Due to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus, we are continually making changes and taking measures in line with guidance shared by NHS England and Public Health authorities to minimise risks associated with the virus.
Covid has changed how all practices access their GP which has led to the high use of remote consultations in Primary Care. We are not replacing face to face appointments with this and be assured that if you need a face to face appointment you can book one. Many patients have found the telephone and video consultation an extremely convenient and flexible way to access medical advice and treatment and we will continue to always offer that choice.
We Kindly ask that when you come into the surgery, please remember to wear a face covering. Measures are in place to keep patients safe from infection during their visit.
Nurse face to face appointments are also available to book. This includes Baby clinic appointments on a Wednesday morning, childhood immunisations, smear tests, dressings that cannot be done at home, blood tests, regular injections and ear syringing (if safe to do so).
If you need a same day urgent appointment, or have an urgent enquiry or if you simply wish to speak to a Receptionist, please telephone 01582 767 444 and reception staff will be there to help.
We have routine bookable appointments Monday to Friday from 08:00 until 12:00 and 14:30 until 18:30 with doctors, nurses, minor illness clinicians, first contact physiotherapists, and health care assistants.
A % of telephone appointments are available to book online however these do get booked up very quickly. To book a face to face appointment or a quick alternative way to book, you may find it easier to use our ECONSULT service (see Home page).
Please be aware we may monitor, record, store and use any telephone, email or other communication with you in order to check any instructions given to us, for training purposes, for crime prevention and to improve the quality of our services.
Please ask a receptionist to organise a translator if one is required for your appointment.
If you wish to use our online services please either register for 'Patient Access' or download the NHS App which also includes your Covid Passport.
Please click on the following link PATIENT ACCESS to register or sign into Patient Access or read the following guide: Patient Access Registration Guide
Here is a video explaining how to contact your GP remotely, please click on this link: Remote Consultations
We take into account that not all illnesses are planned. We therefore have same day urgent telephone appointments available in the morning and in the afternoon. Please ring at 08:00 to request a morning appointment and ring at 12:00 for an afternoon appointment. The morning GP appointments start at 09:30 and are booked in call order. The afternoon GP appointments start at 15:30 and are also booked in call order.
As you can imagine 08:00 and 12:00 can be very busy times on the surgery phones and although we have 5 receptionists answering the calls sometimes this can incur a delay in getting to your call. 20-25 minutes wait on the phone is not unusual when dealing with the huge volume of calls we are presently dealing with.
If calling for a routine telephone appointment or for general advice, please do not call first thing in a morning to allow for those in need of more urgent care to get through quickly. As an alternative please use our ECONSULT Service. You can use this service for any request you would have usually requested over the phone. Its quick to use and you do not need a login.
The surgery continues to offer extended hours on:
- Monday evening to 20:00
- Friday morning from 07:00
- Every 3rd Saturday morning
These are all telephone consultation appointments only and are especially beneficial to those patients who find daytime appointments difficult. Our patients can book these times over the phone in advance only.
The general surgery phone is not open during these extended hours.
Late Arrival for Appointments
If a patient is late for a routine appointment, it is practice policy to ask the patient to make another appointment, however, the doctor or nurse may still see you if time allows.
The Elms Medical Practice is a busy one and time-keeping is essential if we are to provide patients with the service they expect. We do ask for your patience if the health care professional you have an appointment with is running late.
We endeavour to run to time but the nature of our work does not always allow this to be possible.
A chaperone is there for the patient and clinician for reassurance and support.
This policy is designed to assist patients to make an informed choice about their examinations and consultations.
If you would like a chaperone present during your consultation, then please advise the receptionist when booking your appointment or when checking in or advise the clinician you are consulting with.
Download Policy Here
If you cannot attend an appointment for any reason please inform us as soon as possible in order for us to give the slot to someone else. We are seeing a big increase in patients not attending their appointments and so we do ask that when patients receive their reminder for their appointment they do type back CANCEL if they no longer wish to attend. This automatically cancels their appointment and makes it free again for another patient to book into.
Please telephone after 14:15 pm and our Reception staff will help you.
Our Receptionists coordinate appointments for blood tests. These are predominantly done through our phlebotomy service based at the old Harpenden Memorial Hospital next door to the practice or can be done at the ST Albans Hospital or if a GP requests a more urgent blood test they can be done by our own Health Care Assistant Kerry. Patients will need a form signed by a doctor which they will take with them to the booked appointment. Each test varies in how long the pathology lab can process them so please be aware that results can take between 3 - 7 days to return and then get processed within the practice. Receptionists are able to give you the results but they will not be able to translate the findings. If patients wish details of their results they can themselves either collect in person from the practice or the receptionist, with the patients full consent, can email to the registered address on their medical record.
x-ray and ultrasound results can take a while to get the results back so please allow for around 3 weeks.
Please be aware that all calls are recorded for training and monitoring purposes
Referrals to a Specialist
This leaflet describes what you can expect to happen when your GP refers you to see a specialist or consultant, at a hospital or a community health centre. When Seeking a Specialist Leaflet
Other Sources of Help:
There are a number of ways to get health advice and care if you, a family member or a friend feel ill.
Visit the NHS website– for advice and information on how to look after yourself and your family. It covers thousands of illnesses and conditions: nhs.uk
Visit a pharmacist– for expert advice and low-cost medicines to ease your symptoms and help treat your condition. Pharmacists are trained to spot worrying symptoms that require urgent medical help. Every area has a late opening pharmacy and most have consulting rooms to allow for bookable appointments which surgeries can book into and where you can also ask for advice in private. Go to nhs.uk to find your nearest open pharmacist
Visit 111.nhs.ukor call 111 – for free, round the clock help when your GP is closed, when it’s an urgent but not a life-threatening 999 situation, or if you are unsure where to go to get the right help for your medical condition. You can telephone 111 to get straight through to mental health advice.