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Appointments & Consulting

How to get help and advice

We operate a 'Digital First' system, in line with NHS policy. For all medical advice and help or for any administrative request, instead of booking an appointment, you send a Patchs request - in your words or even your own own language if you want - it can translate for us and now it can take your voice message. Just answer the questions the Patchs Telephone Assistant asks, like talking to a receptionist.

We view and respond to most medical queries on the same day if received before 5:00pm: after that we may respond the next day if non-urgent.

If unable to use internet services you can phone the surgery but you can also use your phone to speak your request to Patchs and it will write the text for you, saving waiting on the phone. When you need to phone, the receptionists will ask you some similar questions (though filling a Patchs request in your own words is better).

By having the information in advance, the doctor and staff can best meet your needs and prioritise urgent cases.

Information about Patchs

Who's best to help with my problem?

Type your problem or request in the box and see who might best help.

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See a Doctor or
Physician Associate or
Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Physician Associate or
Advanced Nurse Practitioner

See a Phlebotomist
(make sure you have blood request from first)

See a Practice Nurse

check your Patient Access app

Send us a Patchs
(or ask at reception)

See a Health Care Assistant

See a Receptionist

See a First Contact Physiotherapist

See a Social Prescribing Link Worker

What do all the different people do in the practice?

There are lots of curious names and new roles and multi-skilling and it is confusing to know who can deal with what problems and who might be the best person to consult. We work as a team and several of us may be involved in your care and by sharing our experience and judgement will hopefully give you a 'joined up' service.

And you don't always need to waste your time coming to a surgery appointment - there are many things when we can deal with things online or by phone.

GP (General Practitioner)
Physician Associate
Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP)
Practice Nurse
Health Care Asistant (HCA)
Clinical Pharmacist
Social Prescribing Link Worker
Practice Manager
Practice Administrator
Workflow Administrator

Who are GPs?

GP (General Practitioner) They're doctors who are generalists - though they may have special interests, they are trained to do pretty much everything. As we have 11 of them here, we have loads of skills between them.
A partner 'owns' the practice and is responsible for running it. Partners takes all the responsibilities and the risks - legal and financial - and decide the policies and future strategies of the practice. Partners are the employer of all the staff and hold the contract with the NHS for providing services.
Employed GPs are employees of the partners but are experienced GPs who prefer not to become partners.
We sometimes employ 'locums'. These are GPs working with us temporarily, maybe to cover a maternity leave or sickness.
We also have doctors in training - fully qualified but under supervision while they learn the general practice ropes. Some may go into other specialities but others are committed to a future career in general practice. For more details see trainee doctors.
A doctor will have at least 4 years' experience after qualifying. They will have worked in hospital medicine and general practice training. At the bend they and an exam called the MRCGP, before they can become fully-fledged GPs.

What can they do for you?

See a GP if you have a medical or mental health problem and need advice or an examination , tests or a referral.
We rotate Duty Dr each day. They holds telephone, eConsult and some video consultations and triage all the 'Urgent for today' problems - chest infections, bad fevers, chest or abdominal pain etc and home visits and any emergencies. The other GPs hold normal appointments for eConsult on the day and ahead. Where patients need to be seen face to face, they are booked by the GPs.
For admin problems such as certificates, forms or blood test requests, submit an eConsult.
You can also request a telephone call-back from a GP who is dealing with you or knows you.
Ask a receptionist if unsure.
GPs can, of course, do most things but many of the things we get to do can be done equally well or even better by other members of the team.
This saves valuable time for more serious things that really need a doctor's help and relieves pressure on our appointments for those who need them.

Who are Physician Associates?

Physician Associates, are new professionals in General Practice. They support GPs and the other clinicians in the team. They can see and manage patients of their own. They hold consultations, examine, order tests and give healthcare and preventative advice and management plans. They can deal with 'acute' (short-term) illness as well as 'chronic' (long-term) conditions.
They cannot, at present (though this will change) sign prescriptions or order X-Rays, so will need to get a GP's approval.

