To improve our service to patients our appointments system changed on the
16th July 2013
We listened to feedback from you, our patients:
- Sometimes it is difficult to know if you need to see a doctor or not
- Sometimes it is difficult to get through to the surgery on the phone
- Sometimes it is difficult to get an appointment with the doctor of choice
- Sometimes you just need some reassurance
In response to this feedback, we have introduced a new system in the practice which makes more use of telephone consultations. This reduces the need for face-to-face consultations and frees up appointment slots for those patients who need them.
You call the surgery in exactly the same way as before, but you do not have to rush to do this first thing in the morning. Alternatively you may book a telephone appointment via this website. Please note you will need to register for access to on-line appointments - click on Online Services in the box on the right hand side of this screen
When you call us our reception staff will take your name and make sure they have your correct telephone number (you can give a mobile if you wish). When you ring you may be offered a call back.
What happens when you speak to the doctor?
The doctor will discuss your problem with you and work out what to do next. You may need advice, or a prescription issued, or you may need to come in. The doctor will arrange an appointment if you need to be seen. Usually this will be the same day, but you can ask for a later day if you wish. Your appointment may be with another health professional working in the surgery if appropriate.
How soon will the doctor call?
If the doctor needs to call you back, most calls will be within two hours, so we would ask you to stay in or keep your phone with you until the doctor rings. If you are at work and need to speak at a particular time, please tell the receptionist, and we will do our best to accommodate this.
Do I need to call early?
No, the service is exactly the same whatever time you call. There is often a rush at the start of the day, so you may find you get a quicker response later on. We hope to be able to offer you the doctor of your choice but, at times due to availability this is not possible and you may be offered another doctor. You will still need to call first thing in the morning if the matter is urgent, or if you are requesting a home visit.
What are the benefits for patients?
You will be able to:
- Avoid the frustration of not being able to get through by ringing outside of peak times
- Speak to your GP sooner
- See your GP sooner when appropriate
- Get more time with your GP if he/she feels you need it
- Save your time (and time off work) by avoiding unnecessary appointments
- Experience shorter waiting times when you do attend for an appointment
This is new to us but it is not a new way of doing things, and there are already around half a million patients with doctors all around the country already using this system. This is a big change for us and you, and we may not get things right initially. If you have any specific questions please contact us. We also welcome constructive feedback.
As always, if you no longer need, or cannot attend, a booked appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so that we may offer the appointment to another patient. A lot of appointments are wasted by people who are booked in, but then fail to turn up.
Appointments may be booked directly with the Practice Nurses, Health Care Assistants and attached Midwives - you do not necessarily need to see a doctor first, but do bear in mind that certain tests and investigations, e.g. blood tests, will need to be 'ordered' by a doctor.
Expressing a preference You may express a preference to receive services from a particular doctor or nurse, either generally or in relation to a particular condition. If you wish to do this, please write to the Managing Partner, who will ensure that your preference(s) will be recorded in your records. We will endeavour to comply with your request, but there may be occasions when we may not be able to do so.
If you feel you do not require an appointment, but would like to speak to a doctor for advice, please ask the receptionist for a telephone appointment. You will be given a time when the doctor will endeavour to ring you back, although this may not always be possible and may be at a later time.
During surgery hours ring the usual practice number and tell the receptionist the nature of the emergency. The duty doctor will be contacted as soon as possible, or it may be suggested you should call the ambulance service.
Please ask if you would feel more comfortable with a chaperone present whilst you are being examined by a doctor or nurse, or arrange this in advance when you book your appointment