We have a library of information leaflets designed to give you advice on a wide range of healthcare topics. You can go to the library by clicking the heading above.

Self Treatment of Illnesses and Accidents

There are some patient information leaflets offering practical information and advice on self help for common ailments like back pain, migraine, eczema etc available by clicking here

Colds - There is no cure for the common cold, which lasts for seven to ten days. Take plenty of drinks, use paracetamol for headaches and temperatures and inhale over hot water (do not use boiling water) to relieve nasal congestion. Antibiotics do not have any effect on the common cold.

Sore Throats - Most sore throats are caused by viruses which do not respond to antibiotics. They usually last four to five days and respond to the same treatment as for colds.

Vomiting and Diarrhoea - Again, most cases are due to a viral infection and do not require antibiotics. Treat with frequent small amounts of liquid, avoid milk and food for 24 hours. As the stomach settles, take simple solids such as dry biscuits or toast before returning to a normal diet.

Consult your doctor if: vomiting and/or diarrhoea is accompanied by continuous stomach pains; symptoms persist longer than six hours in an infant or smallchild; an attack comes shortly after a visit abroad; the patient or parent is anxious or worried.

How to look after a child with a temperature - Most childhood infections are caused by viruses and do not respond to antibiotics. The main aim of treatment is to try to bring down your child's temperature and make them feel better.

  1. Give your child paracetamol (Calpol, Disprol etc) at the maximum dose for that age. Children under the age of 16 years should not be given aspirin.
  2. Dress your child in cool clothes eg vests, shorts and keep the room cool.
  3. Give plenty of cool drinks, as fluid is lost with a fever, and encourage small amounts frequently. Try ice lollies etc.
  4. Sponge your child down with lukewarm water and dry them carefully.
  5. Repeat the dose of paracetamol every four hours.
  6. If your child does not improve or appears particularly ill, consult the doctor.
  7. Ill children will always be seen as soon as possible if brought to the surgery. You will not make your child worse by taking them in a pram or car to see the doctor. Often the fresh air makes feverish children feel better.

Back Pain - Back pain is very common and seldom due to anything more than strained muscles or ligaments. X-rays are not usually helpful.

Long term back pain is often related to poor posture, be this at a desk, whilst driving or in bed. Exercise programmes, for example from a physiotherapist, may be of benefit.

Sudden back pain is usually caused by bending or lifting awkwardly - the weight involved need not be great and is in fact often something quite trivial.

If a nerve root is pinched by the muscle spasm, pain may appear to travel down the leg.

The mainstay of treatment is adequate pain relief. Aspirin, paracetamol or anti-inflammatory drugs are all available over the counter and are all that is required for the majority of back pain. They should be taken at regular intervals for several days. If the pain does not ease after a week consult your doctor.

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Gluten Free Prescribing Restrictions

At its January 2014 Board meeting, the Mid Essex CCG agreed restriction prescribing policies for infant milks and gluten free foods.  The final policies can be viewed on their public website. It was agreed that existing patients would be given notice of the change when they next submit their repeat prescription request, with the effect that patients/parents will have at least one month’s notice of the change.  The policies will apply to new patients/parents with immediate effect.  Patients/parents can be go to the public CCG website to view the policies, and can raise any concerns through PALS. Their web address is and their phone number is 01245 459 459   A copy of the restriction policy can be read here: Gluten free food policy Jan 2014 v6[1].pdf Gluten free food policy Jan 2014 v6[1].pdf.


Change of address

If you change name, address or telephone number, please let our receptionists know by writing to us. If you move outside the practice area you will need to find a doctor in your new area. There are instructions on what to do when you move to a new area on the back of your NHS medical card.

Please provide the following information when advising us of a change of address within Halstead.

  • Full name
  • Date of Birth
  • Previous Address
  • New Address
  • Previous Telephone Number
  • New Telephone Number
  • Any other members of the household to be changed


For advice on registering with a new GP, catchment area queries or general GP registration queries, contact or 0300 0032125

Medical education

We teach medical students and sometimes you may be asked to see the doctor or nurse with a student present. You will always be asked beforehand if this is acceptable and you may ask for the student to withdraw if you prefer to have your consultation in private.

Disabled access

There is good access for the disabled to all of our consultation rooms. There are four designated parking bays adjacent to the surgery entrance and the surgery has wide doors to allow for wheelchair access.

Chaperone Policy

The Elizabeth Courtauld Surgery is committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment where patients and staff can be confident that best practice is being followed at all times and the safety of everyone is of paramount importance.

All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required. This chaperone may be a family member or friend. On occasions you may prefer a formal chaperone to be present, i.e. a trained member of staff.


Wherever possible we would ask you to make this request at the time of booking your appointment so that arrangements can be made and your appointment is not delayed in any way. Where this is not possible we will endeavour to provide a formal chaperone at the time of request. However occasionally it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment.

