Incoming calls NEW NUMBER for today

* update at 12 noon, our normal number is now working again *

Hi, please use [number removed now normal lines working] if you want to ring the surgery.

Our phone system provider has run into trouble during a “routine maintainance” update this morning. This has stopped incoming calls to the surgery since around 09.15am, with just an engaged tone.

They have advised the problems will definately be fixed within 48 hours, possible much sooner.

In the meantime, we have a backup incoming line, which should work as normal.

We can still make outgoing calls as before and can help you in person at our reception. Sorry for this distruption.

We should be using our normal number from Monday 01237 441200

Back online after network and smoke problems.

Thanks for your patience this morning.

First our computer connection failed for 90 minutes until a very helpful support engineer drove out from Barnstaple to get our network back up and running.

Then we have had a fire at the Kings Arms pub, getting significant smoke into the practice building, and filling the roads with fire crew, many thanks for their swift response. Nobody has been harmed we understand.

We are now at around 12 noon resuming normal work, but we will need a bit of time catching up after this mornings difficulties.


Half day teaching

The surgery is closed on Wed 7 June 2023 from 1pm for teaching. It will re-open as usual on Thu 8 June.

If you have an urgent medical problem which cannot wait until the surgery is open, you can contact 111 for advice.

Out of area registration requests

We get an increasing number of requests from patients asking to remain registered at Hartland surgery after moving out of our catchment area, for example to Barnstaple, Bideford or Bude.

We appreciate there are usually very good reasons why people wish to stay with our practice where they already know the doctors and staff. We are also aware that access to GP appointments might be more difficult at other practices.

We decided in late 2019 that we would only be treating “out of area” registration requests fairly if we applied the same rule to all:

We do not register out of area patients

We want to briefly outline some reasons why we apply this rule.

Our registered patient list size has grown in the last 5 years, from 2669 in March 2018, to 2933 in March 2023, an increase of 10%.

We also have 28% of our practice population aged 65 and above, compared to a national average of 19%.

The overall picture is that we are busier, delivering many more appointments and reviews than before. We need to ensure we sometimes say no to requests, such as allowing out of area registration. Hopefully by doing this, we can keep doing our core job to a good standard and remain proud to serve our community.

Group A Streptococcal infection

  1. There is a national warning to look for potential streptococcal infection, with a bacteria called Group A Strep.
  2. There is also a large number of viral infections in our community, including COVID, Flu, RSV and Hand, foot and mouth, affecting adults and especially children.
  3. Thirdly we are running low on antibiotic supply, needing to use our stock wisely.

The combined mix of a virus along with the strep bacteria seems to be the biggest danger.

So what are we looking to treat with antibiotics (or maybe hospital) ?

  • Scarlet fever with “sandpaper rash”, “strawberry tongue”, high temperature, sore throat, sore glands.
  • Chest infections, where a bacterial (Streptococcal) infection may have added on top of the viral infection. Not just a cough, but other symptoms of being more unwell such as high temperature, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, dehydration, not eating and drinking normally.
  • Sepsis. Drowsy, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, not responding normally, reduced feeding.
  • Persisting or worsening symptoms: Most viral infections are improving around the 4-5 days of infection.

What are we not treating with antibiotics?

  • Every cough, every sore throat, every headache, every temperature.
  • We need to monitor these “viral infections” for signs of illnesses above, but we will not be able to give antibiotics “just incase”.
  • This advice could change in local areas where a serious outbreak of “invasive” infections is taking place – where the bacteria seem especially dangerous.
  • We are not currently aware of these serious cases in North Devon.

For advice about common infections, see links below.

What should parents do?

Sensible advice from BBC website:

Trust your judgement if your child seems seriously unwell.

Contact your local surgery if they:

  • are getting worse
  • are eating much less than normal
  • show signs of dehydration, such as a dry nappy for 12 hours
  • have a temperature of 39C or higher, or 38C if under three months old
  • are a baby and feel hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest or sweaty
  • are very tired or irritable

Call 999 or go to an accident-and-emergency unit if:

  • they are having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their stomach sucking under their ribs
  • they are pausing when they breathe
  • their skin, tongue or lips are blue
  • they are floppy and will not wake up or stay awake

Practice Nurse – Job Vacancy


Our current practice nurse, Holly, will be moving to a new post “up country” early in the new year. We are grateful that she has served our community really well for nearly 5 years and I’m sure very many of you will  want to wish her well. We are sorry to be losing such a great member of our team, but happy she is taking up new opportunities.

We are advertising for a replacement:
Practice Nurse Job Advert
Practice Nurse Job Description

Practice Nurse Hartland Surgery, starting early 2023

Would you like to join a friendly GP practice in a stunning coastal North Devon location?

At Hartland Surgery we are a great team that supports each other to offer high quality primary care to our community. We especially enjoy supporting our patients to improve their health by making effective lifestyle changes.

Working in a small rural practice enables us to really know the individuals and families we look after and to feel supported by our community. We are looking for someone who shares our enthusiasm.

As we’re a small team, our practice nurse’s role is broad. You would be covering all aspects of practice nurse work including immunisations, contraception, cervical smears, minor injuries and chronic disease clinics. Training and support are available to develop or refresh these skills. The role is supported by our 3 skilled and experienced HCAs and involves working closely with the 3 GPs.

Hartland is a training practice so we often welcome GP registrars, medical students and nursing students on placements. As members of the Torridge Primary Care Network we also benefit from a number of visiting practitioners including, health and wellbeing coaches, social prescribers, pharmacists and physios. We have 2900 patients and use SystmOne clinical IT system.

We are happy to support our team to develop skills to reach their potential. We are also keen to promote good work-life balance, by encouraging lunchtime exercise and accommodating flexible start and finish times if required.

Desirable characteristics

  • An enthusiastic, caring, approachable and experienced practice nurse
  • Communication and organisation skills
  • Teamwork and leadership skills
  • A flexible approach
  • IT skills
Salary – Competitive, based on experience
Hours – Preferably full time. Part time or job share considered
Start date – 20th February 2023 (negotiable)
Closing date for applications – 29th December 2022

(we may bring this date forward depending on applications received)

Please apply in writing with a CV and covering letter to

Mrs Trudy Bowles
Practice Manager
Hartland Surgery
66, The Square
EX39 6BL

For more information visit or ring 01237 441200 or send Trudy an email.

COVID Autumn Boosters at Hartland British Legion Car Park each Wednesday

Thanks to the excellent mobile vaccine team, there is a “pop up” vaccine van on the following dates in Hartland, at the Royal British Legion, 10.30am to 4:30pm:

  • Wed 28 September
  • Wed 5 October
  • Wed 12 October
  • Wed 19 October
  • Wed 26 October

There is no need to book and after an impressive busy first day today, they may be less busy in the coming October dates.

To check eligibility here:

I’m not sure if this will be the same each time, but today we had the bivalent moderna vaccine (which has better protection for omicron variant), and I was grateful to get my autumn booster as NHS staff, so we should keep our surgery up and running through the winter!

Who can have the seasonal COVID-19 booster?

At the moment, those being prioritised for a seasonal booster dose (autumn booster) of the COVID-19 vaccine include people who are:

  • aged 65 years old or over
  • pregnant
  • aged 5 years old and over and at high risk due to a health condition or weakened immune system
  • aged 5 years old and over and live with someone who has a weakened immune system
  • aged 16 years old and over and a carer, either paid or unpaid
  • living or working in a care home for older people
  • a frontline health and social care worker

Other people, including those aged 50 to 64 years old who are not at higher risk, will be able to get the booster jab later in the autumn 2022.