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Dear Patients,

In recent weeks there has been a great deal of publicity about general practice and their desire to avoid seeing patients; this isn’t the case.

Our reception team are coming under a great deal of pressure and downright rudeness from some patients, and we see a need to clarify what happens when you speak to a member of our reception team.

Our reception team are experts at ‘signposting’. They don’t direct you elsewhere so that we can avoid seeing you. Our reception team will ask what the problem is, no matter why you want an appointment. They aren’t nosey, and they’ve undoubtedly heard it all before. They ask you about your problem because they want you to have the most appropriate appointment in the quickest time possible. If you’re telling us that you have severe chest pain, we don’t want you waiting a few hours to see us; we want you to call 999. This happens more frequently than you might think.

*Please note* our receptionists are not allowed to book face to face appointments directly with a GP. All GP appointments have to be triaged by one of the Doctors first. Please do not blame the receptionist for this, they are working to the Partners' instructions.

You might want to see your usual GP because you like them and feel they know you and your medical history. But if you want or need to see a GP sooner than their first available appointment, you will have to speak to a different GP; they will be able to see your records. 

Sometimes you might want to see a GP for something that one of our nurses does routinely.

We’re encouraged to send people with a cold, diarrhoea or other minor ailments to the pharmacy.  Again, this isn’t because we don’t want to see you; this is because having minor ailments dealt with at the pharmacy means we have more appointments available to deal with suspected cancers, mental health problems and chronic conditions.  111 should be your first point of contact with suspected COVID symptoms.

In short, each one of our team became part of the NHS family because we want to help our patients, so please don’t feel that we don’t want to see you. Sometimes we can get a quicker, more appropriate result for you by asking you to see someone who isn’t your usual GP.

Thank you

Sue Uglow

Practice Manager, Trescobeas Surgery

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