Notice to Patients

Getting a face-to-face appointment 

We would like to thank all our patients for their patience and support over what has been a challenging year for all.

The practice has remained open throughout the pandemic and seeing our patients is important to us. However, like other services we have to operate in a different way that is safe for you and our staff.

To make sure you get the appointment you need with the most appropriate health professional, we ask that you bear with us a little longer. We are experiencing a high demand for appointments which means it may take longer to get through to us on the telephone.

When we speak to you on the telephone, our receptionists need to ask you about your medical enquiry. They are trained to understand what you are calling about and who may be best placed to help you and how. Your call will be confidential. You may be offered a telephone or video consultation if appropriate. The appointment may be with a GP, nurse or another health professional who is best suited to speak to you about your specific medical enquiry. You will be offered a face-to-face appointment if appropriate.

Social distancing and hand hygiene guidelines are still in place, so we need to make sure the face-to-face appointments we offer you are done in a safe way.

Please also remember you can call NHS111 or see your pharmacist, who may be able to offer you advice and treatment for minor illnesses without an appointment. They will ask you to call us if they think you need to speak to a doctor. 

Thank you.

The River Surgery practice team.


You can now contact us online with a medical, administrative or prescription query by using the link

We aim to respond to your queries within 2 working days. Please do not use this online form for urgent or emergency requests as they may be missed. 


Please note - all incoming and outgoing phone calls at the surgery are recorded for training and quality purposes.


From January 1st 2019 you will no longer be able to return your sharps bins to your local pharmacy. Epping Forest Council has arrangements in place for the disposal of used sharps bins, details of which can be found by clicking on the link below.

Epping Forest sharps bin disposal information


The West Essex Evening and Weekend GP service provided by HUC (Herts Urgent Care) offers additional, pre-booked appointments at convenient times to suit your needs.  

Please see the attached information or contact reception for details.

HUC Patient Information


Currently suspended due to COVID19 restrictions.

Physiotherapy Self Referral

Patients can now find full details of how to complete the self-referral process for Physiotherapy on the EPUT website via the following link:


On this page it explains how patients can complete a Physiotherapy Self-Referral Form themselves and then email or post it to EPUT. Or, patient's can simply phone EPUT directly to discuss the self-referral process, if they would prefer to do so by calling: 01279 827404 (lines open 09:00 – 16:00 Monday to Friday).



Due to the new GDPR requirements, we are no longer be able to text you unless we have your explicit consent. Please call into the surgery to complete a consent form if you have not already done so. 


Please note that you cannot park on the single yellow lines in Rous Road and Hurst Road between the hours of 1 and 2pm. You may park there at any other time. Please also be aware that neighbouring Dene Road is now resident permit parking only. You may want to try and avoid these times when planning your visit to the surgery.


Welcome to The River Surgery

We are confident that our website will provide clear and concise help and give our patients the information they require in an easy and convenient format. It has been designed with the patient’s needs at the forefront of everything, from checking surgery times to letting us know what you think of us.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information


Please don’t contact the surgery to seek a vaccine, we will contact you by text or telephone to book your appointment;

When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments at exactly the time you’re asked to, so that we can avoid queues in the cold weather;

Please continue to follow all the guidance in place to control the virus and save lives, even if you have already had your vaccine.

AstraZeneca (AZ) Vaccine - please click on the link below for the latest guidance.

COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting - GOV.UK (


This is to mitigate any risk that potentially infected patients might book appointments online and attend the practice.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are taking steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all patients and staff at the practice.

We ask that if you have symptoms of a high temperature or a new, continuous cough, or you live with someone that is experiencing any of these symptoms that you self-isolate as per NHS Guidance (see the latest COVID-19 advice).


We are now telephone triaging all appointments with our clinicians when you call to make an appointment. Telephone triage will be the appointment system we use from now on.

Please telephone the surgery from 8am each week day to book a telephone consultation with a clinician.

A clinician will assess your case over the telephone and advice will be given. You may also be offered a video (AccuRx) consultation.

