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(25 Posts)
earnshaw Thu 18-Feb-21 15:26:24

we have been with our GPs practise for many years with no problems on the whole, we have usually had no trouble seeing our own doctor , receptionists been helpful too, on the whole, now though, things seem to have changed, trying to get into the surgery is like trying to get into fort knox which is understandable under the circumstances but my husband has been experiencing hip pain for a while now, he has kept putting off calling our doctor because he feels they are busy but yesterday he did ring, took ages to get through which is unusual after listening to automated call and pressing different numbers, then he was told his doctor was busy and they said pre booked appointments were full too, now that one of the things our doctors did not do before, you could not pre book so what has changed, we are so dissapointed how things have changed , what on earth has happened, even phone appointments are not available at the moment, looks like even home visits are off the board at the moment too, why, district nurses visit homes so why not doctors

Casdon Thu 18-Feb-21 15:34:59

Most GP practices are also managing the COVID vaccinations on top of their normal workload, and with the volume of patients they have for vaccination, they can’t maintain their normal workload as well. Once you’ve also factored in the urgent consultations, people with chronic conditions who have to be regularly monitored, downtime for cleaning between patients, video consultations instead of face to face consultations, staff regularly having to self isolate because patients have attended surgeries with COVID despite all the warnings not to etc. etc., I think capacity for face to face consultation is much reduced. I do think they are doing their best, and working as hard as normal, just differently. One option may be for your husband to request a video consultation?

MadeInYorkshire Thu 18-Feb-21 15:51:02

I think it depends on whereabouts you are - my surgery is one of the best in the UK, is outstanding and hasn't once shut it's patients out since the pandemic started. However, I know we are very lucky!! My Mum can't get a phone appointment too and when tried to take in a sample - she had to wait until they unlocked the doors, put the sample in the foyer, they then came and locked her out again and took the sample away! The Practice is effectively shut!!

Since the Pandemic began I have had 2 Home Visits from my own GP, lots of calls and many surgery visits, which are booked after the GP has spoken to you on the phone - often will see me the same day! (I am very complicated with multiple medical issues by the way!)

In fact when it hit the news that GP's were generally shut, a few months ago, my surgery really got the hump and wrote this!

Some patients might be aware of the media coverage last week saying "GPs must offer Face to Face appointments". We decided to pull together some figures of our own here to demonstrate the sort of workload we have been dealing with since March (a six month Covid period).
We have never stopped seeing patients Face to Face - we just had to adjust the WAY we saw those patients - i.e. GPs/Nurses wearing PPE, patients wearing masks/visors, wiping down rooms in between patients, less patients physically waiting in the Waiting Area etc.
It's been a huge change for us but we hope you agree that we have done our best to continue providing a fantastic service to all of our patients. These figures are just the "easy" ones to search for on our Clinical System - I'm sure there are many more interesting figures but this will do for now 😉

BlueBelle Thu 18-Feb-21 15:55:20

Although he has some hip pain for a while which he’s been thinking of doing something about for some time the day he does ring, you are upset that he didn’t get an immediate response It’s obviously not an emergency or he would have done something before Surely you understand the doctors are rushed off their feet and had to change the way things are done
I don’t know about your surgery but with mine you fill in an online firm outlining what you need help with then your named doctor will either ring or email you back with advise or instructions
When I did this during lock down I filled the form it at 6 pm had a response the next morning telling me my doctor would ring at 9.30 which she did she understood what was wrong and sent an electronic prescription through to my nearest pharmacy I was told if that didn’t help to get back to her, thankfully it did the trick
I don’t think you could fault that

AGAA4 Thu 18-Feb-21 15:57:32

I was surprised and impressed when my doctor rang me back within an hour of asking for a phone consultation. He spent time on advising me and there was a prescription sent up to the chemist later that day.

Barmeyoldbat Thu 18-Feb-21 16:18:35

My daughter in Dorset has a wonderful surgery, they know she doesn't like going to hospital for treatment and do everything they can for her at the surgery. This week she has been everyday to have a My surgery is completely the opposite and I am thinking of changing after being with them for over 30 years. I won't go into the ins and outs of their failings but next Friday I have a hospital appointment and I shall them I am getting no support whats so ever from my GP.

Nandalot Thu 18-Feb-21 16:58:18

Our service has been better since Covid! Previously, it could take two weeks to get an appointment. I emailed an enquiry about low pulse rate, called in for ecg and was in hospital for a pacemaker within the week. DH emailed about a problem, telephone consultation and then surgery appointment same day and given a course of antibiotics after examination, all on the same day.

