Our appointment system aims to offer all our patients appropriate access to a doctor, improve the availability of routine appointments and alleviate the pressure on the telephone at 8.30am when we open. Ideally you should only have to make one phone call and we do the rest.
All our doctors’ routine appointments can be made online, in person at reception or over the phone and can usually be booked 6 – 8 weeks in advance.
The direct phone line number is 01932 504450 (open 08.30am – 6.30pm week days).
If we have your mobile number we can send you a text reminder one week and 24 hours before your appointment is due. If you would like to use this service and have not advised the Practice of your mobile number or have changed your number please let us know. If you have registered for Patient Access these changes can be made online.
Booking your Appointment
Routine GP Appointments
If you are registered for on-line booking, you can book an appointment 24/7 with a doctor via the Church Street web site. This service is available to patients aged 16 and over and can be used after a patient has registered for the service and received their registration document. Parents can use it for their children and we can amend the details when you arrive at the surgery. You will have the same appointment choice as those booking by telephone or in person.
If you book by phone or in person, you will be offered the next available appointment with the doctor of your choice. You can ask to see any available doctor in the Practice as all doctors have access to your medical records. If the date and time is not convenient to your needs you will be offered an appointment with the next available doctor. Alternatively, a message can be left with your preferred doctor who will contact you when they are next available.
If your appointment is not urgent, it will usually be easier to get through on the telephone later in the day (after 10.00am).
On the Day Assessment
If you have a problem needing attention ‘on the day’ or you feel your medical condition cannot wait until the next available appointment then you will need ‘on the day’ assessment from our duty doctor.
The duty doctor role is shared by all our doctors on a rota (Monday to Friday) and they keep this role for the entire day without routine pre-booked appointments. The duty doctor has access to appointments not available for Reception to use.
It is our intention for you to receive an appropriate consultation with a doctor before the Government’s target of 2 working days – this may be face to face or over the telephone. If you have a problem needing ‘on the day’ assessment and are registered for on-line booking, you can first check on-line to see whether there is an appointment available
Please telephone Reception (01932 504450) who will send a message to the duty doctor for that day to return your call as soon as possible. In order to ensure you can be contacted please let us have your telephone number (home and / or mobile) and stay by this phone and leave your mobile switched on. Please phone as early as you can in the day so the duty doctor can prioritise their work load. The doctor will discuss your medical needs with you. This could be a consultation over the phone, an appointment that day or an appointment booked later in the week with the doctor of your choice, if the duty doctor feels the condition can wait to be seen.
Our extended opening hours for pre-booked routine appointments
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings 7:20 – 8:00am
Saturday morning 9:00 – 11:40am
Extended opening hours are available for pre-bookable routine appointments. Only those patients who have booked an appointment will be seen and it is important that patients understand that we do not offer a ‘walk in’ service during extended hours.
During this time you will not be able to contact us directly by telephone. An answer phone message gives instructions on how to access out of hours medical services.
Our reception desk is however open for patients to collect prescriptions and letters/forms. Patients coming in on a Saturday morning to pick up any paperwork should note that our desk will close at 11.00am
Please contact us on our direct telephone number 01932 504450 during normal opening times. These visits are for patients who are housebound or too ill to attend the surgery. Please make requests for a home visit before 10.00am wherever possible. It will help if you can also give some information about your problem in order for the doctors to prioritise their phone calls and plan their rounds effectively. The doctor will telephone you first to ensure a home visit is required.
Telephone Consultations: For appointments and advice required the same day, a message will be left for the duty doctor to return your call and discuss your problem. A message can also be passed to your preferred doctor if you are able to wait until that doctor is next available to return your call. If you need to speak to a nurse for advice such as travel and childhood immunisation then please leave a message with Reception. You will be asked for some details so that the doctor or nurse can prioritise the call.
Email: Emails will be checked regularly but any received after 5pm will not be seen until the next working day (this excludes weekends). If your request is for medication then please allow 2 working days for prescription collection.
All other general enquiries are processed according to their clinical priority; due to issues of patient confidentiality we may respond to your email, by letter or we may telephone you.
Practice Nurse Appointments
These appointments cannot be booked on-line due to the specific nature and appointment length for clinics.
Our Practice Nurses run clinics for Well Woman and all routine smears; Heart Disease; Hypertension, Respiratory including Asthma; Diabetic; general health checks (especially if you haven’t seen your doctor in the last five years); health checks for the over 75 and newly registered patients ; childhood and adult vaccinations; menopause; and obesity.
