Announcement

Dear Exmoor Medical Centre Community,

I am writing to keep you all updated with regard to the recent decisions taken by Kathryn Kyle (Practice Manager Executive Partner) and myself.

As many of you may be aware, both locally and nationally GP surgeries are struggling to recruit GPs – there are simply not enough to go around. Kathryn and I have worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to try to recruit an additional GP to complement our team (Dr Peter Byass, Dr Michelle Colley and myself) to improve continuity of care and sustainability for the practice. Despite all of our efforts, we have not been successful in appointing another GP. Therefore, the pressures that I have personally had to face over the past year have been extremely high.

I am sure many of you will realise that, with not enough GPs on the ground, it is very difficult to continue to meet the high quality care that we continually strive to give and pride ourselves upon. We also currently face even higher pressures now that Dr Peter Byass is moving onto a new job more local to him in North Devon. So in order to ensure sustainability for the practice, we have had to look at alternative options from our current partnership model.

Based on the above, Kathryn and I have jointly made the decision to integrate into a larger organisation, Symphony Healthcare Services (SHS), to give us greater resilience and secure the future of the practice.

In April 2016, SHS was established after three GP practices approached Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust directly for help. Ilchester Surgery, Yeovil Health Centre and Buttercross Health Centre in Somerton were the first practices to integrate into SHS. Like many GP practices, they had been struggling to manage the operational and financial pressures on the surgery; with difficulties in recruiting permanent GPs, rising costs, growing patient numbers and demand, along with increasingly complex healthcare needs. SHS now supports nine surgeries within Somerset and by joining together SHS aims to help practices meet the current and future challenges within primary care by providing a sustainable, high quality healthcare service for patients.

Although Kathryn and I have jointly agreed that joining SHS is the right decision for patients, the practice and its staff, Kathryn has made the decision to move on to pastures new after 13 years at the surgery, as much of the finance and HR work will be managed by SHS centrally. Kathryn has seen the practice through some extraordinary changes and challenges with the most impressive, innovative and charismatic approach, and is committed to seeing the practice through the integration process. Whilst this is incredibly sad news given Kathryn’s absolute dedication and commitment to the practice, we have no doubt that Kathryn will continue to make a real difference in whatever she chooses to do. Our current Assistant Practice Manager, Lindsay Smith, will step into the day to day management role which will remain much the same.

It is undoubtedly going to be a time of change as we move through 2020. However, I will continue as the Clinical Lead GP and GP Trainer for the practice alongside Dr Michelle Colley. I am very committed to the Exmoor Medical Centre community; having first worked within the practice as a receptionist in 2005 during the summers whilst I was at University. The relationships I have developed with patients and staff are of utmost importance to me and I am driven to not only continue to deliver the best possible care for you at the practice, but also to be on the frontier of new and innovative ways of working. I am confident that SHS will help support the team and I to do this.

The good news for our patients is that these changes behind the scenes should not disrupt the usual day-to-day running of the practice and although GPs will undoubtedly remain scarce, the additional infrastructure and support provided by SHS will allow the team and I to focus on you and your healthcare needs.

I feel confident that SHS is the right decision for Exmoor Medical Centre and I hope that you will be as supportive of SHS as we are.

SHS and Exmoor Medical Centre will look to host an open event for interested patients following integration to share key information, meet the team and will provide an opportunity for you to ask questions. Further information regarding this will be announced shortly.

With kind regards,

Kelsey

Dr Kelsey Boddington

GP Partner

Exmoor Medical Centre

 

Comings and Goings at Exmoor Medical Centre

 

Hello and Happy New Year to all our patients!

As we have had a number of team member changes at EMC in recent months, the Partners would like to update you.

First and foremost, it is with fondness tempered with regret that we share this sign off from Dr Pete Byass who is leaving in March:

“I’ve been at Exmoor Medical Centre five and a half years – straight from qualifying as a GP. The old adage that we learn something new every day is very apt in General Practice and as a newly qualified GP, even more so. I’d like to thank my colleagues for supporting me through this settling in period and come to think of it – every day since!

I’m moving on to work in Ilfracombe at the Combe Coastal Practice. I’ll be part of a larger team and will also have a considerably quicker commute which was an important factor in moving as I’ll be able to spend more time with my family.
Over the last five and a half years I’ve met a good few Exmoor folk – some of whom I’ve got to know well.  I have no doubt I will miss catching up on and being part of people’s lives and feeling a small part of the community.  I know I will also miss the Dulverton steak and stilton pies and lemon drizzle cakes!”

We all wish Pete the very best of luck as he heads off to work ‘across the border’.

