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Appointments System

Whilst we make every effort to keep to appointment times, this is not always possible. If we keep you waiting we apologise in advance. If you keep us waiting we cannot guarantee that you will be seen. If you no longer need or are unable to keep an appointment please let us know so that we can allocate your appointment slot to another patient. 

Unfortunately, a number of patients persistently book appointments and then fail to attend without cancelling. This behaviour denies other patients access to the doctors. Persistent abusers may be asked to find an alternative GP. 

Why does the Doctor sometimes run late? 
Unlike most surgeries, we offer longer (15 minute) appointments. We try to run to time, but, some patients need longer causing surgeries to run late. As a result patients may be kept waiting. If surgery is running late please be patient. Next time it may be you who needs extra time with the doctor. 

What if I am late for my appointment? 
As a general rule, if you are more than 5 minutes late for your appointment please expect to rebook it. If you are up to 5 minutes late you may be seen for 10 minutes only. Late arrivals for appointments over the day can result in the surgeries running very late and causes inconvenience to others.

We wish to offer appointments that meet your medical needs as far as possible, bearing in mind our need to serve all our other patients too. We book appointments at 15 minute intervals so that we have sufficient time to evaluate the problem and agree a management plan together.

In order that our staff may arrange the right service for you they will ask you to outline the nature of your problem. For example:

  1. Sick notes after hospital treatment can often be completed from hospital letters
  2. Continuation sick notes can often be completed a few days after the GP has seen you and these can be backdated to run continuously
  3. Many nursing services can be easily accessed via one of the local ‘treatment rooms’ which are held each morning and afternoon
  4. The Minor Injuries Unit at the St. Helens Millennium Centre will deal with almost all kinds of injuries [and can perform X-rays]
  5. The Walk-in Centre is a same-day service for anyone who wishes to see a clinician without an appointment
  6. Care-at-the-Chemist, at Garswood Pharmacy and other St. Helens practices, offers treatment for: 
    • Allergy
    • Athletes Foot
    • Cold Sores
    • Chesty Cough
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhoea
    • Dry Cough
    • Headache/Temperature
    • Head Lice
    • Indigestion
    • Nasal Congestion
    • Oral Thrush
    • Sore Throat
    • Threadworm
    • Vaginal Thrush
    Other services available from the pharmacist:
    • Women over age 16 can obtain antibiotics for cystitis
    • Children over 12 months, and adults, can obtain antibiotic eye drops for conjunctivitis
  7. Dental problems cannot be treated here. In an emergency you can receive treatment - accessed via NHS 111.
  8. Blood tests
  9. ‘The Morning-After-Pill’ [post-coital contraception] can be obtained from many pharmacies free of charge or from the family planning clinic. Details are available from reception.
  10. Pregnancy. The midwives provide much of the care for women during and after pregnancy and can be contacted directly on 0151 430 1492.

Routine appointments

You can book appointments up to 4 weeks in advance with the GP of your choice, or the nurse. 

Urgent appointments

If your need is urgent we will offer you an appointment on our next working day. This will often be for conditions that:

  1. are severe
  2. are persisting or getting worse despite [several days] medication from the pharmacist
  3. have not previously cleared up within a few days

Emergency [same-day] appointments

We will see the following patients on the same day if asked to do so:

  1. Children under age 5
  2. Women with problems in pregnancy
  3. Terminally ill patients

If you believe you need to be assessed on the same day the staff will take your details, speak to a doctor, and phone you back.

Late night opening

We open later on Monday evenings and offer an extra GP surgery 18:30 – 19:30 and an extra practice nurse surgery 18:30 – 19:45.  Please note: these appointments are for routine problems only and are provided for patients who are unable to get to the practice during the day because of their work or caring commitments.   If you need to see a GP urgently after 18:30 click here for advice on how to access out of hours services.

Continuity of care

We want to offer continued care by the same doctor whenever possible. This should allow you normally to see the doctor who knows you best.

Please mention this to the receptionist whenever you make an appointment.

 
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