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A note about demand for appointments and eConsult

There has been an enormous increase in demand for appointments recently, partly fuelled by eConsults.

In order to maintain safe working practices, we are returning to a more traditional appointment-based service whilst we review how eConsult fits in to how we provide care.

Not all ailments require a consultation with a GP. Self-care and self referral are often appropriate and this can lead to faster and better care in many cases. If you aren't sure, please use the NHS 111 symptom checker or visit our help page.

If you need medical help, please ring us during working hours, call 111 or use NHS 111 online. If we have reached capacity for the day, any further assessments will be on the basis of clinical need and urgency only. eConsult is currently only available for routine reviews such as submitting blood pressure readings and will only be available during the working week.

Why are we asking you to think before you contact us? Our staff have been busier than ever before, due partly to requests to deal with minor issues on an urgent basis, people asking for help with multiple problems in one appointment slot, time spent directing patients to more appropriate sources of help. Part of this is an effect of the pandemic and lockdown. We understand that patients can be frustrated. We want to provide safe and effective care to all our patients and this will not be possible if people take up appointments with problems which they could have solved by using more appropriate resources.

We appreciate that the phone lines can be busy and for this reason you can now book routine telephone appointments online (via the systmOnline app).

No matter how frustrated or worried you are, it is NEVER acceptable to be rude to any of the staff at the surgery. We are all trying to do our jobs in difficult circumstances. Getting angry or being unpleasant is not going to help us to help you. We have a zero-tolerance approach to inappropriate behaviour towards any of our staff and we will not hesitate to remove patients from our list if they do not treat our staff with the respect they deserve.

COVID-19 is still infecting people in our local area.

We are trying to offer as comprehensive a service as we can given the current environment, however, please bear the following in mind.

It is still vital that we all play our part in minimising unnecessary contacts with others. If your problem can be managed on the phone then it is important that we do so.

This is to protect you and your families, the staff at the surgery and the wider community.

COVID-19 Vaccination

You may have heard that we are involved in the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Eligibility criteria are determined by NHS England and we do not have any discretion to invite patients outside this. Please do not contact the surgery to ask if you can be considered for early vaccination as this is not something about which we have any discretion. If you have not been invited yet you will be invited at the appropriate time depending on your level of risk and availability of the vaccine, the full roll-out of the vaccine is likely to take many months.

If you would like further information on why you will need to wait for your vaccine, please click here.

If you are a key worker and want to get a vaccine, your employer must arrange this, we are unable to do so. Please ask your employer to look here.

If you would like to know more about the vaccine, please click the links for information about the COVID-19 vaccine. The list of reasons why you might not be able to have the vaccine is very short but is shown here. There should be no reason for you to need to contact the surgery to check if or how these criteria apply to you as they are very specific. 

We know that people are very keen to find out about the developing Covid-19 vaccination programme in Dorset. We are currently working together with our local health commissioners to develop a detailed Dorset-wide plan to deliver vaccinations in a safe and effective way. Please do not contact the surgery directly – we will share more updates as soon as we are able to. Thank you for your patience.

Please be aware that there are several scams in circulation offering COVID vaccine booking. We are currently booking vaccine clinics by phone, we intend to start offering SMS invitations soon and will put further information here in due course to help you confirm these are genuine. NHS vaccinations are FREE OF CHARGE - any SMS claiming to be offering vaccination and asking for your bank details is fraudulent.

Why do I have to wait?

Vaccination for Older Adults

What to do if anyone in your household develops potential COVID19 symptoms:

These include ANY of:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

This means that if you have a new cough: you MUST arrange a COVID test. If you have a temperature (over 37.8C or feel hot to touch) you MUST get a COVID test even if you are confident it it not COVID. This includes children and babies. If you feel that you need to speak to the doctor about your symptoms then please get in touch, but we won't be able to exempt you from a test if you meet the criteria above.

There is no way to tell a "COVID cough" from a "non-COVID cough" by the sound, amount of sputum, smell/taste or anything else other than getting a formal (PCR) test. If you have symptoms, a negative lateral flow test does NOT remove the need to get a PCR test.


If you or a member of your family (including children of any age) has ANY of these symptoms, you MUST arrange a test via the Gov. website or call 119 and self-isolate until the results of that test have come back negative. We are not able to exempt anyone from this process. If you do not arrange a test within 5 days of the onset of symptoms you and your entire household will be required to self-isolate for the FULL 10 days. For further information, see here.

If you would not normally need to speak to the doctor about your symptoms, go ahead and book a test, you do not need to speak to us about it first.

We are open (as we have been throughout the year), but please bear in mind:

We are trying to undertake as much routine work as we can safely undertake but we must still do all we can to ensure we minimise the risk of a resurgence in COVID19.

