Newsletter - September 2020

Published: 04 August 2020

Farewell to Dr Cathy Suter
As we announced in the August Newsletter, we will be saying farewell to Dr Suter as she retires at the end of September.  We are not able to have a leaving book for patients to sign due to infection control reasons during the pandemic, however there will be a small post box available for you to leave letters and cards for Dr Suter should you wish to do so.  Please leave any gifts at reception.  Dr Suter has written the following message for all our patients:

As many of you know, I am due to retire at the end of September after 29 wonderful years with Willingham Medical Practice.  I cannot go without a huge thank you to all staff and patients.  To be a GP is without doubt the most privileged job in the world, and I have had the greatest good fortune to work here at what I think is a wonderful practice.  I first came to the practice in 1991, joining Dr Hewlett, Dr deLacey and later Dr Marriott.  The ethos of the practice has always been to try our best to provide high-quality family medicine with the patient at the heart of what we do.  In this I have always been supported by wonderful colleagues and staff, and of course by the Willingham patients from whom I have learned so much.

I am going to miss you all so much that I'm hopeful I will be invited back from time to time to cover holidays!  Thank you to everyone for your forbearance, your support and above all for letting me work here in this wonderful practice. THANK YOU!
Dr Cathy Suter

Keeping our patients safe
Following telephone triage with a clinician, we are asking increasing numbers of patients to attend the surgery for face to face consultations.  We are therefore requesting patients wear a face covering in line with government guidance when attending the surgery.

We are also limiting the number of patients in the waiting area at any time.  You may therefore be asked to wait in your car or outside the front of the practice, where you will be called in when your GP/Nurse is ready so that we can maintain safe social distancing at all times.  All patients must abide by the one way system we have in place, and adhere to the social distancing markers at the reception desk.  Please use the hand sanitiser dispensers when entering the premises.

Exemption cards or badges for face masks
The guidance suggests there is no requirement for the public to provide evidence, medical or otherwise, for exemption therefore a self-declaration from the individual should be sufficient.  GP practices are under no obligation to provide letters of support for anyone who does not fall under the list of exemptions but considers them to have another reason to be exempted.

Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering.  This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.  This is a personal choice, and is not necessary in law.  If you would like to use an exemption card you can use the PDF attachments on the government website

COVID-19 Screening Update
NHS England announced that the following screening programmes have resumed, following temporary closure during the pandemic:
  • Breast Screening
  • Bowel Screening
  • AAA Screening
  • Diabetic Eye screening
  • Cervical Screening
Please be aware many of these services are operating at a reduced capacity due to COVID restrictions, and are dealing with the backlog, therefore significant delays have developed during the period when the programmes were closed on safety grounds.  Each service will be prioritising patients according to those at highest risk, and request your patience as they start to operate again.

The surgery does now offer routine cervical screening appointments, therefore if you are overdue or have been invited please contact reception to make an appointment.

Carers Meeting
Due to the current pandemic, the carers' meetings are still currently postponed until further notice.  They will be reinstated as soon as it is safe to do so.  In the meantime, we would like to continue to support carers in our local community in any way possible.  If you are a carer for someone and need advice and financial or emotional support, please contact Sue Lawson at or 01954 260230.