Welcome to Coquet Medical Group, covering Amble and Broomhill Health Centres in Morpeth.
We will be using this website to keep you informed of all the latest news and events happening at our health centres.
The Staff at Coquet Medical Group will at all times be polite, courteous and respectful towards patients using the services offered. It is expected that patients will in return be polite, courteous and respectful towards all staff members. For the comfort and safety of all staff and patients, abusive behaviour will not be tolerated. This includes: swearing, shouting, threats, refusal to cooperate, drunken behaviour, violent behaviour and refusal to leave the premises when asked.
We will always try to ensure that the rights of patients, as detailed in the NHS Constitution are respected. Full details of these are available on request.
The police will be called if a request to leave the premises is ignored. A written warning (yellow card) will be issued to the person concerned. Anyone in receipt of a second written warning (yellow card) will be removed from the patient list. At present the alternative arrangements set up by Northumberland Care Trust for such patients to receive GP care, is registration with a nominated GP in Blyth, regardless of the patient's address.
Assault is a crime and the NHS will always press for the maximum possible penalty for anyone who commits a crime against NHS staff.
To be inserted
It's not too late to come in your for Flu Vaccination.
If you are eligible, please contact 01670 570173.
We were hoping to have spring booster clinics set up in May 2023 but unfortunately the vaccine supply is extremely poor at the moment.
We continue to request vaccine weekly and we hope that if the deliveries start to improve over the next few weeks we will be able to offer some clinics in early June 2023.
These clinics will be for patients who are over 75 and those who are immuno-suppressed over the age of 12.
If you have received an invite from the NHS you can also book at a vaccination centre via this link:
We will be offering COVID Spring Booster in May 2023 at Amble Health Centre.
Invites and clinics will be added as soon as we confirm vaccine delivery dates.
These clinics will be for patients who are over 75 and those who are immunosuppressed over the age of 12.
If you have received an invite from the NHS you can also book at a vaccination centre via this link:
Demand for access and appointments is at an all time high in General Practice. Coquet Medical Group's registered patient list is now just under 12,000 patients.
We have invested in new Practice staff to help with this additional demand over the last 6 months and our clinical staff moving forward include:
5 GP Partners
4 Salaried GPs
3 ANPs (including a Frailty ANP who covers our Care Home and Acute Home Visits)
5 Practice Nurses (1 currently on Maternity Leave)
1 Nurse Associate
1 Trainee Nurse Associate
5 Health Care Assistants
GP Contractual Changes
NHS England have released new contractual changes for 2023/24 in the form of our GP Contract. One aim with these changes is help ensure patients are seen in the right place, at the right time by the right person whilst focusing on patient safety. Where possible an assessment of need will be conducted on the patients' first contact with their GP Practice, or the patient will be signposted to an appropriate service.
Also in the GP Contract is that all patients (unless consent not given or it is not suitable) are given prospective (future) medical records access via online services by the 31st October 2023.
Appointment System : 1st April 2023
As a Practice we have done work ahead of the contract changes so that our appointment system from the 1st April 2023 will move towards 80% of our GP and ANP appointments will be released on the day. We would therefore encourage patients to ring on the day which they require an appointment to be booked in. The other 20% of appointment slots will be used for follow up appointments for continuity of care. This 80 : 20 appointment split is recommended by NHS England.
We will also be looking at creating some reserved on the day appointment slots within our Practice Nursing Team to help access their appointments.
We would encourage all patients to contact the Practice via telephone to arrange any appointments and not to attend the Practice at 8:00am each morning.
Any requested for Home Visits should be submitted via telephone call before 10:30am each day.
8:00am is always our busiest time on our telephone system so you may experience waiting times when calling at this time. If your call can wait until later in the day then this is advisable. We are reviewing staffing levels to ensure more staff are available to answer calls when we open at 8:00am.
We will be looking to you, our patients, and our local PPG (Patient Participation Group) to provide any suggestions you may have to help avoid this 8am rush for appointments.
A further survey and communication will be sent out soon.
