Changes to the appointment system
from the 6th February 2017
***ONLINE BOOKING FOR DOCTORS TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS ARE NOW AVAILABLE***
When booking your telephone consultation with the Doctor state the telephone number you request to be called on and the reason for the call. Please note the time may vary due to unforeseen circumstances, but the Doctors will do their up most to call you within an hour of your booking.
As you will be aware from the media the NHS is under significant pressure. We have been struggling with the additional demands on the service for some time and have decided to ‘act now’ by introducing a new appointment system from 6 February 2017. The system aims to make the best use of the available clinical workforce and enable the most unwell patients to see a doctor quickly.
There are three separate areas of the new system:
1) If you have an urgent problem
Please telephone as early as you can on the day to book an appointment in the same day emergency service. These appointments are limited and therefore will only be booked with problems which are deemed to be medically urgent.
2) If you have a new problem (or a recurrence of an old problem) which is not medically urgent for today
Please speak to reception who will offer you a telephone appointment with a doctor. For continuity we advise that you wait to speak to your usual doctor when they are next available. This may sometimes mean that you will need to wait longer than you would ideally prefer.
3) If you have an on-going problem and the doctor has directly asked to see/speak with you again
Please let the receptionist know as we have allocated a protected number of appointments for this purpose.
Please note: the receptionist is only able to book one of these appointments if the request for a follow-up has been specifically documented in your medical record by the Doctor.
For more information please read our new Changes to the appointment sysem leaflet by clicking here
Why does the Receptionist ask me for ‘some idea of the problem’?
The Doctors have implemented a monthly ‘topic of focus’ which aims to raise awareness of current important national and local health campaigns but also to provide a ‘spotlight’ on certain areas/projects the Practice is directly involved in.
The focus for April 2015 is the appointments system and why the Doctors have trained the staff to ask patients for ‘some idea of the problem’ when making an appointment booking.
For information on this subject, please click here to download the appointments system Practice leaflet.
Please see the on-line appointment tab (above) for more information about booking your appointment on-line!
All the doctors and nurses work to appointments and we run 2 sessions each day, a morning session and an afternoon session.
We also offer a selection of appointments outside our normal working hours for those patients who find it difficult to make routine appointments due to work and family commitments during the working day.
To book an appointment please telephone your surgery.
Help us to Help You!
The doctors of the practice have formulated a home treatment guide to help you manage COMMON AILMENTS at home such as cystitis, stomach ache, earache and sinusitis to name but a few.
To find out more, CLICK HERE to read on...
Online Symptom Checker
The NHS Direct website has a useful tool called a Symptom Checker. It's quick and easy to use and will ask you a series of questions in order to give you the best possible advice relating to your condition.
Here is a link to the Symtom Checker: http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/en/CheckSymptoms
24 October 2016
15,500 missed GP Practice appointments across Wiltshire in three months
An equivalent of 516 days of general practitioner time was lost during July –September 2016 because more than 15,500 GP, nurse and healthcare assistant appointments were missed across Wiltshire’s 55 GP Practices.
Known as ‘Did Not Attend’ appointments they have a huge impact on the health economy, prevent other patients from being seen and waste the time of ever-stretched doctors and nurses.
Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is urging patients to take a few minutes to cancel their appointments if they are no longer required, or if they are unable to attend. Practices will then be able to offer those slots to other patients who require them and help to reduce appointment waiting times.
Dr Peter Jenkins, Chair of Wiltshire CCG said: “Every missed appointment it is a missed opportunity for practices to see another patient. Between July and September that means practices could have seen another 15,500 patients, which is staggering. Simply by cancelling unwanted appointments, even if it is a few minutes before, it means that other patients have an opportunity to be seen more quickly and perhaps see their own GP. We were aware that most practices experience several DNAs each day, but the volumes we are seeing are quite frankly, shocking.”
On average a GP will conduct 30 appointments per day and based on the total number of missed appointments for July – September 2016, the equivalent of 516 days of general practitioner time has been lost.
Dr Richard Sandford-Hill, a GP at Market Lavington Surgery explains on behalf of Wiltshire Practices: “As doctors, we understand that people lead busy lives, that plans often change and quite often many people feel better by the time of their pre-booked appointment, so needing to change or cancel it is not a problem – please just remember to let your surgery know.
