Where at all possible, we ask that all calls relating to non-urgent medical problems should be made before mid-day. If you call after this time, and your problem is not urgent, you may be asked to call back the following working day. All requests for home visits should be made prior to 11am. This allows us to have more time to cope with our workload.
The telephone lines open at 08:00. One of our doctors or receptionists will try to call you back on the same day to discuss your medical problems with you or to signpost you to an appropriate appointment. They will either be able to help you over the telephone, or by a text message, or they will make you an appointment – not necessarily on the same day. If there is a time during the day when you will not be able to take a call from the doctor, please let the receptionist know. We ask that you keep your phone on and set to loud. You would be surprised how many patients fail to answer us – having just called us.
The earlier that you call, the more likely it is that you will get an appointment at a time convenient for you and with the doctor of your choice. If you are struggling to get through on the telephone, then why not use our eConsult – Contact your GP Online – service on our website at: www.dolphinhousesurgery.webgp.com.
If you believe that your problem is of an urgent or serious nature then you must call us as soon as you are aware of it, regardless of the time. We remain open from 08:00-18:30 every weekday. However, the later you call, the less easy it may be to manage your condition. For instance, our last courier run each day to our hospital laboratory is at 15:30.
A full appointment system continues to operate. To obtain an appointment please book an appointment online or call 01920 468777, please try to avoid calling into the surgery as our receptionists will usually be busy taking phone calls or calling other patients. New appointments are opened up online every day so it is always worth trying successive days to gain the day/time and doctor you prefer.
- Make an appointment in advance if possible
- Make a separate appointment for each person to be seen
- Let us know if you can’t keep an appointment
We now also offer bookable telephone consultations – both online and via an initial call to the surgery. These are for when you feel that you do not need a face-to-face appointment but do need to discuss your case with a doctor. They are also initiated by the doctor to contact you regarding test results, medicine changes or letters that we have received. They can also be used for a routine review of your health, such as depression updates or blood pressure check-ups where you use home monitoring equipment. You will be given a set time and the doctor will call you on your chosen phone number at that time (give or take a while if running late!).
Our triage system – same-day appointments
Over the last 10 years we have experimented with our appointment system to try and get the balance right to try to offer an achievable and acceptable level of service. By triaging (assessing medical need and priority) incoming phone calls and eConsults we aim to reduce un-necessary and unwarranted attendances.
At present the extended access service continues to offer evening appointments (18:30-20:30) and weekend appointments (Saturday and Sunday 08:00-13:00) with a GP, nurse, or other healthcare professional.
This service is run by the local GP Federation, Generating Healthcare, and is provided to patients registered at the following surgeries: Hanscombe House, Wallace House, New River Health, Watton Place Clinic, Dolphin House and Standon, Puckeridge & Buntingford Medical Centre.
The Extended Access service for these patients continues to be hosted at Hanscombe House surgery in Hertford.
For more information on the Extended Access service, or to book (or cancel) an appointment, please contact your practice during normal opening hours.
If you need to speak to the Extended Access team during the weekday evenings (18:30-20:30) or Saturday/Sunday (08:00-13:00), please call 07535 086314.