Catherine House Surgery

Tel: 01803 862073

Contact us

Meet the team

  • Doctors

    Professor Nick Cooper
    BSc MMEd MBBS (Royal London Hospital 1976) FRCP FRCPCH PFHEA FAcadMEd  GMC: 2347910

    I was born in Nottingham and grew up in Liverpool - the place to be in the 60s! From a young age I expressed a strong desire to study medicine and in 1970 followed in my brother's footsteps to The London Hospital Medical and Dental College.

    As a student I developed an interest in child health, spending a three month elective period at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore studying paediatric neuro-development. Following qualification I worked in paediatric departments at Guy's and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals, achieving college membership in 1979.

    Wanting to be more involved in continuity of care, family practice, and also the meeting of my wife who is from Somerset, led to me re-locating to Exeter in 1980 to train as a general practitioner. Two years later I was offered the opportunity to take over a long-established single-handed practice here in Totnes from Dr Barry Shelmerdine.

    Since this time the practice has grown considerably, moving from Bridgetown to the centre of town in 1983, then building Catherine House in 1987, and the addition of three doctors - the latest actually being my son.

    I have a passion for helping the development of future generations of doctors and have been involved in GP training for 30 years, and since the opening of The Peninsula Medical School in 2002 the practice has welcomed medical students at various stages of their training.

    Alongside practice commitments I hold key roles in the development of the medical school in undergraduate and postgraduate education. This includes work as an examiner at several medical schools and The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. I spent some time at Harvard Medical School in 2010 and was recently appointed an Associate Professor in Clinical Education. I am a Director of The Academy of Medical Educators.

    I consider myself immensely fortunate to have lived and raised a family in such a beautiful area. During my spare time I enjoy walking our Cavalier King Charles spaniels, collecting antique maps and following the variable fortunes of Everton Football Club.


    Dr James Cooper
    BMedSc MBChB (Birmingham 2006) MRCGP DRCOG   GMC: 6135437

    After completing my A-levels locally at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School I moved up to Birmingham, a city with which I have strong family connections, to start medical training in 2000.

    I have always wanted to be a general practitioner - doubtlessly influenced by my dad’s boundless enthusiasm for the job - and my experiences at medical school did little to sway me from this career path. I invariably sought out opportunities to better my understanding of community healthcare, including spending an elective period at a GP surgery in the remote environment of the most northern tip of mainland Scotland.

    While I grew accustomed to the bright lights and hustle and bustle of a large city, I never lost my desire to work ultimately in a more rural area and this led me to undertake my GP specialty training in and around Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

    When the chance then arose to return to the picturesque and friendly surrounds of my hometown of Totnes, I immediately seized upon it with both hands.

    While I consider myself to be interested in all aspects of general practice, including student education and surgery management, I do harbour a particular passion for medical history. I was fortunate enough to undertake a BMedSc degree in the subject, largely involving primary-source research into so-called ‘quack’ practitioners operating in 18th-century Georgian Birmingham.

    When not at work I enjoy playing any sport requiring a racket, honing my DIY skills and trying unsuccessfully to keep an eye on my mischievous collection of cats who were ‘adopted’ after being born to a stray mother in the garden of my former Birmingham home.

    Dr Sally Sheppard
    BM (Southampton) MRCGP DRCOG PGCME Diploma Sports and Exercise Medicine  GMC: 3279595

    Sally qualified from Southampton University in 1989. She has been a GP for 25 years working in Ivybridge and Tavistock before joining Catherine House Surgery in 2016.

    She is particularly interested and enthuasiatic about musculoskeletal medicine and sports medicine and was lucky to work at the London 2012 Olympics as a Sports Doctor for Handball in the Copper Box Arena. She has a post-graduate qualification in Sports and Exercise Medicine. 

    She really enjoys seeings patient with joint and muscle problems, making diagnoses, performing joint injections as appropriate and prescribing rehabilitation exercises for patients of all ages from children to older adults.

    Sally also enjoys training the next generation of doctors and healthcare professionals, from medical students through to F2 doctors, and physician associate students.


    Dr David Jones
    MBChB MRCGP LLB(Hons)   GMC: 2561488

    David qualified at Bristol University in 1982 and after eight years in the Royal Navy, where he served in the Falkland Islands and Hong Kong, he began a career in General Practice in Plymouth. In 2005 he moved to Ivybridge before joining Catherine House in January 2020.

    He has a special interest in palliative care and end of life medicine as well as occupational health and diving medicine. 

    He also works Out of Hours shifts for Devon Doctors and is involved in training GP trainees as well as Foundation Doctors and medical students.

    Whilst now part time he is learning new skills renovating an old property and enjoys travel, diving, cycling and a range of outdoor pursuits. 



  • Nursing Staff

    Julie Frost
    RGN, BSc Health Studies, Diploma Clinical Education, Nurse Prescriber, QN

    I have been at Catherine House Surgery since 2006. I qualified as an RGN in 1983 and have had various roles in general nursing. I was a diabetes specialist nurse at Torbay Hospital prior to coming to Catherine House and have a specialist interest in pre-diabetes and diabetes. I am also happy to help people manage other chronic conditions.

    I really enjoy all the aspects of practice nursing and so am happy to undertake all other treatment room work including travel, cervical smears, general phlebotomy, children's vaccinations and smoking cessation.

    I have also now qualified as an independent nurse prescriber and recently awarded the accolade of a Queen's nurse (QN)


    Jackie Holt, Practice Nurse
    SRN, RM, BSc Health Studies, Nurse Prescriber.

    Qualifying as a nurse in 1982 and midwife in 1984 before moving to Devon.  Jackie started working in General Practice in 1995. As well as enjoying all the routine work in general practice, over the years Jackie has had the opportunity to gain experience in supporting patients to make lifestyle choices and live with their long term conditions.  Passionate about improving patient care Jackie is also keen to support our nurses and doctors of the future to develop their skills in practice.


    Fay Roblin
    Health Care Assistant
    Fay is adept at taking bloods and also under several other procedures, such as blood pressure, ECG's and simple dressing.





    Susan Cooper
    Health Care Assistant


  • Management Team

    Sheila Lamkin
    Practice Manager


    Deborah Barratt
    Office Manager




  • Administrative Team

    Trudy Johnson, Gail Parker, Hollie Adams and Fay Roblin undertake a variety of reception and administrative duties at the practice, supported by the senior management team.

    Their job is very demanding so please be patient if you are kept waiting on the phone or at the reception desk.

Our Nursing Team

We have two Practice Nurses who specialise in supporting patients with chronic diseases. This includes asthma, COPD, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc. Patients with these conditions are invited to attend for review at least annually.

Practice nurses also run childhood immunisation, travel, and cervical smear clinics. They assist doctors in minor surgery procedures. 

Our Healthcare Assistants carry out healthchecks, blood pressure monitoring, ECG's and minor dressing.They also do blood tests.