APPOINTMENTS - THINK BEFORE YOU BOOK
Please click here to view our guide to getting the right help before booking an appointment
APPOINTMENT CAPACITY – THE PROBLEM
General Practice in the UK is under severe and unprecedented pressure. Our workload has increased substantially in recent years but unfortunately our funding has remained largely static in real terms. The difficulty booking appointments has been fuelled in part by:
An ageing population
An increased proportion of our population with multiple complex conditions
A move towards providing care at home or away from hospitals
The additional pressures on the social care system
Increased patient expectations
A significant reduction in the number of doctors training to be GPs in our area
The increasing number of patients who fail to attend for their appointment
We have listened to your feedback and are changing our systems to improve our ability to provide appointments.
APPOINTMENTS - HOW WE ARE CHANGING TO HELP FREE UP CAPACITY
To maximize our appointment availability, we have introduced a more diverse mix of clinicians including nurse practitioners, advanced clinical practitioner, pharmacist, pharmacy technician as well as our team of doctors, practice nurses and healthcare assistants.
We also have access to and support from many services provided by colleagues from other organisations. Increasingly it is possible to access these services without the need to see a doctor for a referral. This avoids the need to take up an unnecessary appointment and reduces the overall waiting time.
We have moved to a system where appointment requests are triaged by a doctor prior to booking. This means that we will need to collect more information from patients at the time of requesting an appointment in order to make sure that you see the most appropriate person in the quickest possible time. Alternatively, you can use the link on our website home page to request help. The link will guide you through the same questions as our admin would ask, but without the need to call us.
APPOINTMENTS - THINK BEFORE YOU BOOK
If you have chest pain or your complaint is an emergency – dial 999/attend A+E straight away.
Before you contact us to book an appointment, please consider the following:
Can my problem be self-managed? Please see our self-help page for useful information.
Can I self-refer myself directly to the most appropriate service? Please see our self-referral page for more details.
Please ask a member of our admin team if they can help to sort out your enquiry. Our admin team is often able to help and this may save the need for you to attend for an appointment.
If you do need an appointment, please give the admin team as much information as possible, so they can book you in with the correct clinician.
If you think your problem can be dealt with over the telephone, please advise us so that we can arrange a suitable telephone consultation. If you think your problem is so serious that it needs to be dealt with today, please tell us so that we can arrange for someone to call you back the same day.
If your problem is less urgent, you may have to wait for the next routine appointment. However, if the problem worsens and becomes urgent, please let us know.
REMEMBER TO ATTEND FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT
We realise that many of our appointments are booked several weeks in advance. Please remember to attend. If you have a mobile phone, we will send you an appointment confirmation text at the time you book your appointment, followed by a reminder text approximately 24 hours before your scheduled appointment.
IF YOU NO LONGER NEED YOUR APPOINTMENT, PLEASE REMEMBER TO CANCEL IT
Thankfully, the vast majority of patients do contact us if they no longer require an appointment. However, every month, we lose between 10 and 12 hours of valuable consulting time because patients fail to turn up for their appointment. That’s around 250 appointments per month.
If you have online access, you can cancel an appointment online. Alternatively, you can telephone the practice and select the option to cancel an appointment. You will hear a recorded message, after which you should leave your name and details of the appointment you wish to cancel.
If you fail to attend for an appointment, you may receive a letter from us explaining the problems this causes and the need for improvement. If you fail to attend repeatedly, we will ask you to meet with us to discuss the problem further.
APPOINTMENTS - THINK BEFORE YOU BOOK - Please click here to view our guide to getting the right help before booking an appointment