eConsult

Fill out a simple online form to get advice and treatment by the end of the next working day.

Book an Appointment

SystmOnline

It is easier and quicker to manage request repeat prescriptions via our online service. Simply log in and select an option.

Please allow two full working days for prescriptions to be processed and remember to take weekends and bank holidays into account.

NHS App

Download the NHS App, or open the NHS website in a web browser, to set up and log in to your NHS account. Owned and run by the NHS, your NHS account is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services online, including appointments, prescriptions and health record.

Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play
NHS App
Appointment System

Update February 2023

We are constantly trying to improve our access so that our patients can see the most appropriate person in a timely manner.  We are aware that demand has increased recently and have employed more Nurse Practitioners to help manage this whilst actively trying to recruit more GPs. 

Currently if you phone and ask for an appointment the receptionist will ask you for a brief idea of the problem.  If you have a medical emergency/urgent problem this will be dealt with that day.  You will either be given a f2f appointment with the NP or GP or you will be added for a call from the on-call GP that day who will assess you and decide on the most appropriate action (this might be a f2f appt with the NP, GP, a prescription or advice).

If you have a non-urgent/routine problem the receptionist will offer you the next available appointment, you can choose whether this is a phone or f2f appointment.

Routine f2f appointments are 12 or 15 minutes.  Please try and be mindful of the appointment length, sometimes the clinician may not be able to deal with multiple problems in one appointment.

We aim to release more routine appointments every day which allow you to be seen within 1 week for these non-urgent problems.  If all of these appointments are booked when you phone you may be asked to call back to access any newly released appointments. 

If your problem is medically urgent you will not be asked to call back and will be able to speak to the on-call GP that day. 

What you can do to help us help you:

  •     Let the receptionist know a brief idea of the problem, this helps them find the most appropriate person to help you
  •     Make use of the wider team, we have our GPs but also Nurse Practitioners who can deal with most acute medical problems. We also have a wider team of pharmacists, social prescribers, mental health workers and care-coordinators
  •     We might advise that the local pharmacy is best placed to help you, they can deal with many minor illnesses including sore throats, coughs, diarrhoea, some rashes, UTIs
  •     If you cannot make an appointment please let us know in advance so someone else can have it, last month we had….DNAs
  •     Be respectful of all of our staff, our reception team have noted an increase in verbal aggression and this cannot be tolerated
  •     Attend your chronic disease annual review so that we can help you manage any chronic health problems effectively
  •     Keep your contact details up to date, especially your current phone number
  •     For housebound patients requesting home visits please aim to do this before 11am
  •     When ordering repeat prescriptions there is a 48hour turnaround time
  •     When requesting private letters (i.e holiday cancellation forms, medical evidence letters) there is a 2 week turnaround and charges apply (list available at reception)

To allow you to be dealt with in the most efficient way the receptionist may ask you a few questions so that they can make sure you speak to/see the most appropriate clinician in the team (this could be a GP, Nurse Practitioner, first-contact physio), sometimes they may redirect you to the pharmacist if this is appropriate. This is known as ‘care navigation’ -see link for more information: Care Navigation (countydurhamccg.nhs.uk) 

Can another Healthcare Professional help?

Do you need to see the GP?
Sometimes the GP is not the most appropriate Healthcare Professional to deal with your ailment. Please see the information on see a Doctor or Healthcare Professional, which might help you decide whether a GP appointment is truly necessary or whether it might be better for you to see a Pharmacist, Optician, Dentist or other Healthcare Professional. You can even self-refer for some services without seeing your GP.

For real life-threatening emergencies such as those below – RING 999

  • Chest pain (suspected heart attack)
  • Suspected stroke
  • Suspected meningitis
  • Anaphylactic shock (severe allergy)
  • Heavy bleeding or deep lacerations
  • Fluctuating levels of consciousness or completely unconscious
  • Difficulty breathing or stopped breathing with a change in colour
  • New seizure, fit or uncontrollable shaking

For immediately serious conditions such as the following, GO TO Emergency Department (A&E) IMMEDIATELY

  • A fever and lethargic (drowsy) child
  • A feverish and floppy (unresponsive) infant
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sudden, severe abdominal pain
  • Accidental or intentional overdose of medication
  • Trauma (including falls) and possible broken bones or road traffic accident

Your appointment at the Practice

  • Please make one appointment for each member of the family who needs to be seen
  • We try to keep to time but please be patient if someone before you takes longer than planned
  • Appointments are normally ten minute slots, so if you have a complicated problem, or more than one problem, please ask for a longer appointment
  • It is Practice Policy to allow patients to choose whichever Doctor they wish to attend in the Practice
  • Please book in by using the self-check in or at reception for all appointments when you arrive and always check with reception staff if you think you have been missed.
  • Please remember that you will usually see a nurse for a review of your chronic illness. You do not need to see the doctor as well.

