St. Marys Road, Ferndown, BH22 9HB | Telephone: 01202 897000

Sorry, we're currently closed. Please call NHS 111, Or alternatively use our e-consult service for non-urgent advice from our GPs

Frequently Asked Questions


Tests and results

  1. My hospital consultant has requested I have a blood test done at the surgery. Who do I then need to contact about my results?

If you have been asked to have your blood test done at the surgery, you will then need to contact the hospital about your results, not the practice.


  1. How can I prepare for my blood test?

Generally, patients are advised to drink plenty of water prior to their appointment, and to wear suitable clothing so that veins at the level of the elbow are accessible.


If there are particular instructions you should follow before your blood test, the healthcare professional who requests it will advise you. Please make sure that you follow any instructions you are given or you may need to reschedule your appointment.


Some patients feel faint during blood tests. Please advise the healthcare professional who will be performing your test if this has been the case for you previously.


  1. How long will it take for the results from my blood test to come back?

The time it takes for the results from a blood test to come back varies, but it is usually within 48 hours.


  1. How can I find out the results from my blood test?

You can access the results from your blood test through the NHS app or your SystmOnline account, our patient online service.


A doctor also views all test results and will be in touch if there are any concerns about your results.  If your results come back normal, you will not be contacted. Due to the volume of test results processed, we are unable to contact all patients about their results.


If you do not have access to your results online, or have any concerns regarding your test results, you may telephone the surgery for your results between 2:00pm and 6:30pm. Please have the name of the specific test results required on hand. Kindly note that our receptionists may not have any medical knowledge so you will need to make a routine appointment with your doctor if you require interpretation of the results.



  1. How can I book an appointment?

There are several ways to make an appointment with a member of the practice team:

  • You can phone the surgery on 01202 897000 between 8:30am and 6:30pm on weekdays (phone lines are closed from 1:00pm until 2:00 pm for lunch). Please note that the surgery is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
  • Use the e-consult service for non-urgent advice from our GPs at .
  • Book a TELEPHONE appointment by accessing the NHS app or your SystmOnline account. Please note that you may only book telephone appointments through these services. Please do not attend in person.


  1. Can the same doctor see me for each appointment?

The practice aims to accommodate requests to see a specific doctor, but please note that you may need to wait longer for an appointment as a result of this. Please see for information on when our doctors are available.


  1. Who can I make an appointment with?

There are several different types of health care professionals who work at Orchid House Surgery, offering patients a greater variety of appointments to choose from. This enables patients to see the clinician best placed to help manage their clinical problems. For more information on our team, please visit


  1. Can I have a face-to-face appointment with a doctor without going through the telephone triage system first?

For routine appointments, patients can choose between face to face and telephone appointments. For more urgent appointments, consultations may be by telephone in the first instance, but clinicians will book a face-to-face appointment if necessary. This ensures that GPs have time to care for patients with more urgent or complex health problems.


  1. Why has an appointment been made for me without my request? (from Family and Friends feedback)

If you are on a long-term condition register, then we often book patients appointments so that we can review them when due.


  1. Can I book my blood test online?

Unfortunately, it is not currently possible to book blood tests online so you will need to call the practice to be booked in.


  1. When booking online why can I only book telephone appointments rather than face to face appointments? (from Family and Friends feedback)

We constantly review feedback, however at present, telephone calls are the only appointment that can be booked online. We operate a mixture of appointment types and find this suits the majority of our patients, and a lot of conditions can be dealt with over the phone, releasing the face to face appointments for those that can’t be.


  1. How long before my appointment do I need to be at the practice?

We recommend that patients arrive at the practice 5 to 10 minutes before their appointment time.


  1. Is there a way to view what upcoming appointments I have at the practice?

Yes, you may view your upcoming appointments either through the NHS app or through your SystmOnline account, our patient online service.


  1. Why am I asked what clinical problem I wish to make an appointment for when I call the surgery?

Members of our team are asked to note down the clinical problem a patient wishes to discuss during their appointment where possible. They can then advise you about what healthcare professional would be in the best position to help you with your problem, or to direct you to a service which can support you more appropriately.


  1. I need regular blood tests. Will these automatically be booked in for me or do I need to contact the surgery to book an appointment myself?

If your GP has requested a blood test for you, you will receive a phone call from the surgery to book this unless you have been asked to phone yourself.


If your blood tests are under routine recall, we will try to contact you to book your next test but you may be asked by a member of staff to call the surgery yourself. In this case, you will be advised how long before your test to call us.


  1. Will I receive a reminder for my appointment time?

If you have given us permission to contact you via text, we will send you an appointment reminder via text 24 hours before it is scheduled. We can also send you a text confirmation for your appointment when you book it, or if you ask us to send you a reminder at a later date.


