Online Service – Frequently Asked Questions

As a Practice we want as many patients as possible to quickly start using Online Service as we believe it is the most efficient and effective way to contact us about your health concerns and requirements. To assist patients we have provided answers to each of the Frequently Asked Questions’  below that hopefully will help you successfully use our Online Service service.

To see the answers simply click on the Frequently Asked Questions below

Can I use Online Service at any time 24/7 365 days of the year and from anywhere?

If you are contacting us about a medical issue this service is only available from 8am and runs through to 5pm on Monday to Fridays only. However if you have a non – medical query or question to ask, this can be submitted at any time, 365 days a year. Please note that the ‘any time’ queries and questions will only be seen and actioned during normal Monday to Friday working hours.

Is the information entered on Online Service confidential and safe from other parties having access to it?

Church Street Surgery is committed to protecting our patient’s information and would not have used this service if its use compromised this commitment.

Can I use Online Service via the NHS app?

Yes you can. Simply open the NHS App as you would normally. When open click ‘Advice’ on the bottom menu bar and then scroll down the page until you see ‘Ask your GP for medical advice’. Then click on ‘Ask your GP for medical advice’ which takes you to our Online Services which are provided by AccuRX Limited.

Can I still make appointments in future using the NHS App?  

Whilst the large majority of our appointments are only available via our Online Service there are still some specific ones you can make using the NHS App.

Can I still make appointments in future using Patient Access?

Whilst the large majority of our appointments are only available via our Online Service there are still some specific ones you can make using Patient Access. These typically would be for Cervical Smear (Invite only), ECG, LTC Diabetes or HCA, NHS Health Check and Phlebotomy/Blood Test appointments. Please note all of these named appointments can also be easily requested using our recommended Online Services.

Can I still request repeat prescriptions in future using either the NHS App or Patient Access?

Both the NHS App and Patient Access are particularly good for requesting repeat prescriptions. However if you have a question or concerns about your current prescriptions we recommend you raise these with us by using our Online Services.

I tried to use Online Service to get an appointment but on the ‘What would you like help with’ page it didn’t seem to have an option to make an appointment. What should I do?

This can be a bit confusing for first time users but easily solved. On the ‘What would you like help with’ page simply click on ‘I want help for a medical Issue’ which then takes you to a short series of questions, which when completed, allows you to request an appointment. Please note that when your request is received our inhouse specialist team (often referred to as a Triage team) will determine the best course of action and will get back to you as soon as they can to arrange next steps.

What does triage mean? I read my request will be triaged by the inhouse specialist team and wonder where this team is based and who they are?

We are pleased to advise that our inhouse specialist team (the triage team) is based in the Church Street Surgery and has GP’s, advanced nurse practitioners, physician associates, pharmacist’s and support staff within its numbers. Their job, from the information you supply us, is to determine the best way for us to manage your request for assistance or help. By the way, the word ‘triage’ originated in France and its meaning dates from the First World War, with reference to the military system of assessing the wounded on the battlefield.

In using Online Service how much detail should I provide in describing my needs / problems?

Quite simply, as much as you can. From what you tell us we want to ensure that we can help you in the best possible way and just saying ‘I have a cough’ isn’t particularly useful. However, tell us something about when it occurs, its type, whether it’s productive or not, whether you have other pre-existing conditions such as asthma, etc, and we can make a more considered response in determining the best way to treat you. The more you tell us, the more accurate and targeted our response will be.

If I have two or more problems I want to tell you about should I raise them separately or together on Online Service?

This is up to you. If you feel the two, or more, problems are connected it may well be best to raise them together. However if one problem is a medical issue that you want advice on and the other problem is an administration issue then raising them separately would be helpful.

What should I do if Online Service breaks down and I can’t contact you?

If, for whatever reason, our Online Services is temporarily unavailable then you will still be able to contact us by telephone or by coming into our reception.

You say a member of the team will be in touch within 2 working days. What should I do if 2 working days go by and I haven’t heard anything?

In the unlikely event that 2 working days go by, or you are worrying about us not yet having got back to you, you can contact us by telephone or by coming into our reception to ask for an update.

Once I use Online Service to send my message to you, how will I hear back from you? Will it be by text, email or phone?

We will get back to you by either text or phone but not by email. As one of the questions in completing your request to us you will be asked how you want to be contacted – by text or by phone.

How can I look back on my Online Service history to track my messages with the practice?

Answer – TBC

My condition has worsened since using Online Service to tell you of my problems, what should I do?

If your condition is considerably worse and you are concerned it may be life threatening, do not delay, call 999. In the more likely case that it is not life threatening, but that you are feeling worse, you could again use our Online Services to advise us of this or alternatively you could phone us or, if well enough, come in to talk to one of our receptionists.

What if I don’t have a smartphone, a tablet or a PC?

Don’t worry, if this is the case just do what you have always done – either phone us or come in to talk to one of our receptionists.

I’m not very confident and get anxious with technical things like Online Service. Can someone show me how to use it?

There are ways that you can be shown how to use our Online Services. Possibly the simplest way is to ask a trusted friend or a member of the family to show you how to use it. Until you press the ‘Submit Request’ button nothing comes through to the Medical Centre so you can take your time looking at the few questions and different pages even entering ‘rubbish’ data so you can progress through each screen page.

Can Online Service be used if I am deaf, hard of hearing, speech-impaired or blind or sight impaired?

It all depends upon your personal circumstances in that you may be able to use Online Services either by yourself or with the help of a trusted friend or a member of your family. If however, you can not use our Online Services you will still be able to contact us in the ways that you have always done so.

I know someone that can’t read or write. They won’t be able to use Online Service so what should they do if they need to contact you?

An option is for a trusted friend or a member of the family to use Online Services on their behalf. One of the questions is as to whether the request is for yourself or someone else. If this is answered for someone else a page comes up asking for details of who is making the request and who the request is for.

I know someone that suffers from anxiety and depression and know they will not be able to use Online Service. So what should they do if they need to contact you?  

If this is unfortunately the case, we can still be contacted by them phoning or coming in to talk to one of our receptionists.

Can I use Online Service on behalf of someone else?

Importantly yes. Online Services is designed to allow  parent’s entering requests for their children, for adults entering requests for their aged families and carers raising them for the people they are caring for.

I don’t want to use Online Service so can I still either telephone you or come into the surgery reception to book an appointment?

You are welcome to telephone us or come into the surgery – our reception team will take the information which is passed to our clinical triage team in the same format as the online forms – so all the requests are dealt with in the same way. We will arrange an appointment to suit your needs based on the information given.

I want a specific doctor (or nurse) to contact me. Can this still be requested with Online Service?

When using our Online Services it is suggested that when you get to the question ‘How would you like us to help you?’ that any request for a particular GP or nurse is entered here. Once your request goes into our inhouse specialist team (the triage team) they will take this into account as they are determining the best way to treat the specific problem you have raised with us. Whilst this may result in you seeing the person you asked to see this cannot be guaranteed for a number of reasons. These include illness, holidays or that your problem can be better treated by another member of our skilled staff.