Our Appointment System Explained
We continually review our appointment system and, in response to patient comments, make minor changes from time to time. This has made a big improvement in the way appointments are being used for patients, staff and doctors.
Be aware that many concerns can be dealt with by nursing or reception staff rather than a doctor. We make every effort to book you with the individual of your choice. However, doctors’ availability varies from week to week depending on clinical, educational and annual leave commitments and we therefore ask that you build up a relationship with more than one doctor.
Please be aware all Doctors' appointments are ten minutes in duration. In the interest of all patients if you have a number of issues you wish to discuss, the Doctor may ask you to book a further appointment. Please be aware that surgeries do occasionally run behind time. Clinicians do try to adhere to the time frames however, due to emergencies or complex issues that arise, this is not always possible. If the surgery that you are booked into is running behind schedule and you are unable to wait, our receptionists would be more than happy to re-book your appointment.
Arriving for your appointment
Please allow sufficient time to park your vehicle, as the Health Centre car park can be very busy. There may also be a queue of people at the Reception desk. Please use the automated check-in system to the left-hand side of the Reception desk whenever possible.
If you are late for your appointment by ten minutes or more then it will be at the clinician’s discretion as to whether you can still be seen. However, it is very probable that you will have to rebook your appointment.
We appreciate that it is not always convenient to call the surgery to book your appointment. You can now book doctors’ appointments online. Please ask a member of the reception staff, when next at the surgery for further information, bringing one form of identification with you.
We have various appointment options available to you:
Nurses appointments can be booked up to 4 weeks in advance. Doctors appointments can be booked at 48 hours and one week ahead. These appointments enable you to book ahead when a review or routine appointment is required. To book an appointment convenient to yourself, either book online, call into the surgery or telephone the practice. These appointments are spread throughout the day, to accommodate all patients.
Extended Hours Surgeries
These surgeries may be particularly suitable for those who find it difficult to attend during normal surgery hours. Three days a week, on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we offer late surgeries (between 18:30hrs and 20:00 hrs) at Westgate, Greenhill Health Centre. We also offer some Saturday morning appointments at Westgate, Greenhill Health Centre, from 8am to 12 noon. Please note that these appointments are with those doctors available on the day and not necessarily the doctor of your choice. Appointments with Practice Nurses are also available during some of these surgeries. For more information please contact the surgery.
Advanced Nurse Practitioners
If you have a medical problem for which you think you need to be seen on the same day because you feel unable to wait for the next available doctors' appointment, then you will be booked an appointment to see one of our Advanced Nurse Practitioners on the same day. The Advanced Nurse Practitioner Service operates Monday to Friday 9am until 4.30pm.
The Advanced Nurse Practitioner is a highly qualified and experienced nurse who has undertaken extensive training to be able to assess, investigate, diagnose and treat patients together with the ability to prescribe medications. The Advanced Nurse Practitioner can refer patients on to other appropriate agencies and admit patients to hospital if required.
We can offer an appointment with your usual Doctor via a telephone consultation. However if you feel your problem will not wait we can offer a call back from our Duty Doctor. These consultations are also useful for patients who are elderly or find it difficult to come to the surgery.
This is an on-line service for contacting a doctor for medical advice. Go to our Home page and click on e-Consult. This is where you will be asked a series of questions about your medical symptoms. This is then given to the doctor. You will be contacted either by email or telephone, within 48 hours, as to what the doctor decides is the best treatment for you. Very easy and simple to use.
If you wish a chaperone to be present during a consultation please ask. Nursing and trained reception staff are qualified to provide this service.
Please phone 01543 416633 before 11.00am. This will help the doctors to organise their visiting schedule. House visits are only available for patients who are housebound because of illness or disability.
Text Reminder Service
At Westgate we offer a text reminder service to our patients who inform us of their mobile number. This service is used to remind patients of appointments booked and for generic clinic dates. Any risk of the messages being intercepted is addressed by minimising the information sent. If using the on-line services to update your contact details and you do not want to be included into this service then please contact the practice.