Appointments

Cancel your existing appointment

Thank you in advance for allowing another patient to use your appointment slot!

Before you continue, here is some additional information that we trust you may find useful. If you wish to skip that and continue with your request, please scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Did you know that there are more ways to cancel your appointment? 

  • download one of our approved free of charge apps. You can find more information of how to use or to download from the following links : 

Patient Access

myGP

Evergreen Life  

DImec

             You can use these to book or cancel appointments, request repeat prescriptions, have 27/7 access to your medical records and use many other facilities including messaging us if it is not urgent;

  • if you have received an appointment reminder text message(SMS) you can simply reply CANCEL back by using the same message;
  • if you have registered for online access, you can cancel your appointment by logging onto your account from any computer, tablet or smartphone 
  • you can call us on 0208 772 8772 and choose Option 1 ;
  • if you are passing by just pop in and kindly let our receptionists know that you wish to cancel your appointment. 

To cancel your existing appointment we need to know some more information about you. 

 

Please use this form to submit your  Appointment cancellation request 

Referrals

 

Introduction

 
The Patient Services department at Balham Park Surgery work on behalf of the GP's liaising with secondary care. This is staffed by Shelby Gibbs and Lisa Fenech, from 8AM until 6PM however when one is on annual leave it will only be staffed from 9am-5pm. 
 

What we do: 

 
  • Send off all of the surgeries referrals
  • Provide patients with information on how to chase their own appointments 
  • Help patients chase test results that have not come back within the standard time frame of 10 -14 working days (some unusual tests may take slightly longer)
  • Help vulnerable/unable patients to chase their referrals/results 
  • GP admin work that does not require clinical input 
 

We have provided information below on how to chase your appointments: 

 

URGENT REFERRALS: 

 
Two Week Rule/Cancer Referral Pathway: For this referral you should be seen within two weeks maximum. Therefore if you have not been contacted with an appointment after 10 days then please contact the hospitals Two Week Rule/ Cancer Referrals Office directly. 
Most of our two week rule referrals go to St Georges Hospital in Tooting. Contact Number: 020 8725 1111
 
 

FRACTURE CLINIC: 

 
IF you have been advised by your GP to attend the walk in service then you need to ensure you have a copy of your referral letter. You will then need to call the clinic on 020 8725 0352 to confirm they are able to see you as a walk in patient. 
Otherwise your referral would have been faxed directly to the clinic and they should contact you within one week. If you have not heard after this time please contact the department directly on 020 8725 0352 to chase this. 
 

 

STANDARD ROUTINE REFERRALS: 

 
Routine referrals can be done in two ways:    
  1. Electronically via the E-Referrals Service      
  2. Sent directly to the hospital via email or fax.    
If you have not received an electronic referral letter (e-Referral) from us within two weeks it is likely your referral was sent directly to the hospital. Therefore please kindly contact the hospital’s booking office that you were referred to. If you are not sure where you were referred to or if they have not received your referral please contact the Patient Services Department on 020 8772 8772 – option 3 to discuss. 
E-Referral: If there are any issues with your e-Referral, i.e. you want to change the hospital choices or need your password, please contact the Patient Services Department on the number above. 
If your E-Referral has been deferred to provider and the provider (hospital/service) does not contact you within 10 days, please call their bookings office in the first instance, as it is likely you will be able to book the appointment.  (link to health services page) 
 
 

RADIOLOGY REFERRALS (SCANS) 

 
X-Ray is a walk in service; you will need a GP referral form to have this done. The form has a list of locations you can go to have the x-ray.
If you are being referred for a different type of scan and have not heard within two weeks then please contact the service directly to chase your appointment. 
St Georges Radiology:    020 8725 1486    
Physiological Measurements ( they see patients in our surgery): 016 9167 6496
InHealth (mainly for MRI’s): 0844 581 0301 
We can only provide you with a copy of the scan report, therefore if you require the images please contact the service directly. 
If you have not got a referral but think you need one you will need to book an appointment with a GP.
 
 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY WITH A HOSPITAL 

 
  1. Contact their PALS team – Patient Advice And Liaison Service (St George’s PALS : 020 8725 2453)
  2. If you are still not happy you can write a formal letter of complaint and the information for this should be on their website St George’s Hospital 
 

Chaperone Policy

 

Introduction

 
Balham Park Surgery is committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment where the safety of patients and staff is of paramount importance. A key issue to be addressed is the need for patients experiencing consultations, examinations and investigations to be safe and to experience as little discomfort and distress as possible. Equally health professionals are at an increased risk of their actions being misconstrued or misrepresented if they conduct examinations where no other person is present and must minimise the risk of false accusations of inappropriate behaviour. 
 
