We're delighted to report that the waiting time for a GP appointment, with one of our permanent GPs, is LESS THAN 2 weeks.
In addition we can offer appointments wit our Advanced Nurse Practitioner within 1 week, and on-the-day appointments with our Nurse Practitioners, for any urgent concerns or minor illnesses!
Our GPs are increasingly being asked to complete reports and letters, and we wanted to take this opportunity to give some background and explain why we ask for 5 working days for such paperwork to be completed. Thank you for your cooperation.
Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his/her patients. Most GPs have a very heavy workload – Our GPs work to 60 hours per week and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time. In addition non-NHS work must be undertaken outside of NHS contracted time.
The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions. Sometimes the charge is made to cover some of the cost of treatment, for example dental fees. In other cases it is because the service isn’t covered by the NHS, for example, medical reports of insurance companies, claims on private health insurance and other letters and forms which require the doctor to review the patient’s medical records.
It is important to understand that GPs are not employed by the NHS, they are self-employed and they have to cover their costs – staff, buildings, heating, lighting etc – in the same way as any small business.
The NHS pays the doctor for specific NHS work but for non NHS work the fee has to cover the doctor’s costs. Our fees are calculated based on our GPs Private hourly rate.
What is covered by the NHS and what is not?
The government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients. In recent years, more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a whole range of non-medical work. Sometimes the only reason that GPs are asked is because they are in a position of trust in the community, or because an insurance company or employer wants to be sure that information provided is true and accurate.
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their patients
Certain travel vaccinations
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions are
I only need the doctor’s signature – what is the problem?
When a doctor signs a certificate or completes a report it is a condition of remaining on the Medical Register that they only sign what they know to be true. Therefore in order to complete even the simplest of forms, the doctor may need to check the patient’s entire record. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor, with the General Medical Council or even the Police.
Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his/her patients. Most GPs have a very heavy workload – Our GPs work up to 60 hours per week and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time. In addition non-NHS work must be undertaken outside of NHS contracted time.
The government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients. In recent years, more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a whole range of non-medical work. Sometimes the reason that GPs are asked is because they are in a position of trust in the community, or because an insurance company or employer wants to be sure that information provided is true and accurate.
Medical reports for an insurance company
We are able to carry out some minor surgical procedures, such as joint injections and removal of some skin lesions, in surgery rather than wait for a hospital appointment. Please enquire at Reception if you think this might of benefit to you.
Advice on all types of contraception can be obtained from the surgery. Please arrange an appointment with the practice nurse.
We also hold a contraception 'no worries clinic', aimed at boys and girls under the age of 19 or in full-time education.
The clinic provides emergency contraception and condoms. All consultations are completely confidential. It is run by trained nurses and no appointment is necessary. Simply call into the surgery Monday to Friday between 8.30am - 5.00pm.
We encourage all women up to the age of 65 to have regular cervical smear tests. You will receive an invitation for this in accordance with NHS guidelines. However, if you are concerned about any symptoms at other times, please make an appointment with the practice nurse.
All the doctors offer maternity care, shared with the community midwife and Great Western Hospital, Swindon. Appointments with the doctor are within normal surgery hours, and with the midwife on Thursday afternoons.
Dr Fudge runs regular clinics on Tuesday mornings. You will be sent an appointment when the immunisation/check is due.
All our GPs and health visitors feel childhood immunisations are extremely important. The benefits far outweigh any slight risks involved. The health visitor will give you comprehensive advice prior to your child's appointment, but please discuss any concerns by ringing your health visitor on (01793) 854202.
It is advisable for adults to have a tetanus booster. Please consult the practice nurses.
The practice nurses monitor patients with asthma,COPD diabetes, dietary problems, heart disease, hypothyroidism, hypertension, and symptoms of menopause, to name but a few!
They also manage our flu vaccination campaign from October to December each year. Flu jabs are essential for patients of any age who suffer from diabetes, asthma, chronic bronchitis, heart disease and kidney disease, and for those aged 65 and over.
If you are not sure whether you should have one, please ask one of the nurses for advice.
We are not able to provide travel or other vaccinations for occupational use. Please contact private providers if this is required.
**Boots Royal Wootton Bassett
**Chippenham Travel Clinic – Hathaway Medical Centre, Chippenham SN14 6GT Tel No: 0330 100 4157 (Private – you will pay for the consultation and all vaccines). They stock malaria tablets and vaccines
**Or Nomad clinics in Bath/Bristol
Please see our travel advice leaflet
Tinkers Lane Travel Leaflet
Many immunisations are available through the NHS, but some are not and have to be paid for by the patient, and please note we only accept cash or cheques.
There is further information about countries and vaccinations required on the links below
It is important to make this initial appointment as early as possible - at least 6 weeks before you travel - as a second appointment will be required with the practice nurse to actually receive the vaccinations. These vaccines have to be ordered as they are not a stock vaccine. Your second appointment needs to be at least 2 weeks before you travel to allow the vaccines to work.
Some travel vaccines are ordered on a private prescription and these incur a charge over and above the normal prescription charge. This is because not all travel vaccinations are included in the services provided by the NHS.
Travelling in Europe
If you are travelling to Europe a very useful booklet has been published with advice and guidance to help you get the most out of your holiday. To visit please click:- http://ec.europa.eu/publications/booklets/eu_glance/86/en.pdf (this is a large document and may take a minute or two to view)
We provide a range of services which are not funded by the NHS, and therefore we have to charge a fee. The fees are those recommended by the British Medical Association, and there is a summary of charges in reception.
Such services include medical insurance reports, pre-employment medical, vaccination certificates, holiday cancellation claims, HGV/PSV licence medical, insurance company medical, passport countersignature, etc.
This list is not exhaustive. Please enquire at reception for the exact fee when you hand in your form. We try to complete these forms as soon as possible, but surgery commitments and visits have to take priority.
You do not require a doctor's sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.
If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).
It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a 'Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.
You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.
The 'fit note' was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer's support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.
For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced)
If you are waiting for the Triage Nurse to telephone you, please make sure that you remain close to your telephone/mobile to receive the call. .
If you have not received a call from the Triage Nurse, it may be that she has tried to call you and there was no reply. The Triage Nurse is only able to call you three times and due to patient confidentially, is unable to leave a message.
Please ring the surgery if after a considerable amount of time, you have not received your call back.
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