We are a well-established practice and proud to have offered our health services to the local residents of Downend and the surrounding locality for many years. Many of our patients have been with the practice for decades, some of whom from the inception of the NHS In 1948, and they will remember the changes in staff, different locations and practice names.
Willow Surgery first operated from Murray House in Staple Hill and moved to 24 Cleeve Hill, Downend in 1974. Another move came in 1986 when the practice relocated to Coronation Road and the teams remained here for 23 years. 2009 saw the most recent move to Hill House Road, an area that once upon a time was part of a 200-acre estate. A large, modern, purpose-built surgery was built on land adjacent to Hill House Park, formerly used to house the lower year groups of Downend Secondary School in terrapin buildings.
Christchurch Surgery is located to the rear of Christchurch which was built in 1831 and is famous for the baptism of the world-renowned cricketer WG Grace, who incidentally was also a medical practitioner. The surgery started in Overnhill Road and had a branch surgery at 495 Fishponds Road. The practice outgrew these premises, and the partners invested in a new build on North Street Downend, taking up residence in December 2004. This site was originally Christchurch Primary School who moved to more modern premises, now at the rear of the practice car park.
In 2018, Willow Surgery and Christchurch Surgery successfully merged practices. The merger signified a new beginning and following a consultation period, the decision was made to change the practice name to Downend Health Group. We now continue to provide our services from both Christchurch and Willow Surgeries.
As the towns and villages around us grow, so does our patient list size. The practice is now the second largest within South Gloucestershire, with approximately 27,500 patients registered with us. We employ over 100 staff in both clinical and non-clinical roles and offer many different types of appointment including minor illness, health checks, and dressing clinics.
We are proud to offer teaching and training opportunities and are an approved GP training practice. This means that we support the training of GPs and Doctors of the future as part of our commitment to provide excellent standards of care in the community. We have strong links with the University of Bristol and are delighted to have mentored hundreds of students over the years.
Our clinicians and non-clinical teams care greatly about our patients and the care they receive. The practice ethos is to follow the ‘5 C’s’ as described below:
- Compassion Is about how care is given, through relationships based on empathy, respect, and dignity. It can also be described as intelligent kindness and is central to how people perceive their care.
- Competence Means all those in caring roles must have the ability to understand the individuals’ health needs, and the expertise, clinical and technical knowledge to deliver effective care based on research and evidence.
- Communication Is central to successful caring relationships and to effective team working. Listening is as important as what we say and do, and is essential for “no decision about me, without me”. Communication is the key to a good workplace with benefits for staff and patients alike.
- Courage Enables us to do the right thing for the people we care for, to speak up when we have concerns, and to have the personal strength and vision to innovate and to embrace new ways of working.
- Commitment To our patients and population is the cornerstone of what we do. We need to build on our commitment to improve the care and experience of our patients, to take action to make this vision and strategy a reality for all and meet the health and social care challenges ahead.
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