PRACTICE Policies & Procedures

In this section, we have given some useful information on how our practice operates, and some of the most common queries we receive from patients about their contact with Sirona Medical.

  • Making Appointments

    We operate an Appointment-only surgery to reduce waiting times and facilitate patients.  We kindly ask that you make an appointment as soon as possible, when you decide you need to see the doctor.  We offer appointments to patients Monday to Friday 8.30am to 12.00pm and 1.30pm to 5.00pm.  While we understand that your health is not always predictable, we ask that you please give as much notice as possible when making an appointment to see the doctor.

     

    We do our best to facilitate patient appointments as requested, however it may not always be possible to give you an appointment at your preferred time.

     

    For out-of-hours Urgent Care appointments (not for routine visits), please contact D-Doc at 1850 22 44 77 and in the case of emergency, please go to your nearest hospital Emergency Department or call 999/112.

  • Phone calls to the Practice

    Our surgery telephone can become extremely busy throughout the day, and in particular in the morning.  During a busy period, the Receptionist may place you on hold and your call will be dealt with in rotation.  We aim to answer all calls as quickly and efficiently as possible and appreciate your patience and understanding during busy times.  If the phone line is engaged, do please call back.

     

    If you are calling for general information, blood/test results, repeat prescriptions or in relation to other general requests, please call after 10.00am as the surgery is extremely busy during the first period of the day.

     

    If you are calling in relation to blood/test results, you may be asked to call again at a later time to ensure that the doctor has time to check and review the results.

     

    If you have a request or message for the doctor, the Receptionist will ask you to outline the details of the message.  Urgent messages will be passed on to the doctor on duty – if your query is for a specific doctor, the message will be passed on at the first available opportunity.  Incomplete messages cannot be passed on to the doctor.

     

    It is practice policy not to interrupt patient consultations with phone calls.  We ask that patients respect this policy and understand that each patient consultation deserves the uninterrupted attention of the doctor.

  • Bloods & Test Results

    Following a blood test, x-ray or other investigation ordered by a doctor at the Practice, we would ask that you take an active role in your own healthcare, by telephoning for the test results.  Most investigation results will be available one week later.

     

    In the first instance, the Receptionist will check if the test result has been received.

     

    You may be asked to call at a later time (usually after 4pm, or the following morning) for the details of the test result to ensure that the doctor has time to check and review the results.

     

    In some cases, it may be necessary to make an appointment to discuss the test results – in this case the Receptionist will contact you and invite you to make an appointment to see the doctor or Nurse.

     

    In the case of investigations requested by third parties outside the practice (such as hospital doctors, outpatient clinics, specialist consultants etc.), you must contact them directly for the results.

  • Prescriptions

    Patients who are on regular medications need to be seen by the doctor at least every six months.  This is in accordance with best practice guidelines for patients on long-term medications.

     

    It may be possible for the doctor to issue a Repeat Prescription without a face-to-face consultation, where the doctor judges that it is safe/medically appropriate to do so (for example if you have recently been seen).  In this case, a minimum of 24 hours notice is required to request a Repeat Prescription, in order to give the doctor time to assess the request and to issue the prescription.  Repeat Prescriptions cannot be issued by Reception Staff. If you are calling to the surgery or telephoning to request a Repeat Prescription, please ensure you give exact details of the medications required.

     

    Repeat Prescriptions must be collected in person, at least 24 hours after the request was received. Prescriptions will not be faxed, posted or left in a pharmacy.

  • Practice Prescribing Policy

    We strive to provide you with the best quality medical care at all times, following best practice guidelines in Irish and international medicine.  This includes the way that medicines are prescribed.  For example, you may notice that:

     

       • we try to avoid unnecessary antibiotics, such as in treating the ‘common cold’ (see www.undertheweather.ie for details)

       • We actively discourage the long-term use of medicines such as sleeping tablets (see NHS UK Insomnia Treatment for further information)

       • we ask you to come in for a review of medication from time to time, particularly if you are on long-term medicines

     

    We will endeavour to discuss our prescribing choice with you during your consultation and let you know what monitoring, if any, your medications require.

