Garswood SurgeryBillinge RoadGarswoodWigan, Lancashire, WN4 0XDTel: 01744 621670
Call into the surgery and book an appointment at Reception
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:
You can book appointments up to 4 weeks in advance with the GP of your choice, or the nurse.
If your need is urgent we will offer you an appointment on our next working day. This will often be for conditions that:
We will see the following patients on the same day if asked to do so:
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.
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.
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.
We offer a range of appointment times to patients over 5 mornings and 5 afternoons per week.
Our opening hours are as follows:
Monday 8:00am - 7:30pm Tuesday 8:00am – 6:30pm Wednesday 8:00am – 6:30pm Thursday 8:00am – 6:30pm Friday 8:00am – 6:30pm Saturday CLOSED Sunday CLOSED
During the above times there is full access for face to face and telephone contact with a receptionist.
Appointments are normally available up to a month in advance. Appointment slots are for 15 minutes to discuss a single medical problem. If you intend to discuss several issues you should advise the receptionist who may check with the doctor to see if you need to be allocated a longer appointment slot.
When you telephone the practice to ask for an appointment with a doctor the receptionist will ask you for a brief indication of your problem so that she can, where applicable, direct you to the to most appropriate service to meet your need. If you prefer not to disclose your medical problem with the receptionist, your privacy will be respected. You will then be offered a routine appointment with the GP of your choice. If you need to be seen more quickly, you will be offered an appointment with a doctor within 48 hours. However although every effort will be made to fit you in with your chosen GP they may not be available and you may be offered an appointment with another GP instead.
You can now book appointments (in advance) online - find out more >
Useful alternatives to seeing your GP include:
If you feel you cannot wait and want to be assessed urgently (i.e., the same day), you may be advised that the doctor may call you back to discuss your problem and decide the best course of action.
If you need urgent medical attention when we are closed, the number to ring is 01744 737225, however, if you simply need advice or are unsure if your need is urgent, you can always phone NHS 111.
Where you want an appointment with the practice nurse you should advise the receptionist of the reason (e.g., blood pressure check, diabetic review, etc) so that she can allocate the appropriate time for your appointment. For example, a blood pressure check usually takes 5 minutes, however, an interim diabetic review normally takes 20 minutes whilst a full review can take up to 30 minutes.
If for any reason you are unable to keep your appointment or no longer need it, please let us know as soon as possible so that it can be reallocated. Please remember that there is always a shortage of appointments and when you fail to attend you have prevented someone else from being seen in your place.
Your community midwife is Liesl Lowe who can be contacted through the Community Midwives’ office on 0151 430 1492.
Your health visitor is Anne Radice who can be contacted at Haydock Health Centre on 01744 733501.
The ante-natal clinic is held from 9am every Tuesday Morning. Our midwife runs the clinic and works closely with the doctors to provide quality antenatal and postnatal care. The midwife sees patients from approximately 8 weeks pregnant.
Home pregnancy kits are just as accurate as a urine sample sent to the hospital laboratory and you find out much more quickly. If you have a positive pregnancy test you need to let us know as soon as possible so that we can provide you with an information leaflet about your Antenatal and Postnatal care. We will also ask you to complete a simple form which we will use to update your medical record. This is particularly important if you are taking regular prescribed medication as the doctor may need to make adjustments to your medicines.
Some medicines, including common painkillers, can harm your baby's health. Other medicines are safe, such as medication to treat long-term conditions like asthma, overactive thyroid, underactive thyroid, diabetes and epilepsy.
To be sure a medicine is safe in pregnancy: talk to your doctor immediately if you take regular medication, ideally before you start trying for a baby or as soon as you find out you are pregnant. If you're taking regular medication, don't stop taking it without consulting your doctor. Make sure your doctor, dentist or other healthcare professional knows you’re pregnant before they prescribe anything or give you treatment use as few over-the-counter medicines as possible.
Medicines and treatments that are usually safe include:
You should avoid alcohol, stop smoking and take a Folic acid supplement. For more information about vitamins and nutrition in pregnancy click here.
If you would like help to stop smoking please make an appointment with a GP to discuss the Smoking Cessation Services and treatment options.
Folic acid is important for pregnancy as it can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. If you didn't take folic acid before you conceived, you should start as soon as you find out that you are pregnant. You should take a 400 microgram folic acid tablet every day while you are trying to get pregnant and until you are 12 weeks pregnant. It is cheaper to purchase this over the counter at the pharmacy than to obtain a prescription.
For further information about ante-natal and post-natal services please click here.
The Health Visitors can offer advice on caring for children, special needs, benefits, relationship problems and counselling relating to children aged 0 - 19. Child Development checks are also carried out at regular intervals.
