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NHS 111

If you've got a medical problem and you're not sure what to do about it, especially if it's a 'minor ailment' such as an earache, a sore throat or a runny nose, NHS 111 can offer help and advice.

You can call them free of charge on 111, or you can go to their website: NHS 111 online 


Have you registered for Patient Access yet?

Patient Access allows you to order repeat prescriptions online, and now it can also be used to view your own medical records. If you're already registered, or you've been given a sheet of registration details, click here - if you're not yet registered, but you'd like to be, please contact the surgery.

If you've got a smartphone, and you're already registered for Patient Access, you can also access your records and order prescriptions online by downloading the myGP app.

Please note that during the Coronavirus/Covid-19 crisis all appointments with the Doctor are for telephone consultations in the first instance, and face-to-face only by special arrangement. We have therefore turned off online appointment booking for the time being; but you can request a telephone appointment online by using eConsult (see below).


If you want to contact us by filling out an online form, instead of ringing us, please click below:

eConsult website static banner.png

Comments, Suggestions and Complaints

Your comments of any kind are always welcome, but because we are a small surgery, generally with only one members of staff in Reception at a time, and therefore with not much time for discussion, we would prefer to receive them in writing. Complaints should also be submitted in writing to ensure that they are dealt with officially. Please address comments and complaints to Julian Le Saux, the Practice Manager. Alternatively, you can send them to Dr Hindmarsh; or if you do not feel able to put what you have to say in writing, you can ask for an appointment for an interview.

All formal complaints will be acknowledged within three working days, and you will receive a reply in writing within two weeks.

If you have a concern or complaint about our practice that can’t be resolved locally, please contact:

NHS Commissioning Board

PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT

Telephone: 0300 311 2233

Email: nhscommissioningboard@hscic.gov.uk



Frequently asked questions


  • When am I entitled to a home visit? Patients are entitled to home visits only if they are unable to get to the surgery for medical reasons, and their condition is medically urgent.
  • When can I be seen out of hours? Patients can sometimes be seen out of hours by special arrangement, eg. as an alternative to a home visit. The same rules about medical urgency apply, and patients who "just turn up" must expect to be sent away if there is nothing seriously wrong with them.
  • What does "medically urgent" mean? Medical urgency means something which must be dealt with quickly or the health of the patient will be seriously harmed. Examples: asthma attacks, heart attacks, acute appendicitis, alarming symptoms during pregnancy.
  • Am I entitled to hospital transport?Surgery staff can no longer make transport arrangements on behalf of the patients. To ask for transport, please contact NSL Care Services - tel 0843 2 241 888. You are eligible for transport if you cannot make your own way by public transport due to
    • Physical disability
    • Visual impairment
    • Mental illness/confusion
    • Difficulties in communicating
    • Registered disabled
    • Or if you have children under the age of 16
    Alternatively, if you are fit to travel in a car, you may be able to arrange a lift via the Voluntary Service on 01580 713185 (a small charge for petrol will be made).
  • Under what circumstances will the Doctor issue an NHS sick note?Only if the period of incapacity for work has lasted for more than 7 days.
    • If employers demand a sick note for shorter periods, a private fee will be charged, which the employer should pay.
    • We only stock self-certification forms for the self-employed. If you have an employer, and he/she wants you to fill out a self-certification form, he/she should be able to supply it to you.
    • If the patient is in hospital, the hospital should issue the sick note.
    • The Doctor cannot issue sick notes if he has not seen the patient about the illness in question, or had some correspondence about it.
  • Do I have to have an appointment to see the Doctor? Yes - we've had an all-appointments system since November 2006.
  • Why does the Doctor charge private fees for some things?Any work for which no fee is payable under the NHS must be charged privately. Examples are:
    • Some holiday vaccinations
    • Taking copies from patients' notes
    • Routine consultations with visitors from abroad (emergencies are treated free)
    • Private sick notes
    • Medical examinations
    • Completion of private insurance claim forms
    We get a tremendous amount of this kind of work every year, and we simply cannot afford to do it without being paid. Our fees are based on recommendations from the British Medical Association.

