Emergencies are dealt with daily by the Duty Doctor; initially via a phone appointment which can be followed by a face to face appointment if the doctor deems it necessary to see the patient.
The role of the Duty Doctor is covered by our GPs on the basis of a rota and there is a doctor on duty all day every day.
Emergencies are dealt with by the Duty Doctor while the rest of the GPs are in surgery dealing with patients who have pre-booked appointments. It is not therefore possible for patients to specify which doctor deals with their emergency.
For an emergency phone appointment the receptionist is required to take some details and ask for a contact phone number for the doctor to call. We can’t specify the time of the phone appointment as emergencies are prioritised by the Duty Doctor as they come in on the basis of their urgency and are dealt with accordingly.
The Duty Doctor will then call and discuss the problem over the phone. If the he or she needs to see the patient, an emergency face to face appointment will be given for later in the day for the patient to come in to the surgery.
The demand for emergency consultations with the doctor is extremely high.
The Duty Doctor routinely deals with 50 – 60 emergency calls a day (often more) and it would be impossible for him or her to personally see every patient who calls on the same day.
The doctor will however see anyone who does have a serious medical problem that needs to be seen and be dealt with urgently on the same day.
Reception staff are required to pass on as much detail as possible to the doctor which is why they ask for a reason for the appointment but they do not decide which patients get to see the doctor. The reason that patients have a phone appointment with the Duty Doctor is in order for the doctor to ascertain the seriousness of the problem and the urgency with which it needs to be dealt with.
In order to help us help you we politely ask that patients use the emergency appointment system reasonably.
We make every effort to help patients who are in need of urgent attention but for the system to be viable an emergency appointment should only be requested for problems that are genuinely urgent. We’d also like to remind patients that when an emergency appointment is requested for a matter that isn’t urgent they are potentially putting others at risk who might be in serious or life threatening situations.
Please note emergency appointments can not be booked on-line.
For further information see Emergencies.