ElaineI Thu 18-Feb-21 17:06:52

My DH developed labyrinthitis on Monday - nausea/vomiting, dizzy, staggering into walls, funny sensation in head. I phoned surgery late morning. GP phoned back about 3 and prescribed medication which I collected. She said she would phone on Wednesday which she did and was concerned so asked us down to surgery. She found his blood pressure was dangerously high and not happy with symptoms so phoned hospital. (He is never ill). Result he is spending 2nd night in hospital, had multiple blood tests, urine test, ECGs, CT scan and awaiting MRI scan. Aggressive treatment of the high blood pressure which is still high but slightly less. Apart from not being allowed to see him - all the care and attention has been exemplary and we are so grateful to the GP who was concerned he might have/had a stroke. I think it depends on your surgery but now is not the time to expect immediate attention for chronic pain.

Judy54 Thu 18-Feb-21 17:12:09

We are also lucky to have a brilliant GP practice. Mr J has ongoing health problems and when he calls the lovely receptionists arrange for his Doctor or one of the other GP's to call him back at a given time. He also recently had a pre-arranged telephone conversation with his hospital Consultant. We both had or covid vaccinations at our local surgery, all well organised so no complaints from us. I do appreciate it varies from surgery to surgery and can also be a bit of a postcode lottery depending on where you live. Please call your GP again Earnshaw and push a least for a phone consultation. Good luck.

BlueSky Fri 19-Feb-21 09:57:22

As others have said our surgery is even better! You get a phone conversation with the doctor on the morning you called and if they deem it necessary, you are asked to attend the surgery on the same afternoon. They are now managing vaccinations very efficiently too, no long queues outside as I’ve heard of other places.

annsixty Fri 19-Feb-21 10:15:22

This may be of no help but does your surgery have a physio?
We have one who comes in one day a week, although this I remember was pre Covid. You can self refer to him.
I saw him and he referred me to a consultant.
I was seen in 3 weeks and went on his list, sadly Covid did rear it’s head then and I waited 10 months for surgery which I had in October.
I have not been seen by anyone since then.
The point I am making is that I never saw a Dr at all.
I wonder if you saw a private physio if they can get the ball rolling or even refer you.

trisher Fri 19-Feb-21 10:28:20

There is a pandemic happening so of course things have changed. It sounds as if your GP kept to the old "just walk in" service for a long time so had to introduce new measures across the board very suddenly. Mine's doing a telephone triage service. You call them, they call you back at a set time, discuss your problem and decide on a plan which may or may not involve you going in to the surgery. As for home visits would you really want a doctor coming in to your house after visiting other people?

growstuff Fri 19-Feb-21 12:56:04

My GP surgery started going downhill about four years ago when it merged with another practice and has become even worse since the start of the pandemic. The receptionists are ruder than ever, their systems are inefficient and the doctors change so often that there is no continuity of care. If you don't have a smartphone to take photos of every part of your own body, you're stuffed. angry

maddyone Fri 19-Feb-21 14:02:40

Yet another thread with some posters criticising their GP Practice. Thankfully most of the posts are positive. I responded on a thread a couple of months outlining appropriately 15 tasks GPs are doing. My daughter and her husband are GPs and so I do know. I can’t honestly be bothered to list all the tasks again, which GPs are busy doing but I will say my son in law works in the Covid Hub (from where he caught Covid and passed it to his wife and one of his children) in additional to his normal GP duties, and my daughter has a leadership role for the whole south eastern corridor, and has worked many hours setting up the vaccine hubs across the area (in which no doubt some Gransnetters will be vaccinated) in addition to her normal GP role.
But there’ll always be a few who say their doctors aren’t working because they can’t get an appointment immediately they ring.

Barmeyoldbat Tue 02-Mar-21 12:30:41

Maddyanne I can understand your point of view as you have family working in the health sector, but not all Doctors are perfect, my husband nearly died because of the incompetence and laziness of a Dr. just brushing aside his pain after coming out of hospital. He put the pain down to him overdoing it and carrying his bags, he didn't even examine him, just told him to come back Monday or Tuesday if he still had the pain. So I took him straight to A&E, it was two very large blood clots in his lung and was told he was lucky he hadn't died. So please Maddy while I respect your opinion and know how hard Drs work, please respect mine that some are not.

Barmeyoldbat Tue 02-Mar-21 12:31:53

Sorry Maddy, it should have been Maddyone not Maddyann.

Missfoodlove Tue 02-Mar-21 14:39:50

Our surgery is hopeless.
They are not busy vaccinating!
They left a message for me to call them.
I called and waited 45 minutes only to be cut off.
I walked to the surgery and rang the bell.....nothing.
A gentleman trying to exit an inner doorway in the surgery got his wheelchair stuck so I rang the bell repeatedly, when they finished shouting at me I explained there was a gentleman in distress and they attended to him.
They allowed him to exit but kept me outside in the rain.
They said they couldn’t let me in but to call them.
I explained I had tried and failed.
I was allowed in to speak to them.
I showed them a screenshot from my phone to prove my failed call.
The response was “ we are busy”.
They said they couldn’t tell me why they called, I was to make a phone appointment with a doctor, 11 days wait!
I argued my case, played back the message and eventually she tapped away on the keyboard and said “ oh it was just to let you know your repeat prescriptions have been approved”.
I asked why she couldn’t have said in the message.
We are not allowed was the response.

