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Our appointments system

Our appointments system is designed to provide:

  • Prompt access to a doctor or nurse for those who are acutely ill.

  • A wide choice of routine appointments, including booking up to 4 weeks in advance.

  • Telephone appointments with the doctor, where this is appropriate.

  • Access to the doctor or nurse of your choice.

When you contact the Surgery, you may ask - if you wish - for the next available routine appointment.

If you think you need an earlier appointment, please consider whether a telephone contact with the doctor would meet your needs. The receptionist can book this for you.

If you need to be seen in person, you will be offered an appointment in our emergency surgery. This appointment will be with a Duty Doctor or with our Nurse Practitioner, depending on your condition.

Emergency appointments are scheduled at 5 minute intervals and will deal with just one urgent medical problem.

You do not have to give a reason for requesting an emergency appointment, but it will help us provide the best possible service if you do. The doctor or nurse can review your notes before seeing you, and will be better prepared to offer suitable advice or treatment.

You will need to provide a contact telephone number, in case the doctor needs to speak to you before your appointment.  This may be necessary to obtain further details about your condition, or to discuss other options for your care.

Our system provides fair access for all patients, prioritised according to their clinical need.

Please follow the link for more information about urgent appointments at Fernville .


Appointments may be made:

Would a telephone appointment be more convenient?

Where appropriate, telephone appointments are an efficient use of our clinicians' time and may be more convenient for the patient. If you would like to book a telephone appointment please tell the receptionist.

Would it be best to book an appointment with one of our nurses?

Our nursing team can deal effectively with many common problems. For more information about the services provided by our nursing team, please click here.

Making best use of our appointment system:

You are welcome to consult any available doctor in the Practice. However, to ensure continuity of care, we encourage you to see your usual doctor wherever possible.

Please do not request emergency appointments other than for medically urgent problems.

If a hospital refers you to your GP or Practice Nurse (eg for removal of stitches) please make an appointment.

Finally, if you need a follow-up appointment, the doctor will give you a slip for the receptionist. This will ensure you can obtain an appointment at the appropriate time.  Please make this appointment before leaving the surgery.

Home Visits:

Requests for visits should be made before 11am. The Receptionist will need to ask for some details relating to the illness. Please consider the need for a home visit, as in most cases care is provided more quickly and effectively in the Surgery where a more complete assessment is possible. Home visits are intended for the housebound and those clinically unable to travel. We are not obliged to visit because you have transport problems. Please bear in mind that we can see 3 to 4 patients in the Surgery in the time it takes to do one home visit. All requests that may involve a home visit are referred to the Doctor available at the time.


Please inform the Surgery as soon as possible if you are unable to keep your appointment, so that it may be made available to someone else.


Our doctors and nurses have many commitments outside surgery time (attending home visits, generating hospital referrals, reading clinical reports, dealing with prescriptions and letters, training, etc). Our timetable also has to incorporate annual holidays as well as occasional sickness. We review our timetable each week, and make adjustments to ensure that we can always meet the demand for appointments.

111 is the NHS non-emergency number:

It’s fast, easy and free. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation.

For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist.

The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you to the local service that can help you best. That could be A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, an urgent care centre or a walk-in centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist.

Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to.

If NHS 111 advisers think you need an ambulance, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.

Please call 111 before visiting Urgent Care or A&E.