Barton Hills Medical Group

01582 490087

Frequently Asked Questions

Why don’t you get another GP

Several reasons:

GPs are in short supply

We have no more room space

An audit carried out by our GPs recently showed that around 30% of patients seen that week need not have seen the doctor.  They could have been helped by either seeing Ruth the Nurse Practitioner or the local Pharmacist, using Symptom Online Checker, phoning 111 for advice or using NHS.UK website for advice.


Barton Hills Surgery belongs to a Primary Care Network (PCN) which is a group of 5 local practices all working together. We will soon employ a Clinical Pharmacist to share. This person will deal with all prescriptions and medication issues, thus freeing up the GPs to see more patients.  



Why have you stopped offering Monday evening appointments?


From 1st July 2019 funding for EXTENDED HOURS appointments changed and payment now goes directly to the Primary Care Networks (PCNs). 

Barton Hills Medical Group belongs to the “Medics” PCN which consists of the following 5 practices.

Barton Hills Practice

Medici Practice

Woodlands Avenue Practice

Gardenia Practice

Bell House Practice

We have to offer Out of Hours appointments to patients across all 5 practices.  At the present time funding is not sufficient to pay for doctors to work weekends.  However, appointments are available on Saturdays at Medici practice with Minor Illness nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Health Care Assistants. Also Phlebotomists will soon be available.  Our Receptionists will be happy to book your appointment and also 111 Advisors can book appointments for you.


National Health Service England (NHSE) has set aside separate funding for EXTENDED ACCESS and doctor’s appointments ARE available as well as nurses.  These are mostly for routine appointments, and the wait time is just 2 or 3 days.  These appointments are held at Medici and Gardenia practices in the evenings as well as weekends.  Our Receptionists can book into these appointments and 111 Advisors can also book into them for you.



Why cant I book a doctor’s appointment online


You can.  We have allowed a few appointments per GP to be bookable from 18.30 the evening before.  At weekends they show on Saturday evenings.  However we are moving towards patients being “triaged” before booking with a patients will be signposted to the most appropriate service.  A GP appointment is not always necessary.  Patients who feel they need to be seen urgently should phone 111.  The 111 advisors can directly book an appointment here for you if they consider you need an urgent appointment.


I have a query and just want to speak to the doctor


The Receptionists will take a note of your query and send it to the doctor who will either phone you back or reply to the message and a member of staff will phone you with the doctor’s reply.  It will help if you could phone after 10am with queries when the phones are less busy.


Can your Nurse Practitioner prescribe?


Yes. Ruth is a highly qualified, very experienced Nurse Practitioner who can prescribe. 


Why do you keep most of the appointments blocked until 8am on the day


This is the GPs preferred system.  They have a finite number of patients they can deal with in one day so if our appointments are booked beforehand it leaves very little for emergencies on the day. It also keeps our DNA’s (patients who Did Not Arrive) to an absolute minimum thus ensuring the gps time is not wasted.



Why will the doctors only visit housebound patients? 


In the time it takes to visit one patient, the doctor can see at least 3 here in the surgery. If the patient is too unwell to come down the doctor will phone the patient and decide whether a visit is required.



Why does the practice keep taking on more patients?


We cannot close our list without approval from NHS England so we are obliged to accept anyone who lives in our catchment; LU2, LU3 areas of Luton. NHSE make it very difficult for practices to close their lists due to the knock on effect on local practices. We are all in a similar situation of having too many patients per gp.


Why can’t I get my ears syringed at the surgery anymore?


It has never been part of our contract with NHSE to offer this service so now that it is provided by the Extended Access Nurses at Gardenia and Medici practices in their evening and weekend clinics, we ask patients to go there to have their ears syringed. However, our Nurses are happy to continue the service for very elderly and frail patients who find it difficult to travel.


Are you doing anything in particular to give better access to the elderly?


Yes. We are aware that some elderly patients don’t use internet and should not be expected to queue up on the phone or outside to get an appointment with their GP and we have come up with a solution. Patients aged 85 or over should phone later in the day when the phones are less busy. Our Receptionists have been authorised to unblock appointments for these patients without first getting approval from the GP. Information notices will be displayed in the waiting room and text messages will be sent to these patients so that they are aware of the new process. Of course, there is a downside to this in that it will reduce the number of appointments available on the day. Therefore patients requesting an urgent on the day appointment will be asked to phone 111 first.





If you have any other queries which are not answered here you can send them to and we will endeavour to reply by email.

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