Information About Your Appointment

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Appointment Leaflet for Patients

This leaflet is for patients who have booked a meeting with a doctor or nurse at Riverside Medical Practice.

Thank you for reading this leaflet. It will help you prepare for your appointment.

We know that many people have to wait longer for appointments in hospitals and practices right now. To make things better, we have taken steps to reduce waiting times and provide the safest and best care we can. What can you do to help to be seen as quickly as needed and in the safest way possible? This guidance should help.
If you're visiting the practice, please arrive at least 10 minutes before the appointment to check your blood pressure using our self-service machine (at the end of the corridor on the ground floor).

We have a small car park so you may have to park further away. Please allow plenty of time at the surgery. Your visit may be much quicker but emergencies happen. This appointment is about your health and it is important that there is enough time for you to attend.

It is a good idea to write down your symptoms in bullet point form before the appointment. This will help you make the most of your time and remember everything. Think about how long the problem has been there, what if feels like (e.g. short sharp stabbing pain), how it affects you (i.e. work, emotions, function), what you have tried (e.g. medications, other visits, physio, etc.) and what you are worried about?

During the appointment, we will try to be quick and clear. Please be the same. We only have a short period of time to help you.

If you need to change your face-to-face appointment to a telephone appointment, let the reception team know. We will try and accommodate this on the same day. If you don’t need your appointment, please cancel using the NHS app or with reception as soon as possible. Not attending appointments or attending when problems have resolved creates longer wait times for appointments.

Telephone appointments are very convenient when you don't need an examination, if it's a follow-up to a previous consultation or a simple request. Also, our e-Consult form on our website can also be very helpful when certificates or referrals are needed. Answer the questions about your issue and you will receive a prompt reply.

We have increased the number of telephone appointments available to help more people in the day and reduce waiting times.

Some telephone appointments can be scheduled to a specific time slot. There are also telephone appointments without a specific time slot but which are scheduled for that day. This allows us to offer more appointments and not keep people waiting in the surgery due to delays. Delays often happen due to the nature of healthcare.

Face-to-face appointments last for 10 minutes. The appointment slot is 15 minutes long to give the clinician time to review your notes, write into your record, order tests, or make referrals if needed.

Trying to discuss more than one issue isn't fair to yourself, the clinician, or others waiting to see or speak to them. If you have more than one issue, please make an additional appointment. Please plan this in advance.

Doctors are not needed for all health matters. Please seek advice via other sources of information for minor ailments or problems. We should prioritise seeing people as soon as possible with major difficulties such as symptoms of cancer and infections. Seeing people with problems that can be helped through the pharmacist or self-care through advice from the NHS website will often cause delay.

People do better with their health if they can see the same doctor. For ongoing problems, please see your own doctor or the same health care professional such as a nurse or pharmacist.

Thank you for working with us to help you as safely and effectively as we can to provide you with excellent care.

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Pharmacy & Self-Care

Your pharmacy can advise you on minor illness without the need of an appointment. Please speak to a pharmacist first.


Help and support available from many National and Local Organisations


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Pharmacy & Self-Care

Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals who can offer clinical advice, over the counter medicines and their use, to effectively and safely manage a range of minor health concerns. They can also help you to decide whether you'll need to see a doctor. You don't need an appointment and you won't even be asked to make a purchase. Every pharmacy also has a private consultation area for you to talk about your symptoms in private if you prefer.

Locate your local Pharmacy

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Telephone Consultations

Some matters, such as reviewing ongoing problems, discussing repeat prescriptions and renewing medical certificates, can be dealt with on the telephone with a clinician.

The practice nurse can discuss immunisation and contraception queries and other matters related to their work.

If you wish to speak to a clinician on the telephone, please explain this to the receptionist. You will be asked to provide some details so that the clinician can prioritise their response. Unless it is urgent, you should normally expect to be called back before 5:00pm.

Please ring 01403 274700 to request a telephone consultation.

If you are expecting a call on your mobile, please ensure it is switched on and you have a signal.

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Pre-bookable Appointments

I have a non-urgent problem and can wait to be seen.

You can book appointments in advance.

Ways to book:

  1. Contact us online with eConsult
  2. Telephone: 01403 274700
  3. In person at reception Monday - Friday 8:00am - 6:00pm
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Urgent (On the Day)

I have an URGENT health concern requiring on the day attention

Call reception at 8:00am on 01403 274700 to book.

We are not an emergency service. For emergencies, please call 999.

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Life Threatening - Go to A&E

If you or someone you know has a life-threatening condition, such as loss of consciousness, chest pain, breathing difficulties etc, you should call 999

In an EMERGENCY call 999.
Emergencies are situations that cannot be managed at home and may be life threatening

Clinical Surgery Times

Appointments are available between the following hours:

Day Monday Morning 8:30am - 12:30pm Afternoon 2:00pm - 5:30pm
Day Tuesday Morning 8:30am - 12:30pm Afternoon 2:00pm - 5:30pm
Day Wednesday Morning 8:30am - 12:30pm Afternoon 2:00pm - 5:30pm
Day Thursday Morning 8:30am - 12:30pm Afternoon 2:00pm - 5:30pm
Day Friday Morning 8:30am - 12:30pm Afternoon 2:00pm - 5:30pm

Appointment Reminders

We can now send you a confirmation and reminder text message about your appointment. If you are happy to receive a message by SMS text please let reception know or fill out this consent to leave messages form.

Enhanced Access

As part of the government drive to enable patients to access GP appointments from 8am - 8pm, 7 days a week, we offer an Enhanced Access service through our Primary Care Network (PCN) for our patients. The service offers remote telephone and face-to-face appointments with a variety of clinicians, including GPs, Nurses and Pharmacists and are available throughout the week and Saturdays.

The appointments are pre-bookable only and appointments can be made via the surgery.

To access these appointments you must be willing to consent to the sharing of your medical record.

Help Us to Help You

Please follow this useful advice to help make our appointment system run a smoothly as possible

  • Please turn up in good time for your appointments. We apologise if we sometimes run late. We do our best to keep to time.  We do advise to leave an extra 30 minutes after the start of your appointment time to be seen and to account for any delays.
  • Have a think about what you would like to discuss with the doctor beforehand and work out what is the most important issue to be dealt with. If you have multiple problems please do not be offended if you are asked to make another appointment, as more time may be required to deal effectively with each issue.
  • Use your doctor's appointment wisely. Different health professionals including clinical pharmacists, paramedics, nurses, health care assistants, physiotherapist and physician associates can help you too and may be able to deal with your problem more appropriately.
  • Unless you have been asked to come in for a medication review with your doctor it is best not to see a doctor for a repeat prescription request. Simply fill in the form at reception or request the medication on the website.