Do you think you might need a GP appointment but are not sure or just can't get an appointment?
Since 2008 the number of appointments in General Practice has approximately doubled.
At Hughenden Valley and Chequers Surgeries, we presently have enough appointments so that, if divided evenly, every single man woman and child can have an appointment approximately once, every single month.
You may be surprised to learn that even though there is a widely publicised and desperate shortage of GP appointments nationally, many people still book appointments when they do not need to; for example, if they have a minor ailment.
In just one day, for example, 14 'urgent case' appointments were used by people who had been stung by a wasp. The wasp itself remains at large.
In the event of an emergency, a wasp sting needs to be managed by the emergency services. If it is not an emergency then a wasp sting should be managed by your pharmacist. In the extremely rare event of a wasp sting needing ongoing treatment, then your pharmacist will arrange for your GP to see you.
At Hughenden Valley and Chequers Surgeries we pioneered a brand new service called POINT.
The Pharmacist Opinion: In Need of Treatment service has been developed in collaboration with local pharmacy services and is designed to help those people that need to see a GP, see a GP!
Simply present yourself to your Pharmacist with your health concern, and they will help you. It's that simple.
If you are not sure whether or not your problem is appropriate to take to a Pharmacist, you can find some information here: NHS Pharmacy Help, but if it's not an emergency and it's not already being looked after by a doctor, then it should probably go to a Pharmacist before you try and book a GP appointment.
When you see your Pharmacist, if you need to see someone else about your health problem then you will be 'pointed' in the right direction by your Pharmacist.
If, for example, you need to be seen at your GP surgery then you will be given a form (like the one shown here) to take to the GP receptionist who will arrange a fast-tracked appointment for you.
The fastest way to get a GP appointment when you need one, is to see your Pharmacist.
Pharmacies wishing to use this form may do so without charge.
A generic version of the form (Microsoft Word Document) may be downloaded here: DOWNLOAD HERE on a PC / Mac.
Extensive exemption and remission arrangements protect those likely to have difficulty in paying charges (NHS prescription and dental charges, optical and hospital travel costs). The NHS prescription charge is a flat-rate amount which successive Governments have thought it reasonable to charge for those who can afford to pay for their medicines. Prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) offer real savings for people who need extensive medication.
English residents can’t go over the the border to get the cheaper prescriptions – you must be a Scottish resident.
All prescriptions are free in Wales, but only for welsh residents. English residents can't go over the border to get the free prescriptions.
You must be resident in Northern Ireland to get prescriptions for free.
Please note that the charge is per item (medication) and not per physical prescription. It is no less expensive to have all of your medicaitons printed on one page.
If you will have to pay for four or more prescription items in three months, or more than 15 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a pre-pay certificate.
If you are entitled to free prescriptions, complete the declaration on the back of the prescription and sign it. You may be asked for proof that you are exempt.
Get form FW8 from your doctor, midwife or health visitor to apply for a Maternity Exemption Certificate. The form is sent off to the Prescription Pricing Authority who will issue the certificate.
Although there are many conditions requiring regular medication, only the following qualify for an exemption certificate:
If you have one of these conditions, get form FP92A from your doctor's surgery and fill it in. This is sent to the Prescription Pricing Authority who will issue a Medical Exemption Certificate.If you have a Medical Exemption Certificate or Maternity Exemption Certificate, all your prescriptions are free, whatever the medication is for.
prescriptions for contraceptives are also free of charge.
Some people on a low income may qualify for help with health costs such as prescription charges. Your entitlement to help is based on your circumstances such as your level of income, savings, etc. Use form HC1 'Claim for help with health costs'. See below on how to get this form. You have to fill in the form giving various details of your circumstances. If your application is successful, you will receive either certificate HC2 or HC3.
Certificates are usually valid for six months. If your circumstances remain unchanged after six months then, if necessary, make a new claim before the current certificate expires.
If you are on a low income, but have not yet got certificate HC2, then get a receipt when you pay for your prescription. The receipt is form FP57. You must get this receipt from the pharmacist when your prescription is dispensed. You cannot get one later. When you get certificate HC2, send the receipt form FP57 to the address on the form to get a refund. (Note: if you are claiming a refund for any other health cost such as dental charges, you need to claim on form HC5.)