This policy presents principles and outlines the procedures that should be in place for appropriately chaperoning patients during examinations, investigations and care. It is largely based on the “Model Chaperone Framework” published by the NHS Clinical Governance Support Team, in June 2005 with reference to the GMC’s “Good Medical Practice 2013”. 
 

Responsibilities

 
Guidance on chaperoning is for the protection of both patients and healthcare professionals. All clinicians and others working on their behalf have a duty to consider chaperoning issues as they relate to their work and to work in accordance with the following principles. 
 
Principles of Good Practice
 
Patients may find any examination distressing, particularly if these involve the breasts, genitalia or rectum (known as “intimate examinations”). Also consultations involving dimmed lights, close proximity to patients, the need for patients to undress and being touched may make a patient feel vulnerable. 
 
Chaperoning may help reduce distress, but must be used in conjunction with respectful behaviour, which includes explanation, informed consent and privacy. 
 
 

Consent

 
In attending a consultation it is assumed that a patient is seeking treatment and therefore is consenting to necessary examinations. However, before proceeding with an examination healthcare professionals should always seek to obtain, by word or gesture, some explicit indication that the patient understands the need for examination and agrees for it to take place. 
 

What is a chaperone?

 
A chaperone is present as a safeguard for both parties (patient and 
healthcare professionals) and is a witness to the conduct and the continuing consent of the procedure. 
 
The precise role of the chaperone varies depending on the circumstances. It may include providing a degree of emotional support and reassurance to patients but more commonly incorporates:
 
Providing protection to healthcare professionals against unfounded allegations of improper behaviour.
 
Assisting in the examination or procedure, for example handing instruments during IUCD insertion
 
Assisting with undressing, dressing and positioning patients 
 
Under no circumstances should a chaperone be used to reduce the risk of attack on a health professional – in circumstances where risk of this kind is assessed, the clinician should discuss and agree appropriate action with the Managing Partner.
 
 

What should you expect of a chaperone?

 
To be sensitive and respect the patient’s dignity and confidentiality
To reassure the patient if they show signs of distress or discomfort
To  be familiar with the procedures involved in a routine intimate examination
To stay for the whole examination and be able to see what the doctor is doing, if practical
To be prepared to raise concerns if they are concerned about the clinician’s behaviour or actions.
 
 

Who may Chaperone?

 
Chaperones may be termed ‘formal’ and ‘informal’.
 

Informal Chaperones

 
Many patients feel reassured by the presence of a familiar person and this request in almost all cases should be accepted. This informal chaperone may not necessarily be relied upon to act as a witness to the conduct or continuing consent of the procedure. Under no circumstances should a child be expected to act as a chaperone. However, if the child is providing comfort to the parent and will not be exposed to unpleasant experiences it may be acceptable for them to stay. It is inappropriate to expect an informal chaperone to take part in the examination or to witness the procedure directly. 
 
 
 

Formal Chaperones

 
A ‘formal’ chaperone implies a clinical health care professional, such as a nurse or a healthcare assistant. This individual will have a specific role to play in terms of the consultation and this role should be made clear to both the patient and the chaperone. It is important that chaperones have had sufficient training to understand the role expected of them and that they are not expected to undertake a role for which they have not been trained for.
 
Protecting the patient from vulnerability and embarrassment means that the chaperone would usually be of the same sex as the patient. There will be occasions when this is difficult to achieve. If the patient is requesting a male chaperone then a male GP can be called upon to act as the chaperone or the patient can be offered to rebook their appointment with a male GP.
 
The patient should always have the opportunity to decline a particular person as a chaperone if that person is not acceptable to them for any justifiable reason.     
 

Training for chaperones

 
Members of staff who undertake a formal chaperone role should undergo training. 
 
This should include an understanding of:
 
What is meant by the term chaperone
The specific details of different types of intimate examinations
The rights of the patient
Their role and responsibility
Policy and mechanism for raising concerns
 
   
Introduction of new clinical staff should include the above training.
 
Our trained chaperones are:
1. Mrs Kim Fenech (1st point of call)
2. HCAs
3. Nurses
 
Receptionists do not act as chaperones so as to maintain a comfortable, professional relationship during future interactions, for both staff and patient. 
 

Offering a chaperone

 
The relationship between a patient and healthcare professionals is based on trust. A practitioner may have no doubts about a patient they have known for a long time and feel it is not necessary to offer a formal chaperone. However this should not detract from the fact that any patient is entitled to a chaperone if they feel one is required.
 
It is good practice to offer all patients a chaperone of the same sex for any examination or procedure. If the patient is offered and does not want a chaperone it is important to record that the offer was made and declined.   
 
