What if you…
- no longer had to wait days and days to get advice from your doctor?
- no longer had to ring up first thing in the morning…redialling over and over…only to be told there are no more appointments?
- could speak with your own doctor the same day you have a problem?
- could see your own doctor the same day, within 24 hours or whenever it best suits your needs if your doctor decides you need to be seen?
This is the type of access we aim to provide to our patients. We have agreed as a practice team to change the way we book appointments. We believe that, by making this change, we will be using our time and your time more responsibly and giving you a more effective and consistent service.
We ask for your patience and understanding, while we are changing things over, making things better for you.
Our pledge to you is that meeting the needs of our patients will always be our top priority.
Here’s how our new system works for you:
You ring the surgery when you or your family need to seek advice. The difference is that you no longer need to ring first thing in the morning. The access you receive will be the same no matter when you call.
The reception staff:
- will ask how they may help;
- will confirm your phone number;
- will ask you for a short, simple description of the problem to pass along to the doctor;
- will put your name on your doctor’s ‘call back’ list.
Sometimes it may be appropriate to pass your call first to a member of administrative staff or to one of the nurses. If you still need to speak to a GP, however, your doctor will ring you back. Alternatively you may book a telephone appointment slot online and a doctor will call you back near to the requested time. Please ask at the reception desk regarding registering for this service if you have not already done so.
The doctor will discuss with you the problem or concern and will advise what to do next.
If you and the GP think you should be seen they will agree a time that suits you (the same day if necessary).
The Practice Staff
Frequently Asked Questions:
“I like seeing my own doctor face to face. Why can’t I always have an appointment’?
When you speak to your doctor, you will discuss together what would be best and if you agree that a face to face consultation is right, they will arrange that for you
You may choose to have your own doctor ring you when they are available, or you may choose to see any doctor that is in the office that day.
I usually see my doctor each week/month and have done for some time. Will this change?
This will be for you and your doctor to discuss. Many of the regular appointments that now happen may be replaced with a telephone call instead, saving you a trip to the surgery. Your doctor will discuss the best plan of care with you, which may mean you do not always need to be seen as some of your continuing care may be provided over the phone.
‘I work during the day and cannot receive calls at work except on my breaks’.
You may request a specific time for the doctor to ring you on your break time or after work hours and the surgery will do their best to call you at that time.
‘What if the doctor rings me back and I miss the call’?
The doctors will do their best to ring you back within the hour, but this may not always be possible. If you miss the call, the doctor will try again. If you have not received a call back within 2 hours we would suggest you contact the surgery again and let them know. Sometimes we may have the wrong number and by asking you to call back, we ensure that contact is always made.
‘Will the doctor ring me on my mobile if that is what I ask’?
Yes, as long as we have the right number we will ring you back.
‘What if the doctor rings me on my mobile and I am in a place with no signal’?
The doctors will try again until they reach you or you can ring us back if we have been unable to reach you.
“Will the doctor leave a message on my voice mail or answer machine?’
If your voice mail message is personalised, the doctor may leave a message if they have been unable to reach you. For automated or non-personalised voicemails this may not be appropriate. It would help if you could let the receptionists know if we can leave messages.
Helping the system run smoothly
- If you are unable to keep an appointment please notify the surgery as soon as possible, either by using the online cancellation form (at least 24 hours in advance), or by telephoning reception.
- When arriving at the surgery for your appointment, always inform reception
- Sometimes people can forget to tell the doctor all the important information about their problem. It may help to write their symptoms down.
- If you don’t understand what the doctor or nurse says to you, please don’t be afraid to ask for a further explanation.
- It can sometimes help to have a partner or friend with you.
- If you are seeing the doctor to discuss the result of an investigation or a recent hospital treatment, check with reception first that any important results or letters have been received.
- If you would like a chaperone please speak to the Doctor.
NHS Direct - 'Check your symptoms'