Frequently Asked Questions

How do I….

order my prescription over the phone ?

We only take requests for prescriptions over the phone if patients are housebound.

Prescriptions can be obtained online, posting or bringing into surgery or via a Pharmacy collection agreement.

renew my sick note?

Please see our Sick Notes page.

cancel an appointment?

If you are unable to attend for your booked appointment please telephone on 0121 355 5473 or 0121 323 2121 dependent upon the surgery you have booked your appointment with, to cancel this as we can then offer this appointment to another patient.

Alternatively, if you have received a text message reminder about the appointment you can text us back if you want to cancel the appointment.

make an appointment in advance?

Our appointments are usually made available up to 6 weeks in advance so if you want to plan when you attend to see a particular GP or nurse, you should be able to get an appointment that suits you.

make an urgent request?

If you are requesting an urgent on the day appointment, the receptionist has been asked to obtain brief details of your problem together with a telephone number that the Doctor can aim to call you back on within the hour. The Doctor may be able to deal with your problem over the telephone or may call you in to surgery later that day.

speak to a doctor?

If you want to speak to your usual GP, or a GP who has been dealing with a particular health issue, treatment plan, referral or medication, then you can ask our reception team who can then arrange for the GP to ring you when they are not seeing other patients.

Please be ready to provide your telephone number and a brief outline of what the issue is about in order to help the GP to speak to you.

request a home visit?

Home visits are for people who are too ill or disabled to come to the surgery.

  • Except in emergencies, telephone the surgery between 8:00am and 10:00am or as early as possible.

Please be prepared to give the receptionist full details of the patient, the address and the nature of the problem.

A doctor may phone you back for further information to discuss your concerns and arrange a home visit if necessary.

request a non-routine appointment?

You can ask our reception team to book you an appointment for the following:

  • Cervical Smears with our nurses (20 minute appointment)
  • Ante-natal and post-natal checks with GP
  • Midwife
  • Health checks
  • Smoking cessation appointments
  • Weight Management appointments

For some other services you will need to have a referral made by your GP:

  • Minor operations
  • IUD & Implant fitting

If you have an ongoing medical condition you may be invited to attend one of the following clinics/appointments for a regular review:

  • Diabetes clinic
  • Coronary Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) clinic
  • Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) clinic
  • Asthma review
  • BP checks

request a Repeat Prescription?

If you are on regular medication you may be able to obtain prescriptions without seeing us every time. You can request repeat prescriptions via the following means:

  • In person
  • By letter

We have a box in our reception area, and request slips you can use to make a request. It is usually helpful to include the other half of your prescription, ticking the items you require.

We need 72 hours to process your prescription as we have a large volume of requests each day.

Collecting your Prescription:

Most prescriptions are now sent straight to your nominated pharmacy, however if you need to collect a paper prescription, please ensure you are aware which surgery it is available from.

Important Information:

We can only issue repeat prescriptions for items that have been authorised for repeats by your GP – this is to ensure that your medications are regularly monitored.

You may be asked from time to time to come in for a review with your GP about your medication and repeat prescriptions.

request a test result?

The results of any blood tests and X-rays are normally available two weeks after the test was done. This is to allow for the results to be sent back to us and for them to be reviewed by our clinicians.

You can ring the Practice at James Preston Health Centre on 0121 355 5473 or Ashfurlong Medical Centre on  0121 323 2121between 11am and 4pm to get these results. All results are reviewed by the GP first and if they are happy with the results the reception team can give them to you. Reception will let you know if your GP needs to discuss your results with you, or your GP may contact you directly with the results.

choose a GP?

We normally recommend that you see one GP at the practice to encourage continuity of care, particularly if you have on-going health care needs.

We are a group practice and any member of our team can see you when you need to be seen.

Some of our GPs work part-time so may not have as many available appointments as other GPs and this may affect your choice of ‘usual’ GP.

have a chaperone present?

