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GP appointment

(56 Posts)
Marmight Wed 04-Jun-14 05:59:52

...... in expecting to be able to make an appointment with a GP without having to wait for 14 days? The next appointment available at my practice for any patient with any GP (of whom there are at least 12) is 18 June.
I saw my 'own' GP 2 weeks ago and she wants to see me at the end of June and all her appointments are booked until after that date.
DD who lives in Wiltshire and has a one-man-band GP can see him the same day.
Isn't it about time the Nhs got its head around this? I feel a letter coming on wink

HollyDaze Wed 04-Jun-14 06:51:52

It is a bit much expecting patients to wait 14 days for an appointment (I've had exactly the same response here when I requested an appointment this week - nothing until 18 June).

We have six GPs but there's generally only four of them on at any one time and they only tend to do a half day (but the do cover care at the local hospital but as I've volunteered there, I know that that takes, on average, 30 minutes or so depending on how many of their patients are in). What the rest of the day is taken up with I have no idea.

This is why I bang on about pharmacists taking a more pro-active role - especially with prescriptions and minor ailments; my appointment is because I need a prescription that GP won't put on repeat, I have to go and ask for it and it seems such a waste of an appointment and also having to wait two weeks to get it!

I do sympathise with you.

thatbags Wed 04-Jun-14 07:02:27

Fourteen days is excessive. Sounds as if the practice is very badly organised.

Just to rub salt in the wound, I can often get a same day appointment even for something non-urgent!

thatbags Wed 04-Jun-14 07:02:57

PS in a two-GP practice.

Agus Wed 04-Jun-14 07:59:52

Maybe think about changing surgery if this is the norm?

That's no use, I can see a GP same day but if I want to see a specific GP may have to wait a couple of days for non urgent.

suzied Wed 04-Jun-14 08:23:39

Our gps are a large health centre. You have to ring at 8 am for a same day appointment. Start ringing at 8 and can never get through , put on redial, may get through by 8 15 when all appointments are gone! They don't do weekends or late nights or bank holidays. Book advance maybe lucky to get one for a months time. No wonder the local A and E can't cope, people who can't get GP appointments go there.

Elegran Wed 04-Jun-14 08:44:39

GP practices are paid by how many patients are on their list, not by how often or how quickly they see them.

18 days is too long, their resources are stretched too far for their patient base. Go with the letter.

Marmight Wed 04-Jun-14 08:52:19

I would change if I could but it's the only surgery in the area. When I moved here 33 years ago it was based in a 'potting shed' in the Dr's back garden next door to me, with a small ancillary surgery in the next village which over the years has grown and grown, both run by 4 doctors, Needless to say, no potting shed any more and main surgery is 4 miles away in the 'village' which is now inhabited by thousands. hmm

suebailey1 Wed 04-Jun-14 09:00:49

Our GP practice is the largest in the country with 20 GPs and numerous nurses and HCAs of all grades. GPs are actually classed as self employed and contracted to the NHS so more or less their own boss. What I do like is the on line booking system. Every practice is contracted to see emergency/urgent patients and must leave a couple of slots per day for this. I had to see my GP yesterday evening for a non urgent app for a prescription that he will on put on repeat for sound clinical reasons however it was great to be in and out within a few minutes but I did think couldn't we have done this by phone/text/e-mail. Many patients are now monitored remotely using various tools such as BP machines. My view would be we need to expand remote systems for routines and leave face to face appointments for more complex issues. Pharmacist, nurses and other therapists can be used far more effectively to support general practice but Ps would rather than the cash in their own coffers.

suebailey1 Wed 04-Jun-14 09:01:03


vegasmags Wed 04-Jun-14 09:16:42

Suzied my experience is very like yours, and seems to be a nationwide problem now. A friend of mine who has been feeling very unwell was rung by the practice nurse to say that her blood tests were back, were 'all wrong' and that she must see her GP. However, the first available appointment is 3 weeks away, so she is now worried sick that she has a recurrence of the cancer she suffered 15 years ago. The only other local surgery has a similar reputation, so looks like we are stuck.

Bez Wed 04-Jun-14 09:23:50

My daughter is having a bad phase at the moment and requiring a number of blood tests - at the last one the receptionist rang her and said the GP needed to speak to her - daughter immediately agreed to go into the surgery to suit him and was told - no he would ring her and the first available slot was almost three weeks away and she was given the time and told that if she was not available to take the call when he rang she would simply lose the opportunity and not given another one!!
The GP has admitted that he does not understand what is going on with her - and will refer her to the endocrinologist - we did pay for her to have a consultation with this man about two months ago but things still far from sorted and she now needs to wait three weeks to go back and see him privately so goodness knows how long on NHS.

glammanana Wed 04-Jun-14 09:29:20

I do think 14 days is a very excessive time to wait to see your GP,at my Surgery if you ring before 8.30am they try to give you an appointment the same day if none available it will not be longer than 48hrs,they will see little ones at the end of any Surgery if mums are worried and keep people up to date with their BP & Bloods via the Practice Nurse,for repeat prescriptions I drop them in and they are delivered by local chemist the next day,they do seem to have a really good system but as with all Surgeries there is one receptionist who will not go out of her way to be accommodating to some requests.

annsixty Wed 04-Jun-14 09:36:24

I have never felt so dissatisfied with the GP system as I am now and I have been around a long time. I ,like others ,needed an appointment two weeks ago.Perhaps not urgent to them,but at least a two week wait.I was offered a nurse appointment which I took but she went out of the room twice "to consult with someone" which all took up time and I came away feeling very frustrated and won't be fobbed off again.We also have no other alternative surgery that will take us as patients.

