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The telephone appointment service
Giving You Quicker Access to Your Doctor
The surgery has a new service that will help you to get the appointment you need, whenever you need it.
If you want advice about a health problem, you can now have an appointment by telephone and speak directly to your doctor by phone on the day that you call. You can use the telephone appointment service for urgent and non-urgent health problems.
This is how it works:
Call us on the main surgery telephone number and ask to make an appointment with the doctor.
The receptionist will ask you for your name and telephone number. If you need to speak to the doctor urgently, because it's an emergency, tell the receptionist straightaway.
The receptionist will ask you to say generally what your health problem is. You don't have to tell the receptionist if you don't want to. But if you can, it helps the doctor to decide whom to prioritise for a call back based on clinical need.
If you want to talk to a specific doctor, tell the receptionist. Wherever possible they will arrange it.
- If your doctor thinks you need to come into the surgery to be seen, or if you would still like to come in, he or she will make an appointment for you.
When you call the surgery, if your doctor is busy he or she will call you back as soon as they can. If you want us to call you between certain times then tell us and, where possible, we will arrange that.
Questions & Answers
- Why is the surgery offering telephone appointments?
You have told us that sometimes you find it frustraiting and difficult to get the appointment you need, when you need it. By offering telephone appointments and giving advice, we can ensure that everyone is able to speak to, or see, their doctor on the day that they call or on the day they choose.
Many people don't need to come into the surgery to be seen at all; their problem can be dealt with by telephone. This gives your doctor more time to see those people that need appointments in the surgery. And, because your doctor is the one making the appointments, he or she can judge how much time you might need and give you a long or short appointment. This helps appointments to run to time and means you're more likely to be seen on time. We also know that when people make an appointment close to the date that they call, they are more likely to keep the appointment.
Telephone the main surgery number and tell the receptionist that your health problem is urgent. He or she will put you straight through to a doctor if one is free. If all of the doctors are busy, the receptionist will make sure that doctor calls you back as soon as they can.
- Can I still telephone to make an appointment for a home visit?
When you speak to the doctor ask for a home visit. If your doctor thinks you need to be seen at home, he or she will arrange this when you speak to them.
- Are telephone appointments safe?
During your call with the doctor, he or she will ask questions to help them make a decision about whether you need to be seen in person or not. For example, if your doctor needs to look at something or examine you, you will be asked to come into the surgery for the appointment. If your doctor thinks you need to be seen he or she will always ask you to come in to the surgery.
- What happens if I have trouble using the telephone?
If you have difficulty using a telephone you can still come in to the surgery to book an appointment. You will be added to the doctors list and they will book your appointment or advise you in the same way.
- Can I still book an appointment for next week or next month?
You can still book your appointments in advance. However, because you can get an appointment on any day that you call, you shouldn't need to book ahead.
- Will I be seen quicker if I come into the surgery?
Unless your problem is an emergency, you won't be seen more quickly if you come into the surgery to make an appointment. You may have to wait at the surgery, so if you can telephone for an appointment, it's usually more convenient for you.
I'm not comfortable telling the receptionist what is wrong, do I have to?
Knowing what your health problem is generally helps the staff at the surgery to make sure those people with more urgent problems are seen quickly. However, you don't have to tell the receptionist what is wrong. If you are not comfortable talking about your health problem, simply say you would rather not and the receptionist will respect your wishes.
If you cannot attend an appointment for any reason please inform us as soon as possible in order for us to give the slot to someone else.