Have you heard about our triage service?
We are fortunate enough to have a team of Advanced Practitioners who offer a daily telephone triage service for patients.
Advanced Practitioners can:
Patients who ring 01772 214800 to request a same-day appointment will now be asked for a contact number so that an Advanced Practitioner can call them back, along with a brief idea what the problem is. Our Advanced Practitioners are skilled in telephone triage, so can effectively assess your needs over the phone, and in many cases, prevent you having to travel to the surgery. This can be done either through advice or by issuing a prescription for the patient, which can be sent directly to a pharmacy of your choice.
Alternatively, the Advanced Practitioner may advise you to attend an appointment, and an appointment time will be given. This is normally the same day, but could be for a different day if they feel that you need to see a particular clinician and the problem you have can wait for further assessment.
Same day appointments are classed as "urgent" and we will not always be able to give you a choice of time or clinicians; this is because priority is being given to getting you treated as soon as possible by any appropriate clinician.
How to see a Doctor
Although you are registered with a specific Doctor, you are free to consult any of our Healthcare Professionals.
Our receptionists will ask you for a brief idea what the problem is, to enable them to direct you to an appropriate clinician in a suitable time frame. The Partners of the Practice have requested that the receptionists ask for this information, to ensure that we are aware of, and can prioritise problems, as patient safety is of upmost importance to us.
Our Doctors will see you in surgery by appointment, which can be made in person or by telephoning the reception team on 01772 214800. If we have your mobile number, we can send you a text reminder of your appointment. You can also book appointments for some services online. Please see the Online Services section for further information.
Urgent conditions will be seen the same day. Our receptionists will ask for a contact telephone number, so that a clinician can contact you to give advice or arrange an appointment. Our receptionists will also ask for brief details of the problem, to enable your case to be prioritised effectively. We will do our best to accommodate time and choice of clinician, but when dealing with urgent problems, our priority will always be getting you seen by the most appropriate person, as quickly as possible.
Routine appointments can be booked with a clinician of your choice. Please remember that some of our clinicians work part time, and this can extend waiting times. You can always ask for the "first available routine appointment" if you don't mind who you see.
Follow up appointments: If a Doctor has asked to see you again in a couple of weeks time, please make the appointment on your way out and inform the receptionist that the Doctor has asked you to do this. This way we will be normally able to accommodate the appointment in the time frame the doctor has requested. Waiting to re-book nearer the time reduces the chance of us having availability.
Appointment length : Our Doctors appointments are 10 minutes each. This time is usually sufficient to discuss 'one' problem. If you have a number of problems to discuss with the Doctor, they may not have time to discuss all of these in one appointment. Please do not be offended if you are asked to prioritise your problems or make another appointment. Alternatively, if you know you have multiple issues, let our receptionist know when you ring to book the appointment, and we will endeavour to give you a long enough appointment to cover everything.
If you think you may need a physical examination, where you will need time to undress, please request a double appointment as a minimum. On these occasions you should always be offered a chaperone by the clinician. In the unlikely event this option isn't offered, please do not hesitate to request a chaperone. One of our trained chaperone's will always be available to accompany you in the appointment.
The Doctors at this practice are committed to providing a quality service to all our patients. If you have an ongoing condition, it is ideal to see the same Doctor every time. They can then recognise and assess any changes in your condition more effectively. Although you may have to wait slightly longer for an appointment, our Doctors feel this is still more beneficial for your health than seeing a different Doctor every time. This helps with continuity in your care and treatment.
To prevent an unnecessary delay in the management of your condition, try to book your next appointment as soon as possible. Remember, you can always book at least one month in advance.
If possible, please try to telephone reception before 10:30am if you require a home visit.
Your telephone number will be taken, along with the reason you are requesting the visit. Please give the receptionist as much information as possible, so that the Doctor can give your request due priority. A GP or Advanced Practitioner will call you back to assess the need for a visit, take further information and advise you if someone will be attending . It may be that your problem can be dealt with by telephone advice, or that it would be more appropriate to send a Nurse, or indeed arrange a hospital attendance.
Please remember that there are better facilities for examining and treating patients at the Health Centre, not to mention that several patients can be seen in the practice in the time that it takes to make one home visit. Therefore, home visits should only be requested for patients who are permanently housebound because of illness or disability, or are genuinely too unwell to come to the surgery on the day.
To help us manage the demand for appointments, the practice now offers an Advanced Practitioner triage service each morning.
Our Advanced Practitioners have experience in telephone triage and are independent prescribers. They are able to see patients presenting with a wide range of minor ailments. They may offer you advice, leave a prescription for you to collect, or arrange a time to see you if needed.
Advanced Practitioners are able to deal with most acute problems, such as chest, skin, eye, ear and urine infections, sore throats, flu type systems, abdominal pain, back pain and asthma flare ups.
It would NOT be appropriate to see an Advanced Practitioner for anti-depressants,
complex mental health issues, or ongoing problems that may require a hospital referral. In these instances, we would recommend that you book a routine appointment with a Doctor.
We may also triage requests for an urgent appointment with a Doctor. Urgent (emergency) appointments will only be offered to patients who have a medical problem that cannot wait until the next routine appointment. This will be assessed by considering whether the problem will get significantly worse, or could put your health at risk if you are asked to wait.
We regularly get complaints that patients are not able to get an appointment. We can only improve our system with your help. You can do this by:
1.Cancelling appointments if you don’t need them, and letting us know with enough time to offer the appointment to someone else.
2.Booking ‘follow-up’ appointments as you leave the surgery.
3.Seeing the appropriate clinician (e.g. BP checks do not need to be done by a Doctor. One of our healthcare assistants or a nurse could do this for you).
4.Attending for regular reviews for your medication and not letting it run out.
The Partners at the Practice want their patients to know that they are doing all they can to make appointments available for patients. Having said that we know, that like all practice, we struggle to make capacity fit demand.
General Practice has changed dramatically over recent years. It has provided Health Checks, which have identified thousands of patients with chronic diseases e.g. Diabetes. This Practice now has double the number of diabetics it had registered five years ago. These patients then need regular follow ups to monitor their long term conditions. This has been great work and is saving lives, but has raised the demand for appointments in your GP surgery.
You will hear lots of stories in the newspapers and on TV about the pressures which “an ageing population” will put on resources. These pressures are already here!!! More patients than ever before are wanting appointments at their GP surgery every day.
Public awareness regarding “self-treating” simple conditions has diminished over the years. More people want to be seen in their GP surgery with self-limiting illnesses (most of which can be treated with simple measures and advice from Pharmacists).
Lots of people are turning up at A&E Departments and “Out of Hours”(OOH) services with conditions which should be treated in the Community, because they are not prepared to wait. Each attendance at the OOH service costs the NHS a minimum of £35.00,and turning up at A&E is over £100.00