Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Urgent message for ALL PREGNANT WOMEN

Currently seasonal flu is circulating and on the increase across the UK. This year most flu is due to the H1N1 strain of the virus (Swine Flu).

Although usually mild, seasonal flu can be very serious and this year in the UK 17 people have died so far.

This year flu is having a disproportionate effect on pregnant women. We strongly advice all our pregnant patients who have yet to be vaccinated to contact the surgery and arrange to have a flu jab as soon as possible.

Your doctor will, of course, be happy to talk this through with you if you have any concerns.

Monday, November 15, 2010


The seasonal influenza immunisation programme is underway. Please book now for a flu vaccination if you fall into one of the following categories:
-all those aged 65 years and over
-all those aged 6 months or over who suffer from any of the following: chronic respiratory disease and asthma, chronic heart disease, chronic renal disease, chronic liver disease, chronic neurological disease (including stroke, TIA, multiple sclerosis and hereditary and degenerative disease of the central nervous system), diabetes, immunosuppression
-pregnant women NOT in the groups above and who have NOT already received the H1N1 swine flu vaccine
-poultry workers
-those living in long stay residential care homes
-those in receipt of carers allowances or those who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.

We are delighted to announce that two new GP partners have joined the practice. Dr Samantha Cole (who did some locum work for us) and Dr Lisa Gibbons will be covering eight sessions per week between them.

As reported in our summer newsletter Dr Cox has reduced his hours to four sessions per week. To make his list size more manageable it has been necessary to reduce Dr Cox’s list size. He has written to approximately half of the patients on his list to let them know that from 1st November 2010 they will be looked after by Dr Cole and Dr Gibbons. In addition Dr James’s patients will now be looked after by Dr Cole and Dr Gibbons.

Emma Mullenger, one of our health care assistants, will be starting her maternity leave shortly to have her first baby. We wish her all the very best.

Welcome to Sharon Stokes, Community Nurse and John Chilton, Community Matron who will both join the community nursing team during November.

From 6th December 2010, telephone contact with the practice nurses will change. The practice nurses will be running a new telephone triage service called ‘on the day nurse’. The ‘on the day nurse’ will have allotted time between 10:30 and 12:00 to manage queries from patients. The type of queries the nurse can deal with will remain the same ie travel vaccinations, immunisations, wound care and general health enquiries. A nurse will be available during the afternoons to deal with urgent problems and all other queries will be dealt with during the following morning by the on the day nurse.
To help us please make sure that the contact number you leave is current and if you are not available between 10:30 and 12:00 you let the receptionist know the most convenient time to be called back.
This is a new service and we would welcome your comments and feedback.

On 6th December 2010 the GP telephone triage service will be available every afternoon. All requests for same day appointments will be triaged by the doctor on the day. The doctor will often be able to sort a problem out on the phone however if you need an appointment to be seen in the surgery or occasionally a home visit the doctor will arrange this for you whilst you are on the phone.

We will be closed on Christmas Day 25th December 2010 (Sat), Boxing Day 26th December 2010 (Sun), Bank Holiday 27th December 2010 (Mon) and Bank Holiday 28th December 2010 (Tues). Our repeat prescription ordering service is very busy at this time of year, please allow us at least two working days to process your order.

If you have a life threatening emergency when we are closed please dial 999. If you have an urgent medical problem that cannot wait until we are open, the doctor on call can be contacted by telephoning the surgery number on 01404 814447. Your call will automatically transfer to the out of hours service. Devon Doctors can also be contacted directly on 0845 6710 270. Medical advice can be obtained from NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

Our car park is continually congested with cars, many of which could be parked in the land of Canaan car park. We are concerned at the number minor bumps and near misses and if you park in our car park, you do so at your own risk. Please park considerately in the designated parking bays, otherwise you may be asked to move your vehicle before you can attend your appointment. Thank you for your co operation.

There are now two GP consulting rooms and two Nurse Treatment rooms at Whimple. All the rooms will be equipped for general use by either a doctor or a nurse. The aim will be to gradually increase the number of surgery and clinic sessions at Whimple to accommodate more patients from the surrounding area, rather than asking them to travel into Ottery.

As a receptionist is not available at Whimple branch surgery, a patient check in screen is in operation. Please check in via the computer screen in the waiting room when you arrive, it is very easy to use, and will alert the GP or Nurse that you are in the waiting room.

