Appointments (...and the pandemic)

The pandemic required GPs, under the government's directives, to have to work in different ways to avoid patients sitting in crowded waiting rooms and hence putting them at risk of contracting COVID. We recognise that this has been challenging and exhausting not just for patients but for all healthcare staff. It has been time-consuming and at times felt fragmented and clunky. 

Despite some unpleasant commentary about GP surgeries in the recent press, we have been seeing patients face-to-face (when required) throughout the pandemic. We are now, however, increasing our face-to-face services still further. Every morning Mon-Fri between 0800 and 10.30 you can choose whether you wish to have a GP or nurse to call you back for a telephone consultation or you can arrange a direct face-to-face appointment with a GP that morning if you feel this is necessary. We recognise that many issues are completely appropriate to be dealt with over the phone (script requests, medication queries, discussions re sick notes etc.). Clearly many other issues are far better seen in person and we also prefer this. Please inform the receptionist of your preference. You can still book routine appointments with a GP of your choice but with current pressures, it may be a few weeks before you can be seen. Please also be aware that waiting times on the telephone are still very high due to unprecedented numbers of patients calling. Our staff are constantly doing their best to get through the queues in as quick a time as is safe. We ask you to be kind and understanding of this.

For more urgent problems, you can arrange a telephone call or a face-to-face appointment with our daily duty doctor who is available until 6pm.

Please remember, many problems don't need a GP's input and we are keen to stream-line appointments to the most suitable person.

Can your problem be dealt with by:

A GP?

A practice nurse or an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner? (see Nurses and Minor illness nurse appointments)

An administrator for eg. queries about forms, reports, hospital correspondence etc?

A community pharmacist?

A practice pharmacist?

A physio - for an on-going bone or joint problem that a GP has already seen? Or a First Contact Practitioner for a new bone or joint problem that's not been seen?

A social prescriber to give you advice on social issues, financial, housing, legal, well-being?

A podiatrist for foot problems?

Maybe an email to the practice to be dealt within a few days?

Maybe an 'improving access' appointment? These are appointments with a GP between 6-9pm on weekdays or 8-12pm on Saturdays. These can often be more convenient for people who are at work during the day but still need to speak with a GP about less urgent medical matters. 

If you arrange a telephone appointment, please keep your phone with you and note that we may not be able to ring you back if you miss the call. 

 

You may be asked by reception for a very brief description of your problem. The receptionists aren't prying - they simply need some basic information to signpost you to the most appropriate healthcare professional or service for your needs.

There are only a certain number of each appointment type that we can make available on any given day and that demand for appointments can sometimes be quite high. If you are unable to keep an appointment for whatever reason, please ring us as soon as possible on 01225 331616 and select option 2. You will be able to leave a message to cancel your appointment and we can make the slot available to other patients. If you cancel at very short notice and we are unable to rebook the appointment this may be recorded as a Did Not Attend (DNA) on your record.

Should you be asked to attend the Practice please wear either a mask or some form of face covering. The reception team will ask you about a history of new/persistent cough, fever, change in taste and/or smell and also take your temperature. If they are concerned about your health they may ether ask you to wait outside or in a room on your own until a doctor can see you.

How to Make an Appointment

Use our online symptom checker to determine who you might be best to see. This is called DoctorLink and has been developed by GPs across the country. To do this you need to visit this website here, or use the App (available in the App store or Google play i.e. for all smart phones). If the suggestion is to use a service that is not within the practice e.g. community pharmacy or dentist use the MiDOS search tool 'Enter your location here ..' on our home page to find one local and open.

This document may answer some questions you have about using this system.

Online Options (for routine GP and First Contact Physio appointments):

1) NHS App

2) SystmOnline via the link at the top of this page, PLEASE NOTE this is currently suspeneded during COVID. To access the online service you will need to come to the surgery to register at reception where you will be given a Personal Identification Number (PIN) which you can then use to set up your unique user account with your own secure password. Please note that, for identification and confidentiality purposes, you will need to present in person at the surgery to obtain your PIN. If this is not possible for you to do, please telephone the surgery for advice on how to register for this service.

By telephone: Please ring 01225 331616 (option 1) between 8am and 6pm during Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). 

Video consultations

This short You tube video shows how video consultations work and are secure. 

How to cancel an appointment

If you are unable to keep your appointment, please give us as much notice as possible so that your appointment can be offered to someone else.

If you are cancelling please telephone us on 01225 331616  and press option 2 as soon as possible, and at least 30 minutes before your appointment time. This will enable us to offer your appointment to someone else.

Alternatively you can cancel your appointment online using SystemOnline if you are signed up to the service. 

Cancellations notified less than 30 minutes before the appointment time will be recorded as failure to attend (DNA).

Repeated failure to attend booked appointments is a significant waste of NHS resources and may lead to your registration being removed from our list.

Please note any administrative requests including repeat prescriptions and paperwork should be directed to reception and are not appropriate for the Walk in and Wait.

If you are a young person and have used the CAMHS service they would like your help designing and running the service. See the poster here.

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