How our GP appointment system works
We understand that many patients want different things from our appointment system. Many patients have more routine matters to discuss whilst some patients have potentially life threatening health issues that need prompt attention.
We try our very best to meet these varying needs within the limitations of the number of GPs and appointments available. Like most GP surgeries, the demand for GP appointments here at Dr James Hamilton-Smith & Partners is very high. Every month our GPs, Nurses and HCAs provide on average 2420 consultations for patients and the demand continues to rise. Therefore our receptionists may have to ask patients a few questions to help them find the most appropriate point of care.
It is important that patients inform the receptionist at their earliest convenience if they no longer require their appointment, this enables the appointment to become available for another patient. During 2017, a total of 1446 appointments for our GP’s, nurses and healthcare assistants were not attended or cancelled. This wastes time and valuable appointments for patients who need them. Patients who frequently fail to attend appointments may be removed from the practice list.
Should patients have any difficulties in making or cancelling appointments, please speak to a member of the reception team face to face or over the telephone.
We have three types of appointments available:
Booked in advance
Bookable up to 2 weeks ahead, these provide choice and flexibility as to when and by whom patients are seen. Other appointments are released 2-4 working days ahead to make it easier for patients to see a GP with a problem that is not urgent but needs to be dealt with within a few days. A number of appointments are also available to book online. Patients can ask a member of the reception team to sign them up for online access to book appointments from a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Available on the day – Urgent medical problems only
Monday-Friday at 8.30am a limited number of appointments become available if patients have an urgent and/or serious problem, enabling them to see one of our GPs on the day. At such short notice there is much less flexibility over the time of the appointment and choice of clinician.
Monday-Friday there are a number of telephone consultation appointments with a GP available. This is for when patients need advice but do not need to be seen in person. The receptionist will ask for brief details to ensure this approach is the most appropriate choice for their needs. They will give the patient a time frame in which their call will be returned; patients may leave a mobile number but must ensure their mobile phone is switched on.
Whatever the situation, receptionists can only offer the appointments that are available. Appointments are always in great demand and the GPs have a finite number of hours in the day in which to meet the needs of our 7,000 patients.
OUT OF HOURS
When surgery is closed please call our number (0208 597 1840) where patients will be transferred to our Out of Hours Service paid for by ourselves.
Patients will be advised as to what further action to take.
This is another service paid for by the surgery which offers an overflow of appointments 7 days a week at either North Street Medical Care or Rosewood Medical Practice (see below addresses). Patients shall be able to see a GP locally from 6.30pm-10.00pm on weekdays and 12.00pm-6.00pm on Saturday and Sunday
Please call 0203 770 1888 from 2.00pm-9.00pm Monday-Friday and 9.00am – 5.00pm Saturday and Sunday to book an appointment. You can also book through NHS 111.
The patient must be registered with a Havering GP (which Dr James Hamilton-Smith & Partners are).
The patient will be given a time slot for attendance.
The doctors advise if patients are ill over the weekend or out of hours to please use this service rather than wait until we re-open.
North Street Medical Care - 274 North Street, Romford, Essex RM1 4QJ
Rosewood Medical Practice – 30 Astra Close, Hornchurch, Essex RM12 5NJ