Frequently Asked Questions
SHOULD I COME TO SEE A DOCTOR AT THE HEALTH CENTRE?
If you become ill or injured and need medical help or advice, choose well by using the right NHS service for your needs. Before you make an appointment to see your GP, consider the alternatives.
Pharmacist: Don’t forget your local pharmacy! The pharmacist behind the counter at your local chemist may be able to give you the help you need, so you won't have to spend time waiting for an appointment. Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals, and may offer a wider range of health services than you might think.
Pharmacists can help with a large variety of conditions :Coughs and colds, sore throats, Constipation, Hayfever, allergies ,Aches and pains, headaches, earache, backache ,Indigestion, diarrhoea, threadworms, Period pain, thrush Warts, verrucas, mouth ulcers ,cold sores, Athlete's foot Nappy rash and teething. Visit a pharmacist when you are suffering from a common health problem which does not require being seen by a nurse or doctor.
Self-care: This is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses and injuries and will ensure that you receive the rest and recovery you need to get well. A lot of illnesses can be treated in your home by using over the counter medicine and getting plenty of rest.
Minor injuries unit: If your injury is not serious, you can get help from a minor injuries unit (MIU), rather than going to an A&E department. Minor injuries units give healthcare and advice. Most are open from early in the morning until late at night. You do not need an appointment, and you will be seen by an experienced nurse or GP.
GP: Make an appointment with your local GP when you have an illness or injury that will not go away. You can make an appointment with a doctor for medical advice, examinations and prescriptions. People come to GP practices for help with a large variety of long term conditions and when they have acute illnesses such as ear pain and back ache.
Practice nurses also run specialised clinics which help patients monitor their long term illnesses and provide treatment for a wide variety of conditions including: Dressings, Stitch removal, Cervical Smears, ECG, Doppler Testing and Injections.
NHS 111: You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a quick and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. Call 111 if:
- you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency
- you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
- you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call
- you need health information or reassurance about what to do next
A&E or 999: Many life threatening conditions need immediate lifesaving treatment from the Emergency Services, please call 999. Dial 999 immediately for emergencies such as: Chest pain, Difficulty in breathing, Loss of consciousness, Severe loss of blood, choking, fitting/ convulsions, severe allergic reactions or total collapse. You should only call 999 in an emergency. If it is not a life-threatening situation, consider the other options available to you.
WHY DOES THE RECEPTIONIST ASK WHY I NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR?
When booking appointments via the telephone our receptionists are trained to ask why you would like the appointment. By indicating why you need to see a clinician our receptionists can ensure you see the most appropriate person for that problem. Be assured what you say to a receptionist is treated with the utmost confidence.
WHEN SHOULD I REQUEST AN URGENT APPOINTMENT?
Only you as the patient can determine if you need to be seen urgently. You should only request one of these important appointments if you feel you have a true urgent medical problem. If you can wait to be seen please book a ‘routine’ appointment.
If you need to be seen on the day, for an acute problem, contact us as soon as possible. You will usually be offered a consultation in our ‘Urgent Care Clinic’ with our urgent care specialist nurse or a doctor as appropriate.
Please note we are not an emergency service. If you need immediate medical help for a life threatening illness please call 999 (more details about when to call 999 are above)
HOW CAN I SEE MY USUAL DOCTOR?
For continuity of care it is recommended to stay with your usual GP. When booking ‘routine’ appointments patients have the right to express a preference of practitioner. Every effort will be made to give you access to your usual doctor however this may not always be possible. Due to demand the waiting times for these types of appointments may become quite long.
HOW MUCH TIME WILL I HAVE WITH THE DOCTOR?
Patients are allocated 10 minutes per face-to –face appointment and 5 minutes for a telephone appointment. If you need longer please request a double appointment at the time of booking. It is therefore important that you keep your consultation to the one topic you have come for.
HOW CAN AN URGENT NURSE HELP?
Our Urgent Care Nurses can assess, manage and prescribe for many ailments and injuries. They can provide advice and treatment for the following: Acute Back Pain, Skin Problems, Burns, Ear Problems, Sinusitis, Coughs ,Emergency Contraception, Stings & Bites, Colds, Fever, Sore Throats, Conjunctivitis, Sprains, Cuts & Bruises, Hay Fever, Sunburn, Cystitis, Constipation.
Our Urgent Care Nurses can prescribe a number of medications, including most antibiotics. They work alongside the doctors and they share the daily demand for urgent medical attention.Our Nurses do not deal with children less than 2 years of age.
CAN THE DOCTOR SEE ME FOR DENTAL ISSUES?
Dental problems are the province of dentists not doctors and they can prescribe both antibiotics and painkillers, just as doctors do. You should see your dentist for regular check-ups, there should be an out of hours emergency service available once you have registered at a Dental Practice. Holiday makers and people not registered with a dentist can consult any NHS dentist for advice. If you have difficulty in funding one please ring the Health Authority help line. If you or your child has a tooth knocked out, carefully pick up the tooth but do not attempt to wash or clean it, put it straight into a little cold milk and take the patient to your own dentist.
The symptoms of a dental emergency can be identified as:
• Severe pain that cannot be controlled with pain relief.
• Swelling in the mouth or face. (with or without pain)
• Uncontrollable bleeding in the mouth.
• Or any trauma to the mouth or teeth.
If you are unsure of your symptoms contact your regular dentist; if you do not have one then contact the Dental Helpline BY CALLING 111 where we can triage the problem and may be able to arrange an urgent appointment with a dentist where appropriate. Just call 111.
HOW CAN I GET MY CHILDREN SEEN QUICKLY?
Ill young children will always be dealt with on the day. Our aim is for us to see under 5s within 2 hours by a Doctor. If you feel your child needs to be sooner please inform Reception.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I CAN NO LONGER MAKE/ OR NEED THE APPOINTMENT?
Please let us know well in advance if you cannot keep an appointment so that it may be offered to another patient. This avoids any unnecessary wait for patients wishing to see to see the doctor urgently or the practitioner of their choice. Missed appointments waste a considerable amount of time each week for both doctors and practice nurses.
HOW DO I CHANGE MY DETAILS?
If you change your name, address or mobile number, please give full details to Reception. Don't forget to tell us if details have changed for all the other members of family.
If you supply us with your personal email address we may contact you by email to update you on health issues or to provide information about the practice that concerns you.
HOW DO I GET RESULTS?
Blood tests: If your blood test is abnormal the Practice will contact you. If you want to check your results please contact Reception (01425 621188) after 2pm. A receptionist can advise you of the result, please allow time for tests to be carried out.
X-ray: Following an X-ray you need to arrange a follow up appointment with the doctor who referred you. To ensure the doctor has received the results please check with reception prior to making the appointment, which can be a telephone appointment. Our Receptionists are not trained to interpret X-ray results so cannot give them out.
WHEN SHOULD I DROP OFF A SPECIMEN?
Specimens can be accepted up to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. We CANNOT accept or test any specimen bottle handed in without an accompanying form from the doctor/nurse.
Please write your name and date on the label of the specimen bottle and ensure the specimen bottle is secure and place it in the plastic bag provided.
WHERE SHOULD I GO FOR HEALTH ADVICE?
Patients often contact us for general health advice. If you just need expert advice call 111. Trained staff will be able to advise you on how to treat yourself at home or refer you to the appropriate service. This could be your GP. 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively you can find advice online at http://www.nhs.uk.
You can also get help from your local pharmacy. They can provide expert advice on many common ailments or illnesses and provide over the counter medication.