For the vast majority of us our local GP is always there when needed on a 24 hours a day basis if an emergency arises. Family Doctors are at the heart of our community providing a vitally important service to us all. Each year in our area 1 million consultations will take place with family Doctors.
Patients can play a vitally important role in ensuring NHS services are used appropriately, fairly and to the best advantage of us all. The vast majority of Patients in our area understand and respect the need for them to play an equal part in the Doctor/Patient relationship and will have no difficulty in accepting the responsibility to do so. By observing a few simple guidelines Patients can effortlessly enhance the medical services provided to them whilst at the same time help their own family Doctor.
Don't always expect the Doctor to prescribe medication. Often advice on lifestyle change or some other factor might be more appropriate. Antibiotics for instance are no use against colds and flu and their overuse can lead to people becoming immune to their healing properties.
If you telephone for a Doctor when the Surgery is closed you will be given the number of the GP Emergency Centre. If so, please remember:
The GP Emergency Centre is just that. It is designed to treat conditions that cannot wait until the next day. Conditions that have been present for some days or weeks are not emergencies unless they suddenly become very much worse.
The Centre is not a drop in facility, an alternative to visiting one's own GP, or an opportunity for a second opinion.
Be prepared for qualified, medical advice to be given over the telephone either by a Nurse or a Doctor. This will often prove to be all that is needed until surgery reopens.
You may be dealt with by a Doctor other than your own GP. In an emergency, this is not an issue if you provide that GP with as much information about your condition as is possible.
A home visit is not an automatic right. The Doctor will decide whether such a visit is required based on medical information you supply regarding your condition. Lack of transport, no baby sitter, bad weather are not reasons, in themselves, for a home visit.
You must telephone the center before visiting. Their staff will triage every call and, based on the information you give, will confirm whether your attendance really is necessary and cannot wait or can be dealt with by telephone advice.
The number of people using the Emergency Services i.e. The GP Emergency Unit, the A&E Department and 999 Ambulance calls, continues to increase unchecked.
Our surgery is assessed on the service it gives, in part, by measurement of the numbers of our patients using the Emergency Services.
If we believe a patient attends either fo the above services inappropriately we reserve the right to write to the patient and request a full explanation.