Online sign-up: Making it easier for new patients


Reception Team Lead

I wanted to let you know about some changes we’ve made recently, based on your feedback.

We know that when you register with a new GP there are a lot of forms to fill out. A lot of information is needed both by the NHS and by us so we can match your records and properly understand your medical history and your needs. 

Continue reading “Online sign-up: Making it easier for new patients”

“As the saying goes, first impressions are the longest lasting”

Marilyn barredo


It’s really important to me to give a positive first impression when I meet patients and visitors in the practice. We all want to make sure it’s a friendly and pleasant atmosphere for people.

Our role in the Reception Team is to be approachable and accessible – we’re there to answer queries and take care of things for patients, so we want people to feel comfortable talking to us.

Visiting the Doctors can be stressful when you’re unwell, so we’re keen to reassure people that we have their best interests at heart. We’ll always try to get you to the best person to help you as soon as possible – whether that’s a Doctor, one of our Practice Nursing team or someone to deal with a query about an appointment, referral, prescription or test result. We’ll always be clear and open about what’s going on. 

Of course we’ve had to make lots of changes in the last few months, especially appointments, telephone consultations and the social distancing in the practice. We’ve made every effort to explain not just the changes we’ve made, but the reasons behind them. As patients, you’ve all been really understanding, and we’re very grateful for that.

Hopefully we’ll be able to return to something like ‘normal service’ before too long. Your views and experiences are an important part of making the practice run smoothly, so do let us know how we’re doing and what you’d like to see in the future – it’s your practice after all!

A Day in the life: Melissa, Reception Team

Melissa richley


As you’d probably guess, one of my main jobs as part of the Reception Team is to answer the phone when patients call.

Our phone lines open at 8.15am so we’re there primed for the first call, with all of our systems and appointment diaries ready. We need to make sure we know about anything happening that day – changes to normal services, or staff on leave – so we’re always giving you the right information.

First thing is the morning is always the busiest, especially after the weekend, so we always have at least 4 of us ready to take calls. 

We try to answer every call as quickly as possible, but when it’s really busy or there is a time-sensitive task we need to follow up straight after a call, we can’t always get to everyone as quickly as we would like.

Even at ‘quieter’ times in the week, we still get hundreds of calls every day.

We know that our phone system hasn’t always worked as you or we would like, and we’re working on making sure it’s up to scratch. We have valued the feedback from patient’s perspective to help us sort out any issues.

Throughout the day as well as taking calls, we have a lot of associated tasks to complete like updating records, or sending reminders to our Admin and Clinical team.

Ticking off our To Do list with the phone ringing means we get pretty good at multi-tasking!

One thing we’re keen to remind patients of, is that there are ways to avoid having to call and risk the wait (especially on a Monday morning). Lots of our services are available online 24 hours a day including reordering prescriptions, health records and test results.

There’s information about all of these on the website, but we’ll be more than happy to talk you through any of them next time you call.

Meet the Reception Team


Reception Team Lead


Hi, I’m Katie. I’m the Team Lead for the Reception staff here at JHP. 

We’re the first people you speak to when you call or when you visit the practice.

There are 12 of us in total in the team across the two sites. We’re a mix of full time and part time, along with some Medical students who help us out when required.

Our number one priority as a team is to understand your needs and either help you or direct your query to the best person to help.

We deal with a range of things like booking appointments, reordering prescriptions, passing on messages between clinicians and patients, updating your details or getting you registered as a new patient. 

Nobody wants a long wait to be seen, and we’ll always try to get you to the best person as quickly as possible.

This might not always be a Doctor – one of the Nurse Practitioner team could be available much sooner, and equally able to give you a diagnosis or a prescription. Part of our team’s training is to know who best to direct patients to – that’s why sometimes we’ll ask you about your issue.

Just like with our Doctors and Nurses, anything you say to us is private and confidential and is only ever used to benefit your care. 

Being the Team Lead means that among other things I regularly meet with Vicky, the Practice Manager, the Partners (Dr Davies, Dr Nicholson and Dr Smith) and the other Team Leads – Jenny, Sue and Jane. 

We make sure we all know about changes in anyone’s work, share solutions to problems that have come up, and generally make sure we’re all able to keep ourselves and our teams up to date.

Your views as patients are important to us, and we’d encourage everyone to give us feedback. It helps us tackle issues that pop up and change the way we do things for the better. And it’s always nice to hear when we’ve done a good job!

The last few months have obviously been a bit challenging, and we’ve had to make some changes and be flexible – just like the rest of the practice, the NHS and all of you at home!

If you’ve been to the practice recently, you’ll know we’ve been very careful to use our sites differently and put measures in place to reduce the risk of infection both for all our patients and for us as staff. 

We’ve had some kind messages of support from patients and help with things like PPE and we really appreciate how much everyone in the community has pulled together.

We look forward to seeing you all soon.

A message from the Reception Team


Reception Team Lead

The Team would like to say a big thank you for all of the patients who have been kind and caring asking how we are all doing during this difficult time. We greatly appreciate the support and concern from everyone.

We’ve had a lot of feedback about phone issues – we have made changes to our phone system and are hoping that the matter is resolved. We would appreciate any feedback on any future issues as it is hard for us to know when problems occur from the patients’ end.

Based on your feedback, you’ll also notice some changes to the reception desk at 17 Osborne Road. One of the team will always be on desk duty to greet you.

We would also like to thank Francis, who is a medical student currently helping working in reception whilst universities are closed. He has been helping train other medical students in case we needed extra help during COVID-19. I’m pleased to say that Francis has received many patient compliments on his telephone manner.

Thanks also to Newcastle Council for making parking exceptions for staff during COVID-19, it is much appreciated.

Answers to your questions

I wanted to share a few answers to questions we are often asked.

Once we send a prescription electronically to the pharmacy of your choice (within 2 working days) that they are not always able text you and let you know that your medication is ready. Please contact your pharmacy directly if you have any queries regarding this.

Medications can sometimes be sent through at different times during the 2 working day time frame, depending on how we need to process them. Do please check your mediation is correct when you collect it. If you have more than one item, they may have been bagged separately, so best to check.

When requesting medication online it sometimes doesn’t let you select your regular repeat medications. This doesn’t mean that you are not allowed your medication. It is just a failsafe built in so that the GP can check if you need a medication review. If you do require one we will contact you back. You may need to request your medication a different way until this is reset – please call us on 0191 281 4588 if this is the case.