GP letters for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

We do not provide “letters of support” for PIP application, or ESA.

When you apply, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will usually contact us to provide a report, which is supplied directly to them.

We are therefore unable to provide additional letters of supports as the information we provide will normally be included in the report requested by the DWP.

You may request your medical records if you feel this may help your case. If you wish a copy of your medical records, please contact our admin team, or access online using the NHS app.

Citizens advice has more information for applying for PIP and ESA at links below:

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.

Free 12 week on-line lifestyle program

Would you like to lose weight and/or improve your diabetes without hunger or calorie counting?

Torridge Primary Care Network is offering a GP & social prescriber-led program for patients registered with Bideford Medical Centre, Wooda Surgery, Northam Surgery, Hartland Surgery, Torrington Health Centre & Castle Gardens Surgery

The program starts on Thursday 13th January 2022 and runs alternate weeks (6 sessions) 6.30-8.00pm on Zoom.

★ The real food, lower carb approach is an effective way to achieve weight loss and improve blood sugar.
★ People often feel much better and wish they had tried it sooner.
★ Often it enables people to reduce or stop some of their medication.
★ Additional benefits include improvements in sleep & sleep apnoea, energy levels, mood, joint pains, IBS, acid reflux etc.

To find out more, join us for an information session on Zoom on Tuesday 7th December at 6.30pm. All are welcome, whether for yourself or someone you live with or care for.

To register for the information session, please email our social prescriber/health coaches Verity, Justine or Nicola on or ring 07709 714668.

Poster: Torridge PCN Diabetes_Weight Loss Program

Phone problem

We are currently having a problem with our phone connection over the last hour (2-3pm), which we are looking into. We hope to back up shortly.

Update, 4.51pm Vodafone who supply our broadband, advise a BT connection issue from 2.12pm to 8.12pm, meaning our phone lines will not be restored until after we close. Sorry if you have tried to get in touch. Our email and clinical systems are on a separate data link which is all working normally.

Update 2, Saturday. 16 Oct

We now understand the internet may be down until Wednesday. We have successfully rerouted our calls, so you should be able to call as using our usual practice number on Monday, 01237 441200, but things may sound a little different as we will be using our computers to make and receive calls and wont be able to pass calls around the building.

Update 3, Tue 19 Oct, 8.10pm

Internet connection working and calls routing normally, Thanks for being patient this last couple of days if you have taken longer to get through on the phone.

Low Carb Group – next meeting 22 April at 6.30pm

We try to hold our Real Food Low Carb meetings on the 2nd Thursday of every month, but we have had to postpone this month’s due to the Easter school holidays. So, we’re planning our next meeting on Thursday 22nd April at 630pm. We will send the zoom invites out nearer the time.
We are hoping that from May onwards we may be able to start meeting in person in the village hall. Please keep an eye on our website for updates.
We hope to see you on 22nd and wish you all the very best.
Dr Ruth and Holly

Shutdown afternoon Wednesday 7 October from 1pm

The practice is closed this Wednesday for a regional teaching afternoon from 1pm. This takes place each quarter for training. This means from 1pm the phone lines will not be answered and callers directed to 111. Our teaching program for North Devon features Diabetes, Respiratory conditions, early diagnosis of cancer and support for care homes.

We will still have medication collection today from 12-1 and 5-6pm.

Also you may be aware North Devon has featured in national news bulletins this morning due to problems with testing bloods due to national supply problems from Roche.

This has disrupted our blood testing capacity this week, caused lots of routine testing to be cancelled and generated worry for some of you who are awaiting test results. We are very sorry for the disruption. It has made us appreciate how good the normal service is, with many test results taken in the morning and results back later that evening. We are told normal service may take 2-3 weeks to resume, we really hope it may be sooner.

Phone Switchover

*resolved*. Now working normally at 5pm, very sorry for problems with the phone for a few hours earlier this afternoon.

  • Our surgery number is moving to our new phone system this afternoon, Tuesday 1 September, but at the minute is ringing as engaged. We have contacted our supplier who reports it should move across shortly, but if you need to get in touch you can ring us on 01237 441111.

2020 Flu Clinics. Appointment Only.

We will be running flu clinics using Hartland Parish Hall on Saturday 26 September and Sunday 27 September 2020, These dates will be for over 65’s and we will offer immunisations to other groups later in the autumn and winter as our supply of vaccines will be spread out.
These will be by appointment only, and we will be arranging bookings shortly and sending invitations by SMS and telephone.
The parish hall should enable us to have a safe patient flow, in and through the building.

New Healthy Hart website by Dr Ruth Tapsell

As mentioned in the Hartland Post, and especially with coronavirus being so dangerous to people with diabetes, obesity and blood pressure, we have collected our “low carb” online resources onto a simple website, called We think a low carb “eat real food” message can be of benefit to us all, especially people with health issues above.