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GP appointment

(49 Posts)
lippyqueen Mon 07-Oct-19 16:14:34

My DH and myself have recently moved to a new GP practice. We used to be at one of the best surgeries in our area but due to a lot of new houses being built in the area and no increase in GP surgeries things had become very difficult at our practice. We were finding that there was a queue either at the reception desk at least 10 deep and 1 person dealing with everything or I was at least 8 or 9 in the queue on the phone meaning you were having to wait at least half an hour to get through and subsequently not being able to get an appointment for at least a month unless it was an emergency. I always felt it was never an emergency so therefore could never get an appointment. I felt that whenever I contacted the practice the answer was always no! The new drs seems very user friendly so far. I have managed to get an appointment next week for a few problems which have been going on for a while. This leads to my dilemma, I have 3 health issues I want this discuss but feel guilty as I know drs have limited time to spend with each patient. Is it best to talk about 1 problem and then make another appointment or just try and get them all out in a rush. None are life threatening and it all seems a bit trivial now I have written it down but I wondered how you all deal with the shopping list of health issues that seem to affect us as we get older.

Loislovesstewie Mon 07-Oct-19 16:18:32

You can usually ask for a double appointment if you want to discuss more than one health issue. Speak to the receptionist and explain.

Lazigirl Mon 07-Oct-19 16:22:37

When I had this dilemma I booked a double appt. so I didn't feel rushed.

I appreciate it may sometimes be difficult to get even a single appt. but usually at a new practice you have a new patient assessment with a nurse where you can discuss ongoing health issues.

My mother's GP used to have a notice on the door saying that the doctor would only discuss one problem per consultation. I thought this was very unfair, especially for those with complex health needs, but I guess they were under so much pressure.

Baggs Mon 07-Oct-19 16:23:09

It depends how complex the three conditions are. If they are not complex I think you could tell the GP at the beginning that there are three things you want to ask about, possibly even hand over a list so, even if there isn't time to cover all three in one appointment, the doc knows.

It's really bad that it's so difficult for so many people to get GP appointment but it's not your fault and if you need treatment or advice for three things then you must tell the doc about them.

Good luck.

Scribbles Mon 07-Oct-19 16:24:03

There's a notice up in the practice I attend, instructing you to request a double appointment if you have more than one issue to discuss.

wildswan16 Mon 07-Oct-19 16:36:24

Well you have "an" appointment now so I would attend this. Have your problems written down briefly on paper and hand it to the doctor saying "this is what I need help with at the moment". e.g. (1) out of breath (2) need bp medication (3) worried about abdominal pain

He will then decide which is the more urgent and if he doesn't have time for them all he should make you a follow-up appointment.

jura2 Mon 07-Oct-19 16:39:12

Best thing is to explain you have 3 issues, and ask how to proceed. S/he will probably say, let's deal with main problem, then make double appointment for next time.

jura2 Mon 07-Oct-19 16:39:49

ooops post crossed wildswan.

Gaunt47 Mon 07-Oct-19 17:08:53

Slightly off thread I know, but I wonder why we bother to fill in census forms. The powers that be must have watched the baby boomers age and realised that a great deal of medical care - more doctors and hospitals - for us all was needed by about the beginning of the 21st century, and planned for it. But I hear from friends all over the country how difficult it is to get an appointment with a doctor, long waits for tests and results, etc. Were they hoping we'd all die, or go private?

Squiffy Mon 07-Oct-19 17:42:39

If a patient has several symptoms/issues, it's possibly difficult to decide which of the health problems you should mention to the GP because how is the patient supposed to know whether or not their symptoms are all linked to the same health issue. I would tend to mention them all and let the GP decide how to proceed!

BlueBelle Mon 07-Oct-19 18:31:36

If they are three simple questions I d ask (out of curtesy) if you can check another point with him/her I recently did just that went for one thing and asked if I could ask him another question I was still done in my allotted time
However if they are three things that all need checking out then yes make a double appointment

Calendargirl Mon 07-Oct-19 18:36:14

I find that if you book appointments online, that means you can often see a doctor or nurse practitioner quicker than phoning or seeing the receptionist.

