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Bank Holiday Weekend - Monday 29th May 2017:

A reminder to our patients that all of our surgeries will be closed on Monday 29 May 2017 (Bank Holiday Monday).

The Ilfracombe and Combe Martin surgeries will reopen at 8.30am on Tuesday 30 May 2017, with Woolacombe opening at 8.30am on Wednesday 31 May 2017.

Our telephones are likely to be very busy on Tuesday 30 May and would ask for your patience whilst we deal with these calls.

Contact Details:

Are your contact details up to date? particularly your Mobile Number?

From time to time we may need to contact you quickly and if your details are out of date it can mean there is a delay. Check your details with the receptionist the next time you're in the surgery, or when you telephone to make an appointment.

You can also check and change your contact details Online through SystmOnline.

Please don't forget to change your childrens details if they use your mobile or landline number

One Small Step

Whether you’re looking to quit smoking, lose weight for that special occasion, become more active or reduce your alcohol intake, you've come to the right place.   OneSmallStep is a tailored service for the people of Devon. 

Visit for further details.

Woolacombe Winter Surgery Hours

Please note - due to a drop in demand from patients, the Woolacombe Surgery will be closed every Tuesday from 1st February 2017.  Woolacombe patients are advised that they can attend either the Combe Martin or Ilfracombe Surgeries if necessary.

From 1st February 2017 the Woolacombe Surgery will  be open:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday from 08:30am - 13:00.

Named Allocated GP

You may be aware that from April 2015 all practices are required to provide all their patients with a named GP who will have overall responsibility for the care and support that our surgery provides to them.


The allocated named GP will have overall responsibility for the care and support that our surgery provides to you. This does not prevent you from seeing any GP in the practice as you currently do.

You do not need to take any further action. If you wish to be told the name of your named GP, please ask the receptionists when you are next in the surgery or call the surgery on 01271 863119.  Alternatively this information is available on the top right hand side of your repeat prescription slip.

If you are unhappy with the named doctor allocated to you and have a genuine concern that this doctor will not be best placed to undertake the responsibilities assigned; then you can ask to be reallocated to another doctor.

Latest News




Go to Practice Vacancies page for further information



New Telephone System Goes Live - Wednesday 26th April


We are pleased to confirm that on Wednesday 26 April 2017, Combe Coastal Practice will have a new automated telephone system.

Patients will be asked to choose from a number of options when calling the practice, please listen carefully to the options when you ring us so that your call is answered promptly.




Child Immunisations




Important News for all Patients - New Telephone System


We are excited to announce that we will be installing a new automated telephone system at the end of April 2017 to streamline our services and ensure that you reach us as quickly as possible. Team members at all of our three sites will answer your call whichever number you ring.

Callers will hear a new message welcoming them to Combe Coastal Practice and inviting them to select from different options within the system to reach designated team members; this could be the appointments team, the prescriptions team or general enquiry team. You will be asked for a brief reason for your call as this helps us deal with your request in the appropriate way.

We believe this new system will offer an improved service and accessibility to our team for callers to the surgery.

Look out for more updates on our website or our Facebook page



Healthy People Devon CCG Newsletter - 27th February 2017.  CLICK HERE



Make a pledge to help reduce medicines waste


£5.5 million is wasted each year in Devon on unused medicines.  Please click on the poster below for more information:

Medicines Waste Pledge




One Small Step One Small Step

Whether you’re looking to quit smoking, lose weight for that special occasion, become more active or reduce your alcohol intake, you've come to the right place.   OneSmallStep is a tailored service for the people of Devon. 

Visit for further details.


Self-Care - Prescription Medication

NEW Devon CCG is supporting GP practices who decide to reduce their prescribing of medicines and supplies which have limited clinical value or are more suitable for patients to buy for themselves.


In the last 12 months NEW Devon CCG spent around £27,000 on prescribed medicines for coughs and colds such as decongestants, cough suppressants and inhalants. A proportion of this is likely to be appropriate for self-care.


As part of their self-care campaign this year, NEW Devon CCG would like to remind you that many of these treatments can be purchased in a local pharmacy or supermarket, often at a very reasonable price and cheaper than the cost of a prescription. This has the added benefit of freeing up GP surgery capacity as well as contributing to a cost reduction for the NHS, which could be used to fund essential services.


Please visit NEW Devon CCG’s website pages here to find supporting documents to promote self-care for patients with coughs and colds. Useful information for patients regarding self-care can also be found here.


If you have any queries please contact the PALS Team. PALS contact details can be found in the patient leaflet available here on the self-care website pages.