Your healthcare professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations in accordance with our chaperone policy.

If you would like to see a copy of our Chaperone Policy or have any questions or comments regarding this please contact the Practice Manager.

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Where possible, a clinician must be satisfied that a patient understands and consents to a proposed treatment, immunisation or investigation. This will include the nature, purpose, and risks of the procedure, if necessary by the use of drawings, interpreters, videos or other means to ensure that the patient understands, and has enough information to give ‘Informed Consent’

Note to Patient: The doctor should explain the proposed treatment and any alternatives.  You can ask questions and seek further information.  You have the right to refuse this treatment.  You may ask for a relative, friend or nurse to be present.

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Compliments, Comments, Concerns & Complaints

We aim to provide patients with the best care we can, but we will sometimes fall short of the mark. If you have any compliments, comments, concerns or complaints about our service, we want to hear about it.

We would encourage you to speak to whoever you feel most comfortable with - your doctor, a nurse, a receptionist or manager - but if you would prefer to give your feedback in writing, please send it to the Practice Manager, David Shedden, at the address on the Home page. You can also leave a note or letter in the Suggestion Box in the waiting room. If you would like to talk to the Practice Manager, please phone 01787 475 944 and ask for David Shedden.

If you have a complaint to make, please don't be afraid to say how you feel. We welcome feedback to help us improve our standards and you will not be treated any differently because you have complained. We will just do our best to put right anything that has gone wrong.

You can download this form Complaint Form 14 Jun.pdf Complaint Form 14 Jun.pdf  to print out and fill in.

We will ensure that your complaint is investigated thoroughly and as speedily as possible. We will endeavour to resolve verbal complaints on the same day. You will receive an acknowledgment of your written complaint within three working days. We aim to complete any investigations and report back to you within ten days of receipt of your complaint, although, in some cases, more time may be required.

A copy of our complaint form is available for your use.You do not have to use it if you prefer to set out your complaint in your own way or discuss it in person. Please ask if you require assistance in filling out this form and any member of staff will be pleased to help.

Your complaint will then be investigated by the Practice Manager or a suitable Clinician. This person may contact you to ensure that your complaint is fully understood before conducting an investigation. Once this has been completed it will be discussed fully with you. Please note that the Practice Complaints System does not deal with matters of legal liability or compensation.

If you are not happy with our response to your complaint you can also complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. You can get more information about them from You can contact them on the Complaints Helpline on 0345 015 4033, by email at or in writing at The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London. SW1P 4QP.

In 2013-2014 the Practice received a total of 18 written complaints, of which 8 were upheld. This compares to 31 written complaints of which 11 were upheld in 2012-2013.



Infection Control

The Infection Control Lead for the Surgery is Dr John Markham

The Infection Control lead nurse is Nurse Practitioner Karen Balaam

The Infection Control lead administrator is Practice Manager David Shedden

To read our infection control policy, click here 8.1 Practice Policy on Infection Prevention and Control.pdf 8.1 Practice Policy on Infection Prevention and Control.pdf8.1 Practice Policy on Infection Prevention and Control.pdf

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Access to medical records

The practice is registered and complies with the Data Protection Act 1998. Any request for access to notes by a patient, patient’s representative or outside body will be dealt with in accordance with the Act. Please contact the Practice Manager for further information.

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Travel Appointments

A patient requesting a travel appointment with a nurse will first be asked to complete a form giving personal and travel details. This is to allow the nurse to prepare for the appointment.One form must be completed for each traveller. They can be obtained from reception or by downloading it in MS Word Travel Appointments Pre Appt Form.doc Travel Appointments Pre Appt Form.doc or PDF format Travel Appointments Pre Appt Form.pdf Travel Appointments Pre Appt Form.pdf. Shortly after receipt of the form, one of our staff will call you to arrange a travel appointment where you will be given advice and the relevant vaccinations. You may be charged for some of these vaccines.

This form should be submitted ideally 6-8 weeks before travel. The latest date we can receive forms is 3 weeks before departure. After that date, you will have to go to a travel clinic for specialist advice.

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The Surgery

The Elizabeth Courtauld Partnership was formed in December 2002 following the merger of the two well-established practices in Halstead. Halstead Surgery was purpose-built and opened in March 2000. It includes accommodation for district nurses, health visitors and practice nurses.

Facilities now available in the surgery include a large multi-purpose room for baby clinics, facilities for the disabled which include a specially adapted WC, wheelchair access and hearing loop. There is some car parking available for patients attending the surgery. Please do not use these spaces if you go shopping, as you may cause difficulties for other patients trying to attend the surgery.

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Halstead Link

Halstead Link was established in 1989 to foster links between the surgery and the community in Halstead and the surrounding villages. Regular meetings are held in the surgery and details can be obtained from the reception desk. Open meetings are held twice a year, with speakers on topics of medical interest.

