All GP appointments continue to be done by telephone. When calling the practice you will be asked why you require a GP appointment by our trained Patient Care Advisors (PCA’s). They ask you the reason for your appointment to ensure you are booked with the correct clinician or signposted to the correct professional. PCA’s signpost to the Dentist, Optician, Pharmacy, Physiotherapist, Community Link Worker, Community Treatment Centre (CTAC) etc. The PCA role is a very important role in the practice and giving them as much information as possible allows them to direct you to the correct clinician/service but also ensures those who do consult with the GP do in fact need this service therefore not wasting appointments. The PCA’s are bound by the same confidentiality as any other clinician and are following practice policy and procedures set by the GP Partners and Practice Manager.
GP same day telephone appointment
Telephone at 8am or 11am for a same day appointment. When calling at 8am you will be advised your call back will be “any time between now and 1pm”. When calling at 11am you will be advised your call back will be “any time between now and 6pm”. The PCA’s will make the appointment and will leave a note for the GP giving the reason for your call. By giving the PCA’s an accurate reason for your appointment the GP can deal with urgent issues promptly.
GP Pre-booked telephone appointments
We offer a small number of telephone appointments in the morning which can be booked in advance at any time of the day. The closest appointment is normally 4-6 working days in advance but can be sooner or further away depending on cancelations and/or demand. You will be advised these call backs will be “any time between 8am and 1pm”.
The PCA’s are unable to give you a set time of your telephone appointment as the GP’s deal with urgent issues as a priority. Due to House Visits, liaising with other professionals, dealing with hospital/lab correspondence, organising medication and medical emergencies we cannot give a set time and we ask that you ensure you are able to answer your telephone when booking the appointment. If the GP calls and there is no answer, they will try again. After two failed attempts you will be expected or asked to reschedule for another day.
GP Face-to-face bookings.
The GP’s have continued to see patients face to face but these are booked on patient needs and not preference. The GP will call you back but if they feel it would be better seeing you face to face either before or during the consultation they will organise this either themselves or they will ask the PCA to arrange this on their behalf. Depending on the urgency of the problem and using clinical judgement you may be seen same day or booked in advance.
Practice Nurse Appointments
These appointments remain unchanged and are Face to Face appointments. The nurses have continued to see face to face as their role in the practice requires physical contact like taking bloods, giving injections, taking blood pressure readings, performing cervical smears etc.
Early morning Surgery
The GP’s and Nurse offer prebooked appointments from 07.10-08.00 on Tue, Wed and Thu. These are for patients who struggle to make appointments during normal working hours (08.00-18.00) due to work commitments. The PCA will advise you on timings when booking these appointments.
These appointments are patient lead. This means if you would prefer a telephone appointment the PCA’s can arrange this but if you prefer to be seen face to face then this can be organised too. The physiotherapist prefers face to face appointments so she can do a full physical assessment.
Did Not Attend (DNA)
We ask all patients to cancel appointments if you are unable to attend. We have always had a high DNA rate but this is not unique to Springwell Medical Centre. We understand that people can forget and things happen but unfortunately some patients continue to miss appointments which puts extra strain on our resources.
Unless you are asked by the GP to speak to them before the next issue all medication requests should be requested via our online service, post, handing in a written request to the practice or speaking to your pharmacist. We do not take medication request over the telephone and making an appointment with a GP just for repeat medication is not appropriate. Some medications do need GP consultation and in this case the PCA’s will advise/book.