Covid-19 information

Covid Boosters + Flu Jabs

We are intending to offer Covid Boosters and Flu Jabs simultaneously to all patients aged 50 and above, plus all patients in at-risk groups, in Saturday clinics at St Dunstan's Church. However, these clinics will not be starting until the second part of October, as the delivery of our flu vaccines has been delayed.

Patients aged under 70 will be booked into clinics in November or December, as the over-70s and those in high-risk groups will be prioritised and booked into the first clinics.

Separate arrangements will be made for housebound patients and those in care homes.

If you prefer not to wait, flu jabs are available from pharmacies, and you can book your Covid booster via the National Booking Service (call 119 or search online) - but remember that you can't have a Covid booster until at least six months after your second dose.

Consultations at the Crane Surgery

Due to Covid-19 and our increased workload, the doctors will deal with patients by telephone, rather than face to face, as much as possible.

Please do not come to the surgery unless you have an appointment. Call us in the first instance on 01580 712260. You can also call NHS 111, or visit their website, for advice.

If you are asked to come into the surgery for a face-to-face appointment, please remember to wear a face covering. This rule will remain in place until further notice, for the purpose of good infection control.

Covid Certificates ("Covid Pass")

Please note that surgeries have been told not to issue written statements about patients' covid status. If you want one of these you need to go to NHS COVID Pass - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Long Covid

There is now a Government website with help and advice for people suffering the aftereffects of Covid: Your COVID Recovery | Supporting your recovery after COVID-19

Covid-19 vaccine

Information about walk-in Covid vaccination centres can be found at Vaccination walk-in clinics :: Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk)

Alternatively you can still book a jab by calling 119 or by going online to Book or manage your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Find out more

For videos in other languages, click here

For information about Covid vaccination in our area go to www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/covid19vaccine

For frequently asked questions, go to https://www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/your-health/coronavirus/covid19vaccine/covid-19-vaccination-programme-frequently-asked-questions

For national information about the vaccine visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/

The Principle Trial

Testing of people with COVID-19 symptoms - new phone number

Everyone with symptoms should be encouraged to go online to ask for a test, but there is also now a new phone number, 119, for people who cannot get online or find themselves struggling with the online system. By calling 119 people can also ask questions about a test they've booked or chase results. Phone lines are open from 7am to 11pm.

CORONAVIRUS/Covid-19 (March 2020)

Self-isolating patients who require sick notes should get them from https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note

Mental Health Resources

The Kent Mental Health Team has set up a 24 hour helpline to offer support during the Covid 19 outbreak.  Call 0800 107 0160

You can also text "Kent" to 85258 for 24 hour mental health crisis support via text from trained and experienced volunteer.

Kent and Medway Safe Havens out-of-hours mental health support to anyone aged 16+ in the Kent area, Currently all Havens are running telephone and helpline only Services. Open 6pm-11pm every day (including weekends and bank holidays). Calls and emails answered during opening hours or can leave a message on 07850 655 877; Email: maidstone.mhm@nhs.net

You may also find the following resources useful:

https://www.kooth.com/  online mental wellbeing community -Free, safe and anonymous support for 11-26 year olds


CBT is widely used in the treatment of anxiety and depression. This free course comes in bite-sized sections and is primarily aimed at young people aged between 12-18, however the content is equally beneficial to parents, families, teachers and supporters of young people

Our CQC report, Sept 2016

We were inspected by the CQC in June 2016. Our overall rating was "Good", but they rated us as requiring improvement where the safety of our services was concerned, because they found some out-of-date drugs in our drugs cupboard and we hadn't completed our Infection Control Audit (both of these things have since been rectified). If you would like to see the full report, you can download it by clicking below.

2016-09 FINAL REPORT.pdf


Registering at the Crane Surgery

If you are new to the Cranbrook area (which means Cranbrook, Sissinghurst and Benenden) then we can register you. You do not need proof of ID, address, immigration status or an NHS number in order to register.

You can see a map of our practice area here.

You can get a registration form here.

If you are homeless, there is some helpful information here.


Dr Hindmarsh is Named GP for all Crane Surgery patients

The Government has set a target for all patients at every surgery to have a Named GP, and since Dr Hughes left the practice in September 2015,  Dr Hindmarsh has been the Named GP for all patients at The Crane Surgery.

Our average earnings

All GP practices are required to declare the mean earnings (e.g. average pay) for GP's working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice.