In other news:

  • GP Registrar, Kathryn Walling, left us to have her first baby and we are delighted to report the safe arrival of baby Jesse on 1stDecember
  • We have very reluctantly had to say a fond goodbye to Practice Nurse Paula Williams, who departs after an amazing 16 years with the Medical Centre. Perhaps the mathematicians out there will be able to calculate how many miles Paula has clocked up driving from her home near Porlock and back, all in the call of duty! We are very sad to see her go but wish her the very best of luck as she takes up a new role on home turf.
  • We also said goodbye to our medical Secretary Emma Thompson in the summer, who after six years could no longer resist the lure of the bright lights of London. We hear she is working in close proximity to Harley Street and enjoying her new, even busier, pace of life.
  • Heulwen Stevenson, whom many of you will know, changed roles locally in the Autumn. In her stead we have greeted Ele Laker and she is settling into her role as Complex Care Nurse.

 

 

After all those departures, fortunately we have also been able to welcome some new, and returning, faces!

  • GP Michelle Colley rejoined us in November after maternity leave and her delightful daughter Alice is thriving
  • GP Registrar Hannah Jackson joins for the last part of her GP training
  • Gabby Rowe, an experienced dispenser, has re-joined the team in Pharmacy, in the stead of our long-serving staff member Julie Cross, who left us in the summer, after a sterling quarter of a century’s service!
  • Christine Rowatt is covering the dual role of coordinator for the Living Better initiative and receptionist in training.
  • Andrea Corrie has joined us as medical secretarial support to Lindsay Smith and she also wears an editorial hat with regard to Practice communications, having previously held a similar role at a GP Practice in Surrey, before moving to the local area. A quarterly Newsletter is planned from springtime onwards.

In broader Practice terms, some of you may know that Dr Kelsey Boddington is Clinical Director of the West Somerset Primary Care Network: Living Better as part of her continued commitment to the practice and patients.

There are many exciting developments around community support for both clinical and non-clinical issues and we will provide updates as and when these are accessible.  Initiatives already available include local Talking Cafés, support from Village Agents and Mental Health Liaison Worker.

It is certainly a time of change at EMC but we will continue to offer all our patients the personal and efficient service they have come to know.

Kathryn Kyle

Practice Manager Partner

January 2020

January 2019

Hello!

We are so pleased to see the uptake of the flu jab has been high this year.  For those of you who still haven’t managed to have your injection please get in touch with our reception staff.

I am sure many of you are aware, as the winter creeps in so do the numerous bugs that are flying around.  Consequently, this can put pressure on all healthcare services, including Exmoor Medical Centre, and we continue to try to meet our demand and prioritise our care as effectively as possible.

How can you help us to help you?

Firstly, consider whether your query requires seeing or speaking to a GP, or whether your question can be answered by another member of the team….

In an effort to try to deal with your queries as efficiently and effectively as possible our reception staff are asked to enquire about a patient’s concern when they request an urgent appointment with a GP.  We understand that not everyone may wish to divulge their reasons, but where possible we would ask that you do.  In providing this information you can help the doctor deal with your need in the most efficient way possible.  Where there is a need for a doctor’s appointment that day, you will often find the doctor will need to phone you back to ensure you are seen at the most appropriate time in the most appropriate place.

Sometimes you may not necessarily need to speak to a doctor and may find other members of the team helpful….

Do you have a query about medication?  Do you need a new medication that has been advised by a consultant at the hospital or you would like to request a medication that is not on your repeat prescription?

  • Speak to our dispensers…
    • they will be able to access your records to see if a GP has seen and prescribed according to a consultants letter – and if they haven’t received or processed that request the dispensers can prompt the GP to do so.
    • They can identify if you have had a medication before that is not on your repeat prescription and ask the GP to prescribe it. Again they ask for more information to help the GP process this request. If the GP feels they need to speak to you the surgery will be in touch to arrange this.
    • You may be due a medication review – you may not always need to see a GP for this – it may be worth asking the dispensers if you need to come in or whether the GP has enough up to date information regarding your health to be able to update your medication from your notes.

Do you have a query about a referral? Are you struggling with booking your hospital appointment? Would you prefer to be referred privately?

  • Speak to our medical secretaries….
    • They will be able to look up relevant information and support you with queries around your referrals.
    • They can communicate directly with the GP on your behalf to arrange an alternative referral or discuss your query and get back to you on the GPs behalf.

Do you need information about groups, services and micro providers in the community?

  • Speak to our receptionists…
    • They will be able to direct you to the appropriate place, give you useful phone numbers and advise you on where you can access the help you need

Do you need to request a home visit?

  • We ask that you speak to our receptionists prior to 11am that day if it is at all possible. This enables the GPs to phone when needed and plan lunchtime visits as efficiently possible
  • We ask that home visits are only requested for housebound patients.

