Patient FAQs

  1. How do I use the 24hr appointment booking system?
  2. How do I make an appointment?
  3. How do I use the "Self Checkin" system?
  4. I need a Home visit, what should I do?
  5. What about out of hours care?
  6. Where can I get my medication?
  7. Should I pay for my prescriptions?
  8. What is SMS Messaging?
  9. How do I register for OnLine Bookings?










How do I use the 24hr appointment booking system?    (Patient Partner)

To use Patient Partner, just ring (0118) 976 9606 and follow the simple instructions or click here to learn more.
Please note – you must remember to let us know if you change your contact telephone numbers, home or mobile!

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How do I make an appointment?

For an appointment please telephone 0118 988 3473 between 8:30am and 6:00pm. Please tell the receptionist if you feel you need to be seen today. She may be able to help you better if you can tell her in general terms the nature of your problem.

A full appointments system is used for all our surgeries including our branch surgeries. Once you have registered you may see any of the doctors, but we encourage you to see the same doctor concerning a particular problem whenever possible. Urgent cases will always been seen on the same day but not necessarily by the doctor of your choice.

If your case is not urgent you can normally expect to see a GP within 2 working days, though you may have to wait longer if you want to see a particular doctor. If you don’t need an appointment within 2 working days, you also have the option to book up to 4 weeks in advance if this is more convenient for you.

Please ensure you arrive in plenty of time for your appointment. If you need to cancel your appointment please do so as soon as possible to enable the time to be given to somebody else.

For those with impaired hearing, we have Hearing Loops available at all three surgeries. There is also an e-mail address which is available for those with speech or hearing difficulties. Please ask at Reception for more details of both these services.

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How do I use the "Self Check-in" system?

This is our preferred method to check-in patients. It's very simple to use and it frees up our receptionists' time so they can then deal with phone calls more promptly.

When you arrive at the surgery you can check yourself in by using the screen to your right as you walk in. The system works by touching the screen to make your selection.

Start by touching the green button in the middle of the display, next choose your "Gender", at next screen touch the "Month" of your birth date then touch on the "Day" of your birth date and finally confirm that your selections are correct. At any time you can start again if you feel that you made the wrong selection.  The final screen gives you the details of your appointment and indicates where in the waiting area you should sit and wait for your clinician to come and fetch you.

Please note that the system is time sensitive, if you arrive more than 45 minutes earlier for your appointment or 5 minutes later then the instruction on the screen will invite you to proceed to see a receptionist who will be able to check you in.

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I need a Home visit, what should I do?

Home visits can be arranged at the discretion of the Doctor for those patients whose medical condition prevents them from attending a surgery. Wherever possible, patients should call 0118 988 3134 before 10.30am to request a home visit. Please give brief details so that the urgency can be assessed. If you are ringing on behalf of someone else, please make sure that you have the relevant contact details (address, phone number, etc.) for the person who is ill.

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What about out of hours care?

WestCall out of hours service provides cover for all primary care requirements from 6.30pm – 8.00am Monday to Friday, from 6.30pm on Friday evenings until 8.00am on Monday mornings and all day on Public holidays. If you need advice or treatment out of hours please telephone 0118 978 7811 for further information. Alternatively you can phone the Swallowfield surgery on 0118 988 3134 and your call will automatically be transferred to WestCall. All calls to WestCall are voice recorded

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Where can I get my medication?

This is a Dispensing Practice. The majority of our patients will be able to see the doctor and collect their medication all in one visit to the surgery. Regulations do not allow us to offer this service to patients living within one mile of a chemist’s shop (this mainly affects patients in Shinfield, Spencers Wood and Three Mile Cross). For these patients we provide the printed prescription which they need to take to a pharmacy. The Practice Map identifies the areas that are within one mile of a chemist.

Repeat prescriptions will be issued at the doctor’s discretion and are normally for patients on long-term treatment. If you require a repeat prescription you can:

  1.  Use the request form to submit your request on line
  2.  Fax through a request on 0118 988 5759
  3.  Send an email giving full details of your request to:
  4. Ring the dispensary desk on 0118 988 3459
    (hours: 10:00am - 12:30pm and 01:30pm - 05:00pm Monday to Friday)
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Should I pay for my prescriptions?

There are a number of reasons why people should be exempt from prescription charges. Please follow this link to find out if you are eligible.



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What is SMS Messaging?

Short Message Service (SMS) is the ability to send and receive short alphanumeric messages to and from mobile telephones or Internet based services and mobile phones.
Swallowfield Medical Practice use this technology both to remind Patients of their coming appointment and also to keep Patients informed of any events/campaigns that Patients would benefit from such as Flu clinics etc. We also use it to remind Patients when their reviews are due.
We would strongly encourage you to let us have your mobile phone number. If you have underage members in your family or if you are a carer for someone then please register the number for more than one person. You can do this right now, fill in and submit the on line Form for each person you wish to update details for.

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