To comply with the signposting patients to appropriate services all of our Reception Staff are being trained in Care Navigation. This means that when a patient contacts the Practice they will be asked to provide a brief description of why they are contacting the Practice. This will ensure that patients who can access alternative services do so in the first instance; for example a Pharmacy or a Self-Referral Service. The Practice will be updating our Social Media, Website and Waiting Rooms to help signpost our patients to alternative services where applicable.
Part of Care Navigation is to also ensure that you get booked into the most appropriate clinician at the practice for your needs. We have a large range of clinicians working out of Coquet Medical Group such as First Contact Physiotherapists, Frailty Nurse Practitioners, Mental Health Worker, Health and Wellbeing Coaches etc. Our needs on the day may mean that you do not need to access a GP but an alternative clinician.
System Review and Updates
We are constantly reviewing and updating our practice systems including our appointments systems to ensure the most efficient system for patients whilst bearing in mind capacity and demand.
We are also working with our neighbouring Practice through our Primary Care Network to help improve access to Primary Care Services.
We plan to start sharing our appointment and telephone figures regularly via our Patient Communications from April 2023.
We have had some both planned and unplanned absence in our Reception Team this month and our clinical team too. This has resulted in limited appointment access on the day for GP’s. Limited Reception staff has also caused extended waiting times for our telephone lines. Staffing levels are forecast to improve in the coming weeks.
We have completed our Telephone Audit and are working with our telephone provider to review the results to try and improve our telephone access. Our reception team are logging in and out of the handsets when in use as we have identified that this may have been the cause of people getting cut off. We will continue to review the system and update patients.
We are installing appointment self check in screens at both health centre. Broomhills I’m up and running and ambles is due to be installed.
For suitable appointments we are now able to send patients text messages with self booking links to book your own appointments to save calling the health centre. We hope that this is a more convenient way to book appointments for patients who have mobile phones.
We have also now got access to a tablet and iPad which our Digital Champion Team are setting up and planning on setting up drop in sessions at both health centres to help patients set up online access and support patients in using more digital services.
We are busy collating all of our patient survey results and will be highlighting areas to focus on to improve services.
We are setting up a new appointment system from April to improve appointment access for patients on the day. More details will be circulated in due course. We continually monitor our appointment system to try and improve access and capacity.
Last week we welcomed Fay Stephenson a new Advanced Nurse Practitioner. She is currently completing her induction and will start seeing patients from next week.
We also have a couple of new trainee GP’s Dr Sam Maxwell and Dr Frances Herdman who will be with us for a few months.
We are due to welcome back Dr Julia Lamberth in April from her maternity leave.
As a Practice we would like to start regularly communicating to our patients to give up to date information about the working of our Practice and the Services we offer. This will include telephone call data, appointment data including 'did not attend' figures.
We are aware of ongoing issues with our telephone provider. We have taken advice from our service provider who is liaising regularly with our Management Team. Next week our Reception Team will be conducting a telephone audit so any patient who reports being cut off or any other issues our Reception Team will be asking for more details to log as many calls to pass to the telephone company so that they can look into these ongoing problems.
We have a group of staff members wo have recently completed Digital Champion Training and are putting together an action plan to help utilise more digital ways of working. You may have seen that we are now on Instagram and we are looking into getting Twitter to be able to communicate with our patients quickly and on all social media platforms. We will also be starting a campaign to ensure we have up to date mobile phone numbers and email addresses for patients and asking you for your preferred contact method.
You may have noticed that are already sending out text messages for annual bloods and Cervical Screening appointments with a link which is valid for 48 hours to enable patients to book their own appointments directly onto our appointment system. We are also looking into making more appointments available to book directly online via Online Services.
We are aware that our appointment capacity is still not where it needs to be. To help improve this we are setting up an Access Group with representation from our Practice Teams and with our Patient Participation Group to help improve the way our patients access appointments.
Next week we will be welcoming back Dr Ruth Gertig back to the Practice as an additional Salaried GP based at Broomhill Health Centre.
On the 1st March 2023 we will be welcoming a Full Time Advanced Nurse Practitioner working across 4 days helping to cover our Care Home and Frailty patients as well as doing set clinic days.
In early April 2023 we will be welcoming back Dr Julia Lamberth from her Maternity Leave and who returns to be based at Amble Health Centre.
