Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP Practice if you have visited or travelled through mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand and have symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath within 2 weeks of returning, or if you have symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath after being in contact with someone with a confirmed case of coronavirus. Please call 111 for advice instead.
We offer a range of different appointments to try to provide flexibility for our 17,600 patients to access an appointment appropriate to their needs. Appointments can be booked online, by telephone and in surgery.
We have two health professionals who work alongside our doctors to improve access. Both have the clinical skills and prescribing expertise to diagnose and treat common minor illnesses.
Kelly Cook is a qualified Nurse Practitioner and Prescriber with a wealth of experience working in GP surgeries, walk-in facilities and the urgent care centre.
Alyson McGivern is an experienced, qualified Clinical Pharmacist Prescriber with specialist clinical skills training who has worked within GP surgeries for many years.
Receptionists – the gateway to the service
The receptionist is instructed to ask you for brief details of your problem. We understand there may be occasions when you would prefer not to share personal medical information but if you feel able to do so it will help the receptionist direct you to the most appropriate solution. You can be assured that all staff are trained and contractually obligated to keep anything you do disclose confidential.
Please note we record all phone calls for quality monitoring, training, compliance and security purposes.
Doctors are highly trained professionals and it is essential that we use their time effectively. There are occasions when patients ask for an appointment with their doctor to discuss issues that can be managed quickly and efficiently by trained surgery support staff, e.g. ordering medication; giving out test results on which the doctor has already reported and chasing up hospital appointments. If the receptionist knows the reason for your call she can direct you to the right person within the Practice and free up a valuable GP appointment.
Similarly, not all problems need direct contact with the doctor and the information you provide may enable our receptionists to allocate your problem to our ‘messaging system’ that will ensure you get an answer to your question without using an appointment slot.
Patients can also access simple health advice from other providers such as local community pharmacies and/or NHS Choices at https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Pages/hub.aspx
Naturally we cannot provide an unlimited amount of appointments as our clinicians can only safely see a certain number of patients each day. Each day we have a limited number of the following appointment types available:
- Pre-bookable routine appointments available up to 2 weeks in advance.
- Same day routine appointments
- Pre-bookable telephone appointments available up to 2 weeks in advance – please do not book these unless your problem is something suitable for telephone consultation and not something that requires a physical examination.
Once all of our routine appointments are booked patients who feel their problem cannot wait will be referred to the duty doctor. These appointments should not be requested for minor illnesses that can be managed effectively with treatments readily available from a pharmacy; ongoing problems or long-term conditions unless symptoms have changed/worsened; sick note requests or routine medication queries.
Appointments are released each day so patients with routine issues will be advised to ring back the following day.
If you have more than one problem, please let the receptionist know when booking your appointment so you can be allocated sufficient time. Appointments are for 10 minutes and this is not normally enough time for the doctor to safely manage multiple issues unless they are very minor.
As you will appreciate there are a limited number of appointments available to book with each health care professional daily. Once the available slots are used you will have to book the next available routine appointment that is convenient for you. If you feel unable to wait for the next routine appointment you will be referred to the duty doctor.
Saturday Appointments at Norton Medical Centre
The surgery is open on a Saturday from 10am until 1pm for pre-booked appointments only.
Evening and Weekend Appointments at ‘hub’ sites
If you find it difficult to attend a GP appointment during our opening hours (8:30am until 6pm), ask our receptionists to book an evening (up to 8pm) or weekend appointment for you at one of our hub sites at:
Tennant Street Medical Practice in Stockton
Woodbridge Practice in Ingleby Barwick
Chadwick practice in Hartlepool
The hub sites can also provide a full range of nurse and health care assistant appointments – for example, patients who suffer from a long-term condition but struggle to attend a review. Healthcare professionals working in the hubs can access medical records with the patients’ consent.
Nurse and Health Care Assistant Appointments
Available to book online, in surgery and by telephone.
Phlebotomist (Blood Sample Taking)
Appointments are available to book online, in surgery and by telephone plus there is a sit and wait service available daily from 8am. Please note that between 8 and 8:30am priority will be given to sit and wait patients who have fasted or who need to leave for work/school drop off etc.
If you need to see a doctor and are too ill to attend the surgery, please ring 01642 745 350 before 10am. Reception will record your name, address, phone number and the nature of the problem and these details will be passed to your GP who may telephone you to discuss the problem.
Please remember home visits take up valuable time and should only be requested when they are really necessary.