The NHS requires the practice use a model of ‘total triage’ of face-to-face appointments. This reduces the risk to patients and staff from coronavirus infection, and allows the appropriate use of limited PPE supplies.
When you telephone the practice, our Care Navigator will ask you your date of birth then name to identify you. If you need advice or care from a doctor or nurse consultant, they need a brief description of your problem to ensure that we can prioritise urgent care. The information is confidential to us and to you. ‘Personal’ demotes you to the bottom of the list! A clinician (doctor or nurse) will call you back within 2 hours, or before 6.30pm. They will arrange a face to face appointment if your problem cannot be safely dealt with in a telephone or video consultation.
If you have been asked to book a face to face appointment with a practice nurse or health care assistant, please inform the care navigator what needs to be done, so they can book you with the right person for the right length of time.
Surgery appointments with our GPs and nurse consultant are 15 minutes long. Unlike a few other GP practices, we don’t insist on ‘one appointment, one problem’. We do request that you are mindful of your appointment length out of consideration to other patients. (We also need to minimise waits and maximise social distancing in our small waiting area.) The statement ‘I’ve waited weeks to see you so …’ applies as much to them as it does to you. Please organise what you want to discuss. Begin with the most important problem. If we can’t cover everything in a single visit, then less urgent matters can safely be left to a second appointment to give them the airing they deserve.
If you don’t intend to keep a booked face-to-face appointment, please phone or email us in good time, in order that another patient can make use of it.