Our Practice Nursing Team welcomed four new members in the last few months – Two new Practice Nurses and two new Health Care Assistants. Their training and development within the Team will continue over the coming months but we have as a result a significant increase in appointments within this Team.
We currently have a Patient Survey out for patients to give us feedback on our service. If you would like to complete this survey, please follow the below link:
A HUGE thank you for taking the time to complete this survey, your views are important to us, and will help us shape and improve our services.
We are regularly monitored as a service by our Care Quality Commission. Part of this review is to request patients to supply feedback on the care that they have recieved at our Practice.
If you would like to give feedback on our behalf please use the link below:
We are happy to announce that we have just finished a large intake of new staff across our Practice Teams.
Jessica, Rachael, Kelly and Angela have all joined our Reception Team in the previous 6 weeks and continue to complete their induction and training periods. This should see a decreased waiting times on our telephone system.
Katie and Jo have joined our Practice Nursing Team in November and are starting to carry out their own clinics to help increase appointment capacity.
Nikita and Coleen have most recently joined our Health Care Team and are carrying out their induction period throughout December. This will help again with our appointment capacity within this Team.
In the New Year we have a further Salaried General Practitioner and Advanced Nurse Practitioner joining our Team to help with more appointment capacity. We are also looking forward to welcoming back Dr Julia Lamberth following her Maternity Leave.
Our Primary Care Network has been busy recruiting and we have recently welcomed a new Mental Health Worker – Clare and a new Pharmacy Technician – Louise as part of their hours at Coquet Medical Group each week.
They are currently recruiting more posts and we are hoping to welcome more PCN staff into our Practice in the new year.
As a part of our Primary Care Network we are now offering some extended access appointments every Tuesday Evening at Coquet Medical Group between 6:30pm-8:00pm. Our patients as part of the PCN Extended Access will in the new year be able to access appointments at our PCN Sites on other week nights and weekends. We will share this information when this becomes available.
We are awaiting some final handyman works and IT installs to be done to ensure all of our new Clinical Rooms at both Health Centres are fully functioning in the New Year.
We are aware that our telephone system still has some issues with patients being cut off and some extended waiting time and we are working with the provider to rectify these.
Please follow the below link for information on how to stay well this winter:
Do you have a baby or young child? Or are you a young person?
There is a new website and App which has been launched to improve the health and wellbeing of babies, children and young people throughout North East and North Cumbria.
Click here to visit the website.
Or download the App from App Store or Google Play today!
This is a brilliant resource to use for advice, support and information.
Team Coquet Medical Group
Your NHS Account and the NHS App.
Follow this link to find out everything you need to know about your NHS account and the NHS App, to help you access NHS services online.
Already use NHS login/NHS App? Please click here to access your NHS App services.
You can now access a range of NHS & GP services via your computer, mobile, ipad or other device. You can:
To access these services, you will need to have an NHS login.
You can use either your phone or your computer to apply for an NHS login.
Following the completion of our Building works at both Health Centres we are making a change to how our Practice runs.
We have created a Reception HUB at Broomhill Health Centre away from our busy front Reception Desks where all of our telephone lines will be being answered from next month.
Our Practice Telephone numbers will now be:
Main Line : 01670 760229
Dedicated Prescription Line : 01670 570162
We understand that over recent months our call waiting times have been much longer than we want then to be. We hope that with our increased staffing levels and dedicated Reception HUB for answering call will improve this dramatically.
Please be patient with us for a little bit longer whilst we transition into our new system and train our new staff but we hope that all our patients start to see an improvement imminently.
Coquet Medical Group
Due to the increased number of COVID cases in Northumberland at present we would like to encourage all of our patients to wear masks when attending our Practice.
Thanks in advance.
Team Coquet Medical Group
You ring the surgery and find you’re eighth in the queue. Eventually you get through but there’s no appointments with a doctor or advanced nurse practitioner left that day. The receptionist asks if you feel it’s urgent enough to warrant a call back from the duty on-call GP.
The receptionist reviews the appointment screen and realises that unfortunately the emergency GP is unable to safely accept more patients.
We appreciate how frustrating this can be for you We wanted to take some time to help explain the challenge we face and hope you can help us to cope over this unprecedented time.
