How to use health services when in Durham
It is important you access the most appropriate clinician when you have a health problem. The practice has, therefore, produced a “How to use our GP service leaflet” to assist you in identifying who to see depending on your health problem.
In general, you should:
- Ask your local pharmacist for advice – your pharmacist can give you advice for many common minor illnesses, such as diarrhoea, minor infections, headache, or sore throats. Pregnancy tests are also available at your local pharmacy.
- Make an appointment with our general practice if you are feeling unwell and it is not an emergency. Our practice leaflet will assist you in identifying who to see and what type of appointment to book.
- Call NHS 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation and you are unable to get a GP appointment or it is the weekend. You can also call NHS 111 if you’re not sure which NHS service you need.
- Attend A&E if you are seriously ill or injured.
Call 999 if your life is at risk.
There are new and exciting improvements coming in the way patients can interact with the practice through technology.
As part of a national programme, the practice is already signed up to offer access through the NHS App.
The app is available through Apple/Android App marketplaces for free. Once installed, patients who are already on-line users can register using their existing credentials.
Patients who haven’t already got on-line access can register using the innovative in-app identity confirmation system. With this, patients no longer need to come into the practice to register
but can sign up without leaving home!
Once registered with the NHS App, patients can book on-line appointments, order repeat prescriptions, and access part of their medical record. Watch out for additional features in the months ahead!
We know that when you are not feeling well you just want to feel better quickly.
The practice has, therefore, introduced “Care Navigation”, offering patient choice by providing information to help you move through health and social care services and access the most appropriate support as soon as possible.
When you contact the practice specialist trained reception staff may ask you a few questions to help navigate you to the best person to help you quickly. They won’t try to diagnose your problem, but you may need to tell them a little bit about why you are calling.
Through Care Navigation you may be able to be seen faster by someone who is not a GP, such as a Nurse Practitioner or Practice Nurse. Or you may be directed to a health care professional in the community such as a pharmacist, optician, sexual health nurse, or smoking cessation adviser. The choice is yours, however, and you can always still request to see a GP.
Please, therefore, don’t be offended if the reception staff ask you a few questions when you call to make an appointment. They are just trying to help you get to the right service as quickly as possible and to ensure doctors’ appointments are available for those who need them.
Repeat Prescription Ordering System
From September, Community Pharmacies will no longer be able to order medicines on your behalf. This is to ensure the safe and responsible issue of medication and to prevent unnecessary medicines waste.
Please remember, therefore, to order your repeat prescriptions from the practice when you have 7 to 10 days of medicines left. You can do this:
- on-line (if you are not already registered for patient on-line speak to the practice or download the NHS App);
- by completing the white, tear off part of your repeat prescription identifying which medicines you require, and returning it to the practice; clearly writing what you need on a piece of paper (including your name, date of birth, address and telephone number) and returning it to the practice