Frequently Asked Questions

 
  1. Why do you not have a generic email address that I can use to contact the practice?
  2. Why can’t I order prescriptions over the phone?
  3. Why do you have a 2 week appointment system?
  4. Why do I have to see a Doctor first? Can’t a nurse just treat my problem?
  5. What does Open Surgery mean – is it a walk-in clinic/why do you need to book me in?
  6. Why does my appointment card say 11:21 when I’ve been told the Open Surgery is at 11:15am?
  7. Why do I need to enter a string of numbers/letters at the end of the repeat request form before it will send?
  8. Why does my repeat prescription request keep failing to send?

  1. Why do you not have a generic email address that I can use to contact the practice?
  2. Presently the practice does not have the staffing resources that it would need to monitor and deal with the emails that would come through a generic email address, while still trying to maintain the high standards we set ourselves to communicate with patients on the phone and coming through the front door.

    Inevitably the address would also be used to request clinical advice from our doctors and nurses, which we would be unwilling to give without being able to conduct a proper consultation in person, or over the phone.

    There are several ways in which you can communicate information to us electronically, which are listed in our Contact Details page, but if you have a question about the services we provide that isn’t answered in this website, or if you need clinical advice, please call us on 228 6081, or come in to the practice.
    [return to top of page ^]

  3. Why can’t I order prescriptions over the phone?
  4. We consider this to be a safety issue. We take the prescribing of any medication seriously, and require any requests for repeat medication to be done in writing. This helps to minimises the potential errors that could occur through miscommunication over the phone.

    There are a variety of ways you can request your repeat meds: Using our website form, by ticking the relevent items on your presciption counterfoil, and handing it in, or mailing it to the practice, by filling out a repeat prescription request form available from reception, or by faxing through your request on 229 4330.
    [return to top of page ^]

  5. Why do you have a 2 week appointment system?
  6. This policy started during the precautionary measures the practice took during the Swine Flu ‘crisis’ to give us greater flexibilty with the appointment schedule, and it was decided to maintain the system in this way as it significantly reduces the pressure on certain GPs who are regularly ‘blocked booked’ weeks in advance. This has helped us with our continuity of care policy, so that those patients who really need to see ‘their GP’ within our 2 week time span can do so without significant disadvantage to others. We also feel that all patients have an improved access to a wide spectrum of appointments from all the GPs, both at short notice, and within a reasonable timescale for those with recurrent needs.

    We do acknowledge that under this system there can be shortcomings for those patients who need to book appointments with the nurses for regular treatments, and are unable to book ahead at the time of their consultation. We regret the inconvenience this can cause patients, but on balance we feel this is a small price for the overall improvement that has occurred.

    We continue to monitor our appointments system, and if it becomes apparent that an increasing number of patients are having problems with the 2 week schedule, we will review the situation again.
    [return to top of page ^]

  7. Why do I have to see a Doctor first? Can’t a nurse just treat my problem?
  8. There are certain issues that we may ask you to see the doctor first, for an initial assessment, before the issue is handed over to the nurses to treat, such as ear irrigations, and wound checks. This is to ensure that there are no underlying issues or problems present that would require further investigation or treatment.
    [return to top of page ^]

  9. What does Open Surgery mean – is it a walk-in clinic/why do you need to book me in?
  10. The Open Surgery is still a booked clinic, requiring you to make an appointment in advance, but instead of the appointment being booked with a specific doctor, the GPs covering the surgery consult with patients on a first come first served basis.

    Because these appointments are booked, we still need you to check in at reception (or by using the self-check in touchscreen) when you arrive for your appointment, and to let us know in some way if you can no longer make, or no longer need your appointment.
    [return to top of page ^]

  11. Why does my appointment card say 11:21 when I’ve been told the Open Surgery is at 11:15am?
  12. This is simply a quirk of our appointments software. Our open surgeries are organised in half hour slots, with the number of patients we see being three times the number of GPs available (as each GP can conduct three 10 minutes consultations within the 30 minute slot – so if we had 6 GPs available, we can see 18 patients in that half hour). To book patients in for these surgeries we give each patient what only looks like a 1 minute slot, meaning the appointment card we print can display some unusual looking times. But because the open surgeries are operated on a first come first served basis, we ask that you arrive at the beginning of the half hour told to you when you make the appointment.
    [return to top of page ^]

  13. Why do I need to enter a string of numbers/letters at the end of the repeat request form before it will send?
  14. This string of numbers and letters is called a CAPTCHA, and it is a common way of ensuring that the information being submitted through a webform is being done by a human being, and not an automated process designed to generate spam.

    This particular form, as it is by far the most popular page on our website, can generate large amounts of spam that then has to be sorted through to ensure genuine submissions are seen and dealt with. This takes time and can lead to error, so the CAPTCHA was implemented to help curtail that.

    You can read more about CAPTCHAs here.
    [return to top of page ^]

  15. Why does my repeat prescription request keep failing to send?
  16. There are a few reasons why this could be happening, and I’ll go through a few of the most common reasons here.

    a. You haven’t completed the CAPTCHA properly – see the answer to FAQ #7 to read about this.
    b. You haven’t completed all of the mandetory fields – we require both your name and your date or birth before the form will send.
    c. You are using an out of date or incompatible internet browser – as the software people use to access the internet improves and develops, the older versions of the software become incompatible with up-to-date web pages. It’s important to keep your software updated so that you can continue to access the websites you need and to make sure your are doing so safely and securely. You can read the article we posted on this in 2015 here.
    [return to top of page ^]