We run all our surgeries by an appointment only system. Appointments can be booked in person or by telephoning the surgery (01283 216091 or 01283 551717) during our opening times (8am until 6.30 pm Monday to Friday (emergency line only from 5.30pm ) or online at any time (see below).
We offer patients the option of online appointment booking. PLEASE NOTE: advance appointments only are available to book online. For urgent on the day clinical needs please contact us by telephone. In order to register for this service please complete an On Line POLAR registration form and either hand it in at reception together with photo ID. You will then be given a username and password which allows you to book doctor’s appointments and order repeat prescriptions online: patients who have already registered for these services click here to book an appointment or order a repeat prescription.
IMPORTANT – ONLINE APPOINTMENT BOOKING IS FOR ROUTINE APPOINTMENTS ONLY. THESE APPOINTMENT SLOTS ARE FOR 10 MINUTES. YOU SHOULD NOT BOOK FOR PROCEDURES SUCH AS MINOR SURGERY OR CONTRACEPTIVE IMPLANTS, ETC. MORE COMPLEX/LONGER APPOINTMENTS SHOULD ONLY BE BOOKED VIA THE SURGERY’S RECEPTION TEAM.
If you have an urgent medical problem please telephone the surgery.
On arrival patients must ‘Book In’ either at the automated arrivals screen located in the reception area or at the reception desk. Failure to book in will mean that the doctor or nurse will not know that you have arrived for your appointment.
Policy for Dealing with Patients who Do Not Attend Appointments.
If you are unable to attend an appointment for any reason please contact us as soon as possible to cancel it – this allows the appointment to be offered to another patient.
Patients who fail to attend appointments without cancelling may receive a letter from the surgery advising them of this and requesting that they either attend or cancel appointments in future.
Patients who repeatedly fail to attend appointments may be removed from our list and asked to register elsewhere.
Before booking an appointment with a doctor please consider whether an appointment with one of our practice nursing team might be appropriate. They are now performing an increasingly important role within the surgery and can deal with many medical problems – both new problems and reviews of ongoing problems.
We try to make sure you see the doctor of your choice but if they are not available we may ask you to see another doctor. We encourage patients to have a ‘usual doctor’ for ongoing issues so that they see the same doctor at each appointment where possible – this allows for better continuity of care which has benefits for both doctor and patient.
We offer pre-bookable appointments up to 4 weeks in advance. Routine appointments are 10 minutes long and the doctors will try to see you as near to your appointment time as possible – some delay is inevitable given the variety of patient problems that may be seen during a surgery. Patients with multiple or complex problems may be asked to attend a further appointment in order to deal with their problem(s) fully.
Urgent Appointments/Telephone Triage
If you feel that you have an urgent medical problem please telephone the surgery as soon as possible. You will be asked to give a brief description of the problem by the receptionist. All patients with on the day requirements will be offered telephone call backs from our doctors and nurse practitioners to enable clinical care to be appropriately given. Telephone call backs will take place throughout each day. Please note that both surgery telephone numbers can be used to call in. These are 01283 551717 and 01283 216091. We do experience an extremely high volume of calls into the surgery each day but always aim to answer as quickly as we can.
Home visits are available on request for patients who are housebound, terminally ill or too ill to come to the surgery. All requests for home visits will be assessed by a doctor.
At home the doctor will only have limited equipment and it is often difficult to perform a full assessment of your symptoms. It is therefore essential that if it is at all possible that you attend the Surgery to see the doctor.
If you do need a home visit, call 01283 551717. Please be prepared to give some details about the reason for the home visit so that we can deal with your enquiry more efficiently.
The doctor may ring you to see whether a visit is really necessary. Please try to ring as early as possible before 10.00am, so the doctors can plan their visits.
Home Visiting Guidance:
Visit Recommended (as determined by GP):
- The terminally ill
- The truly bedbound patient in whom travel to premises by car would cause a deterioration in medical condition
In most of the following cases, a home visit would not be an appropriate use of a GP’s time, nor in the patient’s best interests:
Visit is NOT Recommended:
- Common Symptoms of Childhood (fevers, cold, cough earache, headache, diarrhoea /vomiting and most cases of abdominal pain). These patients are usually well enough to travel by car. It is not necessarily harmful to take a child with a fever outside. These children may not be fit to travel by ‘bus or to walk, but car transport may be available from friends, relatives or taxi firms. It is not a doctor’s responsibility to arrange such transport.
- Adults with Common Problems (such as cough, sore throat, influenza, back pain and abdominal pain) are also readily transportable by car to a doctor’s premises. Common problems in the elderly (such as mobility problems, joint pain and general malaise) would also best be treated by consultation at a doctor’s premises.
Afternoon Closures for staff training
We close for between 6 and 10 afternoons each year to ensure that our team can undertake necessary training to enable them to carry out their roles at the practice safely and effectively. The forthcoming afternoon closures (which may be subject to change) are:
Our practice nursing team work by an appointment only system and can be booked in advance.
The team includes nurse practitioners who can prescribe independently, practice nurses and health care assistants. The receptionists will be able to advise you which member of the nursing team you need to see.
Blood tests are usually performed by our health care assistants and appointments need to be booked in advance. Blood tests usually need to be taken in the morning so that the blood sample can be sent to the hospital pathology laboratory the same day. These are usually available to book during the mornings from 7.00am.
Annual ‘Check-Ups’ for Chronic Medical Conditions
Patients with the following medical conditions will be asked to attend for an annual ‘check-up’:
- Heart disease (previous heart attack, angina, heart failure etc.)
- Previous strokes (including ‘mini strokes’ or TIAs)
- High blood pressure
- COPD (chronic bronchitis, emphysema etc.)
Annual check-ups are usually carried out by the practice nursing team and often involve attending for a blood test 1 week before the nurse appointment – please see below for further details.