Patient Newsletter Spring 2022




Welcome to our first edition of the Pinhoe & Broadclyst Medical Practice Newsletter

We are sure you will agree that recent times have been like no other and we would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding throughout the last two years. The idea for our newsletter is to share any information you may find helpful. Please get in touch if you feel you have something to share by using our contact form.


Our Practices – News as we move forward

Living within our practice boundaries you will have seen the rapid growth in housing and population. At our Broadclyst surgery, building work is well underway to grow our space by utilising the loft area to provide more consulting space, a staff room and toilet. Our Pinhoe surgery was purpose built in the 1980’s and was perfectly adequate for that time. In recent years we have had to adjust to the surge in patient numbers, around 150 a month at present. As a result of that increase, we have naturally increased our staffing accordingly to include more doctors, nurses, reception and admin staff. We have also been able to secure funding for an Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme Team, adding Physiotherapists, Clinical Pharmacists, a Dietitian, Occupational Therapist and a Paramedic Practitioner to our growing team of healthcare professionals.


Meet the Team


“I’m Laura, the new Dietitian within the practice.

I have been working at the RD&E for the last 12 years and I’m very excited to be working back in primary care. To start with I will be taking referrals from the GPs and Nurses for those with existing medical conditions. Most of my work will be face to face in clinic but I am also happy to arrange phone appointments and home visits if needed. In the future I hope to be able to arrange some group education sessions as well. If you think you would benefit from a Dietitian appointment, please let your GP know”

“I am Sara Dilks, one of the new pharmacists who will be working at the practice.

I joined the team after working with the RD&E adult community pharmacy services in Exeter for 15 years. In this new role I will be focussing on helping our patients to optimise and manage their medicines, by reviewing how and why they take them with telephone or face to face appointments. I will also be supporting people in our local care homes with structured medicines reviews and people in their own homes who have complex medicines needs too. I am enjoying answering the wide variety of medicines queries that I am asked and am particularly interested in supporting people to taper down and reduce medicines they may no longer need with an individual medicines reduction plan. I work Monday to Thursday each week and am looking forward to another pharmacist joining the team in April too.”



“I am Amy Taplin, the now, not so new Practice Manager of Pinhoe and Broadclyst Medical Practice.

Andy Potter retired last Summer after 12 years of committed service, and I have been in post since then. I have moved with my family from Hampshire and bring with me 13 years of NHS experience, nine of those in GP Surgery management positions. The patient newsletter has been put in place to provide you with quarterly updates on any team and service changes at the practice and we welcome your suggestions as to what information you’d like to see. If you’d like to get more involved, you can join our patient participation panel; details regarding this can be found in this newsletter.”


Telephone Calls

We sincerely apologise to those who have had difficulty contacting the surgery by telephone in recent weeks. We are aware that our existing telephone system is under pressure and it has come to light recently that there is an issue. It appears that if a call comes into an unmanned position, the call will stay at that position and not move on to the next available person if unanswered. We are now able to rectify this. This highlights the need for more staff and we are in the process of recruiting additional staff to help. In the very near future, we will be installing a new telephone system which will dramatically assist with the increased volume of calls, around 10,000 a month at present.


Reception Team Changes

n recognition of how the role of the Receptionist has changed over the years and how hard the team work behind the scenes carrying out tasks that are much more than the perceived traditional Receptionist role, our team members have been renamed ‘Patient Services Administrators’ from April 2022.



Join our 540 followers on Facebook, search for ‘Pinhoe and Broadclyst Medical Practice’ today to keep up to date with surgery news.



Name Badges

Very soon, all staff members will be wearing name badges. The badges will be sporting the #hellomynameis logo – click here to see more about this campaign and its creation, The badges will have a yellow background with black writing. High visible yellow name badges with black text are recognised as highly readable, aiding patients and visitors with visual impairments and dementia to be able to easily identify staff names.



Please continue to wear masks when you visit the surgery in this period of adjustment to keep yourselves and others safe.


Check-In Screen

We have a new self-check-in screen at both the Pinhoe and Broadclyst Surgeries aiding an instant check-in process when you arrive. The machines are really easy to use, but if you would like support in using the machine for the first time, please just ask and we’d be happy to help.


Patient Appointments

A positive outcome from the Covid-19 pandemic is the way we now offer patient appointments, giving a more suitable option to patients who just need to speak, rather than visit, a doctor.

