How our GP appointment system works

We understand that different patients want different things from our appointment system. Some people like to fit appointments in with their work or other commitments whilst other prefer to ring for a same day appointment. Many people have more routine matter to discuss whilst other people have potentially life threatening health issues needing prompt attention.

We try our best to meet these varying needs within the limitations of the number of GPs and appointments available. Like most GP surgeries, the demand for GP appointments here at Whitemoor is very high. Every month our GPs provide well over 3000 consultations for patients and demand continues to rise.  Therefore our receptionists will normally ask you a few questions to help you find the most appropriate point of care.

We have four types of appointments available

Booked in advance

Bookable up to 4 weeks ahead, these provide choice and flexibility as to when and by whom you are seen. If these appointments are filled on a particular day the receptionist will look for an acceptable alternative. Other appointments are released 2-5 working days ahead to make it easier for you to see your usual GP with a problem that is not urgent but you would like to be seen within a few days. A number of appointments are also available to book online.

Available on the day

Every day at 8.00am a limited number of appointments become available, enabling you to see our Advanced Nurse Practitioner or a doctor quickly if that is your need.  At such short notice there is much less flexibility over the time of the appointment and choice of clinician. 

Urgent medical problems

If you have an urgent and serious problem but all the appointments for a particular day are filled, please tell the receptionist.  The telephone triage doctor (one of the GPs) will call you back to either give advice on the phone or arrange to see you as an urgent appointment at a specified time.  As such there is no flexibility over appointment time or choice of GP.  These appointments are specifically to address the urgent medical problem within an already full surgery.

Telephone

Each day there are a number of telephone appointments  for when you need advice but not to be seen in person. The receptionist will ask for brief details to ensure this approach is the most appropriate for your needs. They will give you the time frame in which your call will be returned; you may leave a mobile number but please ensure your mobile phone is switched on.

Whatever your situation the receptionist can only offer you the appointments that are available. Appointments are always in great demand and the GPs have a finite number of hours in the day in which to meet the needs of our 12,600 patients.

 

What is happening in general practice? Why aren’t there enough GPs? What does this mean for the GP – patient relationship? What needs to be done?

Get the facts by clicking here BMA GP – get the facts