  • Social Welfare Certificates

    In order to claim Social Welfare benefits during an illness, patients must be seen in the surgery by a doctor.  Patients that are absent from work for six or more working days are entitled to claim social welfare (Illness Benefit).  See the Department of Social Protection website here for details.

     

    A patient must be assessed by the doctor during a consultation and an initial social welfare certificate will be provided.  You will be asked to provide your PPS number and the exact dates for the social welfare certificate.  Patients absent for work for more than 1 week may receive weekly certs if medically appropriate.  When the patient is fit to go back to work, after being seen by the doctor, a final social welfare cert will be issued.

     

    Social Welfare Certs must be collected in person, on the day that they fall due (except weekends / Bank Holidays).

     

    For patients on continuing / long-term social welfare certs, it may be necessary for the doctor to see you a number of times to re-assess your condition. You will be advised to make an appointment in this case, before a further social welfare cert can be issued.

  • Sick Certificates / Sick Notes for Work

    Sick notes are only provided following a consultation with the doctor.

  • Forms & Letter Requests

    Patients often come to the doctor with a form from an external agency or company (e.g. Social Welfare related form, employment medical etc.).  Many of these forms are not related to medical matters (for example Passport forms) and can be completed by state employees such as the Gardaí or Public Health Nurses.

     

    Forms which require a Medical opinion and doctor’s signature may appear simple and straight forward, however each form needs a full review before completion.  When a doctor provides a medical report or signs a form to certify a patient’s condition, the doctor needs to check the patient’s medical record to ensure an accurate provision of information and in many cases, to make an assessment of medical needs.  In many cases, the doctor will need to see the patient in relation to the form to provide an up to date and accurate assessment.

     

    Patients are required to provide a minimum of one-week’s notice for the completion of the form or letter.  Forms must be fully completed and signed by the patient before they are dropped in for the doctor to complete the medical section.

     

    Remember, many forms can be completed and signed without charge by a person who is employed by a state agency such as a Garda, teacher or Public Health Nurse.

  • Registering as a New Patient

    If you wish to become a patient of the Sirona Medical practice, please call in to Reception during Surgery Hours. You will be asked to complete a short Application Form, outlining your personal details and an overview of your medical history.  Once your application has been accepted, you can make an appointment to see the doctor. You can also complete a form to transfer medical records from your previous doctor to our practice, so that our GP’s have full details of your medical history.

     

    Please note that our GMS list is currently full and we cannot accept new Medical Card patients at this time.

  • Inappropriate / Abusive Behaviour

    Verbal abuse or aggressive behaviour towards staff or other patients is not tolerated at our practice.  Staff are here to help patients and we ask that you respect them and other patients.

     

    If you display such behaviour, you will be asked to leave the premises, and the Gardaí may be contacted.

     

    Please be aware that the practice is extensively monitored by CCTV for security and verification purposes.

  • Complaints

    At Sirona Medical, we are always working to deliver high quality care for our patients.  While we strive to offer an excellent service at all times, we recognise that on occasion, things may not go according to plan.  Everyone, whatever their business or profession, can make an error and it is important to learn from these errors.

     

    We review every incident that comes to our attention and aim to make appropriate changes where a lesson may be learned from what has happened, to avoid similar issues in the future.

     

    Usually, the quickest way to resolve a problem, is by explaining it at the point of service. If you have any concerns, please discuss them with a member of staff at the time so we can try to resolve them quickly.

     

    If you wish to put a complaint in writing, please request a Complaints Form at Reception, and return it to the Receptionist, or post to the practice.

     

    If you make a complaint, we will contact you within 5 working days of receiving your official complaint. If for any reason, your complaint is going to take longer than 5 days to investigate, you will get an explanation and date by which you should get a full response.  If the first response is not satisfactory, you can make a request in writing to us to investigate further.

  • Confidentiality

    We understand that confidentiality is a key principle of medical ethics and is central to the trust between patient and doctor.  Our practices in relation to confidentiality are consistent with the Medical Council guidelines and the privacy principles of the Data Protection Acts. We see our patients’ consent as being the key factor in dealing with their health information.  Reception and administration staff require access to your medical records in order to do their jobs and are bound by strict confidentiality terms.

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Call Us : (01) 868 0242

www.sironamedical.ie

Sirona Medical

185 New Cabra Road

Dublin 7

D07 FR52