Litchdon Medical Centre
Welcome to Litchdon Medical Centre
Blood testing disrupted 6th October
We have been informed by Northern Devon Healthcare Trust that the national supply of biochemistry blood testing equipment had been significantly disrupted and could remain so for up to 3 weeks. This means that certain blood testing services will only be processed if deemed as urgent, and any non-urgent samples taken will have a significant delay in processing until the equipment is available.
You may therefore experience some disruption to your app...ointments, for those patients who have already booked an appointment you may be contacted by one of our team to rearrange or cancel this.
If you don't hear from us then your blood test is still going ahead.
For patients who are calling to request Month of Birth annual review or routine blood tests please be aware that the team may ask you to give more details than normal and ask you to call back in 2 weeks.
Unfortunately this is something which we as a Practice are unable to influence or alter, the team met yesterday and are finalising a process to ensure that all patients are followed up and seen.
We will keep you all updated.
We will be inviting all eligible patients to our flu clinics - we have over 5,000 patients to invite and will be running clinics on Saturdays over the coming weeks - please do not ring us to ask for an appointment as we WILL be contacting you.
Wondering why you may have to wait for your flu vaccine? Click on the below flyer from Public Health England that provides information with regards to the supply of the flu vaccine & some FAQs
PHE Flu Flyer 2020/21
Exemption to wearing face masks
The practice and GPs are not able to provide any letters or certificates to say anyone is exempt to wearing a face covering. You can find guidance here which includes how to get exemption documents.
At Litchdon medical centre we are proud to offer an outstanding service reflected in our most recent national patient survey and CQC assessment.
Through lockdown we strove to keep our standards high whilst keeping our staff and patients safe. We used new IT systems to provide video consultations, switched to telephone triage, sourced safe PPE and made changes to the flow and interior of our building to keep possibly infectious patients separate from others. This was all whilst we had lower levels of staff due to illness and shielding.
We feel very fortunate that in North Devon we have not as yet seen the predicted levels of infection, illness and deaths from COVID-19.
We are however still in a pandemic and in accordance with national NHS advice need to continue to keep footfall in the surgery low, keep social distancing measures and PPE in place to reduce the risk of an increase in cases now lockdown has eased.
We are now facing a large surge in demand for our normal services. We are aware that some people have been managing their long term illnesses without medical input for some time in order to reduce pressures on services.
Due to the increase in demand, if your problem isn’t urgent, you are likely to have to wait longer than previously for routine appointments. We are providing telephone consultations, e consultations and face to face consultations where needed.
Although the majority of our patients are courteous to our Doctors and staff unfortunately we have had a much higher than normal spate of abusive behaviour in the last few weeks. We have a zero tolerance policy on abuse of any kind. We will protect our staff and as a result anyone behaving in this way may be advised that they will be removed from our patient list and have to re-register elsewhere.
As a reminder prior to lockdown the average national wait time for a routine (non urgent) appointment with a GP was 12-13 days.
At Litchdon it was 3-5 days for a routine appointment.
Currently the national average wait for a routine appointment with a GP is 15-18 days.
At Litchdon it is 5-8 days for a routine appointment.
We are exploring new ways to manage demand and keep patients and staff safe, this may require further changes to some of our systems. We will update you on any changes when they occur.
We are grateful to you for your patience during this challenging time.
Coronavirus National Guidelines
GP Appointment Telephone Triage
Following national guidelines in relation to the Coronavirus we are now running an appointment telephone triage service ONLY at Litchdon Medical Centre. If you need to make an appointment with us please do so via telephone contact ONLY. We will book you a telephone call back in the first instance. If the clinican still needs to see you they will arrange for you to come into the practice for an appointment.
Please help us protect our NHS staff and all of our patients:
- Only come to the practice if you have a booked appointment or are collecting something.
- All other contact should be done via the telephone, on line access or e consult.
We would like to inform you that from Monday 13th July 2020, it will be compulsory that patients coming into the practice will need to wear a face covering in order to help prevent any further spread of COVID-19 and keep us all safe. Social distancing is still vital, however, face coverings are an added precaution. Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 3 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. For example, primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions.
You will see us all wearing them too.
Click here to access a link on how to make your own face covering.
Click on the link below to access information on face coverings and exemptions (including cards you can use to say you have a reason to be exempt if needed).
The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
All Practices have been advised to take the following precautions with regard to Coronavirus (Covid-19):
Please do not come into the Surgery unless you have a pre-arranged appointment or need to make a collection.
You can phone us or use e consult on line to email us. See e consult link a little further down this page to easily access it.
We are monitoring the situation daily and will update FB and this site regularly.
What to do if you have the following symptoms
Stay at home if you have:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
- a loss or change in smell or taste
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
How long to stay at home
- if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
- if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
Read the advice about staying at home.
If you are in isolation and require a sick note for work
Click on this link 111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/ if you are on 7 or 14 day isolation and require a sick note for work. You can obtain a sick note through this NHS 111 website.
