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Appointments & Consulting

How to get help and advice

We operate a 'Digital First' system, in line with NHS policy. This means instead of booking an appointment, you need to use our eConsult system to request medical advice and also for all administrative requests.

If you are unable to use internet services you can phone the surgery. The receptionists will ask you some questions.

By having the information in advance, the doctor and staff can best meet your needs.

Who's best to help with my problem?

Type your problem or request in the box and see who might best help.

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See a Doctor or
Physician Associate or
Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Physician Associate or
Advanced Nurse Practitioner

See a Phlebotomist
(make sure you have blood request from first)

See a Practice Nurse

check your Patient Access app

Send us an eConsult
(or ask at reception)

See a Health Care Assistant

What do all the different people do in the practice?

There are lots of curious names and new roles and multi-skilling and it is confusing to know who can deal with what problems and who might be the best person to consult. We work as a team and several of us may be involved in your care and by sharing our experience and judgement will hopefully give you a 'joined up' service.

And you don't always need to waste your time coming to a surgery appointment - there are many things when we can deal with things online or by phone.

GP (General Practitioner)
Physician Associate
Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP)
Practice Nurse
Health Care Asistant (HCA)
Clinical Pharmacist
Phlebotomist
Social Prescribing Link Worker
Receptionist
Practice Manager
Practice Administrator
Workflow Administrator

Who are GPs?

GP (General Practitioner) They're doctors who are generalists - though they may have special interests, they are trained to do pretty much everything. As we have 11 of them here, we have loads of skills between them.
A partner 'owns' the practice and is responsible for running it and takes all the responsibilities and the risks - legal and financial - and decides the policies and future strategies of the practice. Partners are the employer of all the staff and hold the contract with the NHS for providing services.
Employed GPs are employees of the partners but are experienced GPs who prefer not become partners.
We sometimes employ 'locums'. These are GPs working with us temporarily, maybe to cover a maternity leave or sickness.
We also have doctors in training - fully qualified but under supervision while they learn the general practice ropes. Some may go into other specialities but others are committed to a future career in general practice. For more details see trainee doctors.
A doctor will have at least 4 years' experience after qualifying, in hospital medicine and general practice training, and an exam called the MRCGP, before they can become fully-fledged GPs.

What can they do for you?

See a GP if you have a medical or mental health problem and need advice or an examination , tests or a referral.
We rotate Duty Dr each day holds telephone, eConsult and some video consultations and triages all the 'Urgent for today' problems - chest infections, bad fevers, chest or abdominal pain etc and home visits and any emergencies. The other GPs hold normal appointments, had are booked on the day and half up to 3 weeks ahead.
For admin problems such as certificates or forms or blood test requests, try eConsult and avoid having to come to an appointment.
You can also request a telephone call-back from a GP who is dealing with you or knows you.
Ask a receptionist if unsure.
GPs can, of course, do most things but many of the things we get to do can be done equally well or even better by other members of the team.
This all saves valuable time for more serious things that really need a doctor's face to face consideration and helps relieve pressure on our appointments for those who need them.

Who are Physician Associates?

Physician Associates, are new professionals in General Practice. They support GPs and the other clinicians in the team and can also see and manage patients of their own, holding consultations, examining, ordering tests and giving healthcare and preventative advice and management plans. They can deal with 'acute' (short-term) illness as well as 'chronic' (long-term) conditions.
They cannot, at present (though this will change) sign prescriptions or order X-Rays, so will need to get a GP's approval.

What can they do for you?

Our Physician Associate, Sumeira, may see you for 'urgent for today' problems in duty surgery or for more long term condition monitoring. She will also follow up her own patients just as a doctor would, order tests and refer patients as necessary. You may book appointments with her - she can deal with the full range of medical and psychological issues.

Who are Advanced Nurse Practitioners?

ANPs are qualified nurses with additional qualifications (Masters level) to allow them to prescribe medicines and to assess and manage a range of long-term conditions such as diabetes or acute illnesses or minor injuries. They can also carry out nursing skills such as dressings and immunisations, so a hybrid role between a doctor and a Practice Nurse.
ANPs have varied skills and no one is the same as another.
Rebecca, our existing ANP was previously an experienced Emergency Nurse Practitioner, having worked in A&E.
Two of our Practice Nurses, Varsha and Komal are currently on ANP training programmes.

What can they do for you?