The practice holds a well-baby clinic on Monday afternoons between 1.30pm-3pm. This is held on the 1st floor of the building.
As of 9th March 2015 the babies 6 week post natal check will be performed by Dr Parr. This is an appointment only service. Please contact the surgery to arrange an appointment.
If you have queries regarding bed wetting, constipation, temper tantrums, etc., you can contact your health visitors to discuss this on 01744 750401.
Click here for more information on the role of the health visitor and child development.
Most patients attend the drop in ‘Community Phlebotomy Clinic’ which is held on Tuesday mornings 9 -10.45am in the health centre upstairs. You do not need an appointment or need to be registered as a patient of Garswood Surgery to attend this clinic.
Our Health Care Assistant, Julie, also offers an in-house phlebotomy service, by appointment only. This service is exclusive to our own patients, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. We expect to offer in house blood testing every morning from the end of May.
Please ask at reception about this or other facilities which are available for taking bloods (e.g. St Helens Walk in Centre 7am – 9am).
This service is not routinely available for patients on medication for high blood pressure.
Our Health Care Assistant is able to take your blood pressure, although she is not trained to discuss your blood pressure reading with you. She acts on the readings they take within a strict protocol devised by the GPs. Any follow-up action that may be needed is dealt with by the GP or nurse.
The reception staff will be able to tell you when your next blood pressure check is due.
You do not routinely need to see a doctor to have a blood pressure check.
The following patients are eligible to have a blood pressure check conducted by the health care assistant:
Patients are requested to telephone before 10.30am if a home visit is required that day.
We would request that, apart from the genuinely housebound, all other patients attend the surgery rather than request a home visit because of the extra time home visiting takes. On average six patients can be seen in surgery in the time it takes to do a single house call.
Please note that the doctor may telephone you rather than visit you if this is medically appropriate.
Patients can attend the MONDAY morning (9am - 10.45am) drop-in ‘community phlebotomy clinic’ which is upstairs in the Health Centre. You do not need an appointment for this service.
Alternatively blood testing is available by appointment only with Julie, our Health Care Assistant on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Mornings.
Please note – You may be requested to provide a fasting sample. Fasting means nothing to eat or drink, except water, for 12 hours before your test, however it is important to make sure you continue to drink plenty of water whilst you are fasting.
Click here to see a list of the common blood/urine tests that we perform in the practice.
If we have asked you to make a ROUTINE APPOINTMENT for a blood test please note that ‘routine’ means any time in the next month or so.
Your blood test results should be available within a week. You can telephone the practice for your results although the doctors comment on all results and if there is any follow up action needed we will contact you. If you decide to telephone for your results ideally you should phone between 1pm and 3pm as the telephone lines are very busy when the surgeries are operating. If possible, please avoid telephoning for blood results on Mondays. Please expect to be asked to call back if you ring for test results outside these times.
You can also request access to your test results on-line using on-line services.
Please note, the reception staff are not clinicians. They are unable to advise you on what your blood results mean. They can only pass on the doctor’s comments.
For the first 7 days that you are unable to work through sickness you can complete a self certification form. This form can be obtained from your employer, from the surgery or by following the link below for a printable version. Self Certification Form.
If you are in hospital, they will provide you with a sick note. If necessary, this can be extended by your GP when you return home, without necessarily needing to see you.
After the first 7 days, you will need a sick note from your GP. If necessary, this can be backdated to ensure continuity of sickness absence so an immediate appointment is not necessary.
When you know the date you are returning to work, we can often give you a ‘starting back’ note (also know as a ‘fit’ note or ‘return to work’ note) on request.
If you want to see your doctor solely to extend a sick note please check with the receptionist whether an appointment is necessary.
If you want a note to confirm sickness within the first 7 days of absence this will require a private note for which a fee is due.
In 2004 the practice became accredited as a training practice for new GPs.
Dr Holden is a very experienced GP trainer and Dr White will hopefully be joining him as a trainer himself fairly soon. We have GP registrars attached to the practice on a regular basis. Our registrars are fully qualified doctors who have a great deal of hospital experience. Registrars are attached to the practice for 6 or 12 months and usually become general practitioners after completing their training.
Since August 2006, we have also had a Foundation Grade trainee doctor attached to the practice. They are here to broaden their medical experience 1-2 years after qualifying as doctors, usually from Liverpool University.
We are also fortunate to have medical students attached to our practice.
When booking or attending for an appointment with your GP, you may be invited to consult with the medical students as well. The opportunity to meet patients face to face provides them with vital experience and helps them in the audit project which forms a statutory part of their training. You are under no obligation to participate in a consultation with a medical student and we will always respect your wishes should you elect to decline this invitation.
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