Barnstaple Health Centre

Changes to our minor injuries services – Ilfracombe and Bideford Minor Injury Units are temporarily closed. If you need urgent medical advice and you are not sure where to go visit or call 111.

An increased level of staffing is still required to support ED and maintain the ongoing health, safety and wellbeing of patients where the number of  patients attending are higher than in MIUs.  Ilfracombe and Bideford MIUs will remain closed until April 2022.

Minor injuries services in these areas are being provided by local GP’s – anyone requiring non-emergency treatment should call NHS 111 or visit first where trained clinical professionals will advise them on the most appropriate healthcare service for their needs.

Walk in minor injuries services are not currently available in Lynton. Patients must call 01598 753226 to be triaged before attending, you will be given an appointment with a minor injury nurse if required. This services is available on weekdays only 8am to 6pm. There is no service at the weekend.

This page provides details of the NHS services available in northern Devon and their locations. Minor Injuries Services and Minor Injuries Units are shown in orange. Please scroll down for their contact details and opening times.


Barnstaple Health Centre,
Vicarage Street,
EX32 7BH

Phone: 01271 371761.

We have a small Car Park (charges apply) and ask that you only park here when attending the Health Centre. Alternative public Car Parks are situated nearby.

Car parking charges

Daily rate
£2.20 up to 2 hours
£4.40 up to 4 hours
£8.00 all day

Free parking for registered carers

Carers accompanying the cared for person to clinics or appointments at Bideford Hospital and Barnstaple Health Centre can have free parking when they display their Devon Carers Alert Card on the dashboard so the parking attendant can see it.

For more information about the alert card please visit Devon Carers


Barnstaple Health Centre was built in 1978, originally as two doctors’ surgeries. We are no longer a G.P Practice and we are not  a Minor Injuries Unit. Barnstaple Health Centre is basically an extension of North Devon District Hospital. Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 08.30am to 5pm with some  clinics open later.   It houses the following clinical services:

  • Podiatry
  • Highfield House Children’s Development Centre
  • Portage
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Children’s Physiotherapy
  • Community Paediatrics
  • Children In Care Nurses
  • Sexual Health comprising G U Medicine and Family Planning
  • Lymphoedema Nurse Service
  • Some Audiology clinics
  • Community Adult Speech and Language Team
  • Complex Care Team comprising  the Cluster Manager, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Reablement Nurses, Community Matron, District Nurse Lead, Social Workers, Elderly Care Doctor specialising in Falls, Creado Team and  Dental Access
  • Occupational Health
  • Children’s Speech and Language

There is a small Admin/Reception team on the ground floor and we have visiting therapists from

  • Depression and Anxiety Team,
  • Stop Smoking Team
  • Sexual Assault Victim Support Service.

Barnstaple Health Centre has an atmosphere all of its own which is created by the staff in the building, not the surroundings. It is a happy, caring environment. Most of the two hundred or so staff know each other and we get to know our clients quite well too as many return regularly. As you can see Barnstaple Health Centre has many services within its’ four walls.

Some of the services we provide are:

Complex Care Team

The Health and Social Care Directorate has three Clusters in North Devon. The Barnstaple Cluster comprises of the Pathfinder Team and a Complex Care Team, as mentioned above, under the leadership of the Cluster Manager, Des Hutchins, who is also the senior Line Manager for the small admin team. The other Clusters have two Complex Care Teams each.  Recently we have seen the expansion of the Complex Care and Pathfinder Teams which is in line with the Governments’ emphasis on caring for people in the Community instead of the hospital setting.

The Community Matron Team is a nursing team within the Complex Care Team. It cares for a selection of patients deemed to be at high risk of hospital admission, both avoidable and unavoidable. They are identified by GP’s and referred to the matron’s caseload using the Virtual Ward model. The patients have long term conditions and usually have co-morbidities which add to the complexity of their case management. Working jointly with therapists, social services and local community nursing teams in Barnstaple patients are supported to remain living at home safely and at their optimal health. The team consists of Louise Scantlebury, Community Matron, and Terri Clarke, Community Nurse.

The North Devon Lymphoedema Service is part of the Health and Social Care directorate and covers the population of North Devon and North Cornwall. It is a nurse led service consisting of a full time Lymphoedema Clinical Nurse Specialist and Lymphoedema Specialist Practitioner with a part-time dedicated Administrator. The service is provided Monday – Friday during the hours of 08:30 – 16:30 hours with appointments held in clinic at Barnstaple Health Centre

The team aims to provide evidence based, high quality, best practice for people with the long term conditions of cancer and non-cancer related lymphoedema and lipoedema in line with local, national and international guidelines. They also provide advice, support, education and developmental opportunities to other professionals.

What is lymphoedema?

The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and glands, forming part of your immune system but is also responsible for helping to maintain the balance of fluid within your body, by draining excess fluid from the tissues. When the lymphatic system is not working correctly fluid builds up within the tissues and causes the affected area to swell, this is called lymphoedema. It can affect any part of the body but is most commonly seen in an arm or a leg.

There are two types of lymphoedema: primary or secondary. Primary lymphoedema is due to a defect within the lymphatic system, present since birth but can develop without obvious cause at different stages of life, usually up to early adulthood. Secondary lymphoedema is damage caused to the lymphatic system, for example through; trauma, infection, reduced mobility, cancer and some cancer treatments.

What is lipoedema?

