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 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 Please also look out for posters and publicity; updates will also be posted on our website.

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