You may be offered (or can request) a telephone appointment. Quite often the GPs see patients who have minor illnesses and conditions that could have been managed over the telephone. This makes appointments in the surgery less available for those who really need them. Obviously there are some occasions when even minor conditions need to be seen to enable a proper diagnosis. Skin rashes and ear infections are typical examples. Re-occurrences of minor problems that simply require some form of prescription on the other hand can easily be dealt with over the phone. Reassurance about particular symptoms is another example where a telephone conversation may be adequate. Nevertheless there is some reluctance from our patients to ask for telephone appointments. Please remember that this can be more convenient in that you do not have to travel and you will also free up time for other patients who need to see the doctor more urgently.
If you opt to make a telephone appointment the GP will attempt to contact you twice. If you do not answer but have an answer machine, the GP will leave a message to say that an attempt to contact you has been made; no medical information will be left on the machine. You could be contacted at any time from the time you make the appointment until early afternoon. If you do not answer either call attempt you will be regarded as having not attended your appointment and you will need to make a new appointment in the normal way.