Do you need to find out about blood test results?

  • Our receptionists are able to discuss blood tests with patients or those with written consent in place to discuss a patient’s record on their behalf. We request that you phone after 3pm for results as the mornings are usually very busy for receptionists arranging appointments.

Have you heard about our Talking Cafés?

  • We are so fortunate now as part of the West Somerset Living Better Project to have a Talking Café taking place in Dulverton Library every Friday between 10am – 12pm. This is a great place to meet people and also access local services and resources.  These cafés have been a success in Minehead and we are now very lucky to have this in Dulverton. Please feel free to go along and see what it is all about!

That’s enough of the information overload and now on to a fond farewell to our Nurse Louise.  She will we greatly missed by so many and we wish her well… We now welcome our new nurse, Clare Hendy, who is now settling in as a much valued team member…

Best Wishes,

Kelsey

Autumnal blogging

It would appear autumn is officially now upon us – the autumnal equinox has apparently recently occurred thus signifying the appearance of trick or treat costumes in the shops and the call to get flu jabs at medical centres up and down the land!  Our stock has now arrived, the clinics are running as follows, and you don’t need to book in:

  • WHEDDON CROSS VILLAGE HALL

    Thursday 27th September 2.30-4pm

 

  • BROMPTON REGIS VILLAGE HALL

    Tuesday 9th October 2.30-4pm

 

  • DULVERTON TOWN HALL

    Monday 1st October 10am-4pm

    Thursday 25th October 10am-2pm

         

  • WINSFORD VILLAGE HALL

    Tuesday 6th November 2.30-4pm

 

  • EXFORD VILLAGE HALL

    Tuesday 13th November 2.30-4 pm

 

The CQC visited over summer – overall this was very encouraging and we are again rated as ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ ratings in three areas;  long term conditions, being effective and vulnerable people…  I think it is fair to say the assessors were impressed with the work we have been doing around care planning but wanted to see more hard evidence about its efficacy which we have taken on board…  We are grateful to the team for their preparation for this and keeping calm heads with an hour long power cut mid way through the assessment day!   Also pleasing was a recent NHS patient survey showing that we are rated the 5th highest in Somerset here at Exmoor Medical Centre out of around 70 practices in the county.

In other news we said farewell to Dr Amanda Kemp last month – Amanda was with us for a year in her final year of training we were grateful for her hard work and commitment, were delighted when she (very deservedly) progressed through her exams and assessments and wish her the very best with her new job in South Devon.   In her stead is Dr Paige Burchell who is with us until February who has settled in very well. Welcome Paige!

 

Lastly,  anyone wishing to enjoy a gentle walk with a local friendly group should look no further then our Health Walks group.  I would hate for anyone thinking about coming along to be put off by worrying they  may be too slow or unfit…  Please do ask for details from one of the staff.

 

Pete

At last… some sunshine!

The sun is finally out!  As many of us find, the sunshine helps motivate us to get outside and get active.  The views on Exmoor over the past few weeks have been spectacular and reminds me of just how lucky we are to live in this area.  So what better excuse than to come out on our Health Walks that take place fortnightly in various locations in Dulverton and surrounding areas?  If you want to find out more please enquire at the reception desk.

 

For any of our Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients we have exciting news!  Award winning NHS gastro-dietitians have now set up the First Line Advice IBS webinar ‘on demand’ which means that patients can watch it whenever they wish.  You do not need a referral letter, simply email them on: gastro.webinars@nhs.net.  And they will do the rest!

 

For those of you on regular medications, we also want to take the opportunity to point out this important information….

Medicine Sick Day Rules:

When you are unwell with any of the following:

  • Vomiting or diarrhoea (unless only minor)
  • Fevers, sweats and shaking

Then STOP taking the medications listed below and restart when you are well (after 24-48 hours of eating and drinking normally).  If you are in any doubt, contact your pharmacist, GP or nurse.

Medicines to stop on sick days:

  • ACE inhibitors
    • Medicine names ending in “-pril” eg. Ramipril, Lisinopril, Perindopril
  • ARBs
    • Medicine names ending in “-sartan” eg. Candesartan, Losartan, Valsartan
  • NSAIDs
    • Anti-inflammatory pain killers eg. Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Diclofenac
  • Diuretics
    • Sometimes called “water pills” eg. Furosemide, Spirinolactone, Indapamide, Bendroflumethiazide
  • Metformin
    • A medicine for diabetes

Ask your GP or dispensary for a Medicine Sick Day Rules card to carry on you if you think this would be helpful…

 

As many of you may know, we are now offering some of our patients with the most complex needs opportunities to discuss Advance Care Planning with their GP or our Living Better nurse, Heulwen Stevenson.  Advance Care Planning is a way to share your wishes for future healthcare, and name someone who can speak for you if you are unable to speak for yourself.  You can watch a great video that explains all of this on: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mPtu-FpY1Kw.  If you have not yet had the opportunity to discuss your future wishes, but would like to, please phone reception to arrange a consultation with a GP.

