Changes to Booking Appointments
From 1st July 2019, we have been using a new process for patients to make appointments. The reason behind this is that we have direct access appointments for many services which are run by healthcare professionals, other than GPs and often who are much more highly qualified to assess the issues. For example Physiotherapists, Opticians, Nurse Practitioners to name but a few.
We have been training all of our Reception Staff to be experts in what these services are and how to access them. Usually their wait times are much shorter than that of a GP. By ensuring that any problems are dealt with by the most appropriate healthcare professional, we expect to reduce our wait times for our GPs. Therefore those patients who do need to see a GP will have a shorter wait time if this system is running well.
All patients who request appointments online will be asked to enter a phone number and a member of the Reception team will call back as soon as possible. By adding in a message as to the nature of the problem, the Duty GP will be able to review the list and offer expert guidance and advice to the Reception Team and may choose to call the patient themselves where appropriate.
We continue to monitor and review the system and ask for feedback, which has been mostly positive thus far. Our aim is to make our service run as effectively and efficiently as possible. We endeavour to enable access when needed for all our patients.
Thanks 3VMP team.
Routine GP appointments
We offer 10 minute appointments for non-urgent issues which can be booked by ringing 01384 322 500. These can be booked up to 4 weeks in advance. See the ‘Opening Times’ section for details of when our surgeries are open.
Our reception team are fully trained to assist you with making urgent and routine appointments. All reception staff have received care navigation training and are bound by confidentiality regulations, their aim is to get patients seen by the most appropriate health professional. Please assist this process by disclosing a brief reason for your appointment.
Additionally, since December 2013 the Practice has introduced an on-line booking facility for appointments. This will give patients who have registered with the service the facility to request an appointment from a suitable device. Same day appointment bookings will be triaged by a member of staff to ensure that the appointment has been made with the appropriate clinician.
Patients interested in using this facility will need to set up an online account, please speak to a member of the reception team for more information.
If you feel your problem needs prompt attention, you should advise the receptionist.
If the problem is extremely urgent, requiring immediate attention, please advise the receptionist. Sometimes they may advise you to dial 999 for issues such as chest pain or shortness of breath.
How you can help us
- Let us know if more than one family member needs to be seen, as each person will need their own appointment
- If you feel your problem(s) can't be dealt with within the usual allocated 10 minutes, then you may book a 20 minute appointment
- Call for urgent appointments or home visits as early in the day as possible
- Early morning is our busiest time for booking appointments. We have extra reception staff answering the phones at this time but even so, you may have to hold for a period of time until your call is answered. Please be patient and accept our apologies for this delay.
- If you are ringing for the results of tests or for issues other than booking urgent appointments or home visits, please call after 11am.
- Chaperones - please let us know in advance if you would like a chaperone available during your appointment.
If you are more than 10 minutes late for an appointment we will be unable to see you and you will be marked as “Did Not Attend”. Please call the surgery to let us know if you are going to be late and to see whether you can still be seen. Patients who repeatedly do not attend appointments with no explanation will be contacted regarding this and may be removed from the practice list.
Cancelling your Appointment
If you are unable to keep or no longer need your appointment please let the surgery know as soon as possible so that it can be given to another patient. You can do this online, via text or via telephone.
Cancelling in response to a Text reminders
If you have received an appointment reminder via text to your mobile phone, it will give you the option to respond with the just the word 'CANCEL' (no other information required) this will automatically cancel your appointment. Please ensure this is the ONLY word you reply with, if you use other words the system will NOT recognise these and will NOT cancel the appointment.
Extended access appointments
As of 1st April 2019 we have altered the times and dates of our weekly ‘extended hours’ appointment provision and will be opening on a Saturday morning from 08:00 am – 12:00 pm
We have decided on this alteration as a result of the following:
1 Closure of Wollaston Surgery where Sunday appointments were previously provided. Stourbridge Health & Social Care Centre is open on a Saturday but has
no Sunday provision.
2 Analysis of appointment uptake currently: GP appointments are always filled no matter where they are provided. Nurse and Healthcare assistant
appointments are more popular on a Sunday morning rather than a Wednesday morning 7-8am, when they are often entirely unused.
3 Feedback from patients via our usual feedback mechanisms (inc. Family & Friends Tests and Patient Surveys)
4 Staff survey on when our staff would be in a position to work outside core hours. This showed a spread. Early mornings 7 - 8am were too thin with GPs to be
a viable option going forward. Evenings were also too thin.
5 The only viable option which seemed to fit with the demand of our patients, as well our building limitation and ability to staff consistently was Saturday
mornings at SHSCC.