Duty Doctor Service

For When You Have an Urgent Medical Problem

This service offers you quick access to your GP practice, where they know you and have your full medical record. We recommend this service instead of going to A&E at the hospital

  1. Phone the surgery and explain to reception that you have an urgent problem
  2. Reception can then put you on the Duty Doctor list
  3. The Duty Doctor will ring you back within 2 hours
  4. The Duty Doctor will decide with you what you need, which could be:
  • Advice over the phone
  • An appointment at the surgery
  • A home visit if you are really not well
  • A referral to another service

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Duty Doctor Plan

  • We have employed extra doctor sessions to enable us to offer telephone surgeries in addition to our normal face to face surgeries.
  • With the start of this scheme this has resulted in the equivalent of an extra two sessions per day via telephone consultations. The majority of this is in the morning. However there are approximately 20 percent of telephone appointments in the afternoon and evening.
  • We also ensure that there are several face to face appointments reserved on the day specifically to enable a doctor to slot a patient in urgently if the clinician feels it is appropriate after the telephone consultation. Thus we can respond to the patient and professional promptly.
  • If there is an urgent telephone call and someone needs to speak to the doctor immediately this is put through to the duty doctor to deal with.
  • All home visit requests are triaged by the duty doctor. If it is deemed appropriate, the duty doctor will organise a home visit to be done by him or herself or by a colleague.
  • All consultation activity is recorded on the patient’s medical record as either, home visit, telephone consultation or discussion with colleague.
  • We have employed extra doctor sessions on a locum basis initially to help with this and Dr Goel has also increased his clinical workload to provide additional telephone surgeries.
  • We have a separate clearly visible telephone on the senior receptionist desk. All admin staff is trained to be aware of when the phone rings. The phone is transferred or taken to the duty doctor there and then. The duty doctor answers the telephone immediately. If the duty doctor is unable to take the call immediately, the doctor is informed of the call; the contact details is inserted into the appointment list before the next patient so that the doctor can call as soon as possible. At a minimum, within the specified time of 20 minutes for urgent calls.
  • We will monitor the uptake of the telephone consultations and home visits to ensure that they are performed within a reasonable timescale.