Appointments

How Do I Make an Appointment?

To make an appointment please visit our consulting room. 

During the our opening times there is full access for face to face and telephone contact with a Receptionist.

Appointment slots are for 15 minutes to discuss a single medical problem. If you intend to discuss several issues you should advise the Receptionist who may check with the doctor to see if you need to be allocated a longer appointment slot.

When you telephone the Practice to ask for an appointment with a Doctor, the Receptionist will ask you for a brief indication of your problem so that she/he can, where applicable, direct you to the  most appropriate service to meet your need. If you prefer not to disclose your medical problem with the Receptionist, your privacy will be respected. You will then be offered a routine appointment with the GP.  However although every effort will be made to fit you in with your chosen GP they may not be available and you may be offered an appointment with another GP instead.

Urgent Appointments

If you feel you cannot wait and want to be assessed urgently (i.e. the same day), you may be advised that the doctor may call you back to discuss your problem and decide the best course of action.

If you need urgent medical attention when we are closed, the number to ring is 01925 227111 and this will put your through to our Out Of Hours Provider (Rota), however, if you simply need advice or are unsure if your need is urgent, you can always phone NHS 111.

Practice Nurse Appointments

Where you want an appointment with the Practice Nurse you should advise the Receptionist of the reason (e.g., blood pressure check, diabetic review, etc) so that she can allocate the appropriate time for your appointment.

Health Care Assistant Appointments

Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) are involved in direct patient care or investigations. They do not have a medical or any nursing qualification and therefore work under the instruction Doctor and Nurse led protocols.

The role of the Healthcare Assistant is an innovation in the National Health Service and there are an increasing number of such staff in many areas of healthcare including general practice. Their role is being developed to address an increasing shift of work to general practice and their duties include performing investigations requested by clinicians (usually the doctor or nurse) such as phlebotomy (blood taking), blood pressure, weight and height monitoring, urinalysis, pill checks, spirometry and ECG (testing only – not interpretation), Glucose Tolerance Testing and INR (Warfarin) finger-prick testing.

Cancelling an Appointment

If for any reason you are unable to keep your appointment or no longer need it, please let us know as soon as possible so that it can be reallocated. Please remember that there is always a shortage of appointments and when you fail to attend (DNA) you have prevented someone else from being seen in your place. Patients who repeatedly fail to attend appointments may be asked to find an alternative GP.

Whilst we make every effort to keep to appointment times, this is not always possible. If we keep you waiting we apologise in advance. If you keep us waiting we cannot guarantee that you will be seen.

Unfortunately, a number of patients persistently book appointments and then fail to attend without cancelling. This behaviour denies other patients access to the doctors. Persistent abusers may be asked to find an alternative GP.

Why does the Doctor sometimes run late?

The GPs try to run to time, but, some patients need longer, causing surgeries to run late. As a result patients may be kept waiting. If surgery is running late please be patient. Next time it may be you who needs extra time with the doctor.

What if I am late for my appointment?

As a general rule, if you are more than 5 minutes late for your appointment please expect to re-book it.  Late arrivals for appointments over the day can result in the surgeries running very late and causes inconvenience to others.

We wish to offer appointments that meet your medical needs as far as possible, bearing in mind our need to serve all our other patients too. We book appointments at 15 minute intervals so that we have sufficient time to evaluate the problem and agree a management plan together.

In order that our staff may arrange the right service for you they will ask you to outline the nature of your problem.

Routine appointments

You can book appointments up to 4 weeks in advance with the GP / ANP of your choice, or the Nurse.

Urgent appointments

If your need is urgent we will offer you an appointment on the same day if we have capacity. This will often be for conditions that:

  • are severe
  • are persisting or getting worse despite [several days] medication from the pharmacist
  • have not previously cleared up within a few days

Emergency (same-day) appointments

We will endeavour to see the following patients on the same day if asked to do so:

  • Children under age 5
  • Women with problems in pregnancy
  • Terminally ill patients

If you believe you need to be assessed on the same day the staff will take your details, speak to a doctor, and phone you back.

