Parkfield Medical Centre, Sefton Road, New Ferry, Merseyside, CH62 5HS
Telephone: 0151 644 0055
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Patients often have many questions about the GP Doctor consultation process and all of the questions asked below are genuine questions posed by patients. Hopefully it addresses some misconceptions about the GP consultation.
Opening Hours, booking & cancelling appointments
Primarily to book a routine appointment with a GP the e-consult service should be utilised. This can be accessed via the internet on our practice website (www.sunlightgrouppractice.nhs.uk). A clinician will be respond within 48 working hours. This is to allow for more efficient triaging. Access is limited to the opening hours of the Practice.
Where the e-consult service can’t be used or is not clinically appropriate, making or cancelling an appointment with a doctor or nurse can be done over the telephone to the surgery on 0151 644 0055. Please call between 08:00 – 18:30 Monday-Friday, we aim to answer all calls as quickly as possible and calls are not automatically recorded but may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.
Telephone appointments are available on Saturday’s mornings, these are pre-bookable appointments only. The surgery will not be open.
Our Online Appointment service allows you to book a selection of GP appointments and cancel appointments. Access is not limited to the opening hours of the Practice.
Types of Appointments
If you feel that you may need more than the usual time for an appointment (on average 10 minutes) please ask the receptionist when booking for a double appointment, and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Online Appointment service allows you to book a selection of GP appointments and cancel appointments. Please see our reception team to obtain a registration form.
Patients who wish to make an appointment can book as far in advance as availability allows. You will be offered the first routine appointment with the most suitable healthcare professional or the GP or Nurse of your choice (available online)
These are particularly useful for patients who would like to discuss test results, to discuss medication and ongoing conditions these are available to book in advance. We recommend, when possible, booking any follow up appointments with the GP that you saw previously to allow for continuity of care.
The system is designed to help you get the appointment you need, when you need it. You can speak directly to the triage nurse or duty doctor by telephone on the day that you call, with some problems being dealt with on the phone, or an appointment being made for patients to see a doctor or nurse later that day. This service should only be utilized for urgent medical issues.
Video appointments are a great tool to help reduce contact when patients need to self-isolate or shield. Video appointments are accessed by text message between the patient and the clinician. The mobile receiving the text message must have a camera access. The video will be one way at the clinician’s discretion. These appointments will be pre-booked.
Named GP for all patients
All practices are required to provide their patients (including children) with a named GP who will have overall responsibility for the care and support that the surgery provides to them.
At Sunlight Group Practice all patients are registered to our Partners. You may of course see any GP in the practice as you currently do and normal booking procedures still apply. Your named GP will be stated on your prescription, or available upon request. If you want to know who your named GP is, please feel free to contact us.
Why have I been waiting to be seen? My appointment was 15 minutes ago.
The patient before you may have been very unwell with multiple complicated conditions requiring more time. Furthermore your GP may be running a little late if they had to discuss a patient with hospital specialists or had to deal with other emergency situations or telephone calls. It could also be simply that the patients seen before you presented with multiple issues that they wished resolved.
Late Patient Policy
Patients are expected to arrive in good time for their appointments.
If patient arrive more than 10 minutes late, they have missed their appointment and will need to rebook. This is to prevent delays to the GP sessions and to ensure fairness for patients who have arrived on time.
We appreciate the effort our patients make to attend on time and therefore do our best to run as close to booked appointment times as possible. Adhering to a late Patient Policy assists us in doing so. However, due to the nature of a GP surgery, sometimes the doctor or nurse may be running behind. When the clinician is running late, our reception staff will advise the patients upon arrival and apologise to them for the delay.
The receptionist will book the patient in but advise them they are late for their appointment and remind them that they must attend on time in the future.
If applicable, the receptionist may advise them that the doctor is now seeing the next patient and that they may have an extended waiting time, as the doctor will see patients who arrived on time first.
Patients who arrive 10 or more minutes late, have therefore missed their appointment. The receptionist will advise them to rebook a new routine appointment.
If the patient indicates that there is a medically urgent reason they need to see a doctor that day, the receptionist can ask the reason and book them an emergency appointment with the duty doctor. The usual criteria for emergency appointments will apply and the patient will need to take a seat and wait to be seen.
If the doctor has an urgent clinical need to see a particular patient, they will advise reception in advance that the patient may be “arrived” even if they arrive more than 10 minutes late. The patient will need to wait for a gap or the end of the surgery to be seen.
If a patient calls ahead to say they will be late, this does not alter the policy. If they are going to be late, the receptionist will advise them on the phone that they should rebook rather than waste a journey.
Receptionists are not permitted to interrupt doctors during surgery to request them to see late patients, so to avoid disappointment, please do not ask them to do so.
Not attending appointments or failing to cancel
Continuous failure to attend appointments may result in you not being able to advance book any appointments.
Why is my GP asking me what is wrong? Don't they know? I just want a diagnosis.
If your GP asks something similar to “What do you think may be causing your symptoms?”. It isn’t because they want you to self-diagnose. You may have thoughts about what you feel may be causing your symptoms or condition. Everyone has thoughts about what may be wrong. If we know this we can answer questions you may have regarding this or to address misconceptions you may have. Furthermore it also helps us identify how much detail we need to give as you may already know a great deal about your symptoms/condition. If we don’t know what you think may be causing your symptoms you may leave the consultation feeling that your questions haven’t been answered or that you are adamant it is something else. We don’t want you to leave thinking “My GP told me I have X condition. I think I have Y condition”.
Why does my GP ask so many questions rather than just tell me what is wrong?
Most diagnosis by all doctors is reached from information gathered from the patient. Therefore it is important that we gather as much relevant information as necessary to do this. Investigations can be helpful to diagnose but remember most diagnosis is reached from talking to you. In addition we do not have access to immediate scans and blood results.
Is the receptionist deliberately trying to be awkward?
No, it is important for our reception team to know the reason for the appointment so they can appropriately signpost you to the right clinician. As we operate a triage system a duty doctor will assess you via telephone consultation.