In terms of appointments:
– You can book an appointment with your doctor in the surgery or on the telephone at a set time.
– You will be given the option of an appointment with your doctor, or if necessary, you can see another doctor sooner. Although we do believe waiting for your own GP is best for all routine problems.
– You can still book an appointment with Urgent Nurse clinic

For the benefit of all our patients we ask that you see our nurses for minor problems. Our Urgent Nurse appointments can be booked online if you are registered for our online booking service. Contact reception to register for the online booking service. In a recent audit 89% of patients seen in the Urgent Nurse clinic were managed fully in the clinic and did not need any follow-up. This means the doctors will have appointments available for those who are seriously unwell or who have complex problems. Our receptionist can advise who can help you best.

You usually do NOT need an appointment with your doctor for routine medication reviews or for diabetic, asthma and COPD checks. If you are due a medication review please refer to your “Blue Card” which will let you know who you are due to see for your review. If you do not have a blue card and are on repeat prescriptions, please let reception know.

If you are 75 or over you are welcome to book for a health check. Please call reception and ask for a routine appointment with your own GP.

Appointments for people who can’t come Monday to Friday 8am to 6.30pm
 To improve appointment availability you can now access appointments in the evening until 8pm on weekdays and on a Saturday if you are registered at a practice in the Bridgwater or surrounding area. 

In the Bridgwater and surrounding area the following practices are currently involved in this scheme:

Cannington Health Centre                                     Quantock Medical Centre

Cranleigh Gardens Medical Centre                       Redgate Medical Centre

East Quay Medical Centre                                    Somerset Bridge Medical Centre

North Petherton Surgery                                       Taunton Road Medical Centre

Polden Medical Practice                                        Victoria Park Medical Centre 

How do I book an appointment?

To book an evening or weekend appointment please contact your registered practice during normal opening times and they will be able to advise you at which GP practice an appointment is available to suit your needs. The East Quay appointments are available one Saturday morning a month and on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

Appointment types will vary, some being face to face and some on the ‘phone and there will be a mixture of pre-bookable and same day appointments available across the week.

Health staff at these appointments will have access to your medical records (only if you consent for your records to be shared).

The service is for anyone who is booking an appointment to discuss a routine problem with their doctor or practice nurse.  If you don’t want to visit a different surgery then you don’t have to – it’s entirely up to you.

What are the benefits of the service?

Many practices already offer appointments in evenings and at weekends. What is new here is that practices are working in groups to offer more appointments at more flexible times which should make it easier for patients to see a doctor or nurse.

But won’t the doctor need access to my patient record?

In order for this service to work, the doctors and nurses need access to your patient record. Your practice has signed a local Data Sharing Agreement (not linked to any national data sharing agreement) to allow this to happen, but you can opt out at any time.

For more information about the Improved Access pilot scheme please see the attached  Improved Access – Frequently Asked Questions or speak to your registered practice.

 

In terms of care in the wider NHS and how to choose where to go, please use the table below to help you go to the right place so you get the treatment you need and avoid inappropriate demand on healthcare services

A&E or 999 Choking, Chest pain, Blacking out Only use in serious or life threatening emergencies
Minor Injuries/Illness unit Cuts, Strains Non-urgent medical treatment or advice for injuries
GP Ongoing vomiting, Back ache, Long term problems Book a GP appointment when you have an illness or injury that won’t go away
Pharmacist Diarrhoea, Painful Cough, Headache Common health problems that don’t need a doctor or nurse
NHS Direct Unsure? Unwell? Any general questions, symptom checkers and health service information
Self-care Hangover, Sore throat, Cough Best choice for most minor illnesses and injuries