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.
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:
The majority of appointments are bookable up to 4 weeks in advance. 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. Two days a week we offer morning surgeries (between 7.00am and 8.00am) and evening surgeries (between 6.30pm and 8.00pm) at the Greenhill Health Centre. 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 9.00am until 6.00pm.
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.
If you would like to speak to a doctor or nurse in relation to a medical matter, such as a medication query or results, please call before 11.00 am and one of the doctors or nurses will call you back later the same day on a designated phone number. These consultations are also useful for patients who are elderly or find it difficult to come to the surgery.
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.