Arrange or cancel an appointment
When you contact the surgery either via phone or in person the following options are available and our receptionists will do their best to guide you to the most appropriate choice:
Same day telephone advice.
This service runs from 0830-1830 Monday-Friday. You will often be able to be put straight through to the on-call doctor but if they are unavailable the receptionists will inform you of this and take a number on which we can contact you. This option should be used if you need guidance regarding treatment or if you are unsure if you need an appointment. It is also useful if you think that investigations or treatment may be appropriate before you are seen by a doctor e.g. if you think that you may be anaemic it may be appropriate for us to arrange blood tests and then review you with the results of these.
Currently there are 20-30 advice requests per day with a very low conversion rate to appointments without intervening investigations or treatments. Please be aware that the doctor does not have access to any more appointments than the receptionists – if you are simply wishing to book an appointment please do this via reception.
Minor illness same day booked appointments.
Minor illness surgeries run twice a day (apart from on Wednesdays when we shut for training from 1430. The receptionist will guide you to one of these surgeries if appropriate. Please note that these are slightly shorter than routine appointments and the doctor will normally only be able to deal with the single problem that you have told the receptionist about. All the doctors do their best to run to time with these surgeries but due to on-call commitment some delays may be unavoidable.
Booked routine appointments (same day and in advance subject to availability).
We release routine appointments in stages up to four weeks in advance. Please book on of these appointments if there is a certain time in the future which you hope to make appointments or if there is a specific doctor that you wish to see. For ongoing problems we urge you to arrange follow up with the same doctor as this will improve continuity and quality of care. Please be aware that not all the doctors work every day.
Booked telephone review appointments.
This is a new service which started in November 2011 and the uptake has been very encouraging. There are many conditions or situations when it is not necessary for you to be seen face to face for a review or to arrange the next stage in treatment.
The receptionists will also book one of these appointments if you contact the surgery requesting a call form one of the doctors.
All permanent doctors offer this service on set days of the week.
The phone reviews are normally done in the afternoon. If there is a certain time window in which you would prefer to receive the call (please be as broad as possible) please inform the receptionist when they book the appointment and we will do our best to accommodate your request.
Getting the most out of the appointment system.
For longstanding problems and medication reviews (which you have been told require a doctor rather than nurse appointment) please try to book ahead and don’t leave it until the last minute. This will give you more choice of which doctor you see. Try to think about whether the nurses or pharmacists are best suited for you. These (non doctor) staff are very thorough and follow standards set specifically for them. If they ever feel they need advice they always seek guidance from a doctor – either at the time if the matter is urgent or following your appointment.
For those patients with chronic (long term) conditions the processes required for medication and annual reviews should have been explained to you. These reviews may require blood tests prior to a nurse appointment. If you are unclear regarding your individual circumstances please discuss this at your next appointment. Doctors do not generally carry out the routine medication reviews and will have informed you if there is a particular reason why you should be seen by a doctor for review. If there is further advice or intervention required the nurse or pharmacist who carries out your review will seek guidance from the doctor or occasionally make a doctor appointment for a further review.
If you feel that you are able to share information with our reception team and give them some idea of the reason you need an appointment, they can help to guide you further. The staff are all bound by the very strictest of confidentiality agreements and we expect the highest standards of them. Your problems will never be discussed outside the building by our staff so we hope you will feel safe and trust everyone in our team.
We appreciate that things come up and appointments may need to be cancelled or rearranged.
If you cannot attend your appointment please cancel with as much notice as you can so that we can make it available for someone else.
You can do this by phone, in person at reception, via patient access or by texting cancel in reply to the text reminder you will have been sent.