If you are on 12 weeks isolation due to receiving the letter stating you are in the high risk category, you can use this letter as the sick note for work. You do not require any further evidence apart from this letter.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Use the 111 coronavirus service
Go to nhs.uk for more information
Government advice for shielding patients
Click here to access up-to-date information on the slow releasing of the rules
Government coronavirus advice related to employment and going back to work
We are unable to give advice related to going back to work. Click here to access a link which provides you with all the national guidance available at this time
Government advice related to schools re-opening
We are unable to give advice related to schools reopening. Click here to access a link which provides you with all the national guidance available at this time.
On holiday in North Devon
If you are on holiday and need medical advice from a GP Surgery because you are unwell or have forgotten your medication please contact your own GP from where you live and they can help you - all practices are now doing telephone or video consultations and they can also send prescriptions electronically to anywhere in the country. This means your own GP, who knows you and your medical history, is in a better position to help you than being seeing as a temporary resident in a local surgery.
July 2020 - An update of our services and availability at Litchdon
As lockdown eases, we wanted to give our patients an update on how we are running to keep the risk of any further spread of Coronavirus as low as possible. Please take the time to read the below letter so you are up to date and know what to expect if you need to contact us.
Service Update for Patients July 2020
We want to thank all of our patients for your continued patience & support during this time.
Join a COVID-19 clinical trial
The PRINCIPLE trial aims to find treatments that reduce hospital admission and improve symptoms for people with COVID-19. You could be eligible to join if:
You have had these symptoms for fewer than 15 days:
- a continuous new or worsening cough
- and/or a high temperature
- OR have a positive test for SARS-Co-V2 infection with COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days
- You are aged 50 to 64 with a pre-existing illness
- You are aged 65 and above
Patients can self-refer into the trial, there isn't a need to go through your GP.
To find out if you are eligible and to join visit: www.principletrial.org or call the Trial Team on 0800 138 0880.
Coronavirus Communities & Voluntary Sector Support
North Devon Council has launched a new community support hub to ensure the most vulnerable residents are not forgotten during the Coronavirus pandemic.
A new dedicated phoneline 01271 388280 and online form, via this link, are now available to those who need support who haven't already got help from family, friends, neighbours and support within the local community.
Dedicated Shopping Hours for the Elderly & Vulnerable
If you are visiting the supermarkets during their dedicated shopping times for the elderly or vulnerable, please use any documentation from home such as your prescription or any hospital letters that you would be happy to show to the staff at the supermarkets as evidence you fall into that category.
You do not need to request a letter from your GP.
You can receive help, advice and treatment for your health problems at a convenient time for you and your lifestyle.
Patients can access safe and efficient advice for lots of health conditions and symptoms on our eConsult website 24/7.
If you need further advice or think you may require treatment you can now consult with your GP online! All you need to do is fill out a simple form about your problem and a GP will get back to you within 3 working days.
You can also request further sick certificates (sick notes), discuss recent tests or get help for other administrative issues at a time that is convenient for you.
Your GP will email you back within 3 working days unless a different method of contact is more appropriate. Please ensure we have a verified email address saved on your record so your GP is able to get back to you.
Your completed form will be sent to your registered GP unless they are unavailable. If your registered GP is absent your form will be forwarded to an available GP who will get back to you within 3 working days.
You are unable to book appointments or order repeat medications via eConsult, however you are able to do this online by registering with Systm Online and using the buttons at the bottom of this page.
To see how eConsult works, watch this video.
Please note - eConsult is not suitable for emergency or severe health problems.
Contact your Dental Surgery for any Dental problems
If you have any dental problems please contact your dentist or an emergency dentist and not the surgery. GPs are not trained or legally able to provide dental care.
For advice on:
Dental Abscesses - click here
Toothache - click here
Patient Record Sharing Changes March 2020
We are making some changes to how we share data. This will only be within the Barnstaple Alliance and will take effect from 29th March 2020. For more information, please read the letter below or visit the 'Sharing your medical information' page under the Further Information menu.
Data Sharing Patient Letter
Removal of Fax Machines from General Practice 2020
As per the guidance from NHS England, we are no longer using fax machines as a way of sending or receiving information at the practice. We will now be using more secure, environmentally friendly and efficient way of communication (such as secure email) at all times.
Litchdon Medical Centre CQC Rating
We have received our rating following the inspection which took place in November 2019. We are delighted to announce we were awarded the rating of Outstanding! We are extremely pleased with the outcome and would like to thank staff and patients for their contribution and feedback.
To view our report, please click on the PDF Document below or click on the link to the CQC website.
CQC Inspection Report Litchdon Medical Centre
More details can be found under the 'CQC Information' page located under Further Information, just to the right of this message.
The team at Litchdon Medical Centre share these values and wish to demonstrate them in our daily work:
- Compassionate Care – Patients, carers, relatives and staff are treated with kindness, respect and dignity. Empathising with others to make them feel valued.
- Holistic well-being – Engaging with the whole person; considering their physical, mental and emotional well-being.
- Positive reliable teams - Professional, friendly, and approachable teams built on loyalty and trust.
