Advanced Bookings

You can book appointments 8 weeks in advance with the GP of your choice by going online using the Patient Access website or app, by phoning reception on 0207 604 2455 or by asking in person at reception. 15% of our face-to-face appointments are available in advance.

Bookings on the Day

85% of our face-to-face appointments are available to book on the day from 8am. You can get an appointment by phoning reception or by asking in person at reception.

Appointment Length

Same day and advanced appointments are both 10 minutes in length. If you wish to see your GP about a number of complex problems please ask reception to book you a double appointment.

Late Arrivals

If you are  late for your appointment, it is likely that the GP, nurse or healthcare assistant will not be able to see you.

Telephone Appointments

All of the GPs offer telephone appointments daily - which can booked for the same day, or in advance, through reception (subject to availability). Telephone appointments are useful for problems where you might not need to see your GP face-to-face – for example, to discuss test results or for a review of an ongoing problem.

If you have booked a telephone appointment, the GP will phone you before 2pm on that day. If you would like them to phone you within a specific time window, please tell reception and the doctor will do their best to oblige.

Nurse and Healthcare Assistant Appointments

Appointments with our nurse and HCA can be booked on the day or in advance by phoning reception or by asking in person at reception.

What can I do if I have an urgent problem and there are no appointments available?

If you have an urgent problem and there are no appointments available, we will always try to help you on the same day. You can ask reception to leave a message for the “Duty Doctor” who will call you back and either try to help you over the telephone or, should they think that it is clinically necessary, arrange for you to come in for an emergency appointment.
The Duty Doctor is the GP whose role on that day is to attend to urgent phone calls, urgent requests for appointments and urgent home visits.

Please do not come to the surgery to be seen unless you have been offered an appointment. The Duty Doctor will not be able to see you without having first spoken to you on the phone.

Home Visits

Home visits are generally only offered to housebound patients who are too ill or frail to attend the surgery. If you think you need an urgent visit, please try to telephone before 10am to discuss your situation with the Duty Doctor. The decision to provide a home visit will be made on clinical grounds at the discretion of the Duty Doctor.

Non-urgent home visits can be requested through reception with the GP of your choice. It may up to two weeks to arrange a routine home visit on account of needing to fit the visits around the GPs timetables.

What is the best time to phone the surgery? I can never get through when I try?

Our busiest times of day are 8am to 10.30am due to patients phoning up to book same day appointments. We recognize that it can be difficult to get through on the phone in the mornings and we have changed staff rotas to increase the number of receptionists answering phones at this peak time.

If you are phoning to book an advance appointment, to ask about test results, to ask about a prescription, or with any other enquiry – we would encourage you not to phone first thing in the morning. You will find it easier to speak to a receptionist after 11am.

How do I cancel an appointment?

Unfortunately almost two hundred appointments are lost every month due to patients not turning up without cancelling beforehand. This is a shame as these appointments could have been put to good use by other patients. We understand that sometimes your plans might change but, if you are unable to make it to your appointment, please cancel by phoning reception or online using Patient Access.

Interpreters

We can arrange interpreters for patients for British Sign Language or for patients who do not speak English. Please ask at reception when you are booking your appointment and give us at least three days notice to arrange an interpreter.

Chaperones

There are occasions when a patient might visit a doctor and require an intimate examination. A chaperone is a trained member of the practice team who may be present during such examinations to help put you at ease and also to help to prevent any misunderstanding between yourself and the doctor.

If you wish a chaperone to be present during your examination please do not hesitate to ask your doctor. It is also quite routine for your doctor to request the assistance of a chaperone during intimate examinations. The chaperone will only be present for the examination itself, and most discussion between you and the doctor will take place while the chaperone is not present.  Please be assured that all practice staff understand their responsibility not to divulge confidential information and they are bound by our confidentiality policy. 

You have the right to refuse a chaperone should you wish. Your doctor has the right to rearrange your intimate examination should a chaperone not be available, or should you decline a chaperone.

Full details of the practice's Chaperone Policy is available from the practice manager.

The New "Named GP" System

Due a change in the GP contract for 2015-2016, from April 2015 GP practices in England are required to provide all their patients with a “named GP” who will have the overall responsibility for the care and support that our surgery provides to them.

We will have allocated all patients a named GP by the end of June 2015. This will be either the doctor with whom you are registered or the doctor who you see most regularly.

The GPs at the Abbey Medical Centre have always worked in collaboration with each other to provide care to their patients. This new arrangement will not change this. However, we believe that having a named GP endorses the important personal link between GPs and patients, promoting continuity of care and reinforcing the value of our long-term relationship with patients. 

However, the new system does not mean you have to only see your “named GP”. You can see any GP at the practice – not just your “named GP”. Patients can and should feel free to choose to see any GP or nurse in the practice. You can also choose to have the specific GP of your choice nominated as your "named GP" - speak to our reception team to request this - and you can also ask our reception team to find out who is your "named GP".

We will inform patients who their named GP is at the ‘next appropriate interaction’ (consultation) in the year April 2015 to March 2016, we will not be writing to patients. Patients can express a preference and we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate your request.  If you would like to know who your named accountable GP is - you should contact the practice.

The “named GP” system does not mean that your GP will take on 24/7 responsibility for your care. They can only take on responsibility for your care during their working hours. It is not possible, nor has it been requested by the government, for them to take on 24-hour responsibility for their patients, or to have to change their working hours. The requirement does not imply personal availability for GPs throughout the working week. Your “named GP” cannot take on vicarious responsibility for the work of other doctors or health professionals both from within and from outside the Abbey Medical Centre.