Patient Frequently Asked Questions

What do "chronic" and "acute" mean?
Chronic in medical terms means long lasting. It does not mean very serious as some think. Therefore a Chronic disease such as diabetes may also be called a Long Term Condition or LTC. An acute problem is one that flares up but is usually of short duration, such as a sore throat or chest infection.
What does DNA stand for?
DNA is an abbreviation for Did Not Attend. This is where a patient had an appointment booked and failed to attend or cancel the appointment. Clearly this wastes the time of the healthcare professional that is expecting the patient and means that the appointment could not be allocated to another patient.
What is a Nurse Practitioner?
A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) who has additional education and training in a specialty area such as General Practice. As such they compliment the work of a GP and can see approximately 90% of the patients a GP would see. They typically will concentrate on acute (short term) medical problems although they do manage patients with long term conditions.
What is a Practice Nurse?
A Practice Nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who works within General Practice. Practice Nurses run either general clinics or specialise in a particular area such as respiratory (asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – COPD), diabetes or chronic heart disease. These diseases are often referred to as "Long Term Conditions" or "LTCs" due to their chronic nature.
What is a District Nurse?
A District Nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who has chosen to work in the Community Nursing area. They work in the Adult Community Nursing (ACN) Team often embedded in a practice within an Integrated Nursing Team, where they work closely with the practice nurses and GPs. They typically provide nursing care to housebound patients by visiting them in their homes or in nursing homes. They offer a wide range of services such as palliative care, wound management and some long term conditions.
What is a Health Care Assistant?
A Health Care Assistant (HCA) is sometimes also called a Health Care Support Worker. They work alongside a qualified registered nurse to provide important diagnostic checks such as Blood Pressure, Electronic Cardiograms (ECG) and blood tests. They also run clinics in minor procedures such as ear syringing and breath testing.
What is Triage?
Triage is a way of quickly prioritising patients needs to ensure they receive the most appropriate medical attention at the right time. Triage differs from organization to organization, but in Lupset Health Centre there is a triage doctor on duty each day from 9am to 1130am. The triage doctor is there to speak to patients who may urgently need an appointment, but whose medical condition or issue may be able to be resolved over the phone, thereby saving the patient and the practice time and appointments. The triage GP will prioritise the patient's needs and if required book an appointment that day or later in the week.
What is a Health Visitor?
Health visitors specialise in the health and wellbeing of children under the age of 5. The role of the health visitor is to concentrate on prevention of illness be that physical, emotional and mental. They work in partnership with parents and other healthcare providers to promote healthy living and to protect children.
What is Choose Well?
Choose Well is a nationwide campaign to educate patients on choosing the right type of treatment at the right time. Some patients turn up at A&E or worse still call an ambulance for things that are not really emergencies or accidents, wasting time and services that may be needed more urgently elsewhere. The campaign has a series of leaflets giving examples of common conditions and where best to get treatment for those. The leaflets are in the practice waiting room and on the internet site.
How do I book an appointment at the surgery?

You can now book over the Internet. You will need a user name and password which are supplied by reception staff. Otherwise you can book by telephone – but it is very busy first thing in the morning – leave it until after 11.00 if it is not urgent please, or come in person.

After work with the patient group and our telephone provider we have recently streamlined our telephone menu. Other than appointments and emergencies we ask patients not to call before 10am when we are at our busiest with patients requesting appointments.

Before 10am you will hear the following prompts:

Please press 1 for emergencies, home visits or appointments <>uor for all other enquiries please call back after 10am.

If you press 1 you will then have the following choices:

Now press:

  • 1 for a home visit
  • 2 to book or cancel an appointment using a receptionist

After 10am you will hear the following prompts:

Press:

  • 1 for emergencies, home visits or appointments.
  • 2 for all other calls.

If you press 1 you will have the following choices

Now press:

  • 1 for a home visit
  • 2 to book or cancel an appointment using a receptionist.

If you press 2 you will have the following choices:

Now press:

  • 1 for test results which are only available from 11.30am to 1.30 pm
  • 2 to speak to the Medical Secretaries
  • 3 to speak to the Prescriptions Clerk who is only available from 11.00am to 12.30 pm and from 1.00 to 4.00 pm.
  • Or please hold for the operator

On Mondays there is no advanced booking. Anyone who needs to be seen can ring up and get an appointment on that day.

What are GPs?
General Practitioners are doctors who work from a local surgery or health centre. They provide medical advice and treatment to patients who have registered with them. Most GPs are independent contractors providing services to patients through a contract with the NHS. Some areas also have a facility where patients who are not registered are seen.
What is the GP Out-of-Hours Service?
A service which provides urgent access to a GP for healthcare needs when practices are closed and which cannot wait until practices re-open.
What are Minor Injury Units?
Minor Injury Units can be used for:
  • Cuts
  • Bites
  • Stings
  • Muscle or joint injuries
  • Sprains
Minor Injury Units (MIUs) can treat less serious injuries and illnesses. The units can also carry out x-rays.
What is a Walk-In Centre?
NHS walk-in centres are usually staffed by a nurse, and are available to everyone for minor injuries and illnesses. Patients do not need an appointment. GPs are also based in some walk-in centres such as the walk-in centre service at King Street Health Centre in Wakefield.
What are West Yorkshire Urgent Care Services?
West Yorkshire Urgent Care Services (WYUCS) provide a telephone access and assessment service for anyone in West Yorkshire. WYUCS can also arrange an appointment or home visit from an out-of-hours GP, or direct people to other services and offer self-care advice. They can also arrange an appointment with the emergency dental service out-of-hours. WYUCS is a service only available within West Yorkshire.
What is NHS Direct?
NHS Direct is a nurse-led telephone advice and information service, also available on the internet. This service is available nationally.
What are Urgent Dental Services?
These services are provided for patients with an urgent dental need who are without access to a regular dentist or whose condition cannot wait until the next available appointment. Patients are not officially registered or unregistered anymore with a dental practice.
What are Clinical Commissioning Groups?
These are new organisations made up of groups of GP practices. In Wakefield there are two new Clinical Commissioning Groups. These organisations will become responsible for much of primary care trusts' current work from April 2013.
What is Triage?
Triage is a way of quickly prioritising patient’s needs to ensure they receive the most appropriate medical attention at the right time. Triage differs from surgery to surgery, but in Lupset Health Centre there is a triage doctor on duty each day from 9am to 1130am, but only has a set number of appointment slots to speak to patients. Therefore it is best to call as early as possible to request this service. The triage doctor is there to speak to patients who may urgently need an appointment, but whose medical condition or issue may be able to be resolved over the phone, thereby saving the patient and the practice time and appointments. He /she may also deal with patients who have been specifically asked to phone the triage GP rather than book an appointment to see a doctor. The triage GP will prioritise the patient's needs and if required book an appointment that day or later in the week.
What is a 'named GP'?
All patients registered with the surgery have a named GP who is responsible for their overall care at the practice. The patients do not have to see this GP and can continue to book appointments with any GP of their choice. If you wish to know who your named GP is please contact the practice. Also if you have a preference as to which GP is your named GP please contact us and we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate this request.