New Appointment system FAQ
Do the changes affect all types of appointment?
The recent changes affect the doctors’ appointments only – appointment booking for practice nurse, health care assistants, midwives and other health professionals or specialist clinics has not changed.
How have things changed?
The main change is that most of our appointments are now available for booking on the day of the appointment. This means that you should call us (or drop into the surgery) on the day that you want the appointment. You can do this from 8am Monday to Friday.
Will I be able to get an appointment with the GP of my choice?
You can still choose which GP you would like to see and as long as you tell the receptionist who you would like to see they will do their best to book you in with that doctor. We will publish lists of which doctors work on which days to help you to do this and will keep our website updated with changes (www.thenightingalepractice.co.uk). If the doctor who you would like to see is fully booked then you could choose to come back on a different day or if you prefer you could make an appointment with a different doctor. We would encourage you to try to see the doctor who knows you best if possible.
What if all the appointments have gone by the time I contact the surgery?
As well as changing the way that appointments are booked we have worked hard to make more appointments available than we had previously. However it is likely that on some days there may be more people wanting to be seen than we can accommodate. If this occurs you will be asked to call back on another day. We will be monitoring how often we are having to ask people to call back and will keep trying to improve. We do understand that it can be very frustrating to be asked to call more than once to book an appointment, especially when it is difficult to get through on the phone.
If you or the person that you are calling for is too ill to wait for an appointment on another day then you must let the receptionist know this. The receptionist will then put a message through to whichever doctor is dealing with emergencies for the day (the ‘duty doctor’) and the doctor will call you back to assess you and add you on as an extra appointment if necessary. Please answer the receptionist’s questions about what is wrong as fully as possible to help the doctor to prioritise how urgently you need to be called back.
I would prefer to book my appointment in advance is this still possible?
We will still have some appointments available to book up to 4 weeks in advance. These will mainly be the ‘extended hours’ appointments, which are the early morning, late evening and Saturday morning appointments. If it is easy for you to visit the surgery during normal office hours on a weekday then please try to leave these appointments for those who can only attend during the ‘extended hours’ sessions.
I can’t book on the day as I need to book an advocate (translator) for my appointments
The appointments with our Turkish advocates will still be available to book in advance. If you speak a different language that means that you need reception to book an advocate in advance for your appointment then we will be able to arrange this for you.
Why have you made these changes to the appointment system?
Many of you have told us that you would find it convenient to be able to book your appointments on the day that you would like to be seen, and the changes are a response to this. We hope that there will be an additional advantage in reducing the number of appointments wasted when someone books an appointment and then forgets to attend (currently a big problem for us).
Why is it so hard to get an appointment?
We are a popular practice and we are no longer allowed to say that we are ‘full’. Up until a couple of years ago we restricted our ‘list size’ to 7000 patients and only took on new patients when the number fell below 7000. We are no longer allowed to do this and now have more than 8000 patients.
When will you be getting more phone lines? Its very hard to get through.
When we move into the portacabins (which we hope will be very soon..) we will go from having 4
Last updated on 28 February 2011.
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