It is the nature of General Practice that some interruptions are unavoidable. Never-the-less if you are kept waiting then the commonest reason is that patients ahead of you have taken too long. We operate a 10 minute appointment system. This is the expected average time for a consultation. If the first three patients in a surgery take 20 minutes each then the doctor is already running half-an-hour late.
How can you help?
Don’t save up a list of complaints to pad out your appointment. We appreciate that your time is as valuable as ours but if you expect the doctor to deal with a list of complaints, unless they really are “quickies”, you should not then be surprised if you are kept waiting by other patients doing the same thing. We welcome “quickies” to balance the odd appointment which inevitably overruns.
If there is more than one problem that needs to be discussed or you feel that your problem requires more than 10 minutes, please indicate this when making your appointment and the receptionist will arrange a 20 minute slot (we expect that such an arrangement will be an exception to most appointments booked!)
If a doctor is running late by more than 20 minutes the receptionists will notify patients of this, and give the opportunity to re-book if continuing to wait is inconvenient.
Please remember that we have appointment slots that can be booked up to 2 weeks in advance – if you are expecting a “pre-bookable” appointment, please telephone after 10 am.
The only way we can guarantee to run to time is to cut you off in mid-flow at 10 minutes which clearly is undesirable. So please help us to help you by endeavouring to keep to time.