Please also note that the self-care forum is another useful resource for information and resources for prescribers and patients


Thank you for your on-going support in promoting self-care 

Creativity for Wellbeing - Encouraging Art in the community.

C4W is a free art resource site created by Richard K Potter for everyone - parents, facilitators and groups. C4W is designed to encourage creativity in the community, co-production and purposeful activity for health and wellbeing and to create a sense of belonging.  The aim of the site is to share ideas and make it easier for people to start their own activity group or art workshop in their community, to benefit others.  Please visit for details.

Healthwatch Devon e-Bulletin - for Healthcare news around Devon.

Healthwatch Devon Newsletter HERE to access the  latest e-bulletin from Healthwatch Devon, providing uptodate news, consultations and events around Devon.

Pregnant women urged to protect their babies from whooping cough as infections rise across the south

7 September 2016 - 12:52

Cases of highly infectious whooping cough have increased by 25% across the south region, posing a serious risk to babies and young infants.  Yet despite the rise, thousands of women are still not being vaccinated, with 40% of pregnant women not taking the protection it offers to their new born child.

A regional campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the risks and promote uptake of the vaccine among pregnant women.

Whooping cough – known medically as pertussis – is an infection which can create serious breathing difficulties, particularly in babies and young children. It can lead to major health complications such as brain damage and pneumonia and can be fatal.

In the south region, there were 1141 cases of whooping cough in 2014, increasing by over 25% to 1432 in 2015. In 2012, 14 babies died in England and Wales following a whooping cough infection.

New born and young babies are particularly vulnerable, but a highly effective vaccine is routinely available to pregnant women, who then pass the resistance to their unborn child, protecting the baby from birth until they are old enough to receive their childhood immunisations at around three months old.

The vaccine is given at a GP practice or in maternity units at the point of the foetal abnormality scan, from 20 weeks of pregnancy. Ideally it should be given before 32 weeks, but it can still be given right up to the point of labour, but with reduced effectiveness.

The national average coverage of eligible pregnant women is around 60%.  But in the South there is significant variation – as low as just 43% in Slough CCG area – highlighting areas where many women are not receiving the protection offered by the vaccine.

During the winter flu season, pregnant women should also receive the flu vaccination, which can be given at the same time as whooping cough.

Dr Nigel Acheson, Regional Medical Director, said:

“People often think of whooping cough as an illness from days gone by – but it is a real threat to babies and young children right now and can lead to pneumonia, brain damage and even death.

“The number of infections increased by 25% across the South region in 2015, but despite the risk, on average just 60% of women receive the vaccination, meaning many are putting their baby at risk.   

“As we are also approaching the winter flu season, I also urge pregnant women to receive their free flu vaccination, which they can have at the same time as whooping cough. This way they will protect themselves and their baby from both potentially fatal illnesses.”

Find out more on the NHS Choices website and search ‘whooping cough’


Don't be a hoarder - Don't Over Order

Unused Prescription Medications cost the NHS in Northern, Eastern & Western Devon £5.5Million every year!

Please help us reduce this by only ordering the medication you need.

Further details of the campaign can be found on the New Devon CCG Website HERE.  Or you can download the patient information pack by clicking below.  Many thanks for your help.

Don't Be a Hoarder - Patient Leaflet

Repeat Ordering Patient Information

Devon Forces Family Website

We are delighted to announce that the Devon Forces Family website has been launched by Devon County Council

Click on link for details:


On behalf of Dr Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health Devon, Chair of the Devon Armed Forces (Community) Wellbeing Partnership.


National Diabetes Audit

Combe Coastal Practice are taking part in this important national project about diabetes care and treatment.  For more information on the National Diabetes Audit and how your data will be used, please see the below information sheets.

National Diabetes Audit - Helping to Improve Diabetes

National Diabetes Audit - How your information is used

MJOG SMS Messaging Service

We have recently started a new text messaging service which not only allows us to text appointment reminders to our patients, but we can now send out text message questionnaires which will help us to keep patient records up to date.

We have recently sent out a text message to all our patients aged 16+ asking if you are a carer, and giving you the option of texting back "Carer" to a number provided which will then automatically log this on your medical record.  This is a great way for us to make sure we are aware of which of our patients are carers and may need support in the future.

If you would prefer not to receive these text messages, please let us know, or reply to the message you receive.  Please note dissenting from the service will also stop SMS appointment reminders.

If you have any queries, please contact Claire at the Ilfracombe medical centre.


