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Appointments Frequently Asked Questions

The way we access GP services has changed.

Below are some frequently asked questions that may help you understand these changes.

Why does the surgery use eConsult?

Two of the core values of Ammonite Health Partnership are to provide good access and also continuity of care for our patients.

It is the fastest way to get advice for non-urgent conditions 

It helps avoid telephone queues, connects you to the relevant information and if an appointment is need, the most suitable clinician to treat you. All contacts with the surgery are triaged by one of our GPs in our Access Hub. If you do not have access to the internet, we have asked our reception team to ask some standard triage questions. Please answer these as fully as you can, to assist us.

What do I do if I need an emergency appointment?

If you or someone you know has a life-threatening condition, such as loss of consciousness, a sudden confused state, chest pain, breathing difficulties etc, you should call 999

In an EMERGENCY call 999. Emergencies are situations that cannot be managed at home and may be life threatening.

Can I book an appointment for next week or next month?

The GP will assess your condition after receiving an eConsultation and will decide the best way we can help you. For routine appointments expect to get advice within 48 working hours.

Are telephone appointments safe?

Lots of common conditions can be diagnosed using mobile devices, telephone or video thanks to the experience of your GPs and their ability to recognise the signs and symptoms of conditions from the information you provide. However, if they judge that it more appropriate to organise a face-to-face appointment for you then this will be arranged. The more thoroughly you fill in the eConsult questionnaire the more information the GP will have to facilitate this process.

What happens if I don’t have a telephone or have trouble using the telephone?

If you have difficulty using a telephone or do not have a telephone, you can still come into the surgery to complete an eConsultation at Reception or by filling in a triage form. 

The Patient Services Team will be happy to help.

I am hearing impaired - what happens to me?

Some of our patients with hearing difficulties come into the surgery in person to get advice about appointments.

Our surgery has audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter. Some of you ask a relative or friend to telephone the surgery to make an appointment for you.

By far the most helpful way to access our clinicians, as quickly as possible, is by completing an eConsultation via our website or via the NHS App, which can be downloaded and used on your mobile device or the Internet.

Are the telephone calls recorded?

Yes, all calls are recorded for training and security purposes.

The telephone appointments are as confidential as those in the surgery itself.

Can I still telephone to make an appointment for a home visit?

Home visits are only offered in specific circumstances. All other patients will be asked to mobilise to the surgery.

A patient is deemed housebound if terminally ill, truly bedbound or for whom travelling to premises by car would cause a deterioration in medical condition.

To ascertain whether a home visit is suitable please complete an eConsultation via our website.

If you do not have access to the internet, we have asked our reception team to ask some standard triage questions. Please answer these as fully as you can, to assist us.

If you need urgent medical assistance hang up and dial 999.

How to Request a Home Visit

I’m not comfortable telling the receptionist what is wrong, do I have to?

Knowing what your health problem is generally helps the staff at the surgery to make sure those people with more urgent problems are dealt with quickly.

However, you don’t have to tell the receptionist what is wrong. If you’re not comfortable talking about your health problem, simply say you would rather not and the receptionist will respect your wishes.

I can never get through to the surgery first thing in the morning - what will happen?

Our surgeries now offer a call back service. If we are busy, you can request that one of our reception Team return your call when you are at the top of the queue. 

What happens if I miss the surgery’s telephone call?

If you know that a Clinician or the Patient Services Team will be calling you back, we do ask you to make sure you are available.

We will only try twice and will not leave a message on your answer phone unless it has a personalised message.

I would like a face-to-face appointment, when can I get this?

All requests to access our service will be sent to our new “access hub” where the request will be triaged by one of our GP partners. Where continuity is required (complex clinical cases/vulnerable patients), appointments will be facilitated with the usual GP, if they have availability within the time specified by the hub GP. A telephone call may suffice.

Your surgery wants you to be able to quickly access care from the most suitable healthcare professional. This may not always be a GP. Your surgery has a number of highly skilled team members in addition to our GP partners. You may be offered an appointment with a different member of our team.