Blackrock Medical Centre Policies

New Patients

New patients are welcome and requests to join the Practice are reviewed on a monthly basis by the Partners and Practice Manager. This is to ensure that we can meet both your medical needs and those of our existing patient base without compromise. If you wish to register your interest in joining, you should download our New Patients Request Form here (or see Quick Links on our Home page). Complete and return this form to us and we will contact you if and when we are in a position to accept your application.

Appointments

An appointment is necessary for all visits to the GP or Nurse. Appointments can be arranged either over the telephone or in person by visiting the surgery. Each appointment is allocated fifteen minutes - if you think you need more time for a particular reason please make the reception staff aware of this at the time of booking. For example, if more than one member of your family needs to be seen by the doctor at the same time, if you are booking in for a specific procedure, etc. Prior notice enables us to manage waiting times and avoid disappointment. Longer appointments will incur a higher fee.

Every effort will be made to facilitate any request for a particular doctor and/or a particular time. However, this is not always possible and as close an alternative as is available will be offered. In the event of a request for an urgent, same day appointment it may not be possible to see the doctor of your choice but you will be offered an appointment to see the first doctor with availability remaining on that day.

Given the nature of our business, appointments can run behind schedule from time to time. We make every effort to ensure you are seen at the time you have been allotted but we ask for your understanding on the occasions when there may be a delay. Likewise, we ask patients to present on time for their appointment. If you are 15 minutes late or more, you are not guaranteed to be seen and a future appointment may have to be arranged for you instead.

Appointments at the Practice are in high demand and we have a waiting list each day. If you have an appointment you no longer wish to keep, please be courteous to your fellow patients and cancel your slot so that it may be given to another person who needs it.

House Calls

House calls are generally reserved for patients who are gravely ill or have severe mobility problems. If at all possible, it is better for patients to attend the surgery as there is a full range of equipment here to deal with most issues. It is practice policy for our Practice Nurse or Reception Staff to ask if this is possible. If you or a family member are too incapacitated to attend the surgery please contact us as early as possible in order to allow the best possibility of a prompt House Call.

Emergencies & Out of Hours (SOUTHDOC)

During surgery times, please telephone us in the event of a medical emergency so that arrangements can be made prior to your arrival. If the patient is too unwell to move, give the details to the Receptionist or Practice Nurse when you phone so that the doctor can be informed and make any necessary arrangements.

Our receptionists are instructed not to disturb the doctor during a consultation with a patient. You will be asked the nature of the call so that the doctor can assess the urgency of same. The message will be given to the doctor who will return your call as soon as possible. In certain circumstances, reception staff can, at their discretion, expedite a message to the doctor and every effort will be made to arrange a prompt consultation. You need to make reception staff aware of such circumstances at the time of your call.

Should you require urgent medical attention outside surgery hours, medical cover is provided by SOUTHDOC - Tel: 1850 335 999. This service operates between 6pm and 8am Monday to Friday and from 6pm on Friday to 8am on Monday. On contacting SOUTHDOC, you will be asked for patient details, contact information and medical card details if applicable. You will subsequently be contacted by phone by their Triage Nurse who will assess the medical need based on the information you have given. You will then either be offered advice if applicable or an appointment to attend SOUTHDOC. If the patient is too incapacitated to attend, a house call will be offered or possible referral to the hospital. If you consider a condition to be life threatening, you should phone 999 and ask for an ambulance.

Southdoc Payment Policy:
If you have a valid medical card you must bring it with you. Otherwise you will be charged for your consultation. Non medical card holders must pay for their consultation before leaving SOUTHDOC.

How to Find Southdoc:
There are two SOUTHDOC surgeries serving Cork City.

Northside: 10 Millfield Commercial Centre, Commons Road, T23 PN53 Southside: Unit 17/18 South Ring Business Park, Kinsale Road, T12 N6KR

For more information, see www.southdoc.ie

Life threatening situations require Emergency Services. In the interest of time, call 999 or 112 if you are having difficulty contacting the surgery or SOUTHDOC. Advice on when to contact the Emergency Services can be found here: HSE - Emergency.

Prescriptions

To ensure that you do not run out of your medication you must allow a minimum of FORTY-EIGHT HOURS NOTICE for a repeat prescription. Bear in mind that we are not open at the weekend. If you require additional medication to your normal repeat prescription or if you require antibiotics you will need to see the Doctor. Prescriptions must be collected in person from Reception during opening hours. There may be times when the Doctor will need to see you before a repeat prescription can be issued. In any event, your medication must be reviewed at least every six months.

Private patients with a prescription from a consultant or hospital should take them directly to the pharmacy to be dispensed.

If you have a medical card and have been given a hospital prescription, you may take the script immediately to the pharmacy and they will give you a one-week supply of the medication providing you present it on the day you received it from the hospital. Once you have a supply, you can bring the prescription to the surgery and the doctor will transfer it to a GMS prescription which you can collect after forty eight hours and take to the pharmacy. They will then dispense the balance of the medication.

Laboratory Specimens

All samples (ie blood, urine, sputum, stools, nail clippings) are collected by courier at lunchtime each weekday and taken directly to the hospital laboratory.

In order to get the samples to the labs in a timely fashion, patients are requested to hand in specimens to us in the mornings only. In most cases, we only take blood samples in the mornings also.

If you are informed that fasting bloods are required, you must not eat or drink for at least 10 hours prior to your blood test. However, if you take regular medication, you should take them as normal with a sip of water and inform the nurse/doctor of same on arrival.

Results

If you are awaiting lab results, you should phone the surgery for results within 7-10 days of the sample being taken.

If you have been referred for X-rays or scans by the Doctor, the wait time for results may be longer. You should contact the surgery two weeks after the procedure has been carried out.

If urgent results are received you will be notified immediately upon their receipt by one of our medical staff.

Reception staff are not authorised to give results of any nature to patients as a matter of policy. A message will be taken and either the Nurse or one of the Doctors will phone you with the results. When appropriate, we can also text results to patients.

Payments

It is practice policy for all accounts to be settled at the time of consultation before leaving the surgery. We do not offer an invoice payment system. Payment can be made by bank card, cash or cheque. Bank card payments can also be taken over the phone. You will be issued with a receipt at time of payment. Duplicate receipts cannot be issued so ensure you carefully keep your receipts if you need to submit claims to your health insurer and/or Revenue. Valid, in-date Medical Cards cover the fees for many GP services. The following exceptions apply:

* Blood tests are covered by a Medical Card if they are done at a public hospital. If you prefer, you may attend the Phlebotomy Unit of any public hospital instead of having your bloods taken at the Practice.

If you are unsure if a fee applies, please ask at Reception at time of request.

If your Medical Card has expired, payment for your visit is required in line with our price list. The onus and responsibility for an up-to--date Medical Card lies with you, the patient. See HSE - Medical Cards for further information.

 

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Blackrock Medical Centre, 74 Skehard Road, Blackrock, Cork, T12 TX0F • Tel: 021 489 2996

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