Appointments with Doctors – Telephone, Video or Face-to-Face?

In the interests of safety for our patients and staff during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, doctors are continuing to speak to patients on the telephone initially. This is to establish who the most appropriate doctor or healthcare professional would be best able to help, and whether a face-to-face consultation is clinically needed. Many problems can safely be dealt with over the phone. You might be asked to send a photo of your problem, or a telephone consultation may be changed to a video consultation if appropriate. If the doctor feels a face-to-face appointment is needed, these are usually offered on the same or following day, depending on the urgency of the problem. Please discuss with the doctor if you feel you do require a face-to-face appointment, but have not been offered one. We are mindful that this is a change from what our patients are used to, and we are grateful for your patience during this challenging time.

 

We are currently experiencing a huge demand on our service. Despite a recent new telephone system with more lines and recruitment of additional receptionists, there are some days or times of the day when we are not able to answer calls as quickly as we would like. In addition, we have experienced some brief periods in recent weeks where patients trying to get through to us have heard an engaged tone or been cut off by the telephone system, rather than joining the automated queue. We apologise for this and acknowledge how frustrating it is, especially when you are unwell. We have highlighted the issue with our telephone company and hope that it can be resolved as soon as possible.

If your problem is not urgent, you can use v-Consult to request a telephone appointment. If your problem is urgent, or you simply cannot contact us, you can use LIVI to book a video appointment with a GP (including when the surgery is closed) or contact NHS 111 by phoning 111. In an emergency, you should attend an Emergency Department or phone 999.