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Consideration from GP

(144 Posts)
Luckygirl Wed 29-Apr-20 23:05:19

I have had a bit of a problem with my GP this week. I am due a hospital treatment, and am being urged by the specialist nurse there to come in for it, but there are additional complications that might make that inadvisable, apart from the risk of catching the virus. I was advised to talk to my GP, whom I have known a long time.

I had a problem making a phone appointment as the receptionist had refused to do so, and I was in tears by the time I put the phone down. I rang the next day and spoke to a different receptionist who made the appointment.

I had the phone appointment with her yesterday and she was frankly offhand almost to the point of rudeness. She said "You will just have to make up your own mind" - which was not at all helpful as there are a number of medical issues that need weighing up that I do not feel qualified to do. And there were long silences during the call when I did not know whether she was waiting for me to say something or she was writing on the keyboard.

In addition, since my OH died in February she has not said a thing - e.g. I am sorry to hear that Mr Lucky died; how are you coping?; is there anything we can do to help? etc. She knows I have a history of depression with on-going treatment.

I found it very upsetting and was quite weepy yesterday as a result - I have tried to tell myself that she is probably under stress at the moment and I should be tolerant. But I do think that next time I need an appointment I will make it with someone else.

I also realise that I am probably feeling very sensitive at the moment as I have a lot to deal with emotionally. I do feel quite let down. I still do not know what to do about the treatment.

morethan2 Wed 29-Apr-20 23:16:13

I can’t help, and oh how I wish I could. This lockdown couldn’t have come at a worse time for you Lucky it must be so hard. Hopefully you’ll get proper advice from one of our gransnetters soon. In the meantime I just want to have a little cry with you. Not very helpful I know. Sent with love

Callistemon Wed 29-Apr-20 23:20:02

Will your hospital consultant phone you at the time of your appointment for a telephone consultation?
Mine is going to do that and it has taken some persuasion but they have arranged for volunteers to collect and deliver medication rather than me travel 75 miles to fetch it.

Is she the only GP in the practice? She doesn't sound at all sympathetic or helpful so could you have a phone consultation with another GP?
Surely they should understand the fears of patients who may be at more risk of catching this virus?

Missfoodlove Wed 29-Apr-20 23:24:39

Oh what a sad tale, it’s unfair your GP couldn’t take the time to discuss and hopefully allay your fears.
Of course it’s your decision but you need to make an informed decision.

My daughter had to attend an outpatient appt yesterday and was very concerned,however she was really impressed with all the measures the hospital had put in place.
She waited in the car until they phoned her to go in, all staff were in full PPE, only the necessary clinical staff were there, it was efficient and not as traumatic as she had expected.

The bottom line is they would only ask you to attend if they felt it necessary.

Sorry you have not been treated kindly by your GP practice.

Let us know your decision.

Good luck.

BlueSky Wed 29-Apr-20 23:26:16

Lucky if your GP said to make up your own mind I would do just that. It must mean that you could either go ahead or wait if you feel the time is wrong, you'll obviously be worried about the virus and rightly so. I know what you mean by the GP not mentioning your loss, when my MIL died we expected a word from her doctor as she was seen at home on a weekly basis. Still we must be just a number and especially at the moment they are just too busy.

annep1 Wed 29-Apr-20 23:41:18

What very unacceptable service Luckygirl.
She sounds very uncaring. Not what you needed. I would definitely try someone else.

Sussexborn Thu 30-Apr-20 00:00:11

So sorry to hear this. The very last thing you need right now.
Just when you really need a sympathetic and caring GP. Perhaps ring and ask to speak to the Practice Manager and ask her to arrange a double appointment with a different GP. If this GP has an attitude problem it’s unlikely you are the only person she has been rude and inappropriate with.

SueDonim Thu 30-Apr-20 00:27:25

I recently had to see specialist about a not serious but annoying problem and I found very much that what to do about it is down to me. I was given the options (in person and on leaflets) with pros and cons and told it was my choice. I think it’s very much part of the modern way of saying that patients are the ones in control, unlike the old days when doctors were god, but it’s very intimidating to have to make that decision.

I hope you get to speak to someone more sympathetic, Luckygirl. flowers

welbeck Thu 30-Apr-20 00:32:07

well they are obviously under a lot of strain at the moment, but try a different one next time.
some of them can be very off-hand. i've had similar lack of sympathy, or even the conventional condolences with GPs. and a pharmacist who delivered regularly to us and i saw that very day, i was about to explain no more deliveries, when he said he knew about that, but not a word of condolence. i was shocked. someone later said maybe they are ?zoroastrians, and it's against their religion. i found it hurtful, esp when so very vulnerable, raw with grief. i can't go in that shop since.
re your treatment, could you phone the specialist nurse at the hospital and try to explain how you feel to her/him.
it might help you to decide just to be able to voice your concerns with someone who is a bit more understanding.
good luck.
i am sorry to hear of your loss.
my next door neighbour came to my door, almost in it, foot on threshold, no gloves or mask, to give me a bag of unwanted food. she said she is given it every week and she can't use most of it. we have little in common, but i guess she was trying to be nice. she leaned in far too close. i said i had plenty enough, didn't need anything. then as she was going she told me her son's baby had died last week, less than a year old, cause unknown. her son is presently staying with her, to help. the child lived elsewhere with his mother.
i found it odd that she mentioned this almost as an afterthought. we never know what people are coping with.
i gave the shopping to a disabled neighbour who has a careworker. i kept a small packet of instant coffee. i don't actually cook anything, so most of it was useless to me.