The average pay for GP's working at The Crane Surgery in the last financial year was £36,903 before tax and national insurance. This is for 2 part time GP's and 1 locum GP who worked in the practice for more than 6 months.

Privacy and Data Protection

Our local Data Protection Officer is Pamela Ashe, c/o NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group,  pamela.ashe@nhs.net  .



Our confidentiality policy


Every effort is made to preserve patient confidentiality, and all staff are given full training in this respect. It is our belief that in this practice we will endeavour to protect all information about each patient and only share it with those who have a need to know. We will only release information about patients to third parties outside the Surgery (such as medical insurance companies) if we have the patient's written consent, unless they are other health professionals (eg. midwives, district nurse, hospital consultants). Parents/Guardians are entitled to information about children under sixteen for whom they are responsible, except in special cases such as pregnancy/abortion . Carers are entitled to information about those for whom they care. Otherwise, family members are not automatically entitled to know each other's medical details. If you believe a breach of confidentiality to have taken place, please report it immediately, preferably in writing, to the Practice Manager or Dr Hindmarsh.


Our Information Governance Policy

We ask you for information so that you can receive proper care and treatment. We keep this information, together with details of your care, because it may be needed if we see you again. We may use some of this information for other reasons: for example, to help us protect the health of the public generally and see that the NHS runs efficiently. Information may also be needed to educate tomorrow's clinical staff or to carry out research for the benefit of everyone. Sometimes the law requires us to pass on information: for example, to notify a birth. The NHS Central Register for England & Wales contains basic personal details of all patients registered with a general practitioner - but no clinical information.


You may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS. So that we can all work together for your benefit, we may need to share some information about you. We only ever use or pass on information about you if people have a genuine need for it in your and everyone's interests. Whenever we can we shall remove details which identify you. Law strictly controls the sharing of some types of very sensitive personal information. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.


GDPR, Data Extraction/Data Sharing, and your right to object

From 25th May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the UK Data Protection Act (DPA) replace the Data Protection Act of 1998.

Under GDPR a doctor’s surgery is a ‘data controller’ – ie. an organisation that collects personal data (in our case demographic and health data) and decides how, why, what, when, where and for how long those data are to be processed.

We collect and process data (including both health and demographic data) about our patients because we are required to do so in order to fulfil our statutory obligations as a general practice – ie. our data-collection and data-processing activities are necessary for the purposes of preventative medicine, medical diagnosis, the provision of health care and treatment and the management of health systems or services. By registering as a patient with the Crane Surgery you are giving your implied consent for us to do this.

On occasion we will also share data about our patients with other agencies – for example the hospitals, the community nurses, out-of-hours services or social services – in order to share the care of our patients with those services. Again, by a agreeing to a referral patients are giving implied consent for this information-sharing.

We will share information with Public Health where we have a statutory obligation to do so – for example in cases of food poisoning or contagious disease.

In order to comply with our legal obligations we may also send data to NHS Digital when directed by the Secretary of State for Health under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

We contribute to national clinical audits and will send the data required by NHS Digital when the law allows. This may include demographic data, such as date of birth, and information about your health which is recorded in coded form – for example, the clinical code for diabetes or high blood pressure.

This practice contributes to medical research and may send relevant information to medical research databases, such as the Clinical Practice Research Datalink and QResearch or others – when the law allows.

Other occasions when we may share data with third parties will include the release of data for research purposes (eg. cancer research - but in these cases data should normally be anonymised unless patients have given explicit consent for identifiable data to be used) or releasing information to medical insurance companies or solicitors on request (and in these cases explicit consent from the patient is always required).

Medical records are retained until the patient transfers to another doctor, or until the patient dies. After either of these events has taken place the medical records are still available but can only be accessed for specific reasons (for example if the patient’s new practice contacts us with a query about the medical history).

Patients have a right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if they think their information is being shared wrongly or not kept properly up to date or mishandled in any way.

Patients have the right to access their medical records (in fact we encourage all patients to register for online access to their records), and they also have the right to query and correct any inaccuracies they find.

Patients also have the right to expect that their information will be treated confidentially, that all members of staff working at the practices will be aware of the rules about confidentiality, and that any breaches of confidentiality will be promptly investigated and reported.

