(Before calling us you may be able to get advice or a direct referral without needing to see or speak with a GP. Click on "Referrals" below for information on which services are availabe for self-referral.)
To book an appointment at Ramsey Health Centre,
please call our Patient Services Team on: 01487 812611 option 1.
We aim to see all patients as soon as possible but we obviously do not have unlimited appointments or resources.
Appointments can be booked up to a maximum of four weeks in advance to see a doctor or practice nurse. Please remember to let us know when you want to cancel an appointment as a large amount of doctor and practice nurse time is wasted by patients just not turning up.
We know that shared decision making between patients and professionals can make a lasting and significant difference to healthcare outcomes. Receiving and understanding the right information during an appointment is key to involving people in decisions about their treatment and care. Please read the Department of Health's "Questions to Ask" leaflet (PDF, 80KB).
Cancelling Your Booked Appointment
Every day appointments are wasted because people do not cancel a booked appointment. If you need to cancel your appointment, please do tell us so your appointment can be allocated to someone else.
To cancel an appointment please ring 01487 812611 (option 1).
Missed Appointments Policy (From 1st August 2017)
From 1st August 2017, Ramsey Health Centre is enforcing a new policy on missed appointments. Any patient who does not attend three of their appointments in a twelve month period (without cancelling them) will be removed from our patient list and will need to find an alternative practice to register with.
A written warning will be sent after two missed appointments, and then - if a further appointment is missed - you will be removed from our list without further warning.
Urgent Access to a Doctor
Urgent access to a doctor can be requested on the same day but may not be with the doctor of your choice and will mean you waiting until the emergency doctor is available. Please give Patient Services staff a brief idea of the problem and they will inform the emergency doctor and s/he will call you back.
Preference of Doctor
Patients are not registered with a specific doctor but with the practice as a whole, but you can request to see a particular doctor if you so wish. It may just mean a longer wait for an appointment. However, we fully recognise that continuity of care is extremely important, both to the patient and the doctor to ensure ongoing treatment is managed efficiently. The Patient Services staff will always try to ensure that your request to see a specific doctor is fulfilled. This will depend on your flexibility and availability for an appointment with that doctor.
Ramsey Health Centre is committed to developing a culture that promotes the privacy and dignity of all patients.
We are committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment where patients and staff can be confident that best practice is being followed at all times and the safety of everyone is of paramount importance.
It is recognised that how care is delivered can directly influence a person’s self-image.
Some examinations and treatments, in particular where they involve intimate body parts and states of undress, can make patients feel vulnerable and distressed.
A chaperone may assist in supporting and reassuring a patient during an examination or procedure.
The healthcare professional may also require a chaperone to be present for certain consultations in accordance with the practice chaperones policy.
What to expect? - You can request a chaperone be present during any examination or procedure that you feel uncomfortable with. Expect the role of the chaperone to be clearly explained to you and the person introduced to you by the health care professional who is to undertake the examination or procedure.
Who can be a chaperone? - The practice will try to ensure your chaperone is a qualified nurse or health care assistant. In some circumstances a non-clinical member of staff may be asked to chaperone. All clinical and non-clinical staff have received chaperone training.
Arranging a chaperone - If you would like to arrange a chaperone in advance please inform the receptionist when you book your appointment so they can arrange for a nurse or health care assistant to be available. If during your consultation the Clinician feels a chaperone is needed, they will attempt to arrange this, if possible during the consultation. In the unlikely event a chaperone cannot be arranged you may be asked to arrange another appointment.
What is the chaperones responsibility?
- To ensure that their conduct is sensitive and respectful of your privacy and dignity
- To reassure you if you are distressed or experiencing any discomfort and to communicate this, if appropriate, to the Clinician and
- To Ensure that they can communicate with you a way that you can understand
Can a family member act as a chaperone?
Your family member cannot act as a formal chaperone. You can however request that a member of your family or a friend be present as an informal chaperone during the examination.
Can I refuse a chaperone?
You have the right to refuse a particular person as a chaperone; in this instance we will document the reasons for your refusal and an alternative chaperone will be arranged.
All our staff and clinicians are trained to a high level on the laws and policies relating to data protection and confidentiality. Your chaperone will not disclose any information obtained during your examination or procedure. In all cases where the presence of a chaperone may intrude in a confidential clinician-patient discussion, their presence will be confined to the physical examination only. One-to-one communication with the Clinician will continue once the chaperone has left.
Please click here to see the chaperone poster that is displayed in each consulting room (PDF, 98KB)
Why does my doctor sometimes run late?
This is a commonly asked question – all appointments are for ten minutes, however, many patients attend with complex or multiple problems that need much longer consultation times than this. If you know you will need more time, please mention this on booking so that an appropriate slot can be allocated. Emergency calls for visits or urgent attention must be fitted in appropriately throughout the day. All these calls on the doctors’ time add up to delays. We fully accept that it can be extremely frustrating to be kept waiting in our busy lives. As a result, the Patient Services Team will endeavour to keep you informed of any delays that may affect your appointment times. However, all patients are important to us and we would ask you to be patient. Next time it could be you that has a difficult problem to discuss or an emergency.
I Have Difficulty Getting Through by Telephone in the Mornings!
Although we answer four lines on our main telephone system they are very busy first thing in the morning. Calls are held in a stacking system and are answered in the order they are received. If you can leave non-urgent calls until later in the morning we will be able to deal with them more quickly.
If you are confronted by a serious problem such as acute chest pain or severe bleeding call an ambulance (telephone: 999) before calling the surgery.
Nurse Team Appointments
Appointments with a team member may be booked up to two weeks in advance. Routine blood test appointments are available each morning until 11:30 and until 4.00pm in the afternoon.
Our nurse team can help you with:
Cystitis & Urinary Tract Infections
Impetigo And Skin Infections
Warts and Verrucas
Blood Pressure Monitoring
New Patients Checks
Coughs and Flu-like Illnesses
Diarrhoea and Vomiting
NHS Health Checks
Home visits are intended for those who cannot, for medical reasons, make it into the surgery. This is because three (sometimes four) patients can be seen at the surgery in the time it takes to complete one home visit. Please phone before 11:00 if you are requesting a home visit. A doctor may return your phone call to discuss the need for a home visit. The doctor will make the decision to make a home visit based on medical need.
Ramsey Health Centre is able to arrange a telephone interpreter service for patients who do not speak English. Please ask our patient Services staff if you wish to book this service for a forthcoming appointment.