Q? Why can’t I see my GP when I want to?

Your choice of GP may be limited as most will be on-call for the Practice twice a week. This means they have mainly urgent or emergency appointments only. When on-call they can only deal with urgent telephone calls. They cannot deal with repeat medication, sick notes or routine test results. They will then have routine appointments and telephone consultations on other days. You will be offered another Clinician if your GP is unavailable.

Q? Why am I asked to ring back on the day to book an appointment?

The GPs offer a proportion of appointments in advance but once these have been booked you may be asked to ring in on the day you would like to be seen. There are always ‘book on the day’ appointments. However, due to demand, these can go very quickly. Remember, if your need is medically urgent you will be seen.

Q? Why am I asked if my need to see a Doctor is medically urgent or an emergency?

The GPs have instructed the Receptionist to ask you this question when all routine appointments for the day have been booked. The GPs will then only see patients with an urgent medical condition. Please help us by considering this when booking an emergency appointment.

Q? Can the Nurse Practitioner do my medication review or fit for work note?

Yes, however fit notes can be arranged by the NP but not signed by them – Our NP’s usually arrange for the patient to collect them the following day after they have had it signed.

Q? Can I see the Nurse Practitioner for anxiety or depression?

Yes, all of our Advanced Nurse Practitioners are able to see and treat you for anxiety and depression.

Q? I work all day so when can I have an appointment?

The routine appointments with the GPs run from 8.00am to approximately 5.30pm and we have extended opening from 7am – 7.30pm on Monday’s and Thursday evening until 8.00pm. You can advance book the early morning and evening appointments. If, however, you explain your difficulty to the Receptionist, we will try our best to help.

Q? Why can some procedures only be done at certain times?

Medicals, joint injections and minor surgery take up to 30 minutes and can require a nurse to assist. Coil fits and contraceptive implants also take longer and only certain GPs offer appointments for these procedures.

Q? Why can’t the District Nurse visit me?

The District Nursing Team follow strict protocols and can only visit patients who are housebound or if they receive a special request from a Clinician.

Q? Why can’t I drop my sample off or have a blood test after 3.00pm or leave it over a weekend?

Most samples cannot be kept over the weekend and our final Courier Service for the week is on a Friday at 3.00pm.

Q? Why can’t the Receptionist give out my results?

Each GP works in a slightly different way. Some are happy for the Receptionist to give out results, some like to speak to the patient themselves. Sometimes there is nothing indicated against the results on your notes. As the Receptionist is not medically trained to interpret the result you will be offered a routine ring back with a GP. Remember, the GP or Receptionist will contact you via telephone or letter if your results are abnormal and further action is required.

Q? Why can’t the Receptionist tell me if my daughter has an appointment today?

We follow a strict confidentiality code of conduct at the Practice. We cannot divulge who is booked into clinics. Any older child who shows they have competency to understand and follow instructions given by the GP can attend without a parent. If there is any cause for concern the GP will make the decision to contact you. Please understand the Receptionist is not being obstructive.

Q? Why can’t you give me my wife’s test results?

We only give out results to the patient concerned unless we have written consent in the patient’s records confirming they are happy for a named person to deal with their medical needs.

Q? Why can’t I order my prescription over the telephone?

There is a legal requirement to have prescription requests in writing. You can order via our website by clicking on the link, fax, post, drop your written request into one of the local chemists or call into the Practice and fill out a repeat request form.

Q? I’m a Carer for my mother, can I get any help?

If you care for someone who lives in Tameside then you can use the careers Centre based at: Hyde Town Hall, (via Corporation St.), Market Street, Hyde, Tameside, SK14 1AL or call 0161 342 3344 and discuss any issues with a member of the Wellbeing Team. The Drop-In Centre is open Monday to Friday 11am – 2pm (excluding Bank Holidays). However, if you would like to book a specific time to come and see a member of the Carers Team do get in touch. * If you are a carer for someone even if the person you are looking after is not registered with Millgate please inform reception staff*

Q? I want to stop smoking. Who do I speak to?

You can contact the Be Well Team. Appointments are available at a number of venues across Tameside. Call to make an appointment or for more information:  Tel: 0161 716 2000 or email: bewelltameside@nhs.net

Q? Can I check my own blood pressure?

Usually you would be booked into see a member of the Nursing Team. Alternatively you can use the self-checking BP machine in the Waiting Room. Instructions are on the wall but feel free to ask for help if you have never used it before. Hand your result to the Receptionist who will enter the details onto your records for the Doctor.

Q? I have been referred for an x-ray, what happens next?

The Doctor will have given you a referral. All hospitals have a sit and wait service in their main x-ray department, you will be asked to wait your turn as the department can be very busy. The result will then be sent electronically to your GP. This can take up to 14 days.

Q? Why am I kept waiting past my appointment time?

The GPs and Nursing staff will endeavour to keep to your appointment time but on occasions this is not possible. Emergencies can happen within routine clinics which can delay the GP or Nurse for up to an hour. Whenever possible you will be informed of any delays to clinics. If another clinician is available you may be offered an alternative appointment, or you may be asked to re-book. We appreciate your understanding because as we all know, we cannot predict every eventuality!

