NO LONGER NEED YOUR APPOINTMENT? THEN PLEASE CANCEL BY CALLING 01438 347331 YOU MAY ALSO CALL ENQUIRIES ON 313001 TO CANCEL, IF YOU BOOKED ONLINE THEN YOU MAY CANCEL ONLINE.
Appointments: 01438 727273
The appointments line is open between 8.15am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 6.30pm.
8.15am to 10am and 1.30pm to 2.30pm are our peak times
Call after 10.30am to book GP routine follow ups, NHS Health Checks, Vaccine appointments, blood tests, annual reviews and other nurse appointments. You can also use our econsult system to contact us for routine matters.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION At the moment we are offering a telephone consultation with the GP first rather than face to face . If the GP needs to see you face to face this will be arranged by the GP during the telephone consultation.
Doctors offer appointments in morning surgery to speak to or see their patients between 8.30am and 11.00am or 9.00am and 11.30am dependant on the doctor. Afternoon surgeries are run between 2.15pm and 5.00pm dependant on the doctor. Outside of 11.00am and 5.00pm the duty doctor deals with any queries, emergencies or visit requests. All partners form part of the duty rota. Out of hours doctors are available if the surgery is closed.
The appointment system is managed by the partners at the practice. Results from the National Patient Surveys and the Local NHS monitoring balanced scorecard, is taken into consideration when making any improvements to the system. The surgery does not offer open surgeries. The appointment system offers 3 types of appointments. Advance appointments for booking ahead up to 1 month (4 weeks), a limited number of appointments that become available on the day, and emergency slots. An explanation of these types and how to book them is detailed below.
Advance appointments (routine follow ups):
Patients should ring the appointments line on 01438 727273, visit reception or book online(if you have a password). Patients will be offered the first available routine appointment with the doctor they usually see. If he or she is not available an alternative doctor will be offered. Patients experience fewer delays by phoning at quieter times. If it becomes apparent that the patient cannot wait until the next routine appointment, the receptionist will try to ascertain how best the patient may be accommodated and will look to the other types of appointments available. Referral to a senior member of staff may be required in some instances.
Book on the day appointments (same day)
Each doctor has a limited number of this type of appointment available each day. These appointments are embargoed for those patients who need to speak to or see a doctor on the same day as they are telephoning (the patient will be given an actual appointment time) and they are released each morning at 8.15am. These appointments are given on a first come first served basis.
Emergency slots (for urgent genuine medical problems)
Each doctor will have given an instruction to reception with regards to how they wish to have emergencies added to their fully booked surgery. Some of the doctors require their emergency patients to come down straight away whilst their surgery is running whilst others see their emergencies at the very end or beginning of their surgery. For this reason patients are not given an appointment time to see the doctor, they are given a time to come to the surgery and sit and wait to be fitted in. As a general rule patients are not booked into afternoon surgery whist morning surgery is still running as the doctor is still available to see the patient who has requested an emergency consultation. If there are circumstances where the patient cannot get to the surgery by the time the doctor finishes surgery, then the patient may be asked to call back when afternoon surgery commences in order to be seen that afternoon. Where it is uncertain if the medical emergency can wait until the next surgery commences then the duty doctor will be consulted. If the patient cannot call back the receptionist should pass the call to a senior member of staff who will assess the patient's circumstances and liaise with a doctor if necessary.
A patient who cannot wait for the next available bookable appointment can request to be seen as an emergency if all book on the day appointments have been used and it is an urgent matter that cannot wait. The receptionist will advise when the patient needs to present to the surgery to sit and wait to see the doctor. A receptionist cannot make a decision as to whether the matter is urgent for that morning or afternoon, by asking for details regarding the patients' symptoms, as they are not medically trained to assess. After discussions with a patient and establishing that a routine appointment does not meet their needs if all the book on the day appointments have been used, the receptionist may ask a range of general questions such as "do you feel it is urgent for today". If this is the case the receptionist will offer an emergency slot into the current surgery running i.e. am or pm and advise the patient accordingly. Details of the symptoms will then be requested by the receptionist. Patients are not obliged to offer this information but if they do so it is recorded on the emergency information so that the doctor can triage, by medical need, all of the emergency patients that have been added to their surgery. Patients should be advised that as the doctor is seeing them as an extra there might be a long wait involved, we do aim to keep this wait to less than 2 hours.
The surgery does not class the following as an emergency:
- Repeat prescriptions
- Sick notes, forms or other certificates
- Conditions of long standing (unless deterioration has occurred requiring medical attention that very day)
- Discussing non-medical matters
- THESE SLOTS MAY ONLY BE USED FOR A GENUINE MEDICAL EMERGENCY. THE DOCTORS MAY ADVISE YOU DURING THE CONSULTATION THAT YOU HAVE USED AN EMERGENCY SLOT INAPPROPRIATELY IF THEY FEEL THIS IS THE CASE
If the Doctor advises in your appointment or E slot that he/she would like to see you again about the problem in a few weeks time (the doctor will specify the timeframe.) We request that patients book the follow up appointment before leaving the surgery. This reduces the problem of trying to get an appointment with short notice.
It is not always possible to offer a choice of doctor or time.
Appointments can be booked via telephone, online or face to face at the reception desk.
If patients' requests are not in keeping with the practices usual process and it is not within the receiving receptionists remit to make a decision the receptionist will pass the patient to a senior administrator who will try to help the patient and gain a better understanding of their request. A doctor will also be referred to if the senior administrator feels this is required.
If you urgently need to see a doctor and the surgery is closed, phone NHS 111, free
Unable to attend or keep your telephone appointment?
Please let un know if you cannot attend your appointment by telephoning 01438 347331 or 01438 313001. Every week many appointments are wasted due to non-attendance. The surgery has a policy regarding not arriving for your appointment and you may be asked to register elsewhere if it is a regular occurrence. Where you have a telephone consultation booked the clinician will attempt to call you 3 times, where you do not answer this will be recorded as a DNA.
Your appointment is for yourself. Please do not try to squeeze in family members, they will need to book a separate appointment.
More than one problem to discuss with the doctor?
Do you have several things you wish to discuss with your doctor? If so please could we ask that you try, where possible, to book a double appointment. The doctor only has a set amount of time allocated to one appointment. By booking a double appointment your doctor may not need to ask you to come back at another time. It also helps the doctor to run to time. Thank you
Please let us know before 10am if you feel you need the doctor to visit you at home. You may be put through to a doctor or receive a telephone call from a doctor to assess the situation first. The doctor may feel that the situation can be dealt with over the telephone without visiting you. Visits at home are for patients whose medical condition is preventing them from attending the surgery. Several patients can be seen at the surgery in the time it takes to make a visit. Facilities at the surgery to examine and assess a patient are far better than at home. If the GP assesses that you do require a home visit then please be aware that it may not be a GP from this surgery. Your request may be passed to the Stevenage Acute In Hours visiting service.