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Latest News

News regarding Dr Sam Rintoul

Dr Rintoul is currently on maternity leave. Dr Alex Apfel (m) is covering during this period of leave.

Online Services

We are in the process of changing our online services. For appointment requests we will now be using the Waiting Room, for which you will need to be a registered user. Please drop in to reception and bring with you some photo ID in order to be set up and you will then be able to directly book appointments online. In September we will also be switching our online prescription service to the Waiting Room, so get registered now in order to reduce delays when the old system is switched off. This new system will give significant benefits in that you will be able to pick medication from a menu that comes straight from your notes.

We have two vacancies to join our team - please see Would you like to work with us section for further information

Telephone Triage

From Monday 26th November 2018, Helston Medical Centre and Porthleven Surgery will be operating a telephone triage system. To book an appointment, ring 01326 572637 for Helston, or 01326 562204 for Porthleven Surgery.

The Receptionist will ask you about your medical problem and its urgency. This is to ensure:

  1. You are directed to the right service, whether that be a GP, Pharmacy, Minor Injury Unit or Emergency Department
  2. Ascertain which of our clinicians are best placed to deal with your medical problem. Continuity of care is really important to us and so linking you to the right doctor or nurse is key
  3. Give the clinician an indication of your medical problem so they can pre prepare for your appointment

The receptionist will then give you a 30 minute window in which the doctor will ring you. The doctor will then discuss your problem with you and decide whether they need to see you and arrange a mutually convenient appointment, allocating the correct amount of time for your problem.

Electronic Repeat Dispensing:

We are currently undertaking a project to try and smooth out the process of ordering medication for patients who are on regular prescriptions. If your medication is stable and unlikely to change over the next 6 months, you may be able to make use of repeat dispensing, where a number of months of prescriptions are sent for authorisation to your chosen pharmacy in advance. The advantage for patients is that they will no longer need to order medication from the practice as it will happen automatically. If you feel you might benefit from this, please speak to your pharmacist.

Our practice is collaborating with NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) which is providing NHS numbers for those patients that maybe suitable for electronic repeat dispensing prescriptions. The information is obtained from NHS prescriptions submitted to the NHSBSA. A member of our clinical team will contact some of these patients soon to explain the benefits of this service.​

Messages to GPs

eConsult, our online access system for patients, has worked so well and the feedback we have received has been so positive that we would like to implement this for the majority of messages to our doctors. Please click Consult one of our Doctors online if you wish to get a message to a Doctor and we will respond by the next working day. 

Statement regarding Helston Community Hospital

Helston Medical Centre can confirm that it has given Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust three months’ notice for the provision of GP cover for 12 of the 24 beds at the Helston Community Hospital. 

Notice had been given almost three months ago on the other 12 beds at the Community Hospital by another practice/provider and our understanding is that it is these beds that are temporarily closing whilst the Trust find cover. Initially we were approached and asked if we could take on these 12 beds in addition to our own 12 beds, but after discussion amongst our partners and staff at Helston Medical Centre, given current capacity at the practice we would be unable to provide cover for up to 12 additional beds.  The demand on GPs’ time and resource at Helston Community Hospital has changed considerably over the last 5 – 10 years with the changing patient profiles.  These days the vast majority are not patients registered with our GP practice and some are actually still quite sick and in need of more specialist medical care.  

GPs and staff at the Medical Centre have been committed to Helston Community Hospital ever since it opened, and this is not a decision that we have taken lightly. In fact, it was with very heavy hearts that we informed staff at the hospital of the decision we have made and the reasons for doing so.

As a partnership, the GP surgery has discussed at length on many occasions the increasing workload in Primary Care and at the Community Hospital, as well as our existing GMS contract commitments. 

Our capacity to provide the excellent care that we always strive for at the Community Hospital has become increasingly limited in both time and workforce provision. This move will enable us to focus on further improving our core services and patient care within General Practice at both Helston Medical Centre and the Porthleven Surgery.

We firmly believe that our decision, together with that of the other provider of GP cover will enable the Trust to take a holistic and more sustainable approach regarding how patients are cared for at Helston Community Hospital in the future.  We are convinced that this hospital will continue to have a very important role within the community.

In the meantime we will continue to provide cover to the 12 Community Hospital beds as per our three months’ notice required.

Dr John Garman

Senior Partner

Online Consultations

UPDATE: Online consultations are now live. The link on the front page is active so you can access our doctors by filling a short form.

In a bid to improve our access to doctors for our patients, we will shortly be offering online consultations. These can be accessed at any time of the day or night from the home page of the website. There will be a short form to fill in, and the doctor or a receptionist will then contact you by the end of the next working day with either a phone call, an offer of an appointment or an emailed message regarding your care. There will also be a wealth of readily accessible information available on how you can look after yourself, or where you might be able to access other services if that is more appropriate. We hope that this will significantly improve our offer to patients. More information can be found on the system we will be implementing here

Jan 2018



We have received information from the Health Protection Agency regarding influenza-like illness.  As I am sure you are aware that an influenza-like illness is circulating in the local area/across the south west.

 Most cases of flu can be treated effectively at home. We have been advised to encourage patients to self-care, seek advice on treating symptoms via reputable on line resources such as NHS Choices, or to seek advice from a local Pharmacist before contacting the GP.

 Patients should be advised to:

  • rest and sleep.
  • keep warm.
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen (unless otherwise contraindicated) to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains.
  • drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration

(More info for patients can be found on or via 111)

 Patients who have severe/prolonged flu or other complicating factors particularly children, pregnant women, those with chronic conditions and the elderly (or where symptoms have not improved after 7 days) should contact the surgery.

The community

Influenza is most infectious when symptoms start until about 3-5 days later, therefore, patients should be advised to avoid attending the practice or a healthcare setting while symptomatic, if at all possible.

 Anyone with symptoms of flu should be advised to stay away from work/school until they have recovered and for at least 24 hours after the resolution of any fever. There are no recommended times for exclusion from school for an infected child; a child should return when they have recovered.

 There are still opportunities to protect eligible patients through vaccination and as a practice we have managed to secure further vaccine for eligible patients.  The seasonal flu immunisation programme runs until March each year so please contact the surgery as soon as possible if you are eligible and have not had the vaccine. 

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