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GOING TO THE DOCTORS

(88 Posts)
Yangste1007 Sat 01-Aug-20 12:05:31

I apologise if this topic is covered elsewhere. I did look but could not find anything. I just wondered how people feel about having telephone/video consultations with their GP? I understand that a face to face appointment will be available if necessary but I do not feel particularly comfortable discussing personal ailments on the telephone with either a triage nurse or receptionist or even a GP from my home telephone or even mobile. We only get mobile signal in the garden and I don't fancy standing out there for all the neighbours to hear. Similarly I would find it inhibiting with my husband being able to hear. That might sound odd to some people if they share absolutely every detail with their partner but we don't and never have. Not in a secretive way but just private.

H1954 Sat 01-Aug-20 12:09:57

OH and I have both had telephone consultations with our GP. Our mobile signal is also poor so we tell them to use the landline. We also leave the room when the other is taking their call so they can talk privately. It's a "no brainer" really!

Oopsminty Sat 01-Aug-20 12:13:20

I think this can be an excellent idea for many people.

I've had to swing through hoops in the past trying to get my medication. I'm on controlled drugs so pre-Covid I had to write a letter. They wouldn't accept the request on the App or telephone.

Now it's simple. I can just go on the App and order repeats of controlled drugs as well as the other stuff.

I totally understand that this won't suit everybody though and they have said that people will still be able to visit their GP. But you're right. You need to get past the receptionist which will entail you discussing your problem on the phone

In my surgery we have an email type facility. It's an online form and you can explain what's what and then they will contact you.

You could say that you would rather not discuss this over the phone and would like to request an appointment

Good luck!

GagaJo Sat 01-Aug-20 12:15:47

I've had two telephone appointments and for my medical issues, they were fantastic. No risk for me or the doctor. Grandson however, has a medical problem he needs an examination for, so it won't work for him.

BlueBelle Sat 01-Aug-20 12:20:35

I think it’s brilliant for routine or non emergency things
I had a problem I didn’t want to get any worse but knew exactly what it was. I filled in a form online at 6 30 at night it said be prepared to wait 7 days as it wasn’t an emergency I was quite prepared
At 9.30 the next morning I had a telephone consultation which lasted about 15 minutes we both agreed on a course of action and by 11.30 I had my medication through the local chemist (17 hours later)
I would have probably waited two weeks for a Physical appointment which may not have been my named doctor and would have meant two bus rides for me
It also frees up the doctor for more serious problems

MerylStreep Sat 01-Aug-20 12:24:44

I don't know what device you use in your home but why not
Face time or Skype your doctor in the privacy of your bedroom or other.

Lucca Sat 01-Aug-20 12:32:31

Had a video call with doctor on Thursday . Brilliant idea, but then I live alone so no privacy issues !,

B9exchange Sat 01-Aug-20 12:35:11

GPs themselves were appalled by Matt Hancock's suggestion that all consultations could be virtual in the future. Yes, it is great for some quick requests, and will save a lot of time, but think about the consultation for a cough, where a dangerous mole is spotted on someone's back whilst using the stethoscope. The patient who suddenly turns, hand on the door knob, and fearfully mentions the real reason they came. The patient with vulval itching who is diagnosed with thrush when it is lichen sclerosus.

No patient should ever be refused a face to face consultation if they would like it. RCGP will fight to defend this right I hope.

HAZBEEN Sat 01-Aug-20 12:39:28

I dont like the new system. Fill in a form, which is then looked at by the receptionist who decides if you will be contacted by a doctor, since when are receptionists medically trained? What about when people make an appointment for something quite trivial and when seeing the doctor blurt out the more serious problem that has been worrying them. Or if someone has complex medical issues one symptom may sound trivial but taken in context with other problems is life threatening. A receptionist should not be making the decisions.

GrandmaMoira Sat 01-Aug-20 12:48:11

Do people really think receptionists triage the emailed forms? I can't believe they do. I used to work in a hospital triage clinic. The admin staff put the referrals on the system and passed them to the clinicians to decide the course of action. The clinicians would then return them asking the admin team to make an appointment or pass to another clinic.
We took phone calls with patients telling us their symptoms. If you work in the NHS you sign a confidentiality agreement regardless of your role and can be dismissed if you break this.

