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APPOINTMENTS

How to make an appointment

Please either call into the Surgery, telephone our Reception Team on 01749 840233, or book your appointment on-line via our website (you must register yourself on our website for online services which will enable you to book appointments via our website). We offer a variety of appointments that have differing durations. We ask that when contacting the receptionist you make it clear the appointment type you require and when; we are able to book up to six weeks in advance as well as offer same day appointments for URGENT problems. The telephone lines are extremely busy at 8.30am until 9.30am. If your enquiry is not important please avoid this peak time. The BT Ring back service should not be used as it does not work properly when many callers are trying to get through.

How to obtain telephone advice

Many problems can be solved and advice given by speaking to the doctor or nurse on the telephone. You can book a telephone consultation with a doctor or nurse of your choice where the doctor/nurse will ring you back. The receptionist will gladly assist you. We are not able to give you an exact time of when the doctor will return your call, so please give contact details and the nature of the advice you are seeking or nature of the enquiry; it might be appropriate to speak to a nurse or the duty doctor immediately if your problem is urgent. The receptionists are governed by codes of confidentiality; they can assist with accessing professional help, if you help them, by giving as much information as you feel comfortable.

Telephone calls

Please note that telephone calls made either to the Surgery, or the out-of-hours service may be recorded.

Failure to attend a booked appointment

Please inform us if, for any reason, you are unable to keep an appointment with any member of the Primary Health Care Team so that it can be offered to another patient.

Home visits

We ask that home visits are only requested for those who cannot possibly get to the surgery because of illness. If the problem is one of lack of transport please arrange for a friend, relative or taxi to bring you to the Surgery. Please remember that a doctor can see up to six patients in surgery in the time that it takes to do one home visit.

Patients can also be examined more thoroughly in a surgery environment. Please contact the surgery before 10.00am (urgent calls may be made at any time). To enable the doctor to assess the urgency of the visit, please give the receptionist as much information as possible. The number to ring is 01749 840233. Please do not use this service for convenience.

Visits after stay in hospital as an Inpatient

Please note that we do not routinely visit patients after discharge from hospital. If you have a problem and need a GP, then please arrange to come to the Surgery if you possibly can. We will, of course, visit you upon request if you are truly housebound. Please can you ensure that you bring with you any hospital letters or correspondence given to you, as this will help the doctor.

Improved Access - What is this and how do I access it?

The Conservative Manifesto for the 2015 election included a number of pledges to increase access to general practice. A Conservative government would “ensure that you can see a GP seven days a week by 2020”. Later on it indicates that by 2020 they wanted people to be able to see a GP “7 days a week from 8am to 8pm”.

It would not be possible for the NHS to ask primary care to deliver a full service 7 days per week at the present time as there are insufficient training GP’s and nurses in the system. NHS England has therefore come forward with a scheme called “Improved Access” (IA). They have selected a number of CCGs to pilot this from 1st April 2017, Somerset being one of the pilot areas.

CCG is required to commission access to “GP services” in the evening and at weekends and it requires a mixture of pre-bookable and on the day appointments. Every weekday evening from 18.30 to 20.00 must be covered, and the weekend requirement is for “services on Saturday and Sunday…to meet local need”.

The scheme is about increasing the hours during which patients can access limited GP services. It is not a replacement for, or a supplement to, the Out of Hours service which remains available from 18.30 each evening and during the weekend by calling 111.

The following 5 practices in this area have decided to work together to carry out this service collectively for our patients.

Grove House Surgery (Shepton Mallet)

Parke Medical Practice (Shepton Mallet)

Oakhill Surgery (Oakhill)

Wells City Practice (Wells)

Wells Health Centre (Wells)

Improved access appointments will available to patients from any of the 5 practices listed above, throughout the week in the evenings Monday to Friday and on Saturday mornings only on a rota basis. This service is in line with local demands.

To book an appointment you will simply need to contact your surgery.

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