How to Make and Cancel an Appointment

Care Navigation (Signposting)

Over the coming months you will notice your receptionist begin to ask for a brief outline of your problem when you ring to book an appointment.

This is because we are introducing something called “Care Navigation”. It means we are training receptionists and clerical staff to help them help patients by identifying the most appropriate place for their care.

Through this specialist training, our practice team will be able to direct you to the most appropriate health clinician for your needs first.

Receptionists will never offer clinical advice or triage; this new way of working is about offering you the choice to see more appropriate professionals in the practice team or even somewhere else. If they can deal with the problem directly, it will often be quicker and means you may not need to see the GP at all.   More Information...



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We will endeavour to provide access to a Doctor within forty eight hours and a Healthcare Professional within twenty four hours, but if you wish to make an appointment with a specific doctor or nurse you may be asked to wait longer.

If you do not need an appointment within two working days, you also have the option to book up to four weeks in advance if this is more convenient to you.

The Main Surgery and Kemsing Branch surgery offer a small number of appointments that can be booked in advance but the majority are available on the day. Surgeries will be extended within reason to ensure access as outlined above.

Each appointment is for ten minutes and usually for one problem. If you have more than one matter to discuss please ask the receptionist for a longer appointment. Appointments may be booked by telephoning the surgery on the appointments number 01959 523 929. If, at peak times, you experience difficulties getting through on this number you may also ring on the enquiries / emergency number (01959 524 633) but please be prepared to be placed on hold as emergency calls must take priority. We have six lines and five reception staff answering phones at busy times. Appointments may also be booked On Line, details of this service can be obtained from reception. If you have already registered for this service there is a direct link available from this website.

It is Practice Policy to ask patients arriving more than ten minutes late for their appointment to book another appointment. If the matter is medically urgent and can not wait for another appointment please inform the receptionist. She will pass this message to the doctor who will see you when you can be fitted in. You will not be guaranteed an immediate appointment and may have to wait until the end of the surgery.

All Doctors offer telephone access for details of this please consult the surgery timetable.

When you call for an appointment you will be asked a reason. This is to help the doctors decide if you may need to be seen urgently or if any test results or letters need to be obtained before your appointment. Please do not be offended and if you do not want to give a reason just say ” personal ” . If booking at the front desk we may ask you to write your reason on paper to avoid being overheard. If you use the On Line Appointments system please ensure you provide a reason for your appointment when booking.


Out of Hours Cover

Out of Hours cover (from 18:30 at night through to 08:00 the following morning) is provided by 111. Between the hours of 08:00 and 08:30 and 18:00 to 18:30 there will be a Doctor on call from the surgery. They can be contacted by telephoning the surgery  and listening to the recorded message.


Referral to a Hospital or Specialist

On certain occasions the Doctor will refer you to a hospital to see a specialist. If you have been referred in this way you should normally receive confirmation of an appointment within four weeks of the referral taking place. If you have still not heard anything after four weeks then please contact the surgery and we will look into the matter for you. In some instances you may be asked to book your own appointments through the Choose & Book Service.

The surgery receives many enquiries requesting that we write a letter to chase up or expedite a hospital appointment / operation. It is now the Hospitals that are now obliged to respond to any queries you might have about your care. For more information see written requests to expedite hospital appointments / surgery.


Enhanced Access

improved access

Local GP practices are working together to offer patients better access to GP appointments in the Sevenoaks area – that means you will be able to see a GP, Practice Nurse or other health professional at a time which is most convenient to you. At Otford we offer late evening appointments (18:30 – 20:00) on Wednesdays each week and the occasional Saturday (09:00 – 13:00) on a rota with other practices in the area. Please contact reception if you wish to book in to one of these clinics.