Communications with the Practice

This is a very busy surgery and the telephone can be constantly engaged between 8.00am and 10.30am. Please try to avoid ringing between these times if you can. The current telephone system was installed in November 2004 in order to provide improved access to services at the surgery, but it is unable to handle the extremely high number of calls experienced at certain times of the day. We are limited by the number of staff we have to answer your calls. Two additional lines have been made available for patients to access surgery to attempt to alleviate the situation when all lines are engaged.

The system is under constant review in response to constructive comments from callers. Your comments/suggestions are welcomed. Please put these in the suggestion box in the reception/waiting room area.

To make the best of the telephone system please use the menu provided. If you cannot find an appropriate selection, just hold the line and a receptionist will deal with your call. There is a receptionist dedicated to answering calls at the switchboard, aided by others at busy periods. Also, to ensure that you see an appropriate member of staff who can deal with your problem, reception staff may ask you questions regarding your enquiry.

There is a special extension for cancellations, which you will reach from the menu upon the call being answered at the surgery. This should save you time hanging on to speak to someone as you can leave a message if no-one is available to take your call. Cancelling an appointment that you are unable to attend is very important to avoid wasting the time of the GPs and nurses, as you will appreciate. If you cancel we may be able to offer your appointment to someone else who needs it. On our part we will try not to cancel your appointment unless there is an unforeseen emergency as we know your time is precious too.

Please note that telephone calls may be recorded for training purposes.

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 or for all other enquiries please call back after 10am.

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

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

After 10am you will hear the following prompts:

Now 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