“At a time when NHS resources are stretched to the hilt, it’s really important that people understand the impact they have if they simply do not turn up. Everyone has responsibility to look after the NHS – it’s tax payers money after all – and we urge Wiltshire people to cancel when they don’t need the appointment so that those most in need are able to be seen more quickly”.
Appointment Cancellation Line
As well as cancelling your appointment online, you can also cancel your appointment via our telephone cancellation line on 01225 860025.
It's a voicemail service, so you will just need to leave a message including your name, date of birth, time of appointment and who it's with.
The cancellation line is regularly checked by our staff throughout the day.
We offer appointments outside the Practice's normal working hours for those patients who find it difficult to make appointments due to work and family commitments, during the normal working week.
These surgeries are usually held on a Monday Evening at The Health Centre and on a Monday evening at St Damian's Surgery. Patients have the opportunity to book a telephone consultation with a Doctor or a face to face appointment during these times.
Telephone consultations are also available with a Doctor on a Friday morning before 8am and any week day evening from 6.30pm. Please ask the receptionist to book your appointment.
Text message appointment reminders!
Since 11th January 2012, we have automatically sent appointment reminders by text message to patients who have given us a mobile phone number, but due to changes in data protection guidance, from 2nd June 2014 we will only send text message appointment reminders to patients who have specifically contacted us to confirm that they would like to receive them.
To let us know you are happy to continue to receive appointment reminders by text, please simply click here to submit a consent form to us on-line. Alternatively mention this to the receptionist the next time you need to telephone/visit the surgery.
If you do not wish to receive appointment reminders (by text) from the surgery, you do not need to do anything.
Please note: we will still continue to send generic text messages (to patients who have given us their mobile phone number) regarding the following services:
- Seasonal texts - such as flu vaccination reminders
- Reminders for annual reviews, for patients who may have a Chronic Disease
- Any other instance where we would share generic practice information/changes to services
I f you do not wish to receive ANY text messages at all, please speak to the receptionist and this will be indicated on your medical record
Which Healthcare Professional?
There are a number of options available. These are listed below to help you decide before you ring us. The receptionist can also help you decide which one is the most appropriate for you. It may not always be necessary for you to see a GP and we welcome your co-operation in ensuring that people who, for medical reasons, must be seen by a doctor are able to do so.
This service is led by experienced, fully trained nurses who are able to deal with minor illness, injury and certain medical emergencies. You will be offered a same-day appointment where your condition will be assessed and treated by the emergency nurse, who has direct access to the duty doctor if she needs additional advice or support.
Patients are able to speak to a GP on the telephone during the working day:
- If patients specifically ask for a telephone consultation for a problem that needs to be dealt with with on the day, a telephone consultation appointment is made for the end of a doctor’s surgery. It will be booked with the nominated duty doctor for that day if the patients 'usual' doctor is not available.
- If a patient needs/wants to speak to the doctor about a routine matter, a telephone consultation will be made for the next time the patients 'usual' doctor is in surgery.
- If a patient needs/wants to discuss an urgent test result with their doctor, a telephone consultation appointment is made for the end of a doctor’s surgery. It will be booked with the nominated duty doctor for that day if the patients 'usual' doctor is not available.
- If a patient needs/wants to discuss a non-urgent result with their doctor, a telephone consultation appointment is made for the next time the patients 'usual' doctor is in surgery
Where possible the doctors prefer patients to book a telephone consultation with the doctor they 'usually see'.
If you wish to speak to a nurse:
Patients who wish to speak with a nurse on the telephone will need to discuss this with the receptionist to see what could be arranged for the patient that day, depending on which nurse would be most able to assist the patient with their query/condition.
Practice nurse/Healthcare Assistant/Phlebotomist
In addition to general duties such as changing dressings our nurse-led clinics include blood-taking, ear syringing, blood pressure checks and cervical smears. In addition they can provide advice on the management of coronary heart disease, stopping smoking, diabetes, asthma, weight control and holiday and travel issues. Telephone consultations are available daily with the practice nurses.
More of the "routine" duties are now carried out by other members of the primary healthcare team, the doctors are able to concentrate on those patients who really need their expertise.