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SarahBell

Getting Appointment With Your Gp

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Our doctors is all appointments (They reckon they have 790 appts a week available across docs and nurses)

- there's no drop in and wait sessions like I've had at other surgeries.

You ring up and 15 mins after the phone lines open all doc appts are gone. None offered for tomorrow but when I asked to speak to the practice manager she offered me one on Friday.

Apparently the practice does well in the stats for getting to see a doc within 48 hrs and the patient consultation group decided to stick with the current system of appointments.

So I just wondered how awkward it was for other people to get doc appointments.

(Last week I rang on Monday and there were no doc appts for the monday or tuesday and I got to see a nurse practitioner who gave me some betahistine tablets for my dizziness and blamed it on stress of having an MRI coming up ... She'd said to stop taking them after a week and see if I was still dizzy. Well I haven't stopped taking them and feel pretty strange so want to see a doc. )

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If I manage to see a GP within 3 days, I consider it a good result... I expect them to be useless like that.

Although when I last moved & found a new GP, I immediately booked an appointment, only to be told that the first available slot was 10 days away :blink: so I quickly changed GPs.

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It certainly used to be if you were a male between the ages of 18 and (at a guess, 60), you could pretty much go f*ck yourself as far as the receptionists were concerned.* Now, it seems, with targets to see people within a certain time, that system is being applied a little more even handedly accross the board and, speaking as a male in that demographic, I see that as a good thing. Things are more now as you describe for everyone.

*Which always doubly annoyed me, as a look round any GPs waiting room at any time will show that this is the demographic least likely to go to a GP, so, if they want to go, the chances are it is actually about something pretty important.

Sorry to make this another male/female rant, but 20 odd years of being almost unable to see a GP when I wanted to without a very long wait and wives, mothers etc having completely no understanding of the brush off young males used to get from GP receptionists will do that to you.

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If I manage to see a GP within 3 days, I consider it a good result... I expect them to be useless like that.

Although when I last moved & found a new GP, I immediately booked an appointment, only to be told that the first available slot was 10 days away :blink: so I quickly changed GPs.

True - waiting 10 days would be worse than waiting 50 hours.

Their asthmas clinic is booked up weeks ahead though and you can't book beyond a certain date as they "appointments aren't on the system yet" so you have to ring up and by the time you get through you get told they're all gone and have to ring up again.

Same with blood pressure nurse too... Which really puts my blood pressure up.

I'd go to the walk in centre but it's 5 miles away and I don't feel quite well enough for sitting round for three hours in a room full of people with chickenpox/flu/coughs etc I also don't think I could walk to the bus stop today without falling over and I certainly wouldn't drive feeling like this.

Several previous doctors surgeries have done drop in centres from 8am for those who want to see someone urgently. Works well - if you're sick enough to want to wait then you will.

EDIT:

I know it sounds like I'm whinging about nothing but normally you ring up and can't get an appointment and have to ring up the next day and get told there's no appointments left and you'll have to ring up the next day and when you do...

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It's best to need an appaointment when the world cup is on. There's plenty of room.

At my surgery they have a quantum mechanis system where if you want a named doctor and mine is good she often has a long queue of two weeks or more. unfortunatly you can,t make an appointment greater than than two week away. You have to ring in everyday from then on. There is always someone else to see if it is an emergancy. Something like the old joke of the free abortion clinic the only trouble is that there is a nine month waiting list

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If I manage to see a GP within 3 days, I consider it a good result... I expect them to be useless like that.

Although when I last moved & found a new GP, I immediately booked an appointment, only to be told that the first available slot was 10 days away :blink: so I quickly changed GPs.

10 days is getting towards the ballpark of what happened to me, the time I had the worst medical emergency in my life.

FWIW, my measure of emergency is whether there's a risk of substantial permanent damage. So excluding regular illness like winter 'flu, and most sub-ambulance-level A&E stuff.

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My GP is excellent as far as this is concerned if you have net access. You can go on-line and choose an appointment. Seems more efficient as you can see the availability rather than relying on a receptionist who often doesn't seem to be too talented at their job. I've never had to wait more than a few days. For emergency consultations on the phone, you can always speak to the duty GP on call.

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My GP is excellent as far as this is concerned if you have net access. You can go on-line and choose an appointment. Seems more efficient as you can see the availability rather than relying on a receptionist who often doesn't seem to be too talented at their job. I've never had to wait more than a few days. For emergency consultations on the phone, you can always speak to the duty GP on call.

Now that's two fantastic ideas.

I think you can speak to a practice nurse at ours if you ring up between the hours of 12-1 - but I've only read about that on a site somewhere, not tried it.

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Patient education is paramount in preventing clogging up of the system with utter shite. The telephone triage system works for a while, if the punters are not educated well enough then suddenly you find you have 50 patients to ring every day in addition to the usual workload. Sounds like the op's practice needs to pull their finger out and sort things out. Make sure you participate in the satisfaction questionnaires, someone has to balance out the old people and housewives.

Edit: Oh, if you are really unhappy, write a complaint letter, with full factual details. They have to respond to these.

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My GP practice is superb - you ring up on the morning after 8.15 to get appointments between 9 and 11 and after 10.30 to get an afternoon appointment.

You will get to see a GP but if you want to see a particular GP it depends on how booked they are. Sometimes you have to wait till the next surgery.

My particular GP has gone down to 1 day a week now as he is doing more hospital work. But when I was very ill a few years ago I got to see him every single time I needed to over about a 3 year period - and don't mind telling anyone that if it was not for him I would not be alive today.

