This is a group practice and you may see any doctor. It may be, however, that you have a preference to see a specific doctor. Whilst we will endeavour to comply with this, sometimes it may not always be possible.
Our Appointment System
We have a large population of elderly patients with complex medical needs and we are in constant demand.
The appointment system we offer is called “Advanced Access” which provides patients with a choice of same day appointments, pre-bookable 4 weeks ahead for GP’s and 6 weeks ahead for Nurses and same day telephone consultations with the GP’s.
The same day appointments do require patients to telephone at 8.30am and this does cause some frustrations but please be aware that the duty triage GP is available all day, so even when all the appointments for that day have gone the duty doctor will call back any patients who have requested an appointment for that day to ascertain if an actual appointment will be required and if so arranges to see the patient that day or if the problem can be dealt with on the phone will do so.
Obviously some patients prefer to see their own GP and this can cause a delay if a patient chooses to wait either until their own GP has an available appointment or is on triage duty for the day.
We have also implemented an online booking service so that patients can make appointments online. If you would be interested in accessing online booking then please fill out the forms located in reception.
Please ask at the main reception desk for information on how to get the best out of our appointment system.
Unfortunately, GP time is not unlimited and to meet our aim of fair and equitable access we hope patients will work with us by following the guidelines to use and not abuse the system.
When you do need to call for an appointment, please help our receptionists do their best for you by answering their questions and providing them with a little information, so they can direct you to the most appropriate member of the health care team.
Please remember that our phone lines are busiest between 8.30-9.30am, so if you are not ringing for an appointment or visit that day please help us to reduce the phone congestion by ringing later in the day.
Appointments are for a maximum of 10 minutes for one person only. If you have a number of problems to discuss, the doctor may ask you to make a further appointment. We try to run to time as far as possible, but ill health is unpredictable and some consultations take longer than others. On rare occasions the doctor may even have to leave the surgery to attend an emergency, when unfortunately the appointment system can be severley disrupted.
It would be appreciated if you can arrive on time for your appointment. In order to be fair to all our patients, if you arrive late and the doctor or nurse has already called you, you may be asked by reception to re-book. If you know you are running late and can contact the surgery, do let us know as we may be able to adjust things and still see you.
If you cannot keep your appointment it is important that you remember to cancel it, so that your appointment slot may be offered to someone else.
Across Dorset CCG practices we are implementing the "Care Navigation Training Programme" having trained our receptionists and clerical staff; to help patients identify the most appropriate place for their care. This means you will notice your receptionist asking you for a brief outline of your problem when you call to make an appointment. Through this specialist care navigation training, the practice team will be able to offer you more choice on who the best health care Clinician may be in the practice and also help direct you to get to the right health Clinician fast. Receptionists will never offer clinical advice or triage; this new way of working is about offering the choice to see other specialists in the practice team. If they have the expertise to deal with the problem; it will often be quicker and you may not need to see the GP each time. For example, medication reviews or queries could be managed by Dee Loughman our Pharmacist, who you may not be aware of if you haven't visited the practice in a while.
This helps to free up time for GPs to care for patients with complex or serious health conditions that can only be managed by the GP. It means that you are seen by the Clinician that is best placed to manage your clinical problem. The choice is always yours though and you will never be refused a GP appointment but we hope that next time you contact your GP and speak with a receptionist you will see the value of seeing another health Clinician if they are able to help.
Nurse Practitioner Appointments
If you have a minor illness and need to be seen, you can make an appointment Monday to Friday to see our highly trained Nurse Practitioner, Tracy Dominey. Tracy is able to treat and advise on a wide range of conditions.