Please help us

If you are not able to attend your appointment please let us know in time so that the time can be used for someone else. If you are late for an appointment you may be asked to re-book.

Missed Appointments and DNA’s

Do you feel frustrated when you cannot get an appointment?

Every year wasted appointments cost NHS £162 million. This can cause serious delays in treatment for other patients. On average approximately 150 patients each month Did Not Attend (DNA) their appointment. This means the patient did not turn up for the appointment and did not contact the surgery in advance to cancel or change the appointment. This currently results in approximately 40 hours of wasted clinical time each month.

Here is a list of the different ways you can access your General Practitioner or Healthcare Professional

Routine

If you have a non-urgent/routine problem the receptionist will offer you the next available appointment, you can choose whether this is a phone or f2f appointment.

Routine f2f appointments are 12 or 15 minutes.  Please try and be mindful of the appointment length, sometimes the clinician may not be able to deal with multiple problems in one appointment.

We aim to release more routine appointments every day which allow you to be seen within 1 week for these non-urgent problems.  If all of these appointments are booked when you phone you may be asked to call back to access any newly released appointments. 

Telephone consultations

If you prefer a telephone consultation for an issue that does not require you to be seen then you can request a telephone consultation.

Urgent

If your problem is medically urgent you will not be asked to call back and will be able to speak to the on-call GP that day. 

Additional information

Can I bring someone to accompany me to the Appointment?

We are generally very happy for patients to bring with them a carer, relative or even a friend. This often helps, particularly when they know you well and it allows them to tell us any observations they would make about you, which can help us in undertaking our assessment. Ultimately this will lead us more quickly to make an accurate diagnosis and therefore help you more.

Also, having someone with you means they can prompt you to ask questions that you may have forgotten, and after the appointment they can help in reminding you what was discussed.

Occasionally we might ask for them to leave but this would be unusual.

If you require interpretation services please contact us in advance of you appointment and we will arrange this.

Chaperone Policy

We will always respect your privacy, dignity and your religious and cultural beliefs particularly when intimate examinations are advisable – these will only be carried out with your express agreement and you will be offered a chaperone to attend the examination if you so wish.

You may also request a chaperone when making the appointment or on arrival at the surgery (please let the receptionist know) or at any time during the consultation.

Giving Consent for Treatment

You have the right to accept or refuse treatment that is offered to you, and not to be given any physical examination or treatment unless you have given valid consent. If you do not have the capacity to do so, consent must be obtained from a person legally able to act on your behalf, or the treatment must be in your best interests.

Your valid consent (agreement to the course of action) is needed for the treatment that’s offered to you before any physical examinations or treatment can be given. If you haven’t given your consent, you can accept or refuse treatment that’s offered to you.

It’s important to be involved in decisions about your treatment and to be given information to help you choose the right treatment. When making treatment choices, you’ll often discuss the options with your doctor or another healthcare professional.

If you have a suspected infectious disease

Please inform reception if you suspect an infectious disease, as this will enable us to deal with it appropriately during your visit to protect you, other patients and staff. 

Interpreter

If you require an interpreter to attend with you when you see your Doctor please notify the receptionist and this will be arranged.

Private Medical Examinations

Medical examinations for special purposes such as pre-employment, fitness to travel, elderly drivers, fitness to undertake sports etc, will require longer than a routine appointment.

These examinations do not form part of NHS Services, you will be charged for any such examination. Please check the fee chargeable when you require to arrange any such examination.

Which Doctor?

As a patient, you are registered with the practice, not an individual GP. You can make an appointment with any of the Doctors at the practice. As medical records are now computerised, all Doctors, at any site can access your details. If you prefer, you can make an appointment with a Doctor of your choice. You may need to wait longer to get an appointment with a specific Doctor of your choice, as they may be in high demand at the time.