In fact, I place such importance on my Practice that it is on my list of house buying needs. I have considered buying a house just 2 miles down the road but it places me outside of my GP practice into another Practice's area which, several Docs and Nurses, have told me is a Practice to avoid. Go another mile further away again and I apparently get into the area covered by a good Practice.

Have to admit I am loathe to leave my current Practice even though my GP now does one day per week.

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Edit: Oh, if you are really unhappy, write a complaint letter, with full factual details. They have to respond to these.

I have emailed him about the patient consultation quarterly meeting they have.

I just thought today was pee taking when she said they had no appointments and I asked to speak to the practice manager by first name she instantly found me one on Friday.

I should probably go to bed and sleep as I feel terrible.

;-/

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Our local surgery's switchboard opens at 8am and they book appointments for that day. Usually if you haven't called by 8.30 you're out of luck.

It's easy for us though; with one land line, 4 mobiles and 2 VoIP accounts (assuming me, the wife and both kids all pitch in) we can bombard them with about 50 calls per minute, elbowing out all the frail old people who live on their own with ease.

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They have many fiddles.

One is two appointment books, ie. you can book anytime you want it gets put into the ledger. 24 hours before the appointment they enter it onto the computerised booking system, thus it looks like they see EVERY single appointment within 24 hours.

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redial. start at 8am keep pressing redial till it rings. get an appointment. very easy.

Don't ring back later... just keep redialling instantly.

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redial. start at 8am keep pressing redial till it rings. get an appointment. very easy.

Don't ring back later... just keep redialling instantly.

But what if you get through and they say they're all out of appointments and you've got to ring back another day? That could happen indefinitely.

I think because the standard is to see a GP within 48 hours they only release the appointments for 48 hours in advance. (Has someone already said this as it's sounding really familiar?)

Because you can't book an appointment more than 48 hours in advance EVERYONE who sees a GP has been seen within 48 hours of making an appointment.

That's not the same as "seeing a GP within 48 hours of requesting an appointment"

Anyway I have got the date of the consulation meeting 14th April so hopefully I won't be bloody dizzy then.

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According to the Daily Mail, the 48 hour target has been scrapped. I couldn't find any other source for this information though.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1288353/GP-48-hour-appointment-target-scrapped-NHS-cost-cutting-drive.html

But the original 48 hour target was supposed to be from your first contact with the receptionist. If you were being fobbed off by the surgery then you would have been justified in making a complaint.

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The NHS is not a single organisation. It is a hodpodge of countless mini-organisations with their own idiosycracies, and of course, massive overheads. One poster here has already alluded to how GP surgeries are so different within a small area, you can apply that to virtually any part of the NHS. To the OP - keep trying and complaining, go up higher if you have to, but ultimately you may have to change surgeries to get the service you are looking for.

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GP surgeries are independent contractors to the NHS. We are paid partly on a 'per patient' basis, partly on the range of service we provide and partly on meeting targets; clinical, customer service and administrative. Getting access right can be tricky and needs to be revisited every couple of years to ensure we're giving our patients what they want. What works in one surgery may not work in another.

For example, I have a generally young average age of patients so we reserve half our appointments as 'same day', since most younger folk only get in touch when they are unwell and when they are, they want a Dr today. If we had proportionately more older folk with chronic problems, we'd have proportionately more bookable in advance appointments as that's what the older folk generally like to do. Some of our old folk like to book 4-6 weeks in advance so we generally have 2 months worth of clinics on the calendar. We also monitor demand closely every month as our list increases and provide more Drs & Nurses as they are required.

We can't abide the 'press button one if you want to hear the menu again' type phone systems so we wouldn't foist them on our patients, everyone gets to speak to a person and patients can speak to a Dr / Nurse on the phone if they want. We can't afford an all-singing, all dancing web booking system yet but when we can, we'll consider it.

The message is, if you're getting crap service and you're lucky enough to live in an area with more than one surgery, change practices - it's easy. Don't be afraid to ask about the appointment system and access before you sign up with a practice. In urban areas, practice catchment areas overlap considerably so you do have a free choice. Obviously in rural areas it's more difficult.

Losing patients would very quickly make a practice start looking at availability and service. In Scotland, our base income varies quarterly on the basis of how many patients we have.

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To the OP - keep trying and complaining, go up higher if you have to, but ultimately you may have to change surgeries to get the service you are looking for.

I wish I could withdraw from the system altogether (of course this is not allowed).

I'd rather they didn't get paid for having me on their books.

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"Ah, so you've been a private sector based taxpayer for 20 years and never claimed anything off the state - no problem sir, you are a priority customer. After all its you thats paying for all of this - would 2 O clock or 2.30 suit you best?"

just dreaming

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I live in Wellington in Somerset, and I have to say the medical service is top notch.

Any time a member of my family has needed a doctors appointment we've been seen that day.

If our regular doctor is unavailable they apologise and often offer two alternative GPs.

Also, dentistry freely available on the NHS in at least 3 surgeries.

I'm quick to criticise most things but I have written to the local papers and my local MP to praise the service.

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My experience was really good, caught my finger in a 1960's sliding office window.

Still hurt sometimes a week later after swelling went down so called the GP and went down 30 minutes later.

She gave me an X-ray form and told me to go to a walk in clinic/hospital

Couldn't go the same day so went the next morning, reception sent me straight to radiology

who took the X-rays straight away, came back down and saw a lovely nurse who splinted it

as only a tiny break.

24 hours and about 5 people all worked perfectly, cost me nothing as well.

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I wish I could withdraw from the system altogether (of course this is not allowed).

I'd rather they didn't get paid for having me on their books.

To be a bit brutal, why don't you ****** off and deregister and go private then, because you don't understand how good the nhs primary care is for the most destitute

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  • 311 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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