Timely Unplanned Care

What’s most important to our patients is that when they are ill or concerned about a health issue they receive clinical advice and treatment when needed. What’s important to us is that this happens in a manner that is most convenient and appropriate for patients whilst valuing their time. So, if the care can be provided safely by talking to a GP or nurse on the phone, that saves the patient time coming into the practice. Equally, if a face to face appointment is required, the GP and patient together can plan that visit together.

We redesign the daily practice templates to give GPs time at the beginning of the day to talk to their patients requesting a same day appointment. Reassuring for the patient and more efficient for the practice.


Triage outcomes from our latest evaluation                    EY HCH Evaluation April 18

Average Outcomes from Telephone Assessment and Treatment of Those Requesting Same Day GP Appointment


speak to GP within 30 minutes of ringing for appointment


speak to own GP


managed with clinical advice only, or with script

patient time saved per call


Given same day appointment


Given same day phone consult


Offered appointment later in the week or appointment with more appropriate professional

“In my typical day, I will be on the phone triaging for the Patient Access Centre first thing, we will have a daily huddle at 8.45am, and then the rest of the day will be spent on face-to-face and virtual consults. These are great for follow-up if no physical exam is needed.”

Dr John Morgan

GP, NorthCare Hamilton

Hear the experience of a patient using the clinical telephone service and patient portal

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How our telephone clinical and assessment process works

Practices tend to receive most of their patient phone calls requesting a same day appointment in the first hour of the day. To ensure that the day’s face-to-face consultations go to those with the greatest need, experienced clinicians and usually the patient’s GP are rostered to speak to those patients.

A brief phone conversation allows the clinician and patient to decide whether or not they need to be seen at the practice that day, and they can quickly sort out other issues. For example, they can arrange a prescription, order further tests before an appointment is made, or just give advice on a recurrent or ongoing minor illness.