What can they do for you?

Our Physician Associates, Samira and Sobhan may see you for 'urgent for today' problems in duty surgery or for more long term condition monitoring. She will also follow up her own patients just as a doctor would, order tests and refer patients as necessary. You may book appointments with her - she can deal with the full range of medical and psychological issues.

Who are Advanced Nurse Practitioners?

ANPs are qualified nurses with additional qualifications (Masters level) to allow them to prescribe medicines and to assess and manage a range of long-term conditions such as diabetes or acute illnesses or minor injuries. They can also carry out nursing skills such as dressings and immunisations, so a hybrid role between a doctor and a Practice Nurse.
ANPs have varied skills and no one is the same as another.
One of our Practice Nurses, Varsha has completed her ANP training programmes.

What can they do for you?

Currently the Duty Dr triages 'urgent for today' problems to the ANP surgery. Varsha (in addition to Practice Nurse duties) will deal with long term conditions such as diabetes, COPD, hypertension. She can carry out the routine monitoring and management of these conditions and will see you if any of the routine annual checks you've had with the Healthcare Assistant show you require further management.

Who are Practice Nurses?

Practice Nurses are registered nurses who undergo additional training to allow them to run their own surgeries within a practice. They can treat minor injuries, wounds, give healthcare advice, deal with minor illness and help with monitoring long term conditions. Also they carry out cervical cytology. They also lead on infection control.

What can they do for you?

See a Practice Nurse for:

  • Travel vaccination and advice
  • Cervical Cytology (smears)
  • Contraceptive pill checks (not coils)
  • BP annual reviews
  • Diabetes annual reviews after seeing HCA for blood tests and foot checks if directed.
  • Heart disease annual reviews
  • COPD and asthma annual reviews
  • Wound dressings
  • Swabs for infections incl. MRSA
  • Smoking cessation advice
  • Weight loss advice.

Who are Health Care Assistants?

HCAs are unregistered health care professionals are trained to carry out a number of duties under the supervision of the GPs and Nurses. They have or are working towards a Care Certificate.
They also look after all our practice stocks and routine equipment checks to ensure we function efficiently.

What can they do for you?

See our HCAs for:

  • New Registration health Checks
  • Routine annual health checks such as BPs, foot checks, blood tests
  • Flu jabs
  • Smoking cessation advice.

Who are Phlebotomists?

Phlebotomists are trained to take blood for tests ordered by the doctor, nurse or HCA. In fact our HCAs double as phlebotomists!

What can they do for you?

The phlebotomists can only take blood ordered on a form by a clinician so please make sure you have been authorised to have the test. The form is saved in your record. The phlebotomy appointments can be booked online and are in the morning until lunchtime as the courier collects blood to take to the hospital in the early afternoon.
It helps to be ready when you go for your phlebotomy appointment - take of your coat, loosen your clothing ready to expose your arm. Make sure you've had plenty to drink from the night before and that your arms are nice and warm - it makes blood-taking a lot easier!

Who are Clinical Pharmacists?

Clinical Pharmacists will have a degree in pharmacy and are registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council.
They have great expertise in medicines, their effects, side effects, interactions and how to use them.
We rely on them to give expect advice on complex issues.
They also have training in the recognition and treatment of minor illnesses and long term conditions.
Our Clinical Pharmacists also helps us monitor our repeat prescribing, develop our medication and prescribing policies, alerting us to wider medication issues.

What can they do for you?

Here is a useful leaflet about a clinical Pharmacist's role in General Practice.
If you have difficult to control diabetes, we may refer you to Shaina.

Who are Social Prescribing Link Workers?

Social prescribing involves linking people to a variety of services, both in the voluntary and statutory sector, helping people navigate through difficult life problems and reduce inequality in our community.
They enable people to have more control over their lives, develop skills and give their time to others, through involvement in community groups.

What can they do for you?

