Your questions answered as medical practices join forces

Lyme Bay Medical Practice – known locally as Kent House – will join forces with the town’s medical centre from June 1 under the leadership of Dr Forbes Watson

LOCAL GP Dr Forbes Watson has said the merging of two medical practices in Lyme Regis will be a “positive change” for the town.

It was announced in March that Lyme Bay Medical Practice, based at Kent House, and Lyme Regis Medical Centre would join forces to form one practice under the leadership of Dr Watson on June 1.

Ahead of this weekend’s merger, Dr Watson commented: “We continue to work very hard to shape the new Lyme Bay Medical Practice and are aiming for a smooth transition on June 1.

“Staff have been very engaged in the process and worked closely with me and Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust, who will be providing community services.

“You will find below responses to a number of questions we have received through the consultation events, Patient Participation Groups and LymeForward. I hope you find these helpful and we would plan to continue to keep you updated as much as possible.

“If, however, you do have further questions then please contact the practice directly.

“I believe this to be a very positive change for Lyme Regis and hope that we can build on the strong foundation that already exists to address the healthcare needs of you and your loved ones.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When will the two practices combine and what will it be called?
    June 1 2019 and Lyme Bay Medical Practice.
  2. Will you still have the same phone number/fax number/email?
    Yes, all contact details will stay the same but we will have a new website.
  3. Will both buildings be used as it is at present and in the long run?
    Both buildings will continue to be used and we plan that some staff will work across both sites.
  4. Will there be changes made to the way I book appointments and can I still request a home visit?
    Appointments can be booked in the usual way by telephone or electronically. Home Visits will be available however we will always ask you to attend the surgery if possible as we can offer more care there.
  5. Will the opening hours stay the same at both sites? Will these be extended and will there still be Saturday morning surgery?
    The opening hours will be 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday. There will be a nurse-led service on a Saturday morning. There is access to GP delivered services at Bridport Community Hospital 6pm to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1pm Saturday.
  6. How will the triage system work?
    You will be asked if willing to give the receptionist some background to your complaint. This is to give us a better opportunity to assess your need. You are then likely to receive a call-back from a nurse practitioner who will assess and advise according to need.
  7. Will it make it harder for me to book an appointment with a GP/nurse?
    No, it should be easier as we will have more appointments available.
  8. Will I still be able to make an appointment to see my usual doctor/nurse and will this be at my usual surgery?
    Provided your usual doctor/nurse is available you will be able to make an appointment to see them. You will be told where that is when you book.
  9. Will patient information be on the same database and accessible to all clinicians at all sites?
    The practice has a single computer system where all patient information is held and all qualified healthcare professionals have access.
  10. How will the new arrangement benefit GPs, nurses and practice staff at the practice?
    There will be an increase in total number of appointments available and a tried and tested triage system so you see the most appropriate person for your need.
  11. Will any service that is currently offered by my usual surgery be removed or stopped and how will you make sure there is no reduction in the quality of services that are provided?
    There are no plans to stop any current services. We constantly monitor the quality of our services and are externally inspected. There are also several ways through which patients can give feedback.
  12. Will you be able to provide any new services to patients and what service may improve?
    We are planning to provide new services, details of which will be shared when available. One example is a new Consultant Led Paediatric Clinic starting in July.
  13. Will provision for people with mental health conditions be improved?
    We are in discussion to try to increase locally delivered mental health services.
  14. Will there be any changes to how I access the GP out of hours service/MIU?
    There will be no change to how the out of hours service is accessed. MIU will offer a minor illness service in addition to minor injuries. We would encourage patients to telephone first so we can triage their need.
  15. Will I still be able to access community services?
    Yes, these will be provided by Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust who will provide more detailed information.
  16. Will I still be able to drop my prescription/sample/letter/other item off to my usual practice?
    Yes, this will be available at both sites.
  17. Will the intended affect any treatment or medication I am currently receiving either at my usual surgery or any hospital and will I still have access to RD&E and DCH in the future?
    Such treatments will continue as before.
  18. I currently use the online appointment booking/medication ordering system, will this still work?
    Yes, we would like to encourage use of this wherever possible and will be looking to expand it.
  19. Will there be one patient participation group?
    Yes, this is presently being progressed.
  20. I have further questions I would like to ask and/or comments I would like to make. How do I do this?
    Contact the reception team at either building or email via our ‘contact us’ page on the website.

For more information on Lyme Bay Medical Practice, visit or call 01297 443399.

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