 

On a final note, we would like to take the opportunity to thank all of those who continue to give their voluntary support for the practice.  This includes our delivery drivers for the dispensary, our patient group members, our community drivers and many others I am sure.  We really are extremely lucky for you all to give your time so generously throughout the year…

 

Kelsey

Spring has sprung!

It is good to see in the Spring equinox and change our clocks to British summer time finally….I am hoping that will be the last of the snow for 2018 too! Thank you to everyone who popped in and offered their help to us during the snow, it make such an enormous difference when we are offered help with medicine delivery and other offers of support during the bad weather.
We are also hoping that we will be through the worst of the horrid viruses that have been making so many people unwell recently. On that note please may I politely ask that if you are very unwell and feel you are absolutely unable to make it into the Practice for an appointment, that you request your home visit before 11am. Please remember that home visits are for housebound patients only. This is so that our GPs can telephone you first so that we can offer you the best possible care and that they are  able to plan their day more effectively.
We are delighted to announce that our new Healthy Walks program has started this month, we are offering short walks for  patients of the Practice who are not usually active led by our two trained volunteer walk leaders. Initially this is offered to patients that our clinicians have recommended. We are looking for more volunteer walk leaders so that we can offer the opportunity more widely in the future. Please speak to our Reception Team if you are interested.
We are delighted that so many of our patients almost half of all our registered patients are using our online patient access system. This is a truly amazing number and makes our work far more efficient in terms of booking appointments and organising medications. If you would like to sign up please follow click here and click the green register button.
Now for the little grumble, if you have any queries about your medication please can you write these on your repeat medication request via patient access, this way is most efficient and safe way for us and the information lands within your medical record. It is difficult if we receive email queries as there is the possibility of transcription errors or other misunderstandings occurring.
It has also been brought to our attention that a few company’s are offering to process your repeat medications for you stating that this would be helping your GP Practice, these are private companies making a profit. We are a Dispensing GP Practice and the revenue from running the Dispensary supports the Practice as a whole, without the Dispensary the GP Practice in Dulverton would not be viable. Please support our Dispensary.
Wishing everyone an enjoyable Easter break
Kathryn
Practice Manager Partner

December 2017

Merry Christmas One and All!

This time of year is always a reflective one for me, looking back at the happenings of the previous year and often thinking “where has that twelve months gone!”.   So, here we are following a year of some fond farewells as well as the excitement of welcoming new members to our practice team.  Our newest of which being Claire Floyd as our new healthcare assistant.  Claire has worked with us previously and we are so grateful to have her back with us at the practice.

Another huge accomplishment for our practice this year is achieving our “Going for Gold” Accreditation.  This work was started in August 2014 and as a practice we have worked together to improve our systems and delivery of healthcare to those patients whose needs require a very important multi-disciplinary approach.  We are now looking to extend this work to provide protected GP time for our patients with complex health needs in the hope that we can build upon the service that we currently deliver.  Achieving national recognition for this work is something our whole team feel extremely proud of and we have had fantastic feedback from patients and carers over recent months.

As you know we have also been planning to start our Health Walks and we are so excited to say that we now have two patient volunteers that have been trained up and will be looking to start regular walks for our patients in the New Year.  These will be regular guided walks that will be graded according to difficulty and designed to help give people the confidence to get out into our beautiful surroundings.  For those of you who may have BBC Sports Personality of the Year last night, Denise Larrad was awarded the “Unsung Hero” trophy for her outstanding voluntary work helping people in her community get active.  Her words were truly inspirational particularly speaking about the detrimental impact inactivity can have on our health.   Is it time for a New Year’s resolution to get more active?  Maybe these groups can help? Watch this space – more details will follow in the New Year!  (If anyone is interested in helping to support the running of this group or feel they would benefit from participating in a regular health walk please let Lindsay Smith know).

We are now well and truly into the winter weather! There are undoubtedly higher pressures on healthcare services at this time of year.  Could we please ask that wherever possible home visit requests for housebound patients are made by 11am to enable our GPs to plan efficiently.  We appreciate that this may not always be possible, but we are keen to try to meet the demand as effectively as possible over the coming months.  In addition, if you are happy for us to leave answerphone messages please let our receptionists know.  Please note, we require a personalised message on the mobile or landline answerphone to be able to leave this message for confidentiality reasons.

That’s all from me for now!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Kelsey