We have urgent/emergency appointments available with the Duty Doctor, Monday to Friday both morning and afternoon sessions. These important slots are only for true urgent medical problems.
Only you as the patient can determine if it is urgent that have an appointment the same day. Our staff may ask you what is wrong to try and give guidance as to who you should see and when but they always leave the decision to you and you have the right to refuse to give details.
With an urgent appointment slot you may be seen by either a doctor or a specially trained nurse. If seeing the latter you will be assessed and in the majority of cases you will not need to see the doctor. If the nurse feels it necessary then you will also be seen by a doctor. However, due to the system of care, you will need to take a seat back in the waiting room and the doctor will call you as soon as possible (accepting they may be dealing with some one else who is as sick).
If you do request an emergency slot and the practitioner seeing you deems this not to be urgent, you will be asked to make a routine appointment and your problem will not be dealt with. Also, we do not deal with routine issues at the end of a valid emergency slot ie “while I’m here…”.
Due to the nature of this service and variable (often excessive) demand, we cannot run to exact appointments and you may experience up to one hours wait. Patients are prioritised by arrival time and clinical need. This is not the case for routine appointments. We do not start the next slot until all patients in the preceding time slot are seen, so arriving significantly before your slot will only give you a long wait and not an earlier appointment.
Social circumstances that make a routine appointment inconvenient, eg a lecture, holiday etc are not reasons to deal with a problem that day as an emergency.
If you are in doubt then ask the receptionist.