St Thomas Medical Group


St Thomas has received a CQC Inspection rating of outstanding

Practice Area

St Thomas Health Centre accepts patients living to the west of Alphington Street/Alphington Road. The western boundary is at the Sainsburys’ Superstore in Alphington, the eastern boundary at Redhills. The northern boundary reaches to Longdown, Whitestone and Pathfinder Village, nr Tedburn St Mary.

Exwick Health Centre accepts patients living to the west of the River Exe in the Exwick area, the western boundary being at Redhills, as well as patients living in Upton Pyne and Bramford Speke.

The Student Health Centre accepts patients who are students of the University of Exeter, living on or adjacent to the main campus.

Pathfinder Surgery accepts patients who are living in Pathfinder Village.

Practice Boundaries

The below map shows the Catchment Area for St Thomas Medical Group.

Registering at the Practice

Any person wishing to register with a GP at St. Thomas Health Centre will need to complete the appropriate Registration Form and provide supporting documentation  of identity and residency (although there are a one or two exceptions i.e. residential homes).

This is to ensure that you are only registered once with the NHS.

Whilst we appreciate that this may be a little inconvenient it is hoped that you will understand the need for this procedure to ensure the correct use of our NHS.

Download the Patients' Charter

To register, please download and complete the NHS Family Doctor Services Registration Form.

To register babies and children under five, please download and complete the Child Registration Form for the under 5's.

For our Polish patients, please download and complete the Polish Registration Form.

For our Turkish patients, please download and complete the Turkish Registration Form.

New Patient Health Check

We encourage all new patients to have a general health check with the Practice Nurse.

Existing patients are also welcome to attend for a health check if they have not been seen by their GP in the past three years. The check takes about 20 minutes.

The purpose of the check is to find out about any existing problems for which you are receiving treatment and, also to help you live a healthy lifestyle. The Nurse will ask about:

  • current and past illnesses and operations
  • illnesses that run in the family
  • medication and allergies
  • any screening tests such as cervical smears
  • any immunisations such as tetanus
  • She will check your blood pressure, weight and height and test a sample of your urine.

You are also offered advice on:

  • healthy eating 
  • exercise
  • sensible limits for alcohol
  • how to stop smoking

She will assess your risk of heart disease and can arrange a cholesterol check if appropriate.

Please telephone 01392 676676 and make a double appointment with one of the Practice Nurses if you wish to take up this offer.


As patients, you will be aware that we hold medical information about you in the Health Centre.  We would like to reassure you that this information is kept confidential at all times and our computer records are password protected.  Information is available only to other health care professionals caring for patients of the Practice.  Any audit information provided to Exeter Primary Care Trust is anonymised.

All individuals working within the Practice, either permanently or temporarily, are required to sign a confidentiality statement.

If you are concerned about any information being held about you, please contact Gill Heppell, Practice Manager.

Violent or Abusive Patients

Patients who are abusive and/or violent towards the Partners or staff of St Thomas Medical Group will be removed from the Practice’s list of patients. 

They will be advised of the reasons for their removal, their right to be allocated to a doctor and how to contact the Primary Care Support Services (PCSS), who will arrange this allocation. 

The PCSS will be informed of any patients who it is believed pose a substantial risk of violence or threat and these patients will be informed that they can be seen by appointment with a doctor contracted to the Exeter Primary Care Trust at one of its Walk In Centres.

NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

NEW (North, East and West) Devon CCG have a new website that is full of information about the CCG, their boards, local events, patient involvement and much more. To find more information on Devon CCG view the link below:

For more information on Staying Healthy and Young Devon please see the links below:

Involvement in Training and Education

Dr John Fox, Dr Alice Godwin, Dr Cath Sheppard and Dr Alex Williams are qualified General Practitioner Trainers. They regularly supervise GP Registrars working in the Practice.

The Practice also takes students on placement from the Peninsula Medical School. Several other Partners have a particular interest in the training of Medical Students.


Complaints Procedure

We always try to give you the best service possible, but there may be times when you feel this has not happened.  This leaflet explains what to do if you have a complaint about the services we provide for you.  We hope you will use it to allow us to look into and, if necessary, put right any problems you have identified or mistakes that have been made.

How to let us know about a complaint and how we deal with it:

If you wish to make a complaint, please phone or write to our Practice Manager, Mrs Heppell, who is based at St Thomas Health Centre.  She will take full details of your complaint and decide how best to undertake the investigation.  All complaints, comments and suggestions will be treated in strict confidence.  No patient or relative’s healthcare will be adversely affected as the result of making a complaint.

