EASTER closure: April 19 - 22. Call our line for emergency number or call 111 +++ EVENING & WEEKEND APPOINTMENTS now AVAILABLE. See APPOINTMENTS - CARE NAVIGATION left menu +++ Volunteers@SAMC: Could you offer support to individual patients? Tasks like BEFRIENDING, offering practical and emotional support, DRIVING to/from activities. See page COMMUNITY@SAMC for more information. +++MEASLES current news. Ensure your family is vaccinated - ask RECEPTION

Appointments - Care Navigation

signposting YOU to the most appropriate place for YOUR care
A new approach

What is care navigation?
Please don’t be offended if you are asked what the problem is when you ring to book an appointment - this is called care navigation and it’s about helping you get to the service you need as quickly as possible.
 
When you ring to book an appointment, our receptionists - who have been trained to become care navigators - will now to ask you for a brief outline of your problem.
 
They might suggest other professionals who could help you better rather than just your doctor. But you can see your doctor if you prefer - the choice is yours.


For more detail see FAQs on GUIDES & LEAFLETS page
 

To see a CLINICIAN To see other PROFESSIONALS 

- at SAMC
- at another Tunbridge Wells surgery

providing specialist services listed below

  Pharmacy
  Supporting older people
  Carers
  Mental health
  Become healthier and more active
  Social prescribing service
  Citizens advice
  Domestic abuse 
   
Click CLINICIAN SERVICES Click OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
for more detail tab for more detail
   
Click Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) tab for more detail

Appointments to see a Clinician

signposting YOU to the most appropriate place for YOUR care

This page covers appointments with clinicians, (doctors, advances nurse practioners, practice nurses). For appointments with other professionals who may be able to help you direct, click on the Other Professional Services page.

Pre-bookable appointments
With immediate effect, pre-bookable appointments will include Improved Access appointmentsThese are available for all patients in Tunbridge Wells, regardless of where they are located or their usual Surgery. 
This means that you may book these appointments for any day of the week, 52 weeks of the year (including most Bank holidays). 
It does however mean that it is unlikely to be your normal GP who sees you at the weekend, and it is likely that you will have to go to a different surgery to SAMC for these appointments.




(1) Location – Medical Centres that are in the Tunbridge Wells Rota. The surgery will vary week by week. You will be advised of the specific surgery when you make an appointment
(2) Location- Warders in Tonbridge, TN9 1LA 
(3) Book all appointments with SAMC between the hours shown, in the normal way. You cannot book any of these improved access appointments at any other time 

 
For medical emergencies outside these times call the SAMC number to be directed to an emergency number, or call 111.

Missed appointments could mean being removed from our patients' list - see policy on  GUIDES & LEAFLETS page.
Approximately 150 appointments per month are classified as ‘Did Not Attend’ (DNA) - i.e. the patient did not turn up for the appointment and did contact us in advance to cancel/change appointment (minimum of 2 hours).

The effects of these are: ** f
rustration for patients trying to book appointments - wasted appointments increases waiting times ** waste of resources - time and money ** potential risks to the health of patients. 

Length of appointment: Each slot is for 10 minutes. If you have more than one medical condition to discuss or need longer, request a ‘double appointment’.
 

Patients 1-at-a-time: if more than one member of your family needs to be seen make a separate appointment for each.
 

‘Your doctor’: make appointments with
‘your doctor’ (every patient is allocated a named doctor) to ensure continuity of care, an important aspect of our Practice. You may however, see another doctor if your doctor is unavailable. 

Making an appointment
You can make a booking online (if you have signed up for the service - click here to do so) or by phone or by visiting the surgery.

How far in advance can you make an appointment? All medical problems are important but if its not urgent please phone/visit SAMC in the afternoon, after the morning ‘rush hour’.

Pre-booking: i.e. you book before the desired day of your appointment. You can book up to six weeks in advance (8 weeks for nurses)

‘Same-day’ (subject to availability): call SAMC on the day you'd like to see a doctor/nurse. We operate a ‘Triage system’ (determining the priority of patients’ treatment based on the severity of their condition.
If you phone/visit after all available slots are gone your request will be logged by Reception on our ‘triage list’ managed by the day's triage doctor. 
  1. Remain by your phone and the triage doctor will phone you as soon as possible, to agree the appropriate course of action with you:
  2. this may be resolvable without a need for a same-day visit by you to the surgery, but if it is, an appointment will be offered to you, or booked for a subsequent day.
  3. in certain cases, at triage assessment on the phone, the triage doctor may decide to arrange a home call. The triage doctor will make a maximum of 2 calls to you but if you don’t respond, yo'll need to call us again if needed

Very urgent medical problems click here   

Text reminder service 
Please ensure we have your current mobile number so that we can send you an appointment reminder – this helps us cut back on missed appointments.
 

