Requesting appointments online - information about changes to our appointment system
Request your appointment online
From 21st September, we are asking patients to request GP and Nurse Practitioner appointments using our online form.
For more details about making an appointment with us please read the information below.
Our appointment system has changed
We are now asking patients to complete an online request form to request a doctor or nurse practitioner appointment. This online request form will be available between 7.00am and 4.30pm every weekday.
If you do not have internet access you can still:
- call 01373 301301 and choose Option 1 and a Care Navigator will complete the online request form on your behalf
- use the ipads in our reception area to complete the online form
All appointment requests will be reviewed by a GP and you will be contacted by one of our team with an appropriate appointment or advice.
Practice Nurse and Health Care Assistant appointments can still be booked directly over the phone or at the practice with one of our Care Navigators.
If you have been asked to book an appointment for a blood test, BP plus, INR, a NHS Health Check, a cervical smear test or a B12 injection you can book these using the NHS App. Find out more about the NHS App here.
Digital support is available for patients needing help with using our online request form or the NHS App. Please ask for more information about this or click here to find out more.
The following series of questions and answers aims to explain what the changes to our appointment booking system mean in more detail and help you understand how to use the new system.
An Overview of the Changes We Have Made
What has changed?
We have improved the way you can request appointments at Frome Medical Practice. We now ask that you complete an online request form to book an appointment, saving you a telephone call or a visit to the practice.
Why have we made this change?
The previous system for making appointments was often frustrating for people. We have listened to patient feedback, talked to our Patient Participation Group and discussed with colleagues and identified a solution that means patients can now submit an appointment request online.
We know that some patients will still need to call us or visit in person. But we ask that, where possible, you use the new online system so our patients who need telephone or face to face support are able to access it in a timely manner.
When will the changes take place?
The new system came into operation on 21st September 2023.
What do the changes mean for me?
The changes mean that you can now submit your appointment request online.
These online requests will then be ‘triaged’ (during surgery opening times.) Triaging means the online requests are assessed by a clinician who will then decide on the right course of action for your request.
We want to reassure patients who do not have access to technology or who are not confident using it that it is still possible to call the practice or visit in person. Your request will then be added to an online form on your behalf and will be triaged in the same way as an online request.
Have you consulted with patients about this new system?
Yes. We have consulted with our Patient Participation Group (PPG) and listened to patient feedback about the system we have been using until now.
Using the System
Who can use the new system?
You need to be a registered patient of Frome Medical Practice to book appointments with us and to use this new system.
If you are not currently a registered patient and would like to register with us, please click here for more information and to complete our registration form.
What kind of technology do I need to use the new system?
To use the new system you will need access to the internet and a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.
Do I need a username and password to use this new system?
You do not need a username or password to access the new system, but you must be a registered patient of Frome Medical Practice.
If you have an NHS login (which you use to login to the NHS App) you are able to use this to access the new online system if you prefer but you do not have to do this.
What do I have to do to request an appointment at the practice from 21st September?
Ideally we would like you to complete your appointment request online, using a link via our website. Patients that are able to do this online help us by freeing up the phone lines for those that cannot use our online form.
What kind of information does the online form ask me for?
You will be asked to describe your symptoms and where you are experiencing these symptoms. This helps the triaging clinician ensure you receive the right care, from the right person at the right time. You will also be asked for some personal details, such as name, date of birth, postcode and contact number.
How do I know if you have received my online request?
After you click ‘submit’ your online request will be sent to the practice. When you see the message ‘Thank you. Your contact request has been sent’ it means your form has been submitted. If you provided your email address when completing the online form you will receive an email notification confirming delivery.
What happens after I submit my request for an appointment?
Your request will be sent to a triaging clinician who will decide how to get you the best care. This may be an appointment with a GP, Nurse or HCA (Health Care Assistant) either on the same day or sometime in the future, or they may signpost you to another service, for example, a local pharmacist, the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) or a dentist. Our Care Navigators will contact you with the outcome of your request.
How will I be contacted with the outcome of my request?
You will be contacted with the outcome of your request by phone or text. If you don’t have a mobile phone, we will call your landline.
Should I call you to chase up the outcome of my request?
We will aim to respond to your request as soon as possible. To allow us to work quickly and efficiently, please avoid calling us to chase up your request and please do not re-submit your request unless you have not heard back from us within 2 working days.
Can I still phone or come to the practice in person to request an appointment?
Yes. You can still call us or come to the practice to request an appointment, however an online request will still need to be submitted and triaged using our new system.
