To improve the availability of a doctor to you we have introduced a new system called “Doctor First”.
Our aim is to create a more efficient appointment system with immediate access to a clinician, thereby ensuring that you receive the most appropriate care straight away.
The main change to our system will be that our patients will have all of their doctor (urgent or routine) booked through a doctor after speaking to them on the telephone. Appointments to see one of our practice nurses are booked through reception as before.
When requesting an appointment, the receptionist will confirm your contact details as before. We will ask you to confirm your telephone number, you will then be put on a list for the doctor to call you back (usually the same morning/afternoon). Our receptionists will ask patients for basic details of the nature of the problem. This is asked so that calls can be prioritised appropriately based on clinical need. You can of course decline to give this information.
Some of the advantages to the new system are:-
The doctor may be able to deal with your problem while you are on the telephone (e.g. advice, prescriptions, referrals etc) saving you a journey.
If a face to face appointment is still needed, then the doctor will ensure that you are given the most appropriate appointment to suit your individual needs. This will mean that you are seen by the most suitable clinician within a suitable time span (on the same day in most cases).
It may be suggested by the doctor while on the phone, that you need further investigations/tests before coming into see the doctor. Again this saves an unnecessary journey to the surgery.
With this system, we are ensuring that you will be speaking to the person most qualified to assess your problem, rather than a receptionist.
Please click on the following link for more information:
All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present for any consultation, examination or procedure where they feel one is required. Sometimes you may wish to be accompanied by a family member or friend. At other times you may wish to have a formal chaperone present ie a female member of our clinical team, though at busy times the chaperone may be a member of our support team. Wherever possible please make this request at the time of booking your appointment, so that we can make the necessary arrangements. Whilst we will always do our best to provide a chaperone if requested, this may necessitate us re-scheduling your appointment for a time when a chaperone can be present. Your healthcare professional may also require a chaperone to be present, for certain consultations, in accordance with our chaperone policy.
Get the most out of your Dr First consultation:
- Write down the key questions you wish to ask.
- If you are already receiving medication write down the medicines and pills.
- Make a note of when you started to feel unwell, your symptoms and any other contributing factors such as a recent holiday or injury.
- Make sure you share all information with your GP. Sometimes it is the small details that help inform the doctor about your possible condition.
- Be as open and honest as you can and don’t be embarrassed. GPs are trained to deal with the intimate and uncomfortable and will understand your embarrassment so should support you.
- During the consultation, do not be afraid to ask the GP to repeat what she or he has told you and repeat back your understanding of what has been said to avoid any misunderstandings.
- Make sure you fully understand what the next steps are.
If the GP wants to see you for a face to face appointment:
- Ask a friend or family member to come with you if it would help you.
- Ask your GP to write down anything you don’t understand and make a note of the consultation after the appointment.
- Make sure you fully understand what the next steps are before you leave the room.
What can I do if the receptionist asks me questions that I find difficult to answer in the waiting room?
If you feel uncomfortable at any time, you can ask the receptionist to find somewhere more private to talk to them, or tell the receptionist that you would rather give your details to the doctor or nurse who sees you.
GP appointments are available until 8pm on weekdays and weekends. Ask reception for information on how to access these appointments.
If the doctor has requested an X-Ray for you it is important that you attend one of the Open Access sessions as listed in the attached leaflet. Alternatively, you can ring the Radiology Appointments team to arrange an appointment on one of the numbers in the attached leaflet.