Statement of Intent
Tamar Valley Health practice is owned and operated by the practice partners as a partnership.
Address: Callington Health Centre, Haye Road, Callington, PL17 7AW
Telephone: 01579 382666
Aims and Objectives
The practice provides patient-centred healthcare for all members of the community. Our aim is to provide high quality, patient centred healthcare for all of our member of our community to which we serve. This is based on an understanding of health and illness as a uniquely personal experience, shaped by past experience, cultural, social and contextual dimensions.
The practice aims include helping patients achieve better health outcomes, reducing health inequalities and being cost effective so as to use resources to best effect.
This approach is based on the following principles:
- The patient is the centre of concern, with GPs as their advocates when navigating the wider healthcare system;
- The patient-clinician relationship is the basis of the therapeutic process, supported by an infrastructure which respects and facilitates this approach and protects patient confidentiality;
- A holistic perspective to care involves a multi-disciplinary team;
- A comprehensive scope includes services provided locally by the practice where appropriate and possible, including dispensing services for our partly rural communities;
- A community-based context involves patients, carers and the wider community in practice development; and
- A collaborative approach is supported by other health and social care providers and commissioners.
The practice constantly strives to improve and expand its services and systems. In addition, it seeks to provide a nurturing and supportive environment for its team members whilst also facilitating professional development.
Name (CQC registered main site): Callington Health Centre
Address: Haye Road, Callington, PL17 7AW
Telephone: 01579 382666
Location ID: 1-545669523
- Doctors consultation service
- Doctors treatment service
- Dispensing of medicines service
- Treatment of disease, disorder or injury
- Surgical procedures
- Diagnostic and screening procedures
- Maternity and midwifery services
- Family planning service
- Medicine dispensed for patients (who live a mile away from the nearest pharmacy)
Service Users: Open for registration to patients resident and temporarily resident in the practice area
We are a split site practice with our second, branch health centre located at:
Name: Gunnislake Health Centre
Address: The Orchard, Gunnislake, PL18 9JZ
Telephone: 01822 832641
During the autumn and winter months to support easy access for our patients we operate seasonal vaccination services in community halls and the town halls in our community which we serve. We undertake vaccinations at:
- Calstock Village Hall, The Quay, Calstock, Cornwall PL18 9QA
- The Town Hall New Road Callington PL17 7BD
- The Old School House, Stoke Climsland PL17 8NY
- Harrowbarrow & Metherell Village Hall, School Road, Harrowbarrow, Callington PL17 8BQ
All systems and procedures are the same across both sites and all patients are registered at the Callington Health Centre location.
Our practice is located in south-east Cornwall, with some patients also living in west Devon across the Tamar River. It has two purpose-built health centres, at Callington and Gunnislake, which are situated about 5 miles apart in the centre of the practice area.
Callington is a small town with a population of around 4,500, situated about 14 miles from Plymouth, and Gunnislake is large village on the Devon-Cornwall border. The practice area encompasses a number of villages and hamlets across south-east Cornwall, including Calstock and the historic Cothele estate. It was once a busy mining area but its main industries are now farming and tourism.
The practice population has a fairly standard demographic spread, being older than the English average but only average for Cornwall. We are a semi-rural dispensing practice, providing dispensing and associated services to approximately 66% of our patients. Both health centres offer dispensing and Gunnislake Health Centre also has a practice-owned pharmacy, the closest alternative ones being Callington (5 miles) and Tavistock (5 miles). Rural transport services are poor and Gunnislake Pharmacy offers a delivery service across the whole practice area.
Due to practice growth and the nature of services offered due to the practice’s rurality, both health centres are constrained by severe space limitations. All rooms have to be booked using a centralised booking system and meetings are often held off site at two local farms that provide meeting facilities.
Parking is available at, or close to, both surgeries although we are not able to provide as much as we would like due to local issues.
Although we are one practice, with standard systems and procedures to minimise risks, there are some differences between the two sites. Gunnislake has a play area beside the waiting room but this had to be removed from Callington following complaints from patients about noise levels and the lack of an alternative space to house it. Callington has on-site parking as well as street parking whereas Gunnislake patients have the use of a council car park which is free for the first 2 hours and some street parking. Disabled parking is available at both health centres. There is protected parking for the GPs due to the need to do urgent visits at short notice and some double parking is available for staff at each health centre which, by its nature, is unsuitable for patient or visitor use.
The practice is comprehensively staffed, with GPs (partners, salaried (known as associate doctors) and retainers); general practice paramedics, advanced nurse practitioners in training, practice nurses, healthcare assistants and phlebotomists; primary-care pharmacists and qualified dispensers; and admin, data, facilities, reception and secretarial teams. Each team has a team leader and these meet monthly, as do the partners and management staff. The practice also has a Practice Business Manager, Practice Finance Manager and Patient Services Manager who deals with the day to day running of the Practice.
