Do you need to see the GP?
Sometimes the GP is not the most appropriate Healthcare Professional to deal with your ailment. Please see the information on see a Doctor or Healthcare Professional and who do I see, to help you decide whether a GP appointment is truly necessary or whether it might be better for you to see a Pharmacist, Optician, Dentist or other Healthcare Professional. You can also self-refer for some services without seeing your GP.
To request an appointment:
- For a routine (non same day urgent) query: you can contact the Surgery during our opening hours only via; Submit an online request or telephone reception. You will receive a response within 2 working days.
- The online request function is disabled when we are closed and when experiencing overwhelm, (this may be due to extreme high demand or unexpected staff absences)
- If you feel your request cannot wait until our online request function is active again, please telephone us during opening hours or if we are closed visit: Get help for your symptoms – NHS 111
- If you feel you require a same day clinical emergency assessment: telephone reception. Only urgent or serious issues will be dealt with by the on the day ‘duty’ team and you may be redirected to a more suitable service or appointment type.
When requesting an appointment over the telephone, you will be asked some relevant questions by the reception team. Your answers will be reviewed by a clinician to provide the most appropriate care with the most appropriate health professional in the most appropriate time frame. Reception staff, like all members of the practice team, are bound by confidentiality rules.
For real life-threatening emergencies such as those below – RING 999
- Chest pain (suspected heart attack)
- Suspected stroke
- Suspected meningitis
- Anaphylactic shock (severe allergy)
- Heavy bleeding or deep lacerations
- Fluctuating levels of consciousness or completely unconscious
- Difficulty breathing or stopped breathing with a change in colour
- New seizure, fit or uncontrollable shaking
For immediately serious conditions such as the following, GO TO Emergency Department (A&E) IMMEDIATELY
- A fever and lethargic (drowsy) child
- A feverish and floppy (unresponsive) infant
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden, severe abdominal pain
- Accidental or intentional overdose of medication
- Trauma (including falls) and possible broken bones or road traffic accident
Your appointment at the Practice
- Please make one appointment for each member of the family who needs to be seen
- We try to keep to time but please be patient if someone before you takes longer than planned
- Appointments are normally ten minute slots, so if you have a complicated problem, or more than one problem, please ask for a longer appointment
- It is Practice Policy to allow patients to choose whichever Doctor they wish to attend in the Practice
- For information on parking and travel, please visit www.winchester.gov.uk/parking/parking-and-car-parks
Due to the nature of our work, unavoidable emergency telephone calls, requests for help from other staff members, emergency consultations and home visits do occur. We ask for your understanding and empathy when these situations arise.
If your doctor is running late, it is likely to be for a good reason and we will be happy to provide you with an explanation. Additionally, our reception team will inform you if there are any known delays when you arrive for your appointment.
Please help us
If you are not able to attend your appointment please let us know in time so that the time can be used for someone else. Please try to arrive on time for your appointment. If you are late every patient seen after you will probably be seen late. Although we will usually try to slot you in somewhere if you are late, you may have to wait until the end of the surgery. We cannot guarantee we will be able to see you and we may ask you to rebook.
Missed Appointments and DNA’s
Do you feel frustrated when you cannot get an appointment?
Every year wasted appointments cost NHS £162 million. This can cause serious delays in treatment for other patients. On average approximately 150 patients each month Did Not Attend (DNA) their appointment. This means the patient did not turn up for the appointment and did not contact the surgery in advance to cancel or change the appointment. This currently results in approximately 40 hours of wasted clinical time each month.
Requesting an Appointment
- You will be asked some relevant questions by the reception team. Your request and answers to the questions will be passed onto the GP to be triaged
- A receptionist or clinician will contact you via your preferred method within 48 hours of your initial call to offer you the most suitable appointment recommended by the triaging GP
- If you feel you have an acute medical condition requiring urgent attention, Please let the receptionist know you are requesting an urgent appointment. Your information will be passed onto the Triaging GP who will assess your request on the day. You will then be contacted by a nurse practitioner or GP to discuss your symptoms and assess the most appropriate action. This may involve advice on how best to treat your condition or may result in the nurse making an appointment for you to visit the surgery to see either the nurse practitioner , GP or other healthcare professional.
- St Clements’ appointment system has been developed, and is constantly under review, to ensure that each patient is able to access an appointment at a timescale most appropriate for their individual medical condition – prioritising those in most urgent clinical need. If you do not consider that your treatment has been appropriate please let a member of our team know as we will use this in our monitoring and review process.
The reason for this procedure is:
- To ensure a fair and consistent response by all staff to patients’ requests for an appointment to see their doctor.
- To provide a service which offers the quickest and most appropriate response to a patient’s request for medical advice, prioritising those in most urgent clinical need.
Our duty team is available Monday to Friday, 08:00-18:30.
A team of doctors and nurses from the surgery deal with all urgent problems that day.
- If you consider your condition is clinically urgent, the reception staff will record information about your symptoms for the nurse practitioner.
- This information is not meant to be intrusive but helps the nurse practitioner to prioritise her calls by clinical need and contact the most urgent patient first.
- The nurse practitioner will clinically assess your condition and will either provide you with telephone advice on the treatment of your condition or will offer you an appointment to attend the practice to see either herself or the duty doctor.
Can I bring someone to accompany me to the Appointment?
We are generally very happy for patients to bring with them a carer, relative or even a friend. This often helps, particularly when they know you well and it allows them to tell us any observations they would make about you, which can help us in undertaking our assessment. Ultimately this will lead us more quickly to make an accurate diagnosis and therefore help you more.
Also, having someone with you means they can prompt you to ask questions that you may have forgotten, and after the appointment they can help in reminding you what was discussed.
Occasionally we might ask for them to leave but this would be unusual.
If you require interpretation services please contact us in advance of you appointment and we will arrange this.
We will always respect your privacy, dignity and your religious and cultural beliefs particularly when intimate examinations are advisable – these will only be carried out with your express agreement and you will be offered a chaperone to attend the examination if you so wish.
You may also request a chaperone when making the appointment or on arrival at the surgery (please let the receptionist know) or at any time during the consultation.
If you have a suspected infectious disease
Please inform reception if you suspect an infectious disease, as this will enable us to deal with it appropriately during your visit to protect you, other patients and staff.
Giving Consent for Treatment
You have the right to accept or refuse treatment that is offered to you, and not to be given any physical examination or treatment unless you have given valid consent. If you do not have the capacity to do so, consent must be obtained from a person legally able to act on your behalf, or the treatment must be in your best interests.
Your valid consent (agreement to the course of action) is needed for the treatment that’s offered to you before any physical examinations or treatment can be given. If you haven’t given your consent, you can accept or refuse treatment that’s offered to you.
It’s important to be involved in decisions about your treatment and to be given information to help you choose the right treatment. When making treatment choices, you’ll often discuss the options with your doctor or another healthcare professional.
Urgent and emergency care services
You can make an appointment with any of the Doctors at the practice. As medical records are now computerised, all Doctors, at any site can access your details. If you prefer, you can make an appointment with a Doctor of your choice. You may need to wait longer to get an appointment with a specific Doctor of your choice, as they may be in high demand at the time.