Change to the Appointment System

16th Aug

Change to Appointment System from 20th September 2021

What is changing?

Please note that from 20.09.21, you will need to call us between 8am-10am to request a same day appointment. Please only call after this time if you are unable to wait until the next working day. For callers after 10am, you will be asked to call back the next day. If it is not safe to wait until the following day then your request will be assessed by a duty GP.

 

Why are you changing the system?

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the practice has remained open and accessible, whilst ensuring we keep our staff and patients safe. We have had more patient contacts than ever before, our phone lines are busier than ever before and we have played an important role in administering Covid vaccinations on top of our day-to-day activities. With Autumn/ Winter approaching which means winter pressures, flu season and possibly Covid boosters, we have had to redesign our appointment system to ensure that we can continue to provide a safe, effective and sustainable service for our 10,200+ patients. Whilst we will still be using telephone triage for same day appointments, patients will now have the opportunity to pre-book face to face and phone appointments up to 2 weeks ahead. The new system gives us more flexibility with how many and what type of appointments we can offer.

 

How do I get an appointment?

If you feel you need to be seen as soon as possible, please call between 08:00-10:00 Monday to Friday. Our reception team will ask you what your appointment is for so they can help book you in with the right person at the right time. This may involve being offered a physio, nurse, pharmacist appointment, or with GP+ or another service such as Urgent Care or A&E. Your details will be added to the duty GP list and you will be either be given a call back later that day or be asked to attend for a face to face appointment.   If you are unable to call, you can attend and speak to reception to request an appointment but this may involve longer waiting times.

 

If you call us after 10am, the receptionist will ask you for the same details as above as well as some further information to help determine whether you can safely be told to call back the following morning or be offered an appointment in the next 2 weeks. A duty GP will assess the urgency of your request if necessary.

If you know your request does not need to be considered for as soon as possible, please call us in the afternoon when our phone lines will be less busy to request a pre-bookable appointment. If we are fully booked for the next 2 weeks, you may be offered an appointment with GP+. GP+ are an extended service for us and can access your medical record and works especially well for telephone appointments, though they have the ability to see you in person at their site if required.

 

You can also request a pre-bookable appointment via our website but this is not guaranteed to be processed the same day so do not rely on it for same day appointments.

 

Please Note

We will be increasing the number of staff answering the phone lines in the morning and will continue to review this. We have a finite number of resources, including staff and phone lines so there may be times your call is in a queue. If you are not happy to wait in the queue, please call back at a later time.

 

Please remember that we are not an emergency service. We would love to be able to offer everyone an appointment on the date that suits them but unfortunately we do not have the capacity or resources to do this. Our website and the NHS app have a lot of information which may enable you to care for yourself at home or see if you get better before contacting us on the first day your symptoms start.

 

Please respect our staff and our processes during this transition. We welcome feedback – good and bad - in order to continue to improve our service and this can be submitted to nnccg.windmill@nhs.net, for the attention of The Practice Manager.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.