Your initial contact with a clinician will be by phone or eConsult, to reduce footfall through the surgery. For further information see here.

If your problem relates to muscle/joint aches and pains then please use the new direct access self-referral physiotherapy service - click here.

if you have had COVID and are struggling with rehabilitation then please click here for more information

In line with the government's rules on face coverings, we expect all patients attending the surgery to wear a face covering throughout their attendance.

Patients who have been asked to attend in person who come to the surgery without an appropriate face covering (i.e covering mouth and nose) may be asked to rebook.

Please note: we are not able to provide letters to exempt people from these new regulations on wearing face coverings in public. For the vast majority of people, there is no medical reason which would prohibit them from wearing one, it is more likely you are just not accustomed to it. However, see here if you feel you require exemption. 

Please be aware that there are currently some fraudulent track and trace scams in operation. If you are called or texted by someone claiming to be from NHS Track and Trace, and they ask you for personal information or payment details, please hang up the phone and inform the police via 101. Do not give out any card or payment details.


We are working very hard to ensure we offer the best possible care to all our patients during these difficult times. Please read the guidance below.

If you have a non-coronavirus concern which you need to consult a doctor about, have you considered using eConsult (see above) rather than calling the surgery?
Please consider carefully whether your problem can wait, or whether you have a problem which you can solve without needing to contact the surgery.

We are taking all possible precautions to avoid our patients, many of whom are vulnerable, from having to attend in person unless this is clinically indicated. We want to keep the surgery safe for those people who do need to attend for non-COVID related matters. This means reducing the numbers of people coming to the surgery unnecessary to the absolute minimum, and we have taken measures to ensure this. This is for your safety, and the safety of all our patients and staff.

You MUST NOT come down to the surgery unless you have been explicitly asked to do so by a member of our clinical team. Patients turning up uninvited will be told to leave immediately as they may be putting vulnerable patients at risk. If you are asked to come down, please precisely follow the instructions you will be given on which ZONE to come to, where to wait and how to check in.

The wearing of face masks or face coverings in general practice is advised. All adult patients visiting the Surgery will be asked to wear face masks or face coverings.

When you attend the surgery only the patient will be allowed in unless you are accompanying a child (one parent/guardian) or the patient needs a carer or interpreter.

If you are offered a phone call from a member of the clinical team, we cannot be specific about exactly when this will be. Please ensure you have your phone switched on with the volume on full so that you do not miss your call. All our late night appointments are suspended until further notice.

We are making every effort to reinstate routine services (such as cervical smears) where these can be done safely. To help us achieve this, please follow any instructions you are given. Some services including spirometry and ear syringing are not possible at the current time and will remain under review.

Clinical Trial

COVID-19 Clinical Trial

We are involved in a clinical trial being run from the University of Oxford which is looking at treatments for COVID-19. Patients are able to self-refer if they feel they are eligible: see here

Mental Health

Mental Health

These are worrying times for everyone; it is quite normal to be feeling more anxious. There are lots of things you can do to help, though. Click here to see a list of useful resources.

Supporting the most vulnerable in our community

BCP Council have set up a helpline for vulnerable people who don't otherwise have any support. Please consider volunteering to help.

Call 0300 123 7052 8am-8pm 7/7 to refer yourself or someone else, they can be contacted others in regard to vulnerable neighbours living alone without support, or visit #TogetherWeCan.

My life my care also has some useful information including carer support, food/meal/prescription delivery services, befriending services, home exercising and mental wellbeing support.


COVID-19 is unlikely to make your child seriously unwell, but they like everyone else might be infectious: so it is important to stay at home if they are managing well.

However, all the ‘normal’ illnesses that can make children severely unwell can still occur and there is a risk that parents may delay bringing their child to the attention of a healthcare professionals even if they are unwell because of concerns about COVID-19. GPs and hospitals are still providing safe care as they have always done for children . If you are not sure if your child is unwell and whether they need to be seen, click here, call 111 or contact your GP. For information about crying babies, click here.

If your child appears severely unwell and advice is not quickly available call 999 or take them to ED as you would in other times.”

Self-isolation vs Social distancing vs Shielding

If you are required to self-isolate, you MUST follow this advice. You DO NOT need a GP Medical certificate (MED3) for this (see below).

Self isolation: This is NOT OPTIONAL, and applies to EVERYONE suspected or confirmed to have the virus, as above. NO EXCEPTIONS. Neither you nor anyone in your household are allowed to leave the property, not even to exercise or go to the shops for food. If you are running low on supplies you must arrange for a home delivery or ask a friend or neighbour to get them for you. See here for further information

If you have a temperature, even if you think you have it for another reason (e.g. tonsillitis), you must still completely self-isolate, it is not discretionary.

Shielding is a measure to protect vulnerable patients, initially for 12 weeks. Those patients will have been sent a letter directly from NHS England. See here for further information

Social distancing: Please note that this applies to EVERYONE who is not in self isolation or shielding.

