Latest News - Dr Hathway and Dr Marriott Farewell Messages

Benzodiazepines and Other Sedating Agents For Fear of Flying

We are often asked to prescribe sedative drugs, such as diazepam (Valium), for fear of flying. We have recently agreed a practice policy (effective July 2023) that we will no longer prescribe these drugs for fear of flying.

There are several good reasons why prescribing of drugs such as diazepam is not safe or recommended:

  • Diazepam and similar drugs are not recommended for treatment of phobias. Aviation specialists do not support their use for fear of flying.
  • Using a sedative medication means you will be sleepy with slower reaction times. This may impact on your ability to respond to an emergency during the flight.
  • If using a sedative during a flight, you may move around less which could increase your risk of developing a blood clot (DVT) in your leg or lung.
  • In a small number of people sedative medications can cause agitation, aggression, or confusion. This could impact on your safety, and those of other passengers.
  • Diazepam and similar drugs are illegal or controlled drugs in some countries. This means bringing them into certain countries, or moving between countries could have legal implications.
  • Diazepam (and other medications) stay in your system for some time. If your job requires you to submit to random drug testing, you may fail this tes

We recognise that fear of flying is real and frightening and we don’t underestimate the impact it can have. We recommend tackling this properly by using self-help resources or considering one of the ‘Fear of Flying’ course run by many airlines. We do not recommend any specific course but you may find the following links useful.

Self-help options

Symptoms – Phobias – NHS (


British Airways   

London Heathrow fear of flying courses | Flying With Confidence


Adult Premium | flyingwithoutfear

Private Letters and Forms

We have recently reviewed requests for GP letters of support or evidence. These sorts of requests are non-NHS work which attract a charge and may be declined.

We do not recommend that patient’s request letters for the following reasons: -

  • Blue badges
  • Housing/changes in accommodation
  • Personal independence payment (PIP)


A doctor's letter will not add anything extra to your application as we can only produce a letter from your records. We have been informed (and is referenced in the links below) that these letters rarely make a difference to your application.

We recommend that patients provide their own information about their medical problems focusing on the impact these have on their lives. If a medical report or evidence from your GP is required, then the report will be sent the practice directly by the council.

Blue Badge scheme local authority guidance (England) - GOV.UK (


Quick guide to PIP for health professionals - GOV.UK (


The practice continues to decline the following private work as our staff do not have the specialist qualifications needed to make these assessments:

  • Fitness to fly (including in pregnancy)
  • Fitness to participate in sporting activities/sponsored activities.

Dr Karen Hathway – GP Partner


I will be leaving Clevedon Medical Centre (CMC) at the end of August to pursue new opportunities. It has been an absolute privilege and honour to be part of the team at Clevedon Medical Centre for the past 2 decades. I have had the opportunity to work with an exceptional team of professionals who are deeply committed to providing high quality care to their patients. I would like to express my gratitude to each member of the team at CMC for their support, collaboration, and friendship.            I would also like to thank the patients who have entrusted their care to me over the years.

During my time at Clevedon Medical Centre, I have held a range of different roles. I started as GP trainee, and I leave as a GP Partner. During that time, I have led the local Musculoskeletal service, worked as team doctor to England netball and performed the role of Gordano Valley Primary care Network Clinical Director. It has been a real privilege to hold these roles and I have enjoyed both the challenges and opportunities they provided.

Much has changed over the years. The small team I first joined at the Green Practice has grown to become the much larger multidisciplinary team at Clevedon Medical Centre. We now have a much more varied team of healthcare professionals including First Contact Practitioners, Paramedics, Social Prescribers, Specialist Nurses, and Physicians Associates who provide an enhanced range of care to our patients. We are working much more closely with other local practices, community services, the voluntary sector and social care to improve the services we can provide to our local population.          A wide range of new digital solutions are also being implemented to improve the care we can offer I feel optimistic that despite the current pressures on the NHS that by embracing these changes Clevedon Medical Centre will move from strength to strength.

I would like to wish all the practice staff and patients best wishes for the future.

Dr Alison Marriott – Salaried GP

After 20 years as a GP at Clevedon Medical Centre it is time for me to explore pastures new, and I will be leaving the practice on 23rd August, taking up a GP job in Bristol.

I will miss being part of a super practice team and will find it particularly hard to say farewell to patients I have known for a significant number of years. It has been the provision of continuity of care that has provided me with job satisfaction over the years, and I appreciate the loyalty and trust provided by patients – I’ll miss you all.

I was a GP trainee at Clevedon Medical Centre in 2000-2001 and following a period of working as locum and having my first baby, I then started as an employed GP at Clevedon in 2002. I remember the new building had just been completed, and we were transitioning from paper to computer records. We were able to admit patients to Clevedon Cottage Hospital from the community and care for them and looked after our own patients out of hours with a pager! So much has changed in the provision of care by GP surgeries over the years.

The NHS has seen significant changes over 20 years, and the practice has seen many staff come and go, a practice merger, and a pandemic to deal with too. The traditional model of Primary Care is changing, but I have no doubt Clevedon Medical Centre will embrace the changes and move forwards with the times.

I wish the practice staff and patients all the best in the coming years, and I am sure I’ll bump into some of you locally over time.

Friends and Family September 2023

In May 2023, 91% of patients who responded to our survey were likely to recommend our service to their friends and family. 


friends and family

Prescription Requests

Please note that due to continues staff shortages our turnaround for prescription requests remains at  72 hours (3 working days).

Green Impact Statement

Clevedon Medical Centre is joining the Green Impact Scheme.



We are currently facing a climate emergency which is not only going to have a huge impact on our planet, but also on our health.

All of us here at Clevedon Medical Centre feel it is important to make sure we are doing everything we can to become a more sustainable practice.

We have two main aims -

1) To help everyone registered with us to be as healthy as possible - so they can reduce their own carbon footprint.

2) Reduce our own carbon footprint and impact on the environment.


We are now part of the Green Impact Scheme and have started work on several projects to improve our green credentials. We are working hard to ensure this will not impact the care we provide and look forward to working with our patients to become a greener, more sustainable practice.


Environmentally Friendly Inhaler Project


As part of our new Green Impact Scheme membership we have started work on some projects to reduce our carbon footprint.


The first, and one of the most important, projects is a move towards more environmentally friendly inhalers.


Inhalers are used for people with breathing conditions, such as asthma or COPD. You may have an inhaler yourself or know someone who does.

Some of these inhalers have a high level of greenhouse gases (which are not harmful to humans), but are bad for the environment.


So our team is looking at where we can change these inhalers to those that have lower levels of greenhouse gases and actually a lot of these might work better for you.

Our number one priority is looking after our patients so we will only change inhalers to ones that we know are as good (and in some cases even better) than the ones you have been using. If you are worried about these changes then please contact the surgery to discuss your concerns.