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A Guide to our Appointments System


Please remember that a lot of problems and enquiries can be sorted by a telephone call, either by speaking to the receptionists and secretaries or asking a nurse or asking an appropriate clinician to call you back.

If you would like to book your appointment ONLINE then please click HERE

If you would like to book your appointment ONLINE then please click on the link at the top of this page. To access this service you will need to have a username and password which you must get in person from either surgery reception. If you use our online system to order repeat medication then it is the same logon details.

There are about 9000 patients registered at Combe Down Surgery.  We have 6 GP's.

With such large numbers there can, at times, be some degree of pressure on our appointments. We endeavour to provide an efficient service and hope to make the appointment system as convenient as possible.

Sometimes it can be difficult to get an appointment with a clinician exactly when you want to. Our system is set up with a variety of options to make things as easy as possible:

Please be aware that when telephoning the surgery to make an appointment the reception staff will ask patients to outline the problem in order that you can be booked with the most appropriate clinician.  If you do not wish to provide this information we may ask that a clinician calls you back.

Option 1: Patient Partner - Automated Booking

Patient Partner is the new automated way of booking, cancelling or checking your own appointments with your surgery. You telephone the surgery as normal, and then choose Option 1 from the menu to use the Automated Booking Service.

One of the main benefits of Patient Partner is that you are able to telephone the surgery at any time - even when it's closed!

Option 2: Book on the Day Appointments

These help you see a clinician as fast as possible when you are ill.  Our receptionists will find the most suitable appointment for you.

We now have two experienced Nurse Practitioners who can prescribe.  They will deal with all urgent care appointments bookable on the day, these are for health problems that arise in the short term and need to be addressed as soon as possible.  

Telephone lines open at 08:00 and appointments can be booked by calling 837171.

Often the lines are very busy between 08:00 and 08:30 but usually there are appointments free until mid-morning. 

Our standard appointment length is 10 minutes.

We also have a nurse practitioner several days a week to see patients with minor illness and injuries - see below for details

Option 3: Advance Bookings

For problems that need addressing but not specifically that day we have increased the numbers of appointments with doctors that can be booked 24hrs and 48hrs in advance. These appointments are made available and staggered throughout the day so there is no requirement to call at 8am.

We appreciate that patients need to book ahead, and we would encourage you to do so particularly if you are having a course of treatment.

We have doctors’ appointments that are bookable up to 4 weeks in advance.

Option 4: Open Surgeries

We run an “open” surgery every afternoon - this exists for urgent care only, giving flexible capacity to accommodate the acutely unwell. This runs between 15:00 and 17:00.

Option 5: Telephone Appointments

If you feel a telephone call may be suitable to address your enquiry then you can arrange a telephone consultation with a doctor.

Phone the surgery as if you were going to make a normal appointment and press 1 for a telephone appointment. You will be asked to leave a contact phone number and a time when you can be called back. The doctor will try to call you back as close to that time as possible.

Option 6: Nurse Appointments

There are a variety of Nurse appointments and can be booked up to 5 weeks ahead.  Receptionists will book the most appropriate appointment for you.

Option 6: Saturday Morning Pre-Bookable Appointments

These are to help those people who struggle to see the Doctor during normal working hours and to offer more flexibility around appointments.

They are Pre-bookable ONLY appointments.

If you do NOT have a Pre-booked appointment with the Doctor then you will NOT be able to be seen as the doctor will be fully booked in advance. Please click here for further details and commonly asked questions.


If you are unable to attend an appointment you have booked PLEASE ring us to cancel it

You can also cancel your appointment ONLINE.

In the last six months 1728 appointment slots were wasted by people not attending.

Even if you cancel with a short amount of time to go there is a good chance someone else will take your slot so please let us know.


If there is a genuine medical emergency or concern we will of course see anyone at short notice.

If all our appointments are full or you have a really urgent problem that needs attention before the next available appointment, please make it clear to the receptionist that you feel there is a potential emergency. The receptionist may ask a doctor to call you back straight away to decide the best course of action.

Frequently Asked Questions.


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