Surgery Information

Routine Appointments - TAVISTOCK BRANCH

To make a routine appointment to see your doctor, either telephone 01822 613517 or call in at reception. Our lines are open between 8.30 am and 6.00 pm.  


When making an appointment, please bear the following points in mind:

  • Please avoid telephoning before 10.00am or after 5.00pm to arrange a routine appointment.
  • It is anticipated that a routine appointment is not likely to last more than ten minutes. If you think that you will need longer, please let the receptionist know when you make the appointment.
  • A routine appointment is normally for one patient only. If you need other members of your family to see the doctor please discuss this with the receptionist when making the appointment.
  • We have a duty doctor each day that conducts telephone consultations each morning and afternoon to discuss urgent requests and he/she will then arrange to see you as necessary.
  • Patients are registered with the Practice and not with a particular doctor. You are entitled to choose whichever doctor you wish for any given appointment.
  • If you express a preference for a particular doctor, please be aware that you may have to wait longer for that appointment.
  • If you find that you are unable to keep your appointment, please let us know on 01822 613517 as soon as possible, so that the appointment can be offered to another patient.
  • It may be necessary for us to cancel an appointment session at short notice when a doctor is unavoidably absent. We will make every effort to make alternative arrangements on that day.
  • Please note Saturday mornings are for pre-booked appointments only.  If you have a medical need on a Saturday and do have an appointment booked you must ring 111.  We also do not accept calls on a Saturday so if you need to cancel your appointment you will need to call us by 6pm on Friday. When booking a Saturday appointment, please note that the receptionists are not aware on which GPs will be working until the day.

Routine Appointments - LIFTON BRANCH

To make a routine appointment to see your doctor please call 01566 784788.  Lines are open between 8.30am and 6.00pm. 


When making an appointment please bear the following points in mind:

  • Please avoid telephoning before 10.00am and after 5.00pm to arrange a routine appointment.
  • It is anticipated that a routine appointment is not likely to last more than ten minutes.  If you think that you will need longer please let the receptionist know when you make the appointment. 
  • A routine appointment is normally for one patient only.  If you need other members of your family to see the doctor please discuss this with the receptionist when making the appointment. 
  • We have appointments that are available to book on the day and also telephone consultations.  These are of course limited.
  • Friday afternoons are strictly for emergencies only.
  • Patients are regsitered with the Practice and not a particular doctor.  You are entitiled to choose whichever doctor you wish for any given appointment. 
  • If you are unable to keep your appointment please let us know as soon as possible.
  • It may be necessary for us to cancel an appointment at short notice when a doctor is unavoidably absent.  We will make every effort to make alternative arrangements on that day.
  • Please note if you need to contact a doctor outside of normal hours please call 111.

Chaperone Policy

All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required.  This chaperone may be a family member or friend.  On occasions, you may prefer a formal chaperone to be present i.e. a trained member of staff.

Wherever possible, we would ask you to make this request at the time of booking the appointment so that arrangements can be made and your appointment is not delayed in any way.  Where this is not possible, we will endeavour to provide a formal chaperone at the time of request.  However occasionally it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment.

The healthcare professional undertaking your examination or treatment may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations in accordance with our Chaperone Policy.  This will be explained to you at the time.

If you have any questions or comments, please ask to see the Practice Manager.

Test Results

Most blood and urine tests are available two to three days after they have been taken. Other tests may take longer.

You will be contacted by telephone or letter if there is an abnormality with any result. Normal results will not usually be passed to you in this way, however you may wish to telephone the surgery for the result. If you would like to discuss the result with your doctor, it is advisable to check that the test results have arrived before arranging an appointment.

We ask that if you are phoning to check on a result you call after 14:00.

Also please phone yourself as, for reasons of confidentiality, results are not normally given to a third party.

Home Visits

Home visits are available, at the doctor’s discretion, to those patients too ill to attend the Practice. If at all possible, please come into the Practice as home visits are time consuming and a more complete assessment can be made at the Practice.

If you feel that a home visit is necessary, please bear the following points in mind.

  • If possible, please phone before 11am to request a home visit.
  • Please give the receptionist the following information:
    • The patient's name and age.
    • The patient's address and telephone number
    • A brief description of the symptoms

The doctor may telephone you, prior to visiting your home, to assess the urgency of the problem so that the doctor can plan his/her rounds.


Each day, one of our doctors is nominated to be the Duty Doctor. His or her role is to deal with all urgent requests and problems that arise on that day. In addition, the Duty Doctor conducts Telephone Consultations with patients (am and pm) and if urgent, will arrange to see patients that day. In certain situations, you may be given an appointment with the Practice Nurse rather than the Duty Doctor, if deemed appropriate. Each case will be assessed individually.

