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GP appointment system doesn't work

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Our local practice has now opted for an appointment system (to see the GP), which sounds wonderful until you wake up one morning, in pain and need of advice.  You reach for the phone (if you are lucky enough to own one) and call the surgery.  You may get through if you hold on the line for long enough, at which point you ask for an appointment with your GP.  Once the chuckles have died down you are told there is nothing free for days on end!

True, if it were an emergency, they may offer another option but when you have been brought up to respect peoples time you tend not to class your illness as an emergency (unless it is clearly life threatening).  So now what do you do?  Well if you are old and fragile, living alone, you will start to worry which makes your illness feel a thousand times worse.

GP Appointment system You could go private but this is way beyond your means (and income) so you soldier on the best you can.  When the day of your appointment comes youre too ill to visit the doctor. So what may well have been only a minor illness now becomes a much more serious condition.

But hold on one moment; how much time and money is really being saved here?  Our GPs. don't appear to work long hours, at least their surgery times don't suggest this.  Previously their surgeries were packed with patients but now, since some have an appointment system, how many patients do they actually see?

Do many languish at home in need of the help which is now so difficult to find?  More importantly does anyone really care?  Perhaps we could be forgiven for thinking that medication was fast becoming a rich man's privilege, as for the rest of us what do we do for treatment?


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JohnRJ

Some time ago with a repeat prescription where I should get a month's supply I was being given only a week's supply and so had to request it more frequently.

The receptionist queried what I wanted this prescription again for in spite of having had it for years (assuming the weekly supply was a short-term dose for a temporary problem when I had) and I told her it was nothing to do with her and she wasn't qualified to decide what I should be prescribed.

She became too condescending and intrusive, and being ill I wasn't in the best of minds so I gave her a mouthful and a few days later got a letter from the surgery for my language saying they have a duty of care for their staff and will not tolerate aggressive behaviour or abusive language from patients.

What about a code of conduct towards patients confidentiality and respect?
26th Jan 16 11:01

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Poorly sue

Me "Good morning i'd like to see a doctor please im unwell and have been since saturday."
Receptionist "Yes of course, whats wrong please?"
Me ".....erm its personal and my doctor has seen me for it in the past so please can i discuss that with my doctor?"
Receptionist "I understand but i need to determine if you need to see a doctor or the pharmacist."
Me "Look i dont wish to discuss my personal issues with you and if i wanted to see a pharmacist i'd go to the chemist. I think im old enough to decide if i need to see a doctor. I start work at 10am so if you can get me in for before 9:30am that would be great."

*silence apart from keyboard keys tapping*

Receptionist (sheepish) "Would 9am be ok?"
Me "Yes perfect, my names gjjdhfhrn dob dhdhfjfn address sjdjfhfn. See you then."

Must speak to these receptionists like crap to get what you want or they just fob you off with a pharmacist who are a waste of time.
:):)
24th Jan 16 10:01

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0

Dead and Buried

GP's are utterly useless. They are on huge salaries and yet all they do is TALK.
29th Apr 14 05:04

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0

What are pharmacists for?

"You can choose your pharmacist"?

What's the real truth.

With the green prescription form signed by my GP I can literally choose any pharmacist in the country I like to fulfill it. Every time I go to a pharmacist nowadays with one of these paper forms they try to force me off this system into a more permanent relationship between my GP and themselves. BAH.

Why can't the GP themselves issue the top 100 drugs from out of own stocks, in their own surgery? Why am I forced to go to a commercial pharmacist at all for statins, blood pressure pills, and any anti-biotics. BAH!
29th Apr 14 01:04

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Anon

Repeat Prescriptions - it is not mandatory you register with a pharmacist, it is preferred - the implementation of transmission of electronic prescriptions from your GP to a pharmacist OF YOUR CHOICE is the development driving this, this year. You can choose your pharmacist! This system being implemented means greater integration of clinical and ordering systems / records between primary care and pharmacy suppliers. This can only be a good thing for patients, GPs and pharmacists in co-ordinating care for patients that is becoming increasingly more complex.
On line access to appointments or prescription ordering - it is not mandatory you use on line services, practices are required to ensure a minimum of 5% + of patients are currently registered to use these services. You can continue to book/ order in the same traditional way.
GP First - there are practices implementing this system that means patient requests will be managed by a GP calling them assess their needs before booking appropriate appointments for them. Practices have Patient Participation Groups through which patients can feedback back about how services are provided to them, in this case.
23rd Apr 14 10:04

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anon

We have been told by one of the pharmacists that we must now mandatorily register with him for repeat prescriptions. He says "it is a new system". I have tried very hard to find out whether this was a mandatory requirement. I can find nothing about. I think this is now a scam forcing us into a monopolistic arrangement with a given pharmacist. I prefer the competition and the ability and right to choose any pharmacist I have always had
22nd Apr 14 02:04

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0

The System Is Utterly Bust

We have been told we must register online to book our appointment with our doctor.

