Why do you need 3 working days to prepare repeat prescriptions?
The surgery receives hundreds of prescription requests every week. These include individual request slips, batches from chemists & care homes, online prescription requests, postal requests & new medication from hospital discharge letters. Most repeat prescription requests are straightforward & can be processed fairly quickly. However, if a medication review is overdue, the GP will need to check the patient’s medical record to identify any tests or action needed to complete the review. Additionally any medication changes & new medication from hospital have to be monitored closely & may take a bit longer for us to implement. It takes time to process such a large volume, which doctors do on top of seeing and ‘phoning patients and this is why we need the full 3 working days.
These are the days our GPs usually work:
Dr Johri – Monday, Wednesday and Thursday
Dr Luke – Tuesday, Wednesday morning, Thursday and Friday
Dr Houghton – Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Dr Sil- Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Dr Bhalla - Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
They all go to our Barlestone branch on a rota basis so they may be at either site on these days.
You are welcome to ask to speak to a particular GP if you wish, just mention this to reception and they’ll do their best to fulfil your request.
How does the appointment system work?
When you ring up for an appointment with the doctor, our receptionist will ask you for a brief description of your medical problem. They then add you on to one of the doctors’ lists with the details of the problem. The doctors will ring patients from this list throughout the day, although not usually over lunchtime. As a rule of thumb the doctors will ring in the order patients are added to the list, however they constantly scan new entries to the list and call patients whose symptoms look urgent sooner. This is the reason they ask the receptionists to ask for a brief description of your medical problem and why unfortunately we can’t give you any more than a very general idea of the time the doctor may call you.
The doctor will discuss your symptoms over the phone and if they feel it necessary they’ll ask you to come in. This appointment will usually be with one of our two Emergency Care Practitioners. They work alongside the doctors seeing patients. They can diagnose, treat and stitch minor injuries, order tests and x-rays, refer you to hospital, do ECGs and print prescriptions which the doctor will check and sign for them. If necessary they’ll ask the duty doctor to pop in and see you too.
If the doctor feels your symptoms are more complex you will be booked in with a doctor but for the majority of our patients, the ECPs are a more efficient option. If you can’t make an appointment on the same day, you’ll be offered another day. We’ll do our best to find an appointment to suit you but sometimes this might not be possible and we’ll ask you to fit your plans around the appointments we have available.
What happens when our doctors are full for the day?
Patients are added to doctors’ lists on a first come first served basis and unfortunately we often find that demand outstrips supply as there are more patients wishing to be seen than we have appointment slots. Once we are full, if you feel that your condition can’t wait until another day, our receptionist will message the duty doctor with the symptoms you give. The doctor will then advise whether you can be added to the list or suggest an alternative such as home remedies or consulting a community pharmacy or the NHS Choices web site.
Why do you ask for my symptoms?
The doctors have asked the receptionists to ask for a brief description of your medical problem so that they can prioritise their phone calls and it is helpful for the doctor to know if you’re ringing with a new or ongoing problem.
Why do you have Emergency Care Practitioners (ECPs) and what do they do?
Many of our home visits and face to face appointments will be with one of our two Emergency Care Practitioners. They work alongside the doctors at Ibstock. They can diagnose minor illnesses, treat and stitch minor injuries, order tests and x-rays, refer you to hospital, do ECGs and print prescriptions which the doctor will check and sign for them. If necessary they’ll ask the duty doctor to pop in and see you too.
Both our ECPs are highly qualified medical professionals who started their careers working for the ambulance service as paramedics. They have since both undertaken a degree in emergency care and both worked for a number of years at the Leicester Royal Urgent Care centre seeing and treating patients with minor illnesses and injuries.
Why do we charge for some work?
Under our NHS contract, we are paid for a wide range of GP services. However there are certain things, such as adoption and fostering medicals, HGV medicals and insurance forms, which the NHS does not pay us to do. Therefore we have to charge for the time it takes us to do these, just as you would pay any other professional, such as a solicitor, to provide a service for you.
What happens when I have a blood test and how do I get the results?
If the doctor asks you to come for a blood test, this will be done by one of our HCAs (health care assistants) or our phlebotomist (a person whose job is to take blood). They take blood all the time and are experts at it. The bloods are collected by the lab each lunchtime and for most tests the blood can’t be kept overnight. This is why we ask you to have blood tests in the morning.