If you phone the practice, we will complete the form on your behalf and submit it via our online system and it will then be triaged by a clinician. If you visit the practice in person, we will help you to complete the online form, which will then be submitted and triaged by a clinician. Once the triaging clinician has looked at your request, you will be contacted by a Care Navigator who will let you know what needs to happen next.
If I call or come into the practice to request an appointment, can I be given my appointment time there and then?
No. All appointment requests are submitted via our online system. The triaging clinician will then decide on what needs to happen next and we will get in touch with you to let you know.
What if my problem requires immediate attention?
If you or someone you are seeking help for is experiencing symptoms of a life threatening nature (such as loss of consciousness, chest pain, breathing difficulties etc), please do not use our online form to request help. Instead, you should call 999.
If you submit an online form and your symptoms indicate that the problem needs urgent care, you will be given information on how and when to contact A&E, 999 or 111 services if required.
How far ahead will appointments be offered?
You may be offered a same day appointment or a choice of appointments in the future, depending on the nature of your online request. GP and Nurse Practitioner appointments can be booked up to 10 days in advance. Most Nurse and Health Care Assistant appointments can be booked up to 6 weeks in advance (most of these will be for appointments such as blood tests, health checks, cervical smears etc and should be booked via the NHS App where possible.)
Can I choose my appointment time?
If your request is triaged as needing same day care, you will be contacted with an appointment time for that day. If your request does not require same day care, you will be contacted with a choice of appointments to book.
I don’t need an appointment, I just need to speak to a GP.
All of our GP time is allocated by appointments, either face to face or over the telephone. If you need to speak to a GP, you need to fill in an online request form.
If you need self-care advice, you can find information on our website or alternatively you can speak to a pharmacist or call 111, depending on your need.
My relative/child/friend cannot submit an online request form themselves. Can I submit it on their behalf?
Yes, you can submit requests on behalf of children, relatives, friends or someone you care for, if they have given their permission for you to do this.
My request is of a personal nature, so I would prefer to deal with a clinician of the same sex as me. How do I let you know this?
You can let us know under the ‘Concerns and Expectations’ section on the online form. We will endeavour to meet your requests. However, depending on GP work schedules this may not always be possible.
Do I need to complete an online request to book a blood test or other routine appointments with a Practice Nurse or Health Care Assistant?
Whilst booking routine appointments, such as blood tests, is possible using the new online request form it is much quicker and easier for patients to use the NHS App. If you need any of the following types of appointments please use the NHS App if possible:
- B12 injection
- Blood test
- Blood pressure plus
- Cervical smear
- NHS health check
Can I also enquire about other health-related matters through the online service, for example prescription requests, test result enquiries, etc.?
No. Ideally we’d like patients to use the NHS App for prescription requests or viewing test results. If you do not have access to the NHS App, you can use forms on our website for various requests.
Please visit our contact us page, scroll to the bottom and click the blue highlighted ‘contact the practice’ section to see the different options available.
Is my personal data safe?
Potentially sensitive data is stored within the UK using technical architecture, processes and security features approved by the NHS. This assures compliance with regulatory and legal requirements for the UK, that is GDPR in general, Data Security and Protection Toolkit (NHS) and Cyber essentials (NHS).
I don't already use the NHS App, but it sounds like it’s a helpful tool. How can I find out more about this?
Support to Help You Use the New System
I need help submitting a form and there is nobody I can ask to do this for me. How can I submit my request for an appointment?
You can come to the practice or contact us by telephone and we will be happy to help you or submit your request for you.
I could not access the service with my desktop computer or other device. The form looks odd and cannot really be read properly – what is wrong?
Your Internet browser may be out of date. Try updating your Internet browser to the latest version. If this does not help, you can try to use the service with an alternative device. If this still does not help you can contact the practice by telephone and a Care Navigator will be happy to submit your request for you. Or you can visit the practice and use one of our devices to submit your request.
I would like to use the new online system but I am not confident online. Can you help?
Yes we can help you with this. We run regular free Digital Health drop in sessions and a Digital Cafe, which you are welcome to come along to. There’s no need to book an appointment, just turn up and we can help.
I don’t have a device that I can use to access online services, such as your new system. Can you help?
Yes. You can come into the practice and use one of our devices (available in the main atrium) to submit an online request. Or please come along to the Digital Cafe in the cafe area of the Cheese and Grain in the town centre on a Thursday from 10.00am - 11.30am and talk to one of the team about accessing a device.
I don’t have the data I need to get online. Can you help?
You are welcome to visit the practice to use one of our devices (available in the main atrium) to submit an online request. Or please come along to the Digital Cafe in the cafe area of the Cheese and Grain in the town centre on a Thursday from 10.00am - 11.30am. This may be something we can help with.
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