We think it is important to deal with complaints quickly, so you will normally be offered an opportunity to meet Mrs Heppell or other staff from the Practice to discuss matters within ten working days.  Occasionally, if we have to make a lot of enquiries, it might take a little longer, but we will keep you informed.  You may bring a friend or relative with you to the meeting.

We will try to address your concerns fully, provide you with an explanation and discuss any action that may be needed.  We hope that at the end of the meeting you will feel satisfied that we have dealt with the matter thoroughly.  Of course, if you don’t feel that a meeting is necessary to deal with your complaint and you would prefer Mrs Heppell to write to you instead, do let her know. 

Please note that if you should want to raise a complaint or concern on behalf of another patient, then to respect our duty of confidentiality to our patients, it may be necessary to have that person’s written consent.

Please note that our Practice Complaints Procedure is not able to deal with questions of legal liability or compensation, for which you should seek legal advice.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Heppell on Exeter 676676.  If you do not wish to deal with the Practice directly, or if you remain dissatisfied about how your complaint has been handled, you are entitled to put your complaint to The National Contact Centre (NCC) at NHS England.  Contact details are:

Email: Tel:  0300 311 22 33
Mail:  NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT

A regional complaints team is in place across each of the four NHS England regions.  These teams work closely with the NCC and provide a regional service to manage the Primary Care complaints that are received nationally but which can’t be instantly resolved and dealt with at a national level.

Freedom of Information Policy

This Publication Scheme is a complete guide to the information routinely made public by the partners of St Thomas Medical Group doctors Arshi, Coleman, Fox, Northover, Rutter, Smith, Thomas, Watson, Williams, Green, James, Gibbons, Neumegan and Wise. It is a description of the information about our practice which we make publicly available. It will be updated at regular intervals and we will monitor its effectiveness.

For more information please download the Freedom of Information Policy.


If you would like a chaperone present during your consultation, then please advise the receptionist when booking your appointment or when checking in.

Read More in the Chaperone Leaflet...

Access to Medical Records

If you would like to make an access request please download the Application to Access Medical Records form below and complete this fully using additional paper if required. Return the form together with the fee of £10 (non-refundable).

Where copy records are required an additional fee will be payable in which will not exceed £50 (including the £10 fee above).

Your request will be considered and you will be advised of the decision within 21 days. There is no facility for immediate access.

Please send the completed application to:

Mrs G Heppell
Practice Manager
St Thomas Health Centre
Cowick Street

More Information

Fees payable for Non NHS Services

Fitness to travel - medical examinations letter
Fitness to travel - letter
Holiday cancellation form
Countersignature of passport
Yellow fever vaccination and certificate
Yellow fever - replacement certificate
Certificates / Letters without Examination
Straightforward letter of fact
Private sick certificate
Fitness to use the gym
Complex Certificates / Reports
Fitness to drive
Freedom from infection
Ofsted report
Private Insurance Forms
Claim form
Medical Examinations
HGV / LGV / PSV / Taxi / Elderly driver
Seafarer's medical examination
Access to Medical Records
Copy of paper notes (40p per copy to max of £50.00
Printout of computerised notes
Proof of immunisation printout
40p per copy
Legal Services
Power of Attorney - examination and report
Power of Attorney - witness report
Private Vaccinations / Investigations
Blood grouping
Vaccine not available on NHS
£10 + lab fee
Price on request

Infection Control Statement 2014-2015


002 - Infection Control Annual Statement 2014-2015

Person(s) responsible for reviewing this Policy Dr Lorna Coleman, Partner
and Heather Baker, Practice Nurse
Date of Last Review June 2014
Date of Next Review June 2015
Reference : The Health and Social Care Act 2008 - Code of Practice on the prevention and control of infections & related guidance



This annual statement will be generated each year. It will summarise:

  • Any infection transmission incidents and action taken (these will be reported in accordance with our Significant Event procedure)
  • The annual infection control audit and actions undertaken
  • Control risk assessments undertaken
  • Details of staff training
  • Details of infection control advice to Patients
  • Any review and update of policies, procedures and guidelines 


St Thomas Medical Group Lead for Infection Prevention and Control is Dr Lorna Coleman, she is supported by
Mrs Heather Baker RGN (Practice Nurse ) and Mrs Gill Heppell ( Practice Manager).
St Thomas Medical Group ensures compliance with “The Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of Infection and Related Guidance (Hygiene Code) DOH 2010.

This team will keep updated on infection control and share necessary information with staff and patients throughout the year. 


Significant Events

The practice has regular quarterly meetings whereby any significant or critical events are discussed.