If you would like to have someone else sit in with you (a “chaperone”) during your consultation, please let reception know when you make your appointment so that this can be arranged.

This is usually a member of our reception or administration team who will not take part in the consultation.

Sometimes a GP or nurse may ask for a chaperone to be present themselves.

register with the practice?

To register at this practice you need to live in the practice registration area.

You can either come into the practice to pick up a form or print off this Registration Form. Once you have completed this you can either come into reception and hand it over to our team together with proof of your identity and your address.

Our reception team will normally check over the registration form with you to ensure we have all the information we need.

The practice has a policy of not registering children under 16 years of age without their parents/guardian as this helps to ensure a better continuity of care for the whole family.

Once we have received your registration form your details will be entered onto our computer system within 3-5 working days. However, if you need an appointment sooner than this please let reception know at the time you hand in your form and they can arrange an appointment for you.

Our New Patient Health Check

We like to meet our new patients once they have registered with the practice. This is to introduce our services and carry out a brief health check. The check takes around 10 minutes and is usually performed by our healthcare assistant. It is completely free.

We do not insist that you have to have this check before you can be registered with us or before you see a member of a team for a particular health issue but we hope you would find it helpful.
The purpose of the check is to help you live a healthy lifestyle.  Screening tests will also be carried out during the appointment. These might include:

  • Measuring your blood pressure – this will check for problems such as hypertension (high blood pressure) which can indicate heart disease
  • Height and weight recordings – these will help us to assess your body mass index (BMI) and deal with any health problems that might develop because of your weight

Tests you may be asked to bring with you:

  • Urine sample – this will check for excessive glucose or protein in your urine (which can be symptoms of common problems like diabetes)

If you have any ongoing medical problems, such as diabetes, hypertension, COPD we will ask you to come back for blood tests and a review.  If you are on any regular medications please book an appointment to see a GP.

What should I do if I do not want any of these tests?

Tell us. All of these tests are performed to help us care for your health as a new patient at our practice. Our staff will be more than happy to discuss any of these tests with you before they carry them out. If you need any more information please ask at reception or during your new patient health check.

use the text messaging service?

If you are already registered with the practice and have provided us with a mobile telephone number you will automatically be included in this service. Please let us know if you do not wish to be included.

This reminder service has proved successful in reducing the number of appointments that are wasted when patients fail to attend.

be referred to hospital?

Your GP may decide, after discussion with you, that a referral to the hospital is needed for further treatment or investigation.

You then have a choice as to which hospital you wish to attend. Your GP will discuss with you which hospital you prefer.

get non-NHS reports and medicals?

Sometimes you might need to have a medical or report done for other reasons such as employers report, insurance or driving reasons. We can arrange for this to be done but a fee will be charged – please ask our reception team for further details.

If you need to see a GP for a medical this can be arranged and usually requires a longer appointment – again our reception team can provide more information.

change my address?

If your address changes you will need to complete our Change of Details Form.

Our reception team will check your details and advise you if your new address is still within our practice area. If you have moved out of our area then you will need to register with a new GP nearer your new address.

You can check the NHS choices website for details of other GPs in your area.

change other details?

If you have a name change then you can complete our Change of Details Form. You will need to provide documentary evidence of any change of name as outlined on our form – please come and speak to our reception team when you want to do this.

Please let our reception team know if your telephone details change or if you have a preference for how we contact you (e.g. by mobile or a work number).

If you have a mobile telephone we can use this to send you text reminders about your appointments and other important information. If you do not want to receive this you can opt out of this on our change of address form.

book an interpreter?

We can book an interpreter for your appointment. Please speak to reception as to how to arrange this before you book your appointment.

change my GP practice?

If you wish to change to another practice, either through choice or because you have moved away from our practice area you can do so easily by going along to your new GP practice of choice and registering with them.

You do not need to worry about your medical records as when you register with a new practice it will trigger a request for your records to be returned to the local health authority who will then forward them to your new practice.

We will also send a print out of all your computer records.