Q? Why can’t you tell me when the GP will ring me back?

The GPs have a morning and an afternoon clinic, visit patients at home and have a limited number of telephone consultations each day. This makes it difficult to say when they will ring you back but they do prioritise their calls. However, the Receptionist will pass on any specific time requests to the GP. Please ensure the Receptionist has your current home number and mobile number. GPs will not usually leave messages on answer phones. If you miss the call we cannot promise the GP will have time to try again.

Q? How do I get a repeat prescription?

We have a computerised repeat prescription service. Repeat prescriptions are normally for patients with long-term conditions who receive regular treatment. Your doctor (or nurse practitioner) will decide who can have a repeat prescription. From time to time we will ask you to see someone to review your medication. We do this to monitor your illness and medication. You can ask for a repeat prescription: by calling into the surgery when the reception is open; by post; or online. Wherever possible please give the exact drug names when ordering. Please allow at least 48 hours before collection. *We cannot take telephone requests for repeat prescriptions because of the possibility of error, the only exception to this rule are patients that are registered with the surgery as housebound.

PRESCRIPTION COLLECTION TIMETABLE

Prescription Ordered:                        Ready:

Monday                                               Wednesday

Tuesday                                               Thursday

Wednesday                                          Friday       

Thursday                                            Monday (following week)

Friday                                                  Tuesday (following week)

Q? Who is eligible for a home visit?

Although historically, we have automatically granted patients a GP home visit when requested, it has been necessary to modify our policy. This is because of rising demands and because we strive to maintain safe, high quality care for all of our registered patients. We have consulted with our patient participation group and jointly agreed on the policy below.

Only patients who are terminally ill or truly bed bound will normally be granted a home visit. All other patients are expected to attend the surgery. Patients with common problems such as cough, joint pains, general malaise and abnormal test results are readily transportable by car (relatives or taxi). It is not the doctor’s responsibility to arrange transport.

Benefits for patients:

  • We have full medical equipment and staff to give patients a higher quality of care
  • You are likely to be seen quicker; we offer urgent same day appointments if needed
  • You are guaranteed a face-to-face consultation rather than telephone

We offer appointments at the surgery 8.30am to 6.00pm which may go some way to help you to attend an appointment. Also routine appointments are now available in Ashton and Hyde every evening and weekend, and these can be booked by ringing the surgery.

Q? Who has access to patient information?

All staff are bound by strict rules of confidentiality. As such, we will maintain your right to privacy and not discuss your medical condition with anyone who is not entitled to know about it. We will not disclose information to third parties, e.g. insurance companies, without your explicit consent. You are entitled to view any reports we submit about you to third parties under the Access to Medical Records Act 1998. We are a computerised practice and are registered under the Data Protection Act. If you require any information about the practice under the Freedom of Information Act, please put this request in writing to the practice manager. Please note there may be a charge for this information. Freedom Of Information – Publication Scheme The Freedom of Information Act 2000 obliges the practice to produce a Publication Scheme. A Publication Scheme is a guide to the ‘classes’ of information the practice intends to routinely make available. This scheme is available from reception.

Your rights and responsibilities

We always try to provide a high quality service for our patients and our Patients' Charter Standards are displayed in the waiting room. If you would like a copy of these to take away please ask at reception. We firmly believe that in order to provide the best service for our patients, both parties should work towards the standards set including the following:

 • You have a right to request an appointment with a doctor or nurse. However, it may not always be possible for you to see the doctor of your choice. *Please note that the doctors in the practice see each other's patients and that your records are held on computer so that the doctors can see your medical history.

 • You have a responsibility to keep any appointment you make at the surgery. If you are unable to keep your appointment please contact us in advance

. • You have the right to request a repeat prescription and for this to be ready within 48 working hours - please see section on Repeat Prescriptions.

 • You have a right to comment on the services provided - please see the section on Comments, Compliments and Concerns.

 • The doctors and staff have a right to be treated with respect. We support the Government's NHS Policy of Zero Tolerance which says that: "violence and abuse are growing concerns for GPs and their staff and they have the right to care for others without the fear of being abused". Any instance where a patient shows violence, aggression or abuse to any member of staff may lead to a breakdown that damages the doctor-patient relationship of mutual trust and co-operation. In such circumstances the doctors may decide that they are no longer able to provide you with the services you require and you may be removed from the practice's list of patients.

Incoming Calls to the Practice

Due to an increased number of patients registering with the Practice and the added pressure this brings to our phones system the Practice is currently liaising with our phone system provider to streamline some of our incoming calls.  The following changes have been made:

  • Prescriptions – (option 2 on our picking list) – calls for prescription queries will be limited to being received between 10am and 2pm
  • Secretary (option 3 on our picking list) – calls for our Secretaries will be limited to being received between 10am – 12noon and 2pm – 4pm
  • Test results patients phoning to find out their test results will be limited to being received between 10.30am – 4pm