An overview by Dr Charles Middle – The Grove Medical Practice – Sherborne Dorset,


  As we cautiously edge away from the pandemic and towards whatever normal will look like, does that mean the NHS is also in good health? Sadly not – there is a huge catch-up to undertake and national statistics show that GP Consultation rates are higher than ever before, all at a time when we also staff the Local Vaccination Centre at The Digby Hall, along with our colleagues at Apples and Yetminster Surgeries and Volunteer force.

  The last year has been the most demanding and exhausting of my career, and like my colleagues I am exhausted, with little left ‘in the tank. Recruit more staff? We are constantly trying, but a national shortage of Nurses and GPs has made this hard, even in such an attractive area.

   Whilst tales abound of practice closure, GP retirement and burn-out, patients only being able to communicate with their Doctors online, The Grove Medical Centre are proud to provide a high quality service from our committed and skilled staff. Can this continue? Not necessarily, and not in its present form.

   So, to prevent our services slipping into an adversarial system, where we are all dissatisfied, one in which those with the sharpest elbows receive the best attention and the more vulnerable are left behind, we must work together to safeguard the very future of a viable primary care service in Sherborne.

  For our part we will work hard to optimise appropriate access to our services, which will be dynamic and responsive to the needs of our population. We are working hard to increase face to face access, the gold standard of our care, whilst continuing to integrate remote consultations when appropriate.

  For our patients, we ask you to consider;

  • Do you really need to see a Doctor for your problem straight away? Time is a great healer for many issues and there are many resources providing guidance on health issues e.g.

           Our website ; https://www.thegrovemedcentre.co.uk/self-help-centre

           For under 18’s ; https://what0-18.nhs.uk/

           And  https://www.nhs.uk/

  • Can I take my issue elsewhere for appropriate care?


       Local pharmacies for minor complaints.

       Muscle and joint aches and pains ; https://www.mskdorset.nhs.uk/

Mental Health and referral to Counselling ;                   


           Child and Adolescent Mental health care; https://camhsdorset.org/


  • Can I help myself and take greater responsibility for my health and prevention of disease?

Whilst illness can be just bad-luck, we know that regular exercise and a healthy diet do wonders for good Physical and Mental Health. Live Well Dorset https://www.livewelldorset.co.uk/  can help you access weight management, smoking cessation and exercise opportunities.

  • Try to download NHS app onto phone or tablet, to access your records, prescriptions and appointments, as well as healthcare and vaccination updates. We appreciate that not everybody is computer literate, so you can appoint a Proxy to do this.

We are fortunate to serve a community that is so appreciative and supportive – lets continue to work together for our mutual benefit, and for the future of heath care services in our community.

My best wishes for your good health and happiness.

Dr Charles Middle





Published: May 20, 2021