We are continuing to release staff to work at the vaccination clinic at Bicester Heritage and are delighted to see a good takeup for vaccinations. However the addtional pressure of staffing those clinics together with some staff being asked to self-isolate by NHS Test & Trace, and some well deserved annual leave for staff over the Summer months mean that there will be occasions when our capacity is reduced and we will not be able to offer non-urgent appointments on the same day.
We do understand that this is frustrating and are working hard to ensure that we’re able to maintain cover but please bear with us if we’re not able to see you as quickly as you would like.
It is important that you are booked in with the right clinician for your medical issue.
Whilst for most non-GP appointments you will be booked into a face-to-face appointment, for GP appointments you may be booked onto your GP’s telephone consultation list for the day.
So how does this work?
You see your usual GP … this give you continuity of care, and allows your GP to get a better understanding of any ongoing issue. You may need to see a different GP if it is in a specialist area, such as joint injections, dermatology, coil fittings or women’s health. Minor illness may be looked after by our Minor Illness nurses.
Know who your usual GP is … we send out texts periodically to let you know who your GP is. Sometimes we may need to change your usual GP to ensure that each GPs’ list size reflects the number of days they work.
Contact us on the day your GP normally works … see our “Practice Information” pages to check … If you have an urgent issue that can’t wait until you’re able to make an appointment with your GP, you will be booked in with another available GP.
Use our online eConsult … this allows your GP to review your issue and treat you more quickly. eConsult also allows you to self-refer to other health providers (physio, mental health/counselling, eye issues, weight loss. sleep issues and so on)
Contact us by 1pm … after 1pm we can only accept medically urgent issues. Remember that for medical emergencies you should contact 999.
You are added to your usual GP’s list for that day … so normally you’ll be seen the same day. Each GP normally has 30 appointments per day. If your GP’s list is full you will either be added to another GP’s / Registrar’s daily list, or be asked to call back on the next day they are working.
Your GP will contact you during the day … This may be by phone call or text so please ensure you have your phone with you. We will endeavour to call back at a time to suit you – morning or afternoon – but can’t guarantee a time. If your GP can’t resolve your issue by the information you have provided by eConsult and/or by speaking to you, they may arrange a video consultation or ask for you to come in to see them later that day. A GP will only normally need to see about 25% of patients who contact us.
There are Pre-booked Appointments for certain procedures/issue … these are normally for GP Clinics and include:
- Joint injections (not available during COVID-19)
- Minor surgery (not available during COVID-19)
- Coil fittings
- Baby 8-week health checks
- Learning Disability health checks
- Appointments requiring an interpreter
We do not offer a walk-in service for appointments
Nurse and Health Care Assistant Appointments
These can be pre-booked. They are not normally available to be booked online as different procedures need to be seen by a different specialist nurse or HCA, and require different length appointments.
Where appropriate you may be offered a telephone appointment for some reviews or asked to complete an online review form instead or prior to your appointment (pill check, travel advice/vaccinations, asthma and COPD).
Minor Illness Team (Same Day Access)
Same Day Urgent Minor Illness issues need to be booked by using our website eConsult.
Please note ONLY extremely urgent issues will be accepted after 5pm
Where this is not possible, our Patient Coordinators will complete the form on your behalf when you call. Experience shows that the patient is able to complete this a lot quicker themselves, and that frees up the Patient Coordinator to help other patients
Our Minor IllnessTeam consists of our Minor Illness trained Nurses, Pharmacist, GPs and Patient Coordinators. Our Patient Coordinators will navigate you to the correct clinician for your issue.
eConsult also gives lots of Self-Help information and provides links to the various external health providers where you can self refer: including – Minor Eye Conditions Service (MECS), Physiotherapy, Child Mental Health, NHS “Sleepio” App, Sexual Health Clinics, Counselling, and Weight Loss programmes.
If your condition needs to be reviewed by a GP, then if your usual GP is working that day you will normally be seen by them, but this cannot be guaranteed.
eConsult allows you to provide us with information about your condition without visiting or calling the surgery. You can even add pictures to help show what your issue is … this is very helpful for skin conditions and some injuries.
It allows us to quickly triage your request to the right clinician or to signpost you to the appropriate external health provider, and allows our clinicians to begin your treatment sooner.
With the information provided we will either:
- Text you the health information required.
- Call you to discuss your medical issue
- Arrange a video consultation
- Arrange a face to face consultation
We aim to respond with 2-3 hours to all Same Day Minor Illness issues.
It is important you are available that day to receive a call back from your GP and where asked to attend a face-to-face consultation.
We do not offer a walk-in service for Minor Illness appointments
Don’t forget that your community pharmacy are able to help with many minor ailments. Your Community Pharmacist provides lots of expert advice and treatments for minor ailments – please Think Pharmacy First.
This helps us free up appointments for issues that need to be seen by a GP or Clinician.
A video consultation can provide the clinician with the additional information they need without you having to visit the surgery.
A video consultation is treated just like a traditional face-to-face appointment. These are not recorded.
So how does it work?
You will need either a smart phone, tablet, or a computer with a webcam.
Your clinician will send you a text (or email) with a link.
- Simply “click” on the link to open the video software.
- Give permission to access your device camera and microphone.
- “Join” the consultation
- At the end of the consultation simply “leave” and close the link.
See the short video clip below for a demonstration.
You can contact NHS 111 by dialing 111
NHS 111 is much more than a helpline – if you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, you can call 111 to speak to a fully trained adviser.