In due course the Practice Nurses plan to increase the number of appointments they offer at Whimple to include asthma, hypertension, Carers etc.

The Whimple surgery provides an ideal environment for training doctors. The aim of our GP Trainers will be to utilise this facility increasingly in the future.

As part of our commitment to the Department of Health Carers Project, we are aiming to provide as many Health and Well Being Checks as possible to our patients who are Carers, between now and the March 2011.

You can request a check if you care for a relative or friend but have so far not registered with us as a Carer or received an invitation from us to attend for a check. At the check one of our nurses usually Vikki or PK will offer you help and advice and if you are eligible a vascular check. More details are available from the receptionists

A Carers Health Check takes an hour to complete. Once a Carers appointment has been made, that patient is allocated a block of the Nurses time for their appointment. It is very disappointing therefore when a patient fails to attend the appointment without giving us prior notice. Valuable time is then lost, which potentially could have been used to benefit several other patients.

We would appreciate a call from you if at any time you become aware that you will be unable to attend any appointment that you have made.

Please be aware that Mixtard 30 insulin (made by Novo Nordisk) will be discontinued at the end of this year. If you currently take this product and have concerns about its discontinuation please telephone to speak to Sarah Olive, Practice Nurse.

Please note that we cannot accept any medicines that are no longer required. These should be returned to the pharmacy from which they were obtained.

The Trust was established in 1990 to provide equipment and facilities that are not normally available from the National Heath Service e.g. nebulisers, heart and blood pressure monitors. Funds are received in the form of donations and bequests usually from patients and their families. Donations are always welcome and can be made through Anne Maher (Trust Secretary) or any of the GP Partners (The Trustees). The registered charity number for the Trust is 1002091

Online ordering is a secure and user friendly way to order your repeat medication via a secure website linked to our clinical computer system. The system is available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year which means you do not have to telephone your order through to the pharmacy or write out an order for us to process. If you are interested to learn more or join the scheme please email coleridgemedicalcentre@nhs.net or speak to one of our receptionists.

Giving up smoking is understood to be the best thing you can do to improve your health. Not only will it reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart and lung disease, you will also save money, improve your skin, teeth and taste and feel healthier and fitter.

At Coleridge Medical Centre we offer one to one support to help you to stop smoking. This is provided by our practice nurses Lucy, Emma and Helen. You will be given the opportunity to meet with the nurse to chat about the various options available to you to help you quit. They will help you create a realistic plan and find the method or combination of methods that will work for you. Regular support is offered through follow-up appointments or telephone contact to keep you motivated and talk about any difficulties you may be facing.

If we can help you please contact us. You will be taking the first step to a healthier lifestyle and future for you and your family.

In early 2011 it is planned to introduce a summary care record for each patient registered with this practice. This record will only contain details of your medication, any allergies you have and whether you have had a bad reaction to any medicines. In the event of an accident or illness away from home, healthcare staff treating you will have access to this important information about you which could be vital.

The Summary Care Record will not replace the medical record that the GPs use here in the Practice, but it can be enriched with information that you and your GP decide may be important for others to know about

In March this year you were sent a letter from NHS Devon outlining these plans and giving you the opportunity to opt out if you don’t wish to have a summary care record. More information can be found at www.nhscarerecords.nhs.uk Please also look out for posters and publicity; updates will also be posted on our website. www.coleridgemedicalcentre.co.uk.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Important Information for Patients Using Newton Poppleford Branch Surgery

After 6th September 2010 Newton Poppleford branch surgery will be closed on Monday mornings. Dr Kerr & Dr Dilley will continue on Wednesdays and Fridays as usual and appointments with Dr Long will be available at Ottery St Mary.

To book an appointment to see a doctor at Newton Poppleford branch surgery please telephone our main number on 01404 814447

The Help Scheme

Our volunteers continue to be as busy as ever and we are extremely grateful for the time they give so freely. In order to keep the service going we have been busily fundraising. As well as the spring raffle Annie Haines and Janet Farrow were kind enough to put on a play for us, Louise Sanders chose us as her nominated charity for the London Marathon and Malcolm Henson made a sponsored parachute jump.
We are very grateful to them and all those who supported the events.

