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Doctors Appointments

(38 Posts)
ExD Mon 07-Sep-20 09:26:08

Do doctors, unlike teachers, decide for themselves whether they will see patients face to face?
My eye consultant at the hospital, who needs to get very close to peer into eyes, has been happy to see patients for at least the last 8 weeks.
Yet I cannot get an appointment for a routine injection into my ankles for arthritis, nor can I even talk to anyone over the phone about my possible carpal tunnel problem.
My husband, who is at a different surgery, seems to be able to make an appointment as easily as he did before the pandemic.

Hollyhock1 Mon 07-Sep-20 09:36:47

It seems that GP surgeries (certainly around us) are going to be the last places to re-open fully, yet the one place people need the most! My poor 80yr old mother in law has skin cancer and on two occasions has had to go and stand in a queue outside her doctor's actual window, for him to see and talk to her through the glass! My daughter's expecting her first baby, yet she has to queue outside until she's called in to see the midwife - despite teaching in a secondary school all day and mixing!! It's a sad state of affairs. I know the surgery staff carry on their lives as normal once their day job is over. Crazy times!

ClareAB Mon 07-Sep-20 13:15:43

Does your Dr have an e-consult service? I have found that if I desperately need to have a consultation, the best thing is to email them via their e-consult, and explain the problem. The couple of times I've done it have resulted in a phone call from Dr and in one case a face to face consultation.
It's much easier than trying to get through by phone. Plus you have your request in writing for the doc to see and prioritise.

TrendyNannie6 Mon 07-Sep-20 15:34:08

Having had a thyroid biopsy late aug and voice being affected so I was having job to speak I phones my GP receptionist took details, and a nurse phoned me asked symptoms I told her, was given a very strong antibiotic for 7 days, ( I wasn’t checked over) to cut long story short, I had horrendous side effects almost immediately but tried to pursue only could manage few days,saw pharmacist who said, ring your dr Monday she / he should change your antibotics, which I did this morning, dr wasn’t having any of it, won’t give me different ones so I’m left with nothing, said my voice sounded better, had I got a temp? But no I never did have one, but what did I think! I told her exactly what my feelings were that I was given 7 days and completed 3, I was told by nurse to complete the course, and I was concerned that I hadn’t gone half way, and I’d like enough so that I could finish the course, but we don’t want you to be antibiotic resistant she said, it ended by her saying if you seenm to feel worse over the next few days then ring back up and will consider more antibiotics,

TrendyNannie6 Mon 07-Sep-20 15:37:25

I might add I wasn’t seen by dr first or second time of ringing,

BlueSky Mon 07-Sep-20 15:38:47

Oh Trendy it's pot luck at the moment more than ever! I'm not sure but I'm guessing the antibiotics gave me this horrendous stomach or at least it gave me a flare up. Don't know what to do for the best do we?

TrendyNannie6 Mon 07-Sep-20 16:19:32

Yes it is bluesky I’m just carrying on as normal eating healthily drinking plenty of water and waiting for my thyroid biopsy results at the end of the week, and hoping the antibiotics I did take have done enough

BlueSky Mon 07-Sep-20 17:31:40

Trendy You can't do anymore, not long to wait x

TrendyNannie6 Mon 07-Sep-20 17:33:05

Keeping positive as always Bluesky x

BlueSky Mon 07-Sep-20 19:04:09

Well done Trendy! x

JuliaM Mon 07-Sep-20 19:53:47

E-Consult does not always work on all devices, the one at our GP practice only works via a Laptop or Desktop computer, it will not work via a Phone or Tablet, which is silly, as many people do not have secure access to this type of device of their own. Many routine clinics have been abandoned altogether, including our Asthma Clinic and Diabetic Clinic, togther with all the checks for Diabetic Retinopathy and Podiatry testing of feet and circulation. Yet they recomend that Diabetics should never attempt to cut their own toenails or remove corns and callouses without using sterile instruments and proffesional knowledge of how to do this safely and propperly.

growstuff Tue 08-Sep-20 06:42:38

My surgery doesn't do e-consult.

I made a fuss and eventually had HbA1c and full bloods done. After another fuss, I got hold of a paper copy of my results.

The HbA1c is quite high and there's a note to "discuss with doctor". I want to change one of my diabetic medications and have been trying for six weeks to get any kind of appointment. The online booking service has been suspended, the surgery doesn't do pre-bookable appointments. My only option is to ring at 8am and get in a phone queue. I've tried almost every morning for six weeks and haven't been able to get an appointment.

