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News & Newsletter Archives



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News Archive:

Big Devon March challenges every Devon workplace to walk

Big Devon March

This year, Active Devon has teamed up with the South West Coast Path for the 2018 walking challenge.

This National walking trail is 630 miles long. For every virtual mile walked during March, progress will be recorded online. There are incentives and prizes along the way to encourage sign ups.

How to register for Big Devon March:

1. Register at

2. Find a group of 46 colleagues to take part in the challenge with

3. Download the Workplace Challenge app

4. Follow the tips sent to you and get walking

5. Don’t forget to track your progress


Easter Pharmacy Opening Hours

Please see Easter opening times for North Devon pharmacy opening times during the Easter period.


The Surgery will be closed for statutory training on Wednesday 31st January from 1pm

Please phone 111 if you need medical attention that cannot wait until the surgery reopens on Thursday 1st February or visit NHS Choices Self Help Guide or our own Self Help page for further assistance.


Cervical Cancer Prevention week: 22nd to 28th January 2018

Below is an EasyRead guide for women thinking about having a smear test. It could help stop you getting cervical cancer.

EasyRead guide to a Smear Teast

 EasyRead guide to smear test



Merry Christmas to all of out patients!

Merry Christmas!

Don't let indigestion spoil your festivities

Christmas indigestion



Christmas & New Year Opening Times

South Molton Medical Centre will be closed Monday 25th December, Tuesday 26th December and Monday 1st January 2018.

Day Lewis Pharmacy and Boots Pharmacy will also be closed on the above days.



South Molton Medical Centre's November Newsletter available now

November 2017 Newsletter

To subscribe to future newsletters click here.



Sign up to GP online services and you'll be able to use a website or app to:

  • book or cancel appointments online with a GP or nurse
  • order repeat prescriptions online
  • view parts of your GP record, including information about medication, allergies, vaccinations, previous illnesses and test results
  • view clinical correspondence such as hospital discharge summaries, outpatient appointment letters and referral letters

The service is free and available to everyone who is registered with a GP.

Click here, Patient Online Access, to download and print the information leaflet and application form to complete and bring to the practice with the specified identification.



Medicines waste - £5.5 million is wasted each year in Devon on used medicines Craig Rich BBC

Craig Rich, ex-BBC weather forecaster, delivers an important message on medicines waste.
Did you know as much as £5.5 million is wasted each year in Devon on unused medicines?



Keep Antibiotics Working TV campaign

Taking ANTIBIOTICS when you don't need them puts you and your family at risk.

Always take your doctor's advice on antibiotics.



Become a Dementia Friend

Dementia Friends(06/10/17)


Are you in shape for surgery?

Surgery puts stress on your body, so the healthier you are, the better you’ll handle it. 

Dr Alex Degan, GP at Mid Devon Medical Practice, and Karl Trimble, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, discuss the importance of being in shape for surgery. 

Improving your general health and wellbeing greatly improves how effective the surgery will be, shortens how long it will take you to recover and significantly reduces the risk of complications. 

Any steps you can take to eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight and control your blood sugars, reduce your smoking, alcohol intake or substance use, and get enough sleep will benefit you.



We are now taking Seasonal Flu Vaccine appointments

We will be holding flu clinics on Saturday 7th October and Saturday 14th October from 8.30am to 2pm. The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to ensure they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.

Those eligible are:

  • those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
  • pregnant women
  • those aged 65 years and over
  • those in long-stay residential care homes
  • carers

If you think you are in one of those categories, call us to arrange a flu jab at one of our Saturday clinics.

Flu safe get the jab



Minutes of latest P3 Meeting

Click here for the minutes of the P3 Group meeting of 31st August 2017.



Going into hospital? Remember to take your medicines

Going into hospital? Remember to take your medicines Going into hospital? Remember to take your medicines 



Visit us on SMMC's new  Facebook page

See our new facebook Facebook page to keep up-to-date with our news, and to keep in contact with us!



South Molton Medical Centre's September Newsletter available now

 September 2017 Newsletter

To subscribe to future newsletters click here.



