Patient Group Newsletter

Spring 2023 - Issue 65

In This Issue: Message from PPG Chairperson; Missed Appointments; Test Results; Budleigh Salterton Health Centre Charity; Veterans; COVID-19 Spring Booster; Practice Activity March 2023; HRT Pre Paid Prescriptions

Welcome to our Spring Newsletter. It has been a chilly and busy winter for many and the Covid bug is still amongst us but let us hope that the improving weather brings improving health too. You are probably already aware that there is a programme to provide Covid vaccinations for those over 75 and the more vulnerable amongst us. The Medical Centre is on top of this, and vaccinations are being delivered as needed.

As indicated in notices in the two shop windows of the pharmacies on Budleigh Salterton High Street they are in the process of changing hands. So far, no date for this transfer has been confirmed and the supplier has not been confirmed either. However, the PPG have been advised that the outgoing supplier has a plan for the transition to the new owner. More details should be available from the pharmacy nearer the time but it should be noted that patients who wish to transfer to the new supplier as the preferred supplier for their prescriptions will not have to contact the MC, this will take place automatically.

The PPG will be holding their annual AGM on May 11th at 12:30pm in the Norman Centre. The agenda for this formal meeting will include approval of changes to the Constitution which reflect the new organisational structure of the NHS. I am very pleased to say that we also have two new candidates who wish to stand for election to the PPG Committee (Judith Sedgwick and Liz Plaatsman). I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mike Rice and Richard Waller for all their support for the PPG team over a good number of years, they are to step down from our committee at the next AGM. They both have contributed to informed patient feedback for the MC as well as helping with various activities related to the MC such as providing support for the vaccination clinics and collation of the “Friends and Family” data.

The PPG are very pleased to welcome Dr Lucy Craven as a new partner at the Medical Centre, Dr Craven lives locally and will provide valuable support for our local residents registered at the MC.

Finally, the PPG plans to organise some health awareness sessions over the coming months, we have not been able to this since the onset of Covid 19. Previous public meetings like this have proved very popular and we have a good list of a list of topics - so watch this space for more details.

Sue Lake, PPG Chairperson


Missed Appointments

A missed appointment, also known as a “Did not attend”, occurs when an appointment is not attended, and the Patient has not contacted the Practice in advance to cancel it or where the cancellation is so late as to make it impossible to allocate that time to another Patient who needs treatment.  NHS England estimates each missed appointment costs an average of £30.

In January 2023 there were 153 missed appointments which equates to 34 hours of lost clinical time.  The practice could have offered an additional 204, 10-minute appointments.

We do appreciate that people forget things, GP appointments being one of them. When you make a GP appointment it may be helpful do the following:

  • Repeat the date and time to receptionist to ensure you have heard correctly
  • Request a text confirmation 
  • Add the appointment to your diary or calendar

If you need to cancel your appointment please do so in as much time as possible, so as to allow us time to offer your appointment to someone else; you can cancel in the following ways:


The NHS App

If you have access to the internet via a smartphone or tablet, please download the NHS APP so you can manage appointments, order repeat prescriptions, get health and safety advice, view your medical record securely and download your NHS COVID Pass.

Find out more about the NHS App


Test Results

If you have had a recent X-ray, swab or blood test, the simplest way to review your results is through your NHS App or SystmOnline.  Using this facility will enable you to view your results online as soon as the GP has reviewed them. 

The practice will contact you by telephone, or by letter, only if a result is abnormal and you require treatment or further investigations. You will not be contacted if your result is normal.

Results vary in their timescales: 

  • Bloods - 3-5 days
  • Swabs - 8 days
  • Urine Tests - 4 days
  • Cervical cytology (smear) – you will be notified by post within 6- 8 weeks

X-rays are not performed by the practice, and it can take from 4 to 12 weeks for the results to be received; this is dependant on the type of X-ray.

Please note our reception staff are only allowed to pass on information as described in the notes by your doctor and are neither permitted nor qualified to pass on any opinion of their own.  Adults' results will not be given to anyone other than the patient, except in exceptional circumstances.


Budleigh Salterton Health Centre Charity

The Budleigh Salterton Health Centre Charity (Charity No 1058054) was formed in 1996 when the medical centre was being extensively modernised.  At that time the charity provided the technical equipment to support the scheme together with the facilities within the minor surgical unit and the décor within the medical centre.  Dr David Evans, a former partner of the practice, was instrumental in the success of the Charity and retired as a Trustee in 2022.

The Charity continues to thrive, and this is due to the dedication of the Trustees who volunteer their time; they work in close liaison with the doctors and nurses at the medical centre, meeting quarterly to prioritise funds at the request of the Practice, which are of most benefit to the patients.

The Charity is justifiably proud of its contribution to the welfare of the residents of our town and surrounding visitors and has recently funded the items below:

  • An INR machine which is used by our nursing team daily to monitor patient response to warfarin medication and to ensure they are taking the correct dose
  • 2 upholstered easy clean wing backed chairs for those of our patient who struggle in our lower chairs
  • A Doppler machine which is used for to check the feet pulses in our diabetic patients
  • And most recently the charity has funded 2 new examination couches designed for the multi-purpose needs of general practice, including phlebotomy, minor surgery, recovery, gynaecology, podiatry and general examination

The Charity is completely dependent upon voluntary contributions and is open to receive additional funds which will always be acknowledged. There is a specific box within the Medical Centre where donations may be safely left, or contributions can be sent directly to the Treasurer at the Medical Centre, 1 The Lawn, Budleigh Salterton, EX9 6LS.

The AGM will be held on Wednesday 7th June 2023 at 1.00pm and we would welcome patients to attend.  If you would like to attend please confirm by either sending an email using our secure online form or leaving a note in the Charity box at the medical centre.  The venue will be confirmed in the Foyer when the numbers have been collated.


Armed Forces Veteran Friendly Accredited GP Practice

Dr Brian Taylor is a Lead Veteran GP. Please let the surgery know if you are a Veteran so this can be recorded in your medical record.

It is important to us that we meet your needs and follow the Armed Forces Covenant.  The covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly and it establishes how they should expect to be treated.


Spring Booster

COVID-19 is more serious in older people and in people with certain underlying health conditions. For these reasons, people aged 75 years and over, those in care homes, and those aged 5 years and over with a weakened immune system are being offered a spring booster of COVID-19 vaccine.

If you are housebound then one of our nursing team will be visiting between the end of April and the end of May 2023.  You do not need to contact the practice unless you have not previously been registered as a housebound patient.

For eligible patients, we will being offering appointments on Saturday 22nd April 2023, 8.00am – 4.00pm.

Please contact our reception team on 01395 441 212, Monday to Friday, after 10.00am, to book your slot.


Practice Activity March 2023

  • Telephone Calls Answered: 5,358
  • Telephone Calls Dialled: 3,744
  • Appointments: 2,539
  • Online Consultations Received / Actioned: 383
  • Home Visits: 124
  • Blood Tests: 680
  • Prescriptions Issued: 3,813
  • Letters Received and Sent: 2,772

HRT Prescriptions

From 1 April 2023 women in England will be able to access cheaper Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to help with menopause symptoms.  The HRT Pre Paid Certificate (PPC) cost £19.30 and will be valid for 12 months.   It will cover all your eligible HRT prescriptions for that period, no matter how many different medicines you need. There’s no limit on the number of HRT prescription items you can get with it while it’s valid

You don’t need to get it on 1 April – get it just before your next prescription to maximise your use of it over the year.

For more information and to purchase an HRT PPC, please follow this link.  

If you need additional information, the please speak with your pharmacist.

Patient Group Commitee

  • 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