Appointments can be booked online, over the phone or in person. Our GPs have asked their trained administrative staff to establish a brief understanding of your needs when you phone so that they may advise you appropriately and book whatever type of appointment would best meet your needs. This could mean that they book you an appointment, or may suggest a clinician gives you a telephone call first so that your issue is handled with the most appropriate clinical urgency. For non-urgent issues they may book you a telephone or face-to-face consultation in a few days time with the clinician who knows you well, or who may be dealing with a particular issue for you at that time. It is always helpful for our staff to understand which clinician knows the current situation with your healthcare the best as they are usually going to be able to provide the most effective care and advice to you, so please do mention that clinician's name when first contacting us. A clinician does not always need to see a patient face-to-face and dealing with some issues over the phone saves patients time in coming to the surgery and enables the clinician to manage their workload. In turn this also helps reduce the burden on car parking space for those patients who do need to physically come to the surgery. We are aware parking can sometimes be difficult and regret that we are not able to expand our car parks further.
For issues that cannot wait for a routine response we aim to ensure that either a telephone or face-to-face appointment will be available with a primary care professional that same day. Even if our clinician telephones you first, be assured that if you need to be seen then an arrangement will be made for you to see a member of our duty team that day and we will endeavour to offer as many options as possible as to site location and time of day. We have a skilled team including acute illness nurses, advanced nurse practitioners, specialist paramedics, GPs in training and qualified GPs at the surgery. They work together and mutually support each other. If your initial appointment is booked with a clinician who is not a GP, be assured that one is always on hand should the clinician need their opinion or advice.
* We also offer evening appointments every Wednesday with doctors, nurse practitioners or members of the nursing team from 18:30-20:00 at Pool. Ask for an 'extended hours' appointment if you find it difficult to attend during the normal working day..
In a number of cases it might be worth considering an appointment with a practice nurse rather than a doctor. Practice nurses are qualified to deal with many ailments and you may be seen more quickly. Our nurses hold daily surgeries for things such as wound management and dressings, cervical smears, injections and blood pressure checks.
If you cannot attend an appointment for any reason please inform us as soon as possible in order for us to make the appointment available to someone else. Every week many patients do not attend their appointments and the wasted time would amount to at least another full-time GP being available at the practice for other patients.
If possible please try to telephone reception before 10:00 if you think you, or someone you care for, may require a home visit that day.
Home visits are for entirely housebound patients or are too ill to visit the practice. A clinician will always telephone you back in the first instance so that they may make an appropriate clinical assessment of urgency so please ensure that you, or someone with you, can stay near a phone. Having spoken to you, the clinician can decide the best course of action and will only visit you at home if they think that your medical condition requires it. Our clinical visiting team includes GPs and Specialist Paramedics supported by the Community Matron team and our own Advanced Nurse Practitioners and GPs back at our surgery sites. Either a GP or Specialist Paramedic may come to visit you depending on your assessed clinical needs that day. Alternatively we may refer to the Community Matron or another member of the community nursing team to come and see you as appropriate.
GP Registrars: As an approved training practice, we usually have at least one doctor with us for a 12 month period as a registrar. The registrar is a fully qualified doctor with several years experience in hospital medicine and who is completing the post-graduate training in general practice. The registrar functions as an independent practitioner, sharing the on-call and surgery duties.
We may occasionally request your consent to video these consultations to be used in general practice training. Please be assured you can decline to participate at any time with no prejudice to your care.
Medical Students: We also have medical students with us from time to time. Medical Students usually see a patient on their own for 20 minutes and then the supervising doctor will join the consultation with the patient for up to a further 10 minutes. The receptionist will inform you of the name of the doctor supervising the student that day as this will be the clinician taking responsibility for your appointment.
We are very grateful to our patients for supporting the training of future generations of doctors and GPs.
You do not require a doctor's sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.
If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).
It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a 'Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.
You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.
Please note that medical certificates can be backdated if that is deemed appropriate by the clinician. It is always best for the same clinician who issued the first medical certificate to be responsible for any requests for further extensions for that particular episode of sickness. If you telephone requesting a further medical certificate the surgery staff member will usually try to establish who that is and will book a routine request for a further medical certificate to be issued. This often does not require the patient to come to the surgery to be seen and a new certificate can be provided for collection by the patient at an appropriate time.
The 'fit note' was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer's support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.
For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced)
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