Changes to how you’ll book GP Appointments going forward


The way we serve our patients has changed greatly as a result of the Covid-19 emergency and this means we can now provide ongoing service improvements.

All 3 Bicester Practices have recognised that we will be able to take the lessons identified during COVID-19 to improve how we work and how our GP appointment systems work. Together we will now be working differently with the aim of:

  • Providing improved Continuity of Care – by seeing your Usual GP.
  • Minimising waiting times – you book an appointment to see your Usual GP ‘on the day’.
  • Reducing the need to attend the surgery – by using eConsult, telephone and video consultations where appropriate.
  • More time with your Usual GP when needed.

We’ve a new balance set up between online services and patients’ needs to visit a GP surgery and, in general, many more things can be done online,by phone or video.

We estimate that 75% of GP appointments can be dealt with via eConsult, Telephone or video consulations.

We’ve also learnt that by booking your appointment on the day with your Usual GP, they are better able to manage their list of the day’s appointments.  The number of cancelled appointments are also minimised freeing up the equivalent of a whole GP.

So how will it work?

Full details can be found here, but in brief:

  1. You can only book on the day for most issues – contact us by 1pm the day your Usual GP normally works for routine issues.
  2. Your request is added to you Usual GP’s “Daily List” – they will contact you normally during the morning or early afternoon to discuss your medical issue.
  3. If required your GP will ask to to attend a face to face consultation later that day.
  4. If more appropriate, you request will be signposted by our Patient Services team to our Minor Illness team, Pharmacist, Social Prescriber or external health provider.

Who is my Usual GP and what days do they work?

We will send out a text soon with a reminder for you.

If you know who your Usual GP is, you can see when they work here.

Please note that a GP’s list size is based on the number of days they work.  We also to occassionally move patients to another GP to ensure that these lists are correctly managed – you will normally be sent a text if your GP is changed.

What if it’s medically urgent and my GP is not working that day?

If you have a medically urgent issue then contact us straight away.  This will be triaged and either handled by our Minor Illness team or another GP.

If an emergency please contact 999.

How should I contact you?

Primarily please use our online eConsult.  eConsult provides the clinician with valuable information that allows them to treat you quicker.

For routine reviews, test results discussions when requested etc please book with your Usual GP online (Patient Access or the NHS App) or call the Surgery as normal.

What appointments can I book in advance with my GP?

These will are currently limited to the following (please call the Surgery to book):

  • Joint Injections#
  • Minor surgery#
  • Coil Fittings
  • Baby 8 week Health Checks
  • Medicals (HGV, DVLA, Fostering etc)
  • Learning Disability Health Checks
  • Appointments requiring a translator

(# Please note that some may not yet be available due to Covid-19. We will advice in due course when available):

Have appointments with the Practice Nurses or HCAs changed also?

Although during Covid-19 we are continuing to have make some changes, like calling to check that your are free of Covid-19 symptoms before attending the surgery, we will shortly allow bookings in advanced to see our Practice Nurses as we use to do.

Our Practices Nurses have though recognised some areas where they will be able to use telephone or video consultations more in the future.

Appointments for our HCAs for blood samples, ECGs etc will continue to be booked on the day for the present time.  Once we are able to see routine annual reviews, then we may be able to allow bookings in advance also.

COVID-19 is still affecting us!

Covid-19 will still effect us for quite a while yet.

Any patient with Covid-19 or suspected Covid-19 that needs to be seen by a clinician face to face will be asked to attend the Langford Surgery in Bicester, which is being used as the Covid-19 centre by the Bicester Practices.

We need to check whether you have any Covid-19 symptoms before attending the Practice.

As an extra protection our staff are currently wearing appropriate personal Protection Equipment (PPE) even when seeing patients at the surgery, and time has to be set aside to change this before each pateient is seen.  This means we are able to see less patients at present.

Secondary Care is still unable to accept routine elective referrals in most areas.

And finally …..

As we introduce this new way of working there are bound to be some issues that we have not thought of, plus we still have Covid-19 to take account of. Please bare with us as we look to take these improvements forward to improve the service we can provide to you.