Appointment Information

Non-urgent advice:

We are re-introducing online appointments and we are doing this as safely as possible and to ensure patients are booking the correct appointment.

We now have the following bookable online:

  • Extended Access  consultations will be available to book online via patient access (In-Practice and Telephone Appointments).  Please ensure if you are booking these that you add a recent / up to date contact number or the GP may be unable to contact you.  Please also note that the time(s) of the telephone call may vary as other calls may overrun or may need longer.  The calls should be expected between 7.00am-8.00am.
  • Nurse appointments – Smear checks, depo injections and pill reviews
  • Blood Test appointments – they are called ‘phlebotomy’ appointments online and can also be booked via patient access. Please ensure you have your blood form with you when attending for the appointment.  You cannot have your blood test without the form.
  • Physiotherapy Self-Referral Form: Please click here:

What is the Appointments process?

Useful Information and How to Book:

  • Please contact the practice by telephone as normal or call into the surgery.  Our Online Consultation service is now available: PATCHS
  • Due to high demand many of our appointments are now ‘same day’ appointments and you may be asked to take a call from the GP initially to assess your symptoms/issue.
  • Some appointments are directly booked into the face-2-face clinics, however we have to ensure that they are scheduled correctly and so if a direct face-2-face is needed the team will ask the GP first and contact you directly with a time to come to the surgery. This is not the team ‘refusing a GP appointment’ but ensuring the system works for all who visit the Practice, including the most vulnerable and poorly.
  • The Practice operates an assessment list daily for issues that cannot wait and you will be placed on the list for a call back from a GP.  You will be asked if there is a better time to call or times to avoid, please do volunteer this information when booking to avoid wasted appointments and frustration.
  • The GP will contact you by telephone 3 times and send a text message in-between if they cannot get hold of you.  Please ensure your telephone numbers are up to date and you have signal. You can give alternative telephone numbers to avoid disappointment.
  • You may be asked to send in photos via a secure web-link sent to a mobile phone.  This helps to support the GPs and is an essential part of our service.  If you cannot provide photos please let the team know who can inform the GP for the next course of action.
  • We are finding that our appointments can be booked by mid-morning, sometimes earlier on Mondays/Tuesdays.  All our GPs work 8 clinical sessions per week and up to 50hours (not including the additional early/late clinics) to ensure their workload is completed. We are always trying to add capacity into the system but are often finding demand outstrips supply.  We have a phone message that communicates to patients once the clinics are full for that day, and we appreciate that this can be frustrating.  Pressures elsewhere in the healthcare system also have an impact on our services.

“Face-to-face appointments will always remain a major element of general practice, and remote consultations will continue to be delivered where appropriate and useful. The mode of consultation should be determined through shared decision-making between a patient and practice staff”.

The Practice believes in this statement from the RCGP

What if I have an ongoing issue or one that doesn’t require a same-day appointment?

  • We are finding that demand is constantly increasing and we are having to look at ways to schedule our appointments differently.  We have a patient survey online ( Patient Research Experience Survey – The Results ) and we are working with the Accelerate Programme ( Practice Newsletter ) to review our appointments set-up to look at the types of appointments needed.
  • Demand is at a premium and while we’re aware that urgent issues need to be assessed, patients also have more routine issues they want to discuss with the GP.
  • The GP should have informed you of when they expect you to make an appointment (i.e. 4 weeks time, 2 months, 3 months etc).  We have changed our rota systems so that the GP should be able to book your review appointment 4 weeks in advance if needed.  It should be clearly indicated in your consultation notes when your review is needed and the team can book your appointment accordingly. Please do contact us in advance to book these.
  • Our early morning calls and late night clinics are a great way to book routine follow ups and these can be booked by patients online or by contacting the Practice Team
  • Not all routine issues require a GP appointment – medicine queries can be dealt with by our Practice Pharmacist for example. Please ask our team for more information.
  • Please do not book an appointment asking for the GP to expedite a referral or chase the hospital on your behalf.  We have no influence over the process.  If you are struggling because of this please contact the Hospital PALS teams.

Non-urgent advice:

We would also ask you to be polite and courteous when contacting our practice staff as they are trying to support you as best they can; unfortunately we are seeing an increase in abusive behaviours towards our staff and this will not be tolerated.   If you have concerns please ask to speak to the Practice Manager or e-mail: [email protected]

If you are asked to attend the surgery

  • Please only attend your appointment at the time given – we have space in our waiting area for you to wait, but this is limited.
  • Please bring a face covering with you and ensure it is in place ready for your appointment
  • We are restricting the number of patients who are in the building so we will ask you to attend your appointment alone wherever possible. If this is not possible please ensure you inform the reception team who can advise the nurse/GP

Non-urgent advice:

If you have any concerns or comments about the current process please contact us directly on the telephone number given and ask to speak to the practice manager.

To Cancel an Appointment

To cancel an appointment call 01606 544241 or cancel via the Patient Access website.  If you receive a text message reminder on your mobile phone you can also cancel by text.

Patients who do not cancel appointments and do not attend (DNA) put extra strain on the appointments system and it can make the time you wait for your appointment longer.

Further Appointment Information

Please be aware that physically seeing the doctor may not always be necessary.

Useful Information

  • Please check the practice team and their roles to see who can deal with your questions best.
  • Many problems concerning advice can be dealt with over the phone and it may be more convenient for the doctor to telephone you or for a video call. If you think this is appropriate please advise reception staff when you call. It might not be your usual GP who will contact you.
  • We will always endeavour to deal with urgent requests that day, but we need patients to work with us on this. We do not have a limitless supply of appointments; we have to put patient and staff safety as a priority meaning that we cannot see more and more patients on top of already full clinics.  More frequently we are seeing patients insist on an urgent appointment for what is a routine matter, which is an inappropriate use of the service and takes that urgent appointment away from someone who needs it.
  • If surgeries are already fully booked, and you do not feel that your problem will wait until the next day please do utilise the 111 service or the local pharmacy for advice.  The team are doing their best in very difficult circumstances.  They want to help and also find it difficult when they cannot offer patients what they want, so please be patient.