In the past year (1/1/13 – 1/1/14) there have been no Significant events raised that related to infection control.


An extensive audit was undertaken by the IPC lead (Dr Lorna Coleman) and IPC Link Practitioner (Heather Baker RGN) between November and June 2014 using the Care Setting Process Improvement tool.

All areas of the St Thomas Health Centre were audited and an action plan for improvements has been produced. The completed audit sheets will be stored in the IPC file and the audit will be repeated in January 2015.

As a result practice policies and procedures are currently being reviewed by the practice IPC team to ensure compliance with best practice.
We aim to share information with our patients and a copy of this Annual Statement will be published on our practice website. We will notify patients of any seasonal outbreaks via a notice board in the waiting room and on our website.

Risk Assessments

Regular risk assessments are undertaken to minimise the risk of infection and to ensure the safety of patients and staff. The following risk assessments relating to infection control have been completed in the past year and appropriate actions have been taken.

  • Children’s Toys; Toys can be a useful distraction for children waiting in the waiting room and also in consulting rooms as an aid to relax young patients or distract them when a parent is having a consultation. NHS cleaning specifications recommends weekly cleaning of toys. It was decided that only a small number of wipeable plastic toys should be kept in consulting rooms, these will be kept in a small plastic toy box. In the waiting area fixed bead table toys would only be provided. Waiting room toys are cleaned twice daily (after each surgery by reception staff) and consulting room toys will be cleaned weekly by the relevant clinician using Clinelle wipes.
  • Linen /Fabric Sheets and Towels; In accordance with current guidelines all linen sheets, modesty blankets and hand towels have been removed and replaced by disposable paper couch covers which are changed between patients. Paper hand towels or Electric hand dryers are used to dry hands. We have not been aware of any issues relating to this change in policy.
  • Curtains and Blinds; Previously several consulting rooms had fabric modesty curtains around examination couches. In accordance with current guidelines these have all been replaced with disposable curtains, which are replaced according to a written schedule. This was felt to be a more cost effective method than dry cleaning fabric curtains on a 3 monthly basis. Several doctors consulting rooms still have fabric window curtains but it was felt that as these rooms were not used for high risk clinical procedures and patients were not handling these curtains there was minimal infection risk posed. Blinds in nurses treatment rooms however are felt to be more high risk and we are currently replacing these on rota or removing them completely.
  • Flooring; Whilst we are a modern health centre we are aware that at present we are not fully compliant with NHS recommendations with regard to flooring. Any spillages of blood or body fluids are to be avoided on a floor that cannot be cleaned effectively. All treatment and nurses consulting rooms have the correct flooring. Doctors consulting rooms have carpeted flooring, as does the main waiting area. It has been decided to replace the carpet when necessary with smooth impervious flooring. One doctors consulting room has been upgraded already as this room is used for clinical procedures such as joint injections. Doctors have been asked not to undertake clinical procedures’ in rooms with carpeted floors so as to minimize risk of spillage.

    A carpet cleaner has been purchased for use should a spillage occur in a carpeted area.
  • Cleaning Specifications, Frequencies and Cleanliness of Equipment; The practice has a designated lead for cleaning and there is an environmental cleaning policy for staff to follow. The policy specifies how to clean all areas, fixtures and fittings and what products to use. Cleaning schedules and audits are currently being reviewed and updated and will then be reviewed on an annual basis. 
Nursing staff clean treatment areas and equipment between patients. Protective equipment policies are in place. 

Staff Training

All staff are aware of the practice hand hygiene policy and instructions for hand cleansing are displayed in all clinical rooms and health centre toilets. Members of the clinical team have attended a two/three day update training for Infection Prevention and Control for General Practice (September 2013). Practice nursing staff have also undertaken a ½ day infection prevention and control course. The Practice is introducing a training programme to ensure all clinical and non clinical staff members receive annual infection control training.


We are currently in the process of updating how we give information to patients regarding infections. This is likely to be in the form of a specific notice board at the surgery and on our practice website.

Patients who are thought to have an infection that may be contagious e.g. chickenpox are asked to wait in a designated isolation room rather than the main waiting room.

All patients requiring dressings who are known to have MRSA infection are treated at the end of the nurses list so that the room can be prepared and cleaned after the consultation. All Patients with MRSA have an individual risk assessment completed which is shared with them to ensure everything possible is done to reduce the risk of cross infection. There have been no reported cases of MRSA acquired in the practice.

Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

Policies relating to Infection Prevention and Control will be reviewed as current advice changes and updated annually if appropriate.

Dr Lorna Coleman January 2014

Download our Infection Control Statement.