Access policy

1    Introduction

1.1 This document sets out how The Prince of Wales Medical Centre ensures that all patients are able to access timely and appropriate clinical care.

2    Objectives

2.1   Patients are able to access information, care or treatment by a GP or appropriate member of the practice team in line with their clinical needs.

2.2       The ability of patients to access the above does not vary on account of characteristics such as age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, geography or socio- economic status.

2.3       Clinicians and staff are able to manage available resources to meet demand effectively so that the best possible levels of service and access are maintained at all times.

2.4       Patients and carers are aware of how to get the best from the practice and their experience is used to develop systems and procedures to ensure that their needs are met.

3          Rights and Responsibilities for the Patient

3.1       Patients’ Rights

As a patient you have the right to:-

  • join the practice of your choice in the area where you live following acceptance by the practice;
  • easily-accessible information about your practice and how to access care via the practice leaflet and website;
  • appropriate urgent care;
  • clear information about your treatment in a suitable format and language so that you and the clinician may make an informed decision about the best course of action;
  • privacy and confidentiality;
  • be treated with dignity and respect at all times (including access to a chaperone if required);
  • comment or complain if you are not satisfied with the service provided;
  • be registered in accordance with NHS England’s ‘Patient Registration’ standard operating procedure;
  • Be registered or receive treatment without delay where the patient cannot produce photo ID or proof of address, unless the practice has reasonable grounds to decline.

3.2       Patients’ Responsibilities

       As a patient, it is your responsibility to:-

  • treat all practice staff with respect;
  • ensure you attend any appointment made at the surgery and arrive on time;
  • cancel an unwanted appointment as soon as possible so it can be offered to someone else;
  • inform the practice if you change your address or telephone number so the practice can contact you urgently if needed;
  • inform the practice if you have any special needs, including communication needs, so the practice can make any necessary arrangements;
  • let a member of the practice staff know if you are unsure about or dissatisfied with your care so that it can be explained or put right;
  • do your best to look after your own health;
  • use the services of the practice appropriately.

4          Surgery Opening Hours and Appointment Times

4.1         The practice telephone number is 020 7267 0067

4.2       The practice website is at:

4.3      Our surgery opening times are as follows:-

  • Monday 08.00-18.30   Closed for lunch 1.00-2.00
  • Tuesday 08.00-18.30
  • Wednesday 08.00-18.30
  • Thursday 08-00-18.30   Closed for lunch 1.00-2.00
  • Friday 08.00-18.00
  • Saturday-Closed
  • Sunday-Closed 

5          Access Standards

5.1       Making appointments

Appointments can be made by contacting the surgery on 0207 267 0067 between 08.30-18.30, apart from Monday and Thursday, when we are closed for one hour (1-2pm)

Patients who have provided a mobile number and have consented to text messages will be sent a reminder for Face to Face consultations.

Patients with a disability who cannot use a telephone due to sensory, physical, language or any other impairments can also request appointments in person with reception, through friends and family or via email:

Translation services are available through telephone interpreters if needed, although there can be a wait for up to 20 minutes if they are busy. We also have a BSL translation service in person or online.

Appointments can be Face to Face, telephone or via eConsultations through the practice website. Video consultations can be arranged on request.

5.2   Urgent Clinical Assessment Standard

 All patients who believe that they have an urgent medical problem are asked to ring the surgery between 08.30-10.30 in the morning or between 2-3.30 in the afternoon for any problem which needs to be dealt with on the same day. Patients will have an initial assessment over the telephone and the duty doctor will offer the most appropriate appointment based on medical need.

The patient must inform the receptionist if he/she believes the problem requires attention more quickly. Patients need to clearly identify themselves to the receptionist and supply a contact telephone number and where possible a brief indication of the problem.

5.3 Routine Consultation Standard

Routine appointments are made available every morning to be seen in 2-4 weeks.

Patients can seek help on a medical or other matters using eConsult either from our website or using the following link:

For medical problems patients are asked to answer a series of questions about their symptoms, this means receptionists can quickly work out the most appropriate way to get patients help.       

5.4       Repeat Prescriptions Standard       

5.4.1   The practice will generate and sign all repeat prescriptions within 3 working days of receiving a request to do so, except where:-

  • the practice has tried and failed to contact the patient where this is needed before the prescription can be issued safely;
  • or where a medication review is pending and must be undertaken before the prescription can be issued safely. The request for a medication review will be highlighted on the patient’s most recent prescription.

The practice aims to generate and sign repeat prescriptions within 72 hours of request but because of the need to ensure patient safety patients should allow two working days.  The practice will do its best to provide prescriptions in urgent circumstances but will not compromise patient safety to do so.

5.4.2   The practice will do its best to provide prescriptions in urgent circumstances but will not compromise patient safety to do so. Patients may also be able to request emergency supplies for repeat medication from their usual pharmacy.

5.4.3   Patients’ can order repeat medication by posting repeat slip in the post box inside surgery or on-line.

5.4.4   The practice uses the ‘Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)’.  EPS enables our practitioners to send prescriptions electronically to a Pharmacy of your choice.  This makes the prescribing and dispending process more efficient and convenient for patients and staff.

6    If you miss your appointment or are late

6.1   Appointments can be cancelled via telephone or by responding to the text message reminder sent by the practice if the patient has consented to text messages via a mobile.

6.2 If you attend the surgery late for your appointment it may be difficult to fit you in without making other patients wait longer.  Please try to attend just before your appointment slot but not too early.  If the surgery is running late you will be informed by reception so that you have the option of re-booking, or through other communication methods where available, such as the self-arrival screen or other screens in the waiting area.

6.4 Where possible, the GP or Nurse will aim to see patients who arrive late, however, if they are very busy, you may be asked to rebook your appointment.

6.5 A members of the Reception team will advise patients when a GP or Nurse is running late.

7    See the Doctor or Nurse you prefer

7.1 For some problems you may not mind which doctor or nurse you see but there may be times when you may have a firm preference or it is best for you to see a particular practitioner.

7.2 The practice has allocated patients to a named/registered GP based on the number of hrs/shifts the GP works & proportionate share of the total patients.

7.3 You can see ANY clinician who is available and you are not limited to just seeing the named doctor.

7.4 We will always try to accommodate requests to see a usual doctor to support continuity of care. However if this is not possible, we would ask for your consideration for flexibility so we can provide you with care as quickly as possible.

8 Improving Access for Patients

8.1 The practice is always pleased to receive comments and suggestions about its services including how easy it is to access them. If you have comments or suggestions to make or alternatively you can leave a card in one of our suggestion boxes or submit the comment via our management email. We advise patients  to leave a feedback on the NHS Choices reviews at their visit and or call.

8.2 Patients are encouraged to join our Patient Participation Group.

If you wish to join the group, please email the practice manager