Appointments

We’re fully open, as we have been throughout the pandemic. Infection rates remain a concern so we continue to take steps to protect patients – especially vulnerable patients – and our team, so we can continue serving the community. Due to high demand, we continue to run a same-day service for GP and CWIC team appointments. Assessment by our triage team may be available if our appointments are fully booked for the day, but you have a concern you don’t feel can wait. Please stay on hold if this is the case for you.

  • Call us on 0300 790 6266 to book an appointment.

  • Call from 8am Monday-Friday for GP or CWIC team appointments, and medication reviews. We’re currently running a same-day service for these appointments, which are usually fully booked by mid-morning.

  • Call after 10am Monday-Friday for nurse or blood tests appointments. These can be booked 8-10 weeks in advance. Mid-late afternoon is the quietest time to call.

  • We can’t book GP or CWIC team appointments at the front desk. Please help us to help other patients as quickly as possible by not requesting this. If you’re already in the surgery, nurse and blood test appointments can be booked for you while you’re here.

What happens when you call

Our receptionists will ask you the reason for your call, so they can book you an appointment with the right healthcare professional. Our clinical triage team and experienced team supervisors support them in this.

Your appointment may be with the CWIC team, who are based next door to Riverside and offer same-day appointments for new symptoms (and new flare-ups of existing conditions) with nurse practitioners, advanced nurse practitioners and physician’s associates. CWIC offer this same care to patients at GP Practices across East Lothian, not just at Riverside.

Your appointment

Appointments with the CWIC team
If your appointment is with the CWIC team, they’ll offer you a phone appointment first, with a face-to-face appointment after if needed.

Face-to-face appointments: Riverside
If the doctor or nurse will need to see you in person to assess your symptoms, we’ll book you a face-to-face appointment straight away.

Phone appointments: Riverside
For all other health concerns we’ll book you a phone appointment with a doctor or nurse first, with a face-to-face appointment afterwards if needed. This is to keep you and us as safe as possible.

Phone appointments will either be a ‘morning’ or ‘afternoon’ slot, to allow the doctor and nurses to see the most urgent patients first. If you need us to call at a certain time (for example if you’re a keyworker) please let us know and we’ll do our best to accommodate this.

GPs aren’t an emergency service. If you have a very urgent concern and think you may need to go to A&E or a Minor Injury Unit please call 111 for assessment, or 999 for life-threatening conditions.

Please make sure we have the phone number we can reach you on that day. The doctor or nurse 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 may appear on your phone as a Glasgow 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.

Triage assessment

If you have a health concern that you feel needs attention that day but our 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 you do, 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.

Keeping you and our team safe

Offering phone appointments first means we can keep our patients (particularly very vulnerable people) as safe as possible, rather than asking them to wait in small, busy waiting rooms with potentially symptomatic people. It also allows us to keep our team as safe as possible, so they remain well and able to serve the community.

Many patients have also told us that they appreciate the convenience of phone appointments, rather than coming into the surgery unnecessarily.

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.

Interpreters

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.