Latest Patient Practice Partnership (P3) Minutes

Click here to view the P3's minutes of latest meeting. Click here for the Aims & Ground Rules of the P3.



South Molton Medical Centre's July Newsletter available now

July 2017 Newsletter

To subscribe to future newsletters click here.



Reading well for long term health conditions

Please click here to see a list of helpful book for people with long-term health conditions. The titles cover a lot of key information about living with a long term condition, but visit the Reading Well website ( for further signposting and support.


Paracetamol - for short term pain relief

For short term pain relief


Did Not Attend - June's missed appointments

Did Not Attend

In the month of June, 274 appointments were missed: 93 GP appointments, 77 Nurse appointments and 104 HCA appointments. If you are unable to keep your appointment or no longer need it, please inform us so someone else can you use it.


The Practice will be closed on the following days for staff training

Thursday 12th October 1pm - 5pm


National Diabetes Audit - helping to improve diabetes care

National Diabetes Audit

South Molton Medical Centre is taking part in an important national project about diabetes care and treatment in the NHS. The project is called the National Diabetes Audit (NDA).

To take part, we will share information about your diabetes care and treatment with the NDA. The type of information, and how it is shared, is controlled by law and enforced by strict rules of confidentiality and security.

For further information about how your information is used please see the NDA patient information leaflet.

Taking part in the NDA shows that this GP practice is committed to improving care for people with diabetes.




Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Programme

To mark Diabetes Week, NHS England has produced the following short animation, following a fictional character's journey on discovering he was at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.



South Molton Medical Centre's May Newsletter

 May 2017 Newsletter

To subscribe to future newsletters click here.



Press release - from South Molton Medical Centre

From 1st April 2017, we are officially known as South Molton Medical Centre. As many of you will have seen, the building works to make us into one  building has been completed on the ground floor and the old entrance to East Street Surgery is no longer operational. We wish to thank all our patients for their understanding and patience whilst this work has been ongoing.

We hope you like the new style reception and waiting area; we are looking at the entrance currently and hoping to make this easier to access.  When checking in at the reception desk you will be asked to take a seat in one of the designated waiting areas, depending on where the doctor, nurse or HCA you are seeing is located within the practice, if you could take a seat where requested, this will help us enormously, thank you.

Our reception team are on hand to help with any questions you may have, and we have a suggestion box on the reception desk for your comments and concerns. We would value your thoughts, so please take a moment to fill in a message and leave for us.

As well as the physically changes to the premises, we have introduced our Same Day Team, giving patients the opportunity to find help in the form of face to face appointments and over the telephone.  This team includes a Nurse Practitioner, Duty Doctor and a pharmacist. Our reception team are a trained group of staff who would be better named “patient service advisors” and will play a key role in this process, so please be prepared to answer their questions and give as much information to them as possible to enable them to sign post you so you get the best possible treatment.

You may also encounter doctors and nurses who you are not familiar with, but please be assured that your full medical records are available to them, informing them of previous medical conditions and medications you may have previously taken.

A planning application has been submitted to North Devon District Council for our major build project. We are working with David Wilson Partnership in Barnstaple to deliver a facility which is designed to deliver modern day primary care to you. Whilst we are in the construction phase as it is our plan not to move out but to work around the build project which we realise will be challenging for everyone. At every stage we will be considering the safety of patient and staff and are working with a team of people to deliver this scheme.

GPs and Staff of South Molton Medical Centre, 28th April 2017.



Don't Let Hayfever Ruin Your Day



Which health service to choose?

 For more information visit here.



What's in your food? Get the app and find out



Latest Community Connections South Molton newsletter

Please click here to open the newsletter. (24/02/17)


Samaritans helped me when nobody else was up



















Important Press Release Concerning Practice Merger

Following our patient survey, discussions with North, East and West Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, our patient groups, and NHS England we are pleased to confirm that we will be merging our practices from 1st April 2017 and we will be known as South Molton Medical Centre... Please click here to continue reading. (24/01/17)


An open letter from the Practice Manager to all Patients






5th January 2017




Dear Patients


Following a letter which was received anonymously late last year, I am publically responding to explain the situation regarding patient confidentiality.