We shall refer you to our link worker (later on, people may be able to refer themselves).
For instance people with complex emotional, social, medical, financial problems.
They will receive a number of contacts over a three month period. This helps them get back on their feet by connecting people to community groups and to develop skills, friendships and resilience.

Who are Receptionists?

Receptionists have a hard job. They need to satisfy patients and at the same time all the doctors, nurses, other clinicians and managers. They work within the rules and capacity and resources of the practice. They often describe themselves as the jam in the sandwich and balancing delicately on a tightrope!
Their main job is to listen to the patient and try to offer what they can to best meet their needs. Often there are mis-matches in what we can provide and what is actually needed and what the patient thinks they need. The receptionist needs great skill , understanding and patience in handling a huge number of often complex contacts through each day.
A tough job: please treat them with respect!

What can they do for you?

Apart from booking appointments (and these are often more easily and quickly done directly on-line) , the receptionist will explain any aspect of our service, handle admin enquiries, give test results (best done online) who is best to see out of our team, (which is why we often ask for a brief idea of your problem). Also they can advise how to get things done in the wider health service and generally they are there to help.

Who is a Practice Manager?

The Practice Manager, Amanda Ure, handles all the managerial tasks involved in running a busy practice- increasingly complex regulatory, contractual and financial matters. She is responsible for HR - recruiting and employing all staff, ensuring we meet all the complex statutory obligations such as infection control, CQC, Health & Safety. She runs the building to ensure everything works and all the various maintenance requirements are met - and this is a very complex building. There is a raft of policies and procedures that she is responsible for to underpin our work and every aspect is under constant scrutiny and subject to detailed reports. She also is responsible for overseeing complaints, significant event reporting and liaising with contractors and outside bodies.
She also manages the interactions and services provided by all our clinicians.
It's a difficult job but vital if we are to be able to serve patients safely and efficiently and survive as a viable practice.

What can she do for you?

You may only come into contact with Amanda our Practice Manager if you raise a complaint or send us a great idea. She will represent the practice at Patient Group meetings and open meetings.
Yvonne, our Assistant Practice Manager assists Amanda in some of these roles.

Who is a Practice Administrator?

Emma assists the Practice Manager with many of her tasks and liaises with outside agencies involving patient care queries and reports. She facilitates referrals to hospital and obtaining reports and test results when they fail to arrive. She takes minutes at meetings and is generally a most helpful person.

What can she do for you?

You may come into contact with Emma if she is sorting out a problem for you or wishes to get your consent to release a report to a third party.

Who is a Workflow Administrator?

A massive amount of correspondence and data concerning patients flies around , with into and out of the practice and our four Workflow Administrators ensure it is all handled safely and efficiently. They will act on instructions in correspondence about patients by coding the information in the patient record and carrying out tasks such as requesting further appointments of tests or communicating with the patient.

What can they do for you?

You may be contacted by the Workflow Administrators to book an appointment or carry out an action requested by a hospital, clinic or a third party.

Who is a First Contact Physiotherapist?

A physiotherapist with enhanced skills to work in primary care, seeing people with common musculoskeletal problems, assessing and offering treatment plans. They can also refer to our community musculoskeletal pathway for more detailed management including scans, injections and leading to surgery if needed. Having this excellent resource in the practice speeds up care, offers specialised expertise for early assessment and helps free up GPs to deal with their other workload.

What can they do for you?

If your submit a Patchs detailing a musculoskeletal problem you may be offered an appointment (virtual or face to face) with our First Contact Physio. instead of a GP

Consulting a Doctor

To request medical advice please fill in a Patchs online form (either by keyboard or voice response) - it asks the sort of questions a GP would and helps direct you to the right source of help.

Many medical queries can be managed safely without needing a face-to-face appointment. Having the information in advance allows the GP to quickly assess the most appropriate way to help, saving time and often an unnecessary trip to the surgery. The GP may phone, send a message with advice, a prescription to the pharmacy, order tests or maybe a referral. Or a face to face appointment may be necessary.

