General Update - October 2023

Now that Dr Kemp has retired only 3 GP partners remain. We have been working extremely hard to prepare for this so that we can reduce the impact it will have on the service that we provide, please be assured that we have every confidence we will be able to continue to provide access to a high quality of care for all of our patients.

The points raised in the post below titled 'Winter Pressures at Siam Surgery – December 2022' remains relevant at this time, with a few things noted here to bring it up to date:

The challenging bits –

  • We now have over 11,600 patients registered with us and look after two care homes (previously one). We are still registering an average of 100 new patients per month.
  • We have been actively recruiting for a full-time GP for over a year now but sadly this has proved difficult with a national shortage of GPs and the numbers continuing to fall.
  • Increased pressure on other NHS services (hospitals, pharmacies etc) impacts on our workloads, and visa versa.

The positive bits -

  • We have warmly welcomed clinicians Ellie (Paramedic) and Phil (Advanced Nurse Practitioner) who have made a huge difference to the practice already and soon we will be joined by Cheryl (Advanced Nurse Practitioner) who we are sure will quickly become another wonderful asset to our team.
  • We have a new telephone system in place which enables us to have more receptionists working at any one time to reduce waiting times on the phone and the previous system faults are no longer an issue. We have increased the size of our reception team.
  • With some very good will from our staff we have increased the number of clinicians working on a Saturday meaning more appointments are available outside of our core hours.
  • We have successfully implemented some new systems to streamline administration processes and reduce the burden of these workloads on our clinicians.
  • Dr Kemp will provide ad hoc cover for our doctors so that they can take their much needed annual leave without this reducing our capacity in the surgery.

Moving forward –

  • We are currently recruiting for various clinical and non-clinical positions in order to increase the size of our workforce and the skill mix within it. We will continue looking for new ways to manage workloads so we can support our clinicians in focusing on patient care.
  • Please read through the 'what can you do to help' section below, we ask kindly for this support from our patients and their families so that we can continue to be there for everyone who needs us.

Usual GP

Every patient is allocated a 'usual GP' who will predominantly deal with the administration aspects of your care. Due to Dr Kemp's retirement we have reallocated his patients evenly between the remaining doctors at Siam Surgery. You can still choose which doctor you see for appointments. Your usual GP will be listed on your repeat prescription slip, correspondence from the practice or alternatively you can ask for this information when you next need to contact the practice.

Dr Kemp's Retirement - September 2023

After devoting 41 years to Siam Surgery, sadly the time has come for us to announce the retirement of our much loved GP, Dr Kemp.

Dr Kemp is extremely well-known for being one of the kindest and most compassionate doctors there is. He has truly made a difference to so many people's lives and we know that he will be sorely missed by his patients and colleagues alike.

Dr Kemp says "I have enjoyed my time working with the staff and patients of Siam Surgery and have dealt with many lovely patients over the years."

Some of you will remember that he has actually 'retired' once before back in 2016. We think he means it this time as he is very much looking forward to spending more time with his children, grandchildren and travelling.

We have been lucky enough that Dr Kemp has offered to support the practice by working on an ad hoc basis to cover periods of leave whilst we continue our search for a new GP. We will provide you with more information on how the surgery will manage this change next week, but for now we would like to concentrate on wishing Dr Kemp all the very best for the future.

If you would like us to pass on any well wishes then please hand these in to our reception desk or email to

New telephone system - August 2023

We are very pleased to say that we now have a new telephone system in place! 

Please be aware that our telephone number has now changed. Our new number is:

01787 322420

We are sure the majority of you are aware that for a long time now our telephone system has been unable to cope with the volume of calls that we receive. There have been numerous faults resulting in people being cut off at various points in the call queue, sometimes even once they have appeared to get through.

We are so sorry to all who have been affected by this. We understand how difficult it has made it to contact us by phone and the impact that this has had on our patients. Staff have also been left very upset and frustrated, they've received a lot of verbal abuse over this and have spent many hours trying to resolve these issues.

Our new system is purpose built for busy GP surgeries. We will have more control over the system, the faults should disappear AND we have said goodbye to the hold music which is loathed by just about every patient we know.

We hope once we have settled in to the new system you will see a big improvement when contacting the surgery.

