All appointments are booked - we do not have an 'open' surgery, although emergencies can sit and wait to be slotted in. You may book an appointment by telephone or in person. Our computerised appointment system enables Practice members to offer you an appointment quickly and accurately. 30% of our appointments are available to be booked up to five weeks in advance and the remainder can be booked on the day. This will also allow us to meet the Government directive that all patients should be able to see a doctor within 48 hours (2 working days) although we will always see a patient who has an urgent problem on the day that they contact us.
When you telephone for an appointment, you will be asked if the problem is something that can be dealt with over the telephone. If this is the case then a GP will return your call (see below). If however you need a face to face consultation then you will be offered an appointment on the day you telephone. If this is not convenient, you will be offered an appointment on the following day. If you don't need to see the Doctor on that particular day, please leave your call until after 10am when you should find that you will get through to us much quicker.
Our appointment system and patient demand allows us on average 10 minutes per patient. Ideally we would have a longer consultation time (In France a doctor's appointment is 15-20 minutes) Under present funding arrangements and to deal with the large number of people we have to see each day we can only manage a relatively short consultation and this means we can only deal with a limited number of symptoms in a single consultation. It also makes it difficult for us to see additional family members in the single appointment slot.
Remember that ONE APPOINTMENT is for ONE PERSON ONLY.
As General Practitioners we are always working against the clock. We are usually a bit late by the end of a surgery. We do our best to run to time but it is not always possible to listen to patient's problems, diagnose and treat as necessary and still finish on time. Please accept our apologies if you have had to wait for us. Good medicine cannot be rushed.
We have started a telephone system both in the morning and the afternoon which is known as "triage". Basically, this means that the calls are initially logged and passed to a doctor, who returns the patient's call, assesses the problem and decides on the most appropriate response to each issue. Sometimes this means a same-day appointment, but at others it might mean telephone advice, an appointment later in the week, a medical certificate or a prescription.
If you feel an appointment may not be necessary but you require professional advice, we will ask for the doctor or nurse to telephone you back if they are unavailable at the time of your call.
A routine appointment is usually necessary for other problems such as review of ongoing conditions, stress related and emotional problems, medication reviews and discussion of test results, as the doctor will require more time for discussion of these.
We are not an emergency service but we do have a daily doctor-on-call that responds to life-threatening emergencies. However, if it is difficult to contact the surgery immediately, we recommend dialling 999 for an ambulance. Chest pain, prolonged fitting, unconsciousness and severe bleeding should usually mean you call an ambulance.
Please tell us if you are unable to make an appointment. We can then let someone else have the cancelled appointment.