Practice Update 26th July 2023

Dear patients

It is a while since we updated you on Dovercourt and Manor Top news. The last few years have been very difficult for all of us and continue to be so. We have worked hard to meet the increasing needs of patients and staff and to provide the best service we can in hard times.

During Covid, the Practice never shut its doors and continued to see people face to face whenever this was needed, and to visit people at home when necessary. Telephone triage has been a new way of working, and for some people it has been great as their needs have been met without needing to attend. We intend to continue to offer that option to patients who want it. Since the start of the year, people have been able to book a face-to-face appointment in advance directly. We acquired 3 new clinical rooms early this year and have now 6 more on the first floor that will open shortly, to enable more people to be seen. The car park will also be enlarged, and the allotment moved and work on it will hopefully begin again in the autumn.

We have a new telephone system with 10 incoming lines. Due to pressure of calls, despite this increase, people are having to wait to have their calls answered. The lines are most busy in the morning before the morning same day triage list closes at 10.30, or when the list is full. People can still get through after that to book appointments ahead and can chose to see the Nurse, Physician Associate or Doctor of their choice if their need is not same day or urgent. We try to provide continuity of care as best we can. The number of available appointments each day varies according to how many staff we have working, as we must make sure that there is enough time in each appointment to deal with patient’s problems and record everything in the notes, organise tests and so on.

Our staff have worked incredibly hard to meet your needs, but as demand has increased tremendously, some people need to wait a bit longer than before for non-urgent appointments. This is the same across the country and has been a problem for every GP Practice.

We have a large Team of clinical staff including GPs, Physician Associates, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Nurses, Health Care Assistants, Physio, Midwife and Pharmacists all working together to manage the demand and offer a service.

We have two new GP Partners, Dr Sahu and Dr Jetha, and Dr Read is no longer seeing patients but is still working at the Practice in a Management role for the time being.

Most of our patients have been appreciative of the efforts we make to help them with their health needs and work with us, attend appointments and understand that we are all living in difficult times and are not always able to respond as fast as we would like to in an ideal world, due to factors which we are not able to control. We thank these people, and their kind comments and their support are very encouraging and welcome.

Sadly, some have not and some of our staff experience behaviour and abuse that is totally unacceptable, and we have to react accordingly to protect our staff. I make a plea to those people to look at their behaviour, and to understand that we have a limited resource, and are doing our utmost to accommodate everyone’s needs. Abuse does not help. Instead, it upsets staff who are doing their best and who put their own health and lives at risk particularly during the early days of the pandemic and deserve better. We want to be able to help all our patients and meet their health needs, but to do this we have to be able to work together in partnership, and not a loggerheads. Please work with us.

Our Patient Participation Group is active once again and we welcome the patients who have attended meetings and engaged in conversation with us, and their input has been very helpful. We encourage new members, and anyone who would like to join the Group, or want to find out more, can email us on and we will get back to you. We particularly want more patients from the Manor Top site to join as we miss their opinions and voice.

Wishing you all a good summer,

Dovercourt Group Practice

Published on 26 July 2023