Our Appointment System
A little information about how our appointment system is set up...
We have two full time General Practitioner (GP) partners at this practice.
In addition to seeing patients at the surgery, our doctors have to fit in the following work
- Home visits
- Medical reports
- Patient referral letters
- Dealing with correspondence regarding patients
- Processing and checking repeat prescription requests
- Audit work
- Continuing education and update
- Negotiation and correspondence with the Primary Care Trust
- Monitoring of performance against Department of Health Targets
- General administration of practice business
Our GPs are also involved in the following activities outside practice time
- Out of Hours shifts
- Medical politics
- Continuous professional learning
- Private medical work at patients’ request, e.g. medical examinations, medical reports, certification.
As you will appreciate, the doctors’ time needs to be carefully managed in order to fit everything into their schedule.
We try to offer a range of appointment times and modes of access to GP advice, to cater for the great majority of our patients. However, sometimes the demand for appointments does outstrip availability. Our doctors have set their holiday entitlement within the partnership to maximise time available for patients and the above work, while ensuring they get rest away from the practice to achieve a safe work-life balance. We make use of locum doctors to cover gaps in appointment provision where financially possible.
Our practice nurses are a great resource to us and an appointment with one of them is often an appropriate alternative to a GP. Our reception staff are able to guide patients in deciding if this might be appropriate if given some idea of the issue. (We understand however, that you may not wish to divulge information to a receptionist and fully respect this.)
We find that as a general rule patient demand for appointments is greater on a Monday, Tuesday and Friday. We have therefore set up our appointment system to reflect this in order to cope with “on the day” requests and urgent/emergency appointment requests. We also state that if a patient feels they need to be urgently seen, we do our very best to accommodate them. In order to get the best from our appointment system, we need to monitor the number of wasted appointments. We request that patients do their best to let us know as early as possible when they cannot attend a booked appointment so that it can be offered to somebody else.
We try to make it as easy as possible for patients to contact the surgery to make appointments. We have introduced an on-line appointment booking facility. Patients wishing to use this facility should ask our reception staff for the necessary passwords needed to register via our website.
Where patients feel a query can be addressed by talking to a doctor by telephone, this can be arranged with one of our receptionists.
We are grateful that in most cases our patients are understanding of the above and request appointments only where necessary. We thank you for working with us to make the most of the available appointments.