This page is intended to help you understand how the appointment system works at our practice so that you can be seen most effectively.
Our aim is to see any patient who has a health problem within a timespan that is appropriate for that problem. As a practice we undertake consultations for our population of more than 12,500 registered patients. Some of these consultations are for new illnesses whilst others are for continuing problems, with more than 90% of all medical care being provided in general practice. It can therefore be a massive challenge to match the needs of individual patients to the supply of appointments.
We have several different types of appointment aimed at meeting the needs of the majority of patients:
- Urgent (same day) appointments - These are intended for problems that need to be dealt with as a matter of medical urgency. Please phone at 8am on the day if you genuinely require one of these appointments. The Receptionist will place your details on the duty doctors triage list, so the more information you can provide the better. The duty doctor looks through all these requests and directs the receptionist to which appointment type should be booked. The team will then call you back to arrange the appointment that the doctor believes best meets your medical issue. This may include an appointment at one of our Enhanced Access Hubs, please see further down for more information.
- Telephone appointments. A telephone call can often save time for both patients and doctors, and you may be offered a telephone consultation if you find it difficult to get to the surgery or the doctor feels your medical issue can be helped by this consultation type. This is classed as an appointment and uses one of our available appointments for the day.
- Routine appointments. These can be booked several weeks in advance and are best suited to follow-up of continuing problems with a doctor of your choice, where possible. If your problem has been ongoing for a number of weeks or months and isn’t getting any worse you may be offered a routine appointment
- Nurse appointments. Our nurses can deal with a range of common problems including monitoring long term health conditions.
- Home visits. Given that a doctor can see three or four patients in surgery in the time that it takes to do a single visit, home visits are restricted to patients who are genuinely unable to get out of their home.
There are several different ways of making an appointment:
- By phone.
If you are in genuine need of an urgent (same day) appointment please call 01223 234286 or 01954 251180 at 8am, on the day you wish to be seen. At times our phone lines can be very busy but we now have a call back system which provides the option to hold you in the virtual queue, if you are below position 5. When you reach the front of the queue our phone system will automatically call you back. Please keep your phone to hand if you use this option, so you are available when we call you back. If you do not answer after two attempts at a call back or your call goes to voicemail you will lose your place in the queue and will need to call again.
Routine appointments should be requested online, and this has the advantage that you can access them at any time of day Monday to Friday 8am - 5pm. Unfortunately, due to safety and work load issues the form can only be open when we are available to monitor it. Please do not use the online option for urgent issues. To access the online form go to our website www.firshouse.com, click on the top left box and follow the instructions, giving as much information as possible. The duty doctor will review the form within 5 working days and contact you directly or advise our reception team what action is required, you may receive a call or a text message to inform you of the outcome of your enquiry.
- In person.
The receptionist may take you through the online form if you have trouble completing it yourself and the above processes will apply. The Reception Team are unable to book you an on the day appointment from the front desk.
If you have trouble completing the online form, please call the reception team after 10am and they can assist you in completing it over the telephone
IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE OUTSIDE SURGERY HOURS PLEASE CONTACT 111 WHO HAVE CLINICIANS WHO CAN ADVISE YOU OR IN AN EMERGENCY CONTACT 999