Improved access

Providing healthcare for the Berkeley Vale area

The GP Surgeries of the Berkeley Vale area are participating in a project to improve patient access to primary care services for the residents of Berkeley Vale and surrounding areas. Extra GP clinics will be held during normal hours and additional appointments will also be available between 6:30pm and 8pm every weekday evening and on Saturday mornings. Patients registered with any of the participating surgeries within the BV Area will be able to make an appointment at these extra clinics.

This project involves 4 practices in the Berkeley Vale area working together for the benefit of their patients. The project will be closely monitored to assess how it is performing and whether we, as a primary care community, are delivering the best care required to fulfil the healthcare needs of the BV area.

BV improved access GP surgeries

  • Cam and Uley Family Practice
  • The Chipping Surgery
  • Culverhay Surgery
  • May Lane Surgery

 Improved access to GP appointments

Our aim is to make it easier and more convenient for patients to see a GP by providing more appointments at participating surgeries across the Berkeley Vale area. These will be known as improved access appointments. Patients can book these improved access appointments regardless of which surgery within the Berkeley Vale area they are registered at.

All appointments need to be pre-booked, either in advance or on the day. This is NOT a walk in service and does not replace the service provided by our local minor injuries unit or A&E.

How to book an improved access appointment

Ring your GP surgery as normal. Your surgery will offer you an appointment based on availability. If you choose an improved access appointment, the reception staff will tell you where the clinic is being held and the times of the available appointments. If this is convenient an appointment will be booked for you. The reception staff will ask you for a brief indication of why you want to be seen. This is not because they are being intrusive, but in some cases it may be better for you to see your own GP or other health professional and they are simply trying to ensure the most appropriate appointment is booked for you. This is to avoid wasting your time and to allow these improved access appointments to be used to maximum advantage for all Berkeley Vale area patients.

It is very likely the appointment will not be with your usual GP and the GP you see will be from another surgery. You will be asked for your consent for your medical record to be accessed by the GP you see. Information about your consultation will be entered into your record and your usual GP will be able to see this. If you do not consent to record sharing, then you will not be seen by the improved access GP.

Who can be seen at an improved access clinic?

These appointments are for anyone with a new problem, such as tonsillitis or an ear infection, or with a long term condition that has become worse, e.g., a chest/respiratory condition that has become worse and needs treating urgently. If you have already seen your own GP about a problem, or you have a long term condition and are currently receiving treatment, it may be more appropriate for you to see your own GP who already knows about your condition and any tests/treatments you have received. Your surgery staff will be able to advise when you book.

Consent to access your medical record

To treat you appropriately, the GP you see will need access to your medical record and you will be asked for your consent to this when booking. When you arrive for your appointment, you will again be asked for consent to your record being accessed. If you have changed your mind and do not give your consent, then the improved access GP will not be able to see you and you will need to re-book to be seen at your own Surgery.

Attending for your improved access appointment

The improved access clinics are staffed by Berkeley Vale area GPs, but it is very unlikely you will see your own GP. It would be very helpful if you could take with you a list of any medications you take and for you to have a clear idea of your current problem. Appointments are 15 minutes duration. If you have more than one issue to discuss, or feel that you may need a longer consultation time for a more complex problem, then you can request to book a double appointment. It may help to write your concerns down beforehand. Full details of your consultation will be added to your medical record and your own GP will be able to see this. Please arrive on time or a little early for your appointment. If you are late you will not be seen.

Your consultation with an improved access GP

Following your consultation, if you need to have further investigations such as blood tests, x-rays or you need to be referred to a specialist at the hospital, this will be arranged by the improved access GP and your usual GP will be made aware of the referral. If you are prescribed medication for your condition, such as antibiotics, you will be given a paper prescription which you can then take to any pharmacy to be fulfilled.

After your appointment

If you have any further concerns or feel you need to be seen again, you should contact your own GP Surgery. Your first point of contact should always be your own GP Surgery who will be able to help you.


If you need to make a complaint about the Berkeley Vale improved access service, please do so by contacting your usual Surgery who will advise you of their complaints procedure.