Latest News!

Want to get on the NHS App? (New!)

As promised last month, we have now uploaded an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to register with the new NHS App. You can find it listed on our Links page, or just click here to go directly to it.

We understand that this won't appeal to everybody - and not everybody has a smart phone or tablet, which is required at present. But remember, the more people that start using online access to appointments, notes and prescriptions, the less load there is on the telephone system, so the fewer delays others should experience.

Do let us have your feedback on this new idea. If it's popular, we will create more tutorials on other subjects.

Coat Road Planning Application (New!)

As a PPG, we are strictly non-political and tend to keep out of local matters other than where they affect our patients.

It was clear from the reaction at our AGM, however, that many people feel we should have an input on local planning since larger numbers of patients registering with the practice when we are already grossly overstretched cannot be a good thing.

Accordingly, your PPG spoke against the Coat Road development at the recent Regulation Committee Meeting, highlighting specifically the impact another 300-400 residents would have on our overworked GPs.

During the discussion, several councillors referred to the issues we had raised and, in the event, the application was refused. Sadly, as we know only too well, the probability is that the decision will be overridden by central government, but hopefully we have given the planners something to think about when they set the conditions.

Meet Your PPG! (New!)

If you have ever wanted to put a face to the names of your PPG committee, then you have the chance if you visit the Martock Farmers' Market on the second Saturday of each month.

Thanks to the kind offices of Fergus Dowding, we had a table at July's market and had conversations with many patients of the practice. If you would like to talk to us about anything (other than clinical matters!) then we will be there on 10th August too. Why not drop by for a chat?

Latest Minutes (New!)

The minutes of our latest committee meeting, held on 3rd July, are now available to view on our Links page.

New Survey (New!)

Our current survey, dated Spring 2019, asks you about how you spend your time whilst sitting in the waiting room.  Do you watch the videos? Study the posters? Read the leaflets? And then asks if you have used (or even know of the existence of) the Opinionater.

When completing the forms, please let us know your e-mail address if you haven't already done so and feel free to add any comments or questions on the back. We will be happy to consider them for our Your Questions  page on this site. Naturally, anything posted on here will be strictly anonymous. 

AGM Sees Twice as Many Attending as Last Year

Our second Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday, 15th May. As last year, the numbers registering exceeded our expectations and necessitated a change of venue in the last week.

Thanks to the good offices of the Church authorities, we were able to hold the meeting in All Saints' Church, Martock. 

Our aims were threefold: to offer an insight into technology-based improvements that are either just around the corner or likely to come in within the next six to twelve months; an opportunity for Symphony Healthcare Services to explain what they were faced with, what they have done so far and what they will be doing in the future; and to offer an open forum for those attending to raise any questions or concerns that hadn't already been addressed.

We have indicated previously that, having now worked with Symphony for several months, we are convinced that their approach is the right one and that it will bear fruit. But it is important to keep in mind two things: first, the parlous state that the situation had reached when they first came on the scene and second, the continuing difficulties in recruiting the clinicians that are needed to improve matters. As we have said on several occasions, this situation developed over a considerable period; it is not going to be 'fixed' in a few weeks.

We would also like to dispel a rumour that has been doing the rounds about SHS being a 'profit-motivated' organisation. First, they are, by definition, a non-profit organisation. This is part of their constitution. Second, at the present time, there are only losses, thanks to the inflated costs of locums who are having to be used whilst recruitment of permanent GPs takes place. Without their intervention, there is a very real possibility that we wouldn't have a practice at all in the two villages.

Important Changes to the Prescription Line

All patients who make use of the Prescription Phone Line on 01935 826908 should take note of the following changes to opening times:

The existing times, 9:30am - 12:00 noon and 2:30pm - 4.30pm, will continue until 1st April 2019.

The new times, 9:30am - 1:30pm, will operate from 1st April 2019 onwards.

If you have read our leaflet on Repeat Prescriptions (you can pick up a copy at either surgery, any time!) you will know that there are several other ways you can request these rather than using the Prescription Line:

  • You can send a prescription request by e-mail to
  • You can order it online through Patient Access (you will need to register for this through Reception)
  • You can tick the relevant box(es) on your repeat request slip which will have been issued to you with your original prescription and hand the slip in to the surgery
  • You can ask the local pharmacy to order and/or collect your prescription on your behalf
  • You can sign up to one of the on-line pharmacy companies (for example, and get them to handle it all for you.

The Blood Pressure Machine

The installation of the do-it-yourself blood pressure machine in South Petherton has had mixed reactions. The main problems seem to be its location, in a rather public place, and the fact that the chair seems to be at the wrong height, making it difficult to use easily.

Both of these aspects are now being reviewed, and it is hoped that these matters will be remedied over the next couple of weeks. But don't be put off! Taking that little slip with you into your appointment can save valuable time during your consultation.

Click here to see a picture of the machine and more information.

Forget the Magazines!

You know the feeling: you've signed in on the little machine and found a seat in the waiting room and now you have to sit... and wait... and probably pick up the same magazine that you were reading last month!

Well, now you can pick up the MSPPPG Information Folder instead! Look out for it in both surgeries, and remind yourself of the latest news, who we are, what we do and the results of our latest surveys.

How to get the Best out of the Appointments System

We are now featuring a comprehensive description of exactly how you can get the best out of the Appointments system on our web site.

Just go to the Links page and discover all sorts of things you may never have known!

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