Used for any physical or mental health problem, chronic illness follow-up, and some minor surgical procedures.
All appointments need to be booked by telephone or at the reception desk. Most are available from 8.30am to 5.30pm, each lasts 10 minutes. About half can be booked ahead, as some slots are reserved for on-the-day booking. If you have several problems to discuss, it will help us if you can book a double appointment. We also offer a limited number of early morning and evening appointments every week.
Howden believes strongly that continuity of care by one doctor offers the best model for medical care, particularly for long-term conditions. Although we respect your right to choose to see any of our doctors for your healthcare, we suggest you try to see the same person for most of your visits. When your usual GP is unavailable (e.g. on leave), you may arrange to see another GP.
If your problem is of an urgent nature, and all the available appointments have been booked up, you can see our duty doctor. However, the duty doctor will not deal with more routine matters, and will ask you to see your usual GP to deal with them.
Special note – Chaperones: If you are attending for an intimate examination and wish to have another member of staff present to act as a chaperone, please inform the receptionist at the time of booking your appointment.
GP Open Surgery
We also run an open access surgery from 9.30am to 11am, Monday to Friday. This is staffed by 2 GPs, and is able to deal with up to 24 people who attend without a prearranged appointment.
To access this service, all you need to do is report to reception between 9.30am and 11am, and have your name added to the open access surgery list. You cannot phone in advance for this surgery. You will be asked to wait in a specified area, and your name will be called when it is your turn. We will tell you if the surgery is full, and if so please speak to the receptionists about the alternative appointments we offer. We continue to have a duty doctor every afternoon if your problem is urgent.
As it is a first-come first-served system, we ask you to be prepared to wait your turn. Also, please do not ask the GPs to deal with multiple problems in this surgery, as time is limited, and others will be waiting their turn too.
Used for general nursing services and long-term condition reviews.
All appointments need to be booked through reception. Available from 8.30am to 5.30pm, each lasts 10 minutes.
General nursing services: dressings, suture removal, ear syringing, wart treatments, immunisations, family planning, emergency contraception, cervical smears, spirometry, blood tests.
Chronic illness reviews : Coronary Heart Disease, Hypertension, Asthma, COPD, Diabetes, Stroke/TIA.
Used for assessing and treating minor illness in adults and children (over 5 yrs old) without the need to see a GP as well. All these appointments are only booked on the same day.
Our Nurse Practitioner, Rhona McGoogan, has training and experience in treating various conditions:
- Coughs & colds
- Earache & sore throats
- Minor skin conditions
- Cystitis / UTIs
- Hay fever
- Back pain
- Constipation, indigestion & heartburn
Used only for taking blood samples for laboratory tests. All tests need to be discussed with a GP in advance. Appointments are available in the mornings, and can be booked through reception.
Many problems can be dealt without a face to face contact with a GP or nurse, which may save you a trip to the Health Centre.
If it is a routine problem, or to follow-up a previous appointment or phone call, please leave a message for the clinician concerned via our secretaries.
Home visits are available for patients who are housebound.
These can be planned in advance by the patient’s usual GP or District Nurse, or may be dealt with by the Duty Doctor if not foreseen. Please request such a visit before 10am if possible.
Other patients may be seen at home only if the GP or District Nurse considers that their condition would be seriously worsened by travel. As this is usually not the case, we encourage people to attend the Health Centre when possible, as the facilities for examination are better, and it is a more efficient use of our staff’s time.