Our Data Protection Officer is Julian Le Saux, the Practice Manager. He can be contacted by post at the surgery address, or by telephone on 01580 712260.

You can see GDPR Complaince Statements from the people we work with by clicking here.

2020 Coronavirus (Covid-19) arrangements: During the 2020 Coronavirus cris there are special arrangements in place for data-sharing across health and social care organisations. You can read about them here.


How to withdraw from data-sharing: Unless you have chosen to opt out, your confidential patient information can be used for research and planning. Agencies such as the Department of Health and NHS England may access computerized information about patients in order to compile statistics and plan future health care provision. However, individual patients are able to opt out of this process by going online to https://www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/ . If you wish to opt out in this way and do not feel able to do it for yourself, we can help you.

There is also a form you can fill out and return to us, which enables us to record your opt-out on your medical notes. On the form it says: "If you do not want your personally identifiable patient data to be shared outside of your GP practice for purposes except your own care, you can register an opt-out with your GP practice. This is known as a Type 1 Opt-out." This form can be downloaded by clicking here

It used to be the case that patients were also able to opt out of allowing other medical professionals, such as the ambulance service or people at the hospital, to access their medical details electronically. For example, patients were able – by having a code recorded on their notes – to opt out of their data being uploaded to the national Summary Care Record system, which is accessible to other agencies right across the country. This no longer applies, and even patients who have previously had opt-outs recorded on their notes are now opted back in, because sharing this type of data is considered to be so essential to patient care. Under GDPR, if you consent to be cared for by the medical profession at all, it is taken for granted that you are also consenting to information sharing amongst relevant health professionals for the purposes of your direct care.

Our Disabilities Policy

It is our aim to ensure that our services are just as freely available to people with disabilities as they are to anyone else. We welcome suggestions to improve our disability access.

There is a parking space just outside our front porch which is intended for disabled people. There is a wheelchair-friendly ramp to the front door. If you have difficulty with the front door, please ring the bell and we will come and help you. All parts of the Surgery ground floor are accessible to wheelchairs, and there are special aids in the downstairs toilet.


Codes of conduct: our conduct towards you

  • We will ensure that emergencies can always be accommodated.
  • We will ensure that the patient receives any assistance necessary during the consultation, eg. the services of an interpreter.
  • We will advise patients if there are likely to be any unforseen delays (eg. if the Doctor has to go out on an emergency visit).
  • We will always treat the patient in a friendly and respectful way.
  • We will provide a clean, comfortable and safe environment in the surgery.
  • We will explain to the patient if a practice policy is preventing agreement to a request.
  • We will appreciate the patient's need for confidentiality, both face to face and over the telephone.
  • We will be prepared to explain, slowly and carefully, any instruction given by a member of staff.
  • As a very last resort we do have the right to remove patients from our list. We will not do so, however (other than for threatening behaviour), without explaining the reasons for removal and giving due consideration to the process.


Codes of conduct: your conduct towards us

  • It is your responsibility as a patient not to turn up without an appointment except in an emergency.
  • Whenever you attend the surgery, please check in with the Reception staff
  • The out of hours service (On Call Care) is for emergencies only.
  • If you are feeling increasingly unwell, tell the Reception staff. They can only help if they know.
  • If you cannot attend a booked appointment, or no longer need it, please notify the surgery in order to avoid wasting valuable appointment time.
  • A GP can see four patients at the surgery in the time it takes to make one home visit. Please try and attend the surgery if at all possible.
  • Patients are reminded that the following behaviour is unacceptable and will generally result in immediate removal from the GP's list and a report being made to the Police:
    • Violent behaviour
    • Physical threat/abuse
    • Verbal abuse
    • Racial abuse
    • Wilful damage to surgery premises or property
  • Patients who persistently break Surgery rules or fail to attend for booked appointments may also be removed.
  • The Waiting Room:
    • We expect patients to behave themselves quietly in the Waiting Room, and to show consideration for their fellow-patients who may be feeling poorly and sensitive to noise.
    • Please switch off mobile phones.
    • Toys are provided, but the Waiting Room is not a playground, and we do not expect any running around or throwing.
    • Eating is not allowed in the Waiting Room, except for sweets. Pets, alcohol and smoking are not allowed on the Surgery premises.