The system we have been given is horrifyingly non-user-friendly.

We must now remember a 12-digit number as User ID plus a password which must contain two digits. This is all rollocks!! Who dreams up this cr@p.

Last time we went to our doctor, he told us we had overrun his 10-minute allowance for our appointment. If he was trained properly he would not have taken so long to get at the real issues of our case. Useless overpaid git!
22nd Apr 14 01:04

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jay

We have to phone our gp receptionist, tell her what's wrong and then wait for gp
to call us back. He then makes diagnosis over phone deciding whether to see us! I phoned up with ongoing severe back pain and told I had had it so long would have to live with it. In the end I paid to see a specialist who was brilliant and arranged for an MRI scan in a different area. I now would only bother to call gp if I was desperate.
3rd Jan 14 12:01

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Fred E

I tried to change GPs recently to one that I cycle past every day to go to work. I went in and asked if they were taking new patients. "It depends where you live". Oh that's fine I said not far away. "Out of our area" she replied. My house is just under 3 miles away. How is that "out of area" I asked. "Ah well it's for GP visits. It's too far". I asked if they do GP visits and a smile came over the receptionists face. "No we send you to a walk in centre, instead." It's amazing there is a system to choose which hospital you are sent to but you can't choose a GP.
25th Nov 13 02:11

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Jethro

Vets are better...., Thats because you are paying through the nose at a vets but not at the doctors. If you want the same treatment as your cat gets, Go private.
25th Nov 13 02:11

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Vets are better than GPs

Why does my cat get a better service at the Vet's than I do at my GP's?

If my cat is ill I simply take him to our local vet and he is seen more or less immediately, with hardly any waiting, no silly appointment system; and certainly no bureaucratic administrator blocking you from medical care.
25th Nov 13 01:11

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Steph Lovatt

I am sick to death of holding on in a queue to be told there are no appointments and that I will have to ring again the next morning at 8am, but there is no guarantee I will get one then! My daughter is 12 years old is in agony with tonsilitis and I can't get an appointment, I know what the problem is as she has had it twice this year, so i asked can i get a repeat prescription for the antibiotic? I was told they can't do this she would need to see a doctor!! Help I am becoming demented as this is what I have been trying to do, I have been told I can go to a call in center miles away, so they are suggesting I go to the hospital? No the call in center (Ormskirk hospital)there I will be seen by a nurse who will decide if my daughter needs to see the doctor. Aarr you can now see my frustration I know what she needs but this is now going to cost the NHS even more money not to mention myself as I now have to go miles out of my way and pay for parking which I can't afford to be told I need to see a doctor which I already know and be given the same antibiotics taken before. To infuriate me even more the receptionist through in the comment that they have now been privatized for 2 weeks,I asked is this why we can't get an appointment do you no longer see NHS patients?she said she didn't know what I was asking but went on to say how she had spoke to 25 people this morning to explain they couldn't have an appointment, I would love to know how as I spent 25 mins just trying to get through, in this time she had given away all the available appointments and spoke to 25 others like myself! She finished by saying how she understands my frustration but there is nothing she can do. I feel let down and do not use the doctors often, this system is not working and I feel annoyed that they are willing to let my daughter suffer like this, what do we pay our national insurance for?
3rd Apr 13 09:04

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grumpyoldwoman

Isobel; what exactly are you saying isn't true? You have described the system where you work but do you know for a fact that ALL surgeries run the same type of system? I really don't think they do.

There have been many complaints from patients whose surgeries run the system of only making appointments for the same day, no advance appointments; so if you can't get an appointment when you ring first thing one morning you have to wait until the next day and try again.

