The doctors are very willing to offer telephone consultations.
We have found that being given a time when the GP will ring back has not worked that well. Very often the patient is not there and we have difficulties ringing back at exact times. If there are free appointments during the normal surgery hours on the day of the telephone request we can book a telephone appointment in just the same way as a face to face consultation booked for ten minutes. Please tell the receptionist and give your contact number (a landline if possible). You will be given an approximate time when the doctor will call you back and this should be within a few minutes of the time given.
If however all of the appointments for a particular surgery have been booked, you will be asked to ring back at a time when the GP is likely to have finished seeing patients face to face and can have your call put through to them. If they are still busy when you call, the receptionist will note that you have called and the doctor will ring you as soon as possible.
Our staff have been trained to put calls from patients through to the GP if they are not interrupting a consultation with another patient.
For some problems you may just need to leave a message with the receptionist (or by note or fax) and either the doctor will contact you or ask one of the staff to do so with the answer.
Many patients, especially those working, have found telephone consultations very helpful as they avoided significant inconvenience and waiting. If the doctor feels that you need to be seen face to face this will be arranged during the telephone consultation.
Good times to ring when you may be able to speak to a GP immediately are between 08.00 - 08.30, 12.00 - 12.30 and 18.00 - 1830 (on days the surgery is open at those times).
Our staff are not allowed to take prescription requests by telephone (to avoid errors) and should you make a telephone request they will ask you to use one of the safe methods. If it is impossible to do this you will be asked to call back later to speak to a GP to discuss the request. The risk of error is far less but we hope this is only used in emergencies as it is a poor use of GP time and the time waiting to speak to the GP will be less than that in making the request in the standard way.