ARRANGING A CONSULTATION
Except in cases of urgent medical need, all consultations are made by appointment.
Consultations can be arranged by;
- Using the eConsult online GP consultation service available from this website - simply click on the link on the Home Page
- Using Patient Access to book a GP or Nurse appointment online - please ask at reception for details if you are not currently registered for Patient Access
- Telephoning reception on 01803 312233 between 8.30am and 6.00pm
Practice Nurse, Health Care Assistant and Phlebotomy (blood test) appointments may be booked up to four weeks in advance.
Blood test appointments are available to book online via Patient Access.
If English is not your first language and you require an interpreter, this can be arranged for you. Please ask at reception to book an interpreter.
If you feel that you need a home visits, please call the surgery before 10am on the same day.
We respectfully request that - apart from the genuinely housebound - all other patients attend the surgery rather than requesting a home visit. This is because home visits are very time consuming; n average 4 to 5 patients can be seen in the surgery in the time taken for a single house call.
Please note that your GP or another clinician may telephone you rather than visit, if this is medically appropriate. Ultimately a GP will decided whether or not a home visit is required.
PHONE CALLS TO THE PRACTICE
Reception staff work hard to answer each call as quickly as possible. However, despite a large reception team and fifteen telephone lines - the lines to the practice are always busy and you could hear the engaged signal when you call or it may take a little while to answer your call. Please be mindful that reception staff answer up to 600 calls a day during busy times.
Please note that inbound and outbound calls to the practice may be recorded.
The practice telephone line is closed 1pm-2pm each Wednesday for staff training. During this time, if your query cannot wait until the phone line re-opens then please call 01803 312233 and you will be automatically transferred to the out of hours service.
If you call the practice by phone and request a GP consultation, reception staff will ask you for brief details of the reason for your request.
Reception staff are not medically trained, and do not make any clinical decisions.
However, they have been asked by the Doctors to gather as much information as they can from you so that the Doctor can prioritise your medical need. We ask patients to give a brief reason for their request to see a clinician, but also acknowledge that some patients may prefer not to do this, and respect this decision.
Reception staff will try to offer you an appointment that meets your requirements. However, there may be times when;
- you are offered a telephone consultation rather than a face-to-face appointment
- you are asked to see a GP who is not your usual GP
- you are offered an appointment with a member of the clinical team who is not a GP - for example a paramedic or an Advanced Nurse Practitioner.
- you are asked to go to a different site from the one that you normally attend
We ask patients to be as flexible as possible when requesting consultations. Reception staff are trained to ensure that your consultation will be with the most appropriate clinician for your needs.
Some face-to-face GP appointments may be booked in advance. The best way to do this is to use the Patient Access online service. Alternatively you can call the practice to do so.
Telephone consultations are a convenient way for you to seek medical advice without visiting the surgery.
GP's, Paramedics, Advance Nurse Practitioners and Pharmacists are all available for telephone consultations.
During a telephone consultation your clinician will carry out an initial assessment of your medical condition and may book you a convenient appointment to be seen. In many cases a face-to-face appointment is not necessary. Clinicians can give advice, make referrals and may also prescribe medication for you during during your phone call. Your prescription will be sent electronically to your chosen pharmacy.
Please note that it is not possible for reception staff to give an an accurate call-back time because of the changing nature of clinician's schedules.
To make the most of your telephone consultation please;
- Ensure that we have a current, correct number for you
- Tell us if you cannot accept calls at specific times of the day
- Stay in an area where you have a mobile signal
- Answer your phone when it rings. The call will show as 'withheld' or 'unknown' - many patients do not answer their phones for this reason!
- The clinician will try your number TWICE
- If there is no reply, they will leave a message if they can. Theywill then move on to the next call. In the light of heavy demand on clinicians' services, it is not possible for them to try your line repeatedly throughout the day
- If you have missed the call, it will NOT normally be possible for the GP to call back again later that day, unless your condition is an emergency
- Remember that telephone consultations may be recorded
EARLY MORNING APPOINTMENTS
Our Babbacombe and St Marychurch surgeries are open from 07:30 – 08:30 for patients with pre-booked appointments only.
EVENING & WEEKEND APPOINTMENTS
GP and Nurse appointments are now available to book at evenings and on weekends. Evening and weekend clinics are hosted by other practices in Torbay. Please ask reception for advice if you need to see a clinician outside normal working hours, as there may be appointments available at other surgeries.
Evening and weekend appointments cannot currently be booked online.
TEXT REMINDER SERVICE
For patients with mobile phones only.
If a face-to-face appointment has been booked for you to come into the surgery, we will send you a reminder text near to the time of the appointment.
When you give us your mobile phone number, you consent to reminders via text message. Please tell reception staff if you do not want to receive texts from us.
Please remember to update your contact details with us if you change address, phone number or email address.
If you are unable to attend an appointment, or you no longer require a consultation, please inform us at the earliest opportunity. This will allow us to offer your appointment to another patient.
To cancel your appointment you can;
- use Patient Access
- call us on 01803 312233/Option 1
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you fail to notify the practice that you cannot attend your appointment and you do not attend, the practice will send you a text or letter informing you that you have defaulted. If you continue to book appointments and do not attend, you may be removed from the practice list and your registration cancelled.
IF YOU ARE LATE
Please attend on time for your appointment.
If you think you might be late then please let us know as soon as possible, we may be able to make arrangements for you to be seen later.
If you are late you may not be seen. Your clinician will decided whether or not they can see you.
If you cannot be seen because you are late for an appointment, please re-book the appointment either via Patient Access or reception.