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Sheringham Medical Practice

Sheringham Medical Practice

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Who to contact when you feel unwell and need medical advice:


Appointments at Sheringham Medical Practice (01263 822066) 


Booking GP Appointments at Sheringham Medical Practice

Since January 2009 the practice has operated a Doctor Access System called TTT or Total Telephone Triage. 


This means that instead of phoning the practice and having a receptionist book a GP appointment for you, our doctors speak with the patient first and then book an appointment according to clinical need.  Therefore if your doctor thinks you need to be seen quickly he or she can schedule you an appointment the very same day or, if it is a routine matter that can wait a few days, they will give you an appointment within that timeframe.  Alternatively they may be able to help you without the need for you to be seen in person.


How TTT can help you, the patient

In the past you’ve phoned the practice and had to wait anything between three hours and three weeks before speaking to or seeing your doctor of choice.  Now we intend to put you in direct contact with your doctor.  Often this will be within two hours of you making your call if they are on duty that day with faster and more effective patient outcomes resulting from the triage process


TTT – How does it work for you the patient?

From the patient’s point of view it is really very easy

  1. Phone your GP Surgery
  2. Give your telephone contact details to the receptionist and arrange a convenient call back
  3. Speak directly to your doctor, often within two hours of calling the surgery

Phone: 01263 820505


The practice has an automated telephone system accessed using the following numbers.  Please be advised that your call will be recorded and may be used for training purposes.

When you telephone the surgery your call will be answered by a receptionist, just as it always has been.  However, instead of searching the system to try and find you a suitable doctor’s appointment, the receptionist will ask who your preferred doctor is and take your contact details so your doctor can give you a call back to discuss your requirements. 


If your preferred doctor isn’t in the building that day, you will be given the option of waiting until he or she is next available or speaking with someone else. 

Benefits for Patients

Under this system, patients

  • Don’t have to be first through on the phones to secure an appointment
  • Have direct contact with their doctor much sooner
  • Can be moved more quickly along the care pathway due to early identification of their needs
  • See their doctor sooner when appropriate
  • Get more time with their doctor when they need it due to a reduced pressure on appointments 

Benefits for Doctors

For doctors this represents

  • Improved patient communication and care
  • More efficient use of time and NHS resources
  • Increased professional satisfaction through enhanced patient care and more effective workload management

How to get the best from TTT

TTT works differently from a traditional appointments model, so it helps to think differently about using the system.  The following tips will help you get the best out of TTT

  • If you don’t need to been seen quickly, think about phoning the surgery on a day when it is more convenient to receive a call back from your GP
  • You will be given options about who you wish to speak to and whether a morning or afternoon call back is more convenient, subject to availability
  • If you have any particular time constraints to receive a call back please give this information to the receptionist who takes your call – we will do our very best to call you at a time that suits you
  • Each GP does have a limited number of pre-bookable Telephone Consultations so this is a further option if it would be difficult for you to receive a call back the day you contact the surgery
  • Remember, if you feel in any way unhappy and still wish to be seen, at the end of a telephone consultation where the doctor has suggested that it might not be necessary to see you, you have the right to request a face to face appointment.
  • Also, if you wish to speak with your own GP, try calling on one of their routine working days

A Few Important Facts to Note

TTT is not about preventing you from seeing the doctor.  It is about putting patients directly in touch with their doctor at the first possible opportunity in order to deal with their requirements in the most effective way and according to clinical priority. 

With TTT you get to speak with the doctor on the day you phone the practice rather than having to wait up to a week to see your doctor face to face to discuss your health issues.  You therefore have the reassurance of speaking with a clinician the same day you phone the practice. 

TTT is not about “diagnosing over the phone” and should not put the patient in any way at risk.  Your doctor may offer you telephone advice, adjust your medication on the basis of a telephone consultation or offer you a prescription following discussion of your symptoms.  However, he or she will only do this where it is clinically safe to do so based on the symptoms or condition that you have and with the benefit of full access to your clinical notes and medical history.

If you feel in any way unhappy and still wish to be seen, at the end of a telephone consultation where the doctor has suggested that it might not be necessary to see you, you have the right to request a face to face appointment.  Just tell your doctor that you still have concerns and would like to be seen.

The surgery has a Direct Dial number that can be given to individual patients who have genuine difficulties with the use of telephone triage.  These will be patients who have specific physical or psychological problems which mean that they genuinely cannot benefit from a Telephone Triage system.  Patients or carers of patients who believe they fall into this category should arrange to speak with their doctor to receive an individual exemption from use of the system, if appropriate.  Patients who qualify will be given a card with a direct dial “Bypass Register” number for them to call and make prebookable in person appointments with their GP.  However, it should be noted that abuse of this system will lead to it being withdrawn.

TTT is not about making your doctor’s life easier, it is about dealing with your healthcare needs more quickly and delivering a higher standard of patient care.   In the past the patients who were first through on the phone were the ones to get the earliest appointments regardless of whether they were the ones that most needed them.  By using TTT doctors can ensure that patients who need to be seen more quickly are seen more quickly.  They can also speed up the care pathway for any patient requiring tests prior to a face to face appointment, for those requiring review of medication or a pre-existing condition or for those with a straightforward diagnosis for which a prescription can be raised following a telephone consultation.


Telephone System Changes


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