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.
Routine appointments with a doctor may be booked up to four weeks in advance. Nurse appointments may also be booked up to four weeks in advance. Although you are registered with a particular doctor, you may see any of our GPs or Nurse Practitioners.
Our aim is to offer you a routine appointment within ten working days. Holiday periods can, of course, affect this.
If you would like a chaperone present during your consultation, then please advise the receptionist when booking your appointment. Or if you prefer bring a relative or friend with you to your consultation.
If you have a more urgent need to discuss your symptoms with a medical professional, you will be asked to speak first to one of our highly trained triage practitioners.
If you cannot keep an appointment PLEASE text CANCEL to your text appointment confirmation or ring as soon as possible to cancel it so that another patient can make use of that time.
DID YOU KNOW? We run evening surgeries
Our standard GP appointment length is 10 minutes
This is in line with common practice throughout the NHS. In most cases, we will be able to deal with only one problem during this 10 minute appointment.
Please help us to help all our patients
The GP has to balance caring for you as an individual patient with all the other patients who need to be seen. Having to deal with more than one problem in 10 minutes can mean that the GP is not able to give each of your problems the careful attention they require and may not enable them to help you as much as they’d like to.
Please be patient if your GP is late - it usually means they’ve been working hard dealing with sick patients with urgent problems that cannot wait and require more time to care for.
We have to balance our patients’ needs, so by limiting appointments to 10 minutes means we can offer more appointments to more patients.
If possible please try to telephone reception before 10:00 if you require a home visit.
A doctor or nurse may phone you back as it may be that your problem can be dealt with by telephone advice, or that it would be more appropriate to send a nurse, or indeed arrange a hospital attendance.
House visits are only available for patients who are housebound because of illness or disability.
Please remember that several patients can be seen in the practice in the time that it takes to make one home visit. There are also better facilities for examining and treating patients at the surgery.
Only calls relating to serious emergencies can be accepted AFTER 10.00am.
Outside surgery hours, telephone (01793) 852131 and listen to the message. It will tell you the number to ring for the emergency services. For very serious emergencies, dial 999. Try not to panic, and remember to give your name, address and telephone number
These are managed by our specially trained practitioners who may triage over the telephone, sometimes saving an appointment or a visit.
If they are unable to help you over the phone they will arrange the appropriate next step for you.
Please call as early as possible, Monday to Friday.
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