21 Feb 2019:
We currently have a shortage of GPs due to maternity and sickness absence. However we have a team of minor illness practitioners who can help with many problems. This means that we need to assess requests for GP appointments and so are unable to offer the usual number of appointments on Patient Access. We are very sorry that we have had to do this as we know online appointments are very helpful to our patients.
The national shortage of GPs has meant its been difficult for us to find locum and temporary cover but we hope the situation will improve soon.
We offer a range of appointments, according to your need:
- Advanced bookable appointments
- On the day appointments - mostly at Verney Close.
- Appointments within the next 24 hours
- Bookable telephone consultations
- Some evenings and Saturday appointments for patients who find it difficult to come during the working day.
The receptionists’ aim is to help our patients get to the right service faster. This isn’t always the GP; some problems can be treated by the chemist, pharmacist, nurse or urgent care practitioner. The receptionists (now called care navigators) have been trained to possess additional skills in signposting patients to the appropriate service but they do not give medical advice. They are not assessing nor triaging and if you do not want to give them any information then this will not hinder your preference of seeing or speaking with a GP.
All patients are asked if the problem needs to be attended to “today” but if you are happy to wait we also have appointments for advance booking. A patient with an urgent problem should always get to speak to a doctor on that day.
Ask NHS App - advice and appointment booking
The app is free to download on any mobile device and provides patients with a symptom checker, self-care advice and access to book the most appropriate GP appointment.
Using the app can help you take more control of your own health. A virtual healthcare assistant, Olivia, will ask you a series of questions (approximately 15) to assess your symptoms in a clinically safe and NICE accredited way. Olivia will then recommend the most appropriate care for you which might be self-care advice via NHS Choices, an appropriate appointment, GP call back or direction to urgent or emergency care.
For patients who need to see a GP, the app can prioritise those patients into the most appropriate appointment slots based on their needs. You’ll be able to directly book an urgent or routine appointment without having to call the practice.
The Ask NHS app is available on both iOS and Android phones, smart devices. It is free to download from the App Store (Apple devices) or Google Play (Android devices). http://onelink.to/asknhs
Booking an Appointment
Telephone or Online
Please note, presenting in person will not guarantee an appointment that same morning
The same GP appointments are available online as via the telephone. Due to varying duration of nurse appointments, these are not available to book on line, please telephone.
We have 3 branches
It is possible to be seen at any branch, no matter which surgery you’re registered with but please call the appropriate surgery:
- North End (01280) 818600
- Verney Close (01280) 822777
- Steeple Claydon (01296) 733300
We will attempt to book your appointment with the doctor of your choice but if they are not available you will be offered an appointment with another doctor. The receptionist will try to accommodate your preferred appointment time but this may not always be possible.
These appointments can be booked on the day and in advance. You may request the doctor of your choice, regardless of which surgery they are at. When making the appointment the Care Navigator will request some brief details and you will be telephoned.
If the doctor requests that you make a follow up appointment, this should be a pre–booked appointment. Please make the appointment at Reception before you leave the surgery.
Please use the Ask NHS app. This will ask questions about your symptoms and then book appointment if required, within an appropriate timescale with the minor illness practitioner:
Minor Illness Practitioners
Minor illness practitioners specialise in treating our patient’s urgent and short term minor illness so that our doctors can concentrate on the more complex and specialist needs.
Our collection of MIPs is a group of very experienced nurses and paramedics with a broad range of skills which include treating all short term minor illnesses in children and adults such as; upper and lower respiratory infection or illnesses, skin and urinary infections, urgent ECGs and able to manage urgent and acute referrals, in many cases independently of the doctors. Some of the MIPs are able to independently prescribe where necessary, however often many minor illnesses do not require prescriptions and the team will sign post to self-care and give advice on over-the-counter treatments.
An urgent consultation is for a problem that cannot wait until the next routine appointment. If you feel your request is urgent then an appointment will be made with an available clinician, this could be a doctor or minor illness practitioner, according to your problem and will most likely be at Verney Close.
Our nursing staff offer a wide range of services please contact reception to make an appointment. Due to the variety of services available our receptionists will need to ask you what you are coming for to ensure you see the correct member of the nursing team.
It is important that you arrive for your appointment on time, as late arrival causes additional waiting time for others. If you arrive more than ten minutes late you will be asked to rebook your appointment for another time.
Messages and Information
If you have some medical information which you would like to inform the doctor about, and you feel you do not need to see them, please let reception know and the information will be passed on to the doctor.
If you cannot attend an appointment for any reason please inform us as soon as possible in order for us to give the slot to someone else.