No matter how much the doctors and nurses want to provide an efficient caring service, they are a limited resource and when they attempt to deal with too many patients in a day there’s serious risk.
Risk to the patient, as the clinician is human and their judgement can be eroded when overloaded, and genuine risk to the clinician of “burnout”.
The “safe capacity” is there for a reason. It may mean you have to ring NHS 111 to be safely triaged but it helps ensure your local GP service can continue to function.
The NHS is under considerable pressure and cracks can be seen across the system.
Your local GP service from Coquet Medical Group will survive. Not only will it survive but plans are being developed to help Coquet Medical Group strengthen its position over time and expand the service we can offer you, our patients.
This, however, will take time and the next five - six months will be incredibly challenging for us all. We have over 12,000 patients and more houses are being developed in the area.
Every day we find that our clinical capacity (i.e., Doctors / Nurses etc) is overwhelmed by the demand on our services. It’s like trying to pour two pints into a one pint jug every day.
Our practice has never had more doctors or nurses but still, requests for appointments outstrips our capacity daily.
Our doctors and nurses face a stream of patients every day and have around just 10 minutes per patient. In that time, we are focused to help identify those who are seriously unwell or in the early stages of serious illness such as cancer.
Time pressures are extreme, we would love to have far more time for each one of you, but the reality is that time is a finite resource and additional time spent with one patient places pressure on the time allocated to the next patient.
At times this may make you and your clinician feel slightly rushed. We sincerely apologise for this.
Why don’t we simply allocate each patient more time for a consultation?
We review this constantly and the balance has been struck to allow us to safely manage around five patients per hour focusing on a single problem.
We have invested heavily in increased staffing, but GPs take a long time to train and there is a major shortage across the country.
For highly motivated, caring people, who have followed a vocation to become a doctor or nurse it can easily become demoralising when, despite all the energy and emotion you put into your job, you simply cannot meet all the needs of your patients.
A side effect of this overwhelming demand is that some patients become understandably frustrated.
Sadly, some of these patients then vent this angst on the most vulnerable and exposed members of our team – our reception staff.
As a direct result our reception team has been depleted. This in turn places unenviable pressure on the remaining receptionists and in turn the wider team.
Such staff abuse will not be tolerated.
Anyone threatening or abusing our staff, swearing or being disrespectful will find themselves warned and if appropriate, removed from our list.
A “zero tolerance” approach means just that – Coquet Medical Group will not tolerate any staff abuse. Anyone deciding to ignore this can try to find themselves another GP practice.
On a more positive note, we have recently managed to secure some GP locum support and additional full-time staff will be joining us in October.
We have recruited a Covid Vaccine Manager to help deliver the booster campaign locally from our Amble site to all over 50yrs old and those over 5yrs old with underlying health issues.
We have recently managed to get support from the local CCG to have additional consulting rooms built at both our Amble and Hadston sites and these are now operational.
Despite these extra rooms we still do not have enough clinical rooms or staff to deliver the kind of service we are striving for.
It is our intention to hold further discussions with the CCG in Oct/Nov about this situation with the aim of extending the practice significantly.
By March 2023 our clinical staff will increase again as we have managed to recruit both another GP and ANP (Advanced Nurse Practitioner).
We need your help. We need your support, and we need your patience.
Before you rush to ring or visit the GP practice, please consider whether other routes to access care and support would be appropriate.
Finally, please remember we are trying hard to provide safe care for you and your family when needed. This Autumn and Winter will test us all and will inevitably be tough.
Please do not underestimate the impact of the last 2 years on us all.
We are now witnessing the effect of cumulative fatigue on staff members, and we must work together to protect the local GP service at Coquet Medical Group for you, your family, friends and our community.
Together we will get through Autumn and Winter and moving into 2023 our GP practice will consolidate its position and with your help and support will develop into the practice we would all wish for.
