Our New Appointment System - Frequently asked questions

Changes to the appointment system at Combe Down Surgery 

Improvements to the way patients request GP or Nurse Practitioner appointments at Combe Down Surgery come into place on Monday 15th January 2024. From this date, patients are being asked to complete an online form to request appointments. The submitted form will be assessed by a GP, who will decide what needs to happen next and the practice will then contact patients to arrange next steps.

Here's a brief summary of what is (and isn't) changing:

  • From 15th January 2024 we will be asking patients to complete an online request form to ask for a doctor or nurse practitioner appointment.
  • Patients that do not have internet access can still call the practice on 01225 832226, choose Option 1 and a receptionist will complete the online request form on your behalf over the phone. Please do not use this option if you can complete the form yourself, as calling the practice (or visiting in person) doesn't mean your request will be dealt with any quicker.
  • Once your online request form has been sent to us it will be received by a GP and you will be contacted by one of our team with an appropriate appointment or advice.
  • Practice Nurse and Health Care Assistant appointments can still be booked directly over the phone.

Prepare for the change

We are holding a Q&A session at Combe Down Surgery on Tuesday 9th January 2024 at 6pm for any queries and a chance for our team to show you how to use the new system.

  • If you’ve not yet installed the NHS App we recommend doing this. The App means you can easily view your upcoming appointments, cancel appointments, request repeat prescriptions and check  your GP health record. If you need help using the NHS app please click here to find out more.
  • Follow the practice on social media to keep up to date with all our latest news and advice regarding the changes. You can find us on Instagram and Facebook
What has changed?

We have improved the way you can request GP and Nurse Practitioner appointments at Combe Down Surgery. We now ask that you complete an online request form to book an appointment, saving you a telephone call or a visit to the practice.

Why have we made this change?

The previous system for making appointments was often frustrating people. We have listened to patient feedback and discussed with colleagues and identified a solution that means patients can now submit appointment requests online.

We understand that some patients have difficulty accessing the internet therefore our reception team will still be happy to assist with submitting a form.

When will the changes take place?

The new system will come into place on Monday 15th January 2024.

What do the changes mean for me?

The changes mean that you can now submit GP and Nurse Practitioner appointment requests online, at your convenience, without the need for long telephone queues.

These online requests will then be 'triaged' (during surgery opening times). Triaging means the online requests are assessed by a clinician who will then decide on the right course of action for your request.

We want to reassure patients who do not have access to technology or who are not confident using it that it is still possible to call the practice or visit in person. Your request will then be added to an online form on your behalf and will be triaged in the same way as an online request.

Who can use the system?

You need to be a registered patient of Combe Down Surgery to book appointments with us to use this new system.

If you are not currently a registered patient and would like to register with us, please use our Register as a patient form

Do I need a username and password to use this new system?

You do not need a username or password to access the new system, but you must be a registered patient of Combe Down Surgery. 

What kind of information does the online form ask me for?

You will be asked to describe your symptoms and where you are experiencing these symptoms. This helps the triaging clinician ensure you receive the right care, from the right person at the right time. You will also be asked for some personal details, such as name, date of birth, postcode and contact number.

To assist our triaging doctor it is vital to provide as much information as possible around your condition. It is also possible to attach images, if they are relevant to your case. Please DO NOT submit intimate or personal photographs. 

What happens after I submit my request for an appointment?

Your request will be sent to a triaging clinician who will decide how to get you the best care. This may be an appointment with a GP, Nurse, HCA (Health Care Assistant) or other Healthcare professional either on the same day or sometime in the future, or they may signpost you to another service, for example, a local pharmacist, the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) or a dentist.  Our Receptionists will contact you with the outcome of your request via your preferred contact means within 48 hours. 

How will I be contacted with the outcome of my request?

You will be contacted with the outcome of your request by phone or text.  If you don’t have a mobile phone, we will call your landline.

My relative/child/friend cannot submit an online request form themselves. Can I submit it on their behalf?

Yes, you can submit requests on behalf of children, relatives, friends or someone you care for, if they have given their permission for you to do this.

What if I need a home visit?

Home visit requests will still be processed in the same way. Please phone reception before midday to request.

How can I view my test results?

All test results can be viewed via the NHS app and we would encourage everyone to initially review their results via the app. If there are any questions regarding results after this, please submit a triage form to request a discussion with one of our team.

What if I want to see the same GP?

We value continuity of care and feels it is important to preserve. We will try to identify those for whom continuity is most important, but it would also be useful if you can specify who you would like to see when completing the online triage form. This might not always be possible if your preferred clinician is not available within the time frame that your condition needs to be dealt with, but we will try to achieve this.