And, let's face it, doctors these days are paid extortionate amounts of money and I think most of us feel that we should be entitled to better service, including being able to see a doctor at the weekend or during the night if it's an emergency.
1st Sep 12 06:09

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Isobel

This is simply not true. At the doctor's surgery where I work, we have a very clear appointments system:

- Routine appointment
If you have an ongoing condition which you see the doctor about regularly (diabetes, athsma, high blood pressure) or have a problem which you've been experiencing for a while but isn't too serious (verrucas, hypermobility, period cramps) then you only need a routine appointment. The waiting time for a routine appointment is about 2 weeks.

- Urgent appointment
If it is urgent for the day (and by urgent we do NOT mean that you must be dying in order to get seen, but there must be a reason why you can't wait for a standard appointment (infection, chronic pain, suicidal thoughts) then we send an instant message down to the doctor explaining the patient's symptoms. The doctor then triages all the 'urgent' appointment requests based on how serious the medical problem is (e.g. pregnant woman with bleeding is viewed as more serious than tonsillitis) and then we call the patients back one by one asking them to come down to a surgery at specific times allotted by the GP.

- Semi-urgent appointment
If it is not necessarily urgent for the day, but the patient also feels they cannot wait for a routine appointment, then we send a paper message down to the doctor with details of the patient's symptoms and a request for an appointment within a certain length of time (depending on the problem) e.g. "Mrs Smith has found lump in breast, please can you give her an appointment in the next 5 days?" We then ask the patients to give us 24 hours for the doctor triages all their paper messages for the day, and we call them back as soon as possible to let them know of a date and time when the doctor can see them.

^^ I'd say that's a pretty efficient system actually. But the problem lies in the fact that people want to be able to phone up whenever they feel like it, specify a time and a date which suits them (usually at short notice) with a doctor of their choice, and then don't like it when we start asking questions about their symptoms or talking about messages/triages.

As for those moaning about the doctors running late... here is what I say to the patients who start giving me abuse because their GP is not on time: Imagine that it's your parent, spouse or child in with the doctor and they're having the news broken to them that they have cancer. Would you expect the doctor to shoo your distraught family member out of the room when their 10 minutes are up, even if all their questions have not been answered? If the answer is no, then quit moaning! No one likes hanging around but it's just one of those things that everyone experiences at one point or another, even the GPs themselves when they go to see their own doctor.
1st Sep 12 04:09

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mel

Fleetwood Lancashire waiting time to see a doctor 2wks, No options receptionist not very helpful lump in my rib cage, bottom of my spine hurts not feeling so good, I think this system stinks I remember back in 1960 when my dad was ill Dr said get yourself out of bed get to work you'll feel better and he died 24 hrs latter diabetes, up side to that story, there was no waiting time. Down side with the fancy dressing removed, they didn't give a rats t then either.
22nd Jun 12 09:06

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Bob Kingfisher

The idea of paying £25 per annum is not new. One GP practice in the West Midlands tried this some 30 years ago - the idea was that one member of the family would pay to be a private patient whilst the rest of the family were NHS patients. At the time there was nothing illegal about it and it seemed quite good value - today £25 would probably be around £85 and the GPs income would be similar to his NHS income. Not sure how popular the idea would be in the NHS.
27th Jun 11 10:06

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-17

Pay up

Everyone should pay a £25 fee to see a GP. And complain if the GP does not give them value for money. the average GP consultation lasts 10 minutes. The GP would earn £150 an hour - more than enough for the the level of skill provided. GPs must provide value for money - direct value.
26th Jun 11 05:06

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Bob Kingfisher

I wonder why we tolerate a situation in this country where we cannot be seen by a GP with ease on the same day and within a few hours of making the request. Yes, you are faced with a tricky telephone system, press button B and get change, a tricky telephonist who yes seems quite surprised that you expect to see the doctor of your choice that fortnight let alone the same week or same day. Sometimes one hits lucky and see your on GP.

The answer lies in the way general practice is now run and funded. No longer is there a national control on the number of GPs working - the Medical Practices Committee has been abolished. A budget is now paid to each practice to pay GP salaries and practice running costs. It is inevitable therefore that GPs will find the most economic way of running their practices rather than put patients first. To be fair many practices offer an excellent service but clearly there are still those that don't (An ex-NHS GP Practice Manager now rertired
23rd Jun 11 08:06

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Boblet

I visited the walk in centre in my local town recently it was brilliant. No Bolshy notices stuck around the place telling me what I should or should not do as a patient. I think walk in centres are the way forward, for patient & medic.
27th May 11 11:05

