Appointments

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Appointments Update

Don’t let fear of catching coronavirus mean that your cancer or other serious illness gets missed while it’s curable!

Many types of cancer or serious illness are straightforward to treat and cure if you catch them early, but since the beginning of the outbreak of Covid-19, there has been a big drop in the number of people who are going to their GP with signs of important illness. If you are tempted to stay at home and wait until the Covid crisis is over to get your symptoms checked out, please think again, and make an appointment to talk to a GP about any worrying concerns, such as any persistent unexplained bruising, persistent vomiting,  weight loss or persistent fevers, lumps, moles which are changing, difficulty swallowing your food, persistent cough ( more than 3 weeks), post-menopausal bleeding, persistent change in your bowels towards looseness that continues for more than 3 weeks, or blood in your poo (for more than 2 weeks) or pee . There is a real risk that, if left unchecked, any cancer or other serious condition present could grow and spread, making it much more difficult to treat successfully. At Nightingale Valley Practice we can arrange many of the tests you might need over the phone, and if we do need to see you in person, we have strict infection control procedures designed for your safety, which minimise the chances of anyone who comes to the surgery catching Covid-19.

Don’t let Covid-19 reduce your chances of a successful cure from cancer or other serious conditions – help catch these early by making an appointment with your GP if you have any worrying symptoms.

You can still book telephone appointments online - please contact us to sign up!

Appointments System

We operate a full appointment system, usually at 10 minute intervals. We encourage all patients to consult with one doctor as far as is possible as this makes for better continuity of care which is nicer for both patients & doctors. Obviously there are times when only one of the doctors is available but as far as possible, we will try to make your appointment with the doctor of your choice.

For urgent appointments, if no appointments are available, we offer telephone triage by the on call team. A member of the team will ring you & do telephone triage and will if necessary arrange for you to be seen in surgery.

If you require an urgent appointment the same day, please tell the receptionist and you will be telephoned. Routine appointments can be booked up to a month in advance.

If you need a non-urgent appointment, then we will make every effort to find a convenient time for you. Sometimes, if surgeries are very busy the doctor may run late & we ask for your patience and understanding.

On-Line Access

You can now apply to have on-line access to enable you to make & cancel appointments via the link at the top of this page; click here for more information.

Telephone Advice

All doctors are very happy to receive requests for telephone advice and there are a large number of problems which can be sorted out in this way, which is often more convenient for patients. If you need to speak to any of the doctors personally, tell the receptionist who will take your name, phone number, and brief details of your query. We will phone you back as soon as possible and you will often be offered an appointment time. Please avoid ringing first thing in the morning for routine matters as this is the time when there is most pressure on the phone lines.

Chaperones

During your consultation it may be necessary for the doctor or nurse to do an intimate examination (for instance genitals or breasts). A chaperone is someone present in the room but who does not see the examination. They would usually be a member of staff or your family. They are not always needed but may be present if the patient or doctor requests one.

Before an intimate examination you should make sure you understand the reason why the examination is necessary – ask your doctor or nurse if you are unclear. If you would like a chaperone, please ask at reception or discuss with your doctor. If no one is available, it will be possible to arrange another appointment.

Improved Access

We are working together with other local Practices to offer more appointments in the early mornings, evenings or at weekends.

Please speak to a member of the Practice team to find out more.

Home Visits

Whilst we encourage our patients to come to the surgery, where we have the proper equipment and facilities available, we do appreciate this is not always possible. In this respect, if you do need a home visit, you can help us by calling reception before 10:00.

Do not ring before 08.30 except in an emergency.

You may only request a home visit if you are housebound or are too ill to visit the practice. Your GP will only visit you at home if they think that your medical condition requires it and will also decide how urgently a visit is needed. Please bear this in mind and be prepared to provide suitable details to enable the doctor to schedule house calls

You can also be visited at home by a community nurse if you are referred by your GP. You should also be visited at home by a health visitor if you have recently had a baby or if you are newly registered with a GP and have a child under five years.

Cancel an Appointment

It is important that you inform the reception staff if you are unable to attend your appointment, this will allow that appointment to be offered to another patient. If you fail to notify the Practice that you are unable to attend, you will be sent a letter informing you that you have defaulted from your appointment. Persistent defaulters maybe removed from the list.

You can also complete our appointment cancellation notification request form. This can only be used if your appointment has been arranged for more than 24 hours in advance. (excluding weekends and public holidays). You can also text to cancel your appointment.

Text Reminder Service

We have a texting service which allows you to receive confirmation and reminders about your appointments.

To have this service you will need to register by completing a consent form.

Please remember to update your contact details with us when you change address, telephone numbers and email address.

Training Practice

Medical Students

The Practice has medical students from Bristol University on a frequent basis. This can involve them sitting in with a Doctor during a surgery or possibly seeing people before they see the Doctor. Of course all the Doctors are happy if patients decide they would rather not see a student. Please let reception know when you arrive. We also tell everyone when they book an appointment that a student is present.

GP Registrars

Nightingale Valley Practice currently have 4 GP registrars.  The GP registrar is a qualified Doctor who works in practice for a period before becoming a GP. At the end of the year we aim for them to be fully qualified and competent to work as a GP. We also aim for them to get job satisfaction, enjoy seeing all sorts of people and have a thirst for continued education right through their career.

Sometimes they may need to video their surgery but once again the patient is always fully informed before they book and it is always possible to say "no thanks" and the camera is removed. The videos are only used for educational purposes and destroyed when used. It is a really useful educational tool for us, so thanks in advance.

Other Doctors in Training such as "F1" and "F2"

We sometimes have "F1" and "F2" doctors working in the practice. They are qualified doctors and can work independently but will quite often ask their trainer for help. Most of these doctors will eventually be GPs but some will become physicians, surgeons etc.

Dr Jeff Clark, Dr Katharine Alsop, Dr Brian Hanratty, Dr Caroline Perkins and Dr Anne Whitehouse are accredited GP trainers. Our practice was awarded an "A" grade for training at our last inspection.