Appointments system

  • Consultations with our clinicians are available Monday to Friday with extended surgery hours being available on some weekday evening/weekends every week.
  • Face to face appointments and telephone consultations continue to be available.
  • Appointments are usually 10 minutes long (1 issue per appointment) and can be pre-booked, up to four weeks in advance. Please be aware that when the medical team call patients a definite time cannot be given for telephone consultations
  • Visit the surgery and speak with a receptionist or call the practice, Monday to Friday during opening hours.

When you get in touch, we’ll ask what you need help with, our receptionists will then use this information to recommend you to the most suitable Doctor, Nurse, Physician Associate or Healthcare Professional to help you.

Non-urgent advice: Medically urgent appointments

Medically urgent appointments are available daily if you feel you have a condition which cannot wait for a routine consultation.

Please ring at 8:00am for an urgent morning appointment or at 2:00pm for an urgent afternoon appointment. 

We have appointments available with a Physician Associate – they work alongside the doctors and other members of the practice team to provide a wide range of patient care.

Physician Associates in General Practice

What does a Physician Associate do?

Physician associates (PAs) are medically trained, healthcare professionals, who work alongside doctors and other members of the practice team to provide a range of patient care. 

They are able to:

  • take medical histories from patients
  • carry out physical examinations
  • see patients with undifferentiated diagnoses
  • see patients with long-term chronic conditions
  • formulate diagnoses and management plans
  • perform diagnostic procedures
  • develop and deliver appropriate treatment and management plans
  • request and interpret diagnostic studies (except those involving ionising radiation)
  • provide health promotion and disease prevention advice for patients.

They are trained and qualified to run their own clinical appointments but always work under the supervision of a GP.

Why do we need Physician Associates?

Due to a growing population, the advances in technology, better diagnosis, prevention and treatments, the NHS can sometimes struggle to cope. This is a new role to bring more talent, adding rather than taking away from existing members of the medical workforce and increased access for patient services and care.

Medical appointments

Like other medical staff, physician associates work with their patients to provide the best and most suitable care. They have access to patients’ medical records in case they need to refer to past medical history.

Strict rules of confidentiality are adhered to throughout this practice. 


PAs must pass an intensive 2 -year university course at diploma or master’s level to learn clinical knowledge and skills after completing a 3 -year biomedical or healthcare related degree.

They train in hospital and GP practices to gain knowledge, skills and experience about how to look after patients.

The Faculty of Physician Associates is part of the Royal College of Physicians. They set and run the PA national exam, check the education standards and maintain a register of qualified PAs.

PAs are required to show that they are keeping their knowledge and skills up to date and have to rectify every 6 years.

Arrange your appointment via the GP online system

Login for Online Services

We are encouraging all of our patients to use Patient Access online. If you haven’t registered for this service please contact the surgery to do so.

Non-urgent advice: eConsult

Request an appointment online using eConsult Monday to Friday. All the requests submitted will be reviewed and receptionist will get back with response within 2 to 3 working days. Any medically urgent appointments will need to be booked on the day as per our appointment system.

Non-urgent advice: Emergencies

What is an Emergency?

Whatever the time of day, if you or someone else experiences the symptoms below and you feel it is so serious that it cannot wait, go to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department or call 999.

Symptoms include;

Chest pain

Severe abdominal pain

Vomiting blood


Non-blanching rashes (the glass test)

Possible anaphylactic shock (swelling of mouth and throat)

Your appointment

However you choose to contact us, we may offer you a consultation:

  • Face to face at the surgery
  • By phone

Appointments by phone, can be more flexible and often means you get help sooner.

Cancelling or changing an appointment

To cancel your appointment:

Non-urgent advice: Watford Extended Access (WEA)

The Elms Surgery is a part of  Watford Extended Access. We are now able to offer some evening and weekend appointments to our registered patients.  

If you require an appointment during extended hours, please book by calling the surgery. You may be offered appointments in other surgeries which are part of the alliance. 

As part of extended access, we are sometimes able to offer smear tests and phlebotomy at the weekend. Please speak to a member of the reception team to request these extended appointments.

If you need help now or when we are closed

If you need medical help now, use NHS 111 online or call 111.

NHS 111 online is for people aged 5 and over. Call 111 if you need help for a child under 5.

Call 999 in a medical or mental health emergency. This is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

If you need help with your appointment

Please tell us:

  • if there’s a specific doctor, nurse or other health professional you would prefer to respond
  • if you would prefer to consult with the doctor or nurse by phone, or by face-to-face
  • if you need an interpreter
  • if you have any other access or communication needs.

Home visits

If you are housebound and need an appointment, we will do a home visit. We will phone you first to understand what you need.

To request a home visit, it’s helpful if you phone the practice before 11:00am.

Help from your pharmacy

Did you know that your local pharmacy can help you with a lot of minor ailments; and a lot of treatments are covered by the Pharmacies.

The NHS Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (CPCS) may also help

Find a pharmacy that offers free blood pressure checks

Non-urgent advice: Medical students

Medical students are sometimes attached to the practice as part of their training during the year.

If you do not wish a student to be present during your consultation, please inform the receptionist.

Important notice for your appointment times

In this surgery, we provide health care services to various vulnerable groups of patients as well, those include elderly, children, pregnant females, patients with disabilities, persons with learning disabilities, mental health patients. These appointments may take more than usual.

In view of the nature of our services, our appointment times are not fixed and delays are always expected.

We request you to wait until the clinician is free and they will call you.

As a part of our policy, we cannot offer any kind of compensation for any delay in your appointments.