bubwith parish chair

July Chair Letter: Bubwith Surgery – Ridings Medical Group Response

Dear Parishioners of Bubwith, Breighton and Willitoft

I hope this finds you well. This month I want to focus my attention on our local GP services. Over the past year, the Parish Council has received a number of concerns about the services available to them from the Ridings Medical Group at Bubwith Surgery. For some people there was an anxiety that their difficulties in accessing services were an indication that the Medical Group intended to close Bubwith  Surgery, thankfully that is definitely not the case. 

The Parish Council made contact with the Practice and I had a very detailed discussion with Rebecca Rowe,  Head of Systems and Estates.

Rebecca walked me through some of the systems and changes that the practice has made to meet the ongoing needs of their registered patients and address some of the people’s concerns. 

I thought it might be helpful to share what I’ve learned to allay some of people’s fears and also to assist them in getting the best out of their surgery. 

First the facts. The NHS in England is currently experiencing its worst shortage of all kinds of staff including  GPs, Nurses and many essential frontline health professionals. Some General Practices are finding it impossible to recruit all types of staff and this has led to many practices merging into larger groups with fewer GPs.  

We are extremely lucky as the Ridings is a progressive practice and is managing to recruit and retain doctors and other staff. There are currently 31 GPs, 9 GP Registrars, 8 Advanced Practitioners, 2 Physicians  Associates, 5 Pharmacists, 4 Physiotherapists, 2 Social Prescribers, 12 Practice Nurses and 15 Health Care  Assistants. The GPs specifically designated for HoSM and Bubwith are, Dr Keith Richardson, Dr Rob Horsley, Dr Katherine Martin and Dr Sarah Howard Knight, but of course, you may see one of the other Doctors in order to be seen on the day. 

You may be forgiven for thinking that with the number of staff they have, getting an appointment to see the GP or other professional of your choice any day of the week would be easy. If you are as old as me you may have fond memories of the days when you simply pitched up at the surgery without an appointment and you would be seen, or if very ill you could request a home visit and the GP would turn up at your home.  

Things have had to change as GPs and their Primary Care Teams have increasing demands upon them. For example, a GP may be a trainer of other Doctors who wish to be qualified as a GP, they may be a Clinical Assistant working in the Hospital in a specialist role, be the medical cover for a number of Nursing or Care homes or provide medi cal input for the out of hours services and in A&E. Some parts of the GP’s previous role have been picked up by Practice Nurses,  Physiotherapists, Pharmacists and Physicians Associates to name but a few. This has been designed to ensure professionals only do what they can do and increase the capacity and responsiveness of the practice to patients’ needs.  The practice has approximately 46,800 patients registered with them. Their distribution is 1,674 in the Bubwith/Breighton area, 4,591 in the Home on Spalding Moor area and the remainder in the Brough/Hessel area. Staff are deployed in line with the number of patients they have registered in each area. Bubwith Surgery is open from 8.30 to 12.00 and 13.00 to 18.30 from Mon day to Friday. Staff present at the surgery on a typical week are: 

Monday AM 1 GP, 1 Nurse, 1 HCA  



Thursday Am 1 GP and 1 Nurse (not every week) 

Friday AM 2 GPs and 1 HCA 

The practice has analysed the specific health needs profile of our area using prevalence data and now has a Respiratory Nurse working at Bubwith to support people with respiratory conditions. 

The dispensary is open every day but closed for one hour from 12.00 to 13.00. The reason for this closure is to allow a member of staff to go to HoSM surgery to get prescriptions signed off to enable these to be ready for patients as soon as possible. The NHS at large has a policy regarding lone workers, particularly where drugs are available so I’m sure you will appreciate the need to close the surgery during this period. 

The Ridings medical group

The Ridings medical geoup

How does the appointment system work? 

It may surprise you to learn (it did me) that the practice are moving back to a face-to-face appointment system rather than telephone appointments. 

In response to the concerns of patients they have also implemented a new ‘triage’ appointment system since 2nd October 2023.  The following has been extracted from the practice website: 

For same-day and appointments within a week please use our new online consultation system at the following link https://florey.accurx.com/p/B81061 

This means that you do not need to contact us from 8 AM. You do not need to wait on hold or outside the practice and you don’t need to register to use this service. 

You can still request an appointment by phone or in person (although the online system is our recommended method) If you don’t have online access don’t worry our receptionists will help you complete the request to the GP over the phone. 

For routine non-urgent appointments please call the surgery and speak to our care navigation team. All Nurses, HCA, MSK, women’s health, Vaccinations etc will still be booked through the care navigation team 

You can still make routine non-urgent appointments online via the SystmOne website. (to use this service you will need a username and password. For security reasons this can only be supplied to you by asking, in person, at the surgery reception.) Click to be taken to SystmOne

In some cases, if you have a review due we will send you a link to book the required appointment. 

The doctor consulting in any particular surgery varies from time to time. You have the right to choose who you would like to see.  Under normal circumstances if urgent we will ensure that you see a GP within 48 hours but if you wish to see a specific doctor it may be longer, the receptionist will help you to arrange a mutually convenient appointment. 

The surgery is committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment where patients and staff can be confident that best practice is being followed at all times. The presence of a chaperone will be available for all situations where appropriate. 

Medically urgent cases will be seen within 24 hours by either a GP or a Nurse. 

Cancelling Appointments 


You can also cancel your appointment on the SystmOne website. 

Viewing future appointments

Future appointments can also be viewed on the SystmOne website 

It is worth noting that the practice operates a ‘fair share’ approach to appointments. For our local community that may feel less than fair as it doesn’t always favour us. Examples of this are how the practice deals with staff being sick or on leave as they may redeploy Bubwith designated GPs to HoSM to cover absences and ask Bubwith patients to travel to HoSM. Equally, you may be surprised to learn that many HoSM patients are offered appointments at Bubwith if there is availability on the day. Things to bear in mind when you need to make an appointment: 

People find it more difficult to access health care over the weekend so often there is a higher number of requests on Monday mornings and a fixed number of appointments at Bubwith so you could be asked to go to HoSM or even Brough for a same-day appointment. If you feel your appointment would be ok to wait until the next available appointment at Bubwith you can request this. 

Apparently, Bubwith’s surgery is quieter on Thursday and Friday so depending on who and what it is you wish to see and discuss you may prefer to make an appointment on those days. 

No one feels comfortable giving lots of clinical information when they are making an appointment, they have concerns about who will get to see this. However, the more clinical information you are able to provide the better it will be to triage your personal case and get you to see the right person as soon as possible. 

The Surgery are encouraging patients to go through the new triage system so they can be clinically triaged. They therefore have fewer appointments available via the online system. You can still cancel and view booked appointments online and also order prescriptions and view your medical record. If you don’t have access to system online you can register by emailing the practice on

The practice requests you do not simply walk into the practice to make an appointment as the staff will not necessarily be able to help you with this. This may seem negative and potentially rude but the system works most effectively online or on the phone with staff dedicated to supporting making appointments. 

Finally, a number of people asked why they had to go to HoSM or Brough for vaccinations. It is the vaccines themselves that drive this, not all of them are single-dose vaccines and therefore the practice needs to have a group of people being vaccinated in a surgery session to ensure they have the vaccines on-site and don’t waste them. 

I do hope this Chair’s special focus has been helpful to you even if you don’t agree with some of the approaches that the practice is taking. The Practice encourages feedback through the friends and family survey and is very proactive at responding to patient comments and suggestions. 


Best wishes. Sandra Hills, Chair of Bubwith Parish Council  

Email: Mob : 07748965779