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G.P. mis-practice.

(16 Posts)
Knowsley Wed 02-Sep-15 02:42:27

About 5 months ago, my G.P. practice was sold to another group of GPs. The receptionists left at the same time and the only constant was the practice nurse. I have no problem with either the new doctors or the practice nurse, but the new team of receptionists and admin staff are totally incompetent.

I thought it might have been teething problems with taking over an existing practice and have been a patient patient, but there has been no improvement.

Some of the problems have been:-
~failing to send a referral (it didn't need to be authorised by a GP) to another medical dept. for 3 weeks, despite a number of reminders by myself by phone and in person plus a couple of requests from the department awaiting the referral. I finally had to make an appointment with the GP and he had to order them to make the referral.
~failure to produce repeat prescriptions within the existing agreed 48 hour turnaround from receiving the request.
~sending electronic repeat prescriptions with items missing or incorrect medications on the list. This was for various members of the family.
~sending incorrect lists of medications that I am currently prescribed to other medical departments when I attended appointments with specialists.
~failing to send results of blood tests to other departments despite repeated requests from both the other departments and family members.
~the staff never 'own' a problem and usually blame absent staff when questioned why no action has been taken.

This is where I ask your advice. Obviously, this situation cannot continue. One of the family might come to some harm due to all these mix-ups. How should I make a complaint to the practice without upsetting the receptionists/admin staff and resulting with 'difficulties' when arranging future appointments? I have tried having a quiet word with one of the GPs and the practice nurse, who both apologised and promised an improved service, which did not happen. Have any of you had any similar experiences? How did you resolve the problem?

Liz46 Wed 02-Sep-15 05:08:25

Is there a practice manager? After a couple of mix ups with my repeat prescriptions, I telephoned the practice manager and said that I did not want to get anyone into trouble but that level of inaccuracy was wrong and would not have been tolerated in my job before I retired. She said that she would look into the problems and did I want her to come back to me. I said that there was no need and to be fair, have not had any problems since.

cornergran Wed 02-Sep-15 07:32:50

Agree with Liz. The Practice Manager is the way to go. Alternatively if there is a Patient Participation Group they may be helpful. It sounds as if the admin team need some support. Something is going wrong for them. Maybe systems need a review. Good luck. Remember this won't just be happening to your family.

annsixty Wed 02-Sep-15 07:36:31

I had exactly this problem with prescription for my H. I have to deal with it as he can't. Over one problem I was lied to three times and I asked for an appt with the practice manager. She dealt with the problem in a few hours and we got our prescription but we have encountered a distinct attitude from the senior receptionist and she can be very awkward and obstructive towards me. I have not complained again as moving to another surgery is not an option. I hope you have a more positive outcome. I have been with this practice over 40 years and the problems are mounting in the last 2/3 years. What or who to blame? I don't know.

Jane10 Wed 02-Sep-15 07:43:49

Don't bother contacting the practice again after all you've complained several times to no avail -get on to the local NHS board complaints dept. They will take this seriously and you will be listened to. These are quite dangerous errors cumulatively and the practice needs to be told to pull its socks up! Good luck

Alea Wed 02-Sep-15 07:47:42

Surely this amounts to malpractice.
I'd be tempted to go down the official complaints route too as your "quiet words" don't seem to have made any difference . I am assuming the Practice Manager has also been spoken to?

daffydil Wed 02-Sep-15 07:50:28

Although our receptionists are

daffydil Wed 02-Sep-15 07:52:37

Sorry. I pressed the wrong button. I will complete my post on my laptop instead of this iPad.

Anya Wed 02-Sep-15 07:57:46

First point of call the Practice Manager. Also bring up what to do if your complaints lead to hostility from receptionists/administrators.

Keep a written record of this meeting and a diary iof any subsequent failures of service or hostility.

If this fails the local NHS trust as Jane suggested.

PS does your GP surgery not have a patients panel also to take these issues up with?

Nelliemoser Wed 02-Sep-15 08:09:49

If the "practice manger" is obviously not managing the practice it does not seem to me that just complaining to him/her is going to get you far.
I would suggest a letter to the manager with a copy to whatever local NHS group oversee them. The local health authority or whoever.

Knowsley Wed 02-Sep-15 10:14:45

Thanks for all your advice. I am not sure if a practice manager has been appointed for the surgery. There are no details published on their noticeboards and the local health authority webpage for the surgery hasn't been updated and still has the details and telephone numbers from the previous practice. I'll phone and enquire whether they do have a practice manager. Failing that, I'll have to raise the issue with the local Healthwatch group. Thanks once again.

Anya Wed 02-Sep-15 10:21:39

Simple solution - ring up and ask to speak to the Practice Manager. If she/he hasn't been appointed they'll tell you.

trisher Wed 02-Sep-15 10:22:30

Knowsley you might consider asking for the setting up of a Patients Participation Group as well. All GPs should have one. It sounds as if the practice has gone through a lot of changes and hasn't properly resolved things yet (which is no excuse for the bad service you have received). A PPG in at the beginning should be able to effect changes and get the patients' voices heard. MY GP is excellent but the PPG have helped make the reception desk better and are looking at telephone problems. You seem the sort of person who would really help out.

daffydil Wed 02-Sep-15 11:52:02

I haven't experienced the awful problems you have had which are a real cause for concern and on the whole our receptionists are friendly and helpful. However I do have a problem with updating repeat prescriptions. I take several tablets permanently and from time to time when I see the consultant he increases the dose. He assures me he always informs the surgery who should amend my records but doesn't so when I need a new supply I am told that I should still have plenty and there follows a prolonged battle. On one occasion one of the tablets was removed from my list altogether. I hadn't thought of contacting the Practice Manager which I will do if the problem arises again.

soontobe Wed 02-Sep-15 15:33:55

Knowsley, if you ask around, it might help your case if there are others who are having trouble too.

Luckygirl Wed 02-Sep-15 17:14:16

I think it is the Clinical Commissioning Group for your area who you should get in touch with.