Lipoedema is the abnormal buildup of fat cells in the legs, thighs and buttocks, with occasional arm involvement but excludes the hands and feet. The cause is not known but is considered an inherited condition, as in 50% of cases there is a family history, almost exclusively affecting women. It tends to start at puberty or times of hormonal change and develops gradually. A person with lipoedema may eventually develop lymphoedema if the fat cells prevent drainage of the lymph fluid.

The service aims to provide evidence based, high quality, best practice for people with lymphoedema both cancer and non-cancer related and lipoedema, in line with local and national guidelines.


CREADO stands for:






The team work with primary and secondary care to deliver the best possible respiratory care to patients with COPD out in the community.

Patients are referred to the team via the Respiratory Consultants when patients are admitted to an acute hospital bed with an exacerbation of COPD. The team support the patient and their family / carer for a period of 2 weeks from discharge. Often when the team are involved in a patients’ care they are able to be discharged home earlier, where it is less stressful for both the patient and their family.

The team have 4 nurses, the team manager, and 3 senior staff nurses and

2 senior respiratory Physiotherapists who deliver care to patients with Cystic Fibrosis, and patients with Bronchiectasis and  respiratory physiotherapy to patients discharged from the ward.  Last but not least is our wonderful admin support, who many of you will speak to if you ring into the office.

The team are involved with a few pilot schemes at present, all contributing to improving a service to patients with COPD:

Telehealth  which allows remote monitoring of patient’s vital signs and helps with early intervention to reduce the severity of an exacerbation, and possibly prevent a hospital admission.

Sharing of electronic records. Some practices will be sharing the patient records with CREADO, and the team will be able to share their notes with the GP, again striving to deliver an improved respiratory service to the patient.

Our new contact number at the health centre is

01271 341505.

Devon Portage Service, situated in Highfield House which is a multi-disciplinary home teaching service for pre-school children with special needs.  It is based on the principle that parents are the key figures in the care and development of their child.  The home becomes the setting for the teaching, and the parent/carer, with support from the Home Visitor, becomes the teacher.  Portage works closely with a wide number of other professionals from Social Services, Health and the voluntary sector. Portage will offer advice and support to the Pre-School setting where the child is attending and may support the child through the transition process into pre-school or school when the time comes.

All Portage Home Visitors (PHVs) are fully trained to National Portage Association standards.  Home Visitors come from a variety of early years backgrounds – all enjoy working with children and their families.  Home Visitors work alongside parents/carers on activities that can be fitted around everyday family situations.  Home visits occur weekly (term time only) and last for around 1 – 1 ¼ hours.  Portage is fun and designed around play experiences that give frequent success for the child and family.

Following discussion with parents/carers referrals to the Portage

Service come through the Children with additional Needs Team

on a CYP1 referral form. The criteria for Portage are: if the child has significant difficulty in more than one developmental area, has 3 terms remaining before school entry.  Families can then make an informed choice whether to use the Service.

Portage is a flexible service that respects the ordinary everyday things that families do as being the most important experiences for any child.  Within this, Portage offers a framework of support for the pre-school child with a significant learning and/or physical difficulty. Therapists and other professionals work and liaise together with the families and the Portage Home Visitor to provide an appropriate intervention programme for the child.

Barnstaple NHS Dental Access Centre – “the DAC” – is a dental clinic with a difference. Although we’re purely NHS, we don’t do routine NHS dental care like most dental practices. Instead, we’re dedicated to improving the oral health of people in North Devon who can’t access dentistry in the usual way. At the DAC we have a big, busy team of five dentists, seven dental nurses and a receptionist, all committed to keeping the teeth of North Devon’s most vulnerable groups clean and healthy.

A big part of our job is treating children and adults with special needs: learning disabilities, medical problems that make dentistry more complicated, mental health issues, behavioural problems and so on. Our team are specially trained to meet the needs of these more complex cases for which a general dental practice isn’t always the best place to receive care. We treat some people under sedation, and also carry out some treatments under general anaesthesia at North Devon District Hospital.

That’s what we call the ‘Special Care Dental Service’. The other side of our service is ‘Urgent Care’ – treating people who don’t have a regular dentist and find themselves in need of treatment ASAP. We provide appointments to get people out of pain and advise them on how to seek dental care in the future. This can get quite busy – particularly in the summer, as you’d expect for a holiday destination like North Devon.

We’re part of a wider service which stretches all the way to clinics in Tiverton, Honiton, Okehampton, Crediton and Exmouth, as well as another DAC in Exeter. We have a very active Oral Health Promotion team who work with patients, schools and care homes towards preventing decay and gum disease. We also go out to some schools to screen children with special needs for oral disease, plus the occasional home visit for domiciliary care.

Community Paediatrics

The Community Paediatric Team consists  of a Consultant Paediatrician and two specialist Paediatricians with skills and expertise in child development, immunisation, social and educational paediatrics.

The services do not usually deal with one-off, short term illness, but rather, offers long term support, co-ordination of services and management on a continuous basis to many children with ‘special needs’, such as a disability or long term illness.

Much of child health work is of a statutory nature, carried out under the Children Act, the Education Act and Adoption Regulations.

We have specific expertise in neuro-disability, looked after children, child protection and school health and have specialist clinics for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autistic spectrum disorders.

We work closely with colleagues in primary care and Children’s and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). We see children in outpatient clinics at North Devon District Hospital, Community settings and also at the Integrated Childrens’ Centre for multidisciplinary assessments.

We are supported by a small admin team consisting of two full time secretaries, and one part time secretary who supports the Child Protection and Safeguarding Nurses.


Last updated: October 23, 2020