Help Us to Help You

Your Appointment… please help us to help you

Doctors’ appointment slots last 10 minutes and are intended to cover one problem, but quite a lot of people will go into the doctor with several problems at once – hence they over run.

The doctors here are very keen to let people have the time that their condition requires, but if people spend ‘save up’ issues until they’ve got a list of them, it does not give the doctor time to deal with them all properly and safely. If you know in advance that you will need longer, please discuss the options available with reception when booking.

Similarly, it is only one person per appointment. Please do not “squeeze” other family members into your appointment. Please make separate appointments.

Let us know if you can’t keep your appointment. If you no longer require an appointment then do inform the practice in good time so that we can release the time for other patients.

After you have booked in, if you are still waiting to be seen after more than 30 minutes, feel free to mention this to the Receptionist, who will look into the reasons for the delay and offer a further appointment if you cannot wait.

Top Tips

Before the Appointment:

  • Write down your two or three most important questions.
  • Prepare your thoughts and problems in advance by writing down your problem e.g: When your symptoms started, how they have changed etc.
  • Do your Blood pressure in the waiting room.
  • Do a urine sample if you have pain passing urine or lower abdominal pain.
  • If you are taking any ‘over the counter’ medicines or supplements that the Doctor has not prescribed, make sure that you take a list of them, so that the Doctor knows what you are taking.
  • Do not try to add another person in on your consultation. Let reception know you need another appointment for this individual or prioritise who needs the appointment more.

During the Appointment:

  • Be honest with the doctor. It is important to tell the doctor the main reason you are there at the start of the consultation. If you are embarrassed, don’t be, the doctor is there to help and won’t be shocked.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t understand.
  • If you have more than one problem please let reception know and they will try and get you a longer appointment if possible. Otherwise, let your doctor know at the beginning of your consultation. They may be able to deal with more than one problem if they are related. However, your doctor may make you another appointment for your other problems, especially if they are new or complex problems.
  • If you have any special needs please inform reception in advance so we can prepare the appointment for you first time (e.g. need an interpreter, visual impairment, hearing impairment, prefer male/female doctor etc..)
  • f you know you have difficulty understanding or explaining things bring someone you trust with you or if you require an advocate see NHS choices for available advocacy services.
  • Dress accordingly for possible examination. Loose clothing is best and remove any layers in advance.
  • Please let reception know if you would like a chaperone.
  • All our doctors have a special interest in certain medical areas. Why not consult with a doctor who has an interest in the area of your problem in the first instance?
    A consultation is about sharing in decisions about your care and goals. To make a good consultation you should let your doctor know about your goals, hopes, fears and expectations. This is why doctors ask you for YOUR thoughts. At the end of a consultation you should know:

    • What is your main problem
    • What do you need to do about it
    • What to do if it does not get any better
  • If you aren’t sure about one or more of the words about your condition or treatment, ask for them to be written down.
  • Make yourself a note. This makes it easier to remember afterwards what the Doctor or Nurse told you.

Useful Links

  • NHS Choices – Get the most from a doctor’s appointment

Before You Leave the Appointment, Make Sure You:

  • Check that you’ve understood what was said. Ask the Doctor/Nurse to explain again if you aren’t sure.
  • Check that you’ve understood what treatment (if any) is being recommended for you and how it will happen. If the Doctor has prescribed some medicine for you, do you understand how you should take it and when it should be started/finished?
  • Is there anything that you should stop or start doing that is making your condition worse?
  • Is there anything that you can do to help yourself?
  • What happens next? (E.g. do you need to make another appointment?)