Drs Alison Oxby, Dr Katherine Carman, Dr Kathy McConnaiche, Dr Jamie Willey & Dr Ben Burville
Partners Coquet Medical Group
Practical examples that should be noted are as follows below - these can all be contacted DIRECTLY by you, our patients, and can speed up access for you to local treatment:
Urgent mental health support –: NHS Crisis Team 0303 123 1146 Direct access to NHS mental health counselling services. Talking Matters: 0300 3030 700 https://www.tmnorthumberland. org.uk/contact-us/
Social care needs – help with carers / needs assessments for care / housing problems, safeguarding for adults and children, mobility aids etc– NHS One Call : 01670 536400 https://healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk/onecall-northumberlandsocial-services/
Sexual Health including pregnancy termination and vasectomies 01670 515151 https://www.northumbria.nhs.uk/our-services/sexual-health-services
Musculo-skeletal problems (e.g. back pain /knee/shoulder/hip pain) JMAPS – Joint Musculoskeletal and Pain Service 03301 244 652 https://www.northumbria.nhs.uk/our-services/musculoskeletal/northumberland-joint-musculoskeletal-and-pain-service-jmaps#30711117
These services can provide direct access to help and can reduce pressure on our local GP practice. In addition, pharmacists at our local chemists can often help with a range of problems and provide timely safe treatment.
It is with deep regret that we need to share this today…
Unfortunately an incident occurred last night on a community Facebook site where patients of our Practice felt the need to personally attack or name our Practice staff in a negative and derogatory manner.
This has left our staff today feeling very hurt and upset and this is not behaviour that we deem acceptable.
In line with the rest of the NHS we have a Zero Tolerance policy, whereby aggressive or violent behaviour towards our staff will not be tolerated under any circumstances and this includes through Facebook and not just when attending our Practice site.
This Policy is necessary to protect all of our staff, who are all here to help our patients and do not deserve to be treat unkindly or with any abuse.
We appreciate that this is a small minority of patients however we would like to remind all of our patients that we must be kind and respect one another.
The GP Partners and Management Team
Coquet Medical Group
Currently we are experiencing considerable difficulties at the Practice. We recognise that appointment levels are not as we we would like them to be. We are aware that there are extended waiting times on our telephone lines. We would like to explain what we are doing to improve things for our staff and our patients.
Currently we have a reduced number of clinical appointments for the following reasons:
Implementing New Changes:
Thank you for your ongoing support.
GP Partners and Management Team
Coquet Medical Group
The pathology lab is experiencing problems with reporting pathology reports, which means we may not have received some or none of your pathology reports from 9th August onwards. The lab are aiming to resolve this problem as quickly as possible (it is a nationwide problem which is affecting a number of GP practices and Hospitals).
Coquet Medical Group
People aged 80 years and older are now eligible for both their COVID-19 and Flu jabs
Please book your vaccinations today by ringing our vaccination booking line on 01670 570 187
Alternatively, you can also phone our reception team on 01665 710 481 or 01670 760 229.
Building Works - buildings works started yesterday at our Amble Health Centre. Please note that the building is open but there is only one Receptionist manning our Reception desk so you may experience a small wait when attending for appointments. We are awaiting self check in desks to be installed at both Health Centres in the near future to help.
Telephone Lines - All of our telephones lines are being diverted to Broomhill Health Centre. Unfortunately due to planned and unplanned leave within our reception team you may experience a longer waiting times over the coming weeks. We are looking at alternative staffing options.
Appointment System - We have reviewed and updated our appointment system. We are working towards having 60% of all of our appointments bookable on the day to help with on day demand and access to our GPs and ANPs. Patients will be able to book any appointment on the day as either a telephone call or a face to face appointment. We will continue to have a Duty Doctor on call each morning and afternoon for urgent problems when all of our appointments have been filled. Once our Duty Doctor has been filled beyond a safe clinical capacity our patients will be directed to 111.
Recruitment - We have been continually recruiting for new clinical staff over the last few months and unfortunately we will experience a lag between staff leaving the practice and our new staff starting. We are reviewing our August rota and are seeking Locum staff cover for planned annual leave periods.
We will keep our patients up to date throughout this busy period and thank you all for your understanding during this very busy time. All of our staff are working extremely hard to keep all of services running throughout the summer. Please bare this in mind and be kind to all of our Team.
Updated on our new clinical staff to follow in the coming weeks.
We have re-designed our website to make it easier to use and to showcase the wider services available within the Well Up North Primary Care Network.