Some appointments can be booked up to 3 weeks in advance, others are made available on the day.
If you want to see a particular doctor for a routine problem or follow up,
we recommend you plan 2 weeks ahead to give you a greater choice of day and time.
If there are no routine appointments available, and your problem cannot wait until the next free appointment, you will either be offered an emergency appointment at the end of the morning surgery list (from 11.30am) or a doctor will call you.
Seeing a Doctor
The doctors try, as much as possible, to work with a personal list system. It is, therefore, generally best for you try to see the doctor with whom you are registered. It is important that for the discussion of long term or on-going problems you see the doctor who knows you, or about that particular problem, best. This makes for much better continuity of care.
With urgent problems, or if your doctor is away or unavailable, the receptionist might need to arrange for you to see another doctor. Please bear in mind that it may well be better for you to wait until your own doctor is available if the problem is not urgent.
We do have some flexibility in the registration system. It can be arranged that your ‘usual’ doctor is different to the one with whom you are officially registered, if you prefer.
Routine appointments with the doctor have a ten minute allocation, which includes time for the doctor’s recording of the consultation. Please bear this in mind, especially if you have more than one problem to discuss: it will often only be possible to deal properly with one problem at each visit. More than one problem may require more than one appointment.
If all the routine appointments have been taken and your problem cannot wait, we either offer emergency appointments at the end of each routine surgery, or a doctor will telephone you to assess your problem. These emergency appointments have a five minute allocation and do not have set appointment times. You will be asked to attend after routine morning surgery or wait until a doctor becomes available. They are only for urgent problems, and should not be used for complex, non-urgent or long-standing problems.
These are also made at the surgery or by ringing the appointments line at the times given above. Appointments with the nurse can be made up to 2 weeks in advance.
If you are on the contraceptive pill and need a repeat prescription, the nurses can do the necessary checks and arrange for a prescription to be collected within 48hrs. Please be aware that the nurses cannot write a prescription for you at the time you are seen, and cannot start you on a pill, or change the pill you are taking.
Nurse’s Clinics are held at varying times throughout the morning and afternoon with appointments available to book between the following times:
Monday-Friday 8.30am – 11.30am, 2.00pm – 5.30pm
Cancellation of booked appointments
If you cannot attend or no longer need to keep an appointment, there will always be someone else who could use this appointment time instead. Please inform us if you do not intend to keep your appointment as soon as you can. Non-attendance of booked appointments constitutes a significant waste of NHS resources.
Please ensure that you are punctual for your appointment. It may not be possible to see you if you arrive late. Whilst we always endeavour to run our appointments on time, this is not always possible. Unforeseeable problems that arise both during and between consultations can sometimes make us run late. Please bear with us if this occurs. Such unforeseen events make your own punctuality all the more important, to minimise their impact on all of us. If the doctor is running late, and patients then also arrive late, everyone will get even more fed up!
Please speak to the receptionist if you wish to arrange to speak to a doctor or nurse to have a telephone consultation instead of an appointment. These are pre bookable appointments.
In the case of emergencies, the Receptionist will help in arranging a time for you or a Duty Doctor or Nurse to ring back, or put you through directly if they are available when you call.
The doctors try as much as possible not to disturb and interrupt their surgeries with phone calls, so it is not usually possible to speak to the doctor during surgery times (8.30am – 11.30am and 3.30pm – 5.40pm) except in an emergency.
Often, you will be asked by the receptionist to ring back at the end of the morning surgery, or your number will be taken for the doctor to ring you back at a mutually convenient time.
Getting the help you need more quickly
When you’re feeling unwell, you want to get advice and help quickly.
Our practice Receptionists have now had additional training in ‘Care Navigation’ so they can help you get the right care, faster.
When you call the Practice to make an appointment, the Receptionist will ask you to tell them a bit about why you want to see someone.
You don’t need to give lots of detail, or tell them anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Once they know what you are calling about, they can see if there are other local services, like a pharmacist or school nurse that might be more suitable for you. Often these other services will be able to see you more quickly than a GP could.
Here’s a message form Dr Cockburn our Senior Partner.
“Our practice reception teams are here to help patients access the right care as quickly as possible. Sometimes that care is not provided by us as GPs, but by other healthcare professionals who work in other parts of the NHS. We hope that patients will understand why our receptionists might ask what you are calling about. It is purely to help them find you the right service. Telling them a bit about why you want to see someone will help them direct you to the right care, quickly. And, if after hearing about the other services nearby, you still want to see a GP, that’s fine too and the team will try to find you an appointment.”