We recently conducted an audit of our incoming calls to our Patient Services Team over a 2 week period in July. Some observations below:

  • 10% of calls were patients wanting to order medication (not via the Dispensary phone line). 62% of these were during an afternoon when the dispensary phone line is closed. The Dispensary need to close their lines at midday so that they can spend the afternoon safely dispensing medications. We ask patients who do need to phone in to order medication to do so BEFORE 12pm. If you phone during the afternoon for a non-urgent medication re-order you will be asked to phone back when the Dispensary lines are open.

Did you know that you can order your repeat medication at any time of the day or night through the NHS App? Your request comes straight through to the Teams’ inbox and will be processed in the same way as if phoning it through.


  • A considerable number of calls were from patients phoning in for blood test results – and over 50% of these calls we during the morning when the phone lines are notoriously busier. By logging in to the NHS App, you will be able to see your blood results as soon as they have been looked at & filed by your GP. Your GP will usually only contact you if your results suggest a repeat test or further investigation is needed – so no news is good news! Please bear in mind that blood results can take up to a week to come back, although its normally sooner. More specialist tests can take longer. If you then have a question about a result, you can complete the Admin Query section of the Patient Triage Form (which is also available on the NHS App – or on our website) & a member of the team will get back to you.

If you do need to phone for results, please do so after midday so that our phonelines are kept free in the mornings for patients needing medical help.


  • Hospital referral queries also came up in the audit. If you are chasing up a referral that has been made to a hospital you need to contact the hospital directly. You can use this website which gives you an idea of waiting times per speciality across our local hospitals: South West – My Planned Care NHS. It also provides contact information for specific hospital departments.

Our secretarial team here at the Surgery are extremely busy writing outgoing referrals and unfortunately do not have the capacity to do the chasing on your behalf, unless instigated by the GP becoming more concerned due to changes in symptoms for example.


We fully appreciate that not all patients are able to use online services and Apps. But for those patients who can, we’d suggest trying it as this will free up the phone lines for the patients who are unable to.

Published: Aug 24, 2023