Late night opening

We open later on Tuesday evenings and offer appointments from 6.30 p.m. until 7.45 p.m. with ANPs, Nurses and HCAs.  Please note: these appointments are for routine problems only and are provided for patients who are unable to get to the Practice during the day because of their work or caring commitments.

Continuity of care

We want to offer continued care by the same doctor whenever possible. This should allow you normally to see the doctor who knows you best.

Please mention this to the Receptionist whenever you make an appointment.

Appointments with a Midwife

Your community midwife holds clinics at Burtonwood Brach on alternate Monday mornings and every Monday, mornings and afternoons, at the High Street branch

Medicines in pregnancy

Some medicines, including common painkillers, can harm your baby’s health. Other medicines are safe, such as medication to treat long-term conditions like asthma, overactive thyroid, underactive thyroid, diabetes and epilepsy.

To be sure a medicine is safe in pregnancy: talk to your doctor immediately if you take regular medication, ideally before you start trying for a baby or as soon as you find out you are pregnant. If you’re taking regular medication, don’t stop taking it without consulting your doctor. Make sure your doctor, dentist or other healthcare professional knows you’re pregnant before they prescribe anything or give you treatment use as few over-the-counter medicines as possible.

Medicines and treatments that are usually safe include:

  • paracetamol
  • most antibiotics
  • dental treatments, including local anaesthetics
  • some types of vaccinations, including tetanus
  • flu nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
    However, always check with your midwife, doctor or pharmacist first.

You should avoid alcohol, stop smoking and take a Folic acid supplement. For more information please see the information provided by nhs.uk.

If you would like help to stop smoking please make an appointment with a Practice Nurse to discuss the Smoking Cessation Services and treatment options, or you can self refer to Smoking Cessation service.

Why do I need Folic Acid?

Folic acid is important for pregnancy as it can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. If you didn’t take folic acid before you conceived, you should start as soon as you find out that you are pregnant. You should take a 400 microgram folic acid tablet every day while you are trying to get pregnant and until you are 12 weeks pregnant. It is cheaper to purchase this over the counter at the pharmacy than to obtain a prescription.

What happens when you Do Not Attend (DNA) your appointment at the Practice

The Practice have a strict policy to tackle the issue of appointments that are called ‘DNA’S’.  These are appointment slots that are pre-booked by patients and then that patient fails to attend, without letting the Practice know.   As I am sure you are aware, appointments are scarce within the whole of General Practice, as we are busier than we have ever been before.  This is the reason that sometimes it can be a wait for an appointment.  Therefore when we have a patient that does not attend, it is extremely frustrating for the Practice, as someone else could have been given that appointment.  We always ask that you let us know if you cannot make an appointment. We have lots of different ways that you can do this;

  • Via our online form
  • in person –  by calling at the reception desk, which is open, Monday to Friday, from 8:00 to 18:30 (7.45 p.m. on Tuesday)
  • telephone – by contacting the Practice on 01925 227111

Please Cancel, Don’t DNA

Below are some examples of alternatives to a GP appointment…

  • Sick notes after Hospital treatment can often be completed from hospital letters as requested by the patients
  • Continuation sick notes can often be completed a few days after the GP has seen you and these can be backdated to run continuously
  • The Minor Injuries Unit at the St Helens Millennium Centre will deal with almost all kinds of injuries and have X-ray facilities
  • The Walk-in Centre is a same-day service for anyone who wishes to see a Clinician without an appointment
  • Dental problems cannot be treated here.  In an emergency you can receive emergency dental treatment which you can access via NHS 111.
  • ‘The Morning-After-Pill’ [post-coital contraception] can be obtained from many pharmacies free of charge or from the family planning clinic. Details are available from Reception.
  • The Midwives provide much of the care for women during and after pregnancy and can be contacted directly on 0151 430 1492.
  • Care-at-the-Chemist, at local pharmacist – please check with Reception, offers treatment for:
    • Allergy
    • Athletes Foot
    • Cold Sores
    • Chesty Cough
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhoea
    • Dry Cough
    • Headache/Temperature
    • Head Lice
    • Indigestion
    • Nasal Congestion
    • Oral Thrush
    • Sore Throat
    • Threadworm
    • Vaginal Thrush
    • Children over 12 months, and adults, can obtain antibiotic eye drops for conjunctivitis