The NHS 111 service is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a team of fully trained advisers. They will ask questions to assess your symptoms and, depending on the situation, will then:
- give you self-care advice
- connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist or GP
- book you a face-to-face appointment
- send an ambulance directly, if necessary
- direct you to the local service that can help you best with your concern
You may only request a home visit if you are housebound or are too ill to visit the Practice. Your GP will only visit you at home if they think that your medical condition requires it and they will also decide how urgently a visit is needed. Please bear this in mind and be prepared to provide suitable details to enable the GP to schedule house calls.
Your GP may direct the paramedic Primary Care Visiting Service (PCVS) to attend in the first instance. The paramedic will liaise with your doctor as appropriate to determine the appropriate treatment for your needs.
You can also be visited at home by a District Nurse if you are referred to them by your GP, and you should also be visited at home by the Health Visitor if you have recently had a baby or if you are newly registered with us and have a child under five years.
Extended Hours Access (Evening & Weekends)
GP and Nurse Evening Appointments (Telephone Only)
We provide access to GP and Nurse appointments between 6.30 pm – 8.00 pm on one evening a week on alternate days – this is either a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday.
Appointments are telephone appointments only and are used for more routine clinical issues.
- GP – appointments are booked on the day, as per our normal appointment system.
- Nurse – These can be booked in advance for issues such as asthma review, contraceptive advice/pill checks, diabetes review, or travel advice.
Saturday Morning Nurse & HCA Appointments
As part of the Bicester Pimary Care Network (PCN) Extended Hours Service patients can now make appointments for a Saturday morning.
Currently this is limited to Blood tests and Blood Pressure checks.
Appointments are booked through Patient Services as normal.
These appointments are held at the Bicester Health Centre building (opposite us).
Weekday and Saturday “Bicester HUB” GP Appointments (Telephone Only during COVID-19)
The three Bicester Practices are supported by additional “HUB” GP appointments Monday to Friday that provide additional same day appointments.
Saturday morning appointments are also available.
As the “HUB” is organised by a third party, the number of appointments available each day can vary.
If calling the practice with an urgent issue that needs to be reviewed that day, rather than waiting till when your GP is working next, then we may allocate you to a “HUB” GP.
These “HUB” appointments are located at the Bicester Health Centre (opposite us).
Routine Questions or Requests
Please use our website Online Request Forms for routine questions or requests.
This helps us to keep the phones free for urgent issues, and also allows us to find the appropriate answer to your question and get back to you by email in a timely manner.
We aim to reply to you within 2-3 working days.
How to Make an Appointment
To make an appointment you can book online or by telephone. Or use our online eConsult for minor illness issues.
Please be aware you can only book one appointment online before you have to fully register for the online services.
Patient Access / NHS APP
Online appointments are only available for you to book to go onto your usual GP’s daily list. These become available at 8am. Please note that the online appointments will show as time 20:01, 20:02, 20:03 … This is not the time of your appointment, but is a limitation of the online booking system.
If you call us, our Patient Co-ordinators will ask the reason for your appointment so that we can manage your appointment properly and book you in with the most appropriate doctor or nurse. They may also take you through an eConsult form where you will be asked further details about your issue that are then passed to the clinician.
Please be assured that all of our staff work under strict confidentiality obligations.
Appointment Text Reminder
Please ensure with have an up to date mobile phone number for you so we can send you an appointment reminder for prebooked Nurse and Health Care Assistant appointments This also allows us to contact you about annual review reminders, changes to your appointment, and updating medical records.
When you get to the Practice
Please book in using our Express Check in Screen.
It is very important that you arrive on time for your appointment – we suggest 10 mins early to give time to check in. If you arrive late, it may not be possible for your doctor or nurse to see you, or you may have to wait till the end of that session.
We try to run to time as far as possible, but sometimes the doctor or nurse may need to spend more time with a patient, or is called out on an emergency, so please bear with us if you have to wait.
You will be called by a notice appearing on the TV screen and by an announcement in the waiting room – “Mr Jones please go to Dr Scales in Room 1”.
If possible, please obtain a Weight/Height measurement and Blood Pressure reading from our automated units before seeing your clinician. These are located downstairs opposite Room 3.
If you are attending alone but would like to have a chaperone during your consultation, please let our Patient Services know when booking your appointment or when you arrive.
Do you need an Interpreter?
Language Interpreting – We are able to arrange either Telephone or face-to-face Foreign language interpretation for your consultation. Please advise Patient Services when you book your appointment. As you will appreciate we require advanced notice to arrange this. Normally appointments are given extended time to allow for this.
Deaf Interpreting – We are able to arrange for a Sign Language interpreter. Please advise Patient Services when you book your appointment. As you will appreciate we require advanced notice to arrange this. Normally appointments are given extended time to allow for this.
A routine consultation will normally be 8-10 mins. Other consultations may be longer (20-30 mins) and are only available at set times and our Patient Services will advise you if you need an extended appointment.
Your GP will ask you various questions and may examine you at the same time.
If you bring a friend or chaperone with you, it will normally be assumed that you are happy for the GP or nurse to discuss your medical condition openly or undertake an examination with them present.
Walk-in Blood Clinics – Aged 16 and over (Not available during COVID-19 – please book on the day)
To improve accessibility to our services we have introduced Walk-in Blood Clinics each morning from 8am
Due to the nature of a walk-in clinic it is for patients 16 and over. We would also advise those adults who are uncomfortable having their blood taken to book a normal appointment where more time can be allocated to them.
Please check in on arrival, and please arrive by 10am. Please note, you may need to wait up to an hour before being seen by our Health Care Assistants.
If you are unable to attend a booked appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so the appointment can be given to another patient. Please either use this form, or if within 3 days by contacting us by phone.
Don’t forget with online access you can book and cancel your appointment very simply and quickly.