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Poorly

It's not acceptable for a patient to be late or miss an appointment without prior notice but how is it ok for your doctor to be late in seeing you? My doctor saw me 25 minutes after my appointment was due and made me late for work. The patient isn't allowed to be late but doctors are?
27th May 11 10:05

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ashford Beauty

I normally only visit the GP for my children, with the duty doctor calling me back if receptionists thinks its an emergency. Its always worked for me that way and Im pleased with it. If I do need to see the doctor I normally get an appt within 5 days so I cant complain. On the over hand, my mums OLD surgery is tripe!! Phone in morning for same day appt, by the time you get through the are all gone! Or make an appt for 2 weeks time if you can wait! She has now changed and very happy that she can see a doc on same day if need be or usually within a few days.
6th May 11 06:05

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Tried-email-system-telephone-a

Without doubt the NHS GP appointment system is failing the general public. Why does it take days to get in to seek a doctor? My health centre (in a small village) has 4 doctors, I have tried for 4 days to get an appointment but am constantly being told there is none available and for one doctor I was told no apointments have been released for her yet this week???

Its a shocking system, Health centre managers and staff are often disinterested and appear not to be looking how to improve the system.
I have observed our health centre and have noticed that it has never been filled and an average of 8-12 people visit in any 2 hour period with an avaerage time with the doctor being 3 minutes.

Doctors (GP's) earning in and around £90K + per year should be doing more... and for those GP's who comment about the time spent training etc, that is totally irrelevant... you chose to do the job and know what it entails and you get very well paid once qualified.

The solution is to revert to the 0900 - 1800 opening times and treat everyone who comes through the doors during that time... Do away with appointments all but for the most routine and really minor issues... the NHS is in a poor state, the GP's appointments are nothing more than scandalous... I hate to say it... it won't change!
28th Apr 11 11:04

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expat_2011

to the comment made by GP London...what a pretentious idiot to write what you have...quite typical of the patronising approach many UK physicians take and I am so glad I live in the USA for my healthj care... loser GP's!
20th Feb 11 11:02

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Juande

Very frustrated by the fact that I cannot get a routine appointment to see a doctor for eight days. Why don't they have walk-in centres staffed by fully qualified GPs. When we were over in Spain recently my wife had a problem with her neck. We went to the local health centre on a Sunday morning and she saw a doctor within ten minutes! He gave her a prescription and she quickly got better with the medication. Puts the UK to shame!
5th Nov 10 03:11

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grumpyoldwoman

angry daughter, you can start making a noise, and you have today and tomorrow to do it!

If you ring NHS direct they will give you medical advice about your mum and they may be able to tell you if you have the right to demand an appointment for the next day at the surgery.

If they can't help much and say you can't demand an appoinment (or don't know) you can try ringing the out of hours service. (It should be on your sugery's answering machine message while they are shut.) Tell them about your mother, and if you lay it on a bit thick and say you are really worried they will send out paramedics. Tell them as well that you've been trying to book an appoinment for two weeks!

Hope you get a good result!
29th Aug 10 09:08

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angry daughter

My Mother's doctor runs a worse system. You can only book an appointment for that day. So as soon as the line opens they are engaged and by the time you get through the appointments are gone. My mother has now been trying to get an appointment for two weeks for a minor problem. She has been in pain for over three weeks. Stupid system.
28th Aug 10 05:08

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tiggy

It's three weeks before you see your own doctor, he sends you for a blood text,takes two or more weeks to get the appointment, the app is for two weeks time,,,,it's them another three weeks to see your doctor again, but know he'll send you for xray,,, and it's all over again,,, It's 8 months now since I been under the so call services from my surgery, and I'm none the wiser as to what is wrong with me!!
29th Jul 10 01:07

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Gutted

I've been seeing the doctor for the same issue for the last 8 years allmost, i'm allmost 30 and the issue is still present.. At 1st I was getting seen but everything was just so drawn out, scans which were months away, refered to this, refered to that, then after about 2 years the doctor looked me stright in the eys and told me not to persue this any longer!! so what am I supposed to do then??? just live like it for the rest of my life?? After he said that I was gutted, I went away and I just sat at home for basicaly 2 years with no prescriptions or benefits, I never even asked for any, I started trying to treat myself, I tried allsorts of things but nothing really helped.. So after 4 odd years a letter about a yearly checkup arrives and I go and I bombard the doc and I leave with a prescription and a sick note, this sick note and the prescription became long term and each time I see the doctor which is isn't often it's usualy becuase of another issue like a urine infection or something.. I don't dare ask about my actual issue after what he said to me.. My life is going to waste, for allmost 8 years now i've just wanted anwsers, to have a diagnosis and proper treatment but the doctor seems to think just handing me another 6 months worth of prescriptions at a time will keep me away.. I want to have a life and i'm gutted that so much time has passed now and i've just sat around while life slips by becuase that's all i'm capable of doing. If anybody has any advice they can give me they can get in touch througth warrick@vfemail.net.
17th Jun 10 09:06