- Active listeners - To listen to the views and feelings of patients, carers, relatives and staff, by recognising verbal and non-verbal signals so that everyone feels supported.
- Family focussed -Acknowledging and respecting the role of the individual and family in any intervention.
Litchdon Medical Centre Mission Statement
Providing quality healthcare by valuing both patients and staff in a supportive and sustainable environment.
Welcoming New NHS Patients
We are taking on new patients so if you wish to join the practice please contact us to register.
With patients' needs at the heart of everything we do, our website www.litchdonmedicalcentre.co.uk has been designed to make it easy for you to gain instant access to the information you need. As well as specific practice details such as opening hours and how to register, you’ll find a wealth of useful pages covering a wide range of health issues along with links to other relevant medical organisations.
You can have on line access to login to your records to easily book appointments, cancel appointments, check apointments, request repeat prescriptions or view some of your medical record.
To get a login please ask the Healthcare Administration Team who can easily set this up for everyone over 18 years of age and just need to see a form of photo ID.
There are also apps available for both Android and in the Apple App Store to enable access to your records - just search your App store for SystmOnline.
We are now using a messaging system to mobiles and landlines to contact you to remind you about appointments and to invite you to clinics such as flu vaccinations or others as appropriate.
To help us with this please make sure that the Healthcare Administration Team have your up to date land line and mobile telephone numbers.
For information about the surgery, helpful health information and advice you can also follow us on facebook or twitter.
Visit us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
National Patient Survey Results 2020
Thank you to everyone that took part - click on the link below to see how Litchdon has done!
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
GDPR regulations came into force in May 2018. Find out more under our section 'sharing your medical information' on the further information list to the right of this.
Extended surgery hours
Primary care has the opportunity to extend the hours for patient appointments. This includes starting at 8am, evening clinics till 8pm and some weekend mornings.
From 1st October 2019 Litchdon will provide one Monday morning GP clinic that starts at 8am, we will run an extra evening GP clinic every Wednesday till 8pm and we will take part in the rota across North Devon to provide some weekend morning GP appointments.
We continue to offer all our usual appointments during the week including our current evening clinics each week on a Wednesday and Thursday.
Litchdon patients can also use any of the evening and weekend appointments provided across North Devon run by other practices - just ask our Healthcare Administration Team who can book these for you.
There are also no changes to the Primary Care out of hours service, so for any urgent health concerns please contact 111 or 999 as before.
Green Impact Award
We are delighted to announce that in July 2018 we have won the Gold award for this national scheme to encourage organisations to be green and sustainable - to achieve this award we had to demonstrate thing like how we recycle as much as we can, save paper, save water, use our solar panels and how we link with the community and voluntary sector for something called social prescribing. We have a co-ordinator in the practice who can sign post people to get help and support from voluntary agencies, the local library, local sport activities and many more options. If you talk to your GP and feel something like this would help then your GP will ask the co-ordinator to contact you.
The Barnstaple Alliance is a voluntary association of the four General Practitioner surgeries: Brannam, Fremington, Litchdon and Queens.
Whilst retaining our independent surgeries, we are working together on collaborative projects to improve and develop our healthcare services and care given to patients. To find out more please visit our website
Please click on the below link to view the latest copy of our patient newsletter
Litchdon Summer Newsletter
We have joined the MINDFUL EMPLOYER charter
This is the charter for employers who are positive about mental health and is a voluntary agreement seeking to support employers in working within the spirit of its positive approach. The charter is one element of the MINDFUL EMPLOYER® initiative which is aimed at increasing awareness of mental health in the workplace and supporting business in recruiting and retaining staff.
MINDFUL EMPLOYER is a UK-wide initiative run by Workways, part of Devon Partnership NHS Trust. More information at www.mindfulemployer.net
Get Well, Keep Well
Of course we’re not just here for when you are unwell. Our team of healthcare professionals and support staff offer a number of clinics and services to promote good health and wellbeing whatever your medical condition.
Pharmacists can help with certain minor ailments and conditions, to save you having a GP appt. You can go straight to your pharmacy for help with things like coughs, colds, sore throats, fever, earache, threadworm, thrush, blocked nose, hayfever, atheletes foot, diarrhoea, cold sores, skin rashes, mouth ulcer and much more.....ask your pharmacist first.
Our premises have been developed to meet all current requirements as established under the Disability Discrimination Act.
We have a car park for patients calling at the surgery. There is considerable pressure on parking spaces at busy times, so please avoid leaving your car for longer than is strictly necessary.
Patient Participation Group (PPG)
Sue Matthews, Chair person of the PPG and Rosie Haworth-Booth Secretary of the PPG.
The practice is committed to improving the services we provide to our patients. To do this, it is vital that we hear from people about their experiences, views and ideas for making services better. The Patient Participation Group is an independent group and you can become involved by contacting Rosie Haworth Booth on 01271 830267, leave a note addressed to Rosie or Sue at Reception or email firstname.lastname@example.org
2020 Future PPG meeting dates where everyone is welcome will be put up here when arranged.