Appointments

To protect you from coronavirus, your GP practice will try to help you remotely and then see you face-to-face if needed.

Appointment System

As restrictions for COVID-19 are likely to be in place until April 2021, we wanted to let you know how our appointment system will work over this time.

NHS England has advised all GP practices to use a system called “total triage”. All patients will be assessed on the telephone first – “talk before you walk”. Many of our patients will be familiar with triage as we have used this successfully for many years to assess the best way of meeting patients’ needs based on clinical priorities. A telephone call with a GP may result in an invitation to come to the surgery for a face to face appointment if clinically necessary – something we have provided throughout the pandemic. But it could also result in a video consultation, the organisation of tests, advice or treatment over the phone or referral to another service. By triaging all requests from patients, we can ensure that people are only asked to come to the medical centre if their needs cannot be met in another way. This is important in protecting our vulnerable patients and our essential staff from the risk of infection.

When you ring the surgery, the receptionist will ask a few important questions. Our receptionists are there to help you by directing your call to the right member of the team and with the right level of priority. As you expect, all our staff follow strict rules of confidentiality. A GP will always ring you back on the same day if your problem is clinically urgent. If your problem is routine, we will offer an on-the-day telephone appointment if we can but a routine telephone appointment in the future if we are fully booked for that day or you prefer that.

Our nursing team continue to provide a full range of childhood immunisations. We are also offering smear tests so please get in touch if you have received a letter saying that your smear test is due. The nurses’ highly skilled work of managing patients with leg ulcers and complex wounds has continued as normal. They are also currently very busy providing flu vaccinations to our most vulnerable and high-risk patients. This process has been challenging due to country-wide problems including unprecedented demands and insufficient supplies of the vaccines nationally. We have also continued to take blood tests. Due to the precautions needed to protect our patients and our staff, each blood test appointment is taking about twice as long as usual. This means that we can only offer half as many tests each day as normal. It is vital that we keep a certain proportion of these blood test appointments available for emergencies and those with suspected cancer or other serious illnesses. We are doing all we can to provide more appointments, but please be aware we will not be able to offer our usual number of routine blood test appointments at this time.

We continue to be very busy dealing with COVID-19 issues, non-COVID urgent problems, routine problems, trying to help with the backlog over the last six months and playing our part in the biggest flu vaccination programme in history. We are grateful for the incredibly hard work of our team over the last six months and thank our patients for their support and understanding over this very difficult time.

Usual Working Days for Doctors

Doctor

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Dr Mark Howcutt

 

 ✓

Dr Nicola Wells

 

 

Dr Kaiser Munir

Dr Karen West

     

Dr Briony Rixon

 

 

✓pm

Dr Louise Thompson

 

 

How to see a Doctor

Patients are seen by appointment only. Patients are free to choose between doctors in the practice or consult different doctors for specific problems.

The majority of our appointments with doctors are available to be pre-booked in advance. This is particularly useful for review appointments or non-urgent problems. Subject to availability, this allows our patients to request an appointment with a particular doctor or at a convenient date and time.

Telephone Advice

You may ask for advice from a doctor or nurse over the telephone. Our doctors hold telephone surgeries each day. If you feel your problem can be dealt with on the telephone, please leave your name, telephone number and a message with the receptionist.

You will be given an approximate time of your reply and we ask you try to be available on your phone at that time. The doctor will return your call in the telephone surgery. These can be booked online or via reception.

GP Telephone Assessment

GP telephone assessment is a national system that has been developed and tested by the NHS Institute. The evidence shows that of all the requests for appointments, only approximately one third actually need to see a GP, one third needed to be seen by another member of the primary healthcare team (usually a member of the nursing team) and one third do not need to see anyone – the issue can be dealt with over the telephone.

This system will enable us to run more efficiently, better manage the demand for appointments and will ensure that those who need to see a GP should find it easier to be seen. The system should run more effectively for patients and the practice ensuring that the best service is accessed for each patient dependent on clinical need and assessment.

Previously, obtaining a face-to-face day only appointment depended on either waiting in the phone queue or coming to the surgery first thing in the morning. This system will ensure that everyone who wants an appointment will have a GP consultation but accessing a face-to-face appointment will be based on the need to see a GP rather than how quickly a patient can get to the phone each morning.