Gonegirl Mon 07-Oct-19 18:41:51

I was thinking of this only last week.

I know they say, one issue, one appointment, but what if, say, three different complaints turn out to be connected? It makes no sense. Shouldn't doctors treat us holistically?

I think it's a shame you can't go and discuss your health generally with a doctor anymore.

Doodle Mon 07-Oct-19 20:37:51

I think wildswan has the right idea. When my DH had a consultant appointment regarding a new condition that we knew little about we wrote down a list of questions in a clear format. The consultant took the list from us and answered all the questions with explanations where necessary and said it was nice to have something so well prepared to work from.

annep1 Mon 07-Oct-19 21:31:52

I agree with Gonegirl. You should be able to give all your symptoms and let the doctor decide how to proceed. It's not good enough to expect patients to decide.

cornergran Mon 07-Oct-19 22:24:20

When I worked with GPS I often heard them comment that they needed to know everything that concerned a patient as sometimes there are links between symptoms/concerns that the patient is unaware of. So my approach is to list my concerns (never more than 3) and let the doctor decide how to proceed. Sometimes they will book another appointment, sometimes just plough through, often very quickly.

annep1 Tue 08-Oct-19 00:28:03

Makes sense Cornergran. Think I'll do that in future.

Barmeyoldbat Tue 08-Oct-19 09:35:25

It could be that they are all related, so as already said write it down for the Dr.

HillyP Tue 08-Oct-19 09:39:53

My doctor's surgery has an excellent system with an online form where you fill in all you symptoms etc. Then they call you back within a day and make the kind of appointment they think is necessary. I think this must cut down a lot of time for them and it means you don't need to wait for weeks to see someone.

Gingergirl Tue 08-Oct-19 09:42:54

Tell the doctor everything briefly at the start of the appointment and really it is up to them to decide how to go forward. I agree with Gonegirl that they should be more holistic but have huge time restraints.

Daisymae Tue 08-Oct-19 10:03:09

Just make a double appointment.

paperbackbutterfly Tue 08-Oct-19 10:08:24

My oh was told only one issue per appointment so when the statins didn't agree with him he only mentioned his headaches, not the rashes on his legs, and was wrongly diagnosed. At the next appointment his doctor crosdly told him he should have given all his symptoms to get a correct diagnosis but how was he supposed to know they were related? That's the doctors job. As a result he nearly had a heart attack and now he doesn't trust statin at all and refuses to take them.

Rivernana Tue 08-Oct-19 10:20:35

Definitely write everything down because you will forget bits when you are actually with the GP. Ask for a double appointment. Don't feel guilty. If you are unwell you are entitled to help. My husband had a lot of problems with his GP and ended up in hospital. I am now campaigning for savings to NHS funds. Here is the link to my petition if anyone wants to have a look/sign/share

jaylucy Tue 08-Oct-19 10:30:13

My surgery requests that double appointments are booked if their will be several things under discussion - but when you try to book one, there are none available!
Initially, I would explain there are 3 things you wish to discuss and the GP will be able to advise what to do - perhaps some can be dealt with by a practice nurse, but whatever, I would guess that you may need to be seen more than once.anyway.
My niece was told yesterday that at her GPs, that to book an appointment online, the diary for the next few days is released onto the system (even for an emergency appt) at midnight each night and as they go very quickly, she should book an appointment at that time !!!

nipsmum Tue 08-Oct-19 10:33:00

Prioritise the most important issue. If they are all equally trivial, make a small note for yourself for reference and let the doctor know that you have more than 1 issue. Get the receptionist to book at least a double appointment and if they are all fairly trivial then it won't matter if you have to wait a month for a double appointment. Well that's how I dealt with things and I'm not dead yet. Don't beat about the bush. Discuss what you need to discuss and nothing else. He doesn't care what the weather is like. Its business only in a limited time appointment.