Making an appointment
Young people can make and attend appointments on their own at any age, or they can choose to have a parent with them if they prefer.
Anyone can book an appointment with a GP if they feel able to do so. They don’t have to be over 16 and all consultations (appointments) are private (confidential).
Kyle saw the GP with his grandmother but talked to the doctor himself. It’s not ‘daunting’ making appointments and he could easily do it again next time.
All GP surgeries work slightly differently in terms of their opening hours and the types of appointments they offer. It’s best to get in touch with the surgery or look at their website to see how a particular surgery works.
Most surgeries offer appointment booking over the phone, in person and, increasingly, online. How long it can take to get an appointment can vary. If the problem is urgent, the GP should see the patient as soon as possible. There may be a longer wait if someone wants to see a specific doctor in a group practice (surgery), or for appointment slots outside normal working hours.
Louis is happy to see any of the GPs that are free. If he wanted to see a particular doctor, he might have to wait longer for an appointment.
You can see the doctor in person, and sometimes you can have a GP appointment by email, telephone, or even Skype, depending on the issue. It’s something you can ask about when you phone to make an appointment.
Who do you usually go with when you go?
It depends who you can get an appointment with in the morning cos they always leave some free in the morning, but it depends who's free. I don’t usually try to get a [particular] GP cos I don’t really see the point of waiting maybe an extra week or a few days just to see it, one person, so I don’t really mind who it is. So, usually just the person who's free on that day.
So it could be any of the GPs?
Yeah, anyone there, yeah.
So you…to get an appointment that day, you have to phone in the morning, or even that week?
Yeah, they always leave some free for each day, but when you rang up in the morning it's usually like engaged, so there's not usually a chance to get through to anyone. But you have to keep calling, calling, calling. But yeah, if you want to book an appointment for the week, you usually get one for the week with the doctor you want. But if you want one on the day, you'll just have to go with anyone, yeah.
So who usually phones and makes the appointment?
It's usually my mum, yeah.
So she usually makes the appointment; does she usually go with you as well?
Yeah usually, or my dad depending whoever's home, yeah.
And when do you usually try to have the appointment because normally Monday to Friday you would be at school?
Usually try for before school; I kind of come in a bit late with a note or after school so like, like six to seven, something like that.