Why does the Receptionist ask me for "some idea of the problem"?
The clinicians have provided the reception staff with training in regard to certain red flag symptoms that need immediate attention and also training in who the most appropriate person is to deal with your problem which could be a GP or could be a Nurse Practitioner or Practice Nurse or another member of the practice team. This enables the reception staff to direct you to the most appropriate person.
The Clinicians have asked that the reception staff ask for an idea of the problem, they do not need a lot of detail just a brief description. All staff are bound by patient confidentiality as part of their employment, therefore your information and discussions with the staff will be dealt in a professional and confidential manner.
Providing this information will ensure that if another member of the team can help you with your problem, such as prescriptions, referrals, sickness certificate etc. These matters do not necessarily need a clinician to process them initially and the practice team can generally sort these problems out for you.
It also means that the clinician has an idea of the problem prior to you being consulted and gives them an opportunity to review the relevant areas of your previous medical records. In addition to this it allows us to ensure that you have continuity of care, so that you are seen where possible with the clinician that consulted you last time, or your usual GP.