What happens next – making a “plan of action”

The doctor should make it clear to you what to do next after the consultation has finished. If it’s not clear to you, please don’t hesitate to ask, as this is also an important part of the consultation. Sometimes the doctor will give you a form to take back to reception desk if you need to make a further appointment.

Advice

Don’t always expect to leave the doctor with a prescription. On many occasions the doctor will simply need to give you some advice on what to do next. This is the case for viral infections such as colds for which antibiotics don’t work. The doctor may however prescribe (or ask you to buy if it’s cheaper for you) something for your symptoms to make you feel better till the infection is cured by your own immune system.

The doctor may give you an advice sheet or direct you to a web site for more information. A good general site for medical information is: www.patient.co.uk

Prescriptions

If the doctor is prescribing for you, it is always worth mentioning any allergies you have or if you have experienced bad side effects from medication you have had before.

Also tell the doctor if you are taking any medication you buy from either the chemist or from a health shop as these can sometimes react with other medicines the doctor could prescribe.

The doctor may tell you about any likely side effects of the medication or if it could react with anything else you are already taking.

“Always read the label”

Prescribed medication will always have information leaflets inside the packets. These leaflets list many side effects, which are sometimes very rare. The pharmacist is often the best person to ask if you feel you may be suffering from side effects of medication.

The doctor may also ask you to visit the pharmacy to buy an over the counter medication if you would have to pay a prescription charge otherwise.

The doctor will indicate whether he/she is starting you on medication that is just for a “course” e.g. one week for antibiotics or to be continued long term. This type of medication is known as a “repeat prescription”. This is normally for 56 days supply.

REPEAT PRESCRIPTIONS

You will receive a list of this regular or “repeat” medication which is attached to the right hand side of your prescription.

Detach this and keep it in a safe place to use when ordering your next prescription.It is also useful to show to other doctors who may treat you, for example at the hospital. However don’t keep old out of date ones as this can confuse patients and doctors! 

Messages from the practice are also printed on the right hand side of the prescription. Please read these as they change regularly.

There are a number of ways to order a repeat prescription:

Use the right hand side of your previous prescription and tick the box(s) next to the tablets/medicine(s) you need.Then put it in the post box provided in the lobby of the surgery.

By using our internet service. See reception desk for details.

Post the right hand side to us enclosing a stamped addressed envelope.

You may also fax your request for medication to:  0113 2954989

Most chemists offer an ordering and delivery service for repeat prescriptions. See the chemist for this service as we cannot recommend a particular chemist.

Prescriptions can be collected two working days later from the surgery from 8.15am – 6.00pm Monday to Friday.

Sorry but you may NOT telephone for a repeat prescription

Hints and tips with repeat prescriptions

  • Try to order all your repeat prescription drugs at the same time. You’ll have fewer trips to the surgery and save us work as well!
  • Make sure you order your repeat prescriptions in good time so that you do not run out of tablets, especially over bank holidays.
  • Occasionally you may find a message attached to the prescription to make an appointment to see the doctor for a check up.
  • If you require medication not on the list, please write the required item underneath the list or on the forms we keep at the surgery for this purpose. The doctor may want to see you before prescribing these.

Referrals

The doctor may decide that you need to see a specialist. If this is the case the doctor will tell you what type of specialist you will be seeing and will offer you a choice of places available.

The doctor will then write a referral letter to the specialist to request an appointment. If you would like a copy of the referral letter this can be arranged, but the doctor may not include information that he/she feels could be harmful for you to read.

The hospital or specialist will then send you an appointment. If the appointment is urgent the hospital may phone you.

Please ensure we have an up to date mobile phone number (if you have one).

More appointments are now taking place outside of a hospital setting. For example nurse led clinics or General Practitioners with a special interest may see you in a local community clinic.

Normally your doctor will not know the date of your appointment or whether you have even seen a specialist till he/she receives a letter some weeks after your appointment.

If the specialist has ordered tests, the results will not be sent routinely to your doctor. The results of these tests will be given to you at your next appointment with the specialist.  Please don’t ring the surgery to find out the results of tests ordered by a specialist unless they have told you to do so.

If you wish to discuss your hospital appointment with the doctor, it’s a good idea to make sure a letter is back first. Leave about two weeks after your appointment, and then ring the surgery to make sure a letter has arrived. Hospitals are notoriously slow at getting letters back to practices.

Private referrals

If you wish to see a specialist privately or you have private health insurance, let the doctor know, as the referral method is slightly different.  The doctor will again ask you where you would like to go to be seen or the name of any specialist you wish to consult. The doctor will then write a referral letter, which will be left at the front reception desk of the surgery for you to collect. On the front of the envelope will be the name of the specialist and the telephone number to ring to make an appointment. If you are in a private health insurance scheme you will be asked by the company to have a form signed by either the GP or specialist. This is not covered by NHS services and a fee is payable.

Follow up visits to the GP

The doctor make ask you to come back to see him/her. This may be to give you the results of tests, monitor response to treatment etc. If this is the case it is very important to see the same doctor. See continuity of care section at the end. It is a good idea to book any follow up appointments straight away unless the appointment is for a long time in the future. This will ensure you get an appointment with your chosen doctor. Ask the doctor to do this for you at the end of the consultation or go to the front desk and ask the receptionist to make one for you.

Tests