How to Manage Your GP Practice (HOW - How To)

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Hearing voices and suicidal? You might be in there for half an hour, or probably longer.

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Your doctor will rely on a variety of problems presenting to balance these demands on their time, and hopefully will run roughly to schedule. Often they will run late. You can help this by understanding how long your appointment slot is just ask when you book , and working with your doctor to get things done in the time allowed. If you already know you are going to need more than 10 mins, ask reception if you can have a longer slot. They will probably be happy to oblige. Your Doctor does not like lists Well, let me clarify this. Your Doctor would advocate you knowing what you are coming for, and if writing this down in advance will help you, then I would suggest you do so.

However, bearing in mind point one above, if you only have 10 minutes and if you pull out a list of 5 problems this is pretty stressful for your GP. Were you expecting 2 minutes per problem? Be realistic. Prioritise what you want from your doctor. If you arrive 10 minutes late, you have missed your appointment. What I mean is that if you are 10 minutes late or more , then you are not just late, but your appointment slot has come and gone. The next patient is now due.

Remember that the impact of being late is not just on your doctor. They may be prepared to finish their surgery late in order to see you, but what about all the other patients who have booked in and arrived on time?

GP Practice Manager

If you arrive late, this is who you are causing hassle for, all the people around you in the waiting room. Your Doctor is not telepathic Pretty obvious, right? Yet it seems that people think their GP will know what they are worried about, which of their problems is a priority for them and what their hidden fears are. A good doctor will no doubt explore all of this with you, but you can short-cut this. Be up front about what is on your mind. If you are worried because you think your rash or lump might be cancer, then say so. If you want to exclude some rare condition because your mother had it — let the doctor know.

Try not to leave your main problem until the end. They are experienced doctors qualified to look after you.

The doctor of the future

Many people think that being a GP is the hardest job a doctor can do. If you are concerned that you might need to see a specialist, then talk this through with your GP — they are in a really good place to decide with you if that is what is needed, or not. Your Doctor is self-employed Did you know this? Why does it matter? This has a number of implications: Firstly, your GP receives a set amount of money per patient per year to provide all of their care.

General Practice Management Toolkit

This is really good value less than 40p per patient per day , particularly when you consider this is the money the practice receives to provide all the services and pay all the staff including the doctors. In simple terms your GP is contracted to provide medical care, but not to do things outside of this such as the multitude of letters they are asked to sign.


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Many of these requests are unnecessary and just seek to move a perceived risk from one person to the doctor, who may not be in a position to carry that risk. If your GP decides to prescribe an expensive medicine for you they are not paying for it themselves. People often think that GPs switch medicines to cheaper ones in order to personally benefit financially.

They are doing this to help the NHS budget as a whole, which I would hope we would all be in support of. Because they are small businesses, they bear any increasing costs themselves. Rising indemnity fees insurance against being sued have to be paid by the doctor themselves.

Why does this matter to you? The higher the costs, the less likely the surgery is to be able to add in additional services.

Practice saves one day a week of GP time through better management of patient correspondence

So, bear this in mind when you are thinking of suing your GP! They also understand, probably better than you, the risks associated with over referral, over treatment and over investigation. This is not a game where you need to see how much you can get from the NHS.

This is about keeping you healthy, investigating when appropriate, and treating when we need to. Bearing this in mind, your GP will not mind explaining it to you — just ask. If you were hoping for an X-ray, mention this and have a grown up conversation with your doctor about the pros and cons of doing that. Your Doctor is not taking part in a medical drama.

When you watch the TV, watch out for the doctors. I bet, 9 times out of 10, that they get the diagnosis right, first time. Many conditions are not at all obvious, and time is the only sensible way to start to differentiate between them. In reality serious illness often initially presents the same as mild, self-limiting illness. A cough, for example, can be caused by many things, from a simple viral infection to lung cancer.

Be aware of this and remember that this is complex stuff. The traditional view that people have of GPs is that they see a few patients in the morning; a couple of visits, then are free until evening surgery at 5pm. Plenty of time for 18 holes in the afternoon? The traditional view is out of date. Most GPs see patients in morning surgery, followed by visits, and then a further patients in the afternoon.

Many GPs see more than this. In addition to these face to face consultations, there will be phone calls and paperwork. Paperwork is an essential part of patient care, but takes time. If you are waiting for the results of an investigation, this can be stressful, and you quite rightly will want the results as soon as possible.


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Ring the consultant secretary ring the hospital switchboard and ask to be put through and ask when the consultant is going to convey the results to you. If they try to palm you off by saying they will send the results to your GP, explain that you want the results from the specialist who arranged them who is in by far the best place to give appropriate advice.

If your GP did arrange the test, the smart thing is to make sure you know from the outset when and how you should expect to get the results. Are they going to phone you, or do you need to call?

Dr Chas & research in the GP Surgery

Speaking to the receptionist if you are uncertain is the way to go — explain your problem, and ask how to proceed — they will probably be able to help you. Your Doctor has entrusted their reception staff with an important job And that job is not just to make things as difficult as possible to make an appointment! They are not medically trained, but they will have a really good understanding of the services on offer. My advice would be to entrust them with a rough idea of the problem that you have. This way they are able to direct you to the most appropriate course of action.

You can trust that the receptionist is NOT going to be talking about you to others. If you are polite and friendly to reception, they will be polite and friendly to you. They are not trying to be obstructive, they are just doing their job — you might be anxious and stressed, but try to keep calm.

The receptionist can be key in getting the right help as quickly as possible — just remember, that help might not be the GP. Like this: Like Loading Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. Thank you Like Like. Excellent written , going to upload on waiting screen in our practice.

Amazing and so true. May we feature this and your blog on our surgery website please? Thanks Ruth, no problem — happy for you to feature this. Thank you for informing the public Like Liked by 1 person. Thank you Sue Like Like. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment Like Like.

Thank you Eric Like Like. I would love to hand this out with my registration packs. For GP practices, Facebook offers an effective and practical way to engage and communicate with both existing and potential patients. Say you are launching a new clinic or you want to push a health campaign or let patients know about a change in opening hours. Facebook is the ideal platform to instantly feed this information through to the very people who will benefit from the updates. Patients will appreciate the fact that their practice is taking time to keep them up to date, and could well benefit from timely and seasonal reminders, such as flu jab clinics.