How to make appointments

Appointment update 2022 – please click on the link below for further information about our appointment system and the current challenges we are facing. Thank you. Appointment explanation 2022

Here at Riverside Surgery we look after over 10,000 patients. On our busiest days we are receiving over 150 calls from patients looking to see a GP or nurse. Due to this high demand we operate a triage system where our receptionists will ask you a brief description of what your medical issue is so they can then put you on the most appropriate triage call back list.

You will then be called by either a GP, Specialist Nurse or Paramedic who will assist you with your query and offer you an appointment, if needed, either with one of the GPs or someone from our wider multi-disciplinary team e.g. nursing team, paramedic, physiotherapist etc

We have found that as our demand on appointments have increased the triage system offers a safe and effective way for patients to be seen by the most appropriate person in the quickest time frame. By operating this system we have also been able to reduce our ‘DNA’ (did not attend) rate by a significant amount – although disappointingly we are still having around 5% of patients not attending their appointment, even when they have requested it on the same day.

Forward book appointments can still be booked:

  • via. the Patient Access app – You will need to come and register for online access at our practice. Please see ‘online service’ pages for more information.
  • By telephone – You will be placed on a call back list for someone to arrange a forward book appointment.
  • In person – By coming into reception; again you will be placed on a call back list for someone to arrange a forward book appointment.
  • Nurse appointments – some nurse appointments e.g. dressings, smear tests and vaccinations are available to book directly with our receptionists.

We offer appointments between 8:00 – 17:50 Monday to Friday.  Patients who require urgent attention outside normal surgery should dial 111 for access to the FedBucks Out-of-Hours service.

From 1st April 2019, Riverside Surgery has been offering appointments via. the AskNHS app. For further access, please download the app from your app store (Google Play for Android phones or Apple Store for iPhones). These appointments are available from 8am, Monday to Friday where a clinician from Riverside Surgery will call you back, after your query has been triaged by AskNHS.

From 1st October 2022, Riverside Surgery has been participating in the new Enhanced Access Service offered as part of a National NHS initiative to increase access to GP Appointments. Please see below for further information.

Length of appointments

Please note all appointments are for 10 minutes. If you require more time with the doctor, or if you have more than one problem to discuss, please inform the receptionist when booking the appointment.


If you are unable to attend for your appointment please do telephone to cancel the appointment as soon as possible. We are still finding that even patients who have requested a same day appointment do not turn up. This is causing a huge burden on our ability to deliver healthcare safely and appropriately. Please remember to put your health first and ensure you attend any appointments you have requested and if not, let reception know as soon as possible so we can give your appointment to someone else.

Continuity of care

All consultations are documented in your electronic record and this is always available when you come to the surgery so that the clinician you consult will be able to see what has gone before, the results of any tests that you have had and a list of your current medication.  However, we encourage all patients to get to know at least two doctors so that continuity of care may continue when a particular doctor is away or has no available appointments.

Home visits

Home visits take up more of a doctor’s time than a consultation in the surgery. It is also not the most appropriate environment for you to have a thorough examination and assessment by the visiting GP.

You should only request a home visit if you are housebound. Your GP will only visit you if they think that your medical condition requires it and will also decide how urgently the visit is required. In this case, if you do need a visit, please call the surgery before 10:00am. Please note: Lack of transport does not justify a home visit.

In the event that you are unhappy with our Home Visit service at Riverside Surgery, please read our Home Visits Policy and notify Dr Rashmi Sawhney, our Senior Partner or email directly to

Nurse appointments

Our experienced Specialist and Practice nurses have had additional medical training and experience to treat a wide range of medical conditions.  They assist our doctors by providing advanced nursing care for common illnesses. They also diagnose, review and manage long term conditions such as diabetes, asthma, COPD, high blood pressure and heart conditions.

The nurses at Riverside Surgery can provide treatment and advice for many problems for which you may have seen a doctor for in the past. They can assess and examine you, make a diagnosis and provide advice and treatment including a prescription if required. They can make referrals to hospital doctors or other health care professionals and admit patients into hospital when necessary.

Our nurses can treat you for conditions such as:

  • Acute back pain, joint pain and sprains
  • Colds, coughs and chest infections
  • Conjunctivitis, sticky eyes and sty’s
  • Contraceptive issues
  • Cystitis (urinary tract infections)
  • Diarrhoea and constipation
  • Dizziness, giddiness, headaches
  • Earache
  • Oral thrush
  • Raised temperatures
  • Skin problems including acne, infections, burns and wounds
  • Tonsillitis and sinusitis
  • Vaginal thrush, soreness, lumps or discharges
  • Vomiting

If you call to make an appointment you might be offered to see one of the nurses. In such cases they can assist you as effectively as one of our doctors including prescribing medication in the same way as a doctor can. Should they need further advice they always have access to a duty doctor.

Enhanced Access to GP Appointments

Wycombe Enhanced Access Service

Local GPs are working together to offer patients better access to appointments in General Practice in Buckinghamshire, known as the ‘Enhanced Access’ Service.  This means that you maybe offered an appointment (face to face or on the phone) in a practice local to you:

  • Between 7 – 8am Monday to Friday
  • On a Saturday morning (your practice can confirm which practices are open, and their opening hours on this day)

Patients registered with any GP Surgery within Wycombe will be able to access this service via the participating surgeries in their area. In Wycombe these surgeries are:

  • Desborough Surgery (Hazelmere branch)
  • Carrington House
  • Chiltern House Medical Centre
  • Kingswood Surgery
  • Wye Valley Surgery
  • Riverside Surgery
  • Priory Surgery
  • Cressex Health Centre
  • Stokenchuch
  • FedBucks Improved Access Hubs located at Wycombe Hospital, Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Threeways Surgery, Stoke Poges (Sundays and Bank Holiday weekends only).

All appointments need to be pre-booked, either in advance or on the day.

How to book an Enhancd Access appointment

Ring Riverside Surgery as normal. If you would like an Improved Access appointment, please let the receptionist know and then one of the duty doctors will call you back to book a convenient Improved Access appointment for you.

You are likely to be seen by a clinician from another surgery and not your own GP. Please also note that the appointment will be either face to face or on the phone. Additionally the GP seeing you may not have access to all of your records (e.g. test results, hospital letters) and they are not able to do routine referrals to other services, blood tests and in some circumstances provide you with a prescription.

This will NOT be a walk in service. If you still need urgent medical advice after 6.30pm or on the weekends you will need to phone NHS 111 or go to A&E. You can also use our local online symptom checker, Health Help Now to help to find the right service in Buckinghamshire for your health needs.


Date published: 8th October, 2014
Date last updated: 5th October, 2022