Patient information

Housing/ Benefit Letter

Housing/Benefit Letters

Culcheth Medical Centre  is committed to supporting our patients. All requests for letters for benefits, council or any other third parties, we will only complete with a formal request from the third party.Please note all requests from the third party will require the patient’s formal consent.We will only complete factual responses. We are not allowed to give an opinion. If in doubt we will refuse to complete the request and may issue a copy of medical records instead with your consent.Be aware we charge for any requests and copies of records and requests can take up to 28 days.


If you are intending to apply for a council home for health reasons, YOU DO NOT NEED A DOCTOR’S LETTER.The Council will write, in confidence, to your doctor if further information is required.GPs receive frequent requests for medical letters and reports in support of housing applications from a variety of sources – the local authority, housing associations, directly from patients and from patients via Citizens Advice Bureaux. The arrangements for seeking GP reports and for payment vary from local authority area to local authority area, and even when clearly agreed are often not implemented by local authority staff. However all requests should come via the Housing Association and not the patient.Information in support an application based on health grounds should be supplied by the applicant using a form provided by the Housing Department (self-assessment). This should not require any input from the GP/practice.Only if additional information is required, should the Housing Department Medical Officer obtain it from the applicant’s doctor, preferably using a standard form, provided the patient has given written consent. The Medical Officer should seek information which is only available to the GP, for example:• the diagnosis;• severity of the illness;• medication;

Do you have Asthma or COPD ?

Changes are being made to Spirometry services in Warrington and we want to know your views on this topic. To have your say please click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Changes to Spirometry Services – Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is Spirometry?

Spirometry is a simple test used to help diagnose and monitor certain lung conditions by measuring how much air you can breathe in and out in one forced breath. A minimum of 3 manoeuvres are

required. It's carried out using a small piece of equipment called a spirometer.

2) What Changes are being made to the Spirometry Services?

Spirometry services in Halton and Warrington were performed by a nurse or doctor in GP surgeries, but in future they will be performed and interpreted by accredited staff from Warrington and Halton Hospital Teaching NHS Foundation Trust with clinical oversight provided by a Senior Respiratory Physiologist.

A further change is that patients who previously had to attend an annual Spirometry Diagnostic Test will now only have the test performed once every three years unless there is a significant clinical deterioration.

3) Why Have changes been made to the Spirometry services?

New national guidance advocates that all Spirometry must be performed and interpreted by Association for Respiratory Technology and Physiology accredited staff and Cheshire and Merseyside ICB’s preferred model of choice is centred upon delivery on a PCN footprint. This coupled with the fact that there is very limited estate available across Primary Care together with the fact that 40 Spirometry’s will need to be performed on a daily basis to meet the required levels of demand means that only a few sites can host the service going forwards.

All the venues are on a main bus route, have free car parking, clinic rooms adjacent to other health services and meet Infection Prevention Control requirements (in terms of six air room changes per hour either through air handling units or hepa air filters).

4) Where can I access Spirometry services in future?

In Halton the venues are:

· Widnes Urgent Treatment Centre on Caldwell Road

· Runcorn Shopping City Halton Health Hub

In Warrington they are:

· Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub on Jubilee Way

· Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub on Barrow Hall Lane

· Bath Street Health & Wellbeing Centre on Legh Street

· Woolston Neighbourhood Hub on Hall Road

5) Can I choose which venue I attend for Spirometry Services?

Yes. As a Patient who accesses Spirometry Services, you will be able to choose which of the above venues you visit. It doesn't matter if you are a resident of Halton or Warrington, you can attend Spirometry Services at whichever venue is most convenient.

6) How will I get to my appointment if I am housebound?

As with other diagnostic tests, patients/carers will be able to book PTS for transportation to the venue of their choice.

7) How will the new service know I am due a Spirometry

Due to the pandemic, there has been no spirometry across Primary Care for three years. This has resulted in a large backlog of patients primarily with COPD across both Warrington and Halton. Clinically an approach has been agreed to Risk Stratify patients, so we identify the patient cohorts that need to be seen first etc. Your Practice will refer you at the appropriate time and then you will be contacted by Warrington and Halton Hospital’s Physiology Department who will be undertaking the Spirometry at your chosen venue.

What times will be available for me to book a Spirometry?

The service initially will work Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am to 5pm.