Currently the Duty Dr triages 'urgent for today' problems to the ANP surgery. Rebecca will see you on the days she is here.
Varsha and Komal (in addition to their Practice Nurse duties) will deal with long term conditions such as diabetes, COPD, hypertension, - they can carry out the routine monitoring and management of these conditions and will see you if any of the routine annual checks you've had with the Healthcare Assistant show you require further management.

Who are Practice Nurses?

Practice Nurses are registered nurses who undergo additional training to allow them to run their own surgeries within a practice treating minor injuries, wounds, giving healthcare advice, dealing with minor illness and help with monitoring long term conditions, carry out cervical cytology. They also lead on infection control.

What can they do for you?

See a Practice Nurse for:

  • Travel vaccination and advice
  • Cervical Cytology (smears)
  • Contraceptive pill checks (not coils)
  • BP annual reviews
  • Diabetes annual reviews after seeing HCA for blood tests and foot checks if directed.
  • Heart disease annual reviews
  • COPD and asthma annual reviews
  • Wound dressings
  • Swabs for infections incl. MRSA
  • Smoking cessation advice
  • Weight loss advice.

Who are Health Care Assistants?

HCAs are unregistered health care professionals are trained to carry out a number of duties under the supervision of the GPs and Nurses. They have or are working towards a Care Certificate.
They also look after all our practice stocks and routine equipment checks to ensure we function efficiently.

What can they do for you?

See our HCAs for:

  • New Registration health Checks
  • Routine annual health checks such as BPs, foot checks, blood tests
  • Flu jabs
  • Smoking cessation advice.

Who are Phlebotomists?

Phlebotomists are trained to take blood for tests ordered by the doctor, nurse or HCA. In fact our HCAs double as phlebotomists!

What can they do for you?

The phlebotomists can only take blood ordered on a form by a clinician so please make sure you have a test request form with you or pick up a form waiting for you at reception. The phlebotomy appointments can be booked online and are in the morning until lunchtime as the courier collects blood to take to the hospital in the early afternoon.
It helps to be ready when you go for your phlebotomy appointment - take of your coat, loosen your clothing ready to expose your arm and make sure you've had plenty to drink from the night before and that your arms are nice and warm - it makes blood-taking a lot easier!

Who are Clinical Pharmacists?

Clinical Pharmacists will have a degree in pharmacy and are registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council.
They have great expertise in medicines, their effects, side effects, interactions and how to use them.
We rely on them to give expect advice on complex issues.
They also have training in the recognition and treatment of minor illnesses and long term conditions.
Our Clinical Pharmacist, Shaina, also helps us monitor our repeat prescribing, develop our medication and prescribing policies, alerting us to wider medication issues and has special interest in Diabetes.

What can they do for you?

Here is a useful leaflet about a clinical Pharmacist's role in General Practice.
If you have difficult to control diabetes, we may refer you to Shaina.

Who are Social Prescribing Link Workers?

Social prescribing involves linking people to a variety of services, both in the voluntary and statutory sector, helping people navigate through difficult life problems and reduce inequality in our community.
They enable people to have more control over their lives, develop skills and give their time to others, through involvement in community groups.

What can they do for you?

We shall refer you to our link worker (later on, people may be able to refer themselves).
For instance people with complex emotional, social, medical, financial problems.
They will receive a number of contacts over a three month period to help them get back on their feet by connecting people to community groups and help the person to develop skills, friendships and resilience.

Who are Receptionists?

Receptionists have a hard job - they need to satisfy patients and at the same time all the doctors, nurses, other clinicians and managers and work within the rules and capacity and resources of the practice. They often describe themselves as the jam in the sandwich balancing delicately on a tightrope!
Their main job is to listen to the patient and try to offer what they can to best meet their needs. Often there are misunderstandings in what we can provide and what is actually needed and what the patient thinks they need and the receptionist needs great skill , understanding and patience in handling a huge number of often complex contacts through each day.
A tough job: please treat them with respect!

What can they do for you?

Apart from booking appointments (and these are often more easily and quickly done directly on-line) , the receptionist will explain any aspect of our service, handle admin enquiries, give test results (best done online) who is best to see out of our team, (which is why we often ask for a brief idea of your problem), how to get things done in the wider health service and generally they are there to help.

Who is a Practice Manager?

