Patient Group Newsletter

Spring 2024 - Issue 68

Welcome to our Spring Newsletter. It has been a chilly and very wet Winter but at last we have seen some sun which helps to lift our spirits.

The Patient Participation Group will be holding their annual AGM on May 14th at 12:30pm at the Norman Centre, Budleigh Salterton. We would be delighted to see you if you are able to attend. If the timing is not right for you but there is something you would like to raise with the PPG, please don’t hesitate to send me an email via our secure online form or drop a note into the Medical Centre for the attention of the Patient Participation Group. I am very pleased to say that we have a new candidate wishing to stand for election to the PPG Committee, her name is Julia Vaughan Smith, she is a Budleigh resident is keen to support representation of the patients of the Medical Centre.

I should bring to your attention a growing concern about an unnecessary waste of precious time at the Medical Centre. Some patients do not advise the MC when they are unable to attend an appointment. This is understandable when something unavoidable happens. However, the number of Do Not Attends (DNAs) is rising, even though reminders are sent via text or ‘phone call. This is leading to wasted clinical time as the team are on hand to see the patients and it can involve both medical and nursing time for some clinics. One clinic recently lost two hours of time in one half day session; it is impossible to reschedule patients waiting for an appointment when you only know about the free time when it occurs.

You may already be aware that there is a programme to provide Covid vaccinations this Spring for those over 75 and the more vulnerable amongst us. The Medical Centre know which patients are eligible and vaccinations are being delivered as needed.

Previously I have advised that the PPG planned to organise some health awareness sessions for the coming months, understandably the need to focus on reducing waiting times in the NHS means that it is more difficult for the clinical staff to attend such events. However, your PPG will remain in touch with the local clinical community and see if an opportunity arises to arrange some events.

Sue Lake
Chairperson, Budleigh Salterton Medical Centre PPG


How to set up your login for your 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.


What you will need to set up your NHS login: 

  • An email address
  • A mobile phone number
  • A (photo) passport OR (photo) driving licence

What you need to do step by step:

  • Once you enter your email address, you will be sent a 6 digit security code via email.  You will be asked to enter this code to verify your email address and press continue.
  • Next, you will be asked to give your mobile phone number.  Another 6 digit security code will be sent to you via text message.  A security code will be sent to your mobile every time you log in.
  • Once you enter your code, you will be asked to verify your ID, you are asked to provide a pictures of your passport of driving licence.

Additional information:

  • After you download the app, you will need to set up an NHS login and prove who you are.  The app will then securely connect to information from your GP surgery.
  • If your device supports fingerprint or facial recognition, you can use it to log in to the NHS app each time, instead of using a password and security code.

Budleigh Salterton Health Centre Charity AGM

Please see the attached leaflet for more information on how this charity supports our patients. All patients are invited to the Annual General Meeting: 

Wednesday 5th June 2024 @ 12.00noon - Norman Centre, Station Road, Budleigh Salterton


How To Set Up Your Log In For Your My Care App

MY CARE brings your Royal Devon medical information and interactions with your clinical team into one place.  You can access it using an app on your mobile phone or via your computer.

Key benefits with this is account are:

  • See the results of most tests when they are available
  • View your calendar of upcoming appointments, along with details about attending
  • Search for information on past appointments, along with clinical information provided by your care team
  • Keep your care team informed by completing health questionnaires and updating allergy and medical information
  • Check your health information at any time, home and abroad
  • Send a message directly to your care team from within the app if you've got any questions about your care
  • Allow a family member or loved one to access your health and appointment information by enabling Proxy Access

To start using MY CARE, visit the App Store or Google Play and download MyChart, then select MY CARE Royal Devon. MyChart is an app from healthcare technology firm Epic, used in many hospitals in the UK and around the world. Once you download this app you can access our MY CARE service.

Once downloaded to your smartphone or tablet, you'll be asked a few security questions to verify your identity. You will receive a message from the MY CARE support team once your account is approved.


Why My Apppointment May Run Late

We understand when your appointment is not on time or the clinic is running late, it can be frustrating and inconvenient for you. We wish to explain a few of the reasons why this sometimes happens and would ask for your patience when attending for an appointment. 

There is no one single answer as to why this happens. There can be lots of things that combine to make them run late. They are rarely able to tell you the reason why they are running late as they need to maintain the confidentiality of all our patients.

Patients are booked at either 10 or 15 minute intervals (either 4 or 6 patients per hour).  This time includes discussing patient symptoms, possible solutions which may or may not include medication, checking past medical history and recording the consultation in your records. So, you can see how easy it is to fall behind schedule as the appointment session goes on.

Below are a few of the more common reasons for clinics running late.

  1. Complexity or patients in distress: People come to the GPs for lots of different reasons and this can range from a simple problem which can dealt with in 7-8 minutes or a much more complex issue such as has been diagnosed with cancer or serious illness, the loss of a loved one, or feeling that they can’t cope anymore to the extent they are contemplating taking their own life. These are all common occurrences.
  2. Multiple problems: Some people come with a number of problems or remember another problem halfway through the consultation which can make it difficult to keep to time. Please be realistic about which problems can be dealt with during the 10-minute appointment time.
  3. Admissions to hospital: When someone is very unwell, they may need admitting to hospital and the GP may have to do that there and then. This will involve the GP talking to the team at the hospital which can take some time and may require emergency treatment by the GP at the practice before they are transferred to hospital.
  4. Interruptions from other Health Care Providers: GPs are part of a larger health care team and often contacted by A&E departments, hospital doctors, laboratories, midwives, health visitors, social services etc. We try to arrange these conversations after booked surgeries, but in emergency/ urgent situations this cannot wait and so your GP may be dealing with one of these teams whilst you’re in the waiting room. 

We apologise for any delay and inconvenience caused because of such delays. We strive to make sure appointments run on time, but this cannot always be guaranteed. We would ask for your understanding and patience at times of delays and to please allow a little longer for your appointment.


GP Appointment? Don’t need it? Cancel it!

Whilst the majority of our patients attend their appointments, in February 2024 there were 122 missed appointments which equated to 27 hours of lost clinical time.  The practice could have offered an additional 162, 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:


Spring Booster

The practice will be inviting the following patients for a COVID-19 Spring Booster:

  • Aged 75 +
  • Care home resident
  • Eligible house bound patients

The practice will be offering appointments to those aged 75 years and over on Saturday 27th April 2024, 8.00am – 2.00pm.  Please contact our reception team on 01395 441212, Monday to Friday, after 10.00am, to book your slot.

If you are housebound then one of our nursing team will be visiting between the end of April and the end of May 20243.  You do not need to contact the practice unless you have not previously been registered as a housebound patient.

Patients aged 6 months to 74 years with a weakened immune may also be eligible for a Spring Booster.  To check if you need a vaccine and/or to book a vaccine, you need to contact the National Booking System who will direct you to the nearest provider. 


Practice Activity February 2024

Telephone Calls Answered


Telephone Calls Dialled




Online Consultations


Homes Visits


Bloods Taken


Prescriptions Issued


Letters Recieved and Sent



How to contact the Medical Centre

The medical centre is available, Monday to Friday, 8.00am-6.00pm (excluding Bank Holidays) and can be contacted in the following ways:

Please phone for anything which is urgent and requires same day advice – we appreciate there can be waits, but these will not exceed 20 minutes and we ask for your patience.

Patient Group Commitee

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

Peter Frean, Robert Harland, Chris Kitson, Mark McGlade, Lynette Oram, Lynette Oram, Liz Plaatsman, Jacqui Ruhlig, Judith Sedgwick, Judy Wright Tania Davis

Contact Us

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