How do I make an appointment with the GP?
Please call the surgery on 01491 835577 or use eConsult to ask a question or tell a doctor about your symptoms. The receptionist may ask you some questions to check whether they or another member of the team is able to answer your query. You can also use eConsult if you wish to email your doctor or a member of the admin team, request a Fit Note or send photographs of a skin complaint.
We have been offering face to face appointments throughout the pandemic, and now offer patients the choice of either booking a face to face appointment or a telephone appointment. Econsult continues for those who prefer this option. We ask that you do not attend the surgery if you are showing signs of COVID, unless you have been advised to attend an appointment by your GP.
As we move out of the pandemic it has become apparent that patients access to appointments has changed. The pandemic was very difficult for clinicians and patients alike, but in trying to see the positive, we all managed very well in adapting our provision of care. We discovered that on some occasions there is no substitute for a face to face appointment but on other occasions a telephone call can be just as useful and sometimes even more convenient.
With this in mind we have modified our appointment system. We have also employed new clinicians, so much so, that we have more clinicians than we have clinical rooms!
All clinicians now perform some of their consultations in a clinical room and some of their consultations in a remote setting. (usually upstairs in the old meeting room). We think that the automatic face to face appointment system, with all the difficulties of timing, transport and car parking pressure is unlikely to return
Every clinician has a spread of face to face appointments as well as telephone appointments. Obviously they see mostly face to face when a room is available and use the telephone exclusively when they do not have a room. When patients request an appointment they will be asked which time of appointment will be best. We ask that people think carefully about which appointment they request. You may wish to choose a face to face appointment if you need to be examined or if you are unable to hear on the telephone etc. A telephone appointment with a photograph of a rash for example is often just as good and far more convenient. A consultation that simply involves a conversation and not an examination may also be better performed on the phone.
Obviously sometimes this balance of face to face v telephone appointment is not perfect but our analysis of recent weeks suggest that most people are sensible and fully capable of choosing the correct type of appointment.
Over time if we discover that we are offering too many of one kind of appointment and too few of another, we will adjust the balance.
During this time we have temporarily postponed online booking. This is because the online system cannot allow untimed telephone appointment bookings like we are currently running but we are working to see if we can start to offer this facility again. You can access Econsult via this website which allows you to bypass the telephone queue.
In the same way as before March 2020, we offer the majority of our appointments on the day. The eConsult facility gives another way of contacting the doctor which allows you to bypass the telephone queue. It is not possible to give an exact time of your call back from the doctor. This is because telephone calls can be of variable length and the flexibility allows us to manage to undertake many more calls than would be possible if a strict timed appointment was offered. We recognise that some patients will have commitments that make it difficult to take calls at certain times, and will always try and accommodate requests to avoid certain time periods but cannot always do this. If we do not reach you on the first time of calling, we will try again once more.
Some appointments can be made in advance.
When all the appointments are taken for the day, you will be asked if your call is about an urgent matter that cannot wait until the next day. The duty doctor or advanced clinical practitioner will return your call and deal with your problem either over the telephone or by asking you to come to the surgery to be seen. This is the same system as we used before March 2020. If your problem can wait, then you will be asked to call back the next day to make an appointment or to complete an Econsult.
We are experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of contacts from patients currently. We are grateful for your understanding at this time. At times when we are booking vaccination appointments, our phone lines are exceptionally busy. You are welcome to use Econsult via this website (during our normal opening hours) to avoid being held in a queue to speak with a receptionist. We have had reports that there have been problems with the phone system and we are working with our telephone company to try and understand the problem. If you are waiting but have NOT been told what number in the queue you are, having chosen OPTION TWO, then please hang up and redial.
Please note we are unable to book appointments at the front door, please call the surgery on 01491 835577 to book an appointment.
How do I make an appointment with the nurse?
Face to face appointments to see the nurse for smear tests, dressing changes, injections, blood pressure checks and blood tests. Chronic disease reviews for asthma, COPD, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are by invitation and on the telephone.
How can I order my prescriptions?
Where possible, we request that you make requests for prescriptions using Patient Access, the NHS app or another online service or complete our online request a repeat prescription form. If you cannot access our online services or use Patient Access then please call the surgery and speak with the Dispensary Team. Patients who use our dispensary will still be able to collect their prescriptions from the surgery.
Please bear in mind that all the local pharmacies are extremely busy. Please allow plenty of time for us to process your request AND for the pharmacy to dispense it to you.