National GP Survey Results - July 2023

Thank you to those who submitted their responses to the GP survey earlier this year, the results have now been published ( We are pleased to see that your experience of our practice has been rated well above the national average.
Whilst we were also pleased with last year's results, there has been a noticeable improvement in the appointment experience this year. Some of you will know that we made some changes to our appointment system last winter and we introduced a safe working limit. This came with its own challenges but we believe these changes have supported our clinicians in improving the quality of their consultations which were, in some ways, being impacted by the extreme pressures they were under.
This year we would like to improve the experience of accessing the practice. We have increased the size of our reception team and are recruiting more clinical staff, we have a new telephone system being installed next week, we are expanding our online booking availability (still invite only due to need for triage) and are working on reducing the impact of appointments which are unattended. We also want to raise more awareness around what other services are available (and sometimes more appropriate) for our patients to access the care they need, as well as increasing the use of our online consultation tool eConsult and the NHS app for those who find it convenient.
As always, we welcome your ideas and feedback. Should you have anything to add please email
Thank you.

Winter Pressures at Siam Surgery - December 2022

We are currently experiencing an unprecedented demand on our services and we are aware that it has been taking longer than usual to get through to the reception team on the phone, particularly during peak periods such as Mondays and week day mornings. Along with the majority of GP surgeries across the UK the demand for our services often exceeds our capacity for safe working and unfortunately our resources are not limitless. At times we might be unable to offer you the specific appointment that you have requested however you will always be provided with appropriate alternative options.
We are completely committed to our patients and any changes that are being made are to ensure that we can continue to provide the best possible care to everyone.
What is happening?
There is always an extremely high demand on our services throughout the winter months due to many factors including significant increases in patients presenting with colds, flu and other respiratory illnesses.
We now have over 11,200 patients to care for and this number is growing rapidly by the day. We have an ageing population of people who have increasingly complex needs and since the pandemic there have been higher levels of health anxiety.
Staff shortages and a higher patient to doctor ratio contribute to an increased pressure on our workload. All members of staff have been working extra shifts and longer hours in the attempt to avoid any disruption to the service we provide.
What are we doing?
We would like to assure you that we are doing all that we can to protect our service so that we can continue to provide high quality patient care and remain responsive to your needs. This includes:
- Employing more staff- We have recently taken on two new receptionists so we hope that you will begin to notice a reduction in the wait time when contacting the surgery. It is important to note that it will be a while before the new reception staff are fully trained, please be patient with our team who are either learning or supporting others. We are currently recruiting for a GP and a Nurse Practitioner however recruitment at this time is very difficult.
- Managing the growth of our practice list- We have asked patients living outside of our catchment area to register at their local practices but we have limited options available to us that wouldn’t have a direct impact on other practices in the surrounding area.
- Care navigation- A lot of our patients needs can be met by other services such as your local pharmacy, physiotherapists, social prescribers, mental health practitioners and more. Our reception team are working hard to raise awareness of these roles and services and it is an important part of their job to provide patients with information on the options that are available to them.
- Extended access- We offer a range of appointments in the evenings and on a Saturday to increase our capacity.
- We have a large non-clinical team who work extremely hard to filter out and complete all administrative tasks in order to allow the clinicians more time to focus on the things that require their clinical input. What you see happening in General Practice (appointments, home visits, referrals, prescriptions) is just the tip of the iceberg.
- Providing effective alternative methods of contact – please see below for more details. 
What can you do to help?
Many of the people who are seen by a GP could have received the care or advice they needed elsewhere and in some cases managed their symptoms through self-care. By accessing the information available and using other services when appropriate there will be more appointments for patients with conditions and illnesses that require input from a GP. If you are able to, before calling us please consider doing the following:
- Check your symptoms on the NHS website ( for advice on how to treat at home and whether this is appropriate, or which service to contact and when this might be necessary.
- Visit your local pharmacy for advice on minor illnesses such as sore throats, coughs, colds, flu, earache, skin rashes and conjunctivitis. For more information:
- Use eConsult – an online consultation tool which you can use to send information about your symptoms to the GP and seek advice, request a sick certificate and much more:
- Use an online GP services app such as the NHS app or log into SystmOnline via our website/download the app. With an online account you can check for blood results, order repeat medication, check details of upcoming appointments and more.
- Email – You can email our reception team ( and our prescribing team ( directly for any non-urgent requests and queries.
- If you receive an invitation to book your appointment online (usually a link sent via text message) please do so if you can.
- Cancel your appointment if you no longer need it so that someone else can have it instead. All of our appointment confirmation and reminder texts provide the email address you can use to let us know without needing to call us (
- Don’t leave things to the last minute- For example if you have been told by the hospital that you need stitches removed in 10-14 days please don’t wait until the 13th day to book your appointment because availability will be limited.
- Help us to prioritise- Try to avoid calling during peak periods for non-urgent requests or queries. Either use the above online options or try calling later in the day so that those who require urgent appointments don’t have to wait in a long queue.
We are continually looking for ways to improve our services and because of this your feedback is very important to us. Please email if you have any queries, ideas or feedback.
Thank you.