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Latest News

Christmas and New Year Opening Times

Please be aware that the practice (all three surgeries) will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 December) and on New Year's Day (Tuesday 1 January).

If you have an urgent medical need that cannot wait until the practice is next open, please call the out-of-hours service - NHS 111.

Summary of Opening times.

Monday 24 December      - Open as usual at all sites

Tuesday 25 December      - Closed
Wednesday 26 December  - Closed

Thursday 27 December     - Open as usual at all sites
Friday 28 December         - Open as usual at all sites

Saturday 29 December     - Open as usual at Hemyock 8am - 11am
Sunday 30 December       - Closed

Monday 31 December       - Open as usual at all sites
Tuesday 1 January            - Closed
Wednesday 2 January        - Open as usual at all sites.

Christmas and New Year - Local Pharmacy Opening Times

Click here to see the opening times of local pharmacies on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.   Local Pharmacies opening Times

Potential Telephone Scam

We have received two reports, one from a patient at the Blackdown Practice and one from another Practice that they have received telephone calls from someone claiming to be from an on-line pharmacy. The person calling knows the patient’s name, on one occasion the date of birth and says that they understand that the person they are calling is on repeat medicines.

This is a scam. We suggest that you hang up the telephone. Please do not supply them with any personal details and do not telephone them back.

We are reporting this to the local fraud team.

Farewell to Dr Sue Brocklesby and Welcome to Dr Tom Winter

It is with great sadness that we are saying goodbye to our Senior Partner, Dr Sue Brocklesby, who retired after 32 years as a GP, 19 of which have been at Blackdown.  She will be greatly missed by patients and everyone at the Practice but we hope to see her for the odd locum session here and there.

Dr Brocklesby’s patients will be transferred to Drs Spicer, Sherwin and our new Partner, Dr Thomas Winter, who will be joining us on the 22 of October.

We have had a lot of comings and goings over the last few years but have been very fortunate to recruit excellent doctors at a time when many other Practices are struggling to do so.

Drs Leach (now our Senior Partner) and Winter will predominantly cover Hemyock

Drs Barnes and Parrett (nee Perry) will work between Dunkeswell and Hemyock 

Drs Spicer and Sherwin will predominantly cover Churchinford 

Dr Murray remains as versatile as ever and will be working at all three sites. 

Evening and weekend appointments

We are pleased to announce that we are working with Devon Doctors so that GP appointments are now available for our patients at Tiverton Hospital during the weekday evenings and at weekends.

To access these appointments please call Devon Doctors on 01392 822354. This telephone line is open 8:00am-6:30pm Monday to Friday and 8:00am-1:00pm over weekends and bank holidays.

Please note the 01392 822354 is for booking weekday evening and weekend appointments only. If you need an appointment at your usual surgery during the day, you can contact us on the usual surgery numbers between 8:30am-6:00pm Monday to Friday.

To access the out of hours service, you still telephone 111.  

Flu vaccinations

The season is upon us where patients and staff alike roll up their sleeves and queue through the corridors to receive their flu jab. If you have received a letter from us, this means you are eligible to have a flu vaccine on the NHS.

We are sorry that this year we have needed to be so strict about vaccinating patients in clinics rather than as part of another routine appointment you may have booked.

This is because the flu vaccines for patients over 65 years of age have been allocated in smaller deliveries this year and therefore we need to ensure that we have enough for each clinic booked as we go along. This is a national delivery schedule for General Practice and has been something completely out of our control. We are hoping that there will be a more practical solution for next year.

Problems using Patient Access on an iPad

A new version of Patient Access was launched at the end of June and when you first logon to the new version it will ask you to re-validate some of your details.  This is proving highly problematic for some iPad users.  For this first login to the new version, please use a Windows PC and make sure you use the long number as the Username. 

Once the re-validation is complete you should be able to use the iPad as normal and will be able to use your email address as an alternative to the long number to login.

However, please be aware that if the same email address is shared, only the first person to re-validate with that email address will be able to use it to logon. Anyone else must continue to use the long number. 

Changes to the Way we Book Appointments

Please read our Newsletter to find out about the changes we are making to the way appointments are booked.  Summer 2018 Newsletter

GP Average Earnings

All GP practices are required to declare the mean net earnings (i.e. Average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice. This is required in the interests of the greater public accountability recognising GP pay is ultimately funded from tax paid by the public.


The average pay for GPs working at the Blackdown Practice in the last financial year was £35,632 before tax and National Insurance. This is for 3 full-time GPs, 4 part-time GPs and 0 locum GPs who worked in the practice for more than six months.

Health Visitor Drop In Sessions at Hemyock – New for 2018 

From the 8th January 2018, the Health Visitor drop in sessions at the Practice are moving to the Blackdown Healthy Living Centre, Riverside, Hemyock EX15 3SH. This is a great venue, very light and airy with good parking on site.


The sessions will now be on a Monday afternoon between 1pm and 3pm. Your new Health Visitor, Emma Bath, will be there on the last Monday of every month between 1pm and 2pm; the other Monday drop in sessions will not be supervised by a Health Visitor but will give the opportunity for new parents and carers to meet. Play equipment will be available and there are tea and coffee making facilities (any small donation would be welcomed) and from mid-January there will be scales available to weigh your baby at any time the centre is open. For opening times please see their website . The telephone number for the centre is 01823 680 687


Please note: the centre is closed on Bank Holiday Mondays.


Any queries, the Culm Valley Health Visiting Team can be contacted on 01884 836004.

Changes to Opening Hours at Churchinford Surgery

Following consultation with the practice's Patient Participation Group and approval from NHS England, Churchinford Surgery will be closed on Friday afternoons from 12.30pm starting on Friday September 15.

Appointments will still be available at Hemyock and the dispensary there will be open from 14.00 to 18.00.  Phone calls to Churchinford Reception will also be answered at Hemyock.

For more detail on the reasons for the closure please click on the 'Read our Newsletter' above.

CQC Inspection - The Practice was rated as Outstanding

The practice was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in June 2016.  It was rated as Outstanding.

You can read the report here -> CQC Inspection report

The CQC also issued a press release which can be read here -> CQC Press Release

Accessing your Medical Record On-line

From 1 April 2016 the information you are able to view on-line via Patient Access has been expanded to include the following:

  • Immunisation history
  • Test results
  • Consultations
  • Diagnoses
  • Medical and surgical procedures
  • Details of referral made to e.g. Hospitals

If you already use Patient Access and would like to be able to access this additional information, you will need to complete a form, available from Reception or which can be downloaded here.

If you do not currently use Patient Access but would like to use any of its’ functions including making appointments, ordering repeat medication or accessing the additional information, please complete the form and bring it to the surgery with two forms of identification (one with a photo and one with your address on it).

Your GP will review your records before you have access to them in the same way as he/she would if we had received a verbal or written request from you to access your records.



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