Combe Coastal Facebook Page Launched

Combe Coastal Practice launched their Facebook page today (24th June 2016).  We hope that this will allow us to communicate important news with our patients


Drop in Blood Clinics - Daily 8.30-9.30

We now run a drop in Phlebotomy session most weekday mornings from 8.30-9.30am for all routine blood tests requested by your GP or Hospital.  If you require a blood test, please pop into the surgery during this time and advise the receptionist you are here for the drop in bloods clinic and they will take your details and mark you in.

Unfortunately we can not do Chronic Disease blood tests in the drop in session.


Same Day Service Appointments

Urgent or Same Day Appointments* – Combe Coastal Practice

This service is an additional service to our normal GP and nurse appointments and is ideal for problems that have come on suddenly and require urgent medical attention.  It is run by a Duty Doctor and a Specialist Nurse Practitioner and will be available to all Combe Coastal Patients.


Appointments for the Same Day Service are a mixture of telephone and face to face appointments and will mean that our reception team will ask for a brief explanation of your problem to ensure you see the right person at the right time. It ensures that urgent medical issues can be prioritised by the doctor or nurse initially via a telephone call. If the doctor or nurse feels that you need to be seen after calling you then an appointment will be made during this call.


Here’s an example list of medical issues that can be seen by the duty doctor or nurse:


  • Injuries such as: bumps, cuts bruises and sprains
  • Skin rashes such as: ringworm, cold sores, warts, herpes, verruca’s, boils, bites, stings, sunburn, impetigo, head lice, eczema, infected cuts, shingles, in-growing toenails, moles and mouth problems (ulcers)
  • Ear Nose and Throat issues such as:  sore throat, tonsillitis, ear ache, colds and flu, sinusitis, cough, acute asthma, fever, hay fever, nosebleeds. 
  • Eyes such as: sore eyes, styes, conjunctivitis. 
  • Abdomen or stomach pain such as: abdominal pain, diarrhoea & vomiting, urinary tract infections, balanitis (sore penis), indigestion, constipation, threadworms, cystitis, itchy bottom.
  • Head, Back and Neck Pain such as: headache, dizziness, neck pain, back pain
  • Women’s Health issues such as: emergency oral contraception, urgent pill questions, vaginal discharge, and mastitis in pregnancy.
  • Mental Health issues such as: panic attacks, hyperventilation


Remember that our reception teams are here to help you and we’re working hard to keep disruption and changes for patients to a minimum.


 *This service does not replace the Minor Injuries Unit at the Tyrrell Hospital based at St Brannocks Park Road Ilfracombe EX34 8JF – please call them direct on 01271 863448 for opening times.


Making your local health record work better for you

Information about Shared Records

This practice is part of the local shared care record. This means that as from 01 March 2016 it will be possible for you to give permission for other health care professionals to view your GP health record when they are providing you with care.

If you have any concerns or questions please take a copy of our leaflet (available in the surgery)

‘Making your health records work better for you’

Alternatively ask to speak to one of the Practice Management Team, or email the project direct at NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group at:


HANDI App - Not sure what to do when you child is ill?

Download the free HANDi Paediatric app for expert advice, support and guidance on common childhood illnesses.

The app has been designed as a way to reduce the number of children and young people who visit A&E but need no treatment.


It has been developed by paediatric consultants and will give parents access to home care plans, as well as primary care and hospital clinical guidelines.


The app contains information about when and how to ask for help, along with what to expect when your child is being assessed.


Click the link below to open details instructions on how to install the Desktop Version of the APP for use on your PC.

Handi App Banner

 HANDi App Desktop Download

To download the App on your Mobile:

Android:Search ‘HANDi Paediatric’ on Google Play or click here.
Apple:Search ‘HANDi Paediatric’ on App Store or click here. Devon links will appear in the next week or so (following Apple approval process). 

Advice to patients on Cold Calling - Fraud prevention.

A number of patients in the South West have reported instances of "cold callers" from various companies, who appear to be aware of patients medical histories and in some cases claim this has been provided by the patients GP's.  We would like to reassure our patients that NO GP Practice will ever divulge your medical history.

We have attached a link below to download a useful factsheet on what to do if you are contacted by one of these companies.  The file is in PDF format and you will need a suitable PDF viewer to open the file.  If you are having problems opening this file, please feel free to drop into the surgery and we will provide you with a hard copy.

Cold Calling Patient Information Sheet

Health News from the BBC and the NHS

BBC Health
NHS Choices Behind the Headlines
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