Due to high patient demand we have found it necessary to change how we work in order to prevent inappropriate use of a GP appointment ie. repeat prescription requests (unless GP has requested the appointment), medical reports/form signing, pill checks, smear tests etc..
The GPs have asked that ALL patients give the reason for the appointment to the patient services advisor's so they can sign post you to the most appropriate person. They are implementing this new process on behalf of the GPs and we appreciate your support with this as we are trying to improve patient experience and reduce wasted appointments.
To help with demand the GPs have also recruited Advanced Practitioners who work in the same way as a GP (although are unable to issue sick notes) and we ask that you support the practice by booking in with these clinicians when you are offered an appointment.
Please support the practice and remember to cancel appointments if you are unable to attend as they can be offered to other patients. Thank you.
Over the years we have been working hard with our patient group to improve access to appointments for patients. We need your help to do this. In 2010 we introduced a text messaging reminder service and this dramatically reduced the number of did not attend appts being lost by almost half. However in 2016/2-17 we have noticed a 20% increase in patients not attending for their appointments.
One of the biggest complaints raised by patients is not being able to get an appt with your help we can improve this.
All patients are seen by appointment only. You can book appointments online using Patient Access (you will need to register for this service, see Patient Access page for further information), over the phone (01484 715324 (to improve access by phone we recently installed a 3rd line) or by calling in at our Reception desk. You will be offered the first available appointment with your preferred doctor or nurse.
We operate an appointment system where a third of our appointments are book on the day and the remaining two thirds are pre-bookable (book in advance).
When booking appointments you may express a preference for a particular doctor but we must advise whilst every effort will be made the practice cannot guarantee that you will always be able to see the doctor of your choice.
Patients with urgent problems will always be seen on the same day, but may need to accept an appointment with another doctor if the requested doctor is not available.
Patients under the age of 16 should be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Surgery times vary each day and with each doctor. In general, each doctor does a surgery each morning starting about 8:30 - 9:00 and also one each afternoon, starting about 3:00 - 4:00. Precise details for each day are available on the link at the top of this page.
Duty Doctor Each doctor takes a turn at being the Duty Doctor who is available for urgent cases.
Routine appointment slots are 10 minutes so it is important that we make the best use of this time. It is often best to concentrate on one health problem at a time rather than several unless you feel they may be connected. Be prepared to talk about what you feel is really wrong or may be an underlying problem. (An emergency appointment is for one problem only). Be prepared that the doctor may need to examine you to reach a diagnosis.
Please be a patient patient. When the surgery appointments are running late, this is because the doctor has been held up with a more complicated case.
Any patient aged between 16 - 75 years who have not been seen in the previous 3 years by a doctor or nurse may request an appointment either in person or by telephoning the surgery and any patient aged over 75 years who have not been seen by a doctor or nurse in the previous 12 months may request an appointment by telephoning the surgery or calling at the surgery.
Missed Appointments - Due to the high number of missed appointments, the Practice has found it necessary to adopt a strict DNA (did not attend) Policy - a copy of the Policy is available in Reception for any patient who would like to view it. This action has been taken due to the amount of clinical time lost due to patients not attending or canceling their appointments . The Policy is aimed at increasing the number of appointments available.
Could we please request your cooperation in this matter and let us know if you are going to be unavoidably late. Always remember to cancel an appointment that you cannot attend and please try to give us enough time to enable us to offer it to another patient.
Medical Students - We are a Primary Care teaching practice and provide teaching and learning experiences for medical undergraduates - Patient confidentiality is protected at all times. If you do not wish the student to be present during consultation please advise the receptionist at the time of your appointment.
Do you really need to see a doctor?
The doctors work alongside many highly trained professionals who are often more appropriate for some problems. Many patients don’t know that they can contact these people direct (telephone numbers on the back page)
Practice Nurse for management of long term conditions, cervical smears, dressings, ear wax, minor injuries, blood pressure etc.
Healthcare Assistant for health checks, smoking cessation, spirometry, bloods, dressings, suture removal etc.
District Nurse similar to Practice Nurse but for the housebound.
Health Visitor the best source of advice about young children.
The practice has arrangements for patients to speak to a doctor or practice nurse during the working day.
Patients requesting to speak to a GP/Practice Nurse are asked to telephone between 10:00am and 11:00am, after surgeries finish and before doctors go on visits. Patients will be asked for some details to enable the call to be routed efficiently.
If the Doctor or Practice Nurse is unavailable at the time of the telephone call the patient will be advised that the appropriate professional will call them back when they are free (usually at the end of their surgery).
All the doctors do home visits but only to patients who are too ill or infirm to come to the surgery.
Please remember that home visiting is very time consuming - it takes us 4 times as long to see one patient at home for every one we see in the surgery. So please always come to the surgery if at all possible - even if this involves asking a relative or friend to bring you or taking a taxi.
If you feel you need a home visit, you must phone between 8:30am and 10:30am so that the visit can be fitted into the day’s round. Please be prepared to let the receptionist have some idea of your problem so that the doctor can judge the priority of your call compared to others on his list.
Any visits requested after 11:00am can be accepted for urgent cases only. They will be done by the Duty Doctor for that day.
NHS Direct can also offer you general health information and advice outside our opening hours.