Attending appointments  if self isolating

If you are self-isolating because of your age or medical conditions and you have been assked to attend an appointment then you should come in for booked appointments.  If however, you are self isolating with symptoms, or because someone in your household has symptoms, then please do NOT come in to the surgery.  Let us know when your self isolation period is due to end and we will rearrange your appointment.

People are understandably anxious about coming in  to the surgery but we have kept foot fall to the practice as low as possible.  You should aim to come in only just before the appointment and not sit or wait around. We are following infection control measures to manage this situation as best we can. As we are sure you understand we do not have the resources to  visit people at home except those in most urgent medical need at this time.


Booking an appointment

  • To book an appointment with a GP please ring the surgery to request a call-back from a GP.  They will review each case and either deal with your problem over the telephone or give you an appointment time after 10 am to be seen in person if there is medical necessity to see you in person.
  • On-line booking of appointments are suspended.
  • For nurses and HCAs, please use the messaging services or telephone after 10am.  This includes booking new appointments for INRs, dressing changes and blood testetc as part of ongoing treatment.

Registering your pregnancy

 In order to register your pregnacy should go online and register your pregancy at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust's maternity self-referal page.  Further details can be found of their services on their maternity page.

All details below are currently suspended due to COVID

You can choose to see a doctor, nurse-practitioner or nurse at either Edington or Woolavington (see times of surgeries). If a specific doctor or time of day is required please be prepared to book in advance. You can book GP appointments online using the Emis Patient Access Online system - please ask at Reception for details.

Urgent conditions will be seen immediately.

If you cannot keep your appointment please let us know as soon as possible so that another patient can use it.


Booking an Appointment

You can call the Practice on 01278 722077 between the opening hours specified. You can also come to the Practice in person to make an appointment with the Receptionist.  Please note that certain periods, for example on Monday mornings and days after Bank Holidays, see high numbers of calls so there will be longer waiting periods.  Please call outside these hours where ever possible.

To help make sure that you have the most suitable appointment please give the Receptionist as much information about your problem as possible this will then ensure you see the most appropriate member of the team for your appointment.

We aim to book you an appointment at the most convenient time for yourself however please try and be flexible as we do we have limited availability.

If you have access to the internet at home then you also have the option of being able to register for the online services which will allow you to book online appointments. To find out more about this please visit Reception in person where you are able to collect your login details.You will require proof of identity


Evening and Weekend Appointments

Polden Medical Practice is open on Saturday mornings at the Woolavington Surgery.

To improve appointment availability you can now access appointments in the evening until 8pm on weekdays and on a Saturday if you are registered at a practice in the Bridgwater or surrounding area. 

In the Bridgwater and surrounding area the following practices are currently involved in this scheme:

  • Cannington Health Centre
  • Quantock Medical Centre
  • Cranleigh Gardens Medical Centre
  • Redgate Medical Centre
  • East Quay Medical Centre
  • Somerset Bridge Medical Centre
  • North Petherton Surgery
  • Taunton Road Medical Centre
  • Polden Medical Practice
  • Victoria Park Medical Centre 


How do I book an appointment?

To book an evening or weekend appointment please contact a practice during their normal opening times and they will be able to advise you at which GP practice an appointment is available to suit your needs.

Health staff at these appointments will have access to your medical records (only if you consent for your records to be shared).

The service is for anyone who is booking an appointment to discuss a routine problem with their doctor or practice nurse.  If you don’t want to visit a different surgery then you don’t have to – it’s entirely up to you.


What are the benefits of the service?

Many practices already offer appointments in evenings and at weekends. What is new here is that practices are working in groups to offer more appointments at more flexible times which should make it easier for patients to see a doctor or nurse.

But won’t the doctor need access to my patient record?

In order for this service to work, the doctors and nurses need access to your patient record. Your practice has signed a local Data Sharing Agreement (not linked to any national data sharing agreement) to allow this to happen, but you can opt out at any time.

For more information about the Improved Access pilot scheme please see the attached:  Improved Access - Frequently Asked Questions or speak to your registered practice.


Appointment Types

On the Day Appointments- We now have a selection of On the Day appointments which gives you an opportunity to come and see a GP on the day you phone in. If a Receptionist offers you an On the Day we highly recommend you take these as routine appointments can be very limited.

On the day booking begins from 08:00am at the start of each working day.


Routine Appointments

You are able to book a Routine appointment up to 6 weeks in advance if you feel your condition is non urgent then this is the best way to be able to come and see a GP of your choice.


Telephone Appointments

If you feel your query does not need a face to face appointment with a GP then there is the option to request a GP to phone you and deal with the query remotely.

To do this please call Reception and request a call from the Duty Doctor. Please note that we will not be able to notify a specific time.


Appointment Slots

General Appointments- All appointment slots are 15 minutes with GP’s and Nurses, 10 minutes with Locum GP’s and Health Care Assistants. If you feel that you will need longer than the allocated time then please request this when phoning Reception and specify why this is needed.


Home Visits

Please telephone the Reception before 10:00am if you require a home visit.

A doctor or nurse may phone you back as it may be that your problem can be dealt with by telephone advice, or that it would be more appropriate to send a nurse, or indeed arrange a hospital attendance.

Home visits are only available for patients who are housebound because of illness or disability.

Please remember that several patients can be seen in the practice in the time that it takes to make one home visit. There are also better facilities for examining and treating patients at the surgery.


Urgent Medical Appointments

If you have an urgent problem then a GP will always be available to see or speak to you in this case. However you will more than likely find this will be the Duty Doctor rather than a GP of your choice.

In the case of a life threatening medical emergency please dial 999


Booking Appointments with a Specific GP

We understand that all patients are allocated to a GP and that you may require to see this GP for some medical matters.

If you wish to see a specific GP we recommend that you book the next available routine appointment. If your request is urgent we recommend you see the GP who is available the soonest.


Walk in Patients

Due to the high demand for appointments Polden Medical Practice does not have the facility for a walk in clinic at either surgery. If you do walk in we will advise you of your best options and if this is to make a Routine Appointment or On the Day then Reception will assist you with this.



When booking an appointment for coil checks or nexplanon removal please call Reception to book this. These types of appointments cannot be booked online.

Cancelling Appointments

Up to 15% of patients who book an appointment then fail to turn up. This wastes doctors’ time and leads to longer times for other patients. Please tell us if you cannot make an appointment so the time can be used for someone else.


Appointment Guidelines

Please ensure that you arrive on time for your appointment an appointment card will be issued if you visit the Practice or text message sent if you book over the phone. Please ensure when you register you give us a valid mobile number for the text to be sent to.

If you know you will be unable to attend your appointment please phone the Practice as soon as possible so that this appointment can then be given to another patient. A high amount of appointments are not attended and this means appointments are then not available to offer other Patients who need them.


One Appointment per person

Only ONE person can be dealt with in 15 minutes and the GP will only be able to deal with one problem in the 15 minute appointment so if you feel you need a longer appointment please make Reception aware of this and give as much information as possible.

If a GP advises that they will need to see you again please come straight to Reception after your appointment to ensure this is booked in.


Ear Care

Please read this Ear Care guide on what to do prior to your ear care appointment.

Ear care

Further information can be obtained from the Nursing Staff.


If you have any queries with regards to the appointment system please call and speak to a member of the Reception team 01278 722077 Monday-Friday 08:00am-18:30pm.


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