Changes to the appointment system- Telephone Triage explained

Telephone triage is a useful method of determining urgent and not so urgent cases so that appointments can be allocated according to patient need. 

The system works by allowing the GPs to triage all requests for urgent care by telephone.

The Receptionist will answer your call and once it has been clarified that you are requesting an urgent appointment, your call will be put on hold; you will be placed in a queuing system to speak to a GP.  You are encouraged to hold on the telephone and the GPs will answer the telephone calls in turn, however, there may be emergency calls which will take priority.  Your patience is therefore appreciated, especially during the peak times of the day.

 The GP will assess your complaint over the telephone and will either provide advice or book an appointment for you with an appropriate Clinician – you will not be referred back to the Receptionist for this.   This process is called telephone triage

Benefits to patients

Speak to their GP sooner

See their GP sooner when appropriate

Save time by avoiding unnecessary appointments

Benefits to GPs

Manage case loads efficiently

Improve utilisation of Nurses and other Health Care Professionals

Hopefully reduce the number of patients who fail to attend their appointments

 Our aim is to provide:

  • the most appropriate appointment with either a GP, Practice Nurse or Minor Illness Nurse
  • more convenient access
  • more efficient use of time for our GPs and patients by resolving an enquiry with a single telephone call
  • to help ensure routine appointments remain available for patients with chronic complex illnesses

The telephone triage system will operate all day.  

Please note that we will still be operating the same system for pre-bookable routine appointments and these can be available up to three months in advance.  We continue to encourage patients to register to use our on-line services for booking appointments and requesting repeat prescriptions. 

Please advise our Receptionists of your mobile telephone numbers which will enable the Practice to send you a text reminder of your appointments.

We do encourage patients who are requesting a home visit to call before 11.00am if at all possible.

We look forward to offering you an improved service.


Potton Surgery
Brook End, Potton, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2QS

General enquiries and appointments:
01767 260340

Gamlingay Surgery

Stocks Lane, Gamlingay, Bedfordshire, SG19 3JR

General enquiries and appointments:
01767 651544

Out of hours cover

(18:30 – 08:00)
call to speak to a doctor on
0845 602 2475

Self Help

If your call is not an emergency and you would like advice
contact NHS Direct
0845 4647