These are the options available:

  • eConsulation – Complete an e-Consult via our website 24/7 at your convenience. Receive a response by close of play the next working day.
  • Face-to-face – Pre-bookable appointments to see your or any GP in person.
  • Urgent Face-to-face – (only able to be booked after 08.00 for the same day)
  • Pre-bookable Telephone Call – Advance bookable calls for your/any GP to telephone you on an agreed date (estimated time will be given).
  • Urgent Telephone Call – For your/any doctor to telephone at sometime during that day (only able to be booked after 08.00 for the same day).

New Baby Service

New Baby Service

Devon County Council teamed up with Libraries Unlimited to offer free baby self-weigh facilities in private areas of 16 libraries across Devon during their popular Bounce & Rhyme sessions.

Parents and carers will be given safe guidance around the weighing and plotting of babies and children’s growth and can contact a Health Visitor if they have concerns around any aspect of their baby’s growth or feeding. Exeter Central Library and St Thomas Library are the Exeter Libraries participating in this scheme.


Join our PPP Group

Would you like to have a say about the services we provide

The Pinhoe and Broadclyst Medical Practice wants to hear your views.

Questions/enquiries might be about:

  • The services we provide and any proposed changes.
  • Setting our priorities for the future.
  • Helping to agree questions for wider patient surveys.

The Practice Patient Panel (PPP) was established in July 2011. This was first set up as a ‘virtual group’ with correspondence conducted using email. At one point, membership rose to well over 60.

In 2015, a number of members expressed a wish to start holding face-to-face meetings. An Open Meeting was held in November 2015, with invited speakers from other local PPPs in attendance. It was agreed we continue to meet, with the first of our new regular meetings taking place in January 2016. The PPP have met regularly since then until the pandemic struck. The meetings have recently started back up again, virtually for the time being, on a quarterly basis.

If you would like to join, contact us via the PPP page or pop in and provide your details to a patient services administrator and we will add your email address to our contact list


Station Road Closure

We have been advised by Devon County Council that Station Road, Pinhoe, will be closed for approximately 8 weeks in the near future to commence works on the Pinhoe Station Car Park Scheme and a diversion will be in place. There will be pedestrian access only over the level crossing. A start date has yet to be confirmed but they assure us that the yellow information signs will give 7 days’ notice before the closure.

More information and a diversion map can be found on the works website

We will keep you updated with any information as we receive it.


Alcoholics Anonymous

News from AA is that they now are able to meet face-to-face again. AA meetings are free and need no referral. Friends and family are able to attend ‘open’ meetings. Any person who thinks they have a problem with alcohol can call the local helpline 01752 791111 Or the National Freephone number 0800 917 7650. Meetings and where they can be found are listed on their website


How to provide feedback to the Practice

We all learn from feedback and it’s important for us to try and provide an exemplary service. It really does make the teams’ day when positive feedback is received, whether it be via an email, a card, or an online survey: take our Friends and Family Test.

When things are not the way you would hope, it is helpful to tell us about the issue and we can try to improve our service and patient experience. Find details of how to make a complaint.


CPCS – Community Pharmacy Consultation Service

Our practice has signed up to a new service called the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service. With certain ailments, it may be possible to get the help you need from a pharmacist. When you call the surgery, after discussion with the receptionist, you may decide that a personal consultation, either in person or on the telephone with the Pharmacist will be the help you need. Our receptionist will take some details and send a referral to a Pharmacy of your choice, providing they have agreed to provide this service. The pharmacist will then contact you that day and offer a telephone or in-person consultation to discuss your needs. They will suggest treatment if appropriate. After consultation they will refer you back to a GP if that’s the best course of action.


Dr de Courcy and Dr Varga

Dr Sarah de Courcy is currently on maternity leave and will be returning in early 2023. Dr Melania Varga is working at the practice for the duration of Dr de Courcy’s maternity leave and is covering her patient list in her absence. Patients of Dr de Courcy have been temporarily transferred to Dr Varga and can now book appointments with her using our online services.


Refugees and Asylum Seeker Patients

We are pleased to share that we have signed up to a newly offered service which is to register and support refugees and asylum seekers. If you are in our catchment area and are hosting a refugee family, or know someone who is, please let them know that they can register at the practice without the need for address and ID proof. They will be offered a comprehensive appointment so that we can identify their needs and support them accordingly


Published: Apr 8, 2022