Newsletter Spring/Summer 2023

Welcome to our Newsletter for the Trumpington Street Medical Practice.

In this issue we want to tell you about how our new Triage system is going, and we have updates on our Patient Participation Group and the Gardening for Health allotment that they coordinate.

Our Senior Nurse tells you about the many ways the nursing team support your health, and we introduce the person who keeps things running behind the scenes – our Practice Manager, Paul Towey.

Dr Barbara Bull, TSMP Senior Partner



What is it?

On Tuesday 10th January the surgery moved to an online patient triage system in the morning for urgent appointments and other urgent patient requests. Patients complete an online form, or ask a receptionist to do it for them, and this allows a GP to assess the urgency of requests to ensure the best response is provided.

How does this improve medical care at the practice?

Due to increasing demand, the practice has found it extremely difficult to deal with urgent patient requests safely on a regular basis. This system allows GPs to manage urgent demand better, respond to more patients and provide a safer service to our patients. It takes the pressure away from our phone system which still continues to have issues. Before triage we were lucky to review 50 patients in the morning – now on some days we can review 200. Now every day, every GP who works that day has urgent appointments that the doctor that is triaging can book into – so patients are more likely to see their usual doctor.

Submitting your request via the online form

Click on the appointment queries on the home page of the website. Or ring us and our Receptionist will complete the form for you.

If you need urgent help the same day you should submit your online form from 8 am to 11 am.

If you have an urgent request after 11, the same form is used but face to face appointments may be very limited. And non-urgent requests should be sent after 1pm on the same form.

Paul Downey, Practice Manager


Introducing the Nursing Team


  • Dorota Tabaczynska - Lead Practice Nurse
  • Lizzie Mann - Practice Nurse
  • Christine Wilson - Practice Nurse

What do they do?

  • Obtaining blood samples mainly for patients under age of 18 but also for adults if there is no appointment available with phlebotomist or HCA
  • Child immunisations and advice
  • Minor and complex wound management including leg ulcers
  • Travel health advice and vaccinations
  • Family planning & women’s health including cervical smear
  • Reviews of long term conditions including diabetes, asthma/COPD, mental health

Health Care Assistants

  • Caroline Stacey - Senior Health Care Assistant
  • Jane Levien - Health Care Assistant
  • Molly Giles - Health Care Assistant
  • Natasha Beaumont - Health Care Assistant (currently on maternity leave )

What do they do?

  • Helping patients to manage long term conditions as mentioned above
  • Wound care for patients who have been seen previously by Practice Nurse
  • Electrocardiograms (ECG) including fitting 24 ECG and 24 BP (blood pressure monitoring)
  • Taking blood samples for patients over age of 18


  • Sarah Curtis

What do they do?

  • Electrocardiograms (ECG) including fitting 24 ECG and 24 BP (blood pressure monitoring)
  • Taking blood samples for patients over age of 18

Image of our nursing team

We also have the Extended Hours Service offering late afternoon and weekend appointments for some nursing procedures e.g. cervical screening, wound care, phlebotomy and chronic conditions reviews. Ask Reception staff for details.

Dorota Tabaczynska, Senior Nurse


Introducing our Practice Manager

Paul Towey began his career with a law degree, then changed direction to work in the NHS 15 years ago, acquiring an MA in Health and Social Care Management. He has been a Practice Manager for 10 years and came to us at Trumpington Street two years ago, taking on all the challenges that our post-Covid world has thrown at Primary Care. He loves the job, despite the stresses, as it brings him into contact with such a wide range of people and, although this is a bit of a cliché, it is true to say that it gives him something different to do every day – variety is the spice of life!

Image of Paul Towey


Patient Participation Group

Our Patient Participation Group is now in its second year, with an Action Plan to help improve patient experience at our Practice, and your input is always welcome. The Committee meet 4 times a year and you can join our mailing list for updates. With the clinical staff, we will be organising some education sessions for patients and are interested to know what topics would interest you. If you have any ideas, let us know. We are hoping to run a session in the summer relating to women’s health and the menopause.

We want to improve information available to our patients – through the website and social media but also by providing some paper-based leaflets in the Reception areas, on noticeboards and to take away. What information would you like available and how would you like to be able to get it – online or on paper?

PPG Members

Charles, Hannah and Carol visit the International Café

We have been visiting local groups, such as the Memory Café and the International Café in Trumpington, to talk about what we do. If you are part of a local group that would like a visit, get in touch. We are particularly keen to talk to Carers about how the Practice can best support their health needs and hope soon to be developing a Carers Charter, outlining how the Practice will aim to do this. 

If you would like to get updates 4 times a year, be invited to take part in occasional surveys, or hear about volunteering opportunities for specific projects, do join our mailing list. You can give your details to the Reception staff, or complete the contact form on the website.


Allotment Plot 38

We have an allotment at Clay Farm, Plot 38, that is for patients, carers and staff. We have built a raised bed this winter and we are laying wide bark-chip paths, so we will be wheelchair accessible and those who can’t bend and dig can grow produce at waist height.

We have plans for some heritage tomatoes, trailing strawberries, cucumber gherkins, squash, beans, peas, potatoes, garlic and onions. We have a lovely bench seat, a pond and a herb spiral, creating a restful spot to enjoy nature.

This is a poem from a patient, who struggles with their mental health, and having joined a group where they were encouraged to get outdoors and grow vegetables, they were inspired to write this:

Seeds of love, 
fruit ‘n’ veg, 
we all need the sun and rain,
to grow,
patience with kindness,
will allow,
beautiful things,
to grow.

So if you would like to try it out, pop down on any Saturday between 11.30 and 1 to see us.

Carol Holloway, Vice Chair PPG and Allotment Coordinator 

Published: Mar 30, 2023