• Devon Primary Link is an invaluable resource for specialist services

    Members of the DPL team at Devon Doctors Manaton Court HQ in Exeter

    DEVON Primary Link [DPL] is one of a number of services operated by Devon Doctors in tandem with its core out-of-hours business.

    DPL fields calls for a variety of different health services, including the Cornwall & Devon Dental Helpline, the Chime Audiology helpline, physio appointments and the falls register.

    It operates out of Devon Doctors’ Manaton Court Control Centre under the leadership of Mel Dunn and functions from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week.

    "We’ve always been keen to utilise our Control Centre for functions other than out-of hours calls and DPL is testament to that," explained Devon Doctors’ outgoing chief executive Chris Wright.

    "Initially we were doing a bit of message handling for surgeries when, for instance, they had a study day but this quickly grew and DPL, as we know it today, has become an amazing resource which contributes a huge amount to the county’s healthcare system.

    "For instance, the Cornwall & Devon Dental helpline has helped upwards of 20,000 people register with an NHS dentist over the course of the past few years.

    "And that’s just one of the many areas in which it’s made a significant contribution. Indeed, I‘d suggest the essential skill required by anyone wanting to work for DPL is an ability to keep lots of plates spinning!"

    Looking ahead, Chris has a vision which would see DPL expand even further to become a hub – operating in tandem with NHS 111 – for all the specialist services operated by the NHS across the county.

    "I think a centralised hub fielding calls for all these specialist services would bring with it lots of advantages," enthused Chris.

    "In addition, such a hub could also assist with ill health prevention. For instance, it could help to monitor chronic conditions and, at the same time, be on hand to provide guidance on topics such as losing weight and quitting smoking.

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    Devon Doctors Ltd and its subsidiaries Access Health and Access Dental are social enterprises. We exist to benefit the communities we serve. We’re run by healthcare professionals, owned by GP practices, and don’t have any stakeholders. Any profits we might make are used to improve our services.

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    Registered office address: Suite 1, Osprey House, Osprey Road, Sowton Industrial Estate, Exeter, England, EX2 7WN

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