The letter stated that some patients were unhappy about the medical receptionists having access to their medical records and that the medical receptionist asks private and personal questions.


Firstly I can assure you that all staff working at the practices have undertaken confidentiality training and must adhere to strict rules to protect patient confidentiality. The receptionists are a very important part of the team and in order to ensure patients receive the best possible treatment they need access to patient medical records.


The reason they ask what appear to be private questions is to ensure the GP or Nurse you are seeing has all the information and the correct allocation of time to deal with your problem adequately. It would be difficult for patients if they were booked in with a GP or Nurse who did not offer the service they required. The receptionists have been instructed on behalf of the doctors to ask these questions.


I hope this alleviates any concerns patients have, but if not please feel free to speak to me regarding individual situations.


Yours faithfully



Maria Hosegood

Practice Manager

South Molton Health Centre (06/01/17)


10 Reasons To Walk 1,000 Miles In 2017

  1. It's 2.74 miles a day
  2. You can do that in your lunch hour
  3. You'll feel brilliant
  4. You'll look amazing
  5. It's free, fun & flexible
  6. ...and that's just how you'll feel
  7. It's cheaper than the gym
  8. The views are better
  9. The aches soon fade
  10. The achievement never will

Sign up FREE to join the community, get advice, get a progress chart, enter competitions and share your pics.




News Archive


  • Consider switching to a greener energy supply that offers energy generated in a renewable or sustainable manner.
  • Eat fresh locally produced foods and fewer processed foods for a month

Click here to continue. (10/03/17)


Further information added to our Carers page

Please look at our Carers Information page for recently added items including details of Carers' Training and a Carer's Newsletter. (18/11/16)


Would you recommend our practice to your Friends & Family?

The Friends and Family Test (FFT) is an important opportunity for you to provide feedback on the services that we provide for your care and treatment. Your feedback will help us to improve services for everyone.

Please see the PATIENT SURVEY to take the Friends & Family Test 


New integrated urgent care services

The NHS 111 and out-of-hours GP services across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay will be integrated from October 1 to provide a more streamlined service, with quicker access to medical help and advice for patients. The new service will be known as the Integrated Urgent Care Service.

The new service has been planned following national guidance from NHS England. It will offer shorter waiting times for patients, with the introduction of appointments at NHS out-of-hours treatment centres and more home visits for patients who are unable to travel to see a GP at weekends and overnight. There will also be increased clinical support for the NHS 111 service so patients will only be triaged once.

The new provider of the service, Devon Doctors, has an excellent reputation for delivering high-quality, safe services and has delivered urgent out-of-hours medical care across the county for more than 20 years.

In order to make sure patients and the public have all the information they need about the new service, NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group [NHS NEW Devon CCG] has created dedicated pages on its website packed with information about the new service:




Get the jab - Get flu safe. Flu jab appointments available

flu safe

Flu can be really serious. Getting a flu jab can protect you all winter.

It's free if you are pregnant, over 65 or have a heart condition such as sever asthma, diabetes, a chest/heart/liver/kidney complaint, lowered immunity or are a carer.

Please call Reception to book a convenient time for your flu jab.

Support your GP Practice and book your appointment today! (15/09/16)



Medicine Waste - we encourage patients not to hoard their medication.

Medicines Wastage(15/08/16)


Need an NHS Dentist - information on what to do

NHS DentistWhat to do if you would like regular dental care or need urgent dental treatment. Please click here for more information. (15/08/16)







You do not always need to see a doctor for indigestion or heartburn symptoms

Community pharmacists can offer advice on how to ease your symptoms. Many treatments can be purchased from your local pharmacist or supermarket, often at a very reasonable price and cheaper than the cost of the prescription.