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John

My partner has just had an ultrasound scan, she has been given high blood pressure tablets a while back, and takes drugs for arthritis, this is all needs following up, bu shes had no regular blood tests, shes just been left, today I made an appointment for her to see a doctor at our local surgery, the earliest they can give me is July 1, thats 3 weeks 2 days to wait, surely this canot be right, so what does she do, stop the tablets or not as shes suffered bad pains in her right side for years, but no ones listening??
8th Jun 10 12:06

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GP London

Message in response to Paul June 2009: yes by all means "retrain." The country needs more doctors. It will take you 10 years to become a GP, funding your training during 5 years of medical medical school and the frequent and expensive post graduate exams. Then perhaps once you have worked in the job and experienced what it is like and start taking the daily responsibility for patient care you will be in a better position to comment on the nature of the job and the value of GP's work.
7th May 10 09:05

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Another GP, Berks.

We solved this problem by counting our daily demand for appointments (we never refuse to see anyone on the same day if they need seeing) and providing 10% more appointments than the predicted need. This way we have a redundancy built in and have no need to put aside appointments for "advance booking" or "same day emergency". We allow the system to reach its own balance point as it now has the flex to do so. Some of my colleagues feared demand would rise. It has not after 18 months.
3rd May 10 05:05

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Frustrated S. Wales

I was told by an hospital doctor that the guidelines state I must have an appointment to see the doctor of my choice at my local surgery within three days. As a pensioner, mornings are not kind to me and with a repeat prescription it is a year since my last visit. However I was told this morning that the doctor I wished to see was fully booked today but I could make an appointment for one in a week or phone the surgery tomorrow at 8.30am and I might get an appointment. Where can I read the guidelines re- Surgery Appointment does anyone know?
14th Apr 10 11:04

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kk

I think sometimes receptionist staff are told which patients are considered priority and others less urgent in keeping with their medical history and set their appointments accordingly.
5th Apr 10 09:04

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A GP

There are two types of appointments. Routine ie standard Contraceptive Pill checks and Blood pressure reviews, discussion about your diabetes. These type of appointments should (and are) bookable in advance this means sometimes you book them 2-3 weeks away.
Emergency problems are on the day and GP practices try their best to see as many as they can.
BUT people also need to be aware of the amount of ABUSE of appointments and waste that happens.
People turn up with not just self limiting minor ailments but they know they are self limiting and we cannot treat them (note cannot not will not). Despite onthe day booking many people still dont turn up.
Many people complain when we over run but then produce a list of 5 items they want to cover in 10 minutes.
I work 55 - 60 hours per week. I earn a reasonable salary it works out at about £40 per hour pre tax. My job does involvve seeing patient in clinic BUT also involves lots of things that dont involve sitting in clinic these are done on my "afternoon off". JUST BECAUSE I AM NOT IN CLINIC DOESNT MEAN I AM PLAYING GOLF.

No I dont work over night anymore the reason ITS NOT SAFE to do that and then have to do a whole days work, seeing patients.

I often dont see my Six year old for several days as he is asleep when I come home.

Am I moaning NO, but I am sick of the constant narrow minded, ill informed rubbish many people spew out as a result of constant attack from the media and government.

We see thousands of patients per year and are funded per patient on average £60 per year for this per patient. You try insuring a dog for less than that.
31st Jul 09 04:07

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GH

Just phoned my docs to get an appointment.

Same old story as everyone else "You need to phone in the morning to get an appointment", so you quote the Government guidelines/targets about being able to see a GP within 48hrs and just get silence down the phone from the other end.

