Non-urgent advice: Please Note
Surgeries are all run by appointment. Each appointment is for 10 minutes except urgent appointments which are for 5 minutes. Appointments can be booked in advance or, for more urgent cases, on the same day. We offer appointments to try and reduce the time you spend waiting in the surgery. We do strive to keep to time though inevitably there are occasions when we will be running late. These times are usually when either a patient has an unusually complex problem (or several important problems) or when we are called out of surgery for an emergency visit. Please remember to come on time for your appointment, if you arrive late then you may hold up other patients and you may be asked to make another appointment.
There are different types of appointment:
Routine appointments – Used for non-emergency problems and chronic conditions under regular review, e.g. high blood pressure, and repeat prescription check-ups. These should be with your usual doctor. We do try and offer sufficient appointments and keep the number of appointments under continuous review. Inevitably there are times of high demand and it may take several days to get to see the doctor of your choice. Please let us know if you experience any trouble getting an appointment. Some routine appointments can be booked weeks in advance, while the computer also releases some that can be booked on the same day. These are released at 08:00 for all book on the day appointments.
Emergency appointments – Each day we reserve some appointments for emergencies or urgent problems. These appointments are triaged by the duty doctor of the day who will telephone to discuss the problem before booking you into an appointment if necessary. Please use these if you are very worried about your condition or if you feel you cannot wait to see your usual doctor, for instance if you are in acute pain. We are always prepared to see emergency problems on the same day.
It is possible to book a telephone appointment with the duty doctor in the morning where health matters can be discussed. Obviously there needs to be some discretion here. It is more difficult to diagnose conditions over the telephone, especially rashes, but some things can be dealt with such as medication inquiries and health advice. If you are not sure whether an appointment or visit is required then the duty doctor can advise.
In co-operation with TPP, our computer supplier, we are running a service that gives patients access to the practice via the internet. It allows you to make, cancel or check your appointments as well as advise us of changes of address. We hope the facility, similar to on-line banking, will be more convenient for you and will also give our reception staff more time to deal with other enquiries.
How it works – At busy times it can be sometimes difficult to contact the practice by telephone, and after hours there is no one to answer the phone for routine enquiries. Using the internet, you will be able to view a range of free appointments available and take your time to choose the best one for you. Only Routine Doctor appointments are available in this way
Getting Started – Before you can use the internet appointment booking facility, you must first register on the system. Bring some sort of identification into the surgery (your passport or new style driving license would be ideal), and ask at the reception for a registration form. You can then access the web site and enter the registration details shown on the form.
After registering, you log on with your patient number and a password. You will then be able to view appointments you have already made, cancel them if necessary, and book an appointment with your doctor after checking the times available,
Security – We take information security for our patients very seriously. By working with TPP, the company that provides the computer systems for this practice we can ensure that the information you provide when using the internet facility is protected. All communications with the practice web site are encrypted, using the same high security that major banks use for their internet transactions (128 bit SSL). Only you can see the personal information you enter. The web site is administered at a remote high-security site managed by TPP, not at the practice, so there is no possibility of unauthorised access. Using the most up-to-date version of your web browser also improves security of information. Remember to close the browser after use, especially if someone else could access your computer.
How do I gain access to this service? – You will first need to be given a temporary password and instructions on how to activate yourself on the system. You need to ask the surgery for this information, and for security reasons only you can do this in person to get your access details. You then need to log onto the online booking website via the link at the top of this page.
Initially you will need to fill in some details and create your profile on the system. You will then only need to remember your personal ID, and the password you select yourself.
How do I use the system? – Once registered, log on to the website and you will be presented with options to view, book, or cancel your appointments. (You can book up to 2 future appointments only). You will be shown which appointments are available for booking for the participating doctors at the surgery, and clicking the time will allow you to immediately book that slot. This will immediately display at the surgery on our appointment sheets. Once you confirm on the website no further action is required except to turn up for the appointment! Please remember to telephone or go back online as soon as possible, if you find later you need to cancel the appointment.
Will it disadvantage those without internet access? – We hope this will make booking an appointment a little easier for those who use it. However as a result of some patients booking online, other patients without web access, should find that it will become a little easier for them to get through to our busy phone lines to make their appointments that way.