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dinker

How Long Does It Take To See Your Gp?

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I`ve never had much contact with the NHS so it was rather a shock when I called in at my surgery to be told that it would take over a week to see a GP. I now wish I had taken out private health insurance rather than being stuck with a Soviet style health provider.

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I`ve never had much contact with the NHS so it was rather a shock when I called in at my surgery to be told that it would take over a week to see a GP. I now wish I had taken out private health insurance rather than being stuck with a Soviet style health provider.

If you insist you should be able to get an appointment within a day or two.

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I`ve never had much contact with the NHS so it was rather a shock when I called in at my surgery to be told that it would take over a week to see a GP. I now wish I had taken out private health insurance rather than being stuck with a Soviet style health provider.

But you didn't because...?

Personally I've never, ever had a problem seeing a doc when I needed one.

Most of the time I just go to the drop in centre and get seen within 30 minutes. I only go to the doctor for stuff that I'm actually worried about.

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I think your mileage will vary place to place and from week to week - our local surgery uses a call-back service, where you call the reception, they take your number and the Dr calls back and decides whether to see you. This last week; my wife called at 9am - was called back by 9.45 by her Dr and an appointment arranged for that morning. Non-urgent complaint.

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At ours you can only make an appointment for the same day. Only certain appointments can be booked in advance.

If you phone too late, though (from afternoon on) there will be no appointments left, unless an emergency.

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Same day everytime, our surgery operates a system of callbacks whereby you call up to request a GP callback, then a couple of hours later typically an initial consultation is had over the phone, and if it is thought a visit to the surgery would be useful an appointment is arranged, often available an hour after the call if convenient.

It seems to work well as I guess people turn up more often than with appointments a few days in advance, and also there is no need to be on the phone at 8am sharp as there are enough GPs to have a callback rota through the day. I've called in after 3pm and been seen the same day. Frankly I don't know why other places do not implement it, but I suspect plenty of practices regard patients as an inconvenience and/or simply have far too many people on their books.

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If you insist you should be able to get an appointment within a day or two.

My neighbour is an NHS nurse and she says that if you demand an emergency appointment they will just dump you on a locum, I prefer to see a named doctot as you will get some accountability.

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Yep, I'd say this is something that has improved over the last few decades. GPs are generally more flexible and available. Haven't been to my new surgery, but the last one you could (finally) get appointments at something like 7am and so be seen before going to work.

It does vary though. In Dorchester, apparently it can take weeks to be see a Doctor in one particular surgery as the partners like to keep patients numbers high, but staffing levels low. Again in east London, I couldn't find a surgery that was able to take me on at all - so I relied on walk-in centres and A&E for the entire 8 years I lived there. That really was a nightmare. I had an eight hour wait once - and the whole thing would have really benefited from a Argos style ticketing system.

On locums, I'm thankful that the only one I ever saw probably saved my life due to his thoroughness. I had been seriously ill for more than a year and every GP insisted it was simply growing pains (despite having lost nearly half of my body weight and looking absolutely skeletal). He ordered up extra blood tests and sent me to the hospital for more tests just to be on the safe side.

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My neighbour is an NHS nurse and she says that if you demand an emergency appointment they will just dump you on a locum, I prefer to see a named doctot as you will get some accountability.

In that case you can't really complain about a wait. If you want to see a specific person you have to accept that there will be a queue.

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Generally I have had an equally bad experience either in terms of waiting times, competence or service. Fortunately I don't seem to get sick that often.

My last GP despite being a miserable sod wasn't too bad, but waiting time was about a week like yours and the staff were particularly unhelpful (you'd be sat in reception waiting for your appointment and if the phone rang while they were speaking to their friend about a holiday /boyfriend etc the caller would have to wait until they had finished and would usually ring off. Which explained why nobody ever seemed to answer the phone there).

My new GP surgery is the exact opposite.. I can get an appointment usually on the same day. The staff are really helpful and the nurse is very good. The Dr from my experience is completely useless/incompetent though which probably explains why it is so easy to get an appointment.. everybody else has moved to another surgery.

I agree with you, and fortunately we have a private GP around the corner so I'm seriously considering giving it a try. £50 quid per appointment which wouldn't grate quite so much if I wasn't already paying for the "free" ones.

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I would imagine three quarters of consultations at least are unnecessary....so occasional users can't get in. 5.5 visits per patient seems excessive and I bet a lot of those are transient common illnesses as opposed to long term health problems or potential life threatening problems.

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/political-news/conservatives-asked-to-consider-an-annual-limit-on-gp-appointments-per-patient/20003096.article#.U3nUl9RwbGI

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I am recovering from an urinary tract infection. It came on late Friday night before the bank holiday. At first it was just painful to make water, so I waited. On the Tuesday, the surgery opened and I rang asking for a home visit. Mrs Ratbag the receptionist took in a sharp breath and demanded 'A home visit?' She got a doctor to call me, the doctor wanted to know why I could not attend the surgery and I pointed out that I was literally having to pee every five minutes and could not possibly go to the surgery. She sent me some tablets that were delivered by the Pharmacy. The tablets did work after a fashion, but I was left with other problems more minor in nature.

