Dr Geissler leaving end of January

It is with more than a little sadness that I announce my leaving date as 25th January 2019.


I have come to the decision due to family reasons, in particular the fact that we are keen to try moving to France in the near future.

This is therefore an exciting and positive move for me and so I am very grateful to everyone at Woodside for their unwavering support at this time.

Woodside has truly been my second home for the past 5 and half years. The team here, in my opinion are the best doctors I could have had the honour of calling my partners. The nursing, administrative and managerial staff are so hard working and helpful, I will be very sorry to leave you all.


There is significant pressure in general practice, and endless news articles on surgeries closing or being unable to recruit GPs, and so Woodside is using this time of transition as an opportunity for change.

Successful practices are willing to adapt and look at new ways of working. Finding staff who’s skills can compliment and off-load work from GPs is certainly ​the pathway to sustainability.

I have had the pleasure of overlapping these last months with Helen O’Callaghan who is joining the clinical team in my place.

Advanced Care Practitioners (ACPs) are a great addition to any GP practice team, bring a wealth of community experience over many years, dealing with pretty much everything a GP does, including prescribing and clinical assessment examination. In many practices patients prefer seeing ACPs to GPs (!) and I hope our patients will welcome and value her experience and competence as we do.


Being a GP can be an incredibly rewarding job and I just want to offer my most heartfelt thanks and best wishes to all the patients I have had the pleasure of having contact with over the years.

Being privy to the details and difficulties of peoples individual lives is a great privilege and I sincerely wish you all great mental and physical health and longevity.

Sarah Geissler

NEW APPOINTMENT SYSTEM (and improved phone system to be installed shortly)

For access to GPs we have a new system DOCTOR FIRST

  • Call the practice to book a GP contact 02476 694001
  • GP will call you back
  • Discuss your problem with your GP
  • We will be installing a new phone system with the ability to queue calls to much improve your phone experience

Practice Nurses and a Midwife appointments are available to book at Reception.


The current situation

Our current list size is over 11,000 and continues to grow. Patients seem to be happy with the quality of care they are receiving, but there have been issues being able to make an appointment.  The increasing demand for appointments had resulted in some patients raising concerns that they are not able to consult a GP as quickly as we would like.

We have tried multiple different options over the past few months, but we feel that DOCTOR FIRST offers scope to improve patient access to their GP.

 What is Doctor First and what does it mean for me?

Doctor First is a GP Led telephone triage based appointment system.  The aim is for patient’s to call that morning to speak to a GP that day (this may not always be possible if there is increased demand that day). You will usually be able to talk to the GP of your choice, on the day that you request the contact.. You will not have to queue outside at 8.30am to get an appointment. The new system will be fairer for all.

New phone lines

We recognise out old phone system needed upgrading, the new system will allow calls to be queued so you will not have to call back multiple times. This is expected  late January 2019.

What will I have to do to see the doctor?

If you need to see or speak to a doctor then you will simply ring the surgery using 02476 964001.  You ring the surgery and book a telephone appointments for your problem whether is urgent or routine. 

Then What?

You will be asked for some brief details about why you are seeking a contact with the GP.  If you prefer not to give any details then the GP will still call you back, but those brief details will allow the GP to assess the urgency of the request.  The GP will call you back that day.

Will I then get to see the doctor?

After discussing your case, you and your GP will decide together if your problem can be dealt with over the phone or if a face-to-face appointment is necessary.  Your GP may refer you to one of our highly skilled nurses if that is felt to be more appropriate.  The GP can also book you into an appointment on a future date if this is more convenient (eg for those who work, or around school hours for children).

What other advantages does it offer?

  • Many patients with a health problem won’t need to visit the surgery as it can be dealt with on the phone.
  • The system will give the GP more time to see those patients that do need a face-to-face appointment.
  • Saving some patients the unnecessary inconvenience of attending the surgery.
  • The GP will know why they are seeing you and can allow an appropriate time to deal with your problem. This means that appointments should run to time and you will not be kept waiting in the reception areas.

For answers to some Frequently asked Questions, please see the extended version of this information on the the “How do I… Book an appointment” page.