So I now have an appointment for 10am on Tuesday, I phoned at 3:30pm on Wednesday. Will be complaining to them next week in person.
8th Jul 09 03:07

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MB

I am nurse practitioner in a 2 GP practice, myself and the GP's work a 52.5 hour week from 8am - 6.30pm. We have an appointment system where 1/2 our appointments are reserved for people calling in on that day with acute problems, and the other 1/2 are pre-bookable for those that work and need notice to have the time to attend. On reception we have an experianced practice nurse who advises receptionists and takes calls giving medical advice. Yes... all of our appointments are always full at the end of the day, so of course it can still be difficult to get in if demand is high at a particular time. My point is after all that, is that my place of work seems to differ from most of the posted complaints on this site, BUT... we receive regular complaints regarding our appointment system aswell. Im afraid it seems to me, you just can't please everybody???
3rd Jul 09 09:07

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Keith

I have just come out of hospital as I have just had an operation to remove a kidney stone. A week after I had a lot of blood in my urine so I went straight to the night doctors service that is part of my local hospital where they gave me tests and told me to go and see my GP urgently. The next day I rang me GP, told the receptionist what happened and the earliest appointment they gave me was in 4 weeks time. So if I have anthing wrong with me again I eitheir go to my local A and E dept or I ring / go to the GP night service, I dont bother with my doctor at all. Once I did see him a few years back with bad pains down below, he put it down to IBS, not kidney stones, It took me 2 years of going (and in lots of pains back and for about 25 times) to the hospital A and E dept to get a diagnosis that I had kidney stones. Ive never heard from my doctor once in that time. I would not want to see him anyway.
18th Jun 09 12:06

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Paul

After waiting 2 weeks to see my doctor, just as leaving, asked why appointments were so hard to come by & was this something to do with Goverment targets. His response was that their patients list had increased by about 800 over the last couple of years to about 8500 (4 Dr. surgery) and nothing to do with Government. . I asked him why the surgery waiting room had no one there in afternoons, he said that it was probably because 2 Dr's were on 1/2 days. So, they only work 4 1/2 days a week now, instead of 5 1/2 days 2 years ago!!! And they have just received big pay rises!!!!! Hmmm perhaps I should re-train.....
2nd Jun 09 07:06

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pat

I have visited all your sites and still cannot find the basic inffformation that you should always provide I am unable to get past my receptionists for to make an important because the are I think not working the appointment correctly.THat is why I am trying to get thios information from you. I had an appointment with my doctor She works partime.
She was recomending that I see a consultant and I should ask her to send a letter to him before his secretary could make an appointment further more I had an illness in the family so I would not be able to make the appointment. I called to change it but was told I could not have another for a week. I asked the receptionist if I could have an emergency appointment with my doctor and the answer was no I then asked if could leave a message for my doctor and she told me no also.She told me sto ring at 0830 for an appointment about 7days ahead, I pointed out that this does not always work. She still would not take a message as the consultant only worked at the clinic on mmonday then I would not be able to see him urgently as the doctor suggested. also I had various tests carried out adn I was advises that two of tests were positive and that I should speak with my doctor. So I asked if I cccould leave a message as I am unable in the near future to see her than perhaps you can give her a message asking her to call me. I also pointed out that if it was something worring I sure there is a procedure of advising the patient in person and not over the telephone and not by your own doctor. If an appointment procedure does not work because of uncaring adminestrative staff and also was unable to get to take my complaint.
7th May 09 06:05

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Paul

Forgot to mention that when you do get into my Doctors surgery to pick up prescriptions, there are no patients waiting to see any doctors!! Is this because all the patients miraculously get well and don't then have to see the doctors whilst they are waiting for the appointments, or that they are in and out so quick in the mornings, that the doctors have free afternoons!!!!! This cannot be right surely. I do have an appointment on Tuesday which I booked 2 weeks ago, so will complain direct to the doctor.(after he has seen me of course)
3rd May 09 04:05

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Paul

On two occasions recently, I have asked to see my GP & was told that a non urgent appointment was some 2 weeks off. Fine, as I did not consider my case to be urgent, but it has made me so angry that this governments interference in everything, is now affecting the doctors surgery as well, that it has made my blood boil & my blood pressure fly off the scale. Perhaps with these symptoms I can now get an urgent appointment!!!!
3rd May 09 04:05

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wendy

My husband is 75 and rarely bothers a doctor,but today I rang to get him an appointment,the next appointment (with a doctor not of his choice)is 9 days time !! we thought that the NHS would be adequate for our needs,had we known what it would become we would have paid premiums for private healthcare,it is too late for us to do that now as the premiums are now far too high,we feel very let down and regret coming home from France where the care was first rate for all,we had no idea that healthcare here had sunk so low,we paid in all our working lives and like others deserve better.
30th Mar 09 04:03

