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As the demand for GP appointments continues to rise, we recognise that it can sometimes be difficult to get an appointment within the timeframe you require. We have listened to your feedback, and the results of the recent GP Patient survey, and are committed to making it easier for our patients to access the right person at the right time for the care that you need!
Previously appointments could be made up to 6 weeks in advance, which not only makes it harder to get a ’soon’ appointment, but also means that these appointments are more likely to be missed. Research shows that the DNA (did not attend) rate for appointments booked more than a week in advance can be as high as 9% - that’s up to 90 appointments per week.
We have made changes to our appointment booking across Coastal Medical Partnership to reduce the number of appointments booked in advance, making more available for ‘on the day’ and ‘soon’ appointments (within 1-10 days) with the aim of seeing or speaking to your usual GP and being able to see the same GP for an ongoing problem.
What appointments are available to book?
- Urgent Appointments - We have a team of GPs and Nurse Practitioners providing same day telephone triage and appointments for urgent problems on the day
- Routine Appointments - These are bookable up to 10 days in advance and can be used for problems and follow ups that don’t require urgent attention. Consultations can take places face-to-face, via telephone, and we now have the ability to talk to you via video (if you have a smartphone) which reduces the need to visit the surgery.
- Follow Up Appointments - If a GP needs to see you for follow up they are be able to book further in advance if appropriate, however they may ask you to call nearer the time to arrange an appointment.
Extended Opening Hours
Due to COVID-19 extended hours provison may differ - please contact your usual site for details.
From the 1st February 2020 we will be providing extended hours between 6:30-8:00pm Monday-Thursday at The Arnewood Practice, Milton Medical Centre.
Offering a range of routine appointments with GPs, Nurses and Health Care Assistants to provide better access for patients from across Coastal Medical Partnership who struggle to attend during normal working hours.
Staff from all three sites will be covering these hours, so don’t worry—you will still be able to see a Doctor you know! Bookings will be managed by your registered practice, so you can just call Reception as normal.
Extended hours are for pre-booked, routine care only. If you require medical attention during core hours (8:00am-6:30pm) this will continue to be provided at your usual registered practice.
Patients are requested, where possible, to telephone before 10:30 if a home visit is required that day.
We would request that, apart from the genuinely housebound, all other patients attend the surgery rather than request a home visit because of the extra time home visiting takes. On average four to five patients can be seen in surgery in the time it takes to do a single house call. In addition, the care that can be offered due to the lack of adequate lighting, examination facilities and equipment means that you may not receive as good a service as the doctor may be able to offer if you came to the surgery.
Please note that the doctor may telephone you rather than visit you if this is medically appropriate. Ultimately it is the doctors right to decide whether or not a visit is appropriate for a particular set of circumstances.
Cancellations & Reminders
Cancel an Appointment
It is important that you inform the reception staff if you are unable to attend your appointment, this will allow that appointment to be offered to another patient. If you fail to notify the Practice that you are unable to attend, you will be sent a letter informing you that you have defaulted from your appointment. Persistent defaulters maybe removed from the list.
Text Reminder Service
We have a texting service which allows you to receive confirmation and reminders about your appointments.
To have this service you will need to register by completing a consent form.
Please remember to update your contact details with us when you change address, telephone numbers and email address.
Late For Your Appointment
Please attend your appointment on time, if you are late you may not be seen. If you are not seen you will not be able to rearrange your appointment until the next working day-except in the event of an medical emergency that requires immediate attention.
If you require an interpreter to attend with you when you see your Doctor please notify the receptionist and she will arrange this for you.
Preparing for Appointments
We want you to play an active part in your care and treatment.
To help you get the most from your appointment, here are some tips and some questions you could ask.
Before your appointment
It may help if prepare for your appointment. Here are some tips on what to do before you go.
• Make a list:– write down details of your symptoms –when did they start, what makes them
better or worse?
– write down your two or three most important questions.
• List or bring all the medicines and pills you take – including vitamins and supplements.
• Ask a friend or family member to come with you, if you like.
• Ask your hospital or surgery, for an interpreter or communication support if needed.
Questions to ask during your appointment
It's okay to ask questions about your health and what might be wrong. Don't be afraid to tell your health worker if you don't understand what they've said. Don't feel embarrassed about asking your health worker to explain things again. You can ask your health worker to write down and explain any words you don't know. And it may help to write things down or ask a family member or friend to take notes.
At any time during your appointment you could say things like:
• Can I check that I've understood what you said?
• So, what you're saying is?
• Can you explain it again? I still don't understand.
You may also want to ask about any tests?
If your health worker has recommended going for tests, you may want to ask:
• What are the tests for?
• What will the tests involve?
• How should I prepare for the tests?
• How and when will I find out the test results?
• Who do I contact if I don't get the test results?
About any treatment
You may also have questions about what treatment, if any, is best for you, for example:
• How well does this treatment work?
• How long will I need treatment?
• How will I know if the treatment is working?
• Are there any side effects or risks?
• Are there other ways to treat my condition?
• Is there anything I can do to help myself?
About what happens next
You may want to find out who to contact if you have further problems or questions, or if any support groups are available.
You could ask:
• What happens next – do I come back and see you?
• Who do I contact if things get worse?
• Do you have any written information?
• Where can I go to find more information, a support group or further help?