Sandyford Surgery

Appointment guidance

On the Day Booking System of Appointments has currently been suspended due to Covid restrictions – call at 8.45am for telephone triage. The receptionist will take a brief description of the reason for your call and a dr will call you back. Please phone early as slots are limited and you may be asked to call back if your call is not of an urgent nature.

Phone lines open at 8.45am (Monday to Friday) and you are normally requested to book an appointment to see the Doctor on the day of your choice. You should phone early.

Appointments are normally 10 minutes per person. An appointment is for one person only. Patients must arrive within 10 minutes of their appointment time. Receptionist will inform patients when they arrived after their appointment time. Patients who arrive after their appointment time may be asked to wait until the doctor can fit them in or may be asked to reschedule their appointment. This decision will be made by the doctor. Patients who arrive early should not expect to be seen before their appointment time.

By offering an ‘on the day appointment’ service we aim to:

  1. Give you a higher expectation of seeing a doctor routinely
  2. Give you a greater chance of getting an appointment with the doctor of your choice at short notice.
  3. Cut down the rate of patients who fail to keep appointments.

By phoning as early as possible for an appointment on the day of your choice, the greater the chance of being seen on that day, at a time that suits you and with the doctor of your choice. Please note that we do NOT have open surgeries and all patients wanting seen must make an appointment.

If you are too late phoning and all the appointments are booked for that day, you have the knowledge if you call back early the following day all newly released appointments will be available. Limited morning appointments (9am, 10am, 11am) for the doctor can be booked up to two weeks ahead.

We are aware that you may have to call back the following day and this may not always be convenient but if you are flexible about your appointment you have the knowledge that we have approximately 25 routine appointments opened up daily for new appointments to be seen.

If you do have difficulty in getting an appointment please ask for the Practice Manager.

Waiting for the Doctor

There are occasions when the doctor runs late and patients are kept waiting. This is unfortunate and we would ask you to bear in mind the following:

  • Please do not blame the receptionist. Appointments are normally 10 minutes per patient and the receptionist has no control over the time a patient spends in the consulting room with the doctor.
  • Appointments with the doctor are 10 minutes. If your time runs over this those after you will be kept waiting.
  • In an ideal world we would like to offer everybody more time but unfortunately in order to cater for the demand and to meet government targets for offering appointments, it is not possible to do so at present.
  • It follows that dealing with more than one issue per consultation may be difficult without running over time. You may feel you are helping by “saving everything up” for one visit but actually dealing with several issues in one consultation usually results in the doctor running late.
  • If you have a number of issues, it is usually best to discuss the most important thing first and to consider keeping other issues for a further consultation.
  • If you arrive more than 10 minutes late you will have completely missed your appointment. If the doctor agrees to see you, everyone booked after you will be kept waiting. Consequently the doctor may instead ask you to wait until the end of the surgery or if you are more than 20 minutes late, to reschedule your appointment.
  • With the best will in the world, it is not possible to predict how a surgery will run. Please remember that the doctor may be dealing with a patient who is seriously ill, has complex problems, is emotionally distressed or is requiring urgent attention or transfer to hospital.

We hope this gives you some insight into why surgeries sometimes run late and gives you some ideas about how you can help us to run to time and hopefully reduce waiting times for everyone. Your help would be very much appreciated.

Thank You