The practice will be making some important changes to our appointment system from 5th October 2020.
The new system is designed to make sure patients with the most urgent medical needs can get priority same day access to a clinician. We will also continue to offer a range of appointment types designed to provide the highest quality routine care to our patients. There are no changes planned to appointments with the nurses and healthcare assistants (including blood tests) which can still be booked in the usual way by calling reception.
What Appointments can I Book?
1. Most of our appointments will now be only bookable online. Anyone registered as a patient can book an appointment using this system without the need of any additional information. A guide of how to use the system is available here. Please note you do not need to consult online just because you have booked online, you can request a call back instead. Book Now Here.
2. We will also offer a significant number of same day and pre-bookable telephone appointments. These can be booked by calling the surgery. They are only for people who cannot book online and Patient Services Team members will be checking this with callers before booking the appointment.
How do the Online Bookable Appointments Work?
Each day the appointments will be opened in the morning for you to book using the online system. Please read a guide on how to use this system here. It is not a barrier to accessing your doctor as you can either consult online or use the system to request the doctor calls you back. You can request a named doctor and we will try to allocate you that doctor unless they are fully booked that day. You and your doctor will together decide if it would be beneficial to see you in person.
What can I do if there are no appointments on the day I want to be seen?
Each week we will advertise on the website which doctors are in on which day to help you determine when would be the best day to book your appointment. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays are the busiest days so you may find it easier to obtain an appointment on a midweek day. If you cannot book an appointment on the day you want one then we would suggest you try to obtain an appointment on a different day. However, see below for information about what to do if you are worried it may be unsafe to wait for an appointment on a different day.
How do I book a follow-up appointment with my Doctor?
If your doctor requests you book a follow up appointment you have two options:
1. If you cannot use the online system then you can call reception and book a telephone appointment with your doctor up to one week in advance;
2. Everyone else should wait until the week when the doctor has suggested the follow up appointment. You can then check on the website which days the doctor you need is in and then on that day choose the follow up appointment option on the online system.
How Can I Access Urgent Care from the Practice?
If you need to access care from the practice urgently, and feel your problem cannot safely wait for a routine appointment, then you have two options:
1. You can usually book a same day appointment online by clicking here. You do not need a login and you can request for the doctor to call you back or conduct the appointment online. If you and the doctor feel you need to be seen in person then that will be arranged;
2. If your problem is urgent, and you cannot use the online system, you can call the surgery in the morning for an urgent call back from the duty doctor.
If there are no online appointments left to be booked for that day we would suggest that you try to book an appointment on the following working day. However, if you are worried it is not safe to wait until then you can still call the surgery for help. A member of the Patient Services Team will take your information and pass this on for same day triage by the On-Call Team.
What is the On-Call Team and what is Triage?
The On-Call Team is made up of a senior GP, Nurse Practitioner or Physicians Associate, Pharmacy Team member, and a trained member of the Patient Services Team. Please note that the On-Call Team’s job is to provide care to patients who have a problem which cannot safely wait for a routine appointment. This will be determined by the On-Call Team in discussion with the patient. You will receive a call back from the member of the team who is most appropriate to deal with your problem; this may not be the GP.
The On-Call Team will triage all calls passed to them to decide with you what would be the safest course of action. The team will ensure medical emergencies, palliative care and vulnerable patients are prioritised. Following triage you may still be advised to wait for a routine appointment if your problem has been reviewed as not requiring same day intervention. However, you will now be able to do this having been reassured that it is safe to do so following a review by the On-Call Team.
What Sort of Problems are Appropriate for the On-Call Team?
It is impossible to provide a comprehensive list but some examples of appropriate problems for same day review by the on-call team would include:
• A wound, animal bite, or other minor injury that requires same day attention but does not require A&E;
• An unwell child where self-care measures (see NHS self-care website) are failing and the community pharmacist has already been consulted;
• Difficulty breathing. However, if you cannot complete sentences you should call 999;
• Cough productive of coloured sputum with fever;
• A newly confused patient with or without fever;
• A fall or loss of consciousness that day;
• New severe abdominal pain;
• A spreading hot red rash with or without fever;
• A newly swollen, hot or red joint;
• Palliative and/or end of life patients;
• Safeguarding adult or children concerns;
• Pregnancy complications (please speak to your midwife first).
We would expect problems such as sore throats, cough and cold symptoms, diarrhoea and vomiting, insect bites etc. to wait until the next available same day online bookable appointment.
Specialist help with urgent eye problems can be accessed by calling the Eye Emergencies Line on: 0116 326 5588
Urgent mental health support can be accessed by calling the Central Access Point (CAP) on 0116 295 3060 (this is for new and existing mental health problems). Patients already under the care of a mental health team should call them in the first instance. The practice can offer urgent mental health support if that is your preference or if you have not been able to access the help you need using the methods outlined above.
If you have new chest pain, severe breathlessness, a non-blanching rash, heavy bleeding or symptoms suggestive of a stroke (facial weakness, slurred speech, limb weakness) you should call 999.