Kinds of consultations we offer
We have lots of different ways we can communicate with our patients. We offer face-to-face, Telephone, SMS, video and online consultations.
The online/text messaging service are appropriate for quick, straightforward queries. But for many problems we need to have a conversation with you so we can ask you extra questions. In many cases other forms of communication are better.
Both our text messaging and our online services allow you to send us photographs.
The quality of photos sent to us varies tremendously, some photos are blurred, some are taken too close to the lesion, some are taken from too far away from it, or taken in bad light.
It may be helpful to take several different images at varying distances. Often placing a ruler etc. near the lesion you are photographing gives us a good impression of what's going on.
Sometimes, even with top quality photographs it is difficult for us to be certain, and a proportion of people will be asked to come and see us face-to-face (we have the advantage of using our binocular vision, seeing the lesion from varying directions and also feeling the lesion to gain extra information we need to give a diagnosis).
We offer online consultations through PATCHS. You should expect us to have responded to an online query by the end of the following working day.
In order to offer fair access to all our patients, including those who are unable to use online services, we do not make patients appointments on the back of an online consultation. If you just want to make an appointment you need to phone the receptionist.
To order repeat prescription items please use our separate online prescription ordering service and not PATCHS.
Quite a few people have used the service to ask about rashes or skin lesions, but only a small number of people have attached photos to the request for medical advice. Please do attach photos if you need our opinion over a skin lesion, as it is difficult to answer the query otherwise.
Video consultations work off either a smart phone or a computer with a webcam. At the time of the consultation we sent a link to your mobile phone, which you use to communicate with us. It really is quite easy to do. If you would like like to make an appointment for a video consultation please speak to our reception staff.
Sometimes it's not convenient to attend the surgery. You may book a telephone appointment with the doctor, nurse practitioner or practice nurse if you wish, for advice or to discuss results. Telephone consultation appointments can be made by telephoning or calling in person to the reception desk.
Please note: if an examination may be necessary it is of course better to come in person to an appointment at the surgery.
Text Messaging Service
Text messaging enables the practice to communicate with its patients quickly and easily about booked appointments. All patients aged over 16 years will be eligible for the text messaging service. Please note that the text messaging service is limited to 16 years and over in order that adolescents can receive confidential consultations with a clinician here at the practice.
- All patients with a mobile telephone number recorded with the surgery are automatically opted-in to the text messaging service.
- Patients that do not want the text messaging service will need to inform the surgery.
SMS Text Message Consultation Service
We can also use text messaging to ask or answer straightforward questions. To use this service we need to send a secure, single use link, to your smart phone. You can then send us a message. If you are wanting to show us something, you can also use the link to send us photos. If we have an electronic copy on our computers, we can also send you a link to enable you to receive documents from us, such as advice leaflets.
Home visits are intended only for frail housebound patients, usually elderly, for whom it is impossible for them to come or be brought to the surgery. If you think you, or an elderly relative requires a same day home visit we ask that you phone reception by 10:30am.
Sometimes the problem is more of a nursing or a social nature, in which case it is better to phone the district nurses or social services directly instead. If you are unsure who is the most appropriate person to call, please speak to the receptionists.
- The district nurses (who are run by Locala), can be contacted on 0300 304 5555.
- Social services (which calls itself Gateway to Care), can be contacted by phoning 01484 414933.)
Appointments for younger patients
Ideally, patients under the age of 16 years attending for an appointment should be accompanied by a responsible adult.