How to Make and Cancel an Appointment

Care Navigation (Signposting)

Over the coming months you will notice your receptionist begin to ask for a brief outline of your problem when you ring to book an appointment.

This is because we are introducing something called “Care Navigation”. It means we are training receptionists and clerical staff to help them help patients by identifying the most appropriate place for their care.

Through this specialist training, our practice team will be able to direct you to the most appropriate health clinician for your needs first.

Receptionists will never offer clinical advice or triage; this new way of working is about offering you the choice to see more appropriate professionals in the practice team or even somewhere else. If they can deal with the problem directly, it will often be quicker and means you may not need to see the GP at all.   More Information...



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Surgeries are always by appointment. The receptionists will do their best to arrange for you to see your doctor or any other member of the team at a time convenient to you, but there are one or two points we would ask you to bear in mind.

We only pre-book the first three of the doctors' appointments on any day. The remainder of the appointments are offered to patients on the day that they contact the surgery and we request that patients telephone the surgery first thing in the morning, ie from 8.00am onwards, to book an appointment for that morning or after 2pm to book an afternoon appointment.

It is possible to pre-book an appointment by arrangement with a doctor. We always aim to offer patients an appointment that same day. However, if a patient requests to see a particular doctor, then this may not be possible.

Appointments are 10 minutes long and the doctors and nurses try to keep to time as far as possible. There are occasions when an appointment can run over time so please be patient if you have to wait. To keep the surgery running as smoothly as possible please remember the following points:

  1. please arrive on time for your appointment.
  2. please let us know if you cannot keep your appointment.

  3. please don't bring other family members or friends to be seen in your slot.

  4. please don't save up six problems for one appointment.


If you have several problems or need more time please tell the receptionist who will ask the doctor when it would be convenient to offer you a longer appointment.


Telephone Advice

We offer a number of pre-bookable telephone appointments each day when patients can speak to a doctor or nurse. These appointments can be used to discuss test results or when patients require advice or reassurance on medical problems. All the doctors are happy to give telephone advice providing they are not actually consulting when you ring. If you need to speak to a doctor or another member of the primary care health team please ask the receptionist to put you through to the appropriate person or to suggest a time to call back. The receptionist will assist whenever possible by passing queries or messages to or from your doctor.

The Medical Centre, Greggs Wood Road 
Tel: 01892 541 444

The Old Bakery, Speldhurst 
Tel: 01892 863 040