To make an appointment please telephone or call in to the surgery at which you are registered. Pre-bookable appointments are usually available up to 4 weeks in advance. However, we are currently experiencing an unpredicted time with doctors illness and vacancies, which is resulting in a reduced number of available appointments and a delay in releasing advance booking appointments. We sincerely apologise for this and can assure you, all efforts are being made to cover our three surgeries.
There is, in the short term, an increase in the number of locum doctors, in order to meet demand. We will keep you updated and would appreciate your understanding during this period.
When requesting an appointment our Receptionists will ask you to share some information about the reason for your call, this will help the Receptionist 'care navigate' you to the right care, from the right clinician as soon as possible. Please note that it will not always be possible to provide you with the doctor of your choice.
Standard consultations are for 10 minutes and should be for one patient and one medical condition. You have the right to express a preference of practitioner (i.e. male or female) either generally or in relation to a particular condition.
Self Check in
We have the facility which allows for you to check in for your appointment without the need to queue at the Reception Desk. The screens are located within the waiting areas at Sedgefield, Fishburn and Trimdon Colliery sites. This will save you having to stand and wait for the Receptionist. The on screen instructions are easy to follow but if you require any assistance please ask. Please give this a go!
Many health issues can be addressed via a telephone consultation with a clinician. This can be particularly useful for people who work. We can often deal with medication reviews or queries regarding medication, results and general health advice via a telephone appointment. If you think a telephone appointment may be suitable for you please discuss with the Receptionist. If you change your contact details (address, telephone number, email address) please remember to update us too.
If you cannot attend an appointment for any reason please inform us as soon as possible in order that we can give that appointment slot to another patient. You can cancel your own appointment through online services once you are registered for Online Services (please ask us for more information on how to register).
In an average month around 250 patients simply don't turn up for their booked appointments, this is equivalent to 6 surgery sessions! Please don't be a DNA.
Did not Attend (DNAs)
Each month there are approximately 250 appointments which go to waste because patients who booked these appointments fail to attend (DNA), this is an enormous waste of clinical and administrative time. Please help us to help you by always cancelling an appointment you are unable to attend or no longer need, we are then able to offer this appointment to another person in need.
It is our practice policy to monitor all cases of patients not attending appointments (Did not Attend—DNA ) and we have been exploring various options to reduce the number of DNAs with our Patient Focus Group. Patients who repeatedly fail to attend appointments and do not contact the surgery in advance will be sent a letter reminding them to cancel appointments they no longer require in advance and asking if there are specific problems preventing them from letting us know. Providing we have a current mobile phone number for you and you have consented we will send you a SMS reminder for your booked appointment.
If anyone has any suggestions to help us reduce the volume of DNAs please let us know on 01740 620300.