Top 10 tips for getting the best from the practice
(written by Patient Participation Group)
The first thing to remember is that we are all on the same side. The staff at the practice, doctors, nurses, receptionists etc. want us to be well & so do we!
If we work together, we will get the best results.
Plan ahead where possible. The practice finds it hard to organise last minute requests for repeat prescriptions or letters as they need to be processed. Please leave at least a couple of days before you collect your prescription. Better still, if you have online access to your records you can order your medication from home, have it sent to the pharmacy & they will deliver............If you want more help with getting access to your records online then ask at reception or look at all the information on the website.
You probably know that the busiest time at the practice is first thing in the morning when patients are wanting to make emergency appointments. If you have a non-urgent issue.......medication query or blood test enquiry, you will find it much easier to get through if you ring later in the morning or in the afternoon. Remember, if you have online access to your records, you can check blood tests & letters at home without needing to phone the surgery.
If you are not well, then ask for help. Don't suffer in silence. A cold, chest infection or flu may well resolve itself after a few days but if you have a problem then make an appointment. Many things are better treated earlier rather than later.
If you don't need to use an appointment, then let the practice know as soon as possible so someone else can use it. This won't help you at the time but if everyone does it then there will be no wasted appointments & more precious appointments to go round. Do check though that you need an appointment. Sometimes we can't see the reason for going back but it may be to check that everything is working well & pick up any problems if not.
Find out as much as you can about your own condition so that you can look after yourself & manage your own health. We only see the doctor for a short space of time & the rest of the time we need to make good decisions on our own!
Sometimes there is a support group with lots of experience of your condition. The practice will be very happy to put you in touch with the group if you ask them.
Think about what you want to say to the doctor & write down a few key points if it helps you to remember things that may be important.
On the practice website there is a section called "Practice services”. Select that & then choose "pre- consultation questionnaire”. This gives you some ideas about what you may want to think about before you go in to see the doctor.
Don't over order medication. Plan carefully. Drugs are expensive and there will be more money to go round if we don't waste money.
Use the machine to take your blood pressure when you are at the surgery and hand in the results, so that you & the doctors can keep an eye on things.