The Beacon Medical Centre


Information about appointments and home visits


Sid Valley Practice now have an automated booking appointment system available 24/7. Simply call 01395 200 743 and follow the instructions to book your routine GP, blood test appointments and your flu vaccine if you are aged 65 years and over. You can also use the automated system to amend or cancel your appointment.

Online Appointments


Routine Appointments

To book routine appointments with our doctors, nurses, clinical pharmacists and physiotherapist;

  • Phone the surgery on 01395 512601 – please try and avoid busier times, such as before 11am
  • Attend the surgery in person
  • Book online, (you need to be registered to use this service) See above, as online appointment booking is temporarily suspended
    • (If you wish to use this service and are not registered, please contact the reception in person)
  • Book by app
    • Once you’ve registered for Online Booking you can download the ‘Patient Access’ app to your smartphone. See above, as online appointment booking is temporarily suspended

We try to make sure you see the doctor of your choice but if they are not available we may ask you to see another doctor. In the interests of continuity of care, we encourage patients to see their own GP when possible.

Emergency Appointments

We have some emergency appointments available every day, these are to be used for URGENT cases only.

All cases are dealt with by the Duty Doctor who will book an appointment if necessary, but not always, with the patient’s own doctor. Our Duty Doctors often triage in excess of 70 patients and also have to cover the Minor Injuries Unit and emergency visits. Please ONLY use this service if your problem is URGENT for that particular day.

Please note, the Duty Doctor for on-the-day appointments is based at The Beacon Medical Centre. If you think you need to see the Doctor on the same day, please contact the surgery on 01395 512 601 as early in the day as possible.

Practice Nurse and Extended Clinical Team appointments

In a number of cases it might be worth considering an appointment with a practice nurse  or a member of our extended clinical team rather than a doctor. They are qualified to deal with many ailments and queries and you may be seen more quickly. At this present time these appointments can only be booked by ringing the practice on 01395 512601.


If you cannot attend an appointment for any reason please inform us as soon as possible in order for us to give the slot to someone else. To cancel an appointment please ring the surgery or cancel it online here. 

When we are closed

GP appointments are now available in your area during the evenings and at weekends.  To book an appointment, contact the appointments team at the practice by calling 01395 512601.

For more information, visit:

Information on when and where these appointments are available can be found at:

East Devon Health – Access To Evening and Weekend Appointments

Home Visits

Whilst we encourage our patients to come to the surgery, where we have the proper equipment and facilities available, we do appreciate this is not always possible. In this respect, if you do need a home visit, you can help us by calling reception before 10:30am. 

You may only request a home visit if you are housebound or are too ill to visit the practice. Your GP will only visit you at home if they think that your medical condition requires it and will also decide how urgently a visit is needed.

Please remember, home visits take up much more of a doctor’s time than a consultation in the surgery, so if you are able, please come into the surgery to be seen.

You can also be visited at home by a community nurse if you are referred by your GP.

Why Does the Receptionist Need to Ask What’s Wrong With Me?

It is not a case of the receptionists being nosey!

Our receptionists are valued members of the Practice team and the Doctors here, as with many other Practices, have requested that Receptionists should ask patients ‘why they need to be seen’.

Reception staff are trained to ask certain questions in order to ensure that you receive the most appropriate medical care, from the most appropriate health professional and at the most appropriate time.

Receptionists are asked to collect brief information from patients in order to:

  • Help Doctors prioritise home visits and phone calls
  • Ensure that all patients receive the appropriate level of care
  • Direct patients to see the Nurse or other healthcare professional rather than a Doctor where appropriate

Any information given by you is treated with the strictest confidence. The Practice would take any breach of confidentiality seriously and deal with it accordingly.

You can ask to speak to a Receptionist in private away from the reception desk if you are in the waiting room or you can complete a confidentiality form kept at reception.

Therefore please do not be offended when our receptionists ask you for brief information regarding the appointment of telephone call.

If, however, you feel your issue is very private and you do not wish to say what the problem is then this will be respected.

Date published: 17th November, 2022
Date last updated: 27th October, 2023