailing the surgery asking about the vaccine. Our staff are incredibly busy, with both the vaccine rollout and dealing with our usual daily enquires/bookings. Our resources and phone lines need to be kept clear for those most at need.

Do be reassured that you will be contacted when it is your turn for the vaccine.

The website is being updated regularly, so please continue to check here.

Covid-19 Vaccine Programme

Update: Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

The MHRA is carrying out a detailed review of reports of a very rare blood clotting problem affecting a small number of people who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

The problem can also happen in people who have not been vaccinated and it’s not yet clear why it affects some people.

The COVID-19 vaccine can help stop you getting seriously ill or dying from coronavirus.

If you have already had your vaccination, there is no change to your planned second dose unless you had had significant side effects with the first dose.

Call 111 immediately if you get any of these symptoms starting from around 4 days to 4 weeks after being vaccinated:

  • a severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over
  • a headache that’s unusual for you and occurs with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures (fits)
  • a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal (tummy) pain

If you are due your second dose vaccination, you will be contacted by our vaccination team as you approach the 12 mark since your first vaccination to arrange your appointment.

Please do not contact us unless you are concerned that you have gone passed the 12 week mark from your first vaccination.

For people under 30 without other health conditions, it’s currently advised that it’s preferable to have another COVID-19 vaccine instead of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

If you choose to have another COVID-19 vaccine you may have to wait to be protected, but an alternative to AZ will be made available to you by the NHS.

You may wish to go ahead with the AZ vaccination after you have considered all the risks and benefits for you.

The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to receive your vaccination.

Further Information can be found here

Easter Bank Holiday Weekend Closures

Our surgeries will be closed this bank holiday weekend (Friday 2nd – Monday 5th April), with the exception of the Covid-19 Vaccine clinic being held on Saturday at our River Lodge site.

We will reopen on Tuesday 6th April at 08:30.

For urgent problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath or suspected stroke please call 999. If you need to speak with a GP, or require other medical assistance during this time we advise seeking advice from NHS 111 or calling 111 direct.

Thank You and Happy Easter

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (31.03.20)

Statement regarding those newly added to the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable/Shielded Patient Lists

We have received notice that the NHS has added 1.7million people nationally to the list of those considered Clinically Extremely Vulnerable to complications from Covid-19 (also known as the Shielded Patient List). If you have been added this was through central NHS identification rather than by us as a GP surgery.

Those newly added will receive a letter from the government notifying them. We will be able to offer newly-added patients vaccination against Covid-19 as a priority. Please do not contact us about this. We will identify you directly from government lists and invite you in as soon as we have supply of vaccine and appointment availability.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (18.02.2021)

Vaccination Priority Group Update 15th February 2021

Following an update from NHS England, GP lead vaccination sites are now to start inviting Clinically Vulnerable patients in Groups 5 and 6, patients with conditions aged 16-69 years.

Those patients in Group 5, 65-69 years, who have no underlying health conditions are encouraged to accept invitation to attend one of the mass vaccination sites. These patients can book their vaccine direct though the national booking service or by calling 119. 

This decision has been made nationally as a GP lead vaccine site is better suited to identify those patients who are clinically vulnerable.

The conditions which warrant inclusion in Group 6 are those with:

  • chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and severe asthma* (read on for definition)
  • chronic heart disease (and vascular disease)
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic neurological disease including epilepsy
  • Down’s syndrome and aged between 16 and 18
  • severe and profound learning disability
  • diabetes
  • organ, bone marrow and stem cell transplant recipients
  • specific cancers


  • immunosuppression due to disease or treatment
  • no spleen and those with splenic dysfunction
  • morbid obesity (BMI of more than 40)
  • severe mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and those under the regular care of a psychiatrist.

Further information can be found here

Group 6 also includes those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person, someone who has a severe mental illness or whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.

The surgery has made a list of all those patients we believe to be in group 6. If you are in this group you should have received a SMS starting you have been identified for this group and will soon be invited to book your appointment. You do not need to take any further action until you receive your vaccination invitation which will likely come by SMS.

*Severe asthma is defined, for the purposes of vaccination, as anybody who has had more than 2 exacerbations of asthma requiring treatment with swallowed steroids in the past year or any patient who has ever been admitted to hospital as a result of asthma. Please note this means those who were kept in on a ward rather than being treated in A+E before discharge. If this does apply please contact us using the email address below and be as specific as you can regarding the dates of your hospitalisation.

If you believe, having read the criteria, that you have one of the conditions listed and should be in group 6 but have not received a SMS please email esxccg.foundrycovidvaccineenquiries@nhs.net.

Include your name, date of birth, and your clinical details. We will respond as soon as possible but this may take some time as we have a huge number of enquiries. Please try to avoid phoning the surgery with vaccination enquiries.

Call Waiting Times

We have received a number of messages from patients saying that they are finding it difficult to contact us on our main phone line, with some experiencing extremely long delays in getting through.

The following aims to offer explanation, update you as to our actions and advise you on what you can do to help:

Calls about the Covid Vaccine – Patients have been advised not to call our main line regarding the vaccine, to seek updates on our website and wait to be contacted in order to book. We are however still receiving a number of these calls.

