A Farewell Letter from Dr Nigel de Sousa
It is with sadness I am writing to inform you that I will be leaving the Coleridge Medical Centre in May of this year. Growing up in Nairobi, Kenya and studying medicine at Trinity College in Dublin, there was no way I would have anticipated I would spend most of my working career in a small town in East Devon working as a GP.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my twenty four years in Ottery, and it has been a privilege to look after so many of you and your families over that period. Being a GP, especially in a small town, gives one unique access to the whole community at some point. Much has changed in the time frame from when I started. At the time, the practice offered 24 hour care, looked after the local hospital, casualty and maternity services. Much of that has changed. In particular the practice has had to adapt to the pandemic over the past year and this has significantly altered things; with us having to use more remote consultations and modifying our services to remain Covid safe.
A lot of you will have found the last twelve months very difficult, as have I. After a period of sick leave at the end of last year, I returned to work but have decided to leave my role at the practice and simplify my working life. I wish you all the best for the future and, most of all, good health as we try to emerge from the pandemic and get our lives back to normal.
If you are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, and you have not yet been contacted by Coleridge Medical Centre or the NHS Mass Vaccination service, please contact the Practice on 01404 814447 to arrange an appointment.
If you wish to decline having the vaccine entirely, please inform us so that we can update our records.
Those who are currently eligible for a vaccine include:
- Patients between the ages of 16-64 with underlying health conditions (please note that patients under the age of 18 will be unable to have the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine).
These conditions include: chronic respiratory disease, chronic heart and vascular disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, chronic neurological disease, diabetes, asplenia, morbid obesity, severe mental illness, patients with learning difficulties, adult carers.
- Patients who have been contacted by the government to say they are clinically extremely vulnerable
- Frontline health and social care workers
- Anyone over the age of 50 years
Please continue to follow government guidelines to help us limit the transmission of the virus and to ensure your safety, and the safety of your loved ones.
Please CLICK HERE to open the Coleridge Medical Centre leaflet for more information (such as locations, side effects, and what to do if you experience a reaction to the vaccine).
If you are asked to provide your NHS number when making an appointment, and you do not know your NHS number, you can find it by accessing this service: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/online-services/find-nhs-number/
We are remaining open during this latest lockdown
We will still be running our services in the same way. If you have a healthcare need, please continue to phone the practice on 01404 814447. A telephone appointment will be made for you with one of our clinicians and, if they believe you need to be assessed in person, they will arrange this for you.
If you have the means to, please use our eConsult service found in the banner above.
PLEASE STAY AT HOME AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
We understand the difficulties that come with another national lockdown, but we will only get through this if we strictly follow the government guidance. Patients who are clinically extremely vulnerable have been asked to once again begin shielding.
If you need to escape a dangerous situation, such as abuse, YOU CAN DO THIS!
Further information can be found at: www.gov.uk/coronavirus
THERE IS ADDITIONAL SUPPORT AVAILABLE IF YOU NEED IT
Lockdown can affect us in many ways. This may affect our mental health and wellbeing, our relations with our household, make it difficult to get much-needed supplies such as groceries and medication, and it can exacerbate abusive relationships. There are organisations available to offer the support you need:
- Ottery Help Scheme - 01404 813041
- TalkWorks - 0300 555 3344
- Samaritans - 116123
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0808 2000 247
- Galop: The LGBTQ+ Anti-Violence Charity - 0800 999 5428
- Respect: Men's Advice Line - 0808 8010 327
Welcome to Coleridge Medical Centre
We are a friendly and welcoming GP practice located in the historic market town of Ottery St Mary. We look after approximately 16,000 patients who live in Ottery and the surrounding villages.
We are open Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). You can speak to a Patient Services Adviser on the telephone between 08:30 to 13:30 and 14:00 to 18:00. For face to face enquiries you can call in between 08:00 and 18:30.
Our Mission Statement
Coleridge Medical Centre – A Healthy Practice
We aim to provide a high quality, caring, safe and friendly atmosphere within which we help members of our community achieve and attain optimum levels of health.
Important Links About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
NHS Advice for ALL patients, including stay at home advice www.NHS.UK
Check if you have coronavirus symptoms NHS 111 Online
Latest Practice news and access to services coleridgegp.blogspot.co.uk/
Link to Ottery Help Scheme: if you need help or can offer your services as a volunteer please go to Ottery Help Scheme contact page or ring them on 01404 813041 regarding their befriending service or if you are concerned about vulnerable people in the Ottery and district area. They are working closely with other organisations and will do their best to find you support where needed.
Our aim is to continue to provide safe and effective care while also protecting members of the public and our clinical and administration staff from exposure to CV19. Please always follow the instructions on our notices and given by our staff. Please continue to help us to help you as best we can with the resources we have available.
Self isolation, social distancing and shielding - what does it mean?
Ottery St Mary Medical Trust Fund
Established in 1990, the Ottery St Mary Medical Trust has enabled the Coleridge Medical Centre to remain at the cutting edge of general medical practice.
As the demands on the NHS increase, the generosity of those who have donated to, fundraised for, or left a gift in their will to the Trust, has enabled the GP Partners at the Medical Centre to enhance the care provided to our patients. The Trust has invested the funds received in equipment and services which otherwise would not have been funded by the NHS.
The gifts the Trust receives are an acknowledgement of the care the practice delivers to the community. It is, therefore, fitting that the funds help us provide an even better service for Ottery St Mary and the surrounding villages.
The GP Partners, as Trustees, welcome and will consider all requests and suggestions for purchases that will benefit patients and users of the Medical Centre. The Trust is regulated by the Charity Commission and all purchases must meet the criteria set out in the Trust Deed.
Your donations have undoubtedly helped us provide reassurance, dignity and comfort to our patients, whilst potentially saving lives. From pre-birth to end of life, you have made the difference.