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Q? Why can’t I see my GP when I want to?

A.

Your choice of GP may be limited as most will be on-call for the Practice twice a week. This means they have mainly urgent or emergency appointments only. When on-call they can only deal with urgent telephone calls. They cannot deal with repeat medication, sick notes or routine test results. They will then have routine appointments and telephone consultations on other days. You will be offered another Clinician if your GP is unavailable.

Q? Why am I asked to ring back on the day to book an appointment?

A.

The GPs offer a proportion of appointments in advance but once these have been booked you may be asked to ring in on the day you would like to be seen. There are always ‘book on the day’ appointments. However, due to demand, these can go very quickly. Remember, if your need is medically urgent you will be seen.

Q? Why am I asked if my need to see a Doctor is medically urgent or an emergency?

A.

The GPs have instructed the Receptionist to ask you this question when all routine appointments for the day have been booked. The GPs will then only see patients with an urgent medical condition. Please help us by considering this when booking an emergency appointment.

Q? I have had a minor injury, will the Doctor see me?

A.

If your injury occurred within the last 14 days you will be advised to go to the Minor Injuries Department at Launceston Hospital.

Q? Can the Nurse Practitioner do my medication review or fit for work note?

A.

No, you would need to see or speak to a GP.

Q? Can I see the Nurse Practitioner for anxiety or depression?

A.

No, you would need to see a GP.

Q? I work all day so when can I have an appointment?

A.

The routine appointments with the GPs run from 8.30am to approximately 5pm. Our minor illness nurse has appointments until 6pm but you will usually need to book on the day. You can advance book an appointment for Saturday mornings. If your need is urgent, there is a Duty GP available every day with late afternoon appointments. These cannot usually be booked in advance. If, however, you explain your difficulty to the Receptionist, we will try our best to help.

Q? Why can some procedures only be done at certain times?

A.

Medicals, joint injections and minor operations take up to 30 minutes and can require a nurse to assist. We can offer longer appointments on Saturday clinics to accommodate these procedures. Coil fits and contraceptive implants also take longer and only certain GPs offer appointments for these procedures.

Q? Why can’t the District Nurse visit me?

A.

The District Nursing Team follow strict protocols and can only visit patients who are housebound or if they receive a special request from a Clinician.

Q? Why can’t I drop my sample off or have a blood test after 10am on a Friday?

A.

Most samples cannot be kept over the weekend and our final Courier Service for the week is on a Friday at 10.30am.

Q? Why can’t the Receptionist give out my results?

A.

Each GP works in a slightly different way. Some are happy for the Receptionist to give out results, some like to speak to the patient themselves. Sometimes there is nothing indicated against the results on your notes. As the Receptionist is not medically trained to interpret the result you will be offered a routine ring back with a GP. Remember, the GP or Receptionist will contact you via telephone or letter if your results are abnormal and further action is required.

Q? Why can’t the Receptionist tell me if my daughter has an appointment today?

A.

We follow a strict confidentiality code of conduct at the Practice. We cannot divulge who is booked into clinics. Any older child who shows they have competency to understand and follow instructions given by the GP can attend without a parent. If there is any cause for concern the GP will make the decision to contact you. Please understand the Receptionist is not being obstructive.

Q? Why can’t you give me my wife’s test results?

A.

We only give out results to the patient concerned unless we have written consent in the patient’s records confirming they are happy for a named person to deal with their medical needs.

Q? Why can’t I order my prescription over the telephone?

A.

There is a legal requirement to have prescription requests in writing. You can order via our website by clicking on the link, fax, post, drop your written request into one of the local chemists or call into the Practice and fill out a repeat request form.

Q? I’m a Carer for my mother, can I get any help?

A.

Yes, if you look after a relative, friend or neighbour who needs help because of an illness, frailty or disability Cornwall Carers Service are there for you. Contact them on 01872 266383 or follow the link www.cornwallcarers.org.uk

Q? I want to stop smoking. Who do I speak to?

A.

You can contact the Health Promotion Service direct on 01209 215666 who can make you an appointment with a Stop Smoking Adviser or give details of drop-in sessions.

Q? Can I check my own blood pressure?

A.

Usually you would be booked into see a member of the Nursing Team. Alternatively you can use the self-checking BP machine in the Waiting Room. Instructions are on the wall in the cubicle but feel free to ask for help if you have never used it before. Hand your result to the Receptionist who will enter the details onto your records for the Doctor.

Q? I have been referred for an x-ray, what happens next?

A.

The Doctor will have given you a telephone number to ring to arrange your own appointment. You can choose where to have the x-ray. Please leave at least 24 hours before you ring the x-ray department. This will give them time to process the request. The result will then be sent electronically to your GP. This can take up to 14 days.

Q? I have been told I can’t have my holiday vaccinations at the Practice, why is this?

A.

When you ring you will be asked when you are leaving. If it is in less than 4 weeks we will direct you to the Masta Clinic in Plymouth masta-travel-health.com This is because we cannot guarantee we can see you soon enough to give you the adequate cover required for your destination or we cannot supply all vaccinations recommended.

Q? Why am I kept waiting past my appointment time?

A.

The GPs and Nursing staff will endeavour to keep to your appointment time but on occasions this is not possible. Emergencies can happen within routine clinics which can delay the GP or Nurse for up to an hour. Whenever possible you will be informed over the tannoy of any delays to clinics. If another clinician is available you may be offered an alternative appointment, or you may be asked to re-book. We appreciate your understanding because as we all know, we cannot predict every eventuality!

Q? Why can’t you tell me when the GP will ring me back?

A.

The GPs have a morning and an afternoon clinic, visit patients at home and have a limited number of telephone consultations each day. This makes it difficult to say when they will ring you back but they do prioritise their calls. However, the Receptionist will pass on any specific time requests to the GP. Please ensure the Receptionist has your current home number and mobile number. GPs will not usually leave messages on answer phones. If you miss the call we cannot promise the GP will have time to try again.