Since all appointment requests will initially be assessed by a GP, the GP can make a clinical assessment as to how quickly a patient needs to be seen and can book the appropriate appointment. For most patients this will continue to be on the same day but for a few patients this may mean a few days in advance. This may be particularly useful for patients who work. A request for a GP assessment call can be made with reception. When the GP calls they can discuss urgency vs convenience and agree an appointment time.

 

We have built into the surgery session a number of telephone assessment slots throughout the day. For patients who are calling to request an appointment, the expectation is that they will be called back within the hour. Patients will have a better idea of when the GP will call back and GPs should no longer find the patient is unavailable when they call-back as is often the case currently.

Patients will be able to request a specific GP to call them back if the GP has availability. Our aim is that this will happen whenever possible but we cannot guarantee this since it will depend also on the individual GP workload. It is helpful if you don’t mind which GP calls you; in this case one of the GPs working that day will call you – they will all have access to your complete medical record.

Since there is now no advantage in calling first thing, hopefully phone calls will be spread more evenly throughout the day. This should make it easier for patients to get through on the telephone and avoid the frustration patients feel at the moment with the queuing system.

Registering for the Online System

The site enables you to request repeat prescriptions, book appointments and change your contact details online. You can also see some elements of your medical records such as immunisations, allergies and medication. This access is due to be increased by 31 March 2016 to include test results and your medical record.

To use this system you need to register with the website:

Register with a letter

You can register by firstly visiting your practice in person and requesting a registration letter which will enable you to set up a full account. This needs to be requested when you visit the practice and will require identification

  1. On the Patient Access homepage, click Register
  2. On the registration screen, tick Yes
  3. Enter the details from the letter, into the correct field (* indicates a required field)
  4. Click Next
  5. Enter your personal details, and create a password(* indicates a required field)
  6. Click Next
  7. Enter your contact details, and security question information (* indicates a required field) Click Next, your User ID will not be displayed and your registration is complete.

Register without a letter

You can also register for the service online without a letter. This process will check to see if your practice uses Patient Access and create a basic account that allows you to book an appointment. If you use this option, to get access to the complete features that your practice offers you will need to visit them in person and take ID with you. (This service is only available in England)

  1. On the Patient Access homepage, click Register
  2. On the Registration screen, tick NO
  3. Enter your GP Practice’s postcode, or your own postcode
  4. Click Next
  5. Select your GP practice
  6. Click Next
  7. Enter your personal details, and create a password(* indicates a required field),
  8. Click Next
  9. Enter your contact details, and security question information (* indicates a required field)
  10. Click Next, your User ID will not be displayed and your registration is complete.

In view of this greater access and to protect your data we will ask you to provide photo identification when you collect your log-in details. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause but hope you will understand the reason.

The system is designed this way as the website allows access to your contact details and repeat prescription information which need to be kept secure.

Home Visits

A home visit by the doctor, for someone who is too ill to attend the surgery in person, may be requested by telephoning the surgery before 10:00am.

As facilities at the surgery for examination and treatment are so much more comprehensive, it is in your best interest to attend for an appointment rather than requesting a home visit. A doctor can also see four to six patients in the surgery in the same time required for a visit.

A doctor will ring before visiting to assess the suitability of the request.

Cancellations & Reminders

Cancel an Appointment

It is important that you inform the reception staff if you are unable to attend your appointment, this will allow that appointment to be offered to another patient. If you fail to notify the Practice that you are unable to attend, you will be sent a letter informing you that you have defaulted from your appointment. Persistent defaulters maybe removed from the list.

You can also complete our appointment cancellation notification request form. This can only be used if your appointment has been arranged for more than 24 hours in advance. (excluding weekends and public holidays). You can also text to cancel your appointment.

Text Reminder Service

We have a texting service which allows you to receive confirmation and reminders about your appointments.

To have this service you will need to register by completing a consent form.

Please remember to update your contact details with us when you change address, telephone numbers and email address.

Late For Your Appointment

Please attend your appointment on time, if you are late you may not be seen. If you are not seen you will not be able to rearrange your appointment until the next working day-except in the event of an medical emergency that requires immediate attention.

Interpreter

If you require an interpreter to attend with you when you see your Doctor please notify the receptionist and she will arrange this for you.

Opening Times

Please select a site