Lilygran Wed 04-Jun-14 09:42:03

Our GP practice runs a drop in every day for people who want to see a doctor urgently, as well as the appointment system (yes, over a two week wait last time I used it). Like Marmight! I remember when GPs lived 'over the shop' and you could ring their doorbell at any hour. But that was in the days when people would hesitate to 'bother' the doctor and would only ring the bell in a real emergency. And we didn't have transport to get to the nearest hospital so that wasn't an option. But I would like to know what happened to evening surgeries. I know doctors are entitled to a private life and the kind of hours old-style GPs worked would be considered unreasonable today but what about hospital doctors? They seem to be picking up the slack and not just in A&E. hmm

Ariadne Wed 04-Jun-14 09:48:34

This is not acceptable! What on earth is going on? I am obviously lucky in that I don't have similar problems - in fact you can choose to have a telephone conversation with your GP and that is usually the same day. This is as it should be, and I am horrified that people are having to wait so long.

ayse Wed 04-Jun-14 09:49:49

Our surgery is pretty good. If you will see any doctor it may only be a day or two's wait, however to see a specific doctor it can take a couple of weeks. Fortunately we have a couple of practice nurses who can normally see you same day. If they can't handle it they make an appointment for you to see the doctor. The surgery also has very early and late appointments, so I think our surgery is pretty good.
Reading the above comments I didn't realise how difficult it could be just to see a doctor so no wonder A & E are overflowing. I must just add that apparently the A & E has to cope with a fair number of people who have had too much to drink. That's the trouble with being a bit of a party town!

bikergran Wed 04-Jun-14 10:11:35

suzied exact same prob we have a big Lancashire practice,I have had B tests/scans recently and have waited for over 3 weeks to get appointment with the same doc I saw..but it was just impossible..ended up just ringing for the results which were ok.but still need to go back as still got the symptoms, so I will have to see a diff doc, seems to be the norm all over the place.I have thought of changing docs.but why the hell should I have to mess around changing when it is not my fault.

vegasmags Wed 04-Jun-14 10:34:05

This is quite a worrying article about the wait to see a GP experienced by many and how available appointments, in some cases, are going to those who shout the loudest.

GrannyTwice Wed 04-Jun-14 10:57:03

I am really shocked by many of the above posts. In my area, emergency/ urgent slots available at once - may have to wait a bit in the surgery. If you want to book non urgent, can do it online or on the phone and it would always be within 24 hours. The only longer wait would be to see a specific doctor. I do know some surgeries use a system where doctors do a phone triage. There are many imaginative schemes in place so practices with 2 week waits are either very badly managed and/or the doctors increase their profits by employing fewer doctors. If I had to wait as some of you do, I would be formally complaining and copying in MP. It's disgraceful
and unnecessary

Galen Wed 04-Jun-14 11:06:56

Don't talk to me about modern general practice. My father would turn in his grave and so would I if I was in one! I'm not, so I'll turn over in bed instead!

ninathenana Wed 04-Jun-14 12:49:15

glamma you are very lucky with your repeat prescriptions. I drop mine in and have to allow a minimum of 48hrs before collecting them from my chosen pharmacy. The last one I took in on a Monday morning, went to the pharmacy on Friday pm and they were just preparing it !

My GP is very popular and it can take 14 days or more to see him. I can usually see his partner next day though for something urgent.

HollyDaze Wed 04-Jun-14 14:12:46

My view would be we need to expand remote systems for routines and leave face to face appointments for more complex issues

I agree with that and it would certainly lighten the load at the surgery.

At our surgery, we can only see the GP we have been allotted (or chosen) and you can't go to a surgery outside your area. You can see a practice nurse if you ring before 10am but she generally doesn't know the answer and has to wait to speak to your GP which then ties her up for several minutes (can be up to 15 minutes whilst she is waiting). We're not even allowed to ring through for a repeat prescription item as the receptionists don't have time to write it down confused

GPs will ring you but they inevitably say 'you'd better come in and see me'.

I spoke to one of our MHKs (equivalent to your MPs) and was told the Island struggles to find good doctors and we tend to end up with those who don't wish to retire or those that aren't good enough for anyone else to accept sad

janerowena Wed 04-Jun-14 14:27:25

We have to say that we have an emergency if we want to see someone quickly - and even then it may be the next day! Or they tell you to go to a hospital. To be fair, their idea of emergency is pretty low on the scale - running out of antiobiotics and they haven't yet taken effect, that sort of thing is allowed. I can switch between three, but although the service isn't as good as it was 7 years ago when we moved here, it's still fine for our needs. Plus three of the doctors live in our village and we know them well.

My advice is, find out where your favourite GP lives and move next door!

Eloethan Wed 04-Jun-14 14:43:14

I too was recently offered an appointment in just over two weeks' time. As the problem is a continuing painful arm after a fall I had in March and I don't consider it to be "urgent", I was OK with this.

However, on a previous occasion when I had a bad cough which didn't seem to be getting better, when offered an appointment in 2 weeks I firmly (though politely) said that was not satisfactory, and I was asked to come in at the end of the surgery and wait.

I think if you genuinely feel you need to see a doctor within two or three days and you stand your ground, some sort of arrangement will be made to accommodate this.