Our appointment system involves a doctor phoning every person who contacts us that day for help, and is designed to make it easier and more efficient for you to get the most appropriate assistance.
When you join the surgery list you are registered with a specific doctor. All the doctors are responsible for your care but you can usually speak to a clinician of your choice. There are three doctors based at the surgery.
The clinicians work as a team and whenever possible we will try to ensure you speak to the clinician who knows you best when you contact us for advice or treatment. We have appreciated for some time that demand for our time is constantly increasing. Our analysis shows that 60-70% of problems for which appointments used to be given can be dealt with on the phone, and by doing this we can free up time to see patients who do need to have a face to face consultation that same day.
When you contact us, the Health coordinators will ask for a reason for your call, take your phone number and any special instructions about when you can be contacted. The clinician will call you back. You can discuss the matter with the clinician and the clinician will agree the next steps with you. This may be:
- A face-to- face appointment with the most appropriate clinician
- Advice or a prescription over the phone.
- The clinician may arrange further tests before review.
You can continue to arrange appointments via the Health coordinators to see a nurse or health care assistant (HCA).
Alternatively you can book a Push Doctor video appointment or an econsult remote appointment. These can be done very quickly without the need to wait on the phone. Please do not visit the surgery without an appointment.
If, after you have spoken to the clinician, you need an appointment this will be arranged there and then by the clinician. Usually this will be on the same day but if this is not convenient you will be offered one on an alternative day.
You don’t have to ring first thing – indeed there would be a lot of frustration if everyone rang at 08:30! Unless the surgery is exceptionally busy we can take routine phone call bookings until mid-afternoon. However if you can call before 10:30am this does help us plan the day. If your problem is urgent or may require a visit it is very important you call us by 10:00.
Please let us know if you have difficulty using the phone (for example, due to poor hearing, not having a working phone, or language difficulties) and we will make special arrangements. If you cannot take a call at work, we can usually arrange to ring you when you have a break. We understand that you may not want to discuss personal things if you can be overheard, so let the clinician know immediately on answering that this is the case and you’ll be given time to get to a private place.
It helps to prioritise calls and get help from the right person if you are prepared to give the Health Co-ordinators some idea of why you are calling. The staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the clinicians but if you prefer, you can simply say the problem is personal but not life threatening.
Many appointments are wasted each week when patients don’t turn up so please make sure that if you cannot attend, you let us know as soon as possible.
The practice has an extensive clinical team who are able to deal with numerous problems. This includes dealing with acute illness, minor surgery, removal of stitches, wound care, dressing changes, diabetic checks, taking swabs, smear tests, lung function tests, circulatory assessments to name but a few. Our specialist services include diabetes, COPD, asthma and coronary heart disease clinics. Additionally we hold minor illness clinics.
We have extended the number of telephone consultations and have extended our telephone consultation hours so that booked telephone consultation slots are available from 09:00, 5 days a week. Emergency calls are still dealt with by Devon Doctors until 08:30.
If you cannot attend an appointment for any reason please inform us as soon as possible in order for us to give the slot to someone else.