LOWER CLAPTON GROUP PRACTICE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Why is the surgery offering telephone appointments?
You have told us that sometimes you find it difficult to get the appointment you need, when you need it. By offering telephone appointments and giving advice this way we can make sure that everyone is able speak to, or see, the clinician that they know best on the day that they call, or possibly the next day if your message is received after 1pm.
Many people don’t need to come into the surgery to be seen at all; their problem can be dealt with by telephone. This gives the clinician more time to see those people that need an appointment in the surgery, and they will invite you to be seen, that day or the next day. Also, because your doctor is the one making the appointments, he or she can judge how much time you might need and give you a longer or a shorter appointment depending on your need. This helps appointments to run to time and means you’re more likely to be seen on time. We also know that when people make an appointment close to the date that they call, they are more likely to keep the appointment.
How do I request an appointment?
There are 2 main ways for you to contact the surgery to have your problem addressed
You can go to our website lowerclapton.nhs.uk and use our AskMyGP site for self help advice or to contact us regarding a health or administrative problem
You can call the practice and choose to speak to a receptionist. This does give you less of an opportunity to tell the clinician a more detailed account of your problem though.
You can come to the practice door and ask for someone to address a health problem, but you should only do this if you have no phone that you can use.
General Practice Nurse, Health Care Assistant and pharmacist appointments will still be pre-bookable by surgery staff only.
Specialist clinics, such as the Turkish clinic, baby clinics, immunisation clinics, are also bookable by surgery staff only.
How do I access my GP of choice?
We encourage all patients to try to see the same doctor particularly if they have an ongoing problem. Please us know if you wish to access a particular clinician and, if possible, you will be added to that clinician’s call-back list. Clearly, all clinicians have leave, including half-days. Due to factors beyond our control currently, we are unable to publish exactly when every clinician is working. If you do know when your preferred clinician is in, please get in touch on those days, unless your problem is urgent and cannot wait.
What if I do not wish to share brief details of my problem with the Receptionist?
Any information provided to our Reception team is confidential but we understand that some patients may not wish to share even the briefest of details. This will not prevent you from accessing your GP. Just tell the receptionist that you do not wish to give this information and your name will be added to the call-back list. The only reason we ask for brief details is to assist the GP in identifying any calls that may need to take priority for example a small child with a fever and a rash that could potentially be meningitis as opposed to an adult with flu like symptoms.
What if I am unable to wait in for a call-back?
Please let the Receptionist know if you have a genuine emergency and cannot wait for a call-back. You will be offered the option of waiting on the line until the GP finishes the call they are on. Alternatively, the receptionist can add a note for the GP asking them to call you back at a particular time.
What if I am unable to take private calls?
If you are able to take a private call at some point later in the day let the Receptionist know what time that is so the doctor can ring you then. If you are unable to take private calls at all then it may be easier for you to use our AskMyGP service via our website and our clinicians will respond appropriately. You can always email any non-urgent issues to our practice email [email protected]
I am hard of hearing and unable to communicate using the telephone.
If you are hard of hearing and are unable or don’t wish to have someone else call on your behalf, you are welcome to come down to the surgery to access a clinician. The clinician will be alerted that you are in reception. The clinician will come out to speak to you privately to ascertain what your need is.
My English is limited
If you do not have or do not wish someone else to speak on your behalf there are a number of clinicians who speak different languages within the practice; further information on which clinicians speak which languages can be found on our ‘Meet the Team‘ page. We can also arrange for a 3 way call with a telephone interpreting service. We will also still have our Turkish clinic on a Wednesday which will still be pre-bookable.
Are telephone appointments safe?
During your call with the doctor, he or she will ask questions to help them make a decision about whether you need to be seen in person or not. For example, if your doctor needs to look at something or examine you, you will be asked to come into the surgery for the appointment. If your doctor thinks you need to be seen, he or she will always ask you to come in to the surgery.
What if the clinician doesn’t offer me a face to face consultation but I am dissatisfied with this outcome?
If you are not happy with the type of appointment that is offered please let your GP know and they will reconsider. Similarly, if you put the telephone down but feel you have unanswered questions or generally feel unhappy with the outcome please contact us and ask to speak to your doctor again.
What if I am unable to attend a face to face consultation during normal opening hours?
The practice offers appointments Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday until 8pm. There are also occasional later appointments available at our local Hackney hub practice if you are unable to be seen by this time. At the hub you will not be able to see one of your regular doctors but these doctors are able to access your full record with your consent.
Can I still book an appointment for next week or next month?
We ask that you call on the day that you wish to be seen. There will still be some pre-bookable appointments available in certain circumstances eg long-term condition reviews.
Will I be seen quicker if I come into the surgery?
Unless your problem is an emergency, you won’t be seen more quickly if you come into the surgery to make an appointment. The receptionist will ask for your contact details and add your name to the doctor’s call-back list. The doctor will then call you back in order of clinical priority.
What do I do if I need an emergency appointment?
Telephone the main surgery number and tell the receptionist that your health problem is urgent. They will be able to discuss your call with the duty doctor on call. You will not necessarily be able to choose which GP calls you back in this circumstance.