We'll reply by the end of the next 24hr working period at the latest, though usually much quicker on the same day (if you submit after 5pm it will be dealt with the following day). To cope with current high demand, Patchs requests are not available at weekends or bank holidays.

Here is a short video explaining Patchs.
If you want to start an account, click here.

If you cannot use online services, don't worry - just ring the reception:

  • Tel 0208 204 6464 Call queueing in use and 'Patient Callback' which allows you to ring off, keep your place in the queue and be called when it's your turn.
The receptionist will ask you some questions (the same one as on the Patchs system) to help the GP prioritise and offer the most suitable help.

All face to face appointments are pre-booked following a Patchs consultation. If you turn up without an appointment it is unlikely we will be able to see you at that time, except in an emergency.

Patchs gives access to lots of valuable self-help material. You don't need to register for this service. Patchs is ideal for all administrative queries and requests as well as medical matters.

For an explanation of why we no longer provide self-booking of appointments for most GP appointments see here.

Appointment text reminders are sent - remember to update your contact details!

Tell the receptionist if you think your problem is urgent or if you are feeling bad and are having difficulties waiting.

Try to stick to the Doctor who knows you or your problem best. This is especially important if dealing with an on-going or recurrent problem and ensures you get the most efficient personal care. Please ask for your usual doctor.

Please cancel unwanted appointments so others can be offered them. We waste thousands of appointments each year due to people not cancelling. You can easily cancel online using Patient Access or replying to the text reminder we send.

Consulting a Nurse

Some routine Nurse appointments are booked online by Patient Access, by Patchs or reception telephone.

Telephoning a Doctor or Nurse

For non-urgent calls, it is best to complete a Patchs request unless you have been asked to ring back. Otherwise ask a Receptionist to take your details and your selected Dr or Nurse will ring you back. We try to answer calls within 72 hours though some doctors work part time and may not be so readily available.
For anything urgent, it is usually better to complete a Patchs but if you are unable to, speak to a receptionist.

Video Consultations

We can use video links simply and securely to your mobile phone or computer video cam. This can be extremely useful and we can change from a phone call to video by sending your a link to you phone. If you accept, you click on the link and the software connects you directly or may send a small app to quickly download.

Here is an NHS overview of video consultations (and another about online services with good video on video consultation)

SMS Texting

We use SMS messaging extensively for your direct medical care, for instance to remind you of an appointment, an upcoming medical review or the arrival of a test result.
We may also send you some useful information through a link.

You often have the chance to send a reply, send a photo, cancel an unwanted appointment or answer a question about your medical state.

if you prefer not to receive SMS you can opt out but you will miss an essential part of our service to you.

Taking a good photo for your GP

Sending us a photo of a rash or lesion, or maybe a sore throat is very helpful to give quick advice and may save you a visit to the surgery. It is really important the image is clear and well-focussed and properly lit or it may be useless to us. Please check before sending! Below is a quick guide and for more detailed information click here. If you want to send a picture of your throat or inside your mouth it can be tricky. Here is a video to help
You can upload the images to a Patchs request to send to the practice securely. Try to avoid intimate areas unless requested by the doctor.

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You can always have a relative or friend with you when you see your GP or Nurse or you can ask at reception to provide a confidential, trained chaperone, preferably when you make your appointment. Many of our receptions have had specific training.

The doctor or nurse might offer this when you are undergoing examinations of an intimate or sensitive nature e.g. cervical cytology, gynaecological, testicular, breast or rectal examination. Also when you or the clinician might, in other circumstances, feel vulnerable.

You are also welcome to bring a friend or companion to the consultation.

Home Visits & Emergencies

We can visit those too unwell to leave the house. Please phone as early as you can (before mid-day). A doctor will speak to you first in order to prioritise visits.
Examining someone in their own home is often less than ideal, so if you are able to come to our well-equipped surgery it is safer and better.
If you feel bad when you get to the surgery, please tell a receptionist and we will see you without delay.
In an emergency (severe shortness of breath, crushing chest pain, heavy bleeding, sudden paralysis, you should always dial 999 as the patient's life may be at risk.
It is perfectly safe to bring a feverish child to see us, despite many old-fashioned beliefs.They have often cooled down and perked up by the time they arrive and will be seen quicker than waiting at home.