It’s breathtakingly stupid.

Luckygirl Tue 02-Mar-21 14:44:51

I have had 3 appointments with the surgery recently, all on the same day and all because the things I was ringing about had the potential to be serious. One was dealt with on the spot; the next was referred to the breast clinic (where I was seen within 2 weeks) and the last resulted in a referral for MRI which I await.

I have nothing to grumble about here - they are doing well I think under difficult circumstances.

grannyactivist Tue 02-Mar-21 14:55:56

I guess GPs surgeries are like the curate's egg; good in parts!

My own surgery is extraordinarily good and has adapted to the Covid emergency efficiently and proactively. Fortunately we already had a triage system in place, so that was simply ramped up to enable all callers to have an on-the-day phone call from a doctor, and people who needed to see a doctor were given appropriate appointments.

Since the initial response the surgery has now employed a couple of Mental Health specialist nurses to deal with the increase in patients experiencing anxiety and depression.

There will obviously be some surgeries that were already struggling before Covid hit and they may have found the increased workload has affected their capacity to respond appropriately; I have some sympathy for their predicament, but what is not acceptable is an unprofessional response from receptionists. The 'dragon' receptionists of yore have mostly been routed and their training now emphasises the need for compassion and transparency when dealing with patients. I'm sorry Missfoodlove that you found one of the relics of the past at your surgery and in your case I do think I would make a complaint.

Gwyneth Tue 02-Mar-21 15:30:17

All GP practices are different. I can understand posters defending practices where their family work as I would probably do the same. However, as we have read on here many times not all people are fortunate to be in a practice that shows the same commitment and care. My own practice has taken over other practices recently and the service to patients has definitely worsened as a result. Hopefully this may only be temporary. I think we should accept that there are good and not so good GP practices as there are schools or other public services. Not all GPs are saints sadly!!

Alishka Tue 02-Mar-21 21:14:23

I'm in Birmingham and the GP Practice I'm registered with are excellent! I only used to see them occasionally over the years but I'm physically disabled now and just last week a GP called round to give me the flu jab and chat about our common interests. How neat is that?!

growstuff Wed 03-Mar-21 00:24:40

Barmeyoldbat

Maddyanne I can understand your point of view as you have family working in the health sector, but not all Doctors are perfect, my husband nearly died because of the incompetence and laziness of a Dr. just brushing aside his pain after coming out of hospital. He put the pain down to him overdoing it and carrying his bags, he didn't even examine him, just told him to come back Monday or Tuesday if he still had the pain. So I took him straight to A&E, it was two very large blood clots in his lung and was told he was lucky he hadn't died. So please Maddy while I respect your opinion and know how hard Drs work, please respect mine that some are not.

I agree. I was so angry with one of the GPs last week that I could feel my heart racing and I was shaking. The practice started going downhill well before Covid struck. And now they've left people not knowing what's going on with vaccinations and sent us all a text that receptionists have been instructed not to talk to anybody about anything vaccine-related. It really is unacceptable.

growstuff Wed 03-Mar-21 00:30:39

Luckygirl

I have had 3 appointments with the surgery recently, all on the same day and all because the things I was ringing about had the potential to be serious. One was dealt with on the spot; the next was referred to the breast clinic (where I was seen within 2 weeks) and the last resulted in a referral for MRI which I await.

I have nothing to grumble about here - they are doing well I think under difficult circumstances.

I possibly have skin cancer. Not only was I made to feel that I was making a fuss for wanting an appointment, which I had to wait two weeks for, I was told that it didn't look too serious and the GP told me I looked disappointed. He's told me to wait three months, although he also admitted the surgery would have removed it and sent a biopsy for examination, if it weren't for the pandemic. The doctors won't discuss diabetes with me and the diabetic nurse doesn't know what she's talking about half the time. And that's on top of a load of other things. The practice manager doesn't even respond to letters of complaint.

Hetty58 Wed 03-Mar-21 00:39:31

earnshaw, if you can't access help from your GP, please call 111 to be referred for help at your local hospital.

nanna8 Wed 03-Mar-21 00:51:15

Where we are we have to make an appointment and then sit in the car park until they are ready to see you and then they give you the third degree and ask if you have a sore throat, cough etc.What happens if you have tonsillitis I wonder ?They won’t let you in! Then they charge like wounded bulls for 5 minutes. Not knocking the doctors, they are overworked , but there must be a better way. I wish we had the NHS here.