]We ask that you continue to follow the advice above. However to alleviate phone pressures we ask that your vaccine queries, not covered on our website, are sent to our dedicated email address: foundrycovidvaccineenquiries@nhs.net

Calls to patients inviting them for vaccine – Our phones have been in use by the team too, inviting those patients who do not have mobiles and SMS messaging set up with the surgery.

More patients in the priority groups to come do however have SMS messaging set up with us which will free up lines moving forward. The messages we send allow a patient to book an appointment directly into our vaccine booking system.

If you wish to provide a mobile number and consent to SMS messaging ready for when you will be called for vaccination, you can do so by emailing the reception team on: hwlhccg.foundryhealthcare@nhs.net

Staff unwell or in isolation – The virus has impacted our staff and their families throughout the pandemic, and continues to do so. With this in mind we have done our best to maintain services on lower than expected staffing levels, which has not always allowed for us to provide a full complement of call handlers.

We have however begun to trial a more thorough system to monitor calls and waiting times, and plan to redeploy any available admin staff when call numbers begin to increase.

We hope this offers some reassurance to those who have experienced delays in reaching us recently.

We are here for you, still providing essential NHS services at this time. Please continue to contact the surgery with your medical concerns.

Thank you for your support.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (11.02.2021)


Covid-19 Vaccine - Astra Zeneca effective for all age groups

Following recent media coverage about the AstraZeneca vaccine, clinicians have provided reassurance that it is effective and should continue to be given to all age groups.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE, said: “Both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are safe and provide high levels of protection against COVID-19, particularly against severe disease. Data from the AstraZeneca trials on immune responses in older people were very reassuring.

“The risk of severe disease and death increase exponentially with age – the priority is to vaccinate as many vulnerable people as possible with either vaccine, to protect more people and save more lives.”

Both vaccines give very high protection against severe disease, which is the primary aim of the first phase of the programme, and both vaccines have good safety profiles. The Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation does not advise a preference for either vaccine in any specific population.


Update on the COVID-19 vaccination programme: national vaccination letters

We are aware that some of our patients are starting to receive letters from the national vaccination booking system. The letters are labelled from the NHS and invite you to book your vaccination appointment.

Please don’t worry, our service is not affected.

These letters are offering the opportunity to book an appointment at one of the larger vaccination centres, such as the Brighton Centre or a local pharmacy

Our vaccination service at Foundry Healthcare is working alongside these other services. You have a choice where you receive your vaccination – either with us at our River Lodge site, or at one of the larger vaccination centres or at a local pharmacy.

Our team will contact you directly to arrange an appointment at our vaccination site. Appointments for the larger vaccination centres and pharmacies are available through the national booking system* set out in the letter – either online or by phone.

*You cannot book to attend our vaccination service through the national booking system. We will contact you.

We thank you for your support. 

I have received a letter, what do I do?

Covid Vaccine Scam Email

Please be aware that we have been informed that there is a scam e-mail in circulation, that looks NHS official, which is offering people a COVID-19 vaccination. We advise you to avoid opening the e-mail and to not click on any links.

As always, the NHS will NEVER:

  • ask people for their bank account or card details
  • ask people for their pin or banking password
  • ask people to prove their identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips

If anyone believes they are a victim of fraud or identify theft they should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (26.01.2021)

Covid Vaccine cancellation texts to patients sent in error

We are reviewing the digital services we have in place for the booking of Covid-19 vaccinations and are currently updating our system. This update has resulted in some patients receiving a text from the surgery stating that their appointment has been cancelled.

Please be assured that this is not in reference to any appointment you currently have booked with us, including appointments already booked for patients to receive the 2nd dose of vaccine.

We apologise for the confusion that this may have caused.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (25.01.2021)

GP Patient Survey - 2021

Some patients registered at this GP practice will soon be invited to take part in a national survey about their experiences of local NHS services.

It covers issues that concern patients, such as access to care and satisfaction with treatment.

If you receive a questionnaire, please help NHS England by filling it in as soon as possible.

It is really important that we hear your views, even if you have received a questionnaire like this before. Your response will help us to improve GP practices and other local NHS services so they better meet your needs.

Follow the link below for further information, including our results for last year (2020).


GP Patient Survey

Tier 5 Lockdown - Update for Shielding Patients

Following last nights announcement that the UK is now under stricter lockdown measures we have today received numerous calls from patients asking to speak to a GP to discuss shielding.

We understand that many of you are extremely anxious about the new restrictions, we are however extremely busy with increased demand. We also have some staff needing to isolate due to the virus, as such we need to prioritise our resources.

We are awaiting further guidance from NHS England and will update the Coronavirus (Covid-19) section of our website when further information becomes available to us. However the current advice is that if you have been asked to shield in any of the previous lockdowns you will need to shield on this occasion too.

We ask those patients with further questions about shielding to seek advice from the Gov.uk website.

Thank you for your understanding.

Foundry Healthcare Lewes (05.01.2021)


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