Types of appointments

It is widely publicised in the media that patients in England can find it difficult to get an appointment at their GP practice.  We understand that this can be frustrating, however we aim to support our patients to be seen by the right person, at the right time and at the most appropriate place.






Appointments are limited and we kindly ask patients to ensure that they do not book appointments they cannot attend and that they cancel appointments they no longer need or cannot keep.   Please note that patients registered with PWE Fairmore can be seen at any of the three PWE Fairmore sites in Nelson, Padiham and Rawtenstall.  Patients at Accrington Victoria PWE will be seen at Accrington.

We operate two main types of appointments:

  • Routine appointments – for reviews, follow ups and appointment reasons that are less urgent and do not need to be seen the same day.  These appointments are available to book up to 4 weeks in advance.  You do not need to ring at 8am on the day to book one of these appointments.
  • Urgent book on the day appointments – these are for patients who are acutely unwell and need to see a doctor fairly soon.  These appointments are released at 8 am on the day.  Patients are advised to ring as early as possible for these appointments.

Please help us to help you in keeping appointments available for when you need them.  If your appointment reason is not urgent and you don’t need to be seen on that day, please book one of our routine appointments.  This means that appointments for those who are unwell and need to be seen fairly soon, are available on the day and not taken by others who do not need to be seen as quickly.


GP Practices are not emergency services.  If you or someone in your family needs very urgent (risk to life or limb) emergency treatment, please telephone 999. Chest pain and shortness of breath all constitute an emergency.  if you telephone asking for an appointment and our team feel this is an emergency situation, you will be re-directed to contact 999 or go straight to a hospital Accident and Emergency department.

Home Visits

Some patients can be seen at home (please see the ‘Home Visits’ page for more information).  Home visits are time consuming for the GPs and are therefore extremely limited.  Home visits are at the discretion of the GP who may offer an alternative type of consultation.  Home visits will only be offered to those who are genuinely housebound or too ill to travel to the surgeries.






Telephone Appointments

Some patients may be offered a telephone appointment – please ensure that we have the correct telephone number to contact you on and that you are by the telephone at the expected time of the telephone consultation appointment.






At Your Appointment

GP appointments are booked to last 10 minutes. Longer appointments can be arranged for complex problems or if there are many problems to be discussed. If you feel you may need more time please mention this when booking your appointment. Making a list of the questions you would like to ask is a good way of making sure that you get the most out of the appointment.

Please bear in mind that the doctor may not be able to deal with all your problems in one consultation, particularly if you have built these up over a period of time. The doctor may ask you to return for further consultation(s) if all your problems cannot be dealt with.

Wear loose fitting clothing or short sleeves if you think you are going to need your blood pressure taken and be prepared to be examined. We will provide chaperones where appropriate or if you request one.

If we have an up to date mobile telephone number for you, once you have booked the appointment, you will receive a text message reminder 7 days before and again 1 day before your booked appointment time.






Don’t be a DNA! (Did Not Attend)

Patients who repeatedly miss their booked appointments at our practices will be subject to our DNA policy (see policies section of the website) and may be removed from our practice patient list.  Please ensure you attend all appointments on time and/ or cancel unwanted appointments so that other patients who need them can be seen.

Translation Service

With notice, consultations can be supported by the translation or sign language service. This may be a telephone based translation service (Language Line) or a face-to-face translator may be booked.


Repeat medicine requests are best handled by the reception staff as this allows the doctor to have more time to spend with you and helps clinics to run to time.