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Posted on 11 Mar 2015
The demand for appointments seems to be increasing exponentially at the moment. We are not entirely sure why but we are trying valiantly to keep up! Hence, as the regular doctors are not able to squeeze any more hours into their day, we have asked one or two of our regular locum doctors to help out alongside one of the regular partners at the Dickens Heath site on Saturday mornings.
Saturdays are a government initiative, hence we are constrained by some rules:
- All appointments must be booked in advance (they are on the online booking section)
- No 'emergency' or 'walk-in' cases can usually be seen
- Preferably, appointments are for people who work during the week or otherwise are not free on weekdays
- No blood tests or anything requiring phoning the hospital (they will be shut for non-emergencies)
- We are happy to do smear tests, postnatal exams, small minor ops (not freezing) and joint injections if the doctor normally does them
- Yellow Fever vaccinations can be arranged
- Telephones must remain diverted to out of hours answerphone message
- Skeleton staff so Dickens Heath is safer, security is across the road!
- Pharmacy in Dickens Heath is open on Saturdays, Northbrook Pharmacy is not
- All appointments are open to all registered patients of the practice, regardless of where you usually attend
However, we should point out that a Walk-in centre is open on Solihull Hospital site. This is open 8am to 8pm, seven days a week including Bank Holidays, staffed by a range of health professionals including GPs and they try to see anyone who walks in within 30 minutes. You don't even have to register there. We suspect this is infinitely preferable to turning up at A&E.
Every weekday morning, one of the permanent doctors is on duty for all the problems which arise on the day. The doctor will deal with requests for appointments, visits or telephone queries until 12 pm. However it is much easier for us if the calls come in before 10.00am - so please try to get in touch before then. We guarantee that if you ring in the morning, the doctor will find a way to deal with your problem - whether by offering an appointment with the Duty Doctor that day or the next, or with a specific doctor when available, or by arranging prescription collection or delivery, or organising a home visit. Hence there is no need for a desperate rush to get on the 'phone at 8 am!
Routine appointments and Clinics
If you need to see a particular doctor, for any reason, you will be able to see that person when they have appointments free. We keep most of our surgery sessions in the same place at the same time so you can keep to the same doctor if you wish. We know all the medication you are taking, we know what has agreed or disagreed with you in the past, and we probably know your family, sometimes 3 or 4 generations. All of this enables us to tailor your treatment exactly to your medical needs. We cannot offer 24/7 access to rent-a-doc but we assume that this is not what most people need or want. Time will tell.