FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ON LINE APPOINTMENTS
“You require a mobile phone number. I do not use a mobile phone”
You do not need to have a mobile phone for this service. However, if you do have one and you provide us with your number, we can use it for the appointment text reminder service which we plan to have in the future.
“Why should I produce identification merely to register my email address? No one else asks for this”
You are not merely registering your e-mail address. We are registering you to be able to book appointments on line so we need to ensure we are providing you personally with your log–on details.
“It makes no difference whether you phone or try to book on line, you still have to wait 2 weeks for appointments; other surgeries in Totton you can book the same day or the very next day”
The online system currently only offers routine appointments which can be booked up to four weeks in advance. If appointments are not available at short notice this is probably due to the fact that they have already been booked as demand for appointments continues to be very high.
If you need to see the Doctor at short notice you should ring the surgery. If you need to be seen on the day for something urgent, then an appointment will be offered with the Duty Team.
“Are there only a limited number of appointments available on the system?”
Yes, the slots that are available to pre-book are offered on-line; these same appointments are available to book with us over the telephone and in person.
“Would be useful to make nurse appointments and telephone consultation appointments using this system”
Nurse appointments are not available to book on-line. Our appointments are flexible; we do not generally hold specific clinics on certain days to try and make it easier for you to get a time that suits you best. Additionally, as each of our nurse appointments varies in time depending on the type of appointment you require, it is not possible to include them on the on-line system. We need to ensure you are booked with the correct nurse for your appointment and that the appropriate amount of time is allocated.
CHECK IN SCREEN
“Why doesn’t the screen always work?”
Our new check in screen has proved more reliable; however, there will always be occasions when it is out of service usually due to circumstances beyond our control! We apologise for any inconvenience caused on these occasions.
“Worried about cross-infection”
The screen is cleaned regularly; hand gel is always available for you to use.
“Would be nice to see how many appointments before your appointment”
We have looked at using a system that provides an indication about your waiting time; however, this has proved to be inaccurate and often causes more frustration.
“If you have 2 appointments - one with the nurse followed by the doctor - it will only let you check in once, you have to see reception anyway”
The system is set up so that you can check in up to 25 minutes before your appointment. If you were not able to check in for both appointments it could have been that one of your appointments was out of this timeframe.
“You have to justify why you want an appointment”
“I don't feel comfortable having to explain to the receptionists why I need to see a GP. They do not have medical training and yet are dismissive at times if they feel that a particular ailment isn't worth a doctor's time”
The receptionists are asked by the doctors and nurses to ask patients for some brief information about their appointment request. This is purely to ensure you are booked with the correct person and that your appointment time is appropriate. If you do not wish to provide details, please tell the receptionist.
“All appointments have a 2 week wait which defeats the object of primary care”
Not all appointments are 2 week wait. Every day we have a duty team who have appointments to see patients who need to be seen urgently on that day. We also try to offer appointments to see the other GPs on the day; however, due to demand, many of these appointments are booked early.
“Doctors are often extremely late with their appointments - running over 30 minutes late. I understand that sometimes there is an emergency which they need to deal with but when a doctor sees a patient out but then does not call another patient for 20 minutes is taking the mick a little”
During each doctors day appointments are available to see patients in person and to make planned telephone consultation calls to patients (PTCs). Therefore, if a Doctor does not continually call patients from the waiting room, it could be that time has been allocated for telephone consultations.
“Cleanliness is appalling. Sticky tape on the floors presumably to secure the ageing carpets is worn and disgusting. Not very child friendly.”
We would reassure you that the reception area is cleaned daily and the carpet is cleaned on a regular basis by the Housekeeping Team. Cleaning audits of the whole surgery are also carried out and recorded on a regular basis. A copy of the cleaning schedule is on view in the waiting room.
If you have any specific concerns regarding cleanliness on a particular day when you visit the surgery, please note them to a member of the reception team.
The red and white hazard tape has been used to highlight the metal edges (which are part of the floor structure) around the hatchways in the middle of the waiting area. The tape is renewed at regular intervals.
HOW DO I REGISTER WITH THE SURGERY?
To register with us you must live within our catchment area. If you do not live in Totton, please give us a call to check if we cover your area. You will need to complete a registration form, which you can either download from our website or collect from the surgery. The completed form must be brought to the surgery in person, with two forms of ID; one must be a photo ID, the other must provide confirmation of your address.
DO I HAVE TO SEE MY OWN DOCTOR?
Whilst it is advisable for continuity of care for you to see the same doctor, this is not always possible and this does not have to necessarily be your registered doctor.
WHERE CAN I PARK?
The car park outside of our surgery is reserved for GPs and staff at our practice and that of the Health Centre next door. There are a few spaces reserved for disabled drivers; we would ask all other patients to park in one of the public car parks which are just a short walk away. We are happy for patients to be dropped off in our car park; however, no parking is available.
WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT 5 WORKING DAYS FOR MY PRESCRIPTION?
We receive thousands of requests for prescriptions every week; in view of the high volume, we need time to be able to process all of these requests. Whilst it might appear that all we have to do is press print, sadly it is not that straight forward! All requests have to be checked and many authorised by the GP; once authorised, they are printed and must then be signed by the GP.
WHY CAN’T I GET THROUGH ON THE PHONE?
Our phone lines are very busy particularly for the first hour of the day. We have a limited number of telephone lines and the number of calls received often exceeds our availability. The system will try and divert the calls to the correct person, i.e. appointments, prescriptions, enquiries; however, we can still only hold so many callers within the system and we have had reports of calls being disconnected. We apologise if this happens, please try again and hopefully you will be successful.
WHY CAN’T I GET AN APPOINTMENT?
We have various appointment options available to see the doctor:-
- Urgent on the day – booked with the duty team
- Routine – some appointments may be available on the day but the majority booked ahead
- Planned Telephone Consultations – these can be with either a Doctor or a Nurse.
Our duty team is made up of a Duty Doctor for the day and our Nurse Practitioner.
Duty Team appointments are available on the day for urgent problems. The appointments are “sit and wait”, for one person and one problem only.
All other appointments are considered routine, so if you need to see a doctor about an ongoing condition etc then these appointments can be booked up to 2 weeks ahead.
Nurse appointments are available to book ahead and usually there are some available on the day. It is helpful to know why you need to see a nurse in order to ensure you are booked with the correct person and for the correct amount of time.
NON NHS WORK
We often receive requests for forms to be completed, i.e. insurance claim forms, health declarations. In order to do this, the doctor is required to check your medical records and provide information. Please be aware this type of work falls outside of the NHS; there is, therefore, a charge. The reception team can advise you on charges.
Please ensure you allow at least 2 weeks for the completion of any non NHS work.
NB: If you have any further questions that you would like added or answered on this page, please let us know at the surgery.