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Sam

Tried to book and appointment yesterday at a GP practice in Neyland, Pembrokeshire. I got told by the receptionist I could not until Tuesday (5 days later) and then the appointment would probably be around the third week in April !! I left the Surgery in disbelief and got my wife to phone up for an apoointment the following morning. She did slightly better as the person she spoke too was at least willing to make an appointment, however it's for the 17th April exactly 4 weeks from today !! It's a disgusting shame, this level of service is not acceptable at all. If you ring up to make an appointment to see a Doctor is it because you NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR because there is a problem, not for fun and it just not right to leave people worrying or suffering or indeed a condition untreated or getting worse. This situation just leads to the abuse of the emergency appointment system.
I was under the impression the Government had set minimum standards for waiting times ? or am I wrong?
20th Mar 09 04:03

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Sue

One month waiting time to see my GP, otherwise emergency appointments only by calling 8 am and see any doctor. Disgusting.
27th Feb 09 04:02

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Freddie

Our surgery does not book appointments until the same day. You therefore have to ring when they open at 8.30am.
So, I'm on the doorstep at 8.30am.
They unlock the doors and in I go, first one at the reception desk.
"Good morning, I need to see my GP"
Name, Date Of Birth etc, is passed over to them.
"Well, we can get you in at 3.30pm tomorrow"
"Excuse me!"
"3.30pm tomorrow"
"I heard what you said but why can't I see my GP today?"
"She doesn't have any appointments available"
"But I thought you don't take bookings for appointments except for on the day?"
"We don't"
"Well, I'm the first one here today, so nobody else could have booked one for today yet, so why can't I have one?"
"We are fully booked for today we had a busy day yesterday and over-ran, sorry"
"Okay, I'll have an appointment for tomorrow at 3.30pm please"
"No problem, could you call back in the morning to book it please"
"Sorry, I don't understand, can't I just book it now as I'm here"

You know whats coming don't you!!!!!!!!!!!

"Sorry sir, we only take bookings on the day of the appointment"

I gave up. I've not seen my GP and I appear to feel better but who knows what's going on inside?
22nd Jan 09 01:01

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Grumpyyoungman

I tried to make an appointment with my GP this morning (08.15) and as there was only one GP available today I was offered an appointment on Tuesday (today is Thursday).
This is the second appointment I've tried to make with my GP since moving to this area 3yrs ago (Winsford, Cheshire), and I have not yet managed to see a GP as I was told that there was only one GP in the first time I rang too.
I phoned regarding a pain which hurts from my shoulder blade to my chest and was after a way to ease the pain as I can't move very easy or take a deep breath.
I don't really like visiting the GP as I feel I should be turning up with an arm missing or similar, and as I can't get an appointment until next Tuesday anyway I've been resigned to eating what ever painkillers we have around the house until I can move freely again.

It may be me, and my symptoms may not be life threatening but does anybody else think it should be easier to get to see your GP?
Can something not be done?
I'm only 30yo but can remember it being a lot easier to see a GP in the past
22nd Jan 09 09:01

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grumpyoldwoman

Ewa,
ring NHS direct & ask their advice. Tell them you can't get an appointment with your GP for 2 weeks & tell them you are too afraid to wait that long as she is losing weight.
Ask if there is a clinic you can attend or if you should take her to outpatients.
Don't take it lying down!
Have courage & the best of luck to both of you.
26th Nov 08 09:11

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Ewa

To book an appointment with my GP I have to call whole day to have my phone answered and then I got first available appointmen two weeks later!!! My 5 weeks baby doesn't want too eat, health visitor adviced to see GP to check her stomach and I have to wait two weeks!!! With such a small baby it is really long time. What can I do?
25th Nov 08 08:11