The Practice Manager handles all the managerial tasks involved in running a busy practice- increasingly complex regulatory, contractual and financial matters (recovering payments from the various dysfunctional NHS and Local Authority sources is a huge and tricky task yet the viability of the practice depends on it). She is responsible for HR - recruiting and employing all staff, ensuring we meet all the complex statutory obligations such as infection control, CQC, Health & Safety. She runs the building to ensure everything works and all the various maintenance requirements are met - and this is a very complex building. There is a raft of policies and procedures that she is responsible for to underpin our work and every aspect is under constant scrutiny and subject to detailed reports. She also is responsible for overseeing complaints, significant event reporting and liaising with contractors and outside bodies.
She also manages the interactions and services provided by all our clinicians.
It's a difficult job but vital if we are to be able to serve patients safely and efficiently and survive as a viable practice.

What can she do for you?

You may only come into contact with Amanda our Practice Manager if you raise a complaint or send us a great idea. She will represent the practice at Patient Group meetings and open meetings.
Yvonne, our Assistant Practice Manager assists Amanda in some of these roles.

Who is a Practice Administrator?

Emma assists the Practice Manager with many of her tasks and liaises with outside agencies involving patient care queries and reports. She facilitates referrals to hospital and obtaining reports and test results when they fail to arrive. She takes minutes at meetings and is generally a most helpful person.

What can she do for you?

You may come into contact with Emma if she is sorting out a problem for you or wishes to get your consent to release a report to a third party.

Who is a Workflow Administrator?

A massive amount of correspondence and data concerning patients flies around , with into and out of the practice and our four Workflow Administrators ensure it is all handled safely according to clear protocols so the the right people receive it in a timely fashion. They will act on instructions in correspondence about patients by coding the information in the patient record and carrying out tasks such as requesting further appointments of tests or communicating with the patient.

What can they do for you?

You may be contacted by the Workflow Administrators to book an appointment or carry out an action requested by a hospital, clinic or a third party.

Consulting a Doctor

To request medical advice please fill in an eConsult online form, which asks the sort of questions a GP would and helps direct you to the right source of help.

Many medical queries can be managed safely without needing a face-to-face appointment. Having the information in advance allows the GP to assess the most appropriate way to help, saving time and often an unnecessary trip to the surgery: the GP may phone, send a message with advice, a prescription to the pharmacy, organises some tests or maybe a referral. Or a face to face appointment may be necessary.

We'll reply by the end of the next working day at the latest, though usually much quicker on the same day.

This short video explains all about eConsult.

If you cannot use online services, don't worry - you can ring the reception:

The receptionist will ask you some questions to help the GP prioritise and offer the most suitable help.

All face to face appointments are pre-booked following an eConsult. If you turn up without an appointment it is unlikely we will be able to see you at that time, except in an emergency.

eConsult gives access to oodles of valuable self help material. You don't need to register for this service. eConsult is ideal for administrative queries and requests as well as medical matters.

Automated phone backs: At peak times, to save waiting on the phone, you have the option of requesting a phone back, from the menu system. You will not lose your place in the queue but it will save your phone bill! You may still hold on if you prefer - it will take exactly the same time to have your call answered.

Appointment text reminders are sent - remember to update your contact details!

Tell the receptionist if you think your problem is urgent or if you are feeling bad and are having difficulties waiting.

Try to stick to the Doctor who knows you or your problem best. This is especially important if dealing with an on-going or recurrent problem and ensures you get the most efficient personal care. Please ask for your usual doctor.

Please cancel unwanted appointments so others can be offered them. We waste thousands of appointments each year due to people not cancelling. You can easily cancel online using Patient Access or replying to the text reminder we send.

Consulting a Nurse

Some routine Nurse appointments are booked online by Patient Access or by eConsult or reception telephone.

Telephoning a Doctor or Nurse

For non-urgent calls, it is best to fill in an eConsult unless you have been asked to ring back. Otherwise ask a Receptionist to take your details and your selected Dr or Nurse will ring you back. We try to answer calls within 72 hours.
For anything urgent, it is usually better to complete and eConsult but if you are unable to, discuss the matter with a receptionist.

Video Consultations

We can use video links simply and securely to your mobile phone or computer video cam. This can be extremely useful and we can change from a phone call to video by sending your a link to your phone. If you accept, you click on the link and the software connects you directly or may send a small app to quickly download.

Here is an NHS overview of video consultations (and another about online services with good video on video consultation)

SMS Texting

We use SMS messaging extensively for your direct medical care, for instance to remind you of an appointment, an upcoming medical review or the arrival of a test result.
We may also send you some useful information through a link.

