Hartland surgery has been sited at 66 The Square in Hartland since 1948, the same year the NHS was founded. The surgery was out in the annex at the back of the building and accessed through the side gate, until the current building was converted in 1998, having previously been the doctors residence.

The Hartland Peninsula is a beautiful part of Devon, with rolling farmland and stunning coastline at Bucks Mills, Clovelly, Hartland Quay and Welcombe Mouth. Our area attracts many visitors to Hartland Abbey, the South West Coast Path, Docton Mill Gardens, The Milky Way theme park and more.

We provide care for a population of around 3000 patients in our rural community.

Named Accountable GP

We are contractually obliged to allocate a “named accountable GP” for every patient, which we do according to surname as follows:

  • A-N Dr Sam Tapsell
  • M-Z Dr Ruth Tapsell

You are welcome to book appointments with whichever GP is available.

Doctors and Nursing Team

Dr Ruth Tapsell (Female)

BSc 1998, MBBS (London) 2001, MRCP (UK) 2005, MRCGP 2009, GMC 6031178

I qualified in 2001 from Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School and after initially training in adult hospital medicine in Torbay, I went to Australia for 2 years. I then returned to the UK to train as a GP in Northumberland. I am married to Sam, who is also a GP, and we have 2 children. Having travelled and lived in some amazing places we decided to finally put down our roots in beautiful North Devon in 2013. We love the wide variety of outdoor activities that North Devon has to offer, in particular running, surfing, swimming and paddle-boarding.

I joined Hartland Surgery in 2014 and feel privileged to work in an environment where we can still practise traditional family medicine and build lasting relationships with our patients.

I enjoy all aspects of general practice and have a particular passion for helping patients with diabetes or weight problems to regain control of their health by supporting them to make effective changes to their lifestyle. I also have an interest in women’s health and medical education. Since 2021 I have been a GP trainer so we are delighted to support the next generation of GPs as they spend time training in our practice. They are qualified doctors who are undertaking the necessary post-graduate training to become GPs. We love having them on our team and we hope you enjoy meeting them.

Dr Sam Tapsell (Male)

MBBS 1998 (Newcastle), MRCOphth 2003, MRCGP 2012, GMC 4526188

I qualified in 1998 in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. I spent 4 years working in Ophthalmology and 3 years working overseas in Australia. I completed GP training in Northampton before moving to Devon in 2013.

I joined my wife Ruth at Hartland Surgery in April 2018 and have greatly enjoyed the warm welcome of our supportive community.

Clare MacMahon, Nurse (Female)
Mrs Shirley Stratton, Healthcare Assistant (Female)
Mrs Julia Dauncey, Healthcare Assistant (Female)

Practice Management Team

Trudy Bowles – Practice Manager
Harriet Mills – Reception Manager
Rebecca Campion – Dispensary Manager

Test Results

To look up results of a blood test or x-ray, we advise registering for online access through the NHS app on your phone, or using SystmOnline.

We will aim to contact you if a result is abnormal and requires further discussion, or we may discuss when there is already a planned review booked.

We no longer allow our reception and admin staff to discuss results by phone, as they are not medically trained and so will no be able to explain or discuss your results if required. They would therefore send a request to the doctor for a message (by SMS, email or phone call) to update you with the results. You can also request this by Accurx online form.

New Patient Registration

We are accepting new registrations. Please ask at Reception for a registration form and New Patient Questionnaire, or download them here:

Practice Area

The practice area boundary reaches Horns Cross, Parkham, Bradworthy, Meddon, Shop, Morwenstow. We request patients moving outside of our practice area to register with a GP closer to their new address.

We have previously tried to allow a small number of patients to remain registered if moving not far aware but have found it can result in too many problems. For example as a fully dispensing practice, we dont link up to external pharmacies by the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS), Therefore any prescriptions require collection in person and taking to a pharmacy. Also we cannot visit out of area as we already cover a large geography.

Temporary Residents

We request visitors to first contact their own GP, who will be able to consult by telephone, and if required can issue an electronic prescription to a nearby pharmacy like ASDA in Bideford. They will have full access to your GP records, which can make dealing with problems safer and quicker. Temporary registration is limited to 3 months. For minor injuries, see below.

We register patients for a temporary period of time who may be on holiday or visiting friends or relatives. Please telephone the practice in the first instance on 01237 441200. You will need to arrive around 10-15 minutes before your appointment time so we can collect your details.

This will not impact your usual Doctor and you will remain registered with your usual GP when you return home.

What information do I need?

Try to have the following information with you when you see your temporary GP for the first time:

  • details of any medical conditions you have
  • details of medical conditions you’ve had in the past
  • the name of any medicines you’re currently taking
  • details of anything you’re allergic to
  • contact details for your permanent or previous GP
  • NHS number

Minor Injury Service

The Doctors and Nurse offer emergency appointments for minor injuries that have occured within 48 hours. For example cuts, grazes, sprains, insect bites, minor burns, eye injuries.
If you are in the Hartland area and you suffer a minor injury, please contact the surgery either by telephone (01237 441200) or in person and a healthcare professional will see you as soon as possible.

Our closest Minor Injury Unit is the nurse led unit located in Bideford Hospital, operating 7 days from 8am to 8pm at Abbotsham Road, Bideford (opening times have been changed during COVID). There is also a nurse led unit at Stratton Hospital, Bude, open 7 days from 8am to 10pm (x-ray Monday to Friday 9-4pm, Also opening hours affected by COVID). You should contact them to confirm opening times before travelling incase they are closed. A 24 hour A&E is located at North Devon District Hospital, Raleigh Road, Barnstaple, EX31 4JB.

GP Earnings

All GP practices are required to declare the mean net earnings (eg. Average pay) for GPs
working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice. This is required in the interests of the greater public accountability recognising GP pay is ultimately funded from tax paid by the public.

The average pay for GPs working in Hartland Surgery in the last financial year 2022/2023 was £64369 before tax and national insurance. This is for 0 full time GP,3 part time GPs
and 0 locum GPs who worked in the practice for more than six months.)


If you are unhappy with the treatment or service you, a family member or someone you care for has received from our GP practice, you may want to make a complaint. This is information on how to raise a concern, give feedback or make a complaint. We also have a practice complaints leaflet.

  1. Before making a complaint, you could raise your concerns verbally with either your GP or our practice manager.
  2. If the concern you raised cannot be quickly sorted out by the end of the following day, then you can make a formal complaint in writing to the practice OR if you don’t want to complain to the practice, you can raise the issue with NHS England instead. For information on making a complaint to NHS England, visit: www.england.nhs.uk. You will need written permission to complain on behalf of another person.
  3. If you feel like your issue still hasn’t been resolved, you can ask the Parliamentary
    and Health Service Ombudsman to look into your complaint, Call 0345 015 4033 or visit www.ombudsman.org.uk for more information.

Privacy and children under 16

From the age of 13 years, the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) regards you as having the competence to consent to your own health care and the processing of the information that we hold about you at this practice which form what is known as your ‘Health Record’.

Like other GP practices we will remove your parents mobile number from your records from age 12 onwards. The number can be added as a next of kin by request. This is to protect potential issues with confidentiality with teenage health issues.

Hartland Surgery Privacy Policy