I like seeing my doctor face to face. Why can’t I book an appointment?
When you speak to your doctor you will discuss together what would be best and if you and the doctor agree that a face-to-face consultation is right the doctor will arrange that for you.
Will I be told when the doctor will ring me back?
Yes, you will be given a two-hour time slot when you can expect the doctor to phone. This will usually be the two hours after you phone in to request the callback.
I work during the day and cannot receive phone calls at work except on my breaks.
You may request a specific time for the doctor to ring you on your break time or after work hours. The doctor will do their best to phone you at that time.
What if I ask for a home visit from the doctor?
Your call will still be added to the doctor’s telephone consultation list and the doctor will phone you back. Together you will be able to discuss the problem and the doctor will visit you if it is necessary. If you have any concerns while waiting for the callback you should phone again.
Can I book a telephone consultation in person at the reception desk?
Yes, you can.
I understand the receptionist will ask me to explain briefly why I am ringing. I am not happy with this.
It helps the doctor to have an explanation of why you are ringing. They can then prioritise their calls appropriately. It could be that the problem can be dealt with by someone else more quickly, for example a copy of a sick note or chasing a hospital referral. However, if you do not wish to provide an explanation that’s fine, just tell the receptionist.
I am not very good at talking about my problems on the telephone. I would like to see someone in person.
The receptionist can book you a telephone call-back with a doctor. When the doctor phones please say you would like to see the doctor face to face. Even at the end of a telephone call-back if you feel in any way unhappy and still wish to be seen please tell the doctor.
What if I am deaf or a patient has difficulty communicating?
We are aware that some patients may have specific physical or psychological problems which mean that they genuinely cannot benefit from a telephone callback system. Patients or carers of patients who believe they fall into this category should arrange to speak with their doctor to receive an individual exemption from use of the system if appropriate.
Who decides if I need to be seen?
You and the doctor will assess the problem together during the telephone consultation.
Will I be able to ask for a call from my usual doctor?
Yes, part of the reason for introducing this system is to promote continuity of care between doctor and patient. However if your usual doctor already has lots of calls that day you may be asked to phone on another day or be offered a call from a different doctor. All clinicians in the practice have access to your medical records and will have these in front of them when they call you.
I have phoned the surgery and am waiting for a callback, but I feel things are getting worse. What do I do?
If you feel you are getting worse and still waiting for a call please phone us back.
What if the doctor rings me back and I miss the call?
If you miss a phone call the doctor will attempt to contact you three times in total. If you are concerned that the doctor has not rung please ring us back to check in case we have the wrong number.
The doctor’s telephone number will show on your phone as a blocked/unknown number.
Will the doctor ring me on my mobile if that is what I wish?
Yes, as long as we have the right number we will ring you back. Please provide the receptionist with this number.
What if the doctor rings me on my mobile and I am in a place with no signal?
The doctor will make three attempts to contact you or you can ring us back if we have been unable to reach you.
Will the doctor leave a message on my voicemail or answering machine?
If your voicemail message is personalised the doctor may leave a message if they have been unable to reach you. For automated or non-personalised voicemails this may not be appropriate as it runs the risk of compromising confidentiality. Please could you let the receptionists know if you are happy for us to leave messages.
What if the doctor wants to see me in a few weeks’ time to review my condition?
They will either book the appointment with you there and then or ask you to phone in at the requested interval.
After the telephone consultation the doctor made me an appointment. Can I cancel it?
Yes, if you need to cancel any appointment for whatever reason please let us know as soon as possible. We can then offer that appointment to another patient. If you want to book a different time this request will be passed on to the doctor.
Can I still make an appointment with the nurse practitioner, nurse, healthcare assistant or phlebotomist?
Yes, these appointments are pre-bookable with the reception staff as usual.
I book my appointments online. Will I still be able to do this?
You will be able to book a telephone callback online. You will be able to do this up to two weeks in advance.
How can I find out which days my doctor is available for a callback?
We will publish details of the doctors’ basic rota showing the days they are generally available. However, because of annual leave, study leave or meetings they may not always be present on particular days.