Patient Group Newsletter

Autumn 2022 - Issue 62

Since our last Newsletter the PPG has continued to monitor and highlight the issues which we know are worrying patients. The irregular short notice closures of the two pharmacies in Budleigh Salterton has raised much concern as these two pharmacies serve a large population in the town and surrounding villages. The closures have led to delayed issue of medication as well as creating a significant increase in workload for the Medical Centre as worried patients go to them for assistance. The Medical Centre can redirect a prescription to another dispensary but it all adds to the effort required to address the problem. BBC Spotlight helped to publicise the shortage of pharmacists and found that it is not only our area in Devon which is impacted by this particular pharmacy. Since the broadcast we are aware of several staff changes and hope that these may improve the situation – but we will continue to watch the service. It should be noted that the counter staff working in the pharmacies are not responsible for the shortage but they are a first point of contact and have faced considerable customer anger. A recent survey by NHS England has found that there is a shortage of pharmacists in localised areas but it is not nationwide.

You may also have found that there are sometimes shortages of particular medications. The PPG is aware that the Medical Centre receives notification of these shortages from NHS England to enable them to prescribe equivalent alternatives so that treatment is not interrupted.

Please do contact your PPG if you have anything you wish to raise – we hear many positive comments about the service the Medical Centre provides, the problems are far fewer.

We hope you have a healthy Autumn and don’t forget to keep an eye open for dates and locations of vaccination programmes!

Sue Lake, PPG Chairperson


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Ordering repeat medication

When you have only one weeks’ supply of medication left you should re-order your repeat medication.

There are a number of ways to get your request to the surgery – you can:

  • order online via SystmOnline or the NHS App
  • drop your form into the letter box to the right-hand side of the entrance of the medical centre
  • take your form to one of the local chemists
  • send your re-order form by post (enclosing a stamped addressed envelope if you would like it returned to you or addressed to a chemist)

If you are on a stable list of medications where there has been no change for 6-months, then you can ask the surgery to organise Electronic Repeat Dispensing (ERD). ERD automatically sends your repeat medications to your pharmacy at agreed intervals, removing the need to request on a monthly basis.

Please allow 2 working days for the practice to process your request and at least 1 working day in addition for the pharmacy to dispense the medication.

The practice does not take requests for medication over the phone except in emergencies or for housebound patients.


Looking to make a change and get healthy?

Perhaps you are a smoker who would like to cut back or even give up for good? Would you like help to be moving more? Advice on drinking less? Or you might want to aim for a healthier weight but can’t find the time or motivation to get active. Whatever your goal, OneSmallStep can help.

OneSmallStep is the service set up and funded by Devon County Council to guide and support you through small steps to change. By looking at the process in small steps, we believe it can be much more achievable!

OneSmallStep offers support when and how you need it with information, advice and guidance available online, by telephone and through coaching so you can start making small changes to feel healthier now.



Medical Queries

For all medication queries please contact the practice in the following way:

  • Contact the prescribing team – 7 days a week
  • Telephone the practice on 01395 441212 after 10.00am, Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm ·
  • Send an Online Consultation form through our website, Monday to Friday, 8am – 5pm

Not all of our receptionists are trained prescribers and as such it is difficult for them to answer many of your questions at the front desk. We would therefore ask you not to come to the front desk with medication queries but to use the contact methods above.

Please allow 3 working days from the time of request before contacting the practice regarding an update.


Devon and Cornwall Shared Record

A new NHS and social care system has been introduced in Devon and Cornwall to improve the way you receive care. The Devon and Cornwall Care Record is a secure computer system that brings together information about your health and care and presents it as a single record.

Previously, it was difficult to share information about your health and care between different areas of the system.

Now, healthcare staff can see the details held by GP practices, hospitals and other health and care organisations across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Having a more complete view of your medical history helps healthcare professionals identify problems more effectively and make quicker diagnoses. For instance, they can see which allergies you suffer from, and any treatment and medication you have received.

As well as making treatment safer, the care you receive will be more co-ordinated, giving you a smoother journey through the health system. It also saves staff the time it takes to find information and spares you the frustration of having to answer the same questions or undergo duplicate or unnecessary tests.

There are more than 760 health and care providers in Devon and Cornwall and, potentially, all of them can participate in the programme. These organisations include GP practices, NHS hospitals, social care services, mental health services, hospices, community care services and out of hours services.  


Minor Injuries Unit (MIU)

Exmouth Minor Injury Unit is a nurse-led walk-in facility open from 8am until 8pm every day of the year including Bank Holidays. This is a sit and wait service and no pre-booking is required. You do not need a referral from your doctor.

The MIU comprises of a highly skilled team of Nurse Practitioners, Healthcare Assistants and Paramedics are on hand to assess and treat any minor injury. Where your injuries require more specialist attention, they will refer you directly onto our colleagues and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.


Your doctor’s surgery is not trained in minor injury care which is why they will ask you to attend Exmouth MIU for any of the following injuries:

  • Limb injuries (excluding hips)
  • Lacerations and traumatic wounds (excluding facial)
  • Minor head injuries
  • Minor eye injuries (corneal abrasions & foreign bodies)
  • Foreign bodies in wounds · Insect stings and reactions
  • Minor non-traumatic neck pain
  • Animal bites
  • Burns
  • Non-traumatic back pain



Covid Services


Budleigh Flu Clinics 2022

The medical centre will sending out flu invitations during September with our clinics starting in October.

Our first 2 clinics on Saturday 1st and 8th October will be for those aged over 65 and those in clinical risk groups as advised by NHS England.

Clinics after 15th October will include those patients aged 50-64 years.

Flu Vaccination 

Flu vaccination is important because:

  • more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill ·
  • getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses

If you've had COVID-19, it's safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu.


Autumn Covid-19 Booster

It has been confirmed that the following groups will be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine in Autumn 2022:

  • residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults · frontline health and social care workers
  • all adults aged 50 years and over
  • persons aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group, as set out by guidance
  • persons aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
  • persons aged 16 to 49 years who are carers, as set out by guidance

The medical centre will have more information on this during September and will share this information on our website and Facebook page.


Patient Group Committee

  • Sue Lake - Chairperson
  • David Forward - Vice Chairperson
  • Deborah Mitchell - Secretary

Peter Frean, Robert Harland, Chris Kitson, Mark McGlade, Lynette Oram, Michael Rice, Jacqui Ruhlig, Richard Waller, Judy Wright, Tania Davis

Contact Us

  • Budleigh Salterton Medical Centre, 1 The Lawn, Budleigh Salterton, EX9 6LS