Gransnet forums

Bereavement

No response from GP at all

(35 Posts)
MRGUDER Fri 19-Nov-21 11:40:49

My father died in September after being diagnosed with Terminal Cancer in July. At the time of diagnosis his GP stated Dad was her no. 1 priority but that was literally the last time we ever heard from her. Nothing between July and September and now nothing after his death to ask how my Mum is doing. Is that the experience of other Gransnet contributors suffering a bereavement this year? GP was also my Mum's but she has only been seen/called by other locum GPs since.

Baggs Fri 19-Nov-21 12:43:09

Do GPs usually contact other family members after a death?

Georgesgran Fri 19-Nov-21 12:47:43

My surgery sent a religious postcard thing when DH died in March, although we aren’t God Botherers. Didn’t expect anything, so a kind gesture, wasn’t contacted in person, but didn’t expect to be. Did get a nice letter from his Hospital Consultant though, as his death was far, far sooner than he’d predicted, so a shock all round.

tanith Fri 19-Nov-21 13:39:58

Similar experience when DH died but it was 3 yrs ago the only GP available to certify the death at home was the one my husband disliked intensely I felt dreadful but didn’t have a choice. I was never contacted at all from the day he was referred for diagnosis to the hospital till the day he died, apart from prescriptions, and afterwards. Like you I was surprised there was no contact at all.

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 19-Nov-21 13:42:51

I’m surprised contact by the GP is expected after a bereavement. It wouldn’t occur to me to think they would get in touch.

ixion Fri 19-Nov-21 13:56:19

My mother had an excellent (lady) GP, who was happy to visit her at home when too sick to travel to the surgery and who then also came to see her in respite care. Whilst staying at my Mum's house still on my own during this period and some 200 miles away from my own family, she telephoned me to see how things were with me, and, again several weeks later when I had gone back home after the funeral, she actually rang me here to see if I was OK.

Hetty58 Fri 19-Nov-21 14:01:54

I'm sure that GPs don't usually make contact - they never have with me.

Pammie1 Fri 19-Nov-21 14:07:13

I had contact with my GP the week after my husband passed away. However I got the feeling that this was only to sound me out because he had been rushed to hospital with pneumonia caused by an underlying lung tumour and our GP had visited 3 times in the couple of weeks beforehand and pronounced his chest clear despite him complaining of shortness of breath. No faith in GPs any more.

Marydoll Fri 19-Nov-21 14:25:20

I remember when my father died during the night at home and I phoned later in the day to ask for the death certificate.
I was met with, Oh is he dead? Never heard another word after that.

My mother loathed that particular GP, when she had been senior sister in the local maternity hospital and they sometimes had to call on him for support. He continued to behave true to form. A horrible, pompous man.

Peasblossom Fri 19-Nov-21 14:52:02

GPs who are permanent partners in a practice have around 2100 patients for whom they are directly responsible.

When we are going through the death of someone we love we feel as though it is happening just to us, whereas the truth is the GP will have been dealing with many patients with terminal illnesses and bereavements as well as new cancer diagnoses and more routine matters,

A large number of GPS have quit permanent practice because the workload and expectations are unsustainable. Many of them are now locums or have gone part-time because they can control the workload and the number of patients they deal with.

I think maybe your GP has decided to do this and your family was not one of the cases that she elected to retain. Have you asked if she is still your GP or whether you have been reallocated?

Peasblossom Fri 19-Nov-21 14:52:42

2100 for each GP, not the Practice

paddyann54 Fri 19-Nov-21 17:32:20

The figure for Scotland is 1053 patients per GP ,some of course have much less than that but over a huge area ,we have the largest Island population in Europe

GrannyLaine Fri 19-Nov-21 17:57:18

My condolences MRGUDER on the loss of your father flowers Are you sure that the GP herself isn't ill? But also, like others, I wouldn't have expected contact

Urmstongran Fri 19-Nov-21 18:45:04

I surmise that once a GP refers their patient onwards to the hospital specialist then the patient is transferred over at it were. Yes they issue any prescriptions or changes as requested but that’s on the advice of the hospital specialist. The patient is technically under another professional, until discharged or sadly, dies.

Please accept my condolences I am sure you must be feeling let down and hurt.
💐

GreyKnitter Fri 19-Nov-21 18:49:01

It never occurred to me that a GP should contact me after a bereavement in the family. In these very fraught times I’d rather they were seeing those who are ill. I’ll be in touch if I need them.

Thoro Fri 19-Nov-21 18:59:51

A good few years ago but my husband died suddenly in hospital (diabetic hypo aged 53).
I went to our GP and the hospital hadn’t contacted him by then to let him know.
Certainly wouldn’t expect GP to contact me about it though.

BlueBelle Fri 19-Nov-21 19:16:15

I don’t think I ve ever had contact from a GP afterwards so no I don’t think they are acting unreasonably they cannot possibly follow up each patient s relatives
I think you re living in an era of a small village surgery
I m sorry to hear about your Dad and if you’re mum isn’t coping well, you should approach the doctor for help for her or there are lots of charities that will work with the bereaved but you have to approach them they won’t just show up

Lauren59 Fri 19-Nov-21 19:22:06

When my dad died the GP called my mother. He was very kind and considerate.

grannyactivist Fri 19-Nov-21 19:46:06

I’m going against the flow here.

I don’t know if it’s uniform across the practice, but when a neighbour’s husband died a couple of months ago she was called by her GP and offered a home visit. I have heard other local people saying something similar too. My own GP was brilliant when my son-in-law was killed.

The practice received an ‘outstanding’ grade for its work with older people and very recently received a community award for the way it’s handled COVID.

Justwidowed Fri 19-Nov-21 20:13:54

Our GP had arranged to ring me re my husband's condition and I had missed her calls because my husband had suddenly died. I then rang the surgery and was put straight through to her.She was surprised at the news and rang me every weeķ for a few months to see how I was doing.She also came to the funeral service at the crematorium .,and is still in contact with me .
I realise how fortunate I am to have such a caring GP.

SueDonim Fri 19-Nov-21 20:55:17

Years ago I’d have expected it, but then we were of an age with our GP’s, had children in the same class at school etc.

Nowadays, though, I don’t even know who my doctor is so I wouldn’t expect any contact.

Suki70 Fri 19-Nov-21 21:11:23

My DH died in hospital last August and two weeks later I received a letter from the GP who had sent him to A&E a month previously. She wrote on behalf of all the partners and admin staff in the practice, sending their condolences and inviting me to contact them if they could help in any way.
This was followed by a list of agencies that could also offer support.
I was impressed.

HowVeryDareYou Fri 19-Nov-21 21:12:41

Don't GP surgeries usually have thousands of patients? They can hardly ring the relatives of everyone who dies - they are hard-pressed to ring the patients who are ill.

harrigran Sun 21-Nov-21 09:56:45

The GP practice has not acknowledged DH's death, I did expect to receive a condolences message as one of the GPs signed the death certificate.
I don't know why I am surprised about lack of communication, two of DH's brothers have not even spoken to me. Ex work colleagues have been a source of great comfort with letters and phone calls.

grandMattie Sun 21-Nov-21 10:06:29

When my son died suddenly and unexpectedly, alone at home, obviously the coroner must have contacted the GP. We received a card from the practice offering their condolences and giving the addresses of bereavement counselling. It was quite a surprise and, although we didn’t want counselling, it was kind.