Online appointments

You can now order your repeat prescriptions online and save yourself a trip to the surgery. To use the service, you will first need to contact us at reception to obtain a username and password. Once you have these, go here to log in to the online appointment service.

Appointments / Access

The NHS is under sustained and unprecedented pressure to increase its capacity to cope with demand for access to services. At Coquet Medical Group we are aware that this increased demand has resulted in the perception that it is more difficult to get an appointment.

We have a working group constantly reviewing and trying to adapt our appointment strategy to ensure that all our patients can be accommodated in a time frame that meets their clinical needs.

The practice offers a range of appointments, which can be booked via the surgery or online. They include:

  • Same day "on call" appointments - for problems that require rapid assessment. 80% of our appointments are now realeased at 8.00 am and 12.00 noon daily and these must be booked via our receptionist.
  • Longer term appointments - where review of a longer-term condition, or a more chronic problem is appropriate. 20% of our appointments are now released daily for patients who require access to an appointment that does not need to be seen on the same day.
  • Telephone consultations - some matters can be dealt with effectively over the telephone. This includes routine as well as more urgent problems. If a face-to-face consultation is then found to be required, this will be arranged.

We offer some early and late working day appointments as well as Saturday morning appointments for those that find access through the week difficult.

Unfortunately, where demand outstrips supply, sometimes there are still problems, and to tackle this we now employ more doctors and nurses than ever before.

We hope you understand we are trying to provide easy access and a flexible appointment system and we will continue to make changes behind the scenes to get the balance of appointments we offer correct.

Please cancel appointments you no longer need so that they may be given to someone else and to allow us to make best us of our time. The Practice monitors 'failed to attends' in order to help reduce this unnecessary waste of time and resources. Patients who fail to attend 3 times are sent a letter.

Pre-booked and same-day appointments

We will only pre-book approximately 20% of our available appointments - this has been supported by capacity and demand analyses carried out in practices. All of our other appointments will be released on the day so that when you contact the surgery to ask for an appointment, you should be offered an appointment on the same day. We will still have an on-call duty doctor each day to enable anyone who is acutely unwell to speak to a doctor and if needed be seen in an "emergency appointment".

If you just want advice or some other type of help from the doctor and this can be done via the telephone, then you will be able to request a telephone consultation appointment.

GP choice

All patients are registered with the Practice and not with individual doctors. This means that patients are able to request an appointment with the G.P. of their choice. However for continuity of care, we recommend that patients try to see a regular G.P. at their usual Health Centre. If your preferred doctor is away due to holiday, sickness or other outside commitments you will be offered an appointment with another doctor or nurse as soon as one is available.

Interpreting services

Interpreting services can be arranged if necessary. Please request this when making an appointment.

To accommodate reception and admin staff training we close our reception desks from 12.00 noon - 2.00 pm every Wednesday. During this time the telephones are still answered, though your call may be diverted to Amble or Broomhill Health Centre (at no cost to yourself).

APPOINTMENT TIPS

Home visits

It helps if requests for home visits are made before 10.30 a.m., with some indication of the urgency of the problem.

The receptionist may suggest that you speak to the doctor about the need for a house call.

Home visits can be made in an emergency at any time but if you feel the condition is life threatening you should always ring 999.

Home Visits are for patients who are too ill to attend for appointments. Your doctor can usually see several patients at the surgery in the time that it takes to make a single housecall.

Telephone advice

There may be times when you feel that your problem could be dealt with by speaking to a doctor or nurse over the telephone. If so, please ask the receptionist, who will put you through (usually after morning surgery or before afternoon surgery) or suggest a time for you to call back.

Phone reminders

Appointment reminders will be sent via SMS text messages to patients who have a mobile telephone number recorded with the Practice. Patients will also be sent a message if they fail to attend for an appointment, it is hoped that this will reduce the number of patients who fail to attend.

If you do not have a mobile but would like to recieve automated messge reminders to your land line. please let our receptionists know and we can arrange this for you.