We have recently introduced a new system which gives patients better access to advice from our doctors.
Our phone lines open at 8am as usual, and you will be asked for a brief description of the problem and the best phone number for us to contact you. Your name will then be added to a list, and a doctor will call you.
We will deal with all issues between 8am and 12:30pm. However, please contact us as early as possible so that we can book an appointment that day if necessary. Only emergencies will be dealt with after 12:30pm.
We prioritise urgent problems, which is the reason we ask for a brief description of the problem. 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.
The doctor will phone you in turn for a telephone consultation. You will be given advice, a prescription, or if needed, an appointment to see the doctor. 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 pre-book 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.
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.