Cancelling an appointment 

  • If you have had a REMINDER TEXT from us and you can't attend simply text back 'CANCEL'
  • If you haven't had REMINDER TEXT please phone 01892 515455

Book a non-urgent appointment online
See Appointments online page for more information.

Phone your doctor
See separate page above.

Chaperone
if you would like a chaperone present during your consultation please advise the receptionist when booking your appointment or when checking in.

Appointments - Other professional services


signposting YOU to the most appropriate place for YOUR care
A new approach

 

Other medical services that we can signpost you to are shown herebut you may self-refer for help and guidance without contacting SAMC if you wish. (For appointments with members of the SAMC clinicial team click on the Appointments SAMC-based services page).

Social Prescribing Service
A member of the SAMC team is dedicated to supporting isolated, lonely patients, to improve health and wellbeing, by bringing people together to help and support each other. 

find out more
3 core areas: 

  • Supporting carers in their caring role; enabling people to provide unpaid support to a family member or friend who could not manage without help
  • Supporting older people, by bringing people together and facilitating and developing volunteering to provide practical support, information and advice, leisure, learning, health, wellbeing and social activities
  • Supporting disadvantaged, marginalised or vulnerable people to improve their health and wellbeing by unleashing their potential to contribute to society and give to others.

Pharmacist support
If you’re suffering from one of the common minor ailments, we can signpost you to a pharmacy for an NHS consultation and treatment, without the need for an appointment.
find out more

Older People support
If you are aged 50 years and over and living in the West Kent Area, we can signpost you to Age Well who work with a variety of community organisations to ensure you receive the appropriate support depending on your personal circumstances. 
find out more
  
Carer Support 
if you provide unpaid support to a family member or friend whatever age you are, and you need help or advice, we can signpost you to Carers First who can offer you support.
find out more
 
Mental health support (Live Well Kent) 
If you need access to talking therapy services, we can signpost you to a service provided by Thinkaction, the lead provider in West Kent. They offer a variety of individual treatment services including, face-to-face, telephone and online, as well as groups and workshops.
find out more 
 
Healthier and more active support
If you want to improve your health and wellbeing, we can signpost you to One You Kent which runs a number of programmes: smoke free / weight loss / health checks / 1-1 lifestyle support / walking and exercise.
find out more 
 
Domestic abuse support
If you are experiencing domestic abuse we can signpost you to DAVSS, a West Kent charity supporting anyone who needs help regardless of age, gender, race, religion, culture, sexuality, social status or geographical location.
find out more 
 
Citizens advice support
If you need some help and advice we can signpost you to the weekly Citizens Advice Bureau clinics here at SAMC on Thursdays, from 2 to 5 pm. Or to to arrange an appointment at other times, phone 03448 487978 or email

 

 

 

Home visits

If you are too ill to attend the surgery, a Doctor will visit you at home at their discretion.

  • Home visits are not for common symptoms where patients are well enough to travel
  • Home visits are for the truly bed bound patient 
  • Please phone between 08.30–10.00 whenever possible, to enable Doctors to plan their day
  • If the visit is urgent ensure that the receptionist is aware of this
  • Home visits are normally undertaken at anytime between midday and 14.00
  • You should not expect the doctor to arrive immediately following the end of morning surgery
  • The doctor will normally telephone prior to the visit to see if your concerns can be resolved without a visit

Phone your doctor or nurse

You can consult with the doctors and nurses by telephone.

The doctors can take calls between 11:30 & 12:00 weekday mornings

  • Call surgery between these times and ask to speak with your usual doctor

    • If your doctor is on another call or is still seeing patients in morning surgery we will take your number (landline where possible) and the doctor will call you back when free

    • If your usual doctor has a large volume of calls to return one of the other partners may contact you in the first instance to see if they can help

    • In the absence of your usual doctor you will be put through to the duty doctor (one of the other Partners)

  • Don't phone your doctor for non–urgent prescription requests: order them through this website – ‘on-line prescription ordering service’, by calling in person at the surgery and completing a repeat prescription form or by sending/handing in your repeat request at the surgery or a local pharmacy

  • If a nurse is not available when you call, we will take your number (landline where possible) and one of our nurses will call you back when free

Other telephone advice
If your query is regarding a referral letter or other letters to the hospital or outside agency, please do not contact the doctor; ask to speak with the secretary who will be able to advise you on all matters relating to correspondence.