Cricketfield Surgery

Cricketfield Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 2AS

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5 ways to get more out of your GP appointments

Make sure you’re in the right place

Our Patient Services Advisors (Receptionists) are often criticised for asking patients what is the matter with them, but there is a genuine reason. Different doctors, nurses and health care assistants (HCAs) in the practice may undertake different types of work or specialise in different areas. It also helps us prioritise appropriately and ensure fairness for all patients. It may be that you can also get directed to a more appropriate service within the wider healthcare community that can help you without you even having to see a GP.

Please trust our Patient Services Advisors are only asking questions to enable them to help you in the best way. They treat all patient information, concerns and queries with sensitivity, compassion and confidentiality. If you really don’t feel comfortable talking to one of our receptionists then please use eConsult, otherwise we will add you to the Same Day Team triage list but your enquiry will not be prioritised as the team won’t have the information they need  to assist them with this. Therefore, you may not be called until the end of the day.

Talk about only one issue

There is an unspoken rule that you are only supposed to discuss one issue in the GP surgery: and really it’s a good idea. Of course, if the issues are interlinked it’s worth mentioning them all to give the GP the full picture. But realistically if you want to get properly treated, we can’t discuss your stomach complaint then start talking about contraception and properly resolve both with only 10 minutes available. If you think you have a very complex health issue, or interlinked issues please let our Patient Services Team know when you book an appointment so they can ensure the GP is aware and make an appropriate booking.

Turn up early to your appointment

For various reasons, GPs themselves are often running late because of emergency situations or medical issues taking longer than a standard consultation. We try our best to run to time but sometimes it just isn’t possible. It is really frustrating though when we are trying to be efficient and patients themselves are late: this puts pressure on everyone and makes for a rushed consultation that is no good for you.

It is also vital that you let us know if you’re not going to make it to your appointment. Please cancel your appointment online or text or leave a message on our cancellation line – 07394 471931. If you want to reschedule your appointment please call our main line.

Tell them what you want

I only know what you want from a consultation if you tell me. Any number of people turn up each week in the Surgery with migraines: some will want a sick note from work; some will want investigations and advice, some simply want to be told if paracetamol is the best painkiller. At the outset it is good to set out what you want, if you know of course!

Write it down

Studies prove that consultation situations make people anxious, no matter how confident and together you are. It is easy in a consultation where you are feeling rushed, stressed or embarrassed to forget some of the more salient points of your medical issue. Calmly and quietly before the consultation, write it all down. For example have a list of dates of your periods if they’re irregular, you think you can remember them all, but in the pressure of the moment you may not. Writing a list of the symptoms you notice that worry you and the specific times they happen can be really useful.