Did you know that your local pharmacy can help you with a lot of minor ailments; and a lot of treatments are covered by the NHS Pharmacy First.

For serious or life threatening emergencies call 999.

Understanding Our Appointment System

This section is intended to help you understand how the appointments system works at our practice so that you can be seen most effectively.

Our aim is to see any patient who has a health problem within a timescale which is appropriate for that problem. As a practice, we undertake more than 23,000 face to face consultations in a year for our population of around 5,200 registered patients, not including attached healthcare workers such as the midwife and phlebotomist.  Some of these consultations are for new illnesses, while others are for continuing problems. It is often a challenge to match the needs of individual patients to the supply of appointments.

In the last calendar year we had over 750 missed appointments. Please let us know if you are unable to attend your appointment.

Appointment Types

We have several different types of appointments aimed at meeting the needs of the majority of patients:

  • Telephone appointments   – A telephone call can often save time for both and doctors, eg, for medical queries, discussion of results. This service is between 8.30-11.30 and 1400-1630.
  • Routine appointments – These can be booked up to two weeks in advance and are best suited to follow up of continuing problems with a doctor of your choice.
  • Urgent (same day) appointments – These are intended for problems which need to be dealt with as a matter of medical urgency.  Please phone early in the day if you genuinely require one of these appointments.  The duty doctor will then phone you to discuss your symptoms and will decide if you need to be seen, given advice or given a prescription.
  • Nurse appointments – Our nurse deals with a range of common problems, including monitoring long-term conditions such as Diabetes.
  • Home visits – Given that a doctor can see 3 or 4 patients in surgery in the time it takes to do a single visit, home visits are restricted to patients who are genuinely unable to leave their homes.  If you feel a home visit is required please phone early in the morning.

Making Appointments

There are several different ways to make an appointment:

  • In Person – we are happy to make appointments at the reception desk, although it can sometimes be very busy if other patients are checking in or have other requests.
  • By phone – this is still the most popular way of making an appointment, but our lines can sometimes be very busy depending on the time of day.
  • Online –  GP appointments can be made online and this has the advantage of being able to access them even when the surgery is closed.  Please ask at Reception if you wish to register for this service.

Ten tips to help you get the most from the appointments system

  1. Is it “urgent”? Please do not request an urgent appointment unless you consider your problem to be medically urgent.  Inappropriate requests for urgent appointments put pressure on the system.
  2. Think ahead – if you take regular medication which needs to be monitored or needs bloods to be taken, please try to book appointments well in advance.
  3. Missed appointments – Please don’t miss an appointment you have booked.  This is wasted time which could have been used for another patient.  If you are unable to attend your appointment or need to change it, please phone to let us know.  Patients who miss 3 appointments will be removed from the Practice list.
  4. Can anyone else help? Before you make an appointment, please think about whether there are any other services which might be appropriate.  For example, pharmacists are trained to give advice about minor health problems, Opticians are the first port of call for eye problems and dentists for mouth or teeth problems.
  5. What’s the problem? Understandably, many people are reluctant to tell a receptionist about the reason why they wish to see a doctor.  However, our reception staff are more likely to be able to guide you n the right direction if you give them some details about your problem. All our staff have a responsibility to treat your information confidentially, and as a Practice, we take this very seriously.
  6. Go online – you can book routine appointments with a GP online, as well as order repeat prescriptions. Online services are available 24 hours a day so you can use these services at your convenience.  Using the online services also reduces demand on reception staff during the day, so everybody gains. Please ask reception staff for details.
  7. Telephone consultations – If you have a simple problem or query, then it may be possible to sort this out over the phone.  Please give the Receptionist your details and it would be helpful if you could provide the reason for your appointment request in order that it can be prioritised in terms of medical need.  Please keep your phone handy and free to take the call.
  8. Continuing care – If you have on-going problems, it may be best to see the same doctor for each appointment, though this may not always be possible.  If you have been for a consultation and have been told that you need a follow-up appointment, please try to make it before you leave the surgery.
  9. Multiple problems – A routine appointment is for 10 minutes.  During that time the doctor needs to read your records, deal with your problem(s) and write up notes of the consultation.  If you have more than one problem, it may not be possible to deal with them all in a single appointment.  Please inform reception staff if you think you may need more time.
  10. Be a patient patient – please understand that the reception and clinical staff are trying to meet the needs of thousands of patients, which of whom are important.  Although our aim is to offer personal, person-centred care, pressure on GP practices means that sometimes we are stretched in terms of demand.