• For GP appointments: please call from 8am Monday-Friday on 0300 790 6266 – we’re currently running a same-day service for GP and CWIC team appointments and these tend to be fully booked by mid-morning each day.

  • For nurse appointments or for blood tests: please call 0300 790 6266 after 10am – these can be booked around 8-10 weeks in advance.

Once you enter the queue please stay on hold: at our busiest times it may take a long time to get through but we’ll answer your call as quickly as we can.

Our receptionists will ask you the reason for your call and book you an appointment with the most appropriate healthcare professional. This may be with the CWIC team, who are based next door to Riverside and offer same-day appointments for certain concerns with nurse practitioners, advanced nurse practitioners and physician’s associates, for patients at GP Practices across East Lothian.

Phone appointments: our current system

We continue to be fully open, as we have been throughout the pandemic.

You’ll have a phone appointment with a GP first, to limit the number of people in the surgery and keep you and our team as safe as possible.

We’ll tell you if your phone appointment will be in the morning or afternoon. If you absolutely need us to call at a certain time (for example if you’re a keyworker) please let us know and we’ll do our very best to accommodate this.

Please make sure we have the phone number we can reach you on that day. The doctor will try to call you at least twice and (if possible) leave a voicemail if they can’t get through. If they can’t reach you, you’ll need to call us to re-book your appointment. The number will appear on your phone as an 0300 or 0800 number. Please make sure your mobile phone is set up to accept 0800 and 0300 calls and isn’t barring these numbers, before the doctor calls.

During your phone appointment, the doctor will assess whether you need to come to the surgery for a face-to-face appointment. If they think you need a face-to-face appointment the same day, they’ll ask our Reception team to book this in for you. If they think you need a face-to-face appointment but at a later date, they may ask you to call us to book this in.

Triage assessment

If you have a health concern that you feel needs attention that day but our daily appointments are fully booked, please stay on the line and specify to the call handler that you think it’s urgent.

Our triage nurse practitioners will advise our Reception team whether you need a same-day assessment – if so, one of our triage nurse practitioners will call you back, assess you and (if needed) arrange for an appointment with the duty doctor or another GP. Examples of things that would need an appointment with the duty doctor include but are not limited to the below.

Please remember that GPs are not an emergency service: for many of the things listed below it would be more appropriate to call 999 or in some cases 111.

  • in children and infants: drowsiness, high temperature, not drinking/feeding or other parent/guardian concern that a child must be seen today
  • cardiac-related symptoms including chest pain or shortness of breath
  • stroke symptoms
  • breathlessness
  • meningitis or sepsis concerns
  • sudden onset ‘thunderclap headache’
  • severe pain
  • suicidal thoughts

Nurse and blood test appointments

Please call after 10am to book a nurse or phlebotomist (blood test) appointment. Appointments with our nurses and phlebotomists can be made up to around 8-10 weeks in advance. This includes blood tests, blood pressure checks, smear tests and chronic disease reviews where symptoms aren’t well controlled.

If you know you need a repeat test, please ask the nurse, phlebotomist or one of our Reception team to book this in for you, during your appointment. This includes pre-chemo bloods.

Home visit requests

Home visits are available for people who are registered as housebound with us, or for those who physically can’t attend the surgery for any reason. A doctor will assess whether your symptoms require a home visit, and if so whether you need to be visited by a GP or by our specialist paramedic.

Home visits are for medical reasons, not for convenience. In the time it takes to make one house visit, the doctor can see many more patients at the surgery. Please request a home visit only if it’s absolutely essential and first consider whether someone could help you attend the surgery or if local services such as HcL Dial-a-Ride can help. Requests for home visits should be made early in the day, ideally before 10.30am.

Cancelling appointments

Please tell us as soon as possible if you can’t attend your appointment. This means we can offer the appointment to someone else. Please call us on 0300 790 6266 or email [email protected] to cancel.

Late arrivals

Please attend your appointment on time. If you’re late we might not be able to see you that day.


If you need an interpreter to come to the surgery or be on the telephone to support you when you see the doctor or nurse, please tell the receptionist at the time you book your appointment.