Should you feel that you need a same day appointment, the receptionist will ask you for a brief description of the problem and take your number and the Duty Doctor will aim to call you back within the hour.  The doctors have requested that the receptionists ask for a brief description of your problem to enable them to triage their calls appropriately.  If you feel you would rather not give any details this is perfectly acceptable, however you will be considered a routine callback.

The doctor will sort each request according to need (this is known as TRIAGE) and will arrange for you an appointment that is mutually agreeable.

Some days are busier than others and some people may be more or less unwell than you. Please bear this in mind when using this service - it may be more appropriate to have an appointment later in the week.

Please be reassured that you will be seen on the same day if your condition or problem needs urgent attention..

Doctors holiday Cover

The doctors usually arrange to cover each other for short periods of leave. However on occasions we may employ an additional doctor, known as a Locum, to provide extra assistance. You will always be informed when booking your appointment that it is with a Locum GP.

Attending the surgery with young children

This is a baby friendly surgery and we have facilities aimed to make your visit with children less stressful. These include:

  • Parking
  • Baby changing facilities - breastfeeding mums are welcome to use this area.
  • We would encourage patients to use the buggy parking area at the entrance to the surgery in our Tavistock branch.  
  • Lift in the Tavistock Branch.

Please feel free to breast feed your baby or, if you are bottle feeding and would like the feed to be warmed, please ask the Health Visitor within the Children's Centre.


Mjog is a telephone message service that we, as well as many other surgeries nationally, are using to remind patients of the date and time of their appointment.  We anticipate that this will reduce the ever increasing number of missed appointments.  

This service will also be used to remind patients to book their flu vaccination and in time, messages will be sent reminding you to book for other appointments, including annual asthma checks, thyroid checks etc. If you have a mobile telephone and your number is not on your medical records and you are happy to receive text messages from us, please give this to the reception team so that your records can be updated.  

Mjog is hosted on our computer system and only picks up a telephone number linked to an appointment.  It is unable to identify any other information. 

Medical Records

Please click here to view our policy on viewing your medical records.  Click here to download the application form.


This practice operates in compliance with:

The Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Data Protection Act 1998

If you require further information about these Acts, please enquire at the reception desk or arrange to speak with the Practice Manager.


If you have a particular complaint that you wish to bring to our attention, please speak to the Practice Manager in the first instance and she will do her utmost to resolve your complaint. She will immediately arrange a preliminary discussion with you to resolve the matter, if possible.

Please click here to view our complaints procedure.  

If you need a Third Party Complaints Form to enable you to act on another persons behalf, click here.

If your complaint is regarding treatment you have received by another NHS Provider, you can contact Patient Advice and Complaints Team who will assist you.  Tel: 0300 123 1672 or 01392 267665.  Text service: 07789 741 099.   E-mail: or write to Patient Advice and Complaints Team, FREEPOST EX184, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QL. 

Patient Registration

In the UK since 2004, all patients are registered with a practice and not an individual doctor. Therefore, at Tavyside Health Centre, we do not have named doctors for each patient. That does not mean we do not recognise the doctor-patient relationship, which for many is very important. You are still entitled to choose which doctor you would prefer to see and we recognise that this preference may change over time or from problem to problem.

Please be aware that the doctors all need to attend courses and meetings and take leave. The result is you may not always be able to see the doctor of your choice if you wish to be seen within a few weeks. If you do not specify a named doctor you will be able to see another sooner; and if you feel you need to see a doctor on the day, please make the receptionist aware of this.

End of Life Care

If someone dies at home, you must call your doctor who will certify the death. Unless the doctor decides to refer the matter to the Coroner, he or she will prepare a Medical Certificate within the next day or so.

This certificate must be taken to the local Registrar of Births or Deaths within five days of the death. Your funeral director will give you the Registrar’s address and opening hours and will explain what you have to do when you get there.

The Registrar will require personal details of the deceased such as their date and place of birth and death, a marriage certificate if this applies, and will want to know whether they were receiving a pension or any welfare benefits. The Registrar will then issue the Death Certificate and the notification of disposal which should be given to the funeral director.

You will also need more than one copy of the Death Certificate, probably as many as five altogether. You will need a copy for the Will, for any pension claims, insurance policies and investments.

Advance Directive 

Advance Directives (sometimes called Living Wills) are generally instructions provided by a patient relating to a condition which may arise in the future.  Please click here for an information leaflet on how the Practice will deal with an Advance Directive and what your responsibilities as a patient are.  

Tavyside Health Centre