Appointment requests from 12/4/21

Statement about appointment system 12/4/21

At Central Surgery we always try to provide the best possible service for all of our patients and we take patient feedback and concerns seriously.

The way we have been working to maximize the number of people we can contact and prioritizing based on clinical need, has come at the expense of certainty, as we have not been able to tell patients when to expect a call. This has caused a lot of unintended worry for patients and has been the most common issue in recent complaints.

ALL WORK CURRENTLY WAITING IN THE SYSTEM WILL BE ABSORBED UNDER THE NEW SYSTEM, if you have already submitted a request and are yet to get a response you do not need to resubmit.

The way we will be going forward will be much closer to what the majority of surgeries are doing in the UK at present.

There will be some availability every day for a mix of planned/long term appointments same day/urgent issues, and online consultations.

This will include the ability to book ahead in the future, and you will be able to register a preference over which GP you speak to if they are available.

However when the capacity is reached we will stop taking requests in from patients beyond urgent/emergency requests and you may be asked to call/message back at a different time.

At present the default will remain telephone or online consultations before any face to face attendance at the surgery, there will be a limited number of conditions that reception have been permitted to book directly face to face, this is in keeping with national guidance.

If you contact us after our available capacity has been reached and you feel your problem is an emergency you will be asked to explain as much about your problem as possible to allow the GP to decide what action may need to be taken that day. This may include advising you to contact another day, so please do help us to help you by giving as much information as you can.

Requests submitted by phone and by askmyGP will continue to have equal standing, we would strongly encourage those who can submit their requests online via askmyGP to do so, this will allow those who cannot use the online system a fair chance to get through by phone.

This appointment system has been brought in by the management team including the GP Partners, our reception team are following the instructions they have been asked to follow. Abuse towards them or any member of the team will not be tolerated and action will be taken against repeat offenders. We appreciate that this is a worrying time of heightened emotions for all but our staff will continue to do their best in challenging times without being subjected to abuse.

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111 service- Its not an 999 emergency, but you need medical help fast

What is 111?

Its a new NHS number being introduced to help make it easier for you access local health services.  If you live in Gateshead, South Tyneside or Sunderland you can now call 111 when you need medical help fast, but its not a 999 emergency.

You will be assessed, given advice and directed straightaway to the local service that can help you best.  That coud be a walk in centre, minor injuries unit, a community nurse, emergency dentist or a late opening chemist.

You can ring the 111 number 24 hours a day, 7 days a wee, 365 days a year.  Calls from landlines and mobiles are free.

Why should i use it?

NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help – wherever you are, and whatever the time.  It can also help us to free up 999 and local A&E departments so that they can focus on emergency cases.

When do i use it?

You should use NHS 111 if:

> You need medical help fast but its not an emergency

> You think you need to go to A&E or another urgent care service

> You dont know who to call for medical help or you dont have a GP to call

> You require health information or reassurance about what to do next