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Booking an Appointment 

Routine and Emergency Appointments

Appointments with a doctor or nurse are available every weekday.  Routine appointments can be made by telephoning the surgery on 01362 852800 from 8.30am to book for the next working day.  Alternatively, you can come into the surgery when the practice opens at 8am or book online from 7.30am.  Please be aware that only a select number of appointments are available on the online system and if not previously used you will need to bring photo ID into the surgery to obtain a username and password.  Appointments with the nurses, healthcare assistants, phlebotomists and practitioners are not available on the online booking system.

Please note that online access is only available from the UK.  It will not work if patients try to log in from abroad.

Appointments are booked at intervals of 10 minutes for the majority of our clinicians and we try our utmost to keep to these times.  However, we are sure that you will understand that there will be occasions when this overruns.

We ask patients to ensure that separate appointments are made if more than one member of the family is to be seen.

Patients are registered under one specific doctor but you are free to see whichever GP you wish at the practice;  having said this, to keep a continuity of care, we ask that you continue to see the same doctor for ongoing medical conditions.  If you alternate between doctors for the same period of illness it becomes difficult to get an overall picture of your condition.  We do recognise that there are constraints with the appointment system however we ask that you try to stick to this where possible.  Follow up appointments (where the doctor requests to see you) can be pre-booked in advance.  We are unable to change your registered doctor unless it is under extreme circumstances however, as mentioned you are not confined to seeing your registered general practitioner.  If you believe that you wish to re-register with another GP under an exceptional circumstance, please put your request in writing to our Operations Manager (Trudy Dye), we cannot guarantee that your request will be met but the issue will be investigated thoroughly and a decision will be made.

We have assessment/emergency appointments for patients suffering from an acute (urgent) medical problem that are available to book on the day.  It may not be possible to see the doctor of your choice and we aim to book these sorts of consultations with our Emergency Care Practitioner John, our Nurse Practitioner Jen or our Physicians Associate Henry. (Please help us ans other patients needing urgent attention by not requesting repeat medical certificates, repeat prescriptions, signing of paperwork or referrals and ongoing medical problems in assessment appointments).

Please be aware that our doctors have asked the reception team to ask for a brief outline of your medial problem.  The reception staff are members of the practice team; they have seen trained to ask certain questions in order to ensure that you receive the most appropriate medical care, from the most appropriate health care professional, at the most appropriate time.  Like all members of practice staff, the reception team are bound by confidentiality and any information given by you is treated as strictly confidential.  If you feel that an issue is very private and you do not wish to discuss your matter then this will be respected. 

Telephone Appointments

If you wish to speak with a doctor or nurse for medical advice please leave an up-to-date contact number with reception and a brief message outlining what you wish to speak to the clinician about.  

Please note that our GP's telephone clinics are at lunchtime and therefore they are unable to take calls in the afternoon unless it is an urgent matter, please make this clear to the receptionist when calling.

Due to workload pressures the clinician will only be able to try calling once and it will show as a withheld number, so please ensure that you keep your phone to hand.

Home Visits 

Requests for home visits should be made before 10.30am if possible.

A doctor or nurse may phone you back as the matter may be able to be dealt with by telephone advice or more appropriate to be dealt with by another clinician (locality nurse practitioner/nurse practitioner/emergency care practitioner/physicians associate).

Home visits are only available for patients who are unable to attend the surgery as they are housebound because of an illness or disability.  Where possible we prefer to see and treat our patients in the surgery as there are better facilities and equipment to provide medical care.

Our surgery does not consider that lack of transport to the surgery is a valid reason for requesting a home visit.

When calling to request a home visit, please ensure that you provide a brief reason as to why the doctor needs to visit, this is especially important if you are calling on behalf of a relative or friend.  We will also ask you to provide contact information and confirmation of the patient's current address.  This information helps the doctor to effectively deal with visit requests.

Please note that unless it is a genuine medical emergency, the doctor is unlikely to interrupt a consultation to speak to you. They will ask our receptionist or secretary to let you know that they will return your call as soon as they can after their surgery session has finished.

Referrals

The majority of referrals made by the practice are done so via the Electronic Referral System (ERS), formerly known as Choose and Book.  This allows you to decide which hospital you would like to attend for your appointment from the list of available providers.  It will then allow you to book your appointment for a mutually convenient day and time.  If there are no available appointments then you may be placed on a waiting list and the hospital will contact you when there is availability.  Please contact your chosen provider if you have any queries.

Some outpatient clinics may have long waiting times.  If you are concerned that you have not been contacted by the hospital then please contact the bookings department via the hospital switchboard.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital - 01603 286286

Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Kings Lynn) - 01553 613613

When speaking to the switchboard ask to go through to the relevant department and ask for either 'first appointments' if you have not yet been seen by that department or, 'follow up appointments' if you are waiting to be seen by the consultant after an initial appointment.

The surgery has no say over hospital waiting times unfortunately and if the hospital deems a matter as routine then we cannot change this decision.

Special Care Dentistry Referrals 

What is Special Care Dentistry?

This service offers dental treatment for children and adults who have a physical, sensory, intellectual, mental, medical, emotional or social impairment or disability (or a combination of these) who, because of their condition, cannot be seen in General Dental Practice.  (Please note that NHS dental charges still apply to this service).

Please note that referrals to the Community Dental Services has been made unavailable to General Practice.  If you require a referral to this service then you will need to go through a dentist.  If you already have a dentist please contact them for a referral.  If you are not registered with a dentist, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Dentists/LocationSearch/3 to find a local service.  It is recommended that you call the dental surgery directly to check if they have availability as the website is not a live page and may not be accurate at that point in time.  Please note that this is out of the hands of General Practice and should you have problems with a referral, please contact NHS England and NHS Improvement on 0300 311 2233 or email england.contactus@nhs.net.

Transport 

Community Car

The Dereham Community Car Scheme is sponsored by Breckland Council and Dereham Town Council and is available only to those people who live in the parish of Dereham (including Toftwood) and who satisfy certain conditions such as being unable to make essential journeys by public or private hire transport.

The organiser can be contacted on 07827 972163 between 9am and 1pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays (messages cannot be left).

Fares are payable at the start of a journey where a set fare applies.  Passengers will be charged at the rates on the standard journey list.  Any journey not on the standard list will be charged per mile subject to a minimum fare.  Further information on fare prices can be found by contacting the scheme on the above number.

All persons under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult.

Please be aware that the surgery cannot book community car transport on behalf of patients.

Further queries about the scheme can be answered by Dereham Town Council at the Assembly Rooms, Ruthen Place, Dereham, NR19 2TX or telephone 01362 693821.  You can also click here.

Transport plus is a community car scheme that covers the majority of Norfolk. Telephone - 0344 800 8020.

Hospital Transport

Eligibility for hospital transport is based purely on clinical need - this is generally assessed by the hospital whom you are being referred to or the transport provider.

Hospital transport is provided by ERS medical.  Telephone - 0333 240 4100.

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