Why has my GP practice decided to use Practice Assist?
Many GP surgeries are oversubscribed and often have very long waiting times for appointments. Practice Assist helps to take the pressure off surgeries by providing same day telephone consultations to patients. This means more time in the schedules of practice GPs for those in urgent need and access by phone for those needing non-urgent advice, support and prescriptions.
Do phone consults make a difference?
Yes, results show that approximately 70 per cent of cases can be resolved over the phone.
What is the process?
Patients call their local GP surgery as normal. Any patients with a clear requirement for a face-to-face appointment – for example, vaccinations or examinations – are booked in directly.
However, the majority of patients calling for a GP appointment can be managed over the phone. These patients are given a timed slot for a call back with a qualified Practice Assist GP, who will try to resolve their problems remotely. If required, our clinician will then make any necessary onward referrals, either to the patient's practice, or to other services.
The process can be modified according to the needs of each individual practice; they are in control of which patients are booked for telephone consultations.
Are the people on the phone qualified?
Yes, all our GPs and medical staff are medically trained, certified and UK-registered. Meet our Practice Assist team.
What can Practice Assist GPs do over the phone?
During a telephone consultation Practice Assist GPs can give medical advice, process prescriptions and medications, make certain referrals on to specialist healthcare professionals, or other services, and book you in to see someone at the surgery if needed.
What are the opening times?
We offer medical support from 8am to 8pm on weekdays – but check with your GP as there may be specific days scheduled for consultation.
What are the benefits?
You can receive medical assistance within hours, wherever you are - be it at work, home or out and about, meaning you don’t have to take time out of your schedule to visit your surgery.
Does it cost me anything?
This is an NHS service and so it is free for you to use. The only cost is the call to your surgery: these are charged at a local rate and are included in most mobile call packages.
What if I don’t want to give out my information over the phone?
We understand that some things are personal and you may not want to share them with others. However, our GPs are here to help you and anything you tell them is in the strictest confidence with total confidentiality. You can opt out of the service if you wish: just notify your practice.
What if I need to see a GP face-to-face?
Practice Assist GPs will assess your situation and, if you need to see your practice GP, they will book you in there and then – usually for a same-day appointment. This will save you waiting days or weeks to be seen.
Can I opt out?
We have very few people requesting to opt out due to the convenience of the service, but yes it is possible. Please contact your practice if you wish to do so.
Our team is ready to answer any questions. Contact us.