Soozikinzi Sat 01-Aug-20 12:59:01

I think the new system is brilliant I have had two phone appointments a , one where the doctor rang me back on the land line and used my phone as a camera to diagnose my sore mouth . I have also ordered medication by email saving an embarrassing discussion about a personal problem. I think the phone appointments are great and saving the staff from all the infections they must be exposed to is a bonus !

aggie Sat 01-Aug-20 13:03:31

Great system , except when discussing UTI and DD is in the room , and I’m on 4th antibiotic as no lab tests to pinpoint the correct meds !

Liz46 Sat 01-Aug-20 13:06:16

May I offer some advice. Practice filming with your mobile.

My husband had a painful spot on his back that we felt could be dodgy. He had a video call and I had to find the spot to show the doctor, then measure it. I didn’t really have enough hands!

We were both on lockdown so the GP passed a prescription for antibiotic to one of the receptionists who lives opposite us. She very kindly got the pills and passed them into us.

sodapop Sat 01-Aug-20 13:10:55

There has to be both options, for some people and their health issues on line consultation will work well. I take B9s points as well there are some people who need time and patience face to face to get to the problem.

Furret Sat 01-Aug-20 13:25:21

I’ve had several consultations over the phone. No problem.

HAZBEEN Sat 01-Aug-20 16:01:04

Grandmamoira our receptionists are making decisions as to who gets a call from the doctor. I had to make an appointment after a text telling me to re test results and was not so politely informed I didnt need one she could tell me the results! I have tried filling in the form on line but still cant get to see the doctor. I have had a heart attack last year, have high blood pressure, gall stones, depression and am under investigation for a blood problem but cant get past that woman!

Greenfinch Sat 01-Aug-20 16:32:23

That is too bad HAZBEEN.Surely the doctors have time to see patients now especially in your neck of the woods. You could write to him but there again I suppose she opens the mail. She should pass it on though.

ladymuck Sat 01-Aug-20 16:38:06

I recently had an appointment over the phone and much preferred it. I hate sitting in the waiting room, especially when others are coughing and sneezing. I was much more relaxed and I should think the doctors prefer it too.

Esspee Sat 01-Aug-20 16:42:27

I have had two telephone consultations regarding existing issues and was extremely satisfied. I do hope it continues as it is a great way of freeing up a doctor’s time to deal with cases which need to be seen.

Urmstongran Sat 01-Aug-20 16:46:58

One good outcome - it cuts down on appointments that are not attended. In that way it frees up doctors to spend more time with other patients. Failed appointment slots cost the NHS thousands of pounds per year. Scandalous really. It beggars belief really that some individuals can’t be bothered to pick up a phone and say ‘I’m not coming’.
☹️

JenniferEccles Sat 01-Aug-20 19:16:51

I really fear that this could become the way GPS operate in the future.

It’s bound to be an appealing for them to be working at home but is it in the best interests of the patients?

Although I can see how it could solve the problem of those who fail to turn up for their appointments, I am certain that without face to face consultations in the surgery that many things will be missed.

How about those who are not competent with technology?

I can understand the need for it when we were at the height of the epidemic but now surely it’s time for GP surgeries to get back to normal.

After all there has always been the option for a phone consultation with a doctor even before the virus struck.

GagaJo Sat 01-Aug-20 19:30:33

MerylStreep

I don't know what device you use in your home but why not
Face time or Skype your doctor in the privacy of your bedroom or other.

Hahaha, MerylStreep. This is a GREAT idea. Grandson has to see the doctor because he has a lump on his willy. I'd feel like a pervert getting THAT angle!

SueDonim Sat 01-Aug-20 19:38:15

We haven’t required a doctors appointment since lockdown but prior to that we’ve had phone appointments and they’ve been fine. I’d be happy to do that again, or have a video appt. It means in winter there’s no need to go out in bad weather and/or struggle to find a parking spot or hang about in a waiting room.

Doctors nowadays are trained to be skilled at making a diagnosis from the patient’s history alone and examination contributes little to the decision they come to. There are some exceptions, of course, and those will be the patients who will need to be seen in person.

Urmstongran Sat 01-Aug-20 19:39:02

I really don’t have a smartphone and I’m going to say (should I need a doctor) that I don’t have the Internet.

Two can play at that game.

welbeck Sat 01-Aug-20 19:56:53

apparently from this winter one will have to ring 111 first before going to A&E. so no more casualty, just turning up.
what about real emergencies in the vicinity of the hosp; hope they won't turn away someone bringing in person with an obvious injury or severe illness, or to be told, go outside and ring 111.