Things to consider before making an appointment
- Can you discuss with the Pharmacist at your local Pharmacy? They can give good general advice and provide over the counter options for many general problems. They can also help if you are concerned about your medication.
- Who is the best person for you to see at the surgery? Check the “Who to make an appointment with” list below.
- Do I need to see someone or will a telephone call be preferred? If you think a telephone call is preferable, our Patient Services Team can arrange for a clinician to call you on a convenient telephone number later in the day.
- Who is the best person to see or speak to? Patient Services staff will always ask if you would be happy to share some of the reasons why you are contacting the surgery to ensure you see the best person, but you can always decline.
- We do struggle with demand for appointments and clinicians’ time, but we always try to offer contact when requested.
Who to make an appointment with
We have a range of skilled staff to help you. If you are unsure which type of staff member is the most appropriate for your needs, the Patient Services Team are trained to help guide you. They may ask you a few questions about your enquiry just to match you to the best person.
- Healthcare Assistant – for bloods, ECGs, NHS & well person health checks;
- General Nurse – ECGS, travel immunisations, childhood immunisations, cervical smears, injections (NOT joint injections), hypertension;
- Chronic disease nurse – asthma, COPD, Diabetes, Heart disease (heart failure and atrial fibrillation etc), vascular reviews (dopplers), health needs for those with dementia or learning needs;
- Minor illness nurse – chest infections, ear infections, general skin complaints or complications of chronic diseases;
- Clinical Pharmacist – completes medication reviews with patients, manages medication changes from secondary care (clinics or post-discharge);
- Nurse Practitioner (NP) – trained in all chronic disease management, minor illness and infections and initial contraception advice or review. They also manage the care of our most vulnerable group of patients on a day to day basis and work very closely with the nursing team and the doctors;
- GPs – They manage patients overall care and health needs. They work very closely with the NPs and the nursing team.
What type of appointment to ask for
- Routine/Non-urgent Appointments —These are generally on the system for four-six weeks in advance with each doctor/Nurse Practitioner/nurse.
- More urgent appointments — We have a small number of appointments with each doctor that are “reserved” for doctors to arrange for patients who they need to see at specific times. If these are unused, Patient Services staff can book patients into these on the day only (ie, not in advance). If we are unable to offer an appointment at a suitable time, ask to speak to a Nurse, Nurse Practitioner or Doctor and the Patient Services staff can arrange for them to call you back.
- Urgent Same Day/Telephone Requests — There is a Duty Doctor allocated each working day. The Patient Services staff will take requests for an urgent same day appointment or telephone call back. The patient details and a brief description are recorded in a list for the Duty Doctor to call back.
The Duty Doctor will speak to the patient or carer, get more information about the problem and will arrange to either manage by telephone, see the patient themselves or by another clinician if appropriate.
- Home Visits — These can be requested either by Patient Services or the Duty Doctor. It is always preferable that you come into the surgery if possible as the doctor has more access to diagnostics in the surgery. If patients are housebound the nursing team will be able to visit them at home, please discuss with the nurses or one of the nurse practitioners.
Making an Appointment
- In Person – Call in to the surgery and arrange an appointment with the Patient Services Team.
- Online – You can book appointments online if you have an online account. These appointments are routine and non-urgent, only with the GPs. If you don’t already have an online account, but do have access to the internet, you can arrange to open an online account by talking to our Patient Services Team.
- By Telephone – Telephone the surgery after 8.00 am on a working day to arrange an appointment.