Can another health professional help?

Sometimes a GP may not be the most appropriate healthcare professional to deal with your ailment. Other professionals such as pharmacists, opticians and dentists may be better placed to help. Please click on the links below for further information.

Your Appointment with us

Every effort will be made to ensure that you are seen by the doctor of your choice.

If, however, you require an urgent appointment this may not always be possible and a triage appointment with the duty doctor will be made for you. In such cases, the duty doctor will phone you and may ask you to come in to the surgery.

Patients are asked to please note that your GP appointment is for ten minutes only and that an appointment is for one patient only. Your GP is unable to see another patient during this time.

When booking your appointment, reception staff may offer you a video consultation, where the clinician (usually a GP trainee) will ask your permission to make a video recording of your consultation. 

Access the online appointment system

It is easier and quicker to manage your appointments via our online service. Simply log in and select an option. *please note our online appointment booking system is currently switched off.

Login to online services Register for online services

Making appointments

When you get in touch our team will ask what you need help with. We will use this information you give us to choose the most suitable doctor, nurse or health professional to help you. To arrange an appointment :

  • Phone Houston surgery on 01505 613240
  • Phone Bridge of Weir surgery on 01505 612555
  • Visit the surgery and speak with a receptionist, Monday to Friday during opening hours, although it can sometimes be very busy if other patients are checking in or have other requests

Appointments for both locations can be made at either surgery.

We also offer several appointments every day which can be booked 48 hours in advance (for example, patients can phone on a Tuesday for the possibility of an appointment on the Thursday) and, during busy holiday periods, a few next day and on-the-day appointments are available.

Urgent (same day) appointments

These are intended for problems which need to be dealt with as a matter of medical urgency.  Please phone early in the day if you genuinely require one of these appointments. The duty doctor will then phone you to discuss your symptoms and will decide if you need to be seen, given advice or given a prescription.

Text Reminders

We offer a text reminder service where you will receive a text the day before your appointment. (The text will arrive on the Friday if your appointment is for the Monday.)
In order to receive these please make sure we have your current mobile number. You can opt in at any time by texting OPTIN (capital letters, no spaces) to 07800 000199. You can opt out at any time by texting OPTOUT (capital letters, no spaces) to the same number. Please note that practice staff cannot do this for you.

Cancelling or changing an appointment

To cancel your appointment:

  • using our online cancel an appointment form
  • Phone Houston surgery on 01505 613240
  • Phone Bridge of Weir surgery on 01505 612555
  • reply CANCEL to your appointment reminder text message
  • If you are late for an appointment you may be asked to re-book.

Extended Hours

In addition, we offer early morning appointments Monday – Friday outside of core hours. These are designed for patients who are unable to attend the surgery during normal opening hours.

Patients are seen by pre-booked appointment only. Appointments are bookable up until the Friday of the previous week.

Home Visits

If you are housebound and need an appointment, we will do a home visit. We will phone you first to understand what you need.

To request a home visit, it’s helpful if you phone the practice before 10am

If you need help with your appointment

Please tell us:

  • if there’s a specific doctor, nurse or other health professional you would prefer to respond
  • if you would prefer to consult with the doctor or nurse by phone, or by face-to-face
  • if you need an interpreter
  • if you have any other access or communication needs

If you need help when we are closed

The 111 service provides urgent care information and support if you think you need A&E but its not life-threatening, and advice when your GP, pharmacy or dental practice is closed.

Call 999 in a medical or mental health emergency. This is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

