The Surgery offers telephone consultations with medical practitioners at the Surgery. Although these can be useful, we ask patients to bear in mind the following points:
- Telephone consultations offer a more limited service than face to face consultations. In other words, there are somethings that cannot be offered or organised during a telephone consultation and will require a face to face consultation.
- Referrals cannot generally be organised during telephone consultations. Most referrals require a face to face consultation with a physical examination. This is particularly the case where patients have been discharged from a hospital clinic (eg after a non-attendance).
- National guidelines do not support the prescribing of antibiotics after a telephone consultation. Although there are occasions when a telephone consultation will result in a prescription for antibiotics, Practitioners are generally not authorised to prescribe antibiotics after a telephone consultation.
- Home visits cannot be requested or booked during a telephone consultation. Home visits should be requested via the reception team before 10AM. When all the Home Visits for the day have been allocated, no further Home Visits can be arranged for that day.
- Practitioners running the telephone clinic will call back between 10AM and 4PM. We are unable to give any more precise time for the call back. The Surgery telephone number will come up as Unregistered Number. Practitioners will call the telephone twice and then the telephone consultation is forfeited. In this situation, patients should not call the Surgery as they will not be put through to the Practitioner.
- Telephone time slots are limited to a maximum of 8 minutes due to the volumes of patients that need to be contacted. We ask that patients are mindful of the short time available and explain the concern succinctly.
- UK registered telephone numbers can only be called by the Surgery. This includes UK registered landline and mobile telephone numbers. The Surgery cannot call international numbers.
- Arguing (or use of foul language, shouting etc) with the Practitioner on the telephone is likely to lead to a behaviour warning sanction. Practitioners will try as best they can to offer the best help they can. After two behaviour warning sanctions, patients will be removed from the Practice list. Patients are responsible for advocates acting on their behalf – so by way of example, an elderly patient will receive a behaviour warning sanction (and risk of removal) if a family member is felt to be hostile to a Practitioner on the telephone.