Frequently Asked Questions

Who is my doctor?

Each patient has a named doctor but it may be that you have already been seeing another doctor for a health concern. It‘s important to try to see the same doctor for an episode of illness or for a course of treatment. Our staff do their best to facilitate this given the doctors timetables. It is probably best to have two doctors in the surgery that you become familiar with if you have a long term condition.

Who do I see for travel advice?

The nursing team is the best port of call for all matters related to travel.

How do I arrange a blood test and get the results?

If you need a blood test a doctor or nurse will have to order it and will leave a form for you to collect. You may already have a blood form from an appointment.

St Albans Hospital offer a phlebotomy service (to take blood) and we offer a limited service at the surgery. Most results come through quickly but some can take up to 10 days. Only urgent results are actioned within 24-48 hours, so please leave it one week to ring in for results. Afternoons are best to ring for blood test results.

How do sick notes work?

You can self-certify for up to 7 days: www.gov.uk/taking-sick-leave

We only issue sick notes after the first 7 days and you will need to call the surgery to arrange this and may need to be seen depending on the reason for sickness.

Who can register at The Maltings Surgery?

Anyone who lives in within our practice boundary within the St Albans district.

What is the average day as a GP like?

  • Getting in by 8am
  • Reading and actioning 50-100 lab results a day
  • Reading and actioning 50-100 letters a day
  • Seeing up to 40 patients face to face (10 minutes each if not running late)
  • Home visits (0-3)
  • 4-15 phone calls
  • Home late

Why does it take so long to action hospital letters or reports?

The volume and flow of our work is much like doing 2 days work in one. We deal with genuinely urgent issues first (urgent medication changes, calls to the coroner, referring people in acutely to hospital and acute illness). Everything else must take a back seat in general practice.

How do I get help urgently if it’s not a 999 call?

Call the surgery and explain why your need is urgent (e.g. infection, acute pain, end of life care, mental health crises etc) and we will always do our best to fit you in.

Why don’t GPs offer appointment in the middle of the day or late evenings and weekends?

We open later on Mondays (until 7.30pm) but the appointments need to be booked ahead. We are also open every Saturday morning but again the appointments need to booked ahead.

The middle of the day is spent covering home visits and urgent phone calls.

The government is thinking of increasing access to involve weekend care.

Why does the doctor or nurse seem to run late?

Medicine is complex. People often save up numerous problems for a 10 minute appointment and this just stresses the doctor or nurse and makes it hard to cover everything in one appointment. This is often why we run late. Also, occasionally the nature of a consultation is very sensitive or complex (e.g. breaking bad news, dealing with someone who is suicidal, a procedure that may have complications etc). Please bear with us when this is happening, and also be as considerate as you can about the ten minute appointment length.