Communication is a key feature of the practice team, both through meetings and the team leader structure but also through an extensively used internal e-mail system which supports split-site working. There is an internal post and supplies-transfer system with deliveries between the two health centres twice daily.
There is an extensive bookmark system within our clinical system which provides a wealth of information for all the clinicians and staff.
The practice is soon to be a GP training practice again now that we have increased our clinical space. We also train medical students and F2 doctors.
There are regular meetings at both health centres for reviewing terminally ill and at-risk patients, child protection issues, and Hub (mental health) patients. Clinical case reviews meetings are held monthly, open to all team members, and there are combined significant event and complaint reviews quarterly.
The practice offers a wide range of services, most of which are not held in clinics so as to support patient requirements for flexible timings. All patients on repeat medication or needing review are contacted at least annually, in the month prior to their birthday, and invited in for reviews. These usually begin with appointments with healthcare assistants or phlebotomists who will take blood and do other essential measurements, including spirometry for patients with respiratory illnesses, before consultations with nurses and/or pharmacists for specialist reviews with their test results. Those patients requiring GP input will receive this while others with less complex needs may be offered telephone reviews. Patients with greater need will be offered interim reviews mid year.
All patients requiring same-day appointments are accommodated, and no patient is ever asked to call back on a subsequent day because they cannot be seen. Due to our rural location, we offer walk-in minor injury services at both health centres and we also care for terminally ill patients in their own homes whenever possible.
Staff employed by Cornwall Foundation Trust (community matron, district nurses, health visitors and other community-based healthcare staff) are accorded full access and support but unfortunately can no longer be accommodated within the health centres due to lack of space. However, the practice has provided access to its computer network in the form of terminals located in the neighbouring Callington Community Clinic, and CFT staff members are invited to relevant meetings, significant event and complaint reviews, training sessions and social events. We also have a First Contact Physiotherapist working the clinic who offers patients an assessment of a range of muscular skeletal problems.
Out of Hours care is currently provided by Kernow Message Handling and Cornwall 111. Outlook South West provides counselling and psychological services locally for conditions such as depression and anxiety. These used to be provided within the practice but, as with other non-GMS services, have had to be moved elsewhere due to lack of space.
The practice has an active Patient Participation Group (PPG) who holds meetings every two months at our Callington Health Centre. Members of the management team and clinical team are invited to all meetings and attend every meeting.
We are well equipped clinically, partly due to our very supportive League of Friends, and have diagnostic equipment which includes ECGs and portable ECG machines, ambulatory blood pressure and ECG monitors, nebulisers, peak flowmeters, pulse oximeters, bladder scanners, obstetric and vascular sonic aids. We are also able to offer blood pressure monitors and nebulisers for patient use at home and have wheelchairs available at each health centre for patients with mobility problems.
Health and Care Needs
We respect the privacy and dignity of our patients and endeavour to treat all of our patients with respect and honesty.
Clinician appointments are available to book in advance as well as urgent appointments on the day. Home visits are available for patients unable to visit the practice. A 72 hour repeat prescription service is available from our dispensaries. If the practice is not able to meet an individual patient’s health needs, a referral to an appropriate health professional or service will be made if permitted under local guidelines.
For patients that do not speak English, a telephone translation service is available. We are also able to provide information in larger fonts or electronically as requested. The practice is accessible to wheelchair patients and each health centre has a hearing loop.
Consent and Chaperones
Consulting rooms are away from the reception area where no conversation can be overheard or examination seen. No patient is ever examined or procedure undertaken without consent. A chaperone is available upon request.
We encourage patients to let us know if they are a carer or are cared for by another person as this helps to alert us to possible needs in this role. A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage daily living without their help.
Confidentiality and Access to Patient Information
All patient information is considered to be confidential and we comply fully with the Data Protection
Act to keep confidential data safe and secure. All employees have access to this information in relation to their role and have signed a confidentiality agreement. Relevant information may be shared within the multi-disciplinary health care team at the practice and with other health care professionals to whom a patient is referred. Those individuals have a professional and contractual duty of confidentiality.
Confidential and identifiable information relating to patients will not be disclosed to other individuals without their explicit consent, unless ordered to do so by court order or where it is in the public interest to do so to prevent harm. The Data Protection Act and The Access to Health Records Act allow a patient to find out what information is held in their health records.
Comments, suggestions and complaints
We welcome comments and suggestions on our service and have a protocol for dealing with complaints. Complaints should be made to the Patient Services Manager who will ensure all relevant details are recorded, arrange for the complaint to be investigated, and respond in a timely manner. If the complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, advice will be given on how to take the complaint outside the practice.
Mark Stone MPharmS BSc Hons IP
Address: Callington Health Centre, Haye Road, Callington, PL17 7AW
Telephone: 01579 382666
For more information about our services, please visit our Clinics and Services page.