Patient Group Newsletter

Winter 2022 - Issue 64

The PPG have regular meetings with the Medical Centre team and are aware that some patients have concerns about appointments. Staffing can be a problem, particularly when sickness causes staff absence. The staffing problems may mean that you are not be able to see the doctor of your choosing, however, we are aware that our Medical Centre continues to offer a good number of face-to-face appointments with a doctor whenever possible. This is not the case in all parts of the country. The PPG know that each day one doctor is on duty for emergencies only and this could mean you cannot have an appointment to see a particular doctor on that day.

To help mitigate the risks of illness the Medical Centre have returned to requesting patients to wear a mask when on the premises. If you can please bring your own mask whenever possible this would be appreciated (and help to reduce the cost to the Medical Centre)!

You will be aware that service issues with our local pharmacies have long been a problem. In addition, you will now see notices in both shop windows advising that both businesses are in the process of changing hands. Please be assured that the PPG remain actively engaged with the pharmacy company, NHS England (South & West) and our local MP. The PPG regularly attend meetings between the key stakeholders.  We know that many are worried and concerned about the provision of their medication and we will continue to pursue the matter.

Please do contact your PPG if you have anything you wish to raise, we will be holding our AGM again next Spring and would be very pleased to hear from you if you would like to consider standing for the Committee.

Your PPG wishes you a healthy and peaceful New Year. 

Sue Lake, PPG Chairperson


Cervical Screening can stop cancer before it starts

Don't ignire you invite letter. If you missed your last one, book an appointment with us today.


Welcome to our practice and welcome to Budleigh!

We would like to welcome Dr Lucy Craven who will be joining our practice in December.

"I qualified from Southampton University in 2011 and then spent several years working in Dorset and Australia, specialising mainly in Emergency Medicine. I moved to Devon in 2016 and completed my GP training in the Exeter area. My special interests are menopause and womens health, but I have very much enjoyed my time working in a number of other specialties. I now live in East Devon with my husband and young children, and outside of work can be found pushing swings, building sandcastles and enjoying a sea swim."

Primary Qualifications BM BSc MRCGP DFSRH 
Special Interests: Womens health, menopause and acute medicine
Working Days: Wednesday and Friday


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


Be Prepared for Winter

During the Winter months there are some basic things people can do to ease their lives in the event of a period of severe winter weather making it difficult or even impossible to venture out:

  • Heat your home well (minimum of 18°C) and make sure you are dressed for the weather
  • If you use solid fuel or oil, make sure you have enough to last through a period of severe weather
  • Ensure any spare blankets are aired and ready for use
  • Buy in some extra tinned or dried food which can be heated up if you are unable to leave the house for a few days
  • If you have a freezer, stock it up a bit more than usual
  • Make sure you have a torch (and batteries) in a handy place
  • If you take regular medicine check you have a sufficient supply to tide you over in case you are unable to get to the doctor or a chemist due to the weather
  • Buy one or two bags of table salt – these are cheap and a sprinkling of salt on the front step or path will get rid or any snow or ice
  • If you are over 50 book an appointment at the surgery to have your annual free flu vaccination

Patient Support and Understanding

As with many other areas of the NHS, general practice is struggling to cope with demand.  The demand for our services is far greater than the capacity we have to offer.

As a practice we are very proud of the service we deliver but we do need the help of our patients to ensure that our time is spent caring for our patients who need us the most and that people who can be seen elsewhere, are directed to the right service for their needs.

We are asking our patients to help us improve access to our practice and consider taking some of the following steps to enable us to improve our service.

  • If you have a smart phone, you can download and register with the NHS App, where you can request your medications; cancel your appointments and view test results
  • If you do not have a smart phone but have computer, you can also ask our reception team to register you with our online service so you so you can request your medications; cancel your appointments and view test results – this is immediate access for you and releases the phone for urgent calls
  • Please advise the surgery of your mobile phone number and email address – this speeds up the way we can get important messages to our patients
  • For non-urgent or admin requests, please use the online consultation form on our website homepage during opening hours - it’s quick and simple to use, and you will get a response within 5 working days
  • Remember to allow 3 working days for prescriptions to be authorised by the practice from your initial request and a further 2 working days for the pharmacy dispensing time
  • And most importantly of all – please continue to treat all our team with respect and kindness, and please bear with us at our busiest times, we will get to you.

Due to long term GP sickness, you will not always be able to have the GP of your choice, however we will offer you another GP.  Please be reassured that all the doctors who work alongside our team have full access to your medical records.  

Thank you for your support, understanding and patience.


Practice Activity December 2022

  • Telephone Calls Answered: 4,645
  • Appointments: 2,547
  • Online Consultations Received/Actioned: 324
  • Home Visit: 105
  • Bloods Taken: 566
  • Prescriptons Issued: 3,656
  • Letters Sent and Received: 2,065

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