V3ra Thu 30-Apr-20 01:00:24

Someone you ought to be able to rely on and support you didn't do so, for whatever reason. It's like a smack in the face.
At times of crisis we don't realise what an emotional tightrope we're walking until someone lets us down.
As patients we need to have the options explained to us in order to be able to make an informed decision. We are not the expert.
I hope you get some help soon x

Nortsat Thu 30-Apr-20 09:52:15

I am sorry to hear this Luckygirl, I have been following your posts and know you have been through a dreadful time.
You are entitled to feel let down and upset. You shouldn’t be rendered to tears by a phone consultation with a GP, it’s entirely wrong.

I agree with Sussexborn and think a phone call to the Practice Manager and a phone consultation with another GP, would probably help.

Good luck.?
Hoping you have a better day today?

dragonfly46 Thu 30-Apr-20 10:07:29

I am sorry Lucky that is not acceptable.
I am appalled that the receptionist would not book the appointment in the first place.
I have had two telephone appointments with two different doctors and they could not have been more helpful. I got the impression that they have little to do at the moment.
Maybe you caught your doctor at a bad time although that is no excuse.

I would definitely make an appointment with a different doctor. Can you do this online?
Failing that as someone suggested talk to the hospital nurse.
You should not have been left in limbo like this.

I hope it goes well x

Luckygirl Thu 30-Apr-20 10:27:08

Thank you for helpful messages.

I did and do realise that in the end the decision is mine to make - I was asking the GP for information on which to base that decision. She was unwilling to engage with that at all.

I know I am probably a bit sensitive at the moment and that practices are under stress, but I really did not fine her at all helpful.

Deedaa Thu 30-Apr-20 17:13:09

She sounds horrible Luckygirl my GP is a bit of an acquired taste and a lot of people don't like him.but he has been lovely since DH died, always asking how I am coping. In fact one of the other GPs who had seen DH a couple of times was quick to offer condolences and the prescriptions clerk rushed out to hug me the first time I went in. Hope you can find someone to talk to who will be more helpful.

Luckygirl Thu 30-Apr-20 19:30:10

There are several other GPs in the practice, one of whom is lovely, so I will make a point of trying to see her instead.

I know that if I were a GP and faced with someone recently bereaved I would say and do whatever I could to be helpful and supportive.

Saxifrage Thu 30-Apr-20 19:49:02

I understand how awful your GP and the receptionist would make you feel.

I too think that perhaps the way forward is to contact the hospital direct. There has been suggestions in the press that they are now trying to make up for the fact that they have been neglecting the normal hospital patients and procedures. You could start with the hospital nurses or secretaries but say you have questions and worries and ask if you can talk to one of the relevant doctors. I had a very useful talk with a hospital doctor about test results and , like GP's, I think they are prepared to do more by phone.

Iam64 Thu 30-Apr-20 20:52:21

Lucky - just what you don't need, insensitive responses on a difficult subject.
Good to see you have other GPs in the practice and hope you have a better response.

Hetty58 Thu 30-Apr-20 21:43:00

Lucky, they are just getting on with their jobs in a matter-of-fact way and must be very busy at present. I'm afraid that good manners and shows of concern tend to go straight out of the window when we work under stress.

Your expectations weren't met so the best reaction would be to lower them accordingly. You are just one patient of many and as it's not life-threatening, obviously it's up to you when you have the treatment.

Perhaps have a chat with the hospital consultant instead.

Iam64 Thu 30-Apr-20 21:59:16

Hetty58 -I don't agree with your statement that "good manners and shows of concern tend to go straight out of the window when we work under stress". Just look at the police, medics, social workers, teachers and delivery drivers, supermarket workers ,all on the front line and under very unusual stress right now, the evidence around me is of people managing their own emotions to ensure whatever service they're responsible for is delivered with good manners and compassion.
That's the least Lucky could expect.

dragonfly46 Thu 30-Apr-20 22:37:35

I also disagree that GPs are busy at the moment. Ours certainly aren’t as most people are staying away. It has never been easier to get a (telephone) appointment.

annep1 Thu 30-Apr-20 23:13:45

I don't believe GPs are busy. They are discouraging people from attending and people don't want to attend. Telephone appointments are much quicker. How on earth are they busy?!

Hetty58 Thu 30-Apr-20 23:22:38

My GP used to be an anaesthetist so isn't even there!

Sussexborn Thu 30-Apr-20 23:42:14

Really Hetty58? Drs are supposed to be professional and not treat patients as if they are an inconvenient nuisance that they can’t be bothered with.

I suppose you feel the need to keep up your reputation?

Callistemon Fri 01-May-20 09:34:04

A school would be a wonderful place were it not for the pupils.

Likewise a General Practice would be wonderful without patients.

I should add that few HTs or GPs think like that but there's always the occasional one.

inishowen Fri 01-May-20 09:46:49

I am sorry you've had this experience with your GP. I recently had a colonoscopy and was supposed to see my GP to discuss the results. Instead i had a telephone appointment with a GP i didn't know. She had zero interest in me and like you i felt she was doing something else on her keyboard as the conversation didn't flow. I tried to ask advice about diet as I'd been diagnosed with diverticulitis. She offered no advice. She scanned through my results and said they found 5 polyps when I'd been told at the time they found 7. I started to worry she was looking at someone else's results. I ended up buying a book about my condition and following the advice they gave.