Practice Update Autumn 2022

Practice Update Autumn 2022

It sometimes feels as if the only certainty in General Practice is change, and for us the last 12 months have seen even more change than usual! We have welcomed Dr. Victoria Rittner and Dr. John Mifsud as Partners to the practice. As they have grown into their roles, we have congratulated our Associate GP’s, Dr. Christine Ashdown and Dr. Harriet Roe on the births of their babies and their subsequent maternity leave. Much of the maternity leave has been covered by our GP colleague Dr Alison Grimston.

The Non-Clinical Teams have also seen significant change. We were delighted to appoint our previous Assistant Practice Manager Sharon Monger as our Practice Manager. Our Dispensary Manager Helen Wilson successfully applied to become our Assistant Practice Manager, with Dispenser Rachel Freeman succeeding Helen in the Dispensary Manager role and Dispenser Emily Cogger successfully applying for the new role of Assistant Dispensary Manager.
It is refreshing and heartening that so many of our staff have both the desire to progress their careers with us and the ability to outperform strong external candidates at interview.
We are delighted to report that one area which doesn’t appear to have changed is our caring ethos. Of the 113 respondents (from 259 of our patients who were randomly invited to complete the 2022 National GP Survey), 98% reported that our receptionists were very helpful or fairly helpful (compared with the National Average of 82%), 100% reported that the healthcare professional was good or very good at listening to them (National Average 85%) and 98% had a very good or fairly good overall experience of the practice (National average 72%). To see the full survey results please visit: We thank all of our staff for their hard work which has clearly been recognised in these results. We also thank our surgery founder Dr Peter Steel, and his successors Dr Andrew Wolfle and Dr. Karen Whichello, and their teams, for the foundation and example which they have set us.

It is going to be a busy Autumn for us. Redecoration of Hartfield Surgery including the creation of a fifth clinical room, which will enable us to continue our commitment to training the next generation of GPs, junior doctors and medical students, will start imminently. We will also be redecorating the outside of Groombridge Surgery.
Our annual Flu Clinics will be running at Hartfield Surgery Saturdays in October. Patients over the age of 50 and those with certain health conditions are eligible for a flu jab. We had excellent uptake in the flu clinics last year, and encourage all eligible patients to have their flu jabs again for the benefit of their own health, the health of others and to reduce pressure on the NHS this winter. We will post information about the Autumn COVID booster program on our Website and on our Facebook page as and when we receive it, likewise we encourage all eligible patients to have a COVID booster this Autumn.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding over these last 2 years of unprecedented change and pressure within General Practice. Hopefully we can look forward to a period of stability going forwards.

Dr. Matt James, Dr. Victoria Rittner and Dr. John Mifsud