Zero Tolerance Policy Reminder

It is with great sadness to report that our staff are being subjected to increasing abuse by patients registered with the practice.

Need help with a non-urgent medical or admin request? Contact us online.

How to use our Telephone System

Our main telephone line is 0161 9835333. Please note that our peak time to call us is between 8am – 9am. For all non-urgent needs, we would recommend that you contact us after 2pm, whereby all of the urgent demand for the day has passed.

Telephone Demand per week

Please note that we do have on average 6 staff available to take these calls at our peak times.

In an average month we are dealing with 12,000 incoming calls to our main number with a further 400 calls coming to our direct dial numbers from external health organisation, such as A&E, Ambulance service, NHS111, Coroner’s Office, Funeral Directors and others.

We appreciate that if you are contacting us before 11am then the telephone lines will be busy, and you may experience a delay in your call being answered. We can assure you that every effort is made to answer all calls as quickly as possible. If your call is not being answered this is because the staff are already dealing with a patient.

To mitigate this delay, we have introduced more staff to handle the calls during these busy times. Our telephone system has a ‘queue buster’ option, which now holds your place in the queue and prevents the need for you to remain on hold. We constantly ask patients to not telephone at our peak times for non-urgent requests such as booking routine appointments, medication queries, sicknote requests etc. These types of calls do not require urgent attention and can be handled in the afternoon whereby the phone lines are quieter and yet appointments will still be available with the clinicians who deal with this type of health care.

Telephone Option

  • Option 1 – GP appointments that are for acute problems requiring attention within 7 days.
  • Option 2 – Prescription Query – this is for queries only. Prescription orders cannot be taken over the telephone.
  • Option 3 – General Enquires or Nurse/HCA routine appointments – All non-urgent appointment queries or book your annual reviews/follow up with our Nurse/HCA team, due to receiving a notification to contact us.
  • Option 4 – To obtain results, although this can also be done yourself using the online services and registering for access using one of the many health apps such as NHS app or Patient access. This will remove the need for you to telephone. Any urgent results a GP or Nurse WILL contact you.
  • Option 5 – Referral queries – however if you have not heard from the hospital then it is advisable that you contact then directly first as we are very limited to be able to speed up this process.

Acute GP Appointments

Unfortunately, we are unable to meet the current demand for ‘urgent’ GP appointments, despite the number of appointments that we offer a week being in excess of XXX. This is a national challenge, which is being faced by all NHS services. To ensure we offer urgent care to those in most need, we now ‘Triage’ all appointment requests by a GP and they prioritise the appointments based on clinical need.

We will ALWAYS offer an appointment to a person whom the GP regards as requires urgent CLINICAL care. We appreciate that all patients deem their problem to be urgent, which is why we will signpost patients to other health professionals who are more appropriately placed to deal with that need without requiring to see a GP. This could be a Physiotherapist for MSK & pain problems, the local pharmacy for all minor ailment problems, NHS online health conditions as often self-care is all that’s required for time limiting ailments.

The NHS crisis is the main headline news and we have provided some links to further reading about why we are facing these significant challenges.

We can only offer a service to the limits of our clinicians and staff and must always know when our ‘SAFE’ working limits have been breached. We don’t believe that any patient would want to be seen by an exhausted GP whereby the risk of mistake would be at its greatest.

Thank you

Finally, we would like to thank all our patients for your understanding and kindness despite this frustrating time. Thank you for your kind words of support when something has gone well as its easy to focus on appointment difficulties and forget that once seen, that our clinical care that we offer is of an excellent standard.

We can assure all our patients that we are constantly reviewing all patient feedback and complaint and we look for ways to help address all concerns and improve our learning. However, there is no system that will be perfect or suit everybody’s needs, so we apologise if you are a patient that our system may not work for.