Anyone can book an appointment with a GP if they feel able to do so. Appointments can be made by phoning the surgery and speaking to the receptionist or going to the health centre in person. Some surgeries offer online booking as well. If you feel more comfortable, you can book an appointment with a doctor who is the same gender as you, but this could mean having to wait a bit longer for the appointment.
Making an appointment
Hannah realised she needn’t have worried about being judged or asked lots of questions when she wanted to go on the pill. The GP gave her leaflets about other contraception too.
Many surgeries use practice nurses to help patients who want an urgent or same day appointment. They assess the person’s symptoms and concerns, and then agree with the patient how their needs might best be met by giving telephone advice or a face to face appointment. The nurse aims to ensure that the person is referred to the right person at the right time, be that the GP, a nurse, or someone else in the team.
The different types of appointment available are:
• urgent appointments (if you need to see the GP as soon as possible)
• arrive and wait appointments (you come to the GP in person and wait until an appointment becomes available)
• advance appointments (if you know you need to visit the GP for something that’s not urgent, i.e. booking in blood pressure checks for the contraceptive pill)
• same day bookings