AccuRx Video Link Patient Instructions

You will only be asked to attend the practice for a face to face assessment by the clinician if this is necessary.

Please DO NOT attend the surgery unless advised to do so by a clinician.

Please be assured that you are not 'wasting our time' and that it is important to seek advice if you have any health concerns.

Immunisation for children during COVID-19

Please continue to book in your children for their routine immunisations. As long as all members of the household are well and not displaying symptoms of Coronavirus or other infections, children should have routine childhood immunisations as normal.

We are taking appropriate measures to minimise the risk to staff and patients by reducing the number of people coming into the surgery, therefore only one parent/guardian is to accompany the child.

Cervical smears

We continue to carry out routine cervical smears.

Please telephone the surgery to book your appointment.

B12 injections

We continue to carry out Vitamin B12 injections.

Please telephone the surgery to book your appointment.

If you have any chronic conditions such as asthma / COPD or diabetes and have any concerns, please contact the surgery to arrange a telephone consultation with a clinician. 


Repeat prescriptions can be requested online or posted through our secure letterbox at the staff entrance at the front of the building.

If you have a nominated pharmacy, your prescription will automatically be sent there.

If you do not have a nominated pharmacy please contact the surgery and we will arrange this for you.

We are still providing other routine appointments such as Mother and baby checks, childhood immunisations, vaccinations, dressings and smears. Please contact Reception for further information.

Sepsis Awareness Information

Please click on the leaflet below to find out how to spot Sepsis and serious illness in children.

Spotting Sepsis in Children

Serving You

Our dedicated team are here to treat those minor ailments that occur as well as providing specialist management of long-term conditions and clinics covering a wide range of healthcare issues. The technology also means you can now do a lot of things from the comfort of your home such as order a repeat prescription or cancel an appointment.

Partners in Care

Once registered, patients and healthcare professionals work together to ensure the most appropriate care is provided. This partnership philosophy extends even further and our active patient group exists to make sure that patient needs and the practice offering are always heading in the same direction.

Safeguarding Adults and Children

The River Surgery is committed to protecting children and vulnerable adults and we will make their welfare our highest priority. Where additional support is necessary this will include working with other agencies. If you have any concerns about a child or vulnerable adult please contact the surgery.

Useful safeguarding contacts:

NSPCC helpline: 0808 800 5000 If you're worried about a child, even if you're unsure, contact NSPCC professional counsellors for help, advice and support.
Childline 0800 1111: Offers free, confidential advice and support for any child 18 years or under, whatever the worry.
MIND: Mental Health Support with specific advice on ‘Coronavirus and your wellbeing’.
YoungMinds: Supporting children and young people and their parents/carers with their mental health and wellbeing. Specific advice on managing self-isolation and anxiety about coronavirus.
ICON: Babies cry: You can cope.
SafeLives: Specific resources for domestic abuse and COVID.

IRISi interventions:

REFUGE for women and children against domestic abuse 

The freephone, 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247

Essex Compass

Essex Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0330 333 7 444

Helpline available from 8 am to 8 pm weekdays and 8 am to 1 pm weekends. Messages will be responded to within 24hrs.

Essex Police

If you have any reason to think someone is in immediate danger, or your life may be at risk, call 999.

If you’re deaf, hard of hearing or can't communicate verbally you can register with the emergencySMSservice. Text REGISTER to 999. 

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse or are concerned for someone who is, report it to us by calling 101.

If you’re deaf, hard of hearing or can't communicate verbally: use our textphone service on 18001 101.

Access & Facilities

The surgery has access ramps and toilet facilities for patients who use a wheelchair. The surgery has a car park at the rear. Please note there are parking restrictions in the surrounding roads between 13:00 and 14:00.

A hearing loop is available in reception.

For visually impaired patients, if any assistance is required, please make the receptionist aware. Guide dogs are welcome at the surgery.

(Site updated 07/06/2021)
For appointments and prescriptions please use the Online Services link above. Alternatively, just click here.
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