Most people will not need to seek medical advice for their indigestion.Indigestion
However, see your GP if you have recurring indigestion and any of the following apply: 

•you are 55 years old or over 
•you have lost a lot of weight without meaning to 
•you have increasing difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) 
•you have persistent vomiting 
•you have iron deficiency anaemia 
•you have a lump in your stomach 
•you have blood in your vomit or blood in your stools

We are pleased to announce new additions to our staff

We are pleased to announce that in August we have a new Registrar starting with us, Gavin Haselhurst. Also in August, David Sheppard, an F2, will be joining us. (08/07/16)


Physical activity benefits adults and older adults

Physical activity 

Physical activity reduces your chance of Type ll Diabetes by 40%, Cardiovascular Disease by 35%,

Depression & Dementia by 30%, Joint and Back Pain by 25% and Colon & Breast Cancer by 20%. Click here for more info. (08/07/16)








Don't let shingles become a burning issue - NHS vaccination

Shingles vaccination

Shingles can be a very unpleasant condition that for some can cause debilitating pain and disruption to daily life. Shingles occurs more frequently in older people as the incidence of shingles increases with age.


The shingles vaccine is given as a single injection into the upper arm. Unlike the flu jab, you'll only need to have the vaccination once.


The shingles vaccine is expected to reduce your risk of getting shingles. If you are unlucky enough to go on to have the disease, your symptoms may be milder and the illness shorter.


It's fine to have the shingles vaccine if you've already had shingles. The shingles vaccine works very well in people who have had shingles before and it will boost your immunity against further shingles attacks.

Who can have the shingles vaccination?

If your age on 1st September 2015 was 70, 71 or 72 you are eligible. You are also eligible if you were aged 78 or 79, although patients lose their eligibility on the day of their 80th birthday. It’s important that you don't leave it too late to have the vaccination, as your GP may only be able to give it to you before 31 August 2016.

For more information visit the NHS Choices website at (19/05/16)


Stay Well - a guide to help you choose the right NHS service for you

and your NHS. Please click here to view the guide to see which NHS service is right for you.

Stay Well(13/05/16)


Voluntary Car Driving - Helping your Community

If you have a little time to spare and are interested in becoming a volunteer car driver, to find your local Community Car Scheme please contact Devon Access to Services Project on 01271 859261.

Click here for more information. (13/05/16)


Link Centre drop-in for people with Mental Health issues

Barnstaple Link Centre are currently planning a drop in at South Molton for people with Mental Health issues; starting on Monday June 6th from 2pm - 3.30pm at Griffin's Yard in the café upstairs.

A member of the Barnstaple Link Centre Team will be there each week.

Link Centre staff, known as support workers, are experienced in working with people with a wide range of mental health needs. They recognise that people's needs may change so are sensitive and flexible about how they can give support.

For further info please contact Rosie Boundy or any of the team on 01271 322943.

Barnstaple Link Service (22/04/16)


Find out if Community Connections South Molton can help you

Community Connections help people and organisations get together to help people get the support they need. Click here for more information.

Community Connections South Molton(22/04/16)


Patient Transport in Devon - advice and help to plan your journey

to a non-emergency NHS medical appointment. Please click here to find the relevant Single Point of Contact telephone number for your local area. Alternatively, the South Molton and District Volunteer Bureau can provide transport to your hospital/medical, optician, dentist and chiropody appointments.

Please contact them on: 01769 573167 and leave your name and telephone number on their answering machine and a volunteer will contact you to help you with transport. There is a small charge for this service @ 45p per mile. (03/03/16)

Not sure what to do when your child is unwell?

Download the free HANDi Paediatric app and get expert advice, support and guidance for common childhood illness.  Available on Google Play and Apple App Store (12/02/16)


Changes to Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Services in North Devon

Please click here for more information. (05/02/16)


IMPORTANT - Please Inform Us of Change to Personal Details

If you change your name, address or telephone number, please let our Reception know immediately or complete this form.

It is vital that we have your up-to-date contact details - if not, it could delay your care.


If you move outside the practice area you will need to register with another practice. Our Reception staff will be able to tell you whether your new address is still within our practice area. (29/01/16)


W A R N I N G ! Regional cold calling patients scam-PLEASE READ!

We have been made aware of patients being targeted by companies claiming to have access to medical records and information, who may try to get personal information from you or sell you goods, supposedly related to your 'medical condition'.