So, I looked it up on internet, only to find that the recommended treatment includes antibiotics which I was not prescribed.

Forty years ago, it was normal for doctors to visit patients at home. 'Call the Doctor' is still in our lexicon of sayings but nowadays totally obsolete.

Frankly, the NHS is an utter disgrace

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Frankly, the NHS is an utter disgrace

Yes, it's almost as if it's been chronically underfunded for decades because people don't like paying for first world quality healthcare...

;)

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Yes, it's almost as if it's been chronically underfunded for decades because people don't like paying for first world quality healthcare...

;)

I'd agree for the NHS overall.. not sure about GPs though:

mp-nhs-gp-pay-comparison-may09.png

Plus: British GPs Best Paid In The West

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2510905/British-GPs-best-paid-West--nurses-average.html

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I am recovering from an urinary tract infection. It came on late Friday night before the bank holiday. At first it was just painful to make water, so I waited. On the Tuesday, the surgery opened and I rang asking for a home visit. Mrs Ratbag the receptionist took in a sharp breath and demanded 'A home visit?' She got a doctor to call me, the doctor wanted to know why I could not attend the surgery and I pointed out that I was literally having to pee every five minutes and could not possibly go to the surgery. She sent me some tablets that were delivered by the Pharmacy. The tablets did work after a fashion, but I was left with other problems more minor in nature.

So, I looked it up on internet, only to find that the recommended treatment includes antibiotics which I was not prescribed.

Forty years ago, it was normal for doctors to visit patients at home. 'Call the Doctor' is still in our lexicon of sayings but nowadays totally obsolete.

Frankly, the NHS is an utter disgrace

I started on chemo a couple of months ago, and had a bad reaction - vomiting and nausea. I called the oncology people (24 hr service), they told me to phone the out of hours GP service. The receptionist asked me to come into the the hospital 9 miles away, and I told her I couldn't even get in a car, let alone travel. She said OK, I understand, we'll get the Camdoc out to you. The doctor rang the doorbell about an hour later, gave me an injection, which didn't help much I'm afraid to say.

Happily, the oncologists changed my meds and the later chemo has not been as unpleasant.

I'm pretty happy with that service.

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I would imagine three quarters of consultations at least are unnecessary....so occasional users can't get in. 5.5 visits per patient seems excessive and I bet a lot of those are transient common illnesses as opposed to long term health problems or potential life threatening problems.

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/political-news/conservatives-asked-to-consider-an-annual-limit-on-gp-appointments-per-patient/20003096.article#.U3nUl9RwbGI

Unnecessary ? Surely by default you aren't going to know that before you go ? And for the sake of this debate I am stripping out the ridiculous occasions that we read about in newspapers etc..

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I called this morning (Mon) and have an appointment on Wed afternoon. I wasn't expecting to get anything so quickly as our GP also only offers appointments up to 48 hours in advance, unless it's an emergency, so I was prepared to have to call again tomorrow. I'm pleased as I'm in danger of sawing one of my arms off.

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Both my dad and a neighbour had home visits as and when they wanted.

Both terminally ill though.

The old bloke who used to live next door had to be taken to the docs. Just old.

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In that case you can't really complain about a wait. If you want to see a specific person you have to accept that there will be a queue.

Maybe the practise should have an appropriate number of patients

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Unnecessary ? Surely by default you aren't going to know that before you go ? And for the sake of this debate I am stripping out the ridiculous occasions that we read about in newspapers etc..

I'm sure there are significant numbers of the worried well visiting surgeries which mirrors ambulances/police having to deal with regular call outs from the same people. Equally, there are others with multiple conditions which need managing. I was often surprised by the excessive level of care offered to my missus though. In one area, she had NHS contact practically every week, usually accompanied by dire warnings that if she didn't attend she'd be struck off completely. Probably too much to ask but a lot of it was down to coordination e.g. she'd have blood tests for one thing, then attend the same place/different department the next week for a different test, go back for results from the first the following week etc.

She still has the same conditions, but perhaps has contact once a month where we currently live and her health is broadly the same.

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Maybe the practise should have an appropriate number of patients

Oh come off it. The right number of patients so you can be seen by the doctor of your choice immediately? Errr.. That would be one.

Its massively naive or stupid to think that anything could operate with enough slack in the system to meet your requirements.

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Not to say I necessarily begrudge GPs a high salary.. but at that price they should also provide a good service IMO

No, absolutely, the recent GP contracts were an absolute joke. Seems they now have to be repeatedly incentivized to do the basics of their job.

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I've not seen a GP in over twenty years. My son has a follow-up appointment booked this morning on the 9th June with his Dr (first available slot) if it was an emergency I'd have got him in to see the duty Dr same day within the hour. Other Drs had slots available from the 22nd May.

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