During Coronavirus outbreak – only telephone appointments being booked, no face to face appointments unless absolutely necessary. See our home page for news updates as they happen.
During the Coronavirus – we thought it might be helpful to outline in general what can be discussed with a GP, Nurse or other practitioner (including blood tests) and what we think can wait until after the pandemic:
During COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak – when and what should you call a GP for?
Please do NOT come to or phone the surgery for advice on Coronavirus symptoms – go to the NHS website or gov.uk
Please be aware that if you think your issue can wait – PLEASE WAIT
What CAN be discussed with a GP: Note that discussions will initially take place by phone:
- If you become unwell and feel you require urgent medical attention – unrelated to Coronavirus
- Shortness of breath – unrelated to Coronavirus
- Chest pain
- Acute pain
- Symptoms consistent with possibility of cancer
- Palliative care and end of life care conversations
- Significant mental health concerns
- Postnatal checks
- Fit note – NOT related to Coronavirus and isolation periods
What CAN be discussed with a Nurse: Note that initially discussions will take place by phone:
- Childhood immunisations
- Exacerbations of existing long term conditions such as Asthma/COPD
- Symptoms consistent with high blood sugar/Diabetes
- Essential injections eg testosterone (although B12 injections may be able to be taught to be self-administered)
- Cervical smears for those at high risk (NOT routine)
- Wound management/dressings
- Contraceptive services
What CAN be discussed with a Pharmacist (relating to pharmacist attached to our surgery): Note that these will take place by phone:
- Medication reviews
- Medication queries
What CAN wait – What the surgery will NOT do at the present time:
- Fit notes related to Coronavirus (note no fit note will be provided for 7 day isolation – go to https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note for more information)
- Minor surgery
- Mild illnesses and worries
- Coil checks/changes – may be possible to speak to a nurse for advice
- Ring pessary changes
- Travel vaccinations
- Insurance reports and medical examinations (including DVLA medical exams)
- Ear syringing (available privately elsewhere)
- Stop smoking clinics
- Routine spirometry and routine ECGs
YES:Blood tests requested by the GP can go ahead and you can book in with our phlebotomists as normal.
NO:Routine, annual, medication related blood tests are not going ahead until further notice.
Our staff and patients are our highest priority – we are outlining the above so you can help us cope with our workload during staff shortages because of Coronavirus self-isolation.
Please bear with us during a difficult and challenging time.
We thank you for your co-operation and patience.
During normal practice outside of pandemic the following is our normal advice regarding booking appointments:
We are a group practice so it is not necessary to see the doctor with whom you are registered. Your preferred doctor may not always be available but all our clinical staff have access to your full records and medical history. We appreciate that during an ongoing illness you may like to see the same doctor and we will always try to accommodate this if possible.
The first thing to consider is do you actually need an appointment with a GP? Could your local pharmacist help?
We have a range of different appointments available to patients – see linked pages:
Recalls for Long Term Conditions – click on this heading for more information on long term conditions such as respiratory, diabetes and vascular diseases.
Emergencies and anything urgent will be dealt with on the day by the Duty Doctor – see Emergency Appointments.
Cancelling an Appointment
Every day several appointments are wasted by people not turning up or by patients cancelling at very short notice. If you let us know in advance that you are unable to make your appointment we can offer it to someone else. Remember if you can’t come PLEASE cancel your appointment.
Preparing for an Appointment
- Unless it is a personal matter, explain to the person you speak to why you need to make a visit when you book. This will help us identify the most appropriate member of staff for you to see, and will smooth your consultation. If it is a private matter it is fine just to say this.
- Make a list of what is wrong. If you have several symptoms, begin with the most important first. What is the story of the problem? How long have you had it? Does anything make it better or worse? Have you tried any self-care or over the counter medicines already?.
- Ask for a double appointment if you have more than one health problem you want to talk about. This will give you and your GP more time.
- If you think you may find it hard to remember everything the doctor says to you, take a notepad and make notes during your visit. Or take a friend so that between you, you’ll remember all the important bits.
- Be honest. Tell your GP if you feel embarrassed talking about your problem and they’ll make you feel at ease. Ask questions. For example, if your doctor suggests you have a certain test, ask what it is and why you need it. What do procedures involve? When will you get your results?
- Give your opinion. An appointment is about working together with your GP to decide what’s best for you.
- If you are concerned about something or worried it is a serious health issue tell your doctor about your fears
- If you and your doctor agree on a certain treatment, make sure you are clear about what its effects are and how quickly it will work. Ask about possible side effects, and whether it will interact with other medicines you’re already taking. If you have a question about prescribed medicine after the appointment, ask your pharmacist for advice.
- Don’t be scared to say if there’s anything the doctor is telling you that you don’t understand, or if you need reassurance.
- Your doctor may tell you signs to look out for. If these occur, or if the problem gets worse or does not improve when you would have expected it to, please make an appointment to come back and see us. We would much rather you came back than you suffered in silence.