Silverbirch Medical Practice, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland

Appointments

Routine doctors’ appointments can be booked up to 4 weeks in advance. The reason routine appointments are not available to book further in advance is that more people do not attend (DNA) when we allow booking further in advance and this deprives other patients of appointments.

Appointments to see the practice nurse or healthcare assistant are pre-bookable up to 4 weeks in advance.

Please remember that each consultation appointment is for one patient only and for ten minutes. Our doctors would love to spend longer in consultations with each patient but unfortunately the level of demand for appointments and the number of people wanting to speak to and see our doctors daily means they need to see a patient every ten minutes to avoid long waits for appointments. To help our doctors make the best use of their time it would be helpful if you would be punctual and could cancel any appointments you no longer require.

Please phone (028) 91 455 000 to book appointments. The appointments telephone line is open 0830 to 1300 and 1400 to 1800 Monday to Friday.

Registered users can also book appointments online

Cancelling & rescheduling appointments

If you cannot attend your given appointment please call (028) 91 455 000 to cancel or reschedule. Appointments that are no longer required can be put to good use and offered to another patient, allowing the doctors and nurses to reduce any backlog of patients and reduce waiting times. Please think of others when you can no longer attend or no longer need a scheduled appointment.

Registered users can also cancel appointments online

Telephone consultations

Some matters, such as reviewing ongoing problems, discussing repeat prescriptions, and discussing results can be dealt with on the telephone.  The doctors do routine telephone consultations between 1000 and 1100 daily.

The practice nurse can discuss immunisation queries and other matters related to her work. 

To book a routine telephone appointment please ring (028) 91 455 000. The doctor or nurse will call you back during routine call time. Please note that if your phone will not accept anonymous calls the doctor may not be able to contact you in this way.  If you book a telephone consultation the doctor will only call once so please be prepared to answer your phone.

Telephone triage

If you have an urgent problem than you feel cannot wait for a routine appointment you can request a telephone triage call from the doctor.

In many cases the doctor can give telephone advice on your problem without you having to come to the surgery. In some cases the doctor will give you advice on managing your condition until you can be seen on another day, and in some cases where the doctor deems it necessary you may be offered an urgent appointment on the same day. 

Please note that triage calls are for one patient only and for problems you feel cannot wait for a routine call or routine appointment.  They are not for discussing routine matters.

Please note that urgent appointments are for one patient only and to discuss the urgent problem only. They are not for discussing routine issues which can be dealt with in a routine call or routine appointment and they are not for dealing with administrative issues such as repeat prescriptions.

Home visits

Home visits are routinely available for the terminally ill and truly bedbound patients in whom travel to the surgery by car would cause a deterioration in medical condition or unacceptable discomfort.  Visits to patients not in these categories may be made at the doctor's discretion and based on clinical judgement, but not routinely.

All other patients should make their way to the surgery to see their GP.  This is because for every home visit a GP makes they could see several patients in the surgery, and the doctor is better able to assess and treat patients in a properly equipped surgery than in their own home.

If you believe you need a home visit please call the surgery before 10.30 as rounds have to be planned. You will be asked for a reason for the home visit so we can judge the urgency of the call.  The doctor will phone before visiting to assess whether a home visit is necessary and if so, the urgency of the visit.

In some cases the doctor may judge that a visit is not necessary and may offer telephone advice or may arrange for another healthcare professional such as the District Nurse to visit. 

In some cases the doctor may agree a visit is necessary but not urgent and this may be arranged for another day.

If you would like to better understand the reasons behind our home visiting policy please read these GP Visiting Guidelines produced by South Staffordshire Local Medical Committee.  They provide an excellent background and explanation to past and current home visiting practice in UK General Practice.

To request a home visit please call the practice on (028) 91 455 000.
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