When making a routine appointment with one of our Practice Nurses it is necessary for you to inform us why you want an appointment e.g. for a diabetic check as our Practice Nurses specialise in different areas and run clinics on specific days. The length of appointment required for each of these checks varies considerably so it is important you are booked into the correct clinic.
If you need to speak to a nurse for advice such as travel and childhood immunisations then please leave a message with Reception. You will be asked for some details so that the doctor or nurse can prioritise the call. It may take a few days for the nurse to return your call.
Follow Up Appointment
If your doctor or nurse asks to see you again for a follow up appointment i.e. after blood tests or an X ray, medication reviews, ante/post natal checks, try to book your appointment before you leave the surgery or as soon after the first appointment as possible.
Your doctor will let you know whether your appointment is urgent or routine and if it is not urgent it will usually be easier to get through on the telephone later in the day or after 10.00am. Alternatively book-online or make your appointment before you leave.
If you are unable to attend your appointment please remember to cancel. We would appreciate as much notice as possible so that the appointment can be given to another patient. You can cancel in one of four ways, online, in person, by telephone on 01932 504450 (when we are open) or by e-mail.
If a patient fails to attend their appointment, with a doctor or nurse, a note will be made on their records. In the event that 2 or more appointments are missed, we will write to the patient and this may result in that patient being removed from our list.
Making the most of your appointment
In view of the above it is therefore necessary that when patients are late it is usually necessary to ask you to re-book. It is our aim to focus on improving the quality of care for patients and to achieve our general philosophy, where possible, of allowing patients the time they need when seeing a doctor or nurse.
We have recently received feedback from patients concerned that all of their medical problems could not be dealt with adequately during their appointment time. The standard length of a routine NHS appointment with a GP last 10 minutes (appointments with our Practice Nurses are longer ranging between 10 and 30 minutes depending on the type of consultation). Some patients do attend with complex problems or multiply problems that require a longer period to assess and advise properly. Our doctors do their best to manage this, but are also aware of the inconvenience caused when we run late so a balance needs to be struck.
We would be grateful if you could let the doctor know all your medical problems at the beginning of the consultation, your GP will try to deal with each of your problems as appropriate. If necessary a further appointment can be arranged to discuss the rest of your medical problems.
However in some situations it may be necessary for the doctor to spend extra time with one particular patient. If you are concerned that your appointment seems to be unduly delayed please check with Reception who will be able to give you more information; you can then decide whether to wait or re-book.
In view of the above it is therefore necessary that when patients are late it is usually necessary to ask you to re-book. We appreciate your continued patience and understanding and welcome any comments you may have.
Please be aware that only one patient can be seen per appointment.
When you attend for your appointment, please use our quick and easy ‘touch screen’ to check in. It will save you from having to queue.
Local Pharmacist: Your local pharmacist may be able to give you free health advice at any time. Many pharmacies operate extended hours on a rota basis. Call NHS 111 for details. A well stocked medicine cabinet will help you treat many illnesses at home and pharmacists are qualified to give advice on illnesses and the medicines you need to treat them.
When The Surgery Is Closed
For urgent medical problems when we are closed telephone 111 for the NHS 111 service.
NHS 111 is a telephone service for people in (Kent/Sussex/Surrey) to call if they need medical help fast but are not in a life-threatening situation.
The easy to remember number has been introduced to help people get the right help, at the right time, especially at weekends and out of hours.
NHS 111 is free to call and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Your call to NHS 111 will be handled by team of fully trained advisers and experienced nurses and doctors who will assess your condition and direct you to the local service that can help you best, when you need it.
There are now only three numbers to call if you need NHS care urgently: 999 for life-threatening emergencies, your GP surgery and 111.
Many illnesses or symptoms can be treated best at home with rest and over-the-counter medicines available from your local pharmacy.
When Should You Call An Ambulance?
If you believe that you or a member of your family, require emergency treatment, then dial 999 for an ambulance. For example, if someone has collapsed or is choking and you are unable to help then call an ambulance straight away. In particular, if you experience chest pain for more than 10-15 minutes which may be accompanied by nausea and sweating dial 999 and let the ambulance service know that you think you may be having a heart attack. Also is you think someone has had a stroke (FAST – face, arms, speech & time) it is very important to act fast by calling an ambulance straight away and letting them know that you think the person has had a stroke.
Please remember that A & E departments treat accidents and emergencies and should only be used in serious and life- threatening situations. If you need treatment when we are closed and it is not urgent enough to need an ambulance then call NHS 111.