  1. Can I have a home visit?

Home visits are offered only to patients who are housebound or have a medical condition which makes attending the surgery impossible. If requesting a home visit from our paramedic visiting team please contact us before 10:30am, and this will then be triaged as soon as possible. Please note that our paramedic visiting team triage these appointments and may call you to determine if a home visit is necessary.


  1. When can I book a routine appointment?

You may book an appointment at the treatment room up to 4 weeks in advance. For most other appointments, including those with our GPs, you will need to call up to 2 weeks in advance.


  1. From what age can I attend practice appointments by myself?

If you are aged 13 or older you may attend practice appointments alone should you wish to.


  1. Can I be given a specific time for when my telephone appointment will be?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with an exact time for your telephone appointments. This applies to both same-day telephone appointments and those booked up to 2 weeks in advance.


General queries

  1. Can I access my patient notes, including historical ones?

Yes, you can now use the NHS app to view your medical record and check results from tests you have had done at the practice. The app can also be used to order prescriptions, book telephone appointments and view your vaccination history. Since February 2023, we have also been able to make clinic letters, hospital letters, and appointment summaries available for you to view.


  1. Where can I park when I get to Orchid House surgery?

Patients may park in one of the public car parks located next to the practice. These are Pennys Lodge Car Park (Library Rd, Ferndown, BH22 9JP) and the Tesco Car Park (Ferndown, BH22 9BZ). If you are disabled, you may use the disabled car parking bays in front of the practice.


  1. Can correspondence with the surgery be sent to me in a different format?

We are able to contact patients via email, text or by post depending on your preference. Patients can select how they wish to be contacted when they register with the practice, but please do contact the surgery to let us know if your preferences have changed.


  1. Do I still need to attend my asthma review if I have had no new symptoms?

Yes, it is still important to attend your asthma review as scheduled so that our team can assess whether there any changes that should be made to your management plan. If you are unable to attend your appointment, please cancel and reschedule this as soon as possible so that other patients are able to use the appointment slot.


  1. The pharmacy has not yet received my prescription. What do I do?

Unless urgent, prescription requests may take up to two full days to reach the pharmacy. If your request is non-urgent and has not been received by the pharmacy after 48 hours, it may still be with the duty doctor waiting to be signed. Please contact your pharmacy when this period has passed and call us if your prescription has still not reached them.


If there has been a change to your repeat prescriptions or you have requested medication which has not been agreed on with your doctor, please allow up to five working days before collecting your medication. For more information please see .


  1. Can I request medication to be prescribed by calling the practice?

Unfortunately, we are not able to take prescription requests over the phone unless you are housebound. If you are not housebound, you can either request your prescription via the Orchid House Surgery email address, e-consult, the NHS app or using SystmOnline. If you wish to discuss new medication with a healthcare professional, please book an appointment.


  1. I have not heard back about my referral to the hospital or clinic within the time frame specified by my clinician. What do I do?

Please contact the relevant hospital department in the first instance and call us if they have not received your referral within the time advised by your doctor.


  1. I would like to be referred to a hospital specialist. How do I do this?

If you would like to be referred to a specific hospital specialist, please contact the practice. You will need to know what hospital, department and clinician you wish to be referred to when you call.


  1. Can I have my blood pressure, height and weight measured at the practice without an appointment?

The practice has a standing blood pressure machine available in the waiting room which anyone may use. Once it takes your reading it will print off a label for you to keep if you wish. Weight scales and height measures are available in our consulting rooms only.


  1. Do I need to bring my own dressings to my appointment or does the practice have a supply of them?

The practice has a limited supply of dressings in stock. You may be asked to pick up your own dressings from the pharmacy and bring these to your appointment with you if you require your dressing to be changed.


  1. Do I need to wear a mask around the surgery?

You are no longer required to wear a mask within the surgery. However, please consider wearing one if you are attending the surgery with a new cough or flu-like symptoms.


  1. When can I expect to receive a sick note after I request one?

Employees are able to self-certify for their illness within the first 7 days. During this time you do not need a fit note (also known as a sick note) to receive sick leave.


If you have taken sick leave for 7 consecutive days, you will require a fit note for any further sick leave. Please fill out an e-consult form to apply for a fit note. For your first fit note, you will require an appointment with a GP but for any further fit notes you will only need to contact the practice to request one. We accept requests over the phone, via email or through e-consult. We aim to process your sick note request within 24 hours. The maximum period for which you may be given sick leave is 3 months, after which you will need a routine appointment to be seen at the practice again.


There are exceptions to this, and you may require a work capability assessment if you wish to access an Employment and Support Allowance. Please contact the Job Centre if you have queries regarding this.

Opening Times

  • Monday
    08:30am to 06:30pm
  • Tuesday
    08:30am to 06:30pm
  • Wednesday
    08:30am to 06:30pm
  • Thursday
    08:30am to 06:30pm
  • Friday
    08:30am to 06:30pm
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
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