Once the blood has been taken and sent to the lab, they will analyse it over the next few days. Then they send the results back to our doctors. The doctors review the tests and make comments on the test with regard to whether it is a normal result or you need something additional as a result of the test. We ask you to call us after 5 working days for the results. When you call the receptionist will tell you whether the doctor has said your test is normal and needs no further action, or if they want to see or speak to you again.
We do hundreds of blood tests a week and we don’t have sufficient staff to phone all patients with their results, so this is why we ask you to phone for your results. The exception to this is if the result is serious because in this case the doctor will ask the receptionist to contact the patient to make a further appointment.
If the doctor wants to see me, why can’t I see them straightaway?
When the doctor asks reception to contact you to make another appointment, they’ll tell reception how urgent it is. If it isn’t urgent you may have to wait up to 4- 6 weeks for your appointment. However rest assured that the doctor will see you sooner if they feel it’s necessary. Therefore please don’t worry if you have to wait.
What is the PPG?
The PPG is our Patient Participation Group. This is a group of patients who attend a meeting once every 6 weeks to give the surgery their help and advice. They act as a critical friend to the surgery. They also fundraise for the surgery to purchase equipment for patients which isn’t provided on the NHS. Anybody who’s a patient can join this group. We are always looking for new members. The date of the next meeting is on our website (www.ibstockhousesurgery.nhs.uk).
How do I get a fit (sick) note?
You should self certify yourself for the first 7 days (including non-working days) you are ill. If your illness continues beyond this time and you need a fit note (sometimes called a sick or a doctor’s note) please put your request in writing to us and hand it in to reception. You must state the reason that you feel you need a fit note and a telephone number in case we need to contact you. We have forms at reception if you prefer to use a form. The note will take 3-5 working days to be processed and we’re unable to process them before the 7 days have finished. After 3-5 days the note can be collected from reception.
Why do the clinicians so often run late?
The doctors have 10 minutes for each face to face appointment. During this time the patient has to walk from the waiting room, they have to discuss with the doctor their symptoms, examine the patient if necessary, and write up the notes of the consultation. This is a pretty tall order, especially when a patient has a complex condition or has many questions. Also an examination can take up a great deal of time particularly if the patient needs to undress or if a patient needs admitting to hospital, this can also cause delays, as the GP liaises with the hospital, which usually involves waiting for several telephone calls, whilst monitoring the condition of the patient. These are some of the reasons the doctors so often run late. Please be assured that if the doctor is running late, it’s because they care and are giving each patient as long as they need, not just the straight 10 minutes which is allocated.
Our Nursing team also experience delays in their clinics for many reasons; sometimes GP’s ask for blood tests or ECG’s to be performed urgently which have to be fitted in, a patient could faint during a procedure, or the nurse may need to seek advice from a GP immediately, regarding a patient’s health or test result.
Please be patient & considerate to staff & other patients, one day it may be you that needs that extra time.
How do I get advice and vaccinations if I’m going abroad?
You need to fill in one of our travel vaccination forms which are available from reception. Please complete it in full and leave it with us. A telephone appointment will then be made for our practice nurse to call you to let you know if you need any vaccinations. If this is the case she will book you for an appointment for these.
Some vaccinations are available on the NHS but some are private and have to be paid for. Our practice nurse will let you know if any of the vaccinations you need are private and advise you of the cost. These have to be paid for prior to your appointment.
Can you treat minor injuries?
Yes, we are happy to see you in surgery if you have a minor injury. Please call our reception to let them know and they’ll arrange the rest. If you come to see us with a minor injury, the wait is usually much less than if you go to an Urgent Care Centre or A&E. We can do stitching too (Ibstock surgery only).
Why can’t you speak to me about my 16 year old’s/husband’s/wife’s/elderly parent’s medical information?
All staff working in the NHS have a legal duty to keep your medical records confidential in accordance with the GDPR regulations. Therefore, we are unable to disclose any medical information to a third party regarding a patient over the age of 16 (and maybe younger) without their prior permission. This may seem unfair to you as the person who arranges & drives them to all their appointments, but unfortunately without written authorisation from the patient, it is against the law for us to release any medical information or test results. Our staff are often frustrated by this as they know that you are only trying to help but as disclosure can result in dismissal and even prosecution under the law, they are unable to help.