For suspected chicken pox, measles, rash, diarrhoea/vomiting or anything potentially contagious, these will usually be a phone call from a clinician in the first instance.
Please ensure you are on time for appointments, patients who arrive late will not be seen.
GP, Physician Associate and minor illness appointments can no longer be booked online. Online bookable appointments include pharmacist medication reviews, smear tests, physiotherapist, and blood tests. Patients who feel they need to see a GP/Physician Associate/Minor Illness clinician will need to phone at 8am. This is to ensure that the GP appointments are reserved for the patients that need them the most. If your clinical query can be managed by a Paramedic , Physician Associate or Pharmacist rather than a GP, you will be offered an appointment with one of those professionals. This will allow GPs to deal with the more complex medical complaints.
The practice has provisions in place for vulnerable patients who are unable to book appointments in the normal way. These patients should contact the practice so the reception team can assist them.
The practice reserves the right to decline a patient request to be booked with a GP where there is an appointment available with another appropriately trained healthcare professional who has the skills and training to address that clinical need.
Please be advised that throughout the opening hours of the surgery, there is a GP on duty who will answer any queries from the healthcare team and arrange prescriptions as necessary if the healthcare professional you see is trained to diagnose and treat the relevant condition but does not have a prescribing qualification.
In general a GP can only deal with one problem in a standard 10 minute appointment. If a patient needs to discuss more than 1 problem they should book a double appointment to allow time for this. If there are no double appointments available, you may have to book 2 separate appointments. If you have 2 small issues the GP may be able to deal with these in a standard 10 minute appointment but please mention this at the start of your consultation.
If you have an urgent problem you should phone us as early as possible as we always release some appointments for patients who need medical attention on the same day. We ask you not to arrive unannounced at the health centre unless the matter is extremely urgent.
Please note that if you are requesting an emergency call please contact us before 11:00 as we cannot guarantee a same day response after this time.
If your call is a life-threatening emergency, please hang up and call 999.
IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND AN APPOINTMENT FOR ANY REASON PLEASE INFORM US AT LEAST 24 HOURS BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT TIME IN ORDER FOR US TO GIVE THE SLOT TO SOMEONE ELSE
The reception team are trained to ask you for details about the reason for your call today. They will then book you an appointment with a member of staff who can best manage your query. This may be with the a paramedic, pharmacist or nurse or a member of the admin team.
Minor Illness Appointments
Antibiotics are no longer routinely used to treat infections because:
Many infections are caused by viruses, so antibiotics are not effective.
Antibiotics are often unlikely to speed up the healing process and can cause side effects.
The more antibiotics are used to treat trivial conditions, the more likely they are to become ineffective for treating more serious conditions.
Both the NHS and health organisations across the world are trying to reduce the use of antibiotics, especially for health problems that are not serious.
For example, antibiotics are no longer routinely used to treat:
ear infections in children
Please do not expect to be issued an antibiotic for a cough as it usually clears up in 3- 4 weeks
Cough - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Sore throats are very common and usually nothing to worry about. They normally get better by themselves within a week. Please click on the link for advice when to contact the GP Practice
Sore throat - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
You can often treat a cold without seeing a GP. You should begin to feel better in about 1 to 2 weeks.
Common cold - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Sinusitis is swelling of the sinuses, usually caused by an infection. It's common and usually clears up on its own within 2 to 3 weeks. But medicines can help if it's taking a long time to go away.
Sinusitis (sinus infection) - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Earache and ear pain is common, particularly in young children. It can be painful but is not usually a sign of anything serious.
Earache - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
You can purchase antibiotics drops, if necessary, from your local pharmacy if your child is over 2 years of age . Please do not contact the practice for a prescription unless your child is aged under 2 years of age or you have been assessed and then advised by the pharmacist to book an appointment for a more serious condition.
Conjunctivitis - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
The paramedics are fully trained in Minor illness. At all times they have access to the Duty Doctor who is able to provide advice and sign off prescriptions if required. For minor illness appointments, for conditions such as a chest infection, urinary tract infection, tonsillitis, sinusitis, ear infections, please call the surgery at 8am Monday to Friday on 0118 9874551 to arrange a minor illness appointment. If your minor illness can be treated by your Community Pharmacist, you will be referred to a pharmacy of your choice under the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service.
Doctor's appointments are available for more complex, ongoing conditions only. GP appointments are only bookable by phone as they need to be reserved for patients with more serious medical issues.
If you are unable to get through to the practice, please call NHS 111 for medical advice.
Online booking is available for:
- Mental health practitioner - for new, adult mental health symptoms, no medication
- Smear tests in the practice
- Medication reviews with a member of the pharmacy team
- Blood tests
- Annual diabetic reviews
- Physiotherapy assessment appointments
We would kindly ask that these slots are not booked for any other reason. For inappropriate bookings, the appointment will be cancelled and we will inform patients by text message to re-book with the appropriate clinician.
If you arrive late for an appointment, you will be asked to rebook. This is because the clinician will already be seeing their next patient and will not be able to delay their clinics for late patients.
When you book you will be asked to state briefly the nature of your appointment to enable us to direct you to the most appropriate member of the health care team.
Important information for telephone consultations during extended hours
If your telephone appointment is after 6.30pm Monday to Friday or on a Saturday morning and you miss the call, you will not be able to phone the practice back as the switchboard is closed during our extended opening hours so please ensure you are available to take the call.
Antenatal and midwife appointments
Antenatal care is no longer provided by GP practices, the community midwife team will provide antenatal care. To arrange your first 'booking appointment' with your community midwife, please access the Royal Berkshire Hospital website and complete the online booking form Maternity | Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.
Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (CPCS)
NHS England has commissioned a service called the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service. This service's aim is to improve access for patients with minor illnesses by being referred for a formal consultation to a community pharmacist of their choice. Community pharmacists are highly skilled clinicians with at least 5 years of training and are very experienced in providing healthcare advice to the community. When calling the practice, if you have a minor ailment, you will be offered this service. The receptionist will ask a few questions to establish whether the minor illness meets the criteria for referral. Once the referral has been made, the community pharmacist will contact the patient the same day or the next working day for a clinical consultation and provide appropriate advice or signposting.