Important Practice services, updates, changes and announcements

Please be patient. Please be kind

All our health services are under enormous pressure and we are working extremely hard. We are open and here if needed. Please work with us to help us ensure you get the right help or care, in the right place and at the right time by the appropriate health professional for your needs.

You do not need to shout at us, swear at us, call us names or make derogatory remarks about our services. We are here to help and help we will.

Please treat those who are trying to help you with respect and kindness

APPOINTMENTS:

We have temporarily suspended our online appointment booking facility. This is to help us better manage and/or signpost to other services in order to relieve the high demand for appointments. To contact the practice, use eConsult, or telephone us on 023 9285 1199.  

  • Most appointment requests will be triaged by a clinician by telephone or eConsult before any decision can be made regarding attending the surgery
  • DO NOT bring urine/faecal/skin/nail samples to the Practice unless we ask you to do so
  • You should not attend the surgery unless you have an appointment. (This is to minimise the risk of virus transmission to patients and staff)
  • You should not bring an escort unless absolutely necessary. (This is to minimise the risk of virus transmission to patients and staff) 
  • You should NOT attend your appointment if you have developed symptoms of COVID-19 symptom checker
  • We have limited capacity in the waiting room as we promote social distancing
  • We kindly ask that all patients attending the surgery wear a face mask, some form of face covering or face shield
  • video/online consultations are available - please inform us if you would like to use this facility. You will need a form of ID and 'SMART' phone

CHANGES TO PRESCRIPTIONS:

To help protect patients and our staff by reducing the need for patients to visit our Practices to request prescriptions, we have changed our prescription request process. You can request medication in the following ways: 

  • SystmOnline service If you are not signed up call us on 023 9285 1199 between 2pm and 5pm. Registration is easy, all you will need is an email address and to answer some security questions to confirm your ID
  • AIRMID App (recommended), click to download to your mobile phone. Airmid allows you to coordinate your care across the NHS, from requesting medication, to booking appointments and video consultations, plus much more. Registration is simple; self register using the NHS Login service. Existing SystmOnline users can register using their existing username and password
  • NHS App download to your mobile phone

PRESCRIPTIONS ARE NO LONGER COLLECTABLE FROM THE SURGERY

All prescriptions are now sent electronically to your pharmacist. Please make sure you have a nominated pharmacy for us to send your prescription to. You can do this by calling us or by letting your local pharmacy know that you wish to sign up for electronic prescribing with them. In the absence of a nominated pharmacy, we will register you with the one closest to your address.

 

 

Why are GP practices still working differently?

If the pandemic is over, why can't I book a face to face GP appointment?  

The pandemic is not over

GP practices are open but are working differently in order to protect patients and staff. To protect the most clinically vulnerable patients who are in contact with our health services, physical distancing, mask wearing and hand sanitization remains in place.

How are practices working now?

Most practices are using a 'telephone first' service

This allows the team to assess patients over the 'phone and consider who needs to be seen in person and when a telephone, video or face to face consultation may be appropriate. This helps to ensure that everyone gets the type of appointment they need and that patients don't have to travel to the practice unnecessarily.

Why am I seeing someone who is not my GP?

Many GP practices have teams of specialists working alongside the GPs

These teams have widened and may include Nurses, Health Care Assistants, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Physician Associates, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Mental Health workers and Community Links workers.

It may be that your needs can be dealt with more effectively by one of these team members.

Why do reception staff (Care Navigators*) ask personal questions?

GP reception staff are vital members of the practice team and treat all information as confidential.

They ask questions to ensure that patients are directed (signposted) to the best support within and outside of the practice.

They are trained to ensure patients are seen by the most appropriate member of the practice team or other health service, which enables GPs to prioritise the patients with the greatest clinical need.

 

What about emergencies?

If you have an urgent health issue, please contact us during the day, as early as possible

Most of our GP-type appointments are bookable on-the-day but demand is very high. Our telephone line opens at 08.00am

If you have an urgent issue and think you may need to attend the Emergency Department, please call NHS 111 service, day or night

If you have a life-threatening emergency please call 999 or go to your local Emergency Department

*Care Navigators

Care Navigators have access to a directory of information about services to point patients to the most appropriate source of help, advice and support.

On many occasions, a GP might not be the most suitable person for the patient to speak to or see. Patients can often be seen much quicker by a nurse or physiotherapist for example. In some places, a GP practice may not even be the right place for an enquiry.

The next time that you make an appointment at our practice, you may be asked some questions about the reason for your appointment.

Don’t be offended by this – it’s simply so that the Care Navigator can ensure that you see the person best suited to help you. We want you to see the right person, first.

The Care Navigator is not being nosy, and will respect both your privacy and your right to say ‘no.’

Care Navigators will play an important role in not only help you to access faster healthcare, but also ensuring that GPs can dedicate most of their time to those patients who most need their help.

It is a tried and tested model of care that improves access to primary care services for patients and reduces GP pressures.

It allows front line staff to provide patients with more information about local health and wellbeing services, both within and outside of primary care, in a safe, effective way. It is about offering patients choice and help to access the most appropriate service first. It means that other patients will find it easier to get a GP appointment when they need one. Care Navigators are receptionists and admin staff who have been given specialist training to help them direct patients to the right health professional first time.

How it works

When a patient contacts the practice for an appointment, the Care Navigator will ask for a brief outline of the problem so they can identify the patient’s need.

You won’t be asked to divulge any personal or confidential information and you can refuse of course, the option is yours and you will never be refused a GP appointment. Please be assured that if you need to see a GP, you will get to see a GP.

Care Navigators will never try to diagnose your problem or offer you clinical advice; this new way of working is about offering you the choice to see other health professionals who will be more appropriate than the GP and who may often be able to see you quicker and easier.

Their goal is to ensure that patients get the right care at the right time in the right place with the right outcome. For example, when a patient presents with symptoms that would be better dealt with by another service, such as a pharmacist or optician, patients can be confidently offered these choices, allowing them to go straight to the service which best meets their health and wellbeing needs. We call this 'sign posting'