The Ottery Herald has chosen the Help Scheme for their Campaign 2010 which has brought us lots of much needed publicity. If you would like to know more about the Help Scheme brochures are available at the Medical Centre and you can telephone Pat Lane and Jane Ross on 01404 816700.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dr Megan James is leaving the practice

After eight years our Associate GP, Dr James, has decided to leave the practice in order to pursue her career elsewhere.

We hope that Dr James' patients will continue their care with Dr Samantha Coles who is currently one of our Locum GPs.

It is sad to see her leave and we would like to thank her for all the care she has provided for our patients while wishing her our very best for the future.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Whimple Extension is now Complete!

The extension at Whimple Branch Surgery is now complete.

The surgery was re-opened to patients on Monday 5th July 2010.

There are now two extra consulting rooms, plus some additional facilities for the staff working there. We have made some basic improvements to the waiting room to bring in more light, which should be more pleasant for you while you wait for your appointment. We are also planning to install a computerised check-in screen for patients to use, which will alert the doctors and nursing staff when you arrive for your appointment.

We would like to thank you for your patience and tolerance whilst the surgery has been closed, and we are particularly thankful to Mr John Discombe and the Victory Hall Committee for their co-operation with the disruption of the car park.

To make an appointment at the Whimple Branch Surgery please telephone 01404 814447.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Seasonal Flu Vaccinations

The seasonal influenza immunisation programme is nearly upon us.

The first clinic has been set up for Tuesday 21st September 2010. PLEASE DO NOT WAIT FOR US TO WRITE TO YOU, you can book now for a flu vaccination if you fall into one of the following categories:

-all those aged 65 years and over
-all those aged 6 months or over who suffer from any of the following: chronic respiratory disease and asthma, chronic heart disease, chronic renal disease, chronic liver disease, chronic neurological disease (including stroke, TIA, multiple sclerosis and hereditary and degenerative disease of the central nervous system) diabetes, immunosuppression
-pregnant women NOT in the groups above and who have NOT already received the H1N1 swine flu vaccine
-poultry workers
-those living in long stay residential care homes
-those in receipt of carers allowances or those who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Practice Manager appointed

After 21 years, Anne Maher has retired from her role as Practice Manager to take on a new role as our Business Development / Projects Manager.

We are delighted to announce that Sue Stokes is our new Practice Manager.

Dr Nigel de Sousa returns to work

Dr de Sousa has returned to work on a part time basis. Initially, he will be consulting with patients on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.

Dr Tim Cox reduces his hours

After 30 years of full time general practice in Ottery St Mary, Tim Cox has reduced his commitments.

He will be consulting all day on Mondays and on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Dr Jonathan Osborn will be sharing Dr Cox's patient list until the autumn, when the practice will be appointing a new partner.

Dr Cox has stepped down as Senior Partner and has handed the baton into the very safe hands of Dr Dilley. However, he will be continuing with his current clinical commitments for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New website goes live!

After many months of planning our new website went live today. We hope you like it!


Embarrassingly, we just ask that you please don't use the contact forms for the next 48 hours as we are waiting for our web host to update our package!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Slip! Slop! Slap!

It is summertime and hopefully the sun will shine all summer long so it’s time to:
Slip on a shirt
Slop on some sunscreen
Slap on a hat

Living in Devon we have some of the highest levels on sunshine in the UK and those of us who live in the Southwest also have the highest levels of skin cancer in the UK.

Skin cancer is a largely preventable disease but the levels have almost doubled since the 1980’s. There are 2 main types of skin cancer:
-Non-melanoma which is very common (more than 84 500 cases in 2007) and usually easily curable
-Malignant melanoma which is much more serious but less common (10 600 cases in 2007)

Skin cancer is more common the older we get however malignant melanoma is disproportionately high in younger people and is now the most common cancer in the 15-34 year age group. It is twice as common in young women as it is in young men however more young men die from it.

What Causes Skin cancer?
Sun exposure is the main cause of all types of skin cancer

Who is most at risk?
-People with fair hair, who sunburn easily or do not tan easily
-People with a lot of moles, or very large moles and people with a lot of freckles
-People who get repeatedly sunburned have double the risk of melanoma and also an increased risk of non melanoma skin cancer
-People who use sunbeds

Do people survive skin cancer?
Non-melanoma skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma: BCC, and squamous cell carcinoma: SCC) is very common and is usually detected early and is not life threatening.

