- Between 8am and 12pm patients can ask for a same day telephone consultation.
- Our staff will ask you about the details of the problem. They may give you advice, signpost you to a different service, or arrange an appointment with healthcare professionals other than a doctor.
- If you need to speak to a doctor you will be allocated to a named doctor’s list, and can ask for a specific doctor if you so wish.
- Each doctor will have a limited number of appointments available.
- If there are no appointments available that day, or you call after 12pm, you will be offered a prebooked consultation at a later date.
If the problem is of a personal nature please inform the staff. You can of course decline to tell our staff the nature of other problems, but without more information we will not be able to prioritise these calls.
Under 16’s: All children under 16 years of age with an acute presentation will be offered a same day consultation (this may be via telephone or face to face).
The doctor will phone you in turn for a telephone consultation. You will be given advice, a prescription, or if needed, an appointment to come to the surgery. If the problem is non-urgent we may offer to see you another day.
What are the benefits of this system?
- Many problems can be addressed over the telephone without the need for an examination.
- All patients who need an appointment will be offered one.
- Our previous on-the-day booking system could make it difficult for patients to attend appointments that day. With our new system the doctor have more flexibility to offer you an appointment at a time which is convenient for you.
- If the problem is not urgent, we can arrange an appointment at a convenient time and date.
- We can discuss administrative issues such as referrals, test results, sick notes, medical reports etc over the phone.
- We can often review and monitor existing problems without patients needing to attend the surgery.
- If we no longer have any same day appointments available when you call, or you call after 12pm, you will be offered a pre-booked appointment.
- As such, if you feel you need to speak to a doctor urgently that day please make every effort to call early in the morning. It is a great help to organise our day if we know about urgent matters soon.
- Our receptionists are not expected to make a decision as to whether the problem is an emergency or not.
- They will ask you about the details of the problem in order to discuss with the duty doctor. You may be offered a pre-booked appointment or can call back another day.
Frequently asked questions
Can patients still get an appointment?
Yes – we will arrange an appointment for every patient who needs one.
What about confidentiality?
Every single staff member abides by the same confidentiality standards as the doctors. Receptionists already deal with confidential duties involving patient notes, results, and referrals.
What if it’s difficult for me to answer a phone call?
Please inform our staff if you can’t take calls at a particular time, and we will do our very best to call you when it’s convenient. If it is impossible for you to speak to us we will speak to someone else, but it is always best to speak directly to the patient.
Why did you change?
The demand for appointments is always rising and we wanted to find better ways of providing good, efficient care for our patients. Previously the appointments would be filled on a ‘first-come-first-serve’ basis, and we found that many problems could have been dealt with over the phone. The result was that other patients who needed a face-to-face appointment had to be offered emergency appointments, causing a huge increase in workload.
With our new system all patients have a telephone consultation that day, which is often more convenient than an appointment but with the same outcome. This allows us to offer appointments to patients who need a face-to-face consultation.