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. General Information
Caithness Redesign - Practice Statement
Physio – First Contact
GP Near Me
GP Near Me is a new service which means you can have a video consultation at home or wherever you are. Video appointments are not suitable for every type of appointment, so the Practice will advise you when it can be used. There are always a range of factors to think about, so if you have a strong preference please let us know.
The GP Near Me appointment will be at a specific time – just like a normal appointment.
For a video appointment you need:
• A reliable internet connection (broadband, WiFi or mobile data)• A device for making a video call (computer and webcam, tablet or smartphone)• The Chrome or Safari internet browser (Chrome can be downloaded for free from: www.google.co.uk/chrome)
You should be in a private, well-lit area: make sure no one can listen into your video call unless you want them to be there to help you.
This check can be carried out at any time and consists of up to four steps to make sure you can make a GP Near Me call. You may be asked to allow access to your camera for video calls: please agree to this.
To enter the waiting area you will have to press Start Video Call. This should only be used if you have an actual (real) appointment with the Practice. You will have to enter your name and date of birth and tick the box to continue. Finally click on “Start Call”. You will then be placed in the virtual waiting room until your GP, Nurse or Pharmacist connects your video call. They will appear on the screen when the call is connected. You can speak as if you are in the same room. You will hear music until the call connects.
If you have any difficulties during the video call, click the green “refresh” button to reload the screen. To finish the call, click “end”.
Urgent cases will be seen the same day although it may not be with your usual doctor. Please explain to the receptionist if you need to be seen urgently or if you feel your problem needs a longer than normal appointment.
Sick children will always be seen as soon as possible if brought to the surgery. (This may be quicker than a visit) If in doubt about bringing your child please phone the surgery first for advice.
Every week more than 16 patients fail to attend for booked appointments with the doctor or nurse. This wastes the equivalent of one doctor’s complete surgery (2 ½ hours)! Please ensure that you always cancel your appointment if you cannot attend.
We aim to provide efficient access to medical care for all our patients, but the demand for appointments often results in frustrated patients and stressed doctors and surgery staff. For this reason we have made some positive and helpful changes to our appointments system (see section on Practice Nurse Triage).
Do I Really Need To Be Seen?
You may find a telephone consultation useful if you do not think an examination will be required or if you want to discuss some test results or medication. These appointments are particularly useful if you have young children or a carer or you are working during surgery hours.
You may also sometimes feel that the Receptionist asks too many questions! Please remember that the receptionists are your link with the rest of the practice and they will try to ensure that you get the most appropriate type of appointment for your needs. The more information you are able to give them, the better they will be able to assist you. Any information they ask from you is treated with the strictest confidence. For example, the receptionist may ask you if your problem is something that the doctor or nurse could deal with over the phone or is it something that they need to see.
For information on our Senior Practitioner (Advanced Nurse Practitioner) and when to book an appointment with her, please see section on Practice Staff
Remember that our Practice Nurses deal with the management of chronic diseases such as asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes and should be your first point of contact if you are having problems managing your symptoms with these diseases.
If you have any of the following problems or require assistance with the following, you should make an appointment to see the Practice Nurse:
Blood samples are taken by the Practice Nurse on a daily basis.
8.30am – 10.40am (2/3 surgeries)
2.00pm – 4.50pm (2/3 surgeries)
We are now offering an early morning and evening surgeries for all our patients, every week from 7.30am to 8.30am and from 5.30pm to 6.30pm on a Thursday in the Princes Street Surgery
Consultations for early morning surgeries are strictly by pre-booked appointment, ie you cannot book appointments on the day. If you call the surgery between the hours of 7.30am and 8.00am, you will be put through to NHS24 as before.
We hope that this surgery will be particularly accessible for working/commuting patients who find it difficult to get to the surgery during normal working hours. If you have any questions or queries regarding the early morning surgery, please call Reception on 01847 893154.
8.30am - 11.20am
2.00pm - 4.50pm
The triage system of appointments aims to provide access to a health care professional for those patients who feel that they have a reasonably urgent need. The primary aim of triage is to try to ensure the most appropriate health professional deals with these reasonably urgent cases and this is achieved through the Practice Nurse speaking with the patient via the telephone to assess the patients need and to ensure they are directed to the most appropriate health care professional in a timely manner. In theory a triage system will ensure that those patients with the most urgent need are seen. The triage system does not replace those more routine appointments that are made.
Patients telephoning for an appointment will be asked to confirm their telephone number and told that they must be available until such times as the Practice Nurse is able to call them back. The Practice Nurse will then discuss the problems with them. In many cases it is hoped that the matter will be resolved on the telephone without the need for the patient to visit the surgery. This will save time for both the patient and the practice.
In those instances where the patient and Practice Nurse agree that an appointment is necessary; one will be made by the Practice Nurse, normally later that day. The ‘Triage Clinic’ will run from 11.00am to 12.30pm on a daily basis.
In addition to being asked to confirm your telephone number, Receptionists may ask patients for brief details of the reasons for their request, whether they require advice or wish to be seen. This will allow the Practice Nurse to prioritise the calls so that, for example, someone reporting severe pain or a sick child will be attended to before someone with a query regarding their medication. If you would rather not discuss things with the Receptionist then you can decline to give this information, stating it is private, but you should be made aware that this will make it more difficult for the Practice Nurse to prioritise your call appropriately.
If, when you visit or speak to a Practice Nurse/Doctor, a follow up appointment is required, then the Practice Nurse/Doctor will make the appointment on the spot. If you need to change this at a later date you are free to do so.
Please ensure we have your up to date contact details, including telephone number.
Physiotherapy in your GP surgery – Direct Access
Telephone consultations are now being offered for routine appointments. Each day a small number of appointments will be available for telephone consultations. This means that the DOCTOR will phone you back at the appointment time (please make sure we have the correct telephone number) The receptionist may ask you when making an appointment: “Is this something that the doctor could deal with over the phone, or do you need to see the doctor face-to-face?”
When would I use this service?
The practice is introducing telephone appointments for the convenience of patients. But, the choice is yours and you can still make an ordinary appointment if this service is not suitable.
Should you need to see a doctor but are unable to get to the surgery because of the severity of your illness, or because you are housebound, then you should ring the surgery to discuss the need for a home visit.
To do this you should telephone the surgery you normally attend before 10.00am and be prepared to answer a few simple questions about your problem. This will help the doctor decide the urgency of any necessary visit.
Home visits are very time consuming and more difficult than seeing a patient in the surgery. A doctor can usually see several patients at the surgery in the time it takes to make a single house call. Computerised records and some pieces of medical equipment which are so helpful in modern general practice are only available at the surgery and it is always greatly appreciated if you can make it to the surgery.
You do not require a doctor's sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.
If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).
It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a 'Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.
You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.
The 'fit note' was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer's support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.
For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced).