Appointments

Important Information

INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS REGARDING WUHAN NOVEL CORONAVIRUS INFECTION

If you have a new continuous cough or a high temperature of more than 37.8 degrees celsius or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, stay at home for 10 days. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms.You do not need to call NHS111 or contact your GP to go into self-isolation. Look after your symptoms at home: rest and drink plenty of fluids, take paracetamol or ibuprofen, cover the mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, put used tissues in a bin and wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. If you feel you can’t cope with your symptoms at home or your condition gets worse use the 111 online service at 111.nhs.uk or telephone 111 if you do not have internet access. Please do not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital.

The latest information for members of the public can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Information on COVID-19 in 45 languages

Guidance and information for patients during the COVID-19 lockdown

Changes to appointment system

WORKING DIFFERENTLY TO MATCH OUR PATIENTS’ NEEDS

Bicester practices are continuing to improve their appointment systems. 

As many of you will be aware, the coronavirus pandemic has necessitated a shift away from a largely face-to-face GP consultation model with pre-bookable appointments to a telephone-based system.

These changes have been made to keep you and our NHS staff safe and there is a new balance set up between services and patients’ needs to visit a GP surgery. We are now planning to continue to improve and adapt these systems for the medium and longer term.

The changes that we have made so far have enabled us to respond to the majority of demands for care on the day when patients contact us. This has meant an end to potentially long waits for an appointment. We all want to continue to enjoy the benefits of these changes whilst improving access to your usual doctor and where necessary to enable people to be seen for a face-to-face examination. At Bicester Health Centre we are planning to move forward with a primarily same-day access system for patient care. There will no longer be pre-bookable future appointments. To make things clear for all patients, we have come up with a simple instruction guide for accessing your GP services:

1) Where possible, particularly for non-urgent matters, please contact the surgery before 12.30pm on the days when your usual GP will be working.

2) Contact the surgery before 12:30pm for all routine matters.

3) “eConsultations” are an effective and preferred way of contacting the practice for all matters. This helps keep phone lines free for emergencies. This secure form of communication has built in clinical triage (you will be asked questions about your condition when you complete the form) which helps rule out important or dangerous conditions that may require you to be seen more urgently. The system also allows you to provide all the information you feel is important at a time of your choosing, without being rushed. A clinician will email, text or ring you in response within one working day, or sooner if you indicate that this is urgent. Please keep your phone close at hand to reduce the possibility of you missing a return contact from the clinician.

4) You may still telephone the practice for any non-urgent matters before 12.30pm. Urgent matters can be telephoned through later than this, but there is no guarantee that you will receive a response on the same day. This will be at the discretion of the clinician.

If you telephone the practice our Care Coordinators will ask you for more information to help find the right person to address your needs. This may not be your GP as all Bicester practices now have a range of staff including Clinical Pharmacists, Advanced Nurse Practitioners and other clinicians who may be more appropriate to deal with your problem. You may even be directed away from the surgery, for example to the optician services providing care for eye conditions, or the community pharmacies who can provide a variety of medical services including antibiotic treatments for simple cystitis. Please help our Care Coordinators by answering their questions.Please keep your phone close at hand to reduce the possibility of you missing a return contact from the clinician.

We hope these changes will continue to keep you safe and our NHS and primary care services running efficiently and safely and that we can respond to the majority of clinical needs within one working day.

If there are areas in which you feel we could improve what we are doing please contact the surgery or our patient participation group to give your constructive feedback.

Need to set up GP Online Access?

GP Online Access is a secure, simple and quick way to view, book or cancel appointments, order a prescription and track its progress and to view your medical record, including test results, details of consultations, allergies and all medication you have been prescribed.

Setting up your account is simple. First, read through the instructions on how to start, then visit the registration page to enter your details and create your account. Once your account has been created, your GP practice will check the details and activate your full access. NOTE: although the instructions advise you to bring a form of ID to the practice, in almost all cases one of our clinicians will be able to vouch for you from the information you provide when setting up your GP Online Access Account. Unless we explicitly ask you to do so, it is not necessary to bring identification documents to the practice.

How to make an appointment

You can book an appointment on any working day - this is both for routine and urgent matters. Here's how you book:

Please follow these simple steps to help you access care quickly and safely:

1) Where possible, particularly for non-urgent matters, please contact the surgery on the days when your usual GP will be working. This information can be found on  your practice website.

2) Contact the surgery before 12.30pm for all routine matters.

 3) “eConsultations” are an effective and preferred way of contacting the practice for all matters.

 4) You may still telephone the practice for any non-urgent matters before 12.30pm. Urgent matters can be telephoned through later than this, but there is no guarantee that you will receive a response on the same day. This will be at the discretion of the clinician.

If you telephone the practice our Care Coordinators will ask you for more information to help find the right person to address your needs. Please help our Care Coordinators by answering their questions.Please keep your phone close at hand to reduce the possibility of you missing a return contact from the clinician.

Walk-in Patients

Please note the surgery does not provide a walk-in service. You will be asked to follow the procedure above to make an appointment, even if it is urgent.

Nursing Team appointments

Some nursing appointments can be made online, or via the NHS App or by telephoning the health centre on 01869 249333 between 08:30 and 13:00 or 14:00 and 18:00 during the week. To book non-urgent appointments please phone between 11:30 and 16:00 where possible. The surgery is not open on Saturdays or Sundays. For urgent care when the surgery is closed, please call 111.

When you call for an appointment, please help the Care Co-ordinator find the most suitable appointment for you. The doctors have asked that you give details of the reason for the appointment so that you can be directed to the most appropriate clinician who can deal with your problem. The Care Co-ordinator is bound by exactly the same confidentiality rules as the doctors. Their only interest in knowing about why you need the appointment is to find the soonest most appropriate appointment for you, so your help and cooperation is very much appreciated.

The Bicester Health Centre Patient Participation Group have compiled a leaflet which you may find helpful to make the most of your appointment.

Arriving for an Appointment

Please arrive in good time, but to minimise contact with other people we recommend you do not arrive more than 5 minutes before your appointment time. Please book in with the care co-ordinator at the front door who will then escort you to the area where the clinician you are seeing is working. For your protection, please note that staff at the practice will be wearing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in public areas. All clinicians carry out examinations wearing PPE which includes visor, facemask, gloves and aprons.

Please note that parking space is restricted at the practice. Alternative parking is available nearby.

If you cannot attend for your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible in order that your appointment can be offered to another patient. You can cancel appointments online, via the NHS App, by replying "CANCEL" to the reminder SMS text message we send you, or by calling the reception.

The main switchboard is closed between 13:00 and 14:00 each day.

The doctors and nurses are not generally in attendance at this time although a duty doctor and nurse are on call. In the event of an emergency which will not wait until we re-open, please telephone 01869 322750 (between 13:00 and 14:00 only).

Training Practice

A GP registrar (a qualified hospital doctor) usually joins us each year to gain experience of general practice before being allowed to practice independently. In addition medical students from University College London Medical School, together with student nurses and midwives, join us to experience general practice.

Patients will be asked to give consent if it is proposed to video their consultation for training purposes or if a student is to be present to observe.

Home Visits

Whilst we encourage our patients to come to the surgery, where we have the proper equipment and facilities available, we do appreciate this is not always possible. In this respect, if you feel you need a home visit, you can help us by calling reception before 10:00am. The doctor will usually telephone you to discuss your problem before making the visit.

You may only request a home visit if you are housebound or are too ill to visit the practice. Your GP may ask the Primary Care Visiting Service to visit you at home if they think that your medical condition requires it and will also decide how urgently a visit is needed. Please bear this in mind and be prepared to provide suitable details to enable the doctor to schedule house calls.

The Primary Care Visiting Service is made up of a team of emergency care clinicians working closely with GP practices and other community health and social care services. The team provide home visits to patients on behalf of their GP. The aim is to identify the need for early support before a patient’s condition deteriorates and they need to be admitted to hospital.

You can also be visited at home by a community nurse if you are referred by your GP. You should also be visited at home by a health visitor if you have recently had a baby or if you are newly registered with a GP and have a child under five years.

Cancellations & Reminders

Cancel an Appointment

It is important that you inform the practice if you are unable to attend your appointment, this will allow that appointment to be offered to another patient. If you fail to notify the practice that you are unable to attend, you may be sent a letter informing you that you have defaulted from your appointment. Persistent defaulters maybe removed from the practice patient list.

You can also view or cancel appointments using your online access acount, or reply to the text appointment reminder with the single word "CANCEL", which will automatically cancel your appointment.

Text Reminder Service

We have a texting service which allows you to receive confirmation and reminders about your appointments.

To have this service you just need to tell us on the telephone or at the reception desk. You can also register by completing a consent form.

Please remember to update your contact details with us when you change address, telephone numbers and email address.

Opening Times

Please select a site

Hospital Appointments

If your GP has referred you for treatment at a hospital, you will usually be asked to book the hospital appointment yourself at a time that is suitable for you. 

Book your appointment on line or by telephone

If you have been referred to a hospital or clinic through the NHS e-Referral Service, booking your appointment online is easy, safe and secure.

You will need:

  • The booking reference number stated on the booking letter
  • The password you received from your referrer (e.g. GP practice)

If you have been referred but do not have your booking reference number or password, please call 01869 249333 and ask to speak to the practice secretary.

Online - browse to https://www.ebs.ncrs.nhs.uk/

By Telephone - Call The Appointment Line (TAL): 0345 60 88 88 8 open every day 7.00am - 10.00pm (Textphone services are available on 0345 8 50 22 50)

How to Choose Your Hospital or Clinic

In some cases you will have more than one clinic or hospital to choose from. The list of options will be the same whether you decide to book online or over the phone.

Before you select your clinic and appointment slot, consider all the options such as:

  • How long do I have to wait for my first appointment?
  • How quickly can I start my treatment?
  • How far away is the hospital or clinic?

In most cases you have the legal right to choose the hospital or service you'd like to go to. This will include many private hospitals, as long as they provide services to the NHS.

For more information on GP referrals download the leaflet below:

What happens when you are referred by your GP to see a specialist.pdf

PALS Contact Details by Hospital

John Radcliffe Hospital

Tel: 01865 221473

Email: PALS@ouh.nhs.uk

 

 

Churchill Hospital

Tel: 01865 235855

Email: PALS@ouh.nhs.uk

 

 

Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre

Tel: 01865 738126

Email: PALS@ouh.nhs.uk

 

 

Horton General Hospital

Tel: 01295 229259

Email: PALS@ouh.nhs.uk