Q. What type of appointments are there?
A. We offer appointments for face to face consultations at the Surgery, home visits and over the telephone.
Q. Can I have a Home Visit?
A. Home visits take up between 3 and 6 standard appointments, depending how far away from the surgery you live. For that reason and to ensure that visits are available for those who need them, we ask that you request a home visit only when you are too sick to travel to the surgery. A lack of available transport is not a reason to request a home visit but if you are in that situation, please give us a call as we can re-schedule your appointment or put you in touch with the Patient Transport Service, who will bring you to the surgery for a small charge.
Q. Why can't I get an appointment TODAY?
A. Sometimes you can, so please ask! However, when appointments are tight we allocate on-the-day appointments based on clinical need. If you have symptoms that suggest your health may be at risk by delaying 24 or 48 yours, then we will see you the same day. However, the number of appointments that we hold to provide this cover for emergency cases is limited, so we have to allocate on-the-day appointments strictly on a needs basis. Usually, we can give you an appointment within 2 days but if you insist on seeing a specific GP then you may have to wait longer.
Q. How long will my appointment last?
A. We have found that to make as many appointments available as possible but to still allow sufficient time to discuss most ailments, a 10 minute appointment is the optimal length; therefore, our GP appointments are for a 10 minute duration. Obviously, this is just a weighted average time, based on our experience, so if you think that you will need longer than 10 minutes, or have multiple problems that you wish to discuss with the Doctor, then please ask to book a double appointment.
Q. Can I bring someone with me?
A. The simple answer is yes. Please bear in mind that the Doctor will be able to treat only you, if your companion has an issue to discuss with the GP, then they will need to book their own appointment. Please bear in mind that during the course of the consultation, your companion my become privy to your confidential medical information.
Q. What if I can't make it to my appointment?
A. We ask that you call and let us know in advance. In that way, we can release the appointment for someone else. We monitor non-attendance and have no option but to deal with repeat offenders in line with our 'DNA Policy', which can be read here:DNA Policy
Q. What will happen if I am late?
A. If you are late then we will still try to see you; however, you will have to wait until the next available slot, which may not be until the end of that surgery session. Occasionally, the GP may not be able to see you at all if you are late. Please phone ahead if you can, it may be that the doctor can see another patient out of sequence.
Q. Why do I have to wait past my appointment time?
A. Occasionally, this can be due to a patient not following the self check-in process to the end. Please ask if you are unfamiliar with our check-in machine!
Sometimes a GP will run late simply because of the nature of the job. Our 10 minute appointment slots are based on an average consultation time. Sometimes, a patient presents with a condition that needs a more detailed examination, sometimes a patient takes a turn for the worse due to anxiety, sometimes the GP is called away to an emergency visit at a patient's home or a care home- resulting in an extended consultation and a GP that is now running late. Obviously, we won't simply end an appointment just because "the patient's 10 minutes is up" however, that will result in the GP running late.
To minimize the knock on effect, we split the day into sessions, so that a GP running late in the early session will catch up during what would be a coffee or lunch break and start the next session on time.
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