How do I make an appointment?
You may not need to make a traditional GP appointment to get help with your condition, symptoms or treatment. Visit Self Help for more information about options available to you. Here you can search for a local pharmacist who may be able to help with minor ailments without an appointment, dental advice and minor injury units.
Visit Appointments to request a routine appointment such as a blood pressure check, cervical smear or blood test, request your test results or a referral, or you can seek a consultation with a clinician.
What is the ‘Get help for any health problem’ form and why do I have to complete this to get an appointment with my GP?
The Get help for any health problem form is the most efficient way to gain a consultation with your GP. When completing the form, you will be asked for information about your condition and symptoms which allows the GP to understand your concerns and how you would like them help.
Practice staff are then able to triage your and other patients’ requests in order of severity, ensuring that urgent health matters are dealt with quickly. It may also save you a visit to the practice as the Clinician can offer online advice, or a telephone/video consultation. This results in your query being dealt with by the most appropriate member of staff efficiently and in a timely manner.
Why can I not call and make an appointment?
You may be able to call your practice and speak to a receptionist, however, you may be greeted with a telephone message asking you to visit the website. This is because it may be quicker for you to be triaged through the online system than to wait in the queue on the phone.
What happens to my request when I submit a form?
When you submit a form it goes to a practice dashboard. A dashboard is an internal practice space where all requests can be viewed and filtered by the practice.
From here the practice will view your request, and it will be passed onto the most appropriate member of staff. This may be a pharmacist, nurse, doctor or another member of the team.
They will spend time looking at your request and will reply through the online system, this will come back to you as an email containing a link to view the response. From here, you may be asked for more information, invited to have a telephone or video consultation or be asked to visit the practice for a face-to-face.
On the other hand, if you have submitted a request for sick notes, referrals or test results, or even prescriptions you may get a simple response giving you the information you need, saving you a trip to the surgery.
Why can I not submit requests 24/7?
Some practices disable their clinical online requests once they have reached a number of submissions that they can deal with safely each day.
Just like physical appointments, there is a limit to how many online requests a practice can deal with safely each day. This number will depend on practice demand and staff availability.
Similarly some practices disable clinical forms out of hours, while this may be frustrating for some patients who are not able to contact the surgery during the day, alternative options are available as they would be if you called the surgery out of hours, such as NHS 111.
How does this benefit me as a patient?
This process can be beneficial in many ways:
- Most requests are available 24/7. This allows you to contact your GP practice even if their telephone lines are closed.
- Not having to take time off work/organise child care to visit the practice.
- Not having to wait in long telephone line queues to speak to a receptionist.
- Self-help options are available.
- Potential to have a quick, helpful response from the practice.
- Online health reviews and assessments for long term conditions.