Who to See
Patients are free to see the clinician of their choice, please ask the receptionist upon booking for your preferred clinician’s availability. For urgent on the day bookings, we cannot guarantee your preferred choice of clinician will be available, however we will endeavour to book routine future bookings with your preferred choice of clinician.
Making an Appointment
Access to services at the surgery is by appointment only. There are a number of methods in which you can make an appointment at the surgery:
- Telephone the reception during reception opening hours on 01923 673060
- Use the online booking facility
- Make an appointment with the receptionist at the reception desk
We operate an ‘on the day’ appointment system whereby a limited number of appointment slots are reserved for on the day booking. These appointments are reserved for conditions of an urgent nature only.
To arrange an urgent 'on the day' appointment we request that patients telephone the surgery when the lines open at 08:00 or call into the surgery when the doors open at 08:00 for a morning appointment. If you call mid-morning and all the morning appointments have been booked, we may ask you to call back in the afternoon from 14.00 to arrange an 'on the day' appointment for the afternoon. We offer these appointments on a time order basis only and therefore cannot guarantee your choice of clinician or time of appointment.
The doctors have asked the reception staff to take a brief description of the nature of illness so that an appropriate appointment can be allocated.
Alternatively, we are also able to offer appointments at The HUB. This service offers appointments with a Doctor in the evening (Mon-Fri) and all day Saturday and Sunday. This appointment availability bridges the gap between urgent and routine appointments and assists GP Practices across the area to meet demand.
Routine appointments with all our clinicians can usually be booked up to 4 weeks in advance. If your problem is not of an urgent nature, please make a routine appointment.
To arrange a routine appointment you can telephone the reception team, use the online booking service or call into the surgery. Your clinician may ask you to make a further routine appointment upon leaving a consultation which can usually be done so at the reception desk upon leaving.
Sometimes upon requesting an appointment, our reception team may advise that you are best suited to a call back and do not require an appointment. A message will be passed to the clincian who will then either call you back with advice, ask that you be given an urgent or routine appointment or ask reception staff to call back and relay the advice.
Appointments with GPs are booked at 10 minute intervals (GP Registrar and Advanced Nurse Practitioner appointments may be at longer intervals). Appointments with the nursing team vary depending on what the appointment is for.
We request that patients discuss one issue during their consultation to ensure that adequate time and attention can be given to listening to you, assessing you and diagnosing your problem. You may be advised to make another appointment to discuss any additional problems you have so please discuss your most important problem
Please note that clinicians only see one patient per consultation. Please make a separate appointment for each person needing to be seen.
Not Registered for Online Services?
During any consultation at the surgery you may request a trained, DBS checked chaperone to accompany you. On occasions, the clinician may request that a chaperone is present. A chaperone is witness to the consultation and will be required to have view of the patient during any examination taking place. A chaperone can also be requested simply to provide support such as holding a hand during an examination if the patient feels anxious.
Details of the chaperone will be documented in your medical record. Our chaperones include all clinicians and some members of the admin team. All are trained in the role of a chaperone. We cannot guarantee who will be the allocated chaperone as this will depend on staff availability at the time of your appointment.
If you require a referral to a specialist, the doctor will advise you during the consultation of the type of referral needed and the department to which you will be referred. You may be given an indication of waiting time for an appointment. You clinician will tell you the department you have been referred to though the specialist you will be assigned to may not be known at the time of referral.
If you have any queries regarding the status of a referral that is currently in the system, please contact the appropriate department at the hospital or secondary care. The practice does not follow up or chase appointments and this remains the responsibility of the patient.
If you require an X-ray you will usually be referred to Watford General/Hemel or St Albans hospitals for this and can attend the X-ray department between 08:30 and 17:00 at either hospital as a walk-in patient within 4 weeks of the request being sent by the GP.
If you are referred for other Radiology scans such as CT, Ultrasound, MRI etc you will receive an appointment for these from the hospital.
Blood tests require a blood form to be presented. We hold a weekly phlebotomy (blood) clinic at Fieldhead Surgery on Wednesday mornings. Appointments are required so please contact reception to book. Alternatively you can attend Watford General/Hemel or St Albans hospitals for your blood test.
The practice can arrange Patient Transport however, this is now generally allocated to patients who are housebound only.
If you are housebound due to illness or disability we offer a home visit service. We aim to visit usually between 12:00 – 14:00 and therefore ask that all home visit requests are made as early as possible but ideally by 11:00 am. If a home visit request is made after 11:00 am, the doctor on-call will be notified and will decide whether or not the visit will take place on the same day. It may be that patients may be visited by only a GP or Paramedic
All home visits are at the discretion of the doctors.
Upon requesting a home visit, the receptionist will ask for details of the problem to ensure that the doctor can prioritise the home visit and to ensure you receive the most appropriate level of care at the most appropriate time.
You may be visited by a GP or Paramedic. Whilst we try to accommodate patient preference of clinician, this may not always be possible.
Please Note: Lack of transport to the surgery is NOT a valid reason for a home visit!
Cancellations & Reminders
If you no longer require an appointment please cancel it.
We ask that patients give at least 30 minutes notice of a cancellation to ensure we can offer the appointment slot to someone else.
You will receive an appointment reminder text message and this allows you the facility of cancelling your appointment by text back. This is a simple and easy process and ensures that your appointment can be given to someone else. If you have access to online booking services, you can cancel your appointment online. Alternatively please telephone the reception team or call in to the surgery.
Cancelling an appointment with less than 30 minutes notice will be classified as a ‘did not attend’ (DNA) on your record (see Non-Attendance section of the website for our DNA policy)
We ask that patients arrive shortly before the appointment time. If you anticipate that you will arrive late for your appointment please try to contact the surgery in advance, to let us know. We may still be able to see you on the same day, if we are pre-warned of your anticipated late arrival.
If you arrive more than 10 minutes late for an appointment and have not given us prior warning of this, please inform the receptionist upon your arrival as the self-check in screen will prevent the self-check in functionality. Depending on the type of appointment that you have booked, we may ask that you re-book your appointment. If you have an urgent appointment or deem your condition to be of a urgent nature, we will request a decision from the clinician as to whether you can still be seen on the same day. This may be at a different time and we may ask that you wait or come back later. The decision of the clinician is final and the receptionist cannot change this decision once it has been made!