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Little dragon

I recently went to the local gp, I took along a list of all symtoms so as to not forget to mention something whilst there. I sat down and showed this gp the notes. They read the first few but didn't bother to read the other side. They decided to get blood taken but offered no feed back, asked me no questions. The next week I rang for my results and was told by the receptionist that they were normal, so asked for a follow up appointment, the receptionist reiterated that my blood was normal as If my problems had dissappeared simply because the result was ok. It seems the receptionist is now qualified to diagnose my health issues on behalf of the doctor. some symptoms I have are stress,anxiety! I am a strong character and it takes a great deal to admit when somethings wrong and I need help so you would think they would be a little sympathetic, wouldn't you? but no you turn up they tell you they haven't got time, then preceed to say nothing, let you self diagnose, then off you go with absolutely no idea of what they think may be wrong and therfore more stressed,confused and anxious than when you arrive. It seems to me Its all about looking as if they are helping people, meeting targets, and making money! At my surgery there is no patient care and would go as far to say its contemptuous! I feel this ten minute rule needs scrapping and they need to start earning their saleries to prevent millions slipping through the net and not recieve the help they need. This is the third time in three years i've been to get help, each time for the same problems that I have now, and I predict I'll be back next year with the same issues unsolved, that is if I'm here?
I'm sure they will take the credit for for my none return.
20th Oct 08 02:10

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George E. S.

I tried to make an appointment for my wife yesterday and was told that the first appointment available with the doctor that had been treating her previously would be the 24th I could however NOT make the appointment until the 17th because they only make appointments one week forward. I was of the opinion that this was made an illegal practice. Please advise.
11th Jun 08 08:06

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tracey

getting a doctors appoment Is bad enough but when you finaly get in after waiting 10 minutes after your appoment time for the gp to say what up you tell him then you say something ealse and thay have a go at you for saying you should have told me at the start of this appment the you have to things wrong then to go on and say I have other people to see and you are making me late for them.what was it was made to wait 10 mins as he was late and my first problem was only 2 minutes of his time and it was a 10 minutes appoment so im very cross today
4th Apr 08 05:04

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Old grouch

My GP practice requires all appointments to be booked on the phone between 8am & 9am. As a result, the phone is constantlt engaged. If you get through AFTER 9am, you get a answerphone message instructing you to call back the following day berween 8am & 9am - and so it goes on and on and on.... GP's are a rule unto themselves and are rarely worth the effort. Anything more complicated than a common cold & they refer you the the hospital. I cut out the middle man and go straight to A&E if I have something seriously wrong.
11th Mar 08 09:03

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Jimmy P

They aren't much use are they?

For example - You have a terrible stomach bug, you go to see a doctor. He has no idea what it is and prescribes you a form of medication.

The bug is dying all the time inside but you think it's due to the medication. You feel better believing the medication worked wonders. It's all physcological and the bug is probably making its way to the next person.
5th Mar 08 10:03

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Modernise

The main trouble with the General Practice system of doctoring in this country is that the whole arrangement is Victorian in its management. It hasn't eveolved. The whole way they handle your medical records is antediluvian. As recipient's of the state's bounty doctors are generally grossly overpaid like lawyers and dentists. To be paid in excess of £100,000 per annum to prescribe something like 100 different drugs, drugs which only cost a few pounds every month, and then just to say nice things in all other cases, and then to abrogate responsibility to a hospital specialist when the case is too tough for them to deal with, all this spells to me gross overpayment. Do we need doctors or do we just need presribing nurses on £30,000 per annum? We could vastly more staffing if we accepted the latter.

As businesses doctor's practices are too small. We need polyclinics employing 30 or more medical staffs. Appointments should be instantly available and off the street to any NHS patient. NHS dentists should be brought in under the same umbrella. Don't belive a word about the private doctor-patient relationship. Thst died a 100 years ago. My doctor hasn't a clue about my case history.
5th Mar 08 06:03

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Cammy

Nothing works anymore for we don't have the facilities and infrastructure to cater for all aliens. We are proportioned to the people of Britain but are now facing too much strain.

Some countries don't have such luxurious as NHS back home, but they do when here.

A friend of ours gave birth last week and she was the only English speaking mother there, no chance of a conversation with anyone.

Nursing staff accompanied by interpreters and when this mother was asked if she'd had her complimentary baby pack she told them no. Only to find out that she had already been handed a pack but quite happy to take another mum's allocation besides her own.

Some people have not one ounce of integrity in their body.
4th Mar 08 04:03

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Leanne

I think the current system offers little privacy and few choices for who you want to see. Receptionists ask questions on the phone that a doctor should be asking to determine the urgency and it seems to be at their will who gets in when, although they have no medical training - at least at my surgery. I wanted to see a female nurse for a female issue and the wait was 6-7 weeks. I could have seen the GP later that week, but I don't feel comfortable with him for that routine check. All patient choice has gone out the window and patients are seen as numbers or cases, not real people with daily lives. I could think of a million ways to change the system, but that won't help because 'this is how its always been done'.
4th Mar 08 02:03

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