You often have the chance to send a reply, maybe to cancel an unwanted appointment or answer a question about your medical state.

if you prefer not to receive SMS you can opt out but you will miss a useful part of our service to you.

Chaperones

You can always have a relative or friend with you when you see your GP or Nurse or you can ask at reception to provide a confidential, trained chaperone, preferably when you make your appointment. Many of our receptions have had specific training.

The doctor or nurse might offer this when you are undergoing examinations of an intimate or sensitive nature e.g. cervical cytology, gynaecological, testicular, breast or rectal examination or when you or the clinician might, in other circumstances, feel vulnerable.

You are also welcome to bring a friend or companion to the consultation.

Home Visits & Emergencies

We can visit those too unwell to leave the house. Please phone as early as you can (before mid-day). A doctor will speak to you first in order to prioritise visits.
Examining someone in their own home is often less than ideal, so if you are able to come to our well-equipped surgery it is safer and better.
If you feel bad when you get to the surgery, please tell a receptionist and we will see you without delay.
In an emergency (severe shortness of breath, crushing chest pain, heavy bleeding, sudden paralysis, you should always dial 999 as the patient's life may be at risk.
It is perfectly safe to bring a feverish child to see us, despite many old-fashioned beliefs.They have often cooled down and perked up by the time they arrive and will be seen quicker than waiting at home.

Trainee Doctors & Medical Students

Teaching and training is an important part of our work and we help train the next generation of Doctors and Health Professionals. We are an Approved Training Practice for Foundation Doctors and GP Specialist Trainee Doctors. This means our lead Doctors and the Practice as a whole have passed the strict approval process of Health Education England to show we have reached the required standards to train young doctors and other healthcare professionals. Drs Dodhia and Mehrali lead our training programmes.

Currently we train Foundation Year 2 doctors and General Practice Specialist Trainees (GP Registrars) and may also have undergraduate Medical Students and other Allied Health Professionals such as Nurses in the practice. They are all part of approved training programmes overseen by academic and regulatory authorities and their work is carefully monitored and evaluated.

You may be allocated appointments with one of these young professionals - you will always be asked if you are happy with this and they will introduce themselves to you. We may have a student or young professional sitting in a consultation with your usual doctor - you will always be warned and given the option of them leaving if you prefer. We may video record the consultation - you will be asked to give written consent and will not record it if you prefer.

More about our teaching and what to expect ……

Referral to Hospital

The decision to refer to a hospital doctor is made in discussion between you and your GP. it is important we send your medical details to any other doctor. Private referrals must also be discussed with your GP first. If you have medical insurance, the insurer may not cover your bills without a prior GP referral.
Though referral routes may be suggested to you, often to preferred locally-commissioned services, you will still have the right to choose your hospital, enshrined in the NHS Constitution.
We refer using the NHS E-Referral System ('ERS'). Once you have been referred, a Unique Booking Reference Number ('UBRN') will be created and this, with an access code, will be printed and given to you so you will be able to track and manage your booking online.We shall either make the booking for you (which you can then change if needed) or if preferred, you can make your own appointment using these details on this site.

When you've been referred to a specialist, there are a number of things you should expect and here is a useful checklist to print out and take with you.

Interpreting & Translating

Professional interpreters are available on the telephone for most languages. We can also book them to come in person to your consultation (the more notice you give, the more likely someone will be available to come). We use Silent Sounds interpreting services

The receptionist will organise a phone interpreter service when you arrive so please ask when you check in. Or you are welcome to bring someone with you or use your own interpreter.

Leaflets about a wide variety of conditions and medical issues are available in many languages, so please ask the doctor if you'd like more information to take away with you.

And, of course this website can be accessed in any language - click on the banner below the image on the home page.

And interpreting services are available throughout the NHS, so if you have to attend a hospital, let them know and we shall also inform them when we make a referral.

Disclaimer This website is to inform our patients of our services and provide general educational material concerning health. Any information, opinions, data or images are provided in good faith for the interest and benefit of our patients and not for any commercial gain. We are not offering professional advice concerning the particulars of any individual's health and cannot be responsible for the accuracy of the information presented or the content and reliability of information on linked external sites and request that you make your own judgements and use the information at your own risk. We cannot always keep all the information up to date, though we try our best. If you have any concerns about any of the content on this site, broken links etc please contact us.

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