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Patient information on the Appointment System we've implemented

The environment in which GPs are striving to provide services is increasingly challenging. There is an increased demand on general practice caused by changes to the population, more complex health needs and care moving out of hospitals contributing to pressure on GP services. Whilst 90% of patient contact takes place in General Practice, less than 10% of NHS funding is spent on GP services.   The wait for GP appointment is increasing and this is a national problem. To help cope with this increased demand, and also to respond to feedback from our patients regarding the wait to the next routine appointment, we are implementing a new improved appointment system. 

Doctors’ and Acute Illness Appointments

Approximately 70% of our appointments are available for patients to be seen on the day. Our doctors also have 3 appointments in their sessions for their use only; these are used when they wish to review a patient again or if they need to see a patient following a telephone call.  The same day appointments for the entire day are available on the telephone from 8.30am on the day when the phone lines open.   If we have no appointments due to a very high demand but you consider that your medical problem MUST be assessed that day, you may be contacted by the duty doctor who will assess if it is urgent for today.

Nurses’ appointments

You can still pre book nurses’ appointments as usual on the telephone.

Commonly asked questions concerning Advanced Access Appointment Systems

What happens if I phone and all the appointments for my doctor are booked?
We have spent several weeks collating data on the number of appointments requested on any one day. We should therefore be able to offer you an appointment on that day with an alternative doctor. If you only wish to see your doctor then we will ask you to phone when they are next in Surgery.

We will continue to monitor demand for appointments and make adjustments to the system as necessary.

I work away from home and need to plan my appointments.

Whilst most appointments will be available for booking on the day a small number are pre-bookable up to 2 days ahead. However, once all pre-books are taken you will be asked to call back on the day. Evidence from other surgeries suggests that as patients find that the system works, there is less demand for pre-booked appointments when patients feel confident they can come on the day.

What happens if a doctor is on holiday or ill?

If a doctor is on holiday we book enough locum cover to ensure we provide enough sessions over the week. If a doctor is ill we will do our best to accommodate you with another doctor. It is not usually possible to book locum cover for the same day.

I can never get through on the phone, how will I make a same day appointment?
Our telephone system uses a pre-recoreded message and then allows direct access to receptionists with no call queuing currently in place.   Your call will be answered by the first available receptionist. There are usually 3 receptionists answering the phone between 8.30am -10.30am.

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