Appointments

Appointments System

You can make appointments by phoning the surgery or calling into the surgery during our opening hours.

Appointments can also be made online 24 hours per day. For this you need to register for our online services.

An application form is available to download here

*This must be returned in person to the practice with two forms of identification*

Telephone Advice

If you simply need advice, we are very happy to deal with problems by telephone - just ask the receptionists. If, having talked to you, it seems more appropriate to see you, we will make arrangements to see you.

Alternatively, general advice is available 24 hours a day on 111

Routine Appointments

Given the extremely high pressures and high levels of infections, doctor appointments remain "phone first". Primarily this is to help us to manage our waiting room numbers, to protect our vulnerable patients. Please be assured, that whilst many problems can be dealt with by phone, an appointment in surgery will be arranged if a face to face would be better, eg to examine you or if there are accessibility issues. At no point during the pandemic have we stopped seeing patients face to face.

We offer advance booking for nurse appointments, up to 4 weeks in advance. Depending on the reason for the appointment, you may be offered a telephone appointment.

We will endeavour to find you an appointment with the doctor or nurse of your choice at a time that is mutually convenient. This will depend on demand and both their and your availabilities.  It is preferable to see the same doctor or nurse during the same episode of illness.

Urgent Appointments

We have appointments available for patients who feel that they need to be seen that day. These are primarily intended for urgent problems that cannot wait until the next available appointment. Where there are no more ‘same day’ appointments available, we will arrange for the duty doctor to phone you back.

If you simply need a little advice, try ringing 111. For minor problems, your pharmacist will also be able to advise you. Alternatively, you can ask for the duty doctor to phone you back.

Please help us to help you: if you feel you need to be seen on the same day, please tell the receptionist that you “have an urgent problem and you need an appointment today”.

Arriving for your Appointment

When you attend for your appointment, please check in using the electronic receptionist at Glenpark, or inform the receptionist as soon as you arrive. If you do not check in, you may be overlooked.

Please do arrive in good time. One common cause of surgeries running late is the late arrival of patients.  Patients arriving late may be seen, but this will be at the discretion of the doctor or nurse and you may have to wait until there is a gap in surgery so as not to inconvenience other patients.

Extended Access

Gateshead Extra Care Service provides additional appointments with local GPs and Nurses. It offers pre-bookable and on the day appointments for patients who require urgent attention. These appointments are available at Blaydon Primary Care Centre and Central Gateshead Health Centre, between 8am - 8pm Monday - Friday and 9am - 2pm Saturday and Sunday.

Contact the practice to book an out of hours appointment. Alternatively we may offer you one of these appointments when our own appointments have been used.

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.

Home Visits

It is our policy only to visit people at home who are housebound due to medical problems or terminally ill.

 

To help us, we would be grateful if requests for a home visit are made before 10:30am. The doctors may go out on their home visits anytime between finishing morning surgery and starting afternoon surgery. If you phone after the doctors have already left the building we may not be able to visit until the following day, unless it is an emergency.

 

Since phone lines are busy first thing in a morning you may find it more convenient to wait until after 9:30am to ring for a visit.

 

Help us to Help You

In the time that a doctor can see one person at home, they can have seen up to about 4 patients in the surgery. Often it is the time traveling to a patient’s home that takes the time. We also cannot take all the facilities available to us at the surgery out on our home visits.

Visits are one of the privileges of the NHS; they are not a patient right. We are very happy to visit where there is a medical reason to do so, but not where the reason is either social or convenience. We find that people request home visits because they don’t want to pay for a taxi (but are happy to do so for a haircut), or because it is raining or more convenient. It is almost never appropriate to visit children at home – coming out in the cold is not going to affect them if they are properly dressed.

It is important that we are fair to everyone. Wasting time on unnecessary home visits can delay someone else getting (sometimes life-saving) treatment they need.

Why do receptionists ask for a reason for the appointment?

When you ask for an appointment, the receptionists will ask for an indication of what the problem is. They are not being nosy, but trying to ensure that you are seen by the most appropriate person to answer your query.

Traditionally, general practice has been led by doctors. Over time, medicine has become much more complex, with more treatment options and with more of the long term care being passed from hospital specialists to general practice. GPs are very highly trained, and some of the GPs in the practice are amongst the most senior doctors in Gateshead. And just like hospital consultants have a team around them so they can concentrate on the more difficult medical problems, GPs are increasingly having to take the same approach. This is being encouraged by the government as they fund the likes of paramedics, pharmacists, physiotherapists and social prescribers working in general practice. Looking at this the other way round, by having these additional team members, means that you can see someone with specialist training, adding to the richness of primary care.

If the receptionists can understand your problem, they can then look to fit you in with the best person in the team to help you. For example, if you sprain your ankle, a physiotherapist will call upon their specialist training to give you a more in depth assessment and management, freeing a GP to see someone else.

For those patients added to the urgent call list, having a reason really helps the GPs to prioritise the most serious problems first so they can start treatment as soon as possible. For example, extending a fit note can be done at any time, but calling the patient with an asthma attack early could save them being admitted to hospital.

Texting Service

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

We will also use SMS from time to time in relation to managing your health. For example, we may send reminders of when you are due a review or with the results of tests.

If you give us your mobile number, we will assume that you are happy for us to send you texts for appointment reminders and to manage your health. If you do not wish to receive texts please contact the practice.

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

Training Practice

We are a training Practice and occasionally you may be asked if a trainee doctor or medical student could sit in on your consultation.

Click here for more information.