Newsletter July 2022





Would you like to help save the planet? Per issue, your current inhaler has the same carbon footprint as driving from Exminster to Birmingham. Switching to the same drug via a different inhaler cuts this to 4miles – that’s Exminster to Starcross! If you would like to make this change, please book a review.


A pharmacist

GP Community Pharmacist Service

When phoning the surgery to make an appointment with a GP, the Practice Administrators may signpost you to the Pharmacy. By working together, GP surgeries and local pharmacies can ensure that patients are receiving the most appropriate care by a suitable healthcare professional at the right time. By referring patients to pharmacies via this service, patients are able to get the clinical advice and support they need on the same day, and pharmacists have processes in place to signpost patients to higher acuity services if needed. This also frees up capacity at GP surgeries to help patients with more complex needs.


OTC Medications

A GP, Nurse or Pharmacist will generally not give you a prescription for over the counter (OTC) medicines for a range of minor health conditions.

This is because of the government policy to reduce the amount of money the NHS spends on prescriptions for treating minor conditions that usually get better on their own. The team of health professionals at your local pharmacy can offer help and clinical advice to manage minor health conditions. If your symptoms suggest it is more serious, they will ensure you get the care you need.

We appreciate that it can sometimes feel frustrating, but we do everything we can to get people the care they need as quickly as possible. In return, we ask that people continue to be polite, patient, and respectful towards us – kindness makes such a difference to our day.

Read more about ordering prescriptions



We do not accept email requests to cancel / make an appointment with any of the clinicians. If you wish to cancel or make an appointment, please telephone the surgery on either 01392 833230 or 01626 890368 or via SystemOnline. If you do not have online services, please ask one of our Practice Administrators who will set you up.

Read more about our appointment system


Non-NHS Work

For all Non-NHS work requested, we are now requesting payment of our fee in advance. This is due to the fact we have completed a number of requests of this kind and then been advised that these are no longer needed.

See our Fees & Charges, or please ask at reception for a copy.


Patient Participation Group

A message from the chairman

A Patient Participation Group (PPG) is a group of patients, carers, and G.P. practice staff who meet to discuss practice issues and patient experience to help and improve the service. Since 2015 it has been a contractual requirement of NHS England for all G.P. practices to have a PPG and to make this representative of the practice population.

If a patient encounters a problem or has an idea on how a system may be improved, then the PPG can be a way not only to discuss the item but to hear the Practice’s response and point of view.

A group meeting

We are lucky that Westbank is rated as one of the best practices in the country and have a team that really care about their patients. Please help the PPG to maintain these standards.

If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact David Blount on 01626 890406 or complete our online form.


the sun

Keeping cool in hot weather

If you or others feel unwell, get dizzy, weak or have intense thirst move to a cool place, rehydrate and cool your body down.

Older people, people with long term conditions and young children may need help keeping cool.

Many of us enjoy the hot weather but remember to look out for others.


Zero Tolerance

The Westbank Practice operates a zero-tolerance policy regarding violence and abuse and asks all patients to treat our staff and other patient’s with respect.

Our zero-tolerance policy includes aggression or threats made in person, over the telephone or in written communication.

  • The practice considers threatening behaviour to be: The use of aggressive, threatening or abusive language (including raising of the voice, swearing and shouting) which threatens or intimidates.
  • Attempted or actual, aggressive threatening physical actions.

Our staff have worked, and our continuing to work extremely hard in these circumstances and we ask that you please bear with us, we are all here to help!

See our Zero Tolerance Policy