PANDEMIC APPOINTMENT SYSTEM
GP practices are working differently
GP Patient Survey July 2021
CONSULTATIONS: we have been asked by the government to deal with patients by phone.
Smart phone users can video (using a text link). Examples
A lot of our patients find telephone and video consultations, text-based communication and online triage easier as it means they don't have to take time off work, worry about travelling with children or sit and wait in the surgery for too long. It also means that GPs have more time and therefore, more capacity to deal with other patients. However, if you are one of the 1.7 million people who struggle to explain their symptoms over the phone, or one of the 9 million people unable to use digital tools unaided, please let us know. Your health is important to us and we treat each patient equally, based on their individual needs.
Don't suffer in silence.
If doctor feels you need examination, they will then arrange a visit to surgery: we hope the Waiting room will be nearly empty, and certainly if you see anyone coughing, do tell reception. No one with an 'cold' should be sitting there! Our duty is to protect ourselves, our staff & other patients. Anyone who has lied about cough/temperature will be asked to leave & ring 111.
For those with suspected Covid, we ask that they wear a mask to protect others, they will be let in through the back door & straight into our Covid Room (which is bare, away from other patients, and easily de-contaminated). Depending on clinical situation, patients may be examined outside or in their cars.
Home Visits will need to be vetted by 2 GPs: we have a duty to protect ourselves and also not to infect you with Covid. We expect patients & their relatives to record basic Vital Signs to watch for possible signs of Covid.
RECEPTION We are trying not to have people walking in unnecessarily, to reduce spread of Covid. Please telephone first, unless you have been asked to come into the surgery.
Telephone appointments are ideally booked on-line to allow staff to get on with other things & not block the phones.
Doing things online isn't new, and shouldn't be difficult.
We have many patients in their 80's who manage quite fine.
The apps are necessarily a little more fiddly because of security than the average app.
Doctors will try to sort things out on the phone. If they feel you need an examination, they'll fix a time with you, or if you have a busy time table, they'll ask you to go online or call Reception to book the Face to Face examination.
There are plenty of online slots available each day, to encourage use of online booking.
Appointments booked through Reception are limited, and will often get full up quite quickly, so you may be offered an appointment several days later.
Doctors do things differently: DrDitri's patients, see Tab on right hand side.
GP's start the day with an impossibly high number of calls. They will often send texts, as appropriate, to Triage calls. Some problems may be solvable by text.
Communicating with as many patients earlier on is important, so as to plan Face to Face appointments. EVERY patient thinks their problem is important, and we respect that point of view, but the GP has a Duty of Care to give timely safe treatment to a huge number of callers.
For the very elderly who don't use texting, staff do try to put as many symptoms down so that the GP can prioritize the call.
Some patients would rather just talk to the doctor and not make any effort to look things up and text back: we get round to calling those patients back when we finish our 16hour days at 8 or 9pm, or the day after.
For those patients who attend surgery for examination, explanations will need to be brief so as to keep the waiting room clear, but if you have any more questions, don't hesitate to arrange a follow up telephone call.
Bottom line: those patients who are computer-minded, who have Facebook, please book online, so that the very elderly who can't, will be able to get through on the phone.
PS. we are quite aware of practices with 2week waits for telephone appointments, and also practices that make patients go through automated online questionnaires before they are able to access an appointment. We haven't got to that stage yet, and with your cooperation & understanding & sense of responsibility for your own health, we will avoid this step.
APPOINTMENTS (AS THEY WERE IN THE PAST)
When booking any appointment at the surgery it will be mandatory to provide a reason. This is to protect our patients, staff and doctors following the recent outbreak of Coronavirus. We apologise for any inconvenience.
We offer different types of appointments to meet the varying needs of our patients. We encourage patients to see their own GP in order to maintain continuity. If it is not possible to see your own GP because either they or you are not available, you will be offered an appointment with an alternative doctor.
Please remember an appointment is for one person and one problem! If you have more than one problem to discuss you may be asked to book a further appointment.
These are 10 minute appointments and can be pre-booked up to 6-8 weeks in advance to enable you to plan any routine checks or discuss non-urgent problems. They are offered during the morning and afternoon each day.
We offer pre-bookable evening and Saturday appointments for people who work during the day.
Each doctor keeps some time free every morning for patients who fall ill on the day and you may call from 8.30am for these. There is no guarantee that this will be by your own doctor but means you will always be able to see a doctor the same day. If the problem cannot be completely sorted out or needs further review, you may have to book a routine appointment for a later date.
If you become ill after morning surgery has finished and require assistance urgently, the on-call doctor will be responsible for assessing your problem.
The on-call Doctor has an evening emergency surgery each day to deal with problems which cannot wait until the next morning. These are 2-3 minute slots and are meant only for emergencies. If the doctor feels there is not enough time to deal with the problem properly, then in your interests they will ask you to re-book with your own doctor.
Getting the most out of the Appointment System
To book an appointment, please call 020 8644 2727 or use Online Services. The lines are busiest first thing in the morning. We know from your feedback that it is frustrating to hear the engaged tone so please be patient and try a little later, we will do our best to get you seen same day if needed. Wherever possible try to plan ahead for routine appointments so that you can be sure of a time and day that suits you best.
All patients will need to check in using the touch-screen or speak to the receptionist on arrival. Please watch carefully for your name to be called on the red display screen.
If you cannot make your appointment, please ring 8644 2727 and leave a message on our cancellation line. Then we can offer this appointment to another patient, resulting in more availability when you choose to re-book.
Late evening and Weekend Appointments
GP and Nurse appointments are available at weekends and in the evenings and can be accessed through our Reception or the numbers below if we are closed. Although you will not be seen by your own GP, your computer records will be available and updated so your GP will be aware.
These appointments are available 8am-8pm every weekend and 630pm-8pm weekday evenings for your convenience at two sites within Sutton, The Old Court House Surgery and The Wrythe Green Surgery. To make an appointment (or cancel a hub appointment) when we are closed, please call 07835236160 or 07479 819677.
Nurses appointments include wound care & dressings, zoladex, contraception advice including pill checks, B12 & Depo injections, smears, ear washouts and health promotion. In most cases you will need to supply your own dressings and injections, please discuss this with our reception team.
REMEMBER YOU CAN ACCESS A VARIETY OF APPOINTMENTS INCLUDING; TELEPHONE, SATURDAY MORNING AND LATE EVENING APPOINTMENTS ONLINE 24 HOURS A DAY 7 DAYS A WEEK.
IF YOU REQUIRE FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE SPEAK TO ONE OF OUR RECEPTION TEAM.