9) What will happen to my Spirometry result and who will talk to me about the result and any follow up actions required?

Your result and report will be sent back to your GP for actioning, though in some instances there may be a requirement for you to be followed up by a Respiratory Consultant at the hospital.

10) Should I talk to my GP Practice about the changes to Spirometry Services?

This engagement is all about the development of the new Spirometry service. It isn’t anything to do with your individual appointments or other services you might be accessing, so please do not contact your GP Practice about this engagement.

11) Who should I contact to talk about the engagement work on Spirometry Services?

If you have any questions at all, please contact Katie Horan or Matthew Roberts via

12) How long will it take to complete the survey?

Not long. It’s a very short survey with only a few questions. You are welcome to write as much or as little as you’d like. We really look forward to hearing your thoughts.

13) I don’t like completing surveys, can I speak to a person instead?

Yes. You are very welcome to sign up for our online focus group which will be held via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday 26th April at 1pm on Microsoft Teams. To book your place and receive details of how to join the online meeting, please e-mail




There are lots of organisations and schemes that can help you manage through the current cost of living crisis. Some of these are local to Warrington and there are also national schemes available to you.

Please click on the link below for further information.    


We are actively supporting clinical research studies within primary care.

The NHS Constitution states that research is a core function of the NHS. Clinical Research is a major driver of innovation and central to NHS practice for maintaining and developing high standards of patient care. Ultimately, clinical research means patients get access to new treatments, interventions and medicines. Investment in research means better, more cost effective care for patients.

GP Research

National Institute for Health Research

In 2006, the Department of Health set up The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to improve the health and wealth of the nation through Research. The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) was introduced to provide the infrastructure to the NHS to allow high quality research to be set up and delivered efficiently and effectively.

Culcheth  Medical Centre is part of a network of practices participating in research activities for NIHR North West Coast. To find out more about the work of the NIHR Clinical Research Network go to their website.

What is Primary Care Research?

The CRN Primary Care speciality works in collaboration with researchers and primary care practitioners such as GPs’, practice nurses, pharmacists and dentists to promote the successful delivery of research studies in the NHS. A wide range of research studies are supported which look at:

  • Promoting a healthier lifestyle
  • Disease diagnosis and prevention
  • Management of long-term illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension
  • Prevention of future ill-health
  • Treating common conditions such as tonsillitis or influenza

What are the benefits of GP practices taking part in research?

  • It offers patients access to new treatments
  • It brings new dimension to practice and added skills to those involved
  • It provides national gold standard training for research
  • It offers mentorship and support to those involved in research within practice

How can you help and take part?

There are various ways a patient can become involved in studies at Culcheth Medical Centre.  A doctor or nurse may talk to you about a particular study and ask whether you would be interested in participating

  • You may receive a text message from the practice asking whether you would like to participate in research.
  • You may be sent information through the post if we feel you may be a suitable participant
  • You may read information about a current study in the patient waiting room or on the surgery website and wish to take part by contacting your GP or the Research Nurse

All clinical research carried out at our surgeries is thoroughly checked and approved by ethical committees thus ensuring it is appropriate and safe to perform. Your participation is entirely voluntary and can be withdrawn by yourself at any time without any explanation required.

You are under no obligation to participate in any research project

Your care and your relationship with your doctor will not be affected in any way if you decided not to take part in a research study

You will always receive clear information about what taking part in a research study would involve. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and obtain further details about a study. 

If you do agree to take part in a study, you will be asked to sign a consent form. This will clearly state which parts of your notes (if any) may be looked at for the purposes of the research study. Nobody from outside this practice will be given your contact details or have access to your medical records without your prior consent.

Research Changes Lives

Research can save lives, find new treatments and help people be healthier and happier for longer.

Doctors, nurses and other health and social care professionals learn more by doing research. But this is only possible when people, including children and young people, take part in research studies.

In fact, last year, nearly three quarters of a million people took part in health and social care research.

Why take part?

  • You may want to improve health and care for everyone, or because someone you care about has an illness
  • If you have an illness or condition, you might be able to try a new treatment
  • You might learn more about your condition
  • Your health may be monitored more if you take part in some studies

You will help researchers learn important new information

Ask your doctor , nurse or healthcare professional about research you can take part in or look at our research pages below for links to how you can take part.









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