We are telephone triaging the majority of appointments with our clinicians when you call to make an appointment; however some face to face appointments are available. These appointments are limited so as to maintain social distancing and comply with COVID-19 infection control requirements.

If you book a telephone consultation, a clinician will assess your case over the telephone and advice will be given. You may also be offered a video (AccuRx) consultation.

Please telephone the surgery from 8am each week day to book a consultation with a clinician.

AccuRx Video Link Patient Instructions

You will only be asked to attend the practice for a face to face assessment by the clinician if this is necessary.

Please DO NOT attend the surgery unless advised to do so by a clinician.

Please be assured that you are not 'wasting our time' and that it is important to seek advice if you have any health concerns.

If you wish to book an appointment with one of our GP’s or our nurse practitioner for a minor ailment problem, you can now do this online. You will need to visit the surgery with photographic proof of identity in order to register for this service and obtain your personal username and password.

Alternatively you may visit the surgery or telephone 020 8504 7364. Our lines are open each week day from 08:00 to 18:30. You may book to see a doctor or nurse of your choice up to 4 weeks in advance.

We keep a number of appointment slots for release on the day. In this way we can provide a service should you need to see a GP or nurse practitioner on the same day you make an appointment. These slots tend to be taken very quickly, so it is advisable to book your appointment when we open our lines at 08:00.

We do understand that it may be difficult to get through but we are working very hard to answer your calls quickly. Should the telephone message advise you that you are held in a queue, please hold the line and your call will be answered, in order, as soon as a receptionist is available.

We try to run our clinics on time, but occasionally they do overrun. Please assist us by attending your appointment on time. If you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, you may not be seen.

Telephone Consultations

We do have a number of telephone consultations available every day with a doctor or nurse practitioner. Please contact the surgery before 12:00 noon if you would like to make use of this service. One of our reception staff will take brief details from you and a doctor or nurse practitioner will telephone you later that day.

Urgent Appointment

If you need to see a doctor or nurse practitioner urgently, please let us know as soon as you can. It is almost always possible to speak to a doctor or nurse practitioner very quickly if it is urgent.

Extended Hours

Extended hours appointments are available at Kings Medical Centre, Buckhurst Hill on Tuesday evenings and also at Loughton Health Centre on Saturday mornings. Please contact the surgery for more information.

Weekend Appointments

We also offer evening and weekend GP appointments and weekend Nurse appointments at the Hub. This service is run from a local health centre and the appointments can be booked through our receptionists. Please contact the surgery for more information.


Please ask at reception or inform the doctor or nurse if you require a chaperone. Additionally, the clinician may request a chaperone. Our chaperones may be a member of the reception or admin team, however they have all received appropriate training.

If the clinician requests a chaperone, but you would rather a chaperone was not present, you will be offered the choice of booking an appointment with an alternative clinician.


If you cannot attend an appointment for any reason please inform us as soon as possible in order for us to give the slot to someone else.

We are here for you when you need us – how to access services

If you need the help of a GP, practice nurse or other health professional that works in our surgery, we are here for you.

GP practices are busier than they have ever been and we want you to know how to get the help you need from us.

As you will know, we have been open throughout the pandemic, offering you telephone and online appointments. Face to face consultations are available for those who need them. We have continued to help many thousands of patients each week, alongside planning and delivering the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

There are some things that patients can do to help make sure we can see everyone who needs us, as quickly as possible. Please continue to contact us by phone or online as this helps us to manage people entering our practice building; it is much better if you don’t come to the practice unless you have an appointment.  We need to keep social distancing in our practice building to keep everyone safe, we also ask that you always wear a mask while in the surgery. Please remember that appointments are a set amount of time so it is only safe to discuss one or two health issues. If you have more to discuss please mention this when you speak to reception staff.

Our busiest times of the day on the phones are between 8am and 10am so if you can, we would suggest that you call outside of this time.

During the pandemic the use of our online system increased. It is a great way to get clinical advice for your condition, however, it is worth remembering that each consultation takes a significant of time to review and there are lots of other ways to get advice. Also, you will not get an instant response to these so if it is urgent please call the practice or contact 111.

On our website we have links to key NHS information and advice. Please also go to which is a as a source of trusted health advice about your or your child’s condition. Your local pharmacist is also there for you as an expert in medicines. They can offer advice for certain ailments. They will also know when you need to contact a GP or another more urgent service. Many pharmacies are open in the evening and at weekends, you can find them on the NHS website. You can also find out how to make the most of your pharmacist.

Remember if the situation is urgent you can contact NHS 111 by visiting or by calling 111.  They can also support with a mental health crisis if you select option 2.

You don’t need to see a GP to refer yourself for some mental health services. Find out more at If you are worried about your mental health and any harm you may cause yourself please contact your practice.

Remember to always dial 999 straight away when it is a real emergency, for example if you think someone is having a heart attack or a stroke.

Please continue to use general practice when you need to, we are open and there for you.

Thank you for your support - The River Surgery.

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