It is important that new staff have availability to addresses and telephones numbers of all agencies that the Practice might use. Some of these might be required in a case of an emergency and will be needed quickly.
This does not only apply to new Receptionists/Secretaries but to anyone starting at the Practice including locums.
You should include a copy of the list in the locum handbook which should be available for all Locums when they begin their shift.
I suggest that a file of such contacts is kept in Reception, together with a list in each of the consultation rooms including the nurses rooms – often other healthcare professionals will use these rooms for example a midwife might work once a week and use either a Doctors or Nurses room. Your Practice might also have a counsellor or a physiotherapist working from one of these rooms. Locums will more often than not be put into most of these rooms depending on who they are covering for.
The numbers will vary according to your location but a few suggestions are given below to start off your list.
- Nearest with an accident and emergency department
- Local maternity hospital
- Neighbouring hospitals (in case local is busy/closed)
- Psychiatric hospitals (ENT, eye, neurosurgical, etc)
- Direct line to emergency service
- Routine bookings
Out Of Hours Service
- Admin Office
- Number for patients to call.
- Local Police Station
- Security alarm firm
Family Planning Clinic
Local Funeral Directors
Practice Staff (always ask permission before displaying information)
- Practice Manager
- Other Receptionists
- Other Staff
- General Administration Office
- Various numbers that will be applicable to your surgery
- Social Services Department
- Child Protection Department
- Refuse Collection Services
- Hospital Transport
- Taxi firms
- Local transport
- Volunteer drivers (if applicable)
Other Local Doctors
- Especially those providing emergency services
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Bereavement Service
- And so on……………
The list can be expanded as much as you like, but keep the names in a logical order so that others can find them easily.
It is vital that the list is checked on a regular basis, updated as required and all old copies removed and replaced with the updated ones. I suggest that this is typed and saved on the computer for easy assess and updating. A address book can sometime get messy and often does not get updated as it should.
Again, before you add any personal numbers of staff or Healthcare professionals please ask their permission to do so.
It is vital that you have such a list – as often you might have a locum working late on a Friday evening with possibly just one receptionist when one of these numbers might be required.
Something so simply can go a long way to helping not only the Doctor/Receptionist but also the most importantly – THE PATIENT.