I also need a retinopathy check urgently, but they're not happening.

annsixty Tue 08-Sep-20 07:09:51

My GD had several lumps come up on her neck last week.My D rang the surgery to get an appt for her only to get a recorded message to go online and describe the symptoms.
Having done so the reply was to ring 111 or seek medical help.
She was then asked to take photographs and send them online.
Having done so she was prescribed a/b’s with advice to get back in touch in 3 days if they didn’t start to go down.
What a very unsatisfactory state of affairs.
How on earth does an older person with no access to the internet manage.
There must be some very worried people out there.

Furret Tue 08-Sep-20 08:01:57

I’ve had two phone consultations since lockdown. One resulted in me being referred to a consultant and the other a discussion about pain management. Happy with both results.

growstuff Tue 08-Sep-20 08:04:48

Well, lucky you! As I wrote, I can't even get a phone appointment. I'm waiting in a phone queue right at this moment, but I'm Number 14 and I'll be cut off after 20 minutes.

growstuff Tue 08-Sep-20 08:05:44

If some GP practices seem to be managing so well, why aren't they all?

Furret Tue 08-Sep-20 08:07:56

Sorry to hear about your issues growstuff. I didn’t mean to sound smug, and I hate it when people say ‘I’m ok’ so apologies.

Parky Tue 08-Sep-20 08:31:06

Some gp practices are under far more pressure than others. We have only contacted gp once during lockdown, find chemist helpful at other times

growstuff Tue 08-Sep-20 08:40:39

A pharmacist can't issue new prescriptions, which is what I need. It would only take a few minutes, if I could actually get an appointment. I even wrote a letter, but didn't receive a reply.

Just come off the phone. Yet again, there are no appointments and I was told to ring again tomorrow.

I do understand GPs are under pressure. I haven't seen one at all during lockdown, but this is now quite urgent.

M0nica Tue 08-Sep-20 09:05:53

Telephone appointments nearly killed DD during lockdown.

It started in March, her GP would only do a phone appointment. He ordered a scan and prescribed correctly but, as anaemia is a frequent side effect of her diagnosis he should have ordered a blood test. I am quite convinced that if she had seen a doctor in a surgery this blood test would have been ordered as she looked ill and just the act of pulling down her bottom eye lid would have revealed that she was anaemic. But not seeing the patient at a time of pressure, he just forgot to do it.

Anyway the blood tests were not ordered for another 2 months. By then she was so anaemic she was on the edge of being blued and twoed to hospital for a blood transfusion (I think COVID was the reason this didn't happen) and her GP told her she could have a fatal heart attack at any moment! She was then given a prescription for iron that was so high the pharmacist queried it, I think the the GP wanted a very quick boost to avoid a hospital admission.

She is now recovering, but she has been told it will be the end of the year, over 7 months, before her body iron levels return to normal

growstuff Tue 08-Sep-20 09:59:38


Sorry to hear about your issues growstuff. I didn’t mean to sound smug, and I hate it when people say ‘I’m ok’ so apologies.

It's OK. I'm just a bit touchy. I go through this farce almost every morning. I was told to ring 111 if it's an emergency, but it's not. Meanwhile, I have high HbA1c, the start of retinopathy, deteriorating neuropathy in my feet and legs, badly controlled pain in one wrist and a lump, which has become infected and is getting worse and needs antibiotics. I've been like this for weeks and there's no system, if all the triage appointments are taken.

grannysyb Tue 08-Sep-20 11:21:51

Complain to practice manager if there are difficulties, I was a receptionist and never allowed to give advice, I hate having to tell them what I think is wrong with me.

growstuff Tue 08-Sep-20 15:30:32


Complain to practice manager if there are difficulties, I was a receptionist and never allowed to give advice, I hate having to tell them what I think is wrong with me.

I have complained - twice. However, the practice manager won't talk to me on the phone, so I've had to write and I've received no reply.

I hate having to tell the receptionist what's wrong with me (which us why I used to book online, if I could), but she won't give me an appointment, whatever's wrong. She just says there are no pre-bookable appointments, all the on-the-day appointments are booked and she's just doing her job.

It's getting really silly and I'm sure doesn't do my blood pressure much good.

Baggs Tue 08-Sep-20 15:48:10

I've just read this thread and am wondering: in what sense have we "saved" the NHS? Not for patients with problems other than Covid, it would seem.

I think there is going to be some pretty awful 'payback', including excess deaths, because of this. It's quite shocking.

growstuff Tue 08-Sep-20 20:46:38

I don't really understand what the problem with my GP surgery is. GPs aren't dealing with Covid-19 patients. I understand that there is extra cleaning, but they're hardly seeing any patients, apart from flu jabs and blood tests. The practice building is locked up. When I had a blood test, I was the only patient in the building - usually there are at least a dozen people in the waiting room. Maybe a few people get through "security" and actually get a 1-1 appointment, but very few. All I need is a phone appointment to change my prescription. I know what's wrong with me and I know what I need. Eventually, somebody needs to look at my wrist, but that's not super-urgent.