There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website
To get the forms HC1 and HC5 mentioned above:
If you will have to pay for four or more prescription items in three months, or more than 14 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a PPC. The charge for a single prescription item is £8.60 (from 1st April 2017), whereas a three month PPC will cost you £29.10 and a 12 month PPC £104.00.
Telephone advice and order line 0300 330 1341
General Public - Buy or Renew a PPC On-line
A PPC covers you for all of your own NHS prescriptions, no matter how many items you needIf you have to pay a prescription charge while you are waiting for your PPC, you may get a refund as long as you have an NHS receipt and refund form FP57. The pharmacist or dispensing doctor can only issue an FP57 at the time you pay the prescription charge - they cannot issue you one later. You can claim the prescription charge(s) back up to three months after paying. The FP57 tells you what to do. But remember the PPC itself can only be backdated by one month.
One of the topics surrounding NHS prescription charges is that in some cases the drug prescribed, for which you will be paying paying £8.60, can be purchased over the counter without prescription for less.
It is important to get to grips with the system to ensure that you are not paying unnecessarily and, when payment is required, to ensure that you are expending the least possible money in the circumstances.
For your safety, when you request your repeat prescriptions, the system will now check your request against your list of repeat medications.
This means you will need to log into the clinical system.
If you don't yet have a password, please bring some identification to reception to be issued with a password.
From then on, you will be able to request prescriptions online and even book (or cancel) your appointments online as well!
Read our 'Requesting prescriptions advice' leaflet
At 8am all scripts that have been received to date will be processed and will usually be ready for collection within 48 hours.
There can be exceptions - for example if the manufacturer has a supply issue, so its best to allow yourself a few days so you dont risk running out of your medication.
Please note that requests that are received after 8am will be processed at 8am on the next working day.
By way of example:
Requests received by 7.59am on Monday, will be processed at 8am on Monday and will usually be ready for collection on Wednesday.
Requests received @ 8am or later on Monday, will be processed at 8am on Tuesday and will usually be ready for collection on Thursday.
Requests received @ 8am or later on Tuesday, will be processed at 8am on Wednesday and will usually be ready for collection on Friday.
Requests received @ 8am or later on Wednesday, will be processed at 8am on Thursday and will usually be ready for collection on Monday.
Requests received @ 8am or later on Thursday, will be processed at 8am on Friday and will usually be ready for collection on Tuesday.
Requests received @ 8am on or later on Friday, will be processed at 8am on Monday and will usually be ready for collection on Wednesday.
Requests received @ 8am on or later Saturday, will be processed at 8am on Monday and will usually be ready for collection on Wednesday.
Requests received @ 8am or later on Sunday, will be processed at 8am on Monday and will usually be ready for collection on Wednesday.
We are processing over 23.000 prescription items a month so please allow enough time for your regular medication to be processed.
If you have an urgent request or find yourself with exceptional circumstances or even if you just got yourself in a pickle please talk to our friendly staff. We will do everything we can to help.
SystmOne is the clinical system that we use at the surgery for booking appointments, preparing prescriptions and updating medical records. Its a popular system in general practice and in some hospitals and it keeps your records safe.
We now have a version of this called SystmOnline which enables patients to book and cancel appointments and order prescriptions in a much easier way. Each patient has to granted access to this new system individually and in person, so simply ask at reception or when you see a clinician. For patients under the age of 13 years, parental / guardian access is permissible but due to confidentiality, once a patient reaches 13 the password will automatically expire and the child will need to apply for a new password.
Systmonline is also available as a free 'App' for your mobile device (IOS and Android Apps are available), just search your Appstore for 'Systmonline'.
The App also allows you to book (and cancel) appointments as well as requesting you repeat prescriptions online.
For reasons of safety we do not accept routine repeat prescription requests by telephone.
Please remember that the doctor or nurse will need to see you at regular intervals to review your condition so leave yourself enough medication in case you need an appointment.
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