Over the years a considerable amount of money and equipment has been donated by individuals and organisations. This has enabled us to provide a wider range of services to our patients. We are very grateful for this generous support.

In the future we would like to see Link as the focus for discussion on what services we should be purchasing for the benfit of you, the patient.

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Halstead Hospital

The local community benefits from its own hospital, originally built in 1884 but extensively developed and rebuilt in recent years. There are inpatient beds, respite care beds and outpatient facilities. A number of the other services, such as physiotherapy and X-ray, are run from the hospital. The doctors are able to admit patients when necessary.

Useful Numbers

Halstead Hospital Ward Sister: 01787 291052

District Nurses: 01787 291022

Health Visitors Clinic: 01787 291034

Outpatients: 01787 291010

Physiotherapy: 01787 291044

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All members of our practice team are bound by strict rules of confidentiality that apply to all aspects of their work. The practice is computerised and is registered under the Data Protection Act. You can be sure that anything you discuss with any member of this practice - family doctor, nurse or receptionist - will stay confidential. Even if you are aged under 16, nothing will be said to anyone - including parents, other family members, care workers or tutors - without your permission.

The only reason why we might have to consider passing on confidential information without your permission, would be to protect you or someone else from serious harm. We would always try to discuss this with you first.

If you are being treated elsewhere it is best if you allow the doctor or nurse to inform the practice of any treatment you are receiving. If you have any worries about confidentiality, please feel free to ask a member of staff.

The Care Record Guarantee is a form of charter which explains in plain English the commitments that the NHS must make in processing patient information in accordance with good Information Governance practice.

It sets out 12 clear commitments to our patients, covering confidentiality and data protection, accuracy of records and the security measures that need to be in place.To read a copy, click here:  Care Record Guarantee.pdf Care Record Guarantee.pdf

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Telephone advice

If you wish to telephone one of the doctors for advice, it is likely that your name and telephone number will be taken, so that the doctor can telephone you back.

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Freedom of Information Publication Scheme

The Elizabeth Courtauld Surgery publication scheme is a complete guide to the information routinely published by the surgery. It is a description of the information about our practice which we make publicly available.

Under Section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Elizabeth Courtauld Surgery has a legal duty to adopt and maintain a Publication Scheme for the publication of practice information.

The purpose of the act is to promote greater openness by public authorites (of which the Elizabeth Courtauld surgery is one).

Click here to download or print a copy.

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Working Together

We are committed to helping you look after your health. This is made possible by working together as a partnership.

What we will do for you

  • We will treat you with courtesy and respect at all times
  • We will treat you as a partner - explaining any medical conditions and discussing possible treatments.
  • We will keep the contents of your health records and discuss them with your doctor, subject to any limitations in the law.
  • We will keep the contents of your health records completely confidential.
  • We will respond immediately to life-threatening conditions.
  • We will see you the same day for urgent problems.
  • We will not keep you waiting at the surgery for more than 30 minutes without an explanation.
  • We will refer you to a specialist when your doctor thinks it is necessary.
  • We will refer you for a second opinion when you and your doctor think it is necessary.
  • We will do our best to obtain good quality hospital services for you.
  • We will listen to any complaints about our service, and reply within two working days.
  • We will help you to get the best from our services, and tell you if you are misusing them.

What you can do for us.

  • Treat us with courtesy and respect at all times
  • Try not to waste the doctor's time with minor ailments - a pharmacist can offer good advice for these.
  • Use emergency services only in a genuine emergency.
  • Cancel appointments you no longer need, so that someone else may use them.
  • Please only ask for a home visit if the patient cannot attend the surgery through illness or infirmity.
  • Tell us how we may improve our services. Constructive advice is always welcome.

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Other Useful Telephone Numbers

Colchester Hospitals: 01206 747474

Chelmsford Hospital: 01245 440761

Samaritans: 01206 561234

Drug Addiction Centre: 01206 287250

RELATE Counselling: 01206 578948

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Zero Tolerance

We strongly support the NHS policy on zero tolerance. Anyone attending the surgery who abuses the GPs, staff or other patients be it verbally, physically or in any threatening manner whatsoever, will risk removal from the practice list. In extreme cases, we may summon the police to remove offenders from the practice premises.

Back Pain

Click this link to open a copy of THE BACK BOOK which you can print or download for free. This gives advice on how you can look after your back.

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Breast Feeding

The surgery hosts a Breastfeeding Clinic on the first Friday of every month. Mums can call in for advice, support and information. They also offer free breast pump hire. Call 0779 561 27 76 for more information or call in on the first Friday between 2:00pm - 4:00pm.

Visit their website for details

You can also get involved on facebook

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NHS Transport to hospital appointments

Click this  link ERS leaflet web version ERS leaflet web version to read the NHS Transport leaflet. It tells you about NHS-funded, non-emergency patient transport and who’s eligible to use it.
This is about journeys to healthcare appointments—not emergency ambulance services for a life-threatening emergency.

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