Appointments System

The practice offers a mixture of appointments that can be pre-booked or booked onthe day.

Patients can request a telephone call, video consultation, a face-to-face appointment or submit an online consultation called eConsult, via the practice website. If the GP needs to see you you will be invited for a face to face appointment. 

eConsults open Monday to Friday at 8am for both administrative and clinical issues. Due to the high volume of these wehave to limit the number we can accept at the moment. eConsults are not suitable for urgent issues.

It may notbe neccesary for you to see the GP and we have a range of Healthcare Professionals that can support your health needs. Please see the "Right Care First Time" campaign issued by the Institute of General Practice Management (IGPM) for more information.

If you have a more urgent concern then please call the surgery, but note our telephone system is exceptionally busy especially in the morning.

If you need medical assistance when the surgery is closed and it is urgent but not life threatening, please use NHS 111 online or dial 111.

For a suspected heart attack, stroke or any oter serious life-threatening illness or injury always dial 999  immediately.

Routine & Urgent Appointments

Each day we release a number of same day appointments, they are released at different times so that they are not all taken first thing in the morning. We aim to see urgent cases the same day.

If the condition is not urgent the GP may ask that you book a routine appointment.

Urgent cases may be seen by any of our doctors or by our Advanced Nurse Practitoners. 

Any medication queries will be passed, in the first instance, to our Clinical Pharmacist team and if necessary they will ask the GP for guidance.

All medication reviews are completed by the Clinical Pharmacists either by phone or face-to-face.



If you have a musculoskeletal condition you can directly book in with our physiotherapist who is here on Tuesday mornings, Wednesday afternoons and all day Friday. They can offer a phone appointment, or a face-to-face.

These appointments are a "first contact" appointment where they will assess the problem, and offere excerices or if necessary, refer you on to the Musculoskeletal Service (MSK) for further investigation and treatment. These initial appointments are not for "hands on" treatment or manipulation.

Nurse Appointments

We have a team of General Practice Nurses, Nursing Associate and Advanced Nurse Practitioners.

Appointments may be made via reception for ear syringing, cervical smears,  vitamin B12 injections, immunisations and holiday immunisations, wound care and general health checks. They can also help with long-term condition monitoring and reviews such as frailty and learning disability.

Jane Hickling and Karen Venables, our advanced nurse practitioners, can also undertake contraceptive advise and HRT and are able to prescribe where indicated.


Emergency Appointments During Surgery Hours

Telephone: 01707 321 500

There is always a duty doctor allocated  during surgery times for urgent requirements. At other times the rota is shared with local GPs. The number to call is always 01707 321 500

If you have an injury which may require stitches or an X-ray, please go directly to the QEII Urgent Care Centre.

Is it an emergency? – East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust (

Please be aware the duty doctor is not always on site as they may be doing house visits. 

The practice does not offer an emergency walk-in service.


The practice is equipped to treat minor injuries like small cuts and joint sprains. If the injury is more severe or may involve a broken bone then you should attend the local minor injuries unit at the QEII Urgent Care Centre whcih is open from 8am to 10pm every day, further inforation cab be accessed here: -

In the event of poisoning or overdose please go direct to the Lister Hospital, Stevenage. We are unable to assist with overdoses at the practice.

Life Threatening Emergencies

In a life-threatening emergency such as sudden severe chest pain, severe breathlessness, loss of power in a limb, loss of consciousness or severe bleeding dial 999.

Home Visits for Housebound Patients

All requests should be ideally made before 10:30am please.

If you require an urgent visit after 10:30am the receptionist will contact the doctor for you. The doctor may telephone you before visiting to assess the urgency of your request in order to prioritise visits. Visits may be carried out by the Acute Inhouse Visiting Service (AIVS) or by a doctor or Advanced Nurse Practitioner from the practice.

It is not always necessary to see the doctor or nurse in person - you may telephone the surgery and ask the duty doctor or nurse to phone you back at a mutually convenient time.

You can also be visited at home by a community nurse if you are referred by your GP. You should also be visited at home by a health visitor if you have recently had a baby or if you are newly registered with a GP and have a child under five years.

Cancellations & Reminders

Cancel an Appointment

It is important that you inform the reception staff if you are unable to attend your appointment, this will allow that appointment to be offered to another patient. If you fail to notify the Practice that you are unable to attend, you may be sent a letter or text informing you that you have defaulted from your appointment. Persistent defaulters maybe removed from the list.

You can also complete our appointment cancellation notification request form. This can only be used if your appointment has been arranged for more than 24 hours in advance. (excluding weekends and public holidays). You can also ring switchboard and select oprtion 2 and leave a message to cancel your appointment.

Late For Your Appointment

Please attend your appointment on time, if you are late you may not be seen.

If you are not seen you will not be able to rearrange your appointment until the next working day-except in the event of an medical emergency that requires immediate attention.

Text Reminder Service

We have a texting service which allows you to receive confirmation and reminders about your appointments.

To have this service you will need to register by completing a consent form.

Please remember to update your contact details with us when you change address, telephone numbers and email address.

Extended Access

Since April 2018 extended GP services have been available between 18:30 – 20:00 Mondays to Fridays and between 08:00 to 16:00 on Saturdays and from 08:00 to 12:00 on Sundays.  These extra appointments will all be at Spring House Medical Centre (across the road from the UCC - Ascots Lane AL7 4HL).  To find out more, or to book an appointment, please speak to one of our reception team or visit the following website:

Ephedra Healthcare Ltd -

It is likely that you will not see a GP or nurse from this practice at one of these appointments.  Do ask our reception team when you call whether you would like one of these Extended Access appointments.  There are a few same day appointments on Saturday and Sunday at the Extended Access hub - please call 01707 294 358 to book these.

We will still be open 3 out of 4 Saturday mornings as usual.

Opening Times

Please select a site

Getting the Most out of a Consultation

In Great Britain, patients on average have just seven minutes with their GP. The BMA's doctor Patient Partnership offers the following advice to help you use this time effectively:

Be Prepared

  • Make a list of any questions / problems you wish to discuss beforehand.
  • Take a pen & paper as you may want to note down important points.
  • Wear loose clothing if it's likely you will need to be examined.
  • Be prepared to tell your doctor of any non-prescription medicines or supplements you are taking.
  • You can bring someone with you for support.

During The Appointment

  • Don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • If you don't understand, ask your doctor to repeat it or write it down.
  • If you are prescribed a drug, make sure you know why it has been given to you, how long to take it for etc. Remember pharmacists are experts in medication and a very useful source of advice.
  • Be direct. If you have a problem that you find embarrassing or difficult to talk about, don't leave it to the end of the appointment before mentioning it. Remember your problem is likely to a common one for your GP, who is there to help you.

One Problem at a Time

If you have several problems it is more effective in the long run to concentrate on just one problem during the consultation than to have to rush through a list of problems. Be prepared to make another appointment so that each problem can be given the time it needs to be sorted out.

Be On Time

Be on time for your appointment, or inform the surgery as soon as possible, if you wish to cancel your appointment. If you are late the doctor or nurse may not be able to see you.

Separate Appointments

Make a separate appointment for each member of the family.

Under 14 Year Olds

Accompany under 14 year olds. If however, a young person strongly wishes to be treated without his/her parent's involvement, his/her confidentiality will be respected.