Staff should be aware that intimate examinations might cause anxiety for both male and female patients whether or not the examiner is of the same gender. 
 
If a chaperone is refused, a healthcare professional cannot usually insist that one is present. However, there may be cases where the practitioner may feel unhappy to proceed, for example where there is a significant risk of the patient displaying unpredictable behaviour, or making false accusations. In this case, the practitioner must make his/her own decision discuss concerns with the patient and carefully document this with the details of any procedure undertaken. 
 

Where a chaperone is needed but not available

 
If the patient has requested a chaperone and none are available at that 
time the patient must be given the opportunity to reschedule their appointment within a reasonable timeframe (this may include simple waiting in the practice until a member of staff is available). If the seriousness of the condition would dictate that a delay is inappropriate then this should be explained to the patient and recorded in their notes. A decision to continue or otherwise must be jointly reached. In cases where the patient is not competent to make an informed decision then the healthcare professional must use their own clinical judgement and be able to justify this course of action. The decision and rationale should be documented in the patient’s notes. 
 
It is acceptable for a healthcare professional to perform an intimate examination without a chaperone if the situation is life threatening or speed is essential in the care or treatment of the patient. This should also be recorded in the patient’s notes.
       

Issues specific to children

 
Children and their parents or guardians must receive an explanation of the procedure in order to obtain their co-operation and understanding. If a minor presents in the absence of a parent or guardian the healthcare professional must ascertain if they are capable of understanding the need for an examination. 
 
In these cases it is advisable for a formal chaperone to be present for any intimate examinations. 
 
In situations where abuse is suspected great care and sensitivity must be used to allay fears of repeat abuse. In these situations healthcare professionals should refer to the local child protection policies and seek advice from the Child Protection Lead/Team as necessary.
 
 
 

Issues specific to religion, ethnicity, culture and sexual orientation

 
All patients undergoing examinations should be allowed the opportunity to limit the degree of nudity by, for example, uncovering only that part of the anatomy that requires investigation. Some patient’s ethnic, religious, cultural background and sexual orientation can make intimate examinations particularly difficult. For example, Muslim and Hindu women may have a strong cultural aversion to being touched by men other than their husbands,  a lesbian woman or likewise a gay man may possibly have an aversion to intimate examinations being performed by the opposite gender. These considerations should be taken into account and discussed, not presumed. 
 
We must recognise that each individual has very different needs and before the procedure these should be mutually agreed with the healthcare professional. 
 
Issues specific to people with learning difficulties and mental health problems
 
For patients with learning difficulties or mental health problems that affect capacity, a familiar individual such as a family member or carer may be the best chaperone. A simple and sensitive explanation of the technique is vital. This patient group is a vulnerable one and issues may arise with physical examination. 
 
Adult patients with learning difficulties or mental health problems who resist an examination or procedure must be interpreted as refusing to give consent and the procedure must be abandoned. In life-saving situations the healthcare professional should use their clinical judgement. Where possible the matter should be discussed with a member of the Mental Health Care Team.
 

Non English speaking patients

 
In the situation of a non English speaking patient being examined the use of an independent interpreter should be enlisted. The use of a formal chaperone may still be appropriate with the interpreter in the room. A family member or interpreter should not be used as a formal chaperone. 
 
 

Lone working

 
Where a healthcare professional is working in a situation away from other colleagues, for example during a home visit, the same principles for offering and use of chaperones should apply. The healthcare professional may be required to risk assess the need for a formal chaperone and should not be deterred by the inconvenience or complexity of making the necessary arrangements. In all instances the outcome must be documented. 
 
 

Patient confidentiality 

 
In all cases where the presence of a chaperone may intrude in a confiding clinician-patient relationship their presence should be confined to the physical examination. Communication between the healthcare professional and the patient should take place before and after the examination or procedure. 
 

Communication and record keeping

 
The key principles of communication and record keeping will ensure that the healthcare professional and patient relationship is maintained and act as a safeguard against formal complaints, or in extreme cases, legal action. 
The most common cause of patient complaints is the failure in communication between both parties, either in the practitioner’s explanation or the patients understanding in the process of examination or treatment.   
 
It is essential that the healthcare professional explains the nature of the examination and offers them a choice whether to continue. Chaperoning in no way removes or reduces this responsibility.
 
Details of the examination including the presence or absence of a chaperone, their identity if present and the information given to the patient must be documented in the patient’s clinical record. The records should make clear from the history that the examination was necessary.
 
In any situation where concerns are raised or an incident has occurred this should be dealt with immediately in accordance with Balham Park Surgery’s Incident Reporting Procedure. 
 
