Monday, 21 February 2022

Accessing your GP Practice- latest from Soutporth & Formby CCG

Accessing your GP practice

All GP practices in Sefton are open and continuing to provide services, as they have done throughout the pandemic. They are also seeing a rise in demand which is higher than ever before meaning they are treating and dealing with a record number of patients - please be patient and kind to staff.

Please contact your practice by phone or online to begin with. You will be assessed and offered a phone or video appointment, or a face-to-face appointment if there is a clinical need and it is safe to do so.

Receptionists are there to help get the right professional to see you as soon as possible. To help them do this they may need to ask questions about your condition. Please be assured they treat your information in same strict confidence that medical professionals do.


The majority of common conditions can be assessed and diagnosed by your doctor by telephone or video consultation. We understand that these ways of being seen can be unfamiliar but they are necessary to keep you safe.

Everyone accessing or visiting healthcare facilities must continue to wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules to keep our most vulnerable patients and staff safe.

Do not visit your GP if you have coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating. Follow the advice on the NHS website here.

GP practices are seeing a rise in demand for their services more than ever before and are working hard to help everyone in Sefton, so please be kind and patient with your GP staff. We ask for your support during this very busy time for practices.

Four ways to seek healthcare advice from your GP practice

  1. Visit your GP practice website and complete a confidential online Econsult form during normal opening hours to request advice or treatment. You will receive a response as soon as possible, usually within two working days. Online forms should not be used for very urgent medical problems.
  2. Call your practice to arrange an appointment. You will usually be assessed by a health professional or a member of the practice team on the telephone first, with face-to-face care arranged if clinically needed. If you have a preference about how to access care you can discuss it with your practice.
  3. For urgent issues or out of hours, you can also call the NHS on 111 or go online to seek NHS advice
  4. Download the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions and get health advice.


Top tips for making the most of your video and telephone appointments

 The way people access healthcare has changed a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic. One way of accessing an appointment is by using video and telephone appointments.


We know for some people, speaking to a doctor, nurse or other healthcare practitioner via video or on the phone can be daunting. So, to support you to get the most out your online or phone consultation, the following are some top tips on how best to prepare the technology, environment and yourself for the call.


The environment:

  • Find somewhere quiet and private
  • Try and limit the distractions around you. Using headphones can help with this.
  • Try to have a light on your face so you can be seen and avoid having a window or lights behind you
  • Have any hospital or GP letters that you may need with you and a pen and paper to write things down
  • Make sure you have a list of your medication to hand in case you are asked


The technology:

  • Test any links you have been sent prior to the appointment and familiarise yourself with the platform
  • Make sure you have enough battery power and your power cable is plugged in
  • When on video calls, check your microphone and camera are working and that you have a good Wi-Fi connection where you are
  • When on phone calls, check your signal and move to a place where it is strongest if possible
  • Switch to hands free, this will make it easier to take notes of the consultation
  • Have a backup plan in mind, should your technology fail you


Before the call

  • Take the time to write down in advance your symptoms and how serious you think they are, the questions you would like answered and the concerns on your mind
  • Get ready for the call with plenty of time, don’t be rushed
  • Try not to book anything straight after the call, in case it runs over time
  • Make yourself a drink
  • Ask someone for help to set up the technology
  • You can ask someone to be with you for support if you would find that useful. This person could even translate or take notes for you
  • Ask for a different appointment date or time if the one you have been given isn’t convenient for you
  • Ask for an interpreter if you need one, as everyone is entitled to one


During the call

  • Ask for the persons name, job title and number to call if you lose connection. Write them down so you don’t forget
  • Tell the person you’re speaking to what you would like to get out of the consultation
  • Check your questions off the list to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything
  • Look at the camera to show you are listening, there can sometimes be a delay online so leave a pause to make sure the person has finished speaking
  • Repeat at the end of the call what has been agreed. If you’re not happy at the end of the consultation, let them know


Attending a face-to-face appointment

If you are asked to come into the surgery for a face-to-face appointment, please remember to wear a face covering.

Measures are in place to keep you and the staff safe from infection during your visit to the surgery. If you have a disability or condition which means you cannot wear a face covering or cannot communicate with someone who is wearing a face mask, or require other adjustments before your appointment, please let the surgery know ahead of your arrival.