How we offer health care to our patients at our GP Surgery

What is the process for accessing healthcare when I need it?

If you or someone you care for feels ill, you could:

  • Self-medicate – because you have had this illness before and you know how to deal with it
  • OR fill an e-consultation by clicking on ‘Start E-consultation’ at the top of this page (for more information see below)
  • OR ring the pharmacy for advice – see ‘Which NHS Service’ page on when to use a pharmacy
  • OR ring or visit the surgery – see ‘Which NHS Service’ page on when to access services from your GP surgery
  • OR ring 111 – see ‘Which NHS Service’ page on when to call 111
  • OR ring 999 because it is an emergency

If you choose to ring or visit the surgery, it is best to contact:

  • Between 8am and 8.30am to access a same-day appointment, for a medical concern with a degree of urgency.
  • If something medically unexpected occurs later in the day, please ring immediately to see if an appointment can be made available at the surgery.
  • If you need a non-urgent appointment, you can ring anytime of the day but preferably after 9am. The surgery is open 8am to 6.30pm. You may be slotted in for a same day appointment if any are available, or booked in for another day.
  • We have a number of appointments that are released one week, two weeks and four weeks ahead for non-urgent routine appointments.
  • Some urgent and non-urgent appointments are also made available through the website. See Book Appointment.

Please be aware there are a limited number of appointments that can be allocated on any one day. With this is mind we try to book those patients with the greatest medical the same day, the surgery will review all patients that are unable to get an appointment to make sure it is safe for you to wait for an appointment or provide advice about the other ways to seek medical advice.

Please see the information below regarding the types of clinicians we have available and who you should book with.

What to expect when you contact us to book an appointment?

When you contact us to book an appointment, a receptionist may ask you some questions about your illness such as:

  • A brief description of your illness
  • How long have you felt ill
  • Whether you are able to get to the surgery

This helps us book you the best type of appointment to treat the problem. It also helps other patients by protecting GP appointments for complex patients who need their advice.

Therefore, the receptionist may recommend that it is in your best interest to see or talk to:

  • A GP or Advanced Nurse Practitioner or Paramedic

    General health problems, undiagnosed health problems, and ongoing health problems

  • Clinical Pharmacist

    Medication issues or concerns

  • A physiotherapist

    Muscle or joint problems

  • A social prescriber

    Social problems such as housing or debt problems. Our social prescribers have access to a wide range or services that may help when a prescription is not the best form of treatment

  • Mental health worker

    For issues such as low mood, anxiety, stress or not feeling your usual self

  • Local Community Services

    For example, local charity run or council services

  • Nursing Team

    Advice and management long term conditions (such as Asthma or Diabetes) along with wound care dressings, immunisations, health checks, blood tests and vaccines

  • Or one of the other options on the ‘Which NHS Service’ page

The offer made to you will also be based on availability. For example, you may need an appointment with an Advanced Nurse Practitioner but your preference may be with a GP. We will only be able to provide you with your preference if this is a) available and b) will not affect other patients who may need a GP appointment.

Please remember to treat our staff with courtesy and respect. It is not always possible to see the person you wish to see immediately, so please be polite and patient and we will do the best we can to meet your needs.

What appointments are available?

There are a number of consultations where we need to see you face to face to make a diagnosis safely eg chest infections, ear infections. If this is the case the receptionist will direct you to a face to face appointment.

Below is a list of appointment types we currently offer.

  • Face to Face

    A specific time for the appointment will be agreed

  • Telephone

    The clinician will ring you either in the morning or the afternoon. If you miss the phone call they will send a text message stating they will try a second time usually 10 mins later

  • E-consultations

    E-consultations allow you to access health care digitally either through our smart phone app or through our website. The e-consultations cover over 60 common medical problems we see. When you complete the form you will receive a text message confirming we have received it safely. The form will then be reviewed by a clinician who will text you back usually with the management plan with 48 working hours. This could be either a prescription to your chemist, self-management advice, referral or a face to face or telephone appointment

  • Home visits

    For patients who are defined by the NHS as housebound and there is a clinical need for a home visit

How do I access these appointments?

To book a face to face or telephone appointment or a home visit, call the surgery.

To use the E-consultation service please click here

If you do not have access to a telephone you can visit the surgery to book an appointment.

If you have access to the internet you can book a face to face appointment via this website (subject to availability) by clicking here.

If you have never booked an appointment online and require login details or if you are having difficulties logging on, please call the surgery.

Which clinician best meets my need?

We employ a wide range of clinicians to address different health problems. It is, therefore, important that an appointment with a GP is booked only when there is a clinical need for a GP appointment. If a GP appointment is definitely required, please inform reception and discuss with them whether you require a face to face or telephone appointment or a home visit.

When booking an appointment you may be offered (or can request) an appointment with one of the following clinicians: an advanced nurse practitioner, a clinical paramedic practioner, a clinical pharmacist, a physiotherapist, a specialist practice nurse, a treatment room practice nurse, or a health care assistant, each of whom specialise in their given area as follows:

  • General health problems, undiagnosed health problems, and ongoing health problems can be booked with or advanced nurse practitioner or clinical paramedic practitioner (they will always seek GP opinion if required)
  • Medication issues or concerns, new medication requests, or changes to your current repeat medication can be booked with our clinical pharmacist
  • Muscle or joint problems can be booked with a physiotherapist
  • The management of long term conditions (such as Asthma or Diabetes) along with wound care dressings, immunisations, health checks, phlebotomy and vaccines, will be dealt by our practice nursing team, supported by our healthcare assistants
  • Complex health problems, out of competency of our other staff, or health problems that require medical input, will be booked with a GP.

If you are uncertain which service you need, the receptionist will take you through the screening triage questions so that you can be offered the most appropriate service to meet your medical need.

How do you manage my chronic disease?

We have a recall system that ensures patients are recalled for chronic disease reviews on an annual basis (or more frequently if required). Our recall system is run each week and this is used to identify patients who require a review of their chronic disease. We have started this system in 1st April and it will be run based on your date of birth . For example, if you were born in the month of September and you have asthma, we will aim to book you in with our asthma nurse sometime in September.

What do I do if I need a home visit?

If you think you require a home visit, please call the surgery as soon as possible and we will arrange for a clinician to call you back the same day to discuss the request. We visit patients who are defined as House Bound, have a diagnosis of Acrophobia, or are receiving palliative care. The reason for this is that we have diagnostic equipment and medication on site that we are unable to take with us when visiting a patient at home.

How do I have a say in the health care you are offering?

The Practice has a patient participation group (PPG). If you would like to join our PPG group or find out more information, please click here.

We aim to conduct a patient survey twice a year. For our latest survey results, please click here.

The NHS friends and family test (FFT) is a questionnaire we routinely ask at the end of our E-consultations. For our latest FFT results, please click here.

We also have a patient comment box on the reception desk. Please feel free to leave us a comment, whether a compliment, complaint or suggestion.

If you have a complaint or suggestion about the Practice, you can do this:

  • Online
  • Writing to Practice Address, addressing the letter to the ‘Practice Lead’.
  • Emailing us on (Blaydon GP Practice, Crawcrook Medical Centre, Grange Road Medical Practice, Rowlands Gill Medical Practice)