***New appointment system***
Starts on Monday 11th November 2019.
The demand for appointments has escalated beyond our control, so the time you have to wait for an appointment has become unacceptable. The new system we propose has been used successfully in other practices in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. It enables you to obtain a medical opinion (for either routine or urgent problems), and an appointment if required, on the day that you choose to contact the practice. No GP appointments can be booked in advance, either online or via the receptionists.
Please note that all nurse appointments e.g. for blood tests, dressings, smears, asthma clinics, immunisations, etc will still be bookable in advance as they are currently. Ordering of prescriptions is not affected by this change.
How do I get an appointment?
On the day you wish to be seen or have your problem discussed, either for a routine or an urgent matter, please telephone the surgery as early as possible in the day (and before 3.30pm to allow time for the GP to phone you back).
We have upgraded our telephone system and staffing arrangements with the aim of being able to cope with the degree of demand that we predict will occur. The receptionist will take the telephone number that you can be contacted on and will indicate the approximate time you will be phoned back. You will be asked for the name of the GP that is dealing with your case currently, and if available that GP will phone you back. For urgent matters the Duty GP may phone you.
If you can briefly state the reason for your request it helps the GP to prioritise cases. If a face to face appointment is required we hope to offer this on the same day with the clinician best suited to help, e.g. GP, Nurse Practitioner, Practice Nurse, Paramedic or Practice Pharmacist. Depending on demand it may be necessary to offer an appointment on another day. When you are seen, if the GP feels you need to make a review appointment, you’ll be given a slip to take to reception to pre-book a routine review.
PLEASE NOTE - you must be available at the number you give. The GP will not have time to repeatedly phone if you do not answer. GPs will try a maximum of 2 times. You cannot request a phone back on a different day. Monday tends to be the busiest day dealing with urgent problems that develop over the weekend, so for routine matters we request that you call later in the week.
EMERGENCIES ONLY AFTER 3.30PM
Help the system work
If you have difficulty getting through on the phone please persevere. We still have a finite number of phones and staff to answer them. You may also enquire in person at the reception desk for a GP to phone you back. For any system to work patients must use it responsibly. Try not to make repeated calls for trivial matters. Remember there are alternative sources of help - your local Community Pharmacist can advise on remedies for minor conditions. Podiatrists can advise on foot problems. Physiotherapists can deal with many back and neck problems. Reliable advice can be obtained from www.patient.info and www.nhs.uk. Please do not block phone lines asking if prescriptions are ready. Only phone for blood or x-ray results after 4pm when phones lines are quieter.
We acknowledge that some patients may find this system less convenient. However, the current situation is not sustainable and we feel we have to make a change for the benefit of the majority of patients and to make access to a GP opinion more efficient. Please understand that this change is made with the best of intentions.
Thank you for you support.