 
 

Out of Hours

111

 

Along with other local practices, out of hours services are provided by an organisation called Care UK. You can contact Care UK on 111 when the surgery is closed.  

Calls to 111 from landlines and mobiles are free of charge.

Call 111 if:

  • you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency
  • you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
  • you don't know who to call
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next

For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, continue to call 999.

For more information on the NHS 111 service go to:
http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/Emergencyandurgentcareservices/Pages/NHS-111.aspx

For information on other out of hours services (e.g. urgent care service at Balham Health Centre, Walk in Centre in Tooting, Minor Injuries Unit in Roehampton) please go to:
Local Healthcare

If you wish to give feedback on the NHS 111 Service please use the details below:

Wandsworth NHS 111 Service and GP Out of Hours Service 
Patient Feedback and Complaints Co-ordinator
Harmoni
Unit 1 
The Square
Southall Lane 
Southall
UB2 5NH 
T0203 402 1112

Receptionist Booking

To make an appointment with a GP or a nurse via reception, please telephone 020 8772 8772 or ask at reception. If more than 1 person needs to be seen, please book a separate appointment for each individual.

You can usually choose which GP you would like to see. At Balham Park Surgery, we try to enable patients to see the same doctor whenever possible as we believe that this provides patients with better care. This is particularly helpful if you are presenting with something that you have already consulted about. Sometimes it might not be possible or appropriate to see the same doctor, for example if the doctor is away and if you feel that your problem cannot wait, or if you are advised to see another doctor in the surgery who has a special interest and skill in a specific area. The receptionist will advise you if needed.

Appointment Information

Routine Appointments

Appointments with the GP or practice nurse can be made via reception or using online booking

Please remember that the majority of doctors appointments are 10 minutes long. This is in keeping with other general practices nationally, and enables us to balance the demand of workload within the surgery.

We ask that if there is more than one issue that needs to be discussed that this can be dealt with within that time. The doctor or nurse may ask you to make a further appointment if he or she is unable to cover all the issues in that appointment slot.

If we do not have available routine appointments to fit with a need and a patient feels their problem cannot wait until the next available offered, they will be told that a designated On Call GP will call them back to assess the appropriate pathway for them. For patients who need to be seen, this will involve bringing them in to an "extra" slot created specifically by the GP. If through agreement between the GP and patient an alternative plan is more appropriate, this will be made.

Extended Hours Appointments

We appreciate that our patients may not always be able to attend between the standard hours of 08.30 - 18.30 and we are pleased to offer extended hours appointments:
Early morning surgeries starting at 07.00 on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday
Late evening surgeries finishing at 20.00 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Saturday morning surgery (09.00 - 11.00 every Saturday) There is no walk in service on a Saturday.

Telephone Consultations

Many issues can be dealt with by a phone call. The receptionist may offer you this option or you can request a telephone consultation with a GP. If your usual GP is at work you can arrange for a call back from them that day, or, if they are not at work, you can arrange a call back for another day.  If you do not have a usual GP, or need to speak to a doctor that day, you can arrange a call back from the "On Call" GP. Please let the receptionist know the urgency of your enquiry. If you wish to discuss results please would you ask to speak to the doctor who ordered the test when ever possible. Please ensure that you are available to speak on that day if  the doctor is unable to contact you they may leave a message asking you to phone back.

Extra Appointments

If you think that you need to be seen before the next available appointment please contact the receptionist who will help advise of the options or can arrange a telephone consultation with the on call GP.  Please note that appointments that are made on the day for the end of surgery are 5 minutes long.

Home Visits

Home visits are intended for the elderly or housebound patients. Children can usually be brought to the surgery. If you think you may need a home visit we ask that you try to call before 11.00 as the GPs will usually try to visit you between their morning and evening surgeries.  

Late or Missed Appointments

We are now offering a text messaging service to remind you of your appointment. If you are unable to make the appointment, please call reception to cancel it so we can use that slot for another patient. If you change your mobile number please inform reception.

If you have booked an appointment in the extended hours clinic, i.e. early morning & late evening or Saturday; you need to cancel that day, or a working day before. Cancellations can also be done via the online access.

We ask that you arrive on time for your appointment. If you arrive later than 15 minutes for your appointment then it will be at the discretion of the clinician as to whether they can see you. You may be asked to rebook or wait until the clinician is available. If you know you are running a little late it is helpful for the clinicians if you phone reception to inform them.

Chaperone

Read our comprehensive chaperone policy here.

Medical Students Present in Consultations

We sometimes have medical students sitting in during consultations with patients. Reception try to inform patients at the time of their arrival. If you do not wish to have a medical student present, it is quite alright to let Reception or your doctor know, and we will ask them will leave the room while you are seen.

 

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