Introduction of Triage for Requests for Urgent Appointments
Due to the pressure on appointments whilst our list size expands we have had to provide a Telephone Triage System each morning. We appreciate that demand for appointments has been growing steadily over recent years. We are keen to try and meet demand as much as we are able and are trying to come up with different solutions to meet patients’ requirements. If you find the Triage system impedes your access to appropriate care or the doctor of your choice please let us know.
The Practice has implemented a GP triage system for patients wishing to make an urgent appointment ONLY. YOU MUST RING BEFORE 10.30am
Many problems, which patients are anxious to have attended to urgently, can be satisfactorily resolved without the patient attending the surgery to see a GP. They can be dealt with by a telephone consultation with the GP who will offer appropriate advice or a prescription for collection.
Patients phoning to request an urgent appointment, will be asked for brief details by the Receptionist & informed that a GP will phone them back to assess their needs, and make arrangements for appropriate care to be provided.
The time saved by the GP’s resolving a proportion of the urgent problems after a telephone conversation, enables more time to be spent seeing patients with more complex & serious problems.
Telephone consultations are different to normal consultations in that, due to the volume of calls (often up to 35 each morning), the GP may only be able to speak with you for less than 3 minutes. Please remember this, and if the issue is not urgent please ask for an afternoon Callback Telephone Consultations by ringing after 2.30pm rather than asking for the Triage Doctor to call you back in the morning. Alternatively, please ring after 2.30pm and ask for a booked appointment either that afternoon if available or on another day. The Triage Telephone Callback is for urgent “on the day” problems - problems that are likely to need a doctors assessment and/or a prescription “on the day”.
Many patients find this service preferable to having to take the time to come to the surgery to see a GP, when it is not necessary. e.g Thrush treatment, repeat prescriptions which needs a doctors authority, simple urine infections, general reassurance, brief advice & management of minor illnesses.
We must stress that unless your problem cannot wait, please make a booking for a routine appointment rather than take an urgent one by ringing after 2.30pm.
Urgent appointments or extras at the end of the day are shorter and the doctor only has time to deal with a single complaint.
Ensure you make an appointment for routine or follow-up appointments in good time.
It is best to stay with the same doctor throughout one particular problem or illness.
If you need an urgent appointment, ring after 8.30am for that morning but before 10.30am and after 10.30am but before 4.00pm for that afternoon.
Please keep your appointment or cancel in good time if you cannot make it.
Why telephone consultations at all?
-Up to 80% of diagnoses can be made on the basis of history alone.
-Offering a telephone consultation may reduce face-to-face consultations by up to 40%.
-They are often preferred by patients for some conditions and are usually more convenient.