Trainee Doctors & Medical Students

Teaching and training is an important part of our work and we help train the next generation of Doctors and Health Professionals. We are an Approved Training Practice for Foundation Doctors and GP Specialist Trainee Doctors. This means our lead Doctors and the Practice as a whole have passed the strict approval process of Health Education England to show we have reached the required standards to train young doctors and other healthcare professionals. Drs Dodhia and Mehrali lead our training programmes.

Currently we train Foundation Year 2 doctors and General Practice Specialist Trainees (GP Registrars) and may also have undergraduate Medical Students and other Allied Health Professionals such as Nurses in the practice. They are all part of approved training programmes overseen by academic and regulatory authorities and their work is carefully monitored and evaluated.

You may be allocated appointments with one of these young professionals - you will always be asked if you are happy with this and they will introduce themselves to you. We may have a student or young professional sitting in a consultation with your usual doctor - you will always be warned and given the option of them leaving if you prefer. We may video record the consultation - you will be asked to give written consent and will not record it if you prefer.

More about our teaching and what to expect ……

Referral to Hospital

The decision to refer to a hospital doctor is made in discussion between you and your GP. This is important so we send your medical details to any other doctor such as past records, test results and so on. We operate under strict referral guidelines which ensure the right referral goes to the right place at the right time and sometimes referrals will be rejected.

Private referrals must also be discussed with your GP first. If you have medical insurance, the insurer may not cover your bills without a prior GP referral.

Though referral routes may be suggested, often to preferred locally-commissioned services, you will still have the right to choose your hospital, enshrined in the NHS Constitution.

We refer using the NHS electronic referral system ('eRS'). Once you have been referred, a Unique Booking Reference Number ('UBRN') will be created and this, with an access code, will be issued to you. You can then track and manage your booking online. We shall either make the booking for you (which you can then change if needed) or if preferred, you can make your own appointment using these details on this site.

Most services now are 'Referral Assessment Services' ('RAS') , which means the consultant will read the referral details and assess the level of urgency and will contact you within a time-limit specified on the letter with UBRN we issue to you. If you have not heard by that date, you have details on the letter about contacting the hospital.

When you've been referred to a specialist, there are a number of things you should expect and here is a useful checklist to print out and take with you.

Whilst you are waiting for your appointment you can look at the 'My Planned Care' NHS Website which gives useful advice and support in this waiting time.

We also have benefit of an Advice & Guidance service through a secure system called Rego. This enables us to seek advice about your case from a specialist and will often avoid the wait and inconvenience of a hospital referral.

Interpreting & Translating

Professional interpreters are available on the telephone for most languages. We can also book them to come in person to your consultation (the more notice you give, the more likely someone will be available to come). We use Silent Sounds interpreting services

The receptionist will organise a phone interpreter service when you arrive so please ask when you check in. Or you are welcome to bring someone with you or use your own interpreter.

Leaflets about a wide variety of conditions and medical issues are available in many languages, so please ask the doctor if you'd like more information to take away with you.

And, of course this website can be accessed in any language - click on the banner below the image on the home page.

And interpreting services are available throughout the NHS, so if you have to attend a hospital, let them know and we shall also inform them when we make a referral.

Disclaimer This website is to inform our patients of our services and provide general educational material concerning health. Any information, opinions, data or images are provided in good faith for the interest and benefit of our patients and not for any commercial gain. We are not offering professional advice concerning the particulars of any individual's health and cannot be responsible for the accuracy of the information presented or the content and reliability of information on linked external sites and request that you make your own judgements and use the information at your own risk. We cannot always keep all the information up to date, though we try our best. If you have any concerns about any of the content on this site, broken links etc please contact us.

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