Ten Tips to help you get the most from the Appointments System
    • Is it ‘urgent’?  Please do not request an urgent appointment unless you consider your problem to be medically urgent.  Inappropriate requests for urgent appointments put pressure on the system.
    • Think ahead  If you take regular medication which needs to be monitored or which needs bloods to be taken, please try to book appointments well in advance.
    • Missed appointments  Please don’t miss an appointment you have booked.  This is wasted time which could have been used for another patient.  If you are unable to manage to come to an appointment or need to change it, please phone to let us know.  Patients who persistently miss appointments may be removed from the practice list.
    • Can anyone else help?  Before you make an appointment, please think about whether there are any other services which might be more appropriate.  For example, pharmacists are trained to give advice about minor health problems, including urinary tract infections, and answer any questions about medication.  Opticians should be the first port of call for eye problems and dentists should be the first port of call for mouth and teeth problems.
    • What’s the problem?  Understandably, many people are reluctant to tell a receptionist about the reason why they wish to see a doctor.  However, our reception staff are more likely to be able to guide you in the right direction if you give them some details about your problem.  All our staff have a responsibility to treat your information confidentially, and as a practice we take this very seriously.
    • Go online  You can book routine appointments with a doctor online, as well as ordering repeat prescriptions.  Online services are available 24 hours a day so you can use these services at your convenience.  Using the online services also reduces demand on reception staff during the day, so everybody gains.  Please ask reception staff for details.
    • Telephone consultations  If you have a simple problem or query, then it may be possible to sort this out over the phone.  The reception staff will give you a timeframe during which the doctor will call, so it is important that you have access to your phone at this time.  Please give the receptionist a note of your phone number and brief details about why you wish to speak to the doctor.
    • Continuing care  If you have an ongoing problem, it may be best to see the same doctor for each appointment, though this may not always be possible.  If you have been for a consultation and have been told that you need a follow-up appointment, please try to make it before you leave the surgery.
    • Multiple problems  A routine appointment is for ten minutes.  During that time, the doctor needs to read up your records, deal with your problem(s) and write up notes of the consultation.  If you have more than one problem, then it may not be possible to deal with them in a single appointment.  Please say to reception staff if you think you may need more time.
    • Be a patient patient  Please understand that the reception and clinical staff are trying to meet the needs of thousands of patients, each of whom are important.  Although our aim is to offer personal, person-centred care, pressure on GP practices means that sometimes we are stretched in terms of demand.
      Additional Information about your appointment with us
      Can I bring someone to accompany me to the Appointment?

      We are generally very happy for patients to bring with them a carer, relative or even a friend. This often helps, particularly when they know you well and it allows them to tell us any observations they would make about you, which can help us in undertaking our assessment. Ultimately this will lead us more quickly to make an accurate diagnosis and therefore help you more.

      Also, having someone with you means they can prompt you to ask questions that you may have forgotten, and after the appointment they can help in reminding you what was discussed.

      Occasionally we might ask for them to leave but this would be unusual.

      If you require interpretation services please contact us in advance of you appointment and we will arrange this.

      Chaperone Policy

      We will always respect your privacy, dignity and your religious and cultural beliefs particularly when intimate examinations are advisable – these will only be carried out with your express agreement and you will be offered a chaperone to attend the examination if you so wish.

      You may also request a chaperone when making the appointment or on arrival at the surgery (please let the receptionist know) or at any time during the consultation.

      Giving Consent for Treatment

      You have the right to accept or refuse treatment that is offered to you, and not to be given any physical examination or treatment unless you have given valid consent. If you do not have the capacity to do so, consent must be obtained from a person legally able to act on your behalf, or the treatment must be in your best interests.

      Your valid consent (agreement to the course of action) is needed for the treatment that’s offered to you before any physical examinations or treatment can be given. If you haven’t given your consent, you can accept or refuse treatment that’s offered to you.

      It’s important to be involved in decisions about your treatment and to be given information to help you choose the right treatment. When making treatment choices, you’ll often discuss the options with your doctor or another healthcare professional.

      If you have a suspected infectious disease

      Please inform reception if you suspect an infectious disease, as this will enable us to deal with it appropriately during your visit to protect you, other patients and staff. 


      If you require an interpreter to attend with you when you see your Doctor please notify the receptionist and this will be arranged.

      Intimate Examinations

      During your care, a doctor may need to examine you in order to provide you with the best care. Occasionally this may involve an examination of intimate areas. We understand that this can be stressful and embarrassing. If this sort of examination is necessary:

      • We will explain to you why the examination is necessary and give you the opportunity to ask questions.
      • We will explain what the examination will involve, including whether you can expect it to be painful or uncomfortable.
      • We will obtain your permission before carrying out this examination You will be offered a chaperone.
      • At all times we will respect your privacy during the examination and while dressing and undressing.

      Your doctor and the nursing staff will be happy to discuss any concerns you have about this.

      Private Medical Examinations

      Medical examinations for special purposes such as pre-employment, fitness to travel, elderly drivers, fitness to undertake sports etc, will require longer than a routine appointment.

      These examinations do not form part of NHS Services, you will be charged for any such examination. Please check the fee chargeable when you require to arrange any such examination.