All posts by Bernadette Murray

Sedatives cannot be prescribed for fear of flying

Elthorne Park Surgery will no longer prescribe sedatives for fear of flying. This policy decision has been made by the GP Partners and is adhered to by all prescribers working in the practice. The reasons for this can be found below:

  • Diazepam is a sedative, which means it makes you sleepy and more relaxed. If there is an emergency during the flight it may impair your ability to concentrate, follow instructions and react to the situation. This could have serious safety consequences for you and those around you.
  • Sedative drugs can make you fall asleep, however when you do sleep it is an unnatural non-REM sleep. This means you won’t move around as much as during natural sleep. This can cause you to be at increased risk of developing a blood clot (DVT) in the leg or even the lung. Blood clots are very dangerous and can even prove fatal. This risk is even greater if your flight is greater than four hours.
  • Whilst most people find benzodiazepines like diazepam sedating, a small number have paradoxical agitation and in aggression. They can also cause disinhibition and lead you to behave in a way that you would not normally. This could impact on your safety as well as that of other passengers and could also get you into trouble with the law.
  • According to the prescribing guidelines doctors follow (BNF) Benzodiazepines are contraindicated (not allowed) in phobia. Your doctor is taking a significant legal risk by prescribing against these guidelines. They are only licensed short term for a crisis in generalised anxiety. If this is the case, you should be getting proper care and support for your mental health and not going on a flight.
  • Diazepam and similar drugs are illegal in a number of countries. They may be confiscated or you may find yourself in trouble with the police.
  • Diazepam stays in your system for quite a while. If your job requires you to submit to random drug testing you may fail this having taken diazepam.
  • We appreciate that fear of flying is very real and very frightening. A much better approach is to tackle this properly with a Fear of Flying course run by the airlines and we have listed a number of these below.

Easy Jet Tel 0203 8131644

British Airways  Tel 01252 793250

Virgin  Tel 01423 714900


Changes to Extended Access HUB – from October 2022

Dear Patients,

The Extended Access Hub (evening and weekends GP service) will be changing from 1st October.

Florence Road Surgery has been nominated by South Central Ealing Primary Care Network (PCN)* to be the host practice of the new service.

Florence Road Surgery has been hosting the existing HUB (Ealing CCG) service for over 4 years now and we would like to continue providing the best possible out-of-hours service to our Primary Care Network Patients.

The main difference between the current HUB service and the new PCN service will be that the new service will only be available to Patients of our 5 PCN Practices only (rather than all 76 Ealing CCG Practices). This will increase patient access to the Extended Access service, improve the appropriateness of booking and encourage closer integration of the PCN.

Additionally, the range of services will increase. The current service only offers access to GP and Practice Nurse appointments. Under the new contract, Patients will have access to other healthcare professionals such as Clinical Pharmacist and Pharmacy Technicians (who would be able to assist with medication queries out of hours), Health Care Assistants and Social Prescribers.

The new core hours of the new Extended Access Hub will be:

Monday – Friday     6.30pm – 8pm

Saturday                   9am – 5pm

If you would like to provide feedback regarding these changes, please email with “Extended Access” in the subject  or write to

Florence Road Surgery

26 Florence Road, Ealing, W5 3TX

*South Central Ealing Primary Care Network Practices are:

Florence Road Surgery

Ealing Park Health Centre

Elthorne Park Surgery

Northfields Surgery

Grosvenor Hours Surgery

Appointments update

March 2022

Dear Patients

If you have Covid symptoms, please visit  or dial 111 if you have COVID symptoms.

  • Our GP surgery is open from 08:00 to 18:30 (core hours), except on weekends and bank holidays
  • If you need non-covid medical help during the weekend please  visit  or call 111.
  • If you have a medical emergency, please dial 999 as usual


We offer daily triage calls from our GPs. They will assist you via telephone and if you need to be seen in person the GP will arrange a face to face appointment. You can also submit an econsult at any time of the day and it will be reviewed during working hours and you will be contacted by a GP or another clinician.  Our nurses see patients daily and we also have the following on site:

Clinical Pharmacist – to help with your medication reviews

Social Prescriber – to assist with help that is not clinical

Physiotherapist – works one day a week and will review and treat

Please be give the reception team as much information as possible so they can guide you to the correct practitioner.

For repeat prescriptions you can email:

Your NHS Data – click here for further details

Dear Patient,

You may have heard about the General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection which will be effect from 1st September 2021.

The data held in the GP medical records of patients is used every day to support health and care planning and research in England, helping to find better treatments and improve patient outcomes for everyone. NHS Digital has developed a new way to collect this data, called the General Practice Data for Planning and Research data collection.

We would ask that you review the information below and refrain from abusing any of our team regarding this decision.

For more information please click on this link

You can opt-out by completing the form below, sign it and bring it to our reception:


Your individual care will not be affected if you opt-out using this option.

Covid Vaccine


Update re AZ Covid Vaccination – 09.04.21

See attached documents that should answer any questions you may have regarding the AZ vaccine.




COVID VACINATION – updated 21.01.20

All Ealing Practices are moving over to a text booking system for the Covid Vaccine.  When your patient group is next to be invited for the vaccine, you will receive a text with a link to follow. The link will ask you for your date of birth and then allow you to book an available slot. You can also decline the vaccine. If you do not see any slots this means they have all been booked. You will remain on our list and receive another invite when more vaccines are available. Please click on this link to see a guide to booking your vaccine:

Currently all Ealing GP Practices are using Ealing Town Hall and the Dominion Centre Southall to administer the Covid vaccine – due to specific temperature  storage .

We have limited supplies at the moment and we have been contacting our most at risk over 80 patients in the first instance to attend the Town Hall.  We have no control as to when the vaccines are available but rest assured we will contact you as soon as they are.

You will be asked to consent for the vaccine, this is your decision. For further information regarding the vaccine see:

COVID-19 vaccination – a guide for adults (