Latest practice news

14th May

Dr Goodwin

Dr Goodwin is on extended leave and we expect her back on 14.8.24, we wish her a speedy recovery.  Dr Farah Dass and Dr Lindsay Fraser-Moodie will be covering her session.

3rd Jan

Sedative Prescribing for Fear of Flying

Sedative Prescribing for Fear of Flying

The Village Surgery does NOT 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:

1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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.

5) 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.

6) 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

Ribbon Cancer Support Group
29th Jun 2023

Ribbon Cancer Support Group

The Harpenden Wellbeing Hub is delighted to announce the launch of a new, local support group for people who have or have had a cancer diagnosis. Working with the Harpenden Trust, and backed by Macmillan, the group will run every Wednesday afternoon (starting 7 June 2023) at the Trust Halls in Southdown (above the Co-op) and will provide a safe space where people can meet and connect with other people who share similar experiences. Whether you want to come and tell your story, have a friendly chat or just listen, we are here to help support you. Come along and find out more. 

RCSG runs every Wednesday (starting 7 June 2023) from 1:30pm to 3.00pm at Harpenden Trust Halls, 130 Southdown Road, Harpenden AL5 1PU.
Telephone 01582 363 143 or email us for more information at

Andy’s Story, "Being told you have cancer is a life changing experience. It’s overwhelming and very difficult to process. Reaching out to support groups really helped me start to come to terms with my diagnosis and planned treatment. Learning there were no support groups in Harpenden led me to starting the Ribbon Cancer Support Group with Ania and Clare and I hope it will play an important role in helping people in the area live with and beyond cancer."

Clare’s Story"As a Cancer Nurse Specialist, having support in the local community for people living with cancer is really important and I’m excited to be involved with the Ribbon Cancer Support Group and the Harpenden Trust."

Ania’s Story, "After receiving the ‘all clear’ from my oncologist I found a post-cancer reality difficult to cope with. Having to deal with so many side effects and constant fatigue made me feel alienated among people who have not experienced cancer. I felt there was a need for a cancer support group in Harpenden and I’m very excited to be involved in this project. I believe it will be helpful for people at any stage of their ‘cancer journey’." 


11th Jun 2023

New staff

We were very sad to see Dr Katharine Solomons leave the practice on the 12th May after 24 years of service. We thank her for all she has done for our practice and patients and wish her well for the future. We are glad to be able to announce to you that from the end of June, Dr Solomons' patients will be looked after by Dr Emma Wright who will be joining the team as a salaried GP working Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the Harpenden surgery.

We are also delighted to inform you that Dr Louise Plumtree, who many of you will have already met when she was working as a locum for Dr Dass has joined us as a GP partner and will be working in both surgeries all day Monday and Tuesday and on Wednesday mornings. Dr Plumtree has a particular interest in dermatology. 

We have also recently welcomed Hannah Moor to our nursing team. Hannah has a lot of experience and is a wonderful addition to the nursing team. She will be working in both Harpenden and Wheathampstead surgeries. 


6th Jan 2023

MMR for all

We are keen to vaccinate as many patients as possible who have not previously had the MMR (Measles/Mumps/Rubella) vaccine in line with the governemnt's 'MMR for all' campaign. This is particularly important when travelling and for patients born before MMR was introduced and after the illnesses were commonly circulating (approx born between 1970-1988). For more information please see: MMR for all: general guide - GOV.UK ( and contact the surgery if you would like an appointment.

26th Oct 2022

Farewell to Dr Ingram

It is with great sadness that we advise that Dr Ingram is retiring after 34 years at the practice. He has been a joy to work with and we wish him all the best for his retirement. Dr Ingram and Dr Whiteford's patients will be allocated a new GP from our current partners following Dr Wall's decision not to take the partnership position. Please be patient whilst we complete this allocation and you will be informed of your named GP asap via text message.

7th Feb 2022

Green Impact

This practice is delighted to be signed up to the Green Impact for Health Toolkit and is actively taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint. The climate emergency is also a health emergency, and health care in the UK contributes 5.4% of the UK's carbon emissions. We need to enhance the health of our current population without compromising the health of future generations, and this means operating within the sustainable boundaries of the planet. Fortunately most of the solutions for the planet also make our health better - for example eating a mainly plant-based diet, engaging in active travel and exercise in nature, avoiding smoking, reducing pollution etc all enhance our health and reduce our need for medications, with further benefits to the NHS, your health and the carbon footprint of healthcare. Take a look at to learn more about this.

23rd Nov 2021


Today the Harpenden Vaccination Centre has administered 50,000 vaccinations! We are so proud of this and we would like to say 'thank you' to all our wonderful volunteers for your incredible efforts towards this amount.

29th Oct 2021

FAQ regarding covid boosters and third primary doses