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Appointments:
Doctor Bookings:

At this time the Blackwood Clinic books are open and some of the doctors are taking new patients. Reception staff are able to advise which of the doctors (both male and female) are able to offer appointments to new patients. Individual doctors will close their books when waiting times for appointments for their existing patients increase to an unacceptable level.

A standard appointment is 15 minutes long. If you have several concerns it is advisable to book a long appointment- please speak to reception staff about this option when you are making your booking. General health checks, including Pap smears, require a long appointment. New patients may be asked to make a long appointment in order to allow enough time to update past medical history as well as address the presenting complaint. Often your doctor may suggest an appropriate length of time for more specific bookings, such as for procedures (eg. Mirena or Implanon insertion and skin lesion excision).

The practice endeavours to make appointments available on a daily basis for patients who need urgent medical care- please advise reception if you are unwell and need urgent review. Reception staff may need either a nurse or doctor to assess the urgency.

For further information on bookings for prescriptions and referral letters see below.

Nurse Bookings:

Reception staff are able to make most nursing appointments but there are some bookings for specific services (such as Chronic Disease Management plans and Home Health Assessments) that need to be done by nursing staff. You will be phoned back by the nurse where appropriate for this to occur. When requesting these services for the first time it may be necessary to see a doctor first for eligibility assessment if this has not already been done.

Prescriptions:

Repeat prescriptions require an appointment to ensure that your health status is being monitored appropriately. It is preferable but not imperative that you try to book the appointment with your usual GP. Most scripts last for 6 months (with repeats) which we feel offers enough time to plan ahead. Some patients have multiple scripts- please talk to your doctor about getting repeats done for all of your medications at the same visit if appropriate.

New prescriptions, prescriptions for travelling overseas, and immunisation prescriptions (except influenza immunisation) require a standard 15 minute appointment. Influenza prescriptions during the appropriate season can be requested from reception staff who will ask your usual doctor to provide this. The government has expanded their funding for influenza immunisations to those over 65 years, pregnant women, and those with eligible chronic disease. You may need to check eligibility with your doctor.

Referral Letters:

Repeat or ongoing referrals require a standard 15 minute appointment. This allows doctors to keep patient records as up-to-date as possible which is reflected in the referral and keeps specialists well-informed of any changes in your health status.

New referrals, or referrals for problems that have recurred, also require a standard appointment to allow the doctor to assess/reassess the best approach to further management. This may include a referral letter but may also include further investigations or other strategies.

At times patients present requesting "referrals" to allied health practitioners. For DVA card holders there are specific referral forms to be completed. Other patients may be referring to coordinated referrals as part of a management plan- either mental health-related or chronic disease-related (see below). A normal appointment is required to assess these.

*Please note that it is the patients responsibility to make sure they have a valid referral BEFORE making an appointment with a specialist. By law our doctors are unable to back date referrals.

Mental Health Treatment Plans:

Mental health treatment plans are designed to improve management of mental health conditions. These are a way of ensuring both doctor and patient understand and agree upon the diagnosis and intended management, and are to be reviewed on a regular basis.

You must be assessed by your doctor for eligibility prior to commencing a plan. They are not intended solely as a referral for psychological services. Most doctors require at least a 30 minute appointment to complete a mental health treatment plan appropriately.

Chronic Disease Management:

Your doctor may suggest that you are eligible for a chronic disease management plan. Not all medical illnesses qualify. If eligible, the plan is commenced by nursing staff and reviewed with your doctor. Nursing staff will make sure the correct booking is made depending on your specific needs.

The aim of the chronic disease management plans is to increase patients' understanding of their illness and it's care, and to ensure regular review and attainment of treatment goals. Nursing staff send reminders to ensure the reviews occur at the appropriate times. Patients are provided with a written plan. Some patients will also be eligible for "Team Care Arrangements" if they require multiple health practitioners to be involved in their care- your doctor and/or nursing staff will speak to you about this further at your appointment.

**Please note as of 1st November Medicare has introduced new regulations: All apointments with your GP for care plans must only be to discuss your care plan needs plus any associated referrals with the management of your condition. If you need to discuss other things with your GP you will be required to make a separate appointment either with another GP on the same day or your GP on a different day. Alternately you are able to be billed privately for the separate problem (eg not claimable from Medicare).

 

Emergencies:

As stated above, we keep appointments available every day for urgent matters including acute illness and injuries. Please ensure that you phone reception staff as soon as you are able to ensure you can be seen. Please advise if you are experiencing acute chest pain or shortness of breath as you may require an ambulance.

As these conditions and the demand for them is unpredictable there may be delays in scheduled appointments. Our reception staff will do their best to keep you informed of any delays. We appreciate your understanding and patience. If for any reason you think you cannot wait please inform reception staff and they will reschedule you at your earliest convenience. Reception staff are happy for patients to phone ahead if required regarding their appointment time and will do their best to predict any delays.

Results:

Results can be accessed by phoning reception staff between the hours of 2-5pm weekdays. The reception staff are able to read out any comments left by the doctor checking the results. If you would prefer to speak to your doctor about your results, please make an appointment. Your doctor should advise you when to expect the results to be available.

It is likely that your doctor will contact you in an emergency- please ensure your contact details are kept up to date with reception staff.

Reminders:

At times it is necessary for the practice to send you a reminder, for example when your Pap smear or other routine health checks are due. Your doctor may on an individual basis arrange to send other reminders. Please ensure your contact details are kept up to date with reception staff. We participate in all National, State & Territory Reminder Systems. Please indicate to your doctor if you do not wish to receive a reminder.

Cancellations:

There is a fee for late cancellations- please see Fees for further information. Appointments are precious and we would appreciate at least 4 hours advanced notice of inability to attend.

23 Coromandel Parade Blackwood,   South Australia,   5051 P: 08 8278 6666     F: 08 8370 2494