Appointments - about our system
Normal Surgery hours:
Mon-Friday 08:30-18.00; extended hours: Saturday 07.00-11.00 (usually one a month).
Missed appointments could mean being removed from our list
Approximately 150 appointments per month are classified as ‘Did Not Attend’ (DNA) - i.e. the patient did not turn up for the appointment and did not contact the surgery in advance to cancel/change appointment (minimum of 2 hours).
The effects of these are: ** frustration for patients trying to book appointments - wasted appointments increases waiting times ** waste of resources - time and money ** potential risks to the health of patients.
Revised DNA Policy
Length of appointment: Each slot is for 10 minutes. If you have more than one medical condition to discuss or need longer, request a ‘double appointment’.
Patients 1-at-a-time: if more than one member of your family needs to be seen make a separate appointment for each.
‘Your doctor’: make appointments with ‘your doctor’ (every patient is allocated a named doctor) to ensure continuity of care, an important aspect of our Practice. You may however, see another doctor if your doctor is unavailable.
Chaperone: if you would like a chaperone present during your consultation please advise the receptionist when booking your appointment or when checking in.
Making an appointment
You can make a booking online (if you have signed up for the service - click here to do so) or by phone or by visiting the surgery.
How far in advance can you make an appointment? All medical problems are important but if its not urgent please phone/visit SAMC in the afternoon, after the morning ‘rush hour’.
- Pre-booking: i.e. you book before the desired day of your appointment. You can book up to six weeks in advance (8 weeks for nurses)
- ‘Same-day’ (subject to availability): call SAMC on the day you'd like to see a doctor/nurse. We operate a ‘Triage system’ (determining the priority of patients’ treatment based on the severity of their condition
- If you phone/visit after all available slots are gone your request will be logged by Reception on our ‘triage list’ managed by the day's triage doctor
- Remain by your phone and the triage doctor will phone you as soon as possible, to agree the appropriate course of action with you:
- this may be resolvable without a need for a same-day visit by you to the surgery, but if it is, an appointment will be offered to you, or booked for a subsequent day.
- in certain cases, at triage assessment on the phone, the triage doctor may decide to arrange a home call
- note: the triage doctor will make a maximum of 2 calls to you but if you don’t respond, yo'll need to call us again if needed
Very urgent medical problems click here
Text reminder service: Please ensure we have your current mobile number so that we can send you an appointment reminder – this helps us cut back on missed appointments.
Cancelling an appointment by text:
Please, please, CANCEL if you can't attend, by text or phone:
- If you have had a REMINDER TEXT from us and you can't attend simply text back 'CANCEL'.
- If you haven't had one, you can still text 'Cancel with your name, appointment time, to 07580 508867', e.g. Cancel John Smith 6 July 11am.
Book a non-urgent appointment online
Click here for more information.
My Doctor @ SAMC
“A lot of us are happier when we visit people we know. Particularly so when we are feeling unwell or need to see a Doctor – our Doctor. We feel a little bit more comfortable and a little more at our ease.
It’s good to know that my Doctor knows me, and is familiar with my medical condition and needs. It makes sense that my Doctor can more easily diagnose and treat the problem. I’ve built up a real rapport with my Doctor who also knows members of my family who are patients.
There has been the odd occasion when my Doctor hasn’t been available and I needed an urgent consultation, but I always try to get to see my Doctor.”
When a new patient joins us at SAMC we specifically allocate them (plus any family members) to one of the Doctors. Our aim is to ensure that the ratio of patients to each Doctor is more or less the same, and this takes into account the number of surgeries each Doctor does. Most people then stick with that Doctor. But patients can choose to change their Doctor if they wish.
Because most of our patients prefer to see their own Doctor on every occasion, it is good to know when your Doctor will be at SAMC so that you can try and plan consultations accordingly.
Click here for the normal weekly schedule.
Of course there are times when you might need to see another Doctor, for example when your Doctor is away perhaps on holiday or your need is urgent and your Doctor is not available.
Who is MyDoctor?
If you don’t know who your own Doctor is, hopefully that means you’ve been in the rudest of health and haven’t been to see us for a while. But whatever your need, from medical consultations to a certificate of some sort, you’ll have your own Doctor. Simply ask Reception and we’ll tell you who it is.
If you are too ill to attend the surgery, a Doctor will visit you at home at their discretion.
- Home visits are not for common symptoms where patients are well enough to travel
- Home visits are for the truly bed bound patient
- Please phone between 08.30–10.00 whenever possible, to enable Doctors to plan their day
- If the visit is urgent ensure that the receptionist is aware of this
- Home visits are normally undertaken at anytime between midday and 14.00
- You should not expect the doctor to arrive immediately following the end of morning surgery
- The doctor will normally telephone prior to the visit to see if your concerns can be resolved without a visit
Phone your doctor or nurse
You can consult with the doctors and nurses by telephone.
The doctors can take calls between 11:30 & 12:00 weekday mornings
Call surgery between these times and ask to speak with your usual doctor
If your doctor is on another call or is still seeing patients in morning surgery we will take your number (landline where possible) and the doctor will call you back when free
If your usual doctor has a large volume of calls to return one of the other partners may contact you in the first instance to see if they can help
In the absence of your usual doctor you will be put through to the duty doctor (one of the other Partners)
Don't phone your doctor for non–urgent prescription requests: order them through this website – ‘on-line prescription ordering service’, by calling in person at the surgery and completing a repeat prescription form or by sending/handing in your repeat request at the surgery or a local pharmacy
If a nurse is not available when you call, we will take your number (landline where possible) and one of our nurses will call you back when free
Other telephone advice
If your query is regarding a referral letter or other letters to the hospital or outside agency, please do not contact the doctor; ask to speak with the secretary who will be able to advise you on all matters relating to correspondence.