If you receive one of these calls:

  1. If you feel able, please do get as much information as possible from the caller
  2. Do not reveal any of your personal information
  3. Please let us know so that we can report it to the police and other agencies who will investigate on our behalf.

Please be assured that we do comply with the Data Protection Act. We do not release any personal or medical information to external agencies without your explicit consent.


Fit for Work - Support for people in work with health conditions


Fit for Work is designed to support people in work with health conditions and help with sickness absence. Being in work is an important contributor to good health. The longer someone is off sick, the harder it is for them to get back to work. Research suggests that being out of work for long periods of time is damaging to social and financial well-being, and health.

There are two elements to Fit for Work:

  • Free, expert and impartial work-related health advice via our website and telephone line.
  • Referral to an occupational health professional for employees who have been off sick or who are likely to be off sick for four weeks or more.

The occupational health professional will identify obstacles preventing the employee from returning to work and produce a Return to Work Plan tailored to the employee’s needs. Referrals will normally be made by GPs but employers may also be able to refer an employee, if after four weeks of absence, they have not yet been referred.

Employees will need to consent to be referred to Fit for Work, and for the Return to Work Plan to be shared with their GP and employer.

Fit for Work is designed to work alongside, not replace, existing occupational health services. (19/11/15)


Call us to register for NEW online prescriptions and appointments services

Due to changes in our computer system, you will need to re-register for services and will be allocated a new username and password. This information will be issued on paper for you to collect from Reception.

Please ring Reception on 01769 573101 who will gladly guide you through the process.


Local Shared Care Record - Let health professionals view relevant information

- Results in more effective health treatment

- This saves time and you will get better advice and safer, more effective care

- As well as contact details, a summary of health information will be shared, includeing diagnoses and test results, allergies and medications & treatments you receive

- For more information, you can download these documents: Local health record - easy readLocal health record, Shared Records FAQ and Information about the Local Shared Care Record project. (28/10/15)


CQC finds SMHC to be "effective, caring and well led"

On Tuesday 4th November 2015, the Health Centre had a comprehensive inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

Their report shows that they found the practice to be promoting “safe working practices energetically and systematically and was very responsive to patients’ needs.” They also found the Health Centre to be “effective, caring and well led.”

View the complete report on our Website on the CQC REPORT page.


Practice Closed on afternoon of Thursday 13th October 2016

The Northern Locality Clinical Commissioning Group organises quarterly clinical educational events for our local GPs, this results in our Practices having to close for a half day when these events take place.

For your information the next half day closures will be on the afternoons of:

Thursday 13th October 2016


Next P3 Group Meeting - 14th September 2016

The date of the next P3 Group meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday 14 September at 1.00pm at the Health Centre.

Unfortunately we are having to cancel the July Meeting due to summer holidays already booked and a shortage of GPs and locums available to cover.

Click here for previous meeting's minutes: Minutes of P3 Meeting: 4th May 2016, 1300 - 1400 (24/06/16)

Online access to your medical record will not be available until

after April 2016 in this Practice. Please check back then.

Next Patient Participation Group (P3) meeting is on 25/02/16

between 1pm and 2pm at the Health Centre. All are welcome. (30/12/15)




Flu Vaccinations for children aged 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 

Children in 'At risk' categories up to the age of 17 are also eligible. Click here for medical conditions which could put you at risk of flu.


Please book an appointment for one of the child flu clinics. (17/12/15)

Melanie Cullen, Practice Manager, is leaving at the end of December

She is going to manage two Barnstaple Practices. Melanie will be saying farewell and a huge thanks to the patient group on 17th December at the P3 Meeting. From 1st January 2016 Maria Hosegood, Practice Manager from East St Surgery will be providing practice management to the Health Centre. The two practices are looking at ways of collaborative working for the future that will ensure resilient sustainable primary care services for South Molton. (26/11/15)


Dr Wayne Sturley will not be staying permanently in the practice

after December, but will occasionally do some work for the Health Centre in the New Year.


Same Day Team service from 2nd November 2015


We have ‘Same Day team’ service on Monday mornings which we plan to roll out across the week in the future.


