Rapid Access

The new appointment system is called Rapid Access . Rapid Access is an initial telephone consultation service that ensures all requests for an appointment are processed quickly and efficiently by clinicians (GP and Nurse Practitioner) on the telephone.
The telephone call is not to assess whether you need an appointment but to deal with your concerns on the telephone and plan the best course of action for individual patients.

Why is the practice changing its appointment system?
Evidence has shown that 80% of concerns patients attend the surgery with can be dealt with effectively over the telephone.
The practice is aiming to improve its access so that patients concerns can be dealt with as much as possible on the same day whether it is felt urgent or routine.

Is the new appointment system going to stop patients from seeing a clinician?
Absolutely not, the changes are to enable you to speak to a clinician sooner. The clinician will always ensure that you are happy with the outcome of your telephone consultation. If you feel that you require an appointment at any time during the consultation, please ask the clinician.

What will happen when I request an appointment?
The receptionist will ask your name and telephone number and give you an approximate time that the clinician will call you back that day, usually within the hour. You may request a time that is convenient for you, due to work commitments etc.
The clinician will call you as requested, discuss your concerns and decide the appropriate action with you.

What action may be decided?
A clinician may:

  • Request that you attend the surgery, possibly the same day or at a future convenient time.
  • Initiate investigations, for example, arrange blood tests. Any tests will be arranged for you within the same telephone call by a receptionist.
  • Initiate referrals as appropriate.
  • Arrange appointments with other members of the practice team, for example the Practice Nurse and Pharmacist.

Can I get a prescription if I have a telephone consultation?
Yes, if this is felt appropriate by the clinician. A prescription can be sent to a local chemist for collection if you wish.

How will the changes benefit patients?
We hope that by offering Rapid Access to patients, the practice will:

  • Increase its ability to assess more patients on a daily basis.
  • Reduce waiting times for appointments.
  • Investigate patients sooner, reducing waiting time for patients who require investigations to aid a diagnosis.
  • Address patients concerns sooner.
  • See patients sooner than a patient initially requested as the clinician may feel your concern warrants immediate action.

If a clinician asks to see me for a review will I have to go through the Rapid Access system again?
No, if a clinician asks you to return it will be documented in their plan which has been agreed with you. The receptionist will book you an appointment as the clinician requested.

Will this system work for all patients?
If you feel that the system is not going to work for you, for example you may be hard of hearing, then please inform a receptionist who will endeavour to explore other options that can help.

We would encourage all patients to try the system and offer comments and suggestions on your experience to enable us to continually improve our service.

Thank you