Wednesday, 10 April 2024

PLEASE READ - Our appointment system is changing on Monday 22nd April 2024

From Monday 22nd April we are making changes to the way that our appointments are booked with GPs, ANPs and Allied healthcare professionals.

This new system will allow you as the patient to navigate your way to the most appropriate care. Patient Triage has been designed to ensure that patients who most need an appointment are able to get one.

What happens when I request an appointment? 

If you contact us to book an appointment, you will be asked for details such as: 

  • The reason for your appointment
  • Brief description of symptoms and duration
  • Are you available today if the clinician needs to see or speak to you?


You will then be added to our clinical assessment list, and your request will be triaged by our GP team.  

Will I get a call back on the same day? 

The Duty Doctor will call you back the same day that the triage slot has been booked. The clinician will have a brief 60 second conversation to best evaluate your needs and decide on a course of action. This may be a prescription, a referral, a phone call, an appointment for that day or an appointment being booked for a later date. 

It is important to understand that these triage conversations WILL NOT be full consultations but simply to better understand your needs – and timing of that need – for a complete medical consultation. You will need to be available to answer your phone straight away. Please DO NOT expect the Duty Doctor to fully discuss or resolve your needs at this point. If more time is needed for discussion or to examine you physically, the clinician will book and confirm a full consultation for you as appropriate.  

What happens if I miss the phone call?

The clinician will attempt to call you twice. If there is no answer the clinician will not try again unless you call and ask to be added back to the list and we have the capacity to do so. 

Can reception just book my appointment? 

Our reception staff will no longer be able to book an appointment with a GP directly. 

How do I get an appointment? 

  • Telephone:

You can contact us by phone and our dedicated reception team will ask you some questions using our triage template. The template includes a set of questions created by our clinical team to ensure you receive the right care, with the right person, at the right time. 

  • Online:

Using the PATCHS link on our Practice Website, you can submit an appointment request. This will be triaged the same way as it would if you called the Practice. This option will be available from 8am each working day and switched off when capacity has been reached. 

  • In person:

You can attend the practice, where our team will support you with your query.   

Please note, we would encourage patients to contact us in the privacy of their own home via the website or telephone.  

Why has Ford Medical Practice decided to change to this system?

We hope that implementing this system will drastically reduce the “8am rush” for an appointment as the triage list will be open throughout the day whilst there is capacity. 

Experience of using this system in other Practices has shown us that patients receive a much more efficient service and feedback from patients has been excellent. They have also been able to significantly reduce waiting times to see a clinician by more effective use of appointments. 

The modern general practice team is increasingly multidisciplinary and its more important than ever that the right problem is seen by the right person. Having a doctor triaging the appointment requests allows us to do this more accurately, safely, and efficiently. 

All patient queries can be managed through this new process and will allow us to communicate with you in a timely and efficient way. By following a Triage pathway, we are creating more capacity, because the way we respond is quicker, more efficient, and more accessible to you. 

We understand that change can be difficult, but we believe that this new approach will ensure that patients’ needs are met safely and efficiently. We are committed to delivering a robust service to our patients, and we believe that this new strategy will help us achieve this goal.