Doctor and Nurse Consultant care
Before asking to speak with a nurse or GP, please consider if you could find the same information or advice elsewhere, for example the NHS Choices website, NHS111, your local pharmacy, dentist or optician.
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.
It is important that you telephone the Surgery early in the day if you may need a face-to-face appointment, in order that we can plan patient care for the day.
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 usually call you back within 2 hours, or before 6.30pm.
If you are calling because one of our doctors or nurses asked you to, please let the Care Navigator know. Where continuity of your care is important, we will try to ensure the same clinician returns your call. It is, however, important to understand that many of our staff work (often full-time) less than five days a week, and that urgent problems need to be assessed by our duty clinician.
Our GP’s and Nurse Consultant take turns in being duty clinician. The duty clinician strives to make a prompt initial phone contact, but our availability has made us victims of our own success. A duty clinician may deal with over 100 patient contacts each day.
Telephone, online and video consultations play an increasing role in GP and nurse care. They aren’t suitable for a lot of medical problems, but are safe, convenient for patients and clinicians, and an effective use of time when used correctly.
The duty clinician will arrange a face to face appointment if your problem cannot be safely dealt with in a ‘remote’ consultation.
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.