Birchwood Medical Practice is pleased to advise we are offering telephone, face to face and e-Consult appointments. We completed a survey in 2022 and patient feedback is a preference for a mix of all of these types rather than one specific type of appointment. Should the appointment type you require not be available, please ask the team member to make a request to the GP to convert it to either telephone/face to face. This will not always be available but we will do our best to accommodate where possible.

Demand for appointments is unprecedented and the wait for a routine appointment is longer than we experienced pre-pandemic.

If we cannot offer you an appointment when you call please be aware that we release appointments at 8am daily and you can book these in person at the practice or over the telephone. You may also wish to use our e-Consult service where we aim to respond by close of play the next working day with an initial response. You may also contact NHS 111 who can liaise with us if they assess you and determine a GP appointment is the appropriate next step.

Our contract requires us to ensure we provide access to appointments in a variety of ways (in person/over the phone/digital consultations) and we allocate slots to each of these areas. If you phone us and we have no pre-bookable appointments you can still use the other access methods (digital/in person) where appointments may still be available.

The NHS 111 Symptom checker can also assist you in getting the right care at the right time from the right clinician.

Please do not be offended when you are asked about the symptoms you are experiencing. Our team are trained by our GPs to document your answers, maintain confidentiality and follow strict protocols to navigate you to the appropriate care provider. You may be directed to a pharmacist, physiotherapist, nurse, GP, social prescriber, mental health support worker or a community pharmacy. There may be occasions where self care and over the counter treatments are the most appropriate way forward. Where you submit a digital consultation and we share your information with a community pharmacist, we will only share what is necessary to provide your care as is lawfully permitted by the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

For repeat prescription requests you can request via the following routes:

·  Digitally via the NHS App

·  Speak to your pharmacist who can make these requests to us on your behalf

·  Come into the practice and request at Reception

·  Pop a note through our letterbox with your request

If you have spoken to a GP or other clinician and they assess that you need to be seen face to face, please rest assured you will be seen in person where clinically necessary.

If you are NOT registered with a GP at the moment we can still accept your registration request digitally – please click here to access the online registration process.

We are experiencing high demand as patients who would usually be seen by a hospital outpatients department are experiencing long waiting times so they must continue to be seen in general practice whilst they wait. Our phone lines are busy – but we will respond.

Also, you can contact us digitally for routine clinical issues and admin queries including sick notes using our digital consultation service available on our home page.