The aim is to make sure patients who need Same Day care or advice are able to access the right care or advice from the right clinician in a timely manner.


Patients who need to see or speak to a clinician urgently on the day will booked an hour slot to see someone on the Same Day Team. We won’t be able to say exactly what time patients will be seen or contacted, they’ll be asked to wait to be seen/contacted sometime in the hourly slot between 9-10 or 11-12 etc. There are telephone slots and F2F slots available


The same day team will be a Nurse Practitioner who can prescribe medication and a GP. They will work together and it will be their decision which clinician sees each patient based on the information they have about the reason for the appointment. 


Reception staff will not know who will be seeing the patient or which order they will be seen or contacted as these are clinical decisions.


We will survey patients after 4 weeks to see how effectively the system is working, we know we may have to make changes as we go along and we appreciate any feedback you want to leave us. (02/11/15)


Rural Outreach Advice Project - two drop-in sessions available

Two drop-in sessions are available at the Amory Centre, 125 East Street on Tuesdays 10 - 13.00 and Thursdays 10 - 15.00. Click here for more information.


Annual reviews will now coincide with your month of birth

Please see under Reviews & Recalls for more details


Latest Patient Group Meeting Minutes from 27th October 2015

Click here for the latest minutes. (29/10/15)


Practice Closed for Team Training event on afternoon of 9th December

The practice will close at 12.30 on 9 December in order that all the GPs, Nurses and staff can join together for lunch and team training.  This is an important annual opportunity to get the whole team together.

Extra appointments are made available to patients for the morning before and after.  Patients who have a problem during the afternoon that cannot wait until 10 December will still have access to a GP. 

East St Surgery will see any patients with Minor Injuries.  East St Surgery can be contacted on 01769 573811.


For other urgent problems our practice ansaphone will advise patients to dial 111 and from there they will be directed to an on call GP or other services as required. (26/11/15)


Latest Patient Group Meeting Minutes from 20th August 2015

Click here for the latest minutes.


We welcome Dr Wayne Sturley to the practice as our new partner

Dr Helena Murch and Dr Jonathan Gillard leave on 30th June. Dr Chris Gibb is reducing his sessions and Dr Rebecca Geary will be working an extra day. 

We will be reallocating some patients accordingly to ensure all the GPs have a manageable workload. Most of Dr Murch’s and Dr Gillard’s patients will be transferred to Dr Sturley.

All the GPs are assisted by Dr Kirsty Britten, our GP registrars and Foundation Doctors.


Dr Helena Murch and Dr Jonathan Gillard are leaving this year

Dr Helena Murch and Dr Jonathon Gillard are due to leave the Health Centre during 2015 to pursue different activities with their family.

This spring we will be busy recruiting new GPs to come and join us.

Our aim will be to find enthusiastic doctors with a passion for general practice who will share our commitment to delivering best quality services to patients.


South Molton FOODBANK: News from the Foodbank – February 2014

Due to the increasing scale of our operation we are moving! South Molton Branch of the Northern Devon Foodbank has so far fed 261 individuals (since we opened) and handled over 2½ tonnes of food donations. Carrying this amount of food up and down a flight of stairs is no longer viable.

Our new location in town will give us a more prominent and visible presence and we hope that this will promote awareness. In short we aim for more professional social care agencies to distribute our vouchers and for more donations to be received to keep pace with the increase in demand that we are seeing over the entire region. A move of this sort inevitably has financial implications and any financial support individuals or organisations are able to give would be very much appreciated.

From Friday 28th February 2014 we will be open to accept vouchers and receive donations at

1 East Street (Behind Printworkx), Entrance in Duke Street

Open each Friday 10.30am -1.30pm

We will also be available to receive donations at our new location each Tuesday between 1030 -1230.

Contact: or telephone 07542 184276 / 07874 206438


Ebola - Advice for patients 

If you have returned from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone or cared for someone with Ebola in the past 21 days and you have a fever or feel unwell, without touching anyone, tell a member of staff or call 111.

For more information visit or

Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website