Melanoma survival rates have increased in the last 20 years and are now amongst the highest for any skin cancer with over 80% of men and 90% of women surviving for more than 5 years.

What should you look for?
A mole that is different from the rest that is changing in any way. Sometimes they can bleed or start itching. The moles may suddenly look very black or you may even notice a different looking new mole. A melanoma can be a large or small mole.
A brown or black streak under a nail
A common site for melanomas is on the chest or back whilst in women they are commonest on the legs.

Non melanoma skin cancers (BCC, SCC)
A sore that never heals
Translucent growth with rolled edges
Waxy feeling scar
A flat or slightly depressed lesion that feels hard to the touch
Commonest on areas of high sun exposure e.g. the “T” at the centre of the face (Forehead/eyes/nose), bald scalps, the V at the nape of the neck and both lower arms.

What to do if you are worried
Make an appointment to see your doctor at Coleridge Medical Centre and we can review the area you are worried about. Most of the time we can review your lesion and reassure you. The majority of non melanoma skin cancers can be treated with a cream called efudix without the need for surgery or referral into hospital. Some non- melanoma skin cancers will need referral to specialist skin doctors either due to their size or position. All suspected melanomas will require urgent referral to the specialists at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

How do you protect yourself from sun damage and skin cancers?
In 1981 the Australians were very worried by the rocketing numbers of skin cancers and so the Slip Slop, Slap campaign was introduced and this significantly raised awareness of the need to protect the skin from the effects of sun damage and how to do it. It is attributed to slowing the rate of growth in skin cancer incidence in Australia.

Slip on a shirt: any shirt will do but try make sure it is one that covers your shoulders and the V of your neck. Ideally if you are going to the beach get the whole family UV protection T shirts even supermarkets sell them now.
Slop on some sunscreen: Choose a factor 30 sunscreen keep it in your bathroom or bedroom and put it on when you get dressed and before you go out and then reapply regularly throughout the day. Always take enough sunscreen for the day if you go out walking or to the beach.
Slap on a hat: the wider brimmed the better as it protects your face AND the back of your neck

Any worries about your skin? Come in and see one of the Coleridge Medical Centre Doctors.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Summary Care Record

NHS Devon is planning to introduce a new system for managing your patient records, so that a brief summary of important information is available to healthcare professionals directly involved in treating you. The new NHS summary care records will be provided for every Devon resident who would like one. NHS Devon believe they will improve patient safety and clinical care. There will be important safeguards about consent and confidentiality. You can also choose not to have one.

What is the NHS summary care record?

Having an NHS summary care record means that any doctor or clinician who is treating you will be able to look at a secure, electronic system and see the following details: what medicines you are taking, any allergies you have, and whether you have had bad reactions to any medicines. This information can be vitally important, especially in an emergency.
The summary care record will not replace your normal health records, and will not contain a full medical history. The summary care record means that if you have an accident, become unwell when you are away from home, or need treatment out of normal hours, then the healthcare staff treating you will have immediate access to important information about you. NHS Devon believe this will help make your care safer and better.
Over time, health professionals treating you may add details about any health problems and summaries of your care. Every time further information is added to your record, you will be asked if you agree.

Patients can also use the information line to find out more information or to request opt-out forms:

The Information Line is open daily from 7am to 10pm on 0845 6038510
Summary Care Record website information is on http://www.nhscarerecords.nhs.uk/

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Coleridge On The Day Doctor


To improve the care offered to Patients with Urgent medical problems, we started a new service on 28th September 2009 called the “On the Day Doctor”.
Every morning, anyone requesting urgent advice or an appointment will be called back by the “On the Day Doctor”.
The “On the Day Doctor” will be running a surgery dedicated to discussing Urgent advice and appointment requests.
The Doctor will often be able to sort a problem out over the phone, however if an appointment at the surgery is needed, the doctor will arrange this for you.
Requests for routine appointments will still be booked in the usual way. Home visits, advice and ongoing problems will be passed to your doctor to be dealt with in the usual way.

Monday, January 11, 2010

ALERT re electronic prescrition requests

Due to technical problems with our internet service provider any electronic prescription requests made via out website from December 2009 may not have been recieved. We have suspended this facility until these issues are resolved and apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please use our email address coleridgemedicalcentre@nhs.net if you want to order presciptions electonically.