Before requesting a GP appointment...

We want to ensure that your problem is dealt with in a timely and efficient manner and that you speak to or see the person who is in the best position to help. Before requesting an appointment with a GP, please consider if your problem can be dealt with in a different way and take note of the potential options listed below. This will ensure we maintain an efficient and effective service and that we can make GP appointments available to those who most need them.  If you are unsure, please discuss your problem with a receptionist who can give advice about how we can best help. Please be assured our receptionists will treat all personal information with complete confidentiality.

For specific information regarding our GP appointment system click here

Self-limiting illness

Mild symptoms of cough, nasal congestion, sinus symptoms, sore throat or stomach upset do not usually need to be assessed by a GP. If your symptoms are stable and manageable you should use self care and over the counter medication. You can also seek advice from your community pharmacist. If your symptoms are progressively worsening or persistent beyond what would normally be expected for self-limiting illness*, you should seek advice from a GP.

If you have symptoms that might be related to COVID-19, you will usually not need to see a GP but please follow advice here.

Click below for more specific advice:

Minor ailments scheme

If you have any of the following problems, you should attend your community pharmacy directly for free advice and treatment. You should only seek GP assessment if the treatment offered by your pharmacist does not resolve your symptoms.

    • Acne Vulgaris
    • Athlete’s foot
    • Diarrhoea
    • Haemorrhoids
    • Headlice
    • Scabies
    • Groin area infection
    • Threadworms
    • Vaginal thrush
    • Oral thrush
    • Ear wax
    • Mouth ulcers
    • Veruccae

Medication requests or queries

Requests for repeat medication or medication you have had before for recurrent or ongoing problems may be requested either online or by phoning the prescription line or by completing a medication request form at reception. If you have a specific query or problem related to your medication, please discuss this with a receptionist who can often help by discussing the issue with our practice pharmacist or a GP without the need for an appointment.

Musculoskeletal problems (Joint and muscle problems)

Our experienced physiotherapists can provide a complete assessment of all musculoskeletal problems including joint, muscle and spinal problems. Our physios can do everything (and often more) than a GP can do including full clinical assessment, detailed advice, prescribing, joint injections, investigation with x-rays and scans, referral for ongoing physiotherapy and to specialists such as the orthopaedic service. For the best service, patients are encouraged to request an appointment with a physio for all musculoskeletal problems.  If following their assessment, our physio feels they cannot adequately help or investigate your problem they will arrange an assessment by a GP.

Social issues

In addition to in-house physiotherapists, we also have in-house social workers who can provide a wide range of advice and support for many issues including:

  • Isolation or loneliness
  • Carer support
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Parenting difficulties
  • Housing difficulties
  • Stress
  • Bereavement and trauma
  • Alcohol and drug addiction
  • Financial difficulties
  • Benefit queries

If you are struggling or need advice and support with any of these or similar issues please request a call with a social worker.

Requests for blood tests, blood pressure checks and wound problems.

Appointments for blood tests which are required due to medication monitoring or for ongoing chronic conditions may be booked directly with a nurse or phlebotomist in the treatment room.

Most other blood tests usually require authorisation by a GP. However if you have a specific request or concern, please discuss this with a receptionist as often they will be able to seek authorisation from a GP without you having to book a GP appointment.

Treatment room nurses can also check and give advice regarding blood pressure. They can also assess and treat wounds.

Urinary tract infections

If you have symptoms of an uncomplicated urinary tract infection, you do not usually need to see a GP. If you have typical symptoms such as ongoing burning discomfort during urination and urinary frequency/urgency, a receptionist may either request a prescription from a GP on your behalf or suggest that you leave in a urine sample which can be tested by a nurse.

Problems related to diabetes, asthma, COPD.

We have nurses who are specifically trained in managing patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and COPD. If you have non-urgent issues relating to these diseases, please discuss with a receptionist who can arrange a telephone assessment with the appropriate nurse.

Acute eye problems (NI PEARS scheme)

The Northern Ireland Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Service (NI PEARS) is for patients who develop a sudden eye condition such as:

  • Red eye(s)
  • Pain and/or discomfort in the eyes, or around the eye area
  • Sudden reduction in vision in one or both eyes
  • Recent onset or sudden increase of flashes and/or floaters in one or both eyes
  • Suspected foreign body in the eye

Patients can self refer by contacting a local optometrist who provides the service.

If you are unsure whether your symptoms qualify you for an NI PEARS examination please contact one of the practices who provide NI PEARS for advice. Click here for more a list of optometrists providing this service.

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