APPOINTMENTS IN ROSS MEDICAL
As you are aware, the health service is under enormous pressure. There is simply not enough doctors, nurses and health professionals to manage the current demand. This is unlikely to change in the near future.
We know our phone lines are busy, we know people don’t like waiting in a queue. There is no alternative, if too many people are looking for a service at one time, this is what happens. The staff on the front desk work extremely hard from the moment we open to long after we close. Any abuse directed towards them or any of our staff will not be tolerated and the patient will be asked to move practice, regardless how long they are with Ross Medical.
Up to recently all our appointments for doctors in Ross Medical Practice started with a phone call. This was mainly to screen patients and to minimise the amount of time needed face to face from an infection control point.
We are now going to be changing this and return to mainly face to face.
There are a few ways to ensure you get seen appropriately in Ross Medical Practice
If your issue is non-urgent- it’s best to try and book 1-2 weeks in advance. This will ensure you get the GP of your choosing as we can generally accommodate this quite easily. If at all possible we would ask not to ring between 9-11 for non urgent issues as this is the busiest times for phone calls.
If you have an urgent/acute issue- please ring in the morning and we will try and accommodate you for a same day appointment. However for same day appointments you may be assigned to any doctor or nurse. This is because urgent/acute issues are usually dealt with quickly and generally don’t need follow up. It is more appropriate to follow up chronic issues with your main GP at a later time. The exception to this are sick unvaccinated patients eg children- please see below for more information
If you have an emergency issue- such as chest pain, shortness of breath, slurred speech, weakness in your limbs, sudden onset “thunderclap” headache (to name just a few) please ring 999 or 112 or attend your nearest emergency department
We know patients feel they haven’t been seen in the last 2 years and wish to discuss every issue at their GP consultation. Generally 1-2 issues can be managed well in a 15 minute consultation, anything over that may is difficult to manage appropriately within the timeframe. Any issues that haven’t been addressed can be discussed at a future appointment.
If you wish to order a sick cert- it is best to ring after 11am as the phone lines are less busy. Please follow the instructions on our phone service
If you wish to book in for bloods- in general 1-2 weeks notice for fasting bloods is required as they need to be done before the courier arrives. We don’t recommend repeating bloods too often. Even though the bloods may only cost 20€ in Ross Medical Practice, they generally cost the health service over 200€++ to run. A vitamin D blood test alone costs around 90€. If your bloods are for a private consultant there will be a charge and the results will be send to them
If you wish to get your blood results- please ring between 2-3pm and follow the instructions on the telephone to speak to one of the nurses. All bloods where there is a clinical concern are discussed with a doctor.
If you wish to book a telephone consult- these will remain an option for any patient who feel that they do not need to see a GP to discuss their issue (eg a private referral to a consultant) Each GP will have time slots dedicated to telephone consults only. As most patients are aware Dr Donal Coffey will continue to work from home and he will be available on some days for telephone consults only.
If you wish to have “a quick word with a GP”- these will be designated time slots as well to try and fit within our schedules. It may not be a call back on the same day or even same week depending on how busy the practice is. However as above- Dr Donal Coffey may be able to deal with your query. Any urgent results are dealt with by the doctor as soon as possible.
If you wish to book a sick child/non vaccinated patient with a cough/temperature for review- We plan to continue our respiratory clinics for the moment. Most of our patients are aware of this. You will speak to a doctor as soon as possible and given a time slot where you wait in your car with the patient until you’re phoned and then go straight to Dr Donal Coffey’s old room where a doctor will see you in full PPE. This minimises interaction with any other staff or patients (eg in the waiting room) as much as possible. These appointments are usually at the end of the day when less patients are around too. While vaccinations have made a huge difference, we still have a responsibility to our staff the minimise the risk of them acquiring COVID in the work place.
We are aware that patients are finding it difficult to get through on the phone and don’t like queuing. However it is simply that we are so busy at the moment and each phone call takes time. We recommended putting your phone on loud speaker as you move up the queue. Once all the appointment slots for the day are gone, we generally switch to our emergency phone (it is only answered when the number has been put on our phone system). We switched to this due to the abuse that our administration staff have been facing. They have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and any abuse will result in the patient being asked to move practices.
Q- I had an investigation/scan in the hospital and I don’t have the results, can the GP give them to me?
A- It is the responsibility of the investigating team(ie the hospital team) to give you these results. We are simply too busy to be following up on their results as well. You may be given them at your follow up outpatients appointment. While we usually get a copy of them for your file, please do not ask the secretary to give them to the GP to explain. Ask for a member of the hospital team to speak to you. If you don’t understand what they are saying, ask them to explain clearer.
Q- I had a scan that was organised by my GP and I haven’t received the results. What do I do?
A- In this case it is the responsibility of the GP to give the results and if you haven’t heard from Ross Medical please contact us. However we usually advise to allow up to 3 weeks for the results as they take longer to get sent to us. You may receive a text from Ross Medical that states your results are normal. If the issue still hasn’t gone away then do reach out to us again about it.
Q- I was started on new medication by my consultant and I’m not sure about it. Who do I contact?
A- Everybody seems to be told to contact their GP, however it is much more appropriate to contact the healthcare team who started this medication. It may be a controlled/high tech medication we don’t prescribe in general practice and so we mightn’t be able to guide you on. If you’re not sure then your first port of call should be your pharmacy and ask them what they think.
We know everyone is under a lot of stress these days. However we are trying our best and working extremely hard for all our patients. We’re all hoping for a day the health system improves and both healthcare workers and patients are happy.
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