Making an Appointment
When you contact us to make an appointment, the Doctors have instructed our reception team to ask you if you can tell us what the appointment is for. This information is to help you to get the right appointment with the right clinician—and of course if you do not wish to impart this information, the receptionists will respect your decision.
The receptionist may be able to help you immediately; take a message to a clinician and contact you with the answer; arrange a telephone or a face to face consultation—either with a Nurse Practitioner, a nurse or a doctor.
Routine appointments with a doctor can be pre-booked up to six weeks in advance. We recommend you try and plan ahead to ensure you get an appointment with your first choice of doctor. The practice believes in continuity of care, and we encourage you to see the same doctor for your particular medical condition on each occasion. There will be times, however, when your first choice of doctor is not available, due to training or leave.
If you have a medical problem which you feel needs to be dealt with urgently, for example an acute infection or severe pain, please telephone the practice and advise the receptionist that you would like to see a doctor urgently. A number of appointments become available for booking the same day. If we cannot offer you a suitable appointment, the receptionist will take your details and a we will return your telephone call as soon as possible.
The clinician will discuss your symptoms by telephone, and if he or she agrees that you do need to be seen urgently, you will be offered an appointment to be seen the same day. Alternatively, you may be given telephone advice, advised to attend your local pharmacy, offered a routine appointment, or advised to attend the nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
Please note that it is ultimately the clinician's decision whether you are given a same day appointment or not. Please do not come to the practice initially if you have an urgent medical problem, as we do not offer a walk-in service, and it may be that your problem can be dealt with over the telephone. Many infections, particularly the flu and flu-like illnesses, are due to viruses, which cannot be cured by doctors. Attending the practice with this type of illness increases the risk of infection to other vulnerable patients who may be attending the practice.
If you have a life-threatening emergency, please call for an emergency ambulance by dialling 999.
The majority of GP and nurse appointments are ten minutes duration. We ask that you try to observe the 'One appointment, one problem' ethos by avoiding saving up your medical problems, and bringing a list to the doctor. We strive to deal with each medical problem to the highest standard, and this proves impossible if we are expected to deal with a number of problems in one appointment.
Also, your appointment is booked for you only, so please do not expect the doctor to deal with the problem of a relative or a child in addition during your appointment. Please make a separate appointment for your child if they need to see a doctor as well as yourself.
If you are uncertain if you need to see a doctor face to face, need medical advice by telephone, have a query about a referral, or want to find out the results of tests, we encourage you to contact the practice by telephone first rather than book a doctor's appointment.
Please advise the receptionist of your query as they may be able to help you themselves without disturbing the doctor – if you do need to speak with a doctor then the receptionist will book a telephone consultation for you, and this may be the same day, or again can be booked in advance.
If you ask to speak to a particular doctor, regarding an ongoing problem, your returned call may take a little longer depending on the doctor's scheduled working times. If your usual doctor is on leave, then they will have assigned a deputy who will try and help you in their absence.
We recognise that intimate examinations by health care professionals (e.g. breasts, genitalia, rectum, or any examination where it is necessary to touch or be close) can be distressing or embarrassing for patients. Wherever possible, you will be offered the security of having an impartial observer (chaperone) present during an intimate examination.
Please feel free to advise the receptionist in advance of your appointment, if you think this will be the case, and do not hesitate to ask the doctor or nurse for a chaperone if you are not offered this option during your consultation. If you would prefer to see only a doctor of a specific gender to discuss your medical problem, then again please advise the receptionist of this when booking your appointment.
If you are late for your appointment, you may be asked to rebook your appointment for another day and time. It is at the doctor's or nurse's discretion whether a late arrival can still be seen and we ask that you respect their decision.