  1. Avoid contact with anyone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport when possible
  3. Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this.
  4. Avoid large and small gatherings in public spaces, noting that pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and similar venues are currently shut as infections spread easily in closed spaces
    where people gather together.
  5. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as
    phone, internet, and social media
  6. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services

Support for those affected/Sick Pay/Medical Certificates

To support people affected by COVID-19, various new measures have been introduced including:

  • eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay from day 1
  • no requirement for a GP MED3 to evidence self-isolation where this has been recommended, and
  • measures for those applying for Universal Credit who have been advised to self-isolate.

Please see here for further information.

We will NOT be able to provide medical certificates in these situations, please direct your employers to this link if there is any doubt.

For anyone who needs to be off work for more than 7 days due to the pandemic, including shielding patients, you can get a note for your employer online.

Letters regarding cancellation of travel plans and working from home

We are not able to give advice about working from home (see here) or issue letters supporting cancellation of travel plans (see here). Please do not call or use eConsult regarding these questions.

Repeat Prescriptions

Please do not  request your repeat items earlier than when they are due as we will not  process them. The pharmacies assure us that supplies are still  getting through.

What can you do to reduce your risk?


    • People who abuse this and go out unnecessarily are putting the lives and livelihoods of you and your family at risk.
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • if you do have to leave the house, you must always wash your hands when you get home
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • put used tissues in the loo straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell


  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Visit NHS 111 for more information about how it spreads and how to avoid infection.

If you have a non-coronavirus concern which you wish to consult a doctor about, have you considered using eConsult rather than calling the surgery?

We are making every effort to keep this website up to date with the latest government advice. However, this is changing rapidly and for definitive guidance please defer to GOV.UK.

Did you know that you can book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and access your medical records on line via an App or  see on-line services tab.  You will, however, need to register for on-line services first by proving your ID , please speak to the Receptionists.

Prescriptions - Patients may continue to submit prescription requests in the usual way, either electronically or using their usual site. We continue to encourage patients to use the electronic prescription service where possible (ask our Reception Team for further information). You should collect your prescriptions as normal but please gives us AT LEAST 2 working days to process them. WE DO NOT TAKE PRESCRIPTION REQUESTS OVER THE PHONE.

Appointments & Telephone calls - You should continue to use the existing numbers for each site. You can book an appointment at either surgery on either number as the clinical system is now one which should assist with call flow. If you have any queries please ask the Reception Team.

On-line access to medical records - You can now access your full computerised medical records on line - please request this via the on-line portal.  You will then be sent a letter requesting confirmation of your request for governance purposes. 

In a bid to reduce our organisation’s carbon footprint we have replaced our gas boiler with a low carbon ASHP heating project. Our project has been part funded by Low Carbon Dorset as part of the European Regional Development Fund and will save 9.8 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Low Carbon Dorset

Talbot Medical Centre

Talbot surgeryMay we take this opportunity to welcome you to our practice, Talbot Medical Centre, which is an unlimited partnership.

We have a long-established history in the area and have developed special ties with our locality and its academic establishment, Bournemouth University. We have a branch site at 1368 Wimborne Road and offer a medical service to Bournemouth University. We practice quality family and personal medicine, meeting the needs of all our patients as best we can. We constantly monitor the quality of Community and Hospital care provided by local Hospitals to provide patients with the best medical care. We co-operate with NHS England Wessex Area Team and the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group to advance Primary Care, and our long-established patients will have observed the many improvements in the services we offer.

Practice Leaflet

When does my GP work?

Some of the doctors work across two sites and all of them will be "on call" at least one session each week, which reduces the number of pre-bookable appointments.  Drs Betts, Caudell and Nixon are also trainers, which includes four hours of training per week, when they are unable to see patients.  Whilst this does reduce the number of appointments available for patients, we feel that training the doctors of the future is very important.

Please click here to be diverted to the GP consulting times page.

Car Parking

There are 2 car parking spaces designated for disabled drivers/patients at Talbot Medical Centre and 1 at 1368 Wimborne Road; please leave these free. Cars are parked at owners risk. There are 2 bicycle stands. Talbot Medical Centre is unable to accept any responsibility for damage or theft to items left on the property.


Talbot Pharmacy

Please note that Talbot Pharmacy is now open within Talbot Medical Centre from 8.00am to 7.00pm  Monday, Wednesday, Friday. 8.00am to 8.30pm on Tuesday and Thursday and 8.00am to 12.00 noon on Saturday. Closed Sunday.  They offer normal pharmacy services, including over the counter products, home delivery etc. Please ask at the Pharmacy for an application form if you wish them to become your "pharmacy of choice".

(Site updated 05/05/2021)
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