Late Patient Policy

Patients are expected to arrive in good time for their appointments, taking into account journey times when booking appointments. We do understand that an occasional delay is unavoidable therefore if a patient arrives within a reasonable time, then the clinician may still see them. If applicable, the receptionist may advise them that the clinician is now seeing the next patient and that they may have an extended waiting time, as the clinician will see patients who arrived on time first.

Patients who arrive late for an appointment may be advised to rebook a new routine appointment. This is to prevent delays to the clinician’s sessions and to ensure fairness for patients who have arrived on time.

If the patient indicates that there is a medically urgent reason, they need to see a clinician that day, the receptionist can ask the reason and may send a message to the clinician depending on the circumstances.

If a patient calls ahead to say they will be late, this does not alter the policy, the receptionist may advise them on the phone that they should rebook, rather than waste a journey.

Receptionists are not permitted to interrupt clinicians during surgery to request them to see late patients, so to avoid disappointment, please do not ask them to do so.

We appreciate the effort our patients make to attend on time and therefore do our best to run as close to booked appointment times as possible. Adhering to a Late Patient Policy assists us in doing so. However, due to the nature of a GP surgery, sometimes the clinician may be running behind. This is generally because the clinician has needed to spend longer with a patient, for example if a patient presents with complex issues or there is a medical emergency. We continually monitor this and where a patient regularly presents with complex issues, allowances are made, and extra time given to the consultation at the time of booking. We do ask that patients bear this in mind when waiting, as there may be an occasion in the future where they themselves need to spend extra time with the clinician.