We are increasingly asked for our views about the various developments, planning applications and proposals in and around Ottery St Mary. We are also concerned that there are statements around to say that we are at capacity. We do appreciate and understand the anxiety building proposals can bring upon the local community who are quite rightly concerned about existing infrastructure and over development of towns and villages. On that basis, the GP Partners at Coleridge Medical Centre have put together the following statement :
NHS England invests in practices on a per patient basis, so there is an investment mechanism for coping with increased population. If a practice reaches ‘capacity’, then NHS England has the responsibility to commission additional capacity. For example, this might mean additional investment in premises to cover expansion.
Our practice remains open to new patients. We, like the rest of the NHS, are affected by an increase in workload and by difficulties in recruiting doctors and nurses. These factors amongst other things have certainly impacted on the traditional ways of working and the access arrangements that patients have been used to. However, we have developed a system to maintain the safety of our service and ensure that access to our clinicians is prioritised in line with patients’ individual needs and to make best use of our staff skills. This is not about restricting access to GPs; it is about providing good, safe care to patients using a highly-skilled and dedicated team of clinical professionals.
Furthermore, we have policies in place to assist in regulating our list size. Therefore we are not taking part in the voluntary NHS scheme to allow out-of-area patients to register with us and we usually insist that patients leaving our practice area register with a practice closer to their new home.
We are currently in negotiation with Clinton Devon Estates and NHS England to build a new, larger branch surgery for Newton Poppleford. The branch surgery is the subject of a bid for infrastructure funding which has been endorsed in principle by NHS England and is currently going through a ‘due diligence’ process ahead of final approval. The intention would be to move from the existing small branch surgery to a new purpose-built one, which would offer increased capacity.
In the mean time, we would also encourage our patients to help us in the following ways:
- Look after your own health and please do use our ‘stop smoking’ service, take advantage of a free NHS health check and, if applicable, a carer’s health and well being check.
- Please don’t wait for us to contact you. Instead please do book your flu vaccination and routine checks for chronic and long-term conditions – ask us when your next one is due.
- Please attend your booked appointment at the allotted time and, if you need to, please cancel any unwanted appointments. Our Nurse Manager recently reported that on the 2nd September 2015, a total of 80 minutes of practice nurse appointments were lost to patients who did not turn up.
- Please sign up to and use our online and automated systems, such as text reminders, online appointment booking, online ordering of repeat prescriptions and electronic prescription services. You can also gain access to a summary of your own medical record.
- Please plan ahead so that you do not run out of your repeat medications and please book in when asked to so that we can review your medication. If your review is outstanding, we may not be able to continue to prescribe any more medication until we have seen you.
- For advice on health conditions and the availability of local services, you can dial 111 at any time day or night.