Late Patient Policy

Patients are expected to arrive in good time for their appointments.

  • If patients arrive more than 10 minutes late, they have missed their appointment and will need to rebook.
  • This is to prevent delays to the GP sessions and to ensure fairness for patients who have arrived on time.

We appreciate the effort our patients make to attend on time and therefore do our best to run as close to booked appointment times as possible. Adhering to a Late Patient Policy assists us in doing so. However, due to the nature of a GP surgery, sometimes the doctor or nurse may be running behind. When the clinician is running late our reception staff will advise the patients upon arrival and apologise to them for the delay.


When a patient is less than 10 minutes late:

The receptionist will book the patient in, but advise them they are late for their appointment and remind them that they must attend on time in the future.

If applicable, the receptionist may advise them that the doctor is now seeing the next patient and that they may have an extended waiting time, as the doctor will see patients who arrived on time first.


When a patient is 10 or more minutes late:

Patients who arrive 10 or more minutes late have therefore missed their appointment. The receptionist will advise them to rebook a new routine appointment.

If the patient indicates that there is a medically urgent reason they need to see a doctor that day, the receptionist can ask the reason and book them an emergency appointment with the on-call doctor. The usual criteria for emergency appointments will apply and the patient will need to take a seat and wait to be seen.


Further Information:

If the doctor has an urgent clinical need to see a particular patient, they will advise reception in advance that the patient may be "arrived" even if they arrive more than 10 minutes late. The patient will need to wait for a gap or the end of the surgery to be seen.

If a patient calls ahead to say they will be late, this does not alter the policy. If they are going to be late, the receptionist will advise them on the phone that they should rebook, rather than waste a journey.

Receptionists are not permitted to interrupt doctors during surgery to request them to see late patients, so to avoid disappointment, please do not ask them to do