Appointments can be booked either in person, by phone or online. If you wish to utilise the on-line service please contact a receptionist so that a username and password may be set up.
As a Practice we provide on average each week 400 appointments to see a doctor. 150 appointments to see a nurse and 180 appointments to see a Health Care Assistant (HCA). Most of these take place within the surgery with a number of home visits taking place each day. The Practice employs a very highly skilled nursing and HCA team who are able to deal with many diagnostic and monitoring procedures that would traditionally have been dealt with by a doctor e.g. 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. This helps to relieve some of the pressure on doctor appointments.
The vast majority of appointments booked by patients are for ongoing / long term medical conditions and therefore booked anywhere from a few days to a few weeks in advance. Approximately 80% of appointments are booked in this way. The remaining 20% are kept for acute or urgent need. When you ring for an appointment the receptionists have been trained to ask a few key questions to ascertain the urgency of the situation. Examples of a situation deemed to be urgent would be a suspected chest infection or acute pain. If a patient feels their condition is truly urgent and requires assessment that same day then we will try and facilitate this. Please note that you will be offered the next available appointment with the doctor/s consulting on that day and so you may not be seen by your usual doctor.
Urgent appointments are kept un-bookable until the same day. This is to allow patients with genuine acute/urgent problems to have access to them. They are released at 8:30am for morning appointments and 3.00pm for afternoon appointments. We constantly monitor the use of acute appointments to try and ensure that we offer adequate numbers of acute appointments. The reception team are trained to sign-post patients with specific symptoms to the most appropriate service - for example patients with a suspected heart attack should ring 999, thereby accessing the most appropriate care in a timely manner.
Wherever possible we will try to give patients access to their doctor of choice. Occasionally due to holidays, busy schedules etc. this may not be possible within a time scale that the patient feels is appropriate for their need. In that instance they will be offered an alternative clinician. There are obviously a finite number of clinical hours available but as a practice we have one of the highest doctor/patient ratios in the country with under 1,500 patients to each doctor. In some areas of the UK this figure is closer to 3,000 patients per doctor.
We will always try to accommodate a patient's schedule and book a time and date that suits them. Sometimes this just isn't possible and we do ask that patients are as flexible as possible when it comes to appointment times.
We recognise that for some patients it can be very hard to access the surgery during traditional working hours. To help with this situation we have added a doctor led clinic running on a Tuesday night from 6.00pm to 8.30pm at Ancaster Surgery. These appointments can be booked up to one month in advance.
All patients are entitled to have a chaperone present during any examination where they feel that one is required - for example during an intimate examination. The purpose of the chaperone is to act as a safeguard not only for the patient but also the doctor or nurse. It would be usual for a female member of staff to act as a chaperone for a female patient and likewise for a male member of staff to chaperone for a male patient.
It is recommended that this should usually be an appropriately trained member of practice staff but, on occasion, a family member or friend may be appropriate.
All members of the nursing and health care assistant team, together with some members of reception and secretarial staff, have appropriate training to act as chaperones.
Patients are encouraged, whenever possible, to ask for a chaperone at the time of booking an appointment. This ensures that there are minimal delays during an examination, rather than having to wait for a chaperone to become available.
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.