Virtually everyone who calls a GP practice to make an appointment asks to see a GP, but very often help will be available from other highly skilled medical professionals such as Nurses or Pharmacists, or from other services such as the voluntary sector, who can support people with a wide range of social, emotional or practical needs.
From July 2018 the Patient Adviser programme will be rolled out across all practices in Warrington and from August 2018 our trained patient advisers will provide you with a first point of contact to direct you to the most appropriate source of help. Staff who are Patient Advisers have undertaken appropriate training to make it easier for you to get an appointment with the most appropriate professional - this could be with a Healthcare Assistant, Practice Nurse, Clinical Pharmacist based in our practice (who is able to prescribe medications in the same way as your doctor) or your GP. You may also be directed to another professional who based outside of the practice or to a professional in the voluntary sector.
To help you access the correct service, when you call the practice, the Patient Adviser will need to know a little about why you need an appointment. Patient Advisers aren't being nosey or obstructive in your request to seeing a GP, they genuinely want to help.
They will ask you a few brief questions as Patient Advisers have a number of alternative types of appointment available to them and they need to offer you the most appropriate appointment to deal with your problem. The most appropriate appointment may be with the GP or for example perhaps with another member of the practice team.
Patient Advisers have taken part in robust training and will treat all information in the strictest of confidence; you'll then be directed to see the correct professional to meet your need. You can ask to speak to the Patient Adviser receptionist privately.
In implementing the role of Patient Advisers we very much hope that you will find the new role helpful. The role will help the practice make best use of the services available both at the practice and in the wider community and in doing so, indirectly increase the number of available GP appointments so that you can more easily secure an appointment when it is necessary.
For more information, please read the frequently asked questions: