Ten Top Tips for Patients

Saving doctors’ appointments and your time

  • Please cancel any un-needed appointments, you can do this in person (just ask the receptionist to check whether you have future appointments you no longer need when you attend surgery), on the phone, by text, or on line by email if necessary.
  • Please check correspondence from us about follow-up on your test results, or health checks, etc. Often we ask you to make an appointment with the Health Care Assistant or make a telephone appointment, not a surgery appointment with a doctor.
  • Please check our website for useful information on management of minor illness before you phone the doctor.
  • Make yourself aware of more serious conditions such as heart attack, stroke or meningitis. Under some circumstances it may be appropriate to ring 999, or 111, than to try to book a doctor’s appointment. Please do not use the emergency or out of hours services for conditions that should be looked at routinely at the surgery, speak to us instead and we will always try and make an appropriate appointment for you.
  • If you think you need advice, ask for a telephone appointment; if it is more urgent, a triage appointment which is available on a daily basis in the week.
  • For long-term illness discuss a treatment plan with your doctor and ask about aspects you are unclear about. Many long term illnesses benefit from sensible self management of symptoms.
  • ‘You are what you eat’: For recurrent allergic symptoms consider whether food might be implicated. Keep a diet and symptom diary and try cutting out any obvious causes while maintaining a balanced diet in other ways. Dairy products, citrus fruits, and other things can cause eczema, asthma, nasal congestion. Spicy food, peppers, and other things can cause nasal congestion and stomach and bowel symptoms.
  • What are you using on your skin? Use only unperfumed soap (not shower gels), non-biological washing powder and unperfumed conditioner for cases of recurrent mild skin rash or dry skin before coming to us; you may discover the cause yourself.
  • Discuss your repeat prescriptions with the pharmacist (we have a pharmacy in-house at our Glevum Surgery now). They can order in advance for you so you never run out. Otherwise, please allow us 3 days to turn around your repeat prescription. Haste can mean delay due to minor errors, and it is important to be clear about which prescriptions you need. If you have a new prescription from the hospital we may not have received a letter about this. Please let us have the name or names of the item, strength and dosage (how many times a day). This will minimise delay and errors. Please help us to help you
  • Please be patient with our staff and explain why you need an appointment. Staff are bound by confidentiality just as the doctors are, and are only trying to help you. If you can give us a little information about your concern at the time, they may be able to speed things up for you. If you have a busy schedule please make time for your appointment. The doctor may be running late because he has had some unexpected problems to deal with, just before your appointment. That sick patient might be you next time and we want to make sure that everyone receives appropriate treatment.