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WAITING Times for GP andNurse Appointments

(139 Posts)
Bea65 Tue 31-Aug-21 13:33:58

Sorry have to rant ..almost in tears..went again toGP surgery as couldn't get thru at 8a.m on phone..on going on 2 receptionist said no to booking appt with nurse ..said to ring tomorrow at 8a.m. ? AAH! but she could book me a prebook telephone triage next Monday? i feel like am going insane...

growstuff Fri 01-Oct-21 23:55:25

A couple of years ago, I was told off for not attending an appointment I didn't even know I'd been given, so I've sometimes wonder how these figures are worked out. In my case, it turned out that the results of a blood test meant I needed to see a GP and it had been booked, but nobody remembered to tell me.

growstuff Fri 01-Oct-21 23:57:22


I don't plan to add to the discussion but please read this article written by a trainee GP about the pressures they are under at the moment:

I have no doubt that GPs are under pressure and I have every sympathy, but I wish people would stop "blaming" patients.

Mamie Sat 02-Oct-21 06:25:48

As an outsider looking in it seems to me that the problem is not just with shortages of GPs, but with the chronic and long-term underfunding of all manner of support services. Social services, probation services, adult social care, children's services, local government, mental health services all under stress.
When I watch GPs Behind Closed Doors I am just astonished by how they are picking up the pieces of strain in other parts of the system.

growstuff Sat 02-Oct-21 06:59:54

I think you're absolutely right Mamie. Public Health England was abolished yesterday and a new organisation introduced. I just hope it's not more of the same.

I belong to a local health forum, but it's obvious that nobody really listens to patients' concerns. The kind of issues you've raised have been raised numerous times, but there's a lack of joined-up thinking or willingness to rip up the template and start again. Everybody's reluctant to introduce yet another organisational change, but that's what's really needed - starting with patients rather than profits and so-called management.

Whiff Sat 02-Oct-21 07:44:11

Feel I need to stick up for GPs . I moved from West Midlands 2 years ago to North west.

The GP practice I chose to join was because the bus stopped opposite and an independent pharmacy was on the other corner who deliver to anyone.

I can not praise my GPs ,nurses plus all the other staff at the practice enough. I have never had a problem getting an appointment or help. It is a very busy practice with a large patient list .

I can get phone or face to face appointments. In fact was there this week for a blood test.

Hospital referrals are sent very quickly. When I asked for a referral to a GP referral exercise class it was soon sent and been going to classes for 8 weeks.

I am 63 and have a neurological condition and heart condition. Under consultants at the hospital.

People here keep on about a TV program about GPs but how much of that is heavily edited and how much is real?

There are a lot of very good GP practices all around the country. I know its annoying if you can't get the help you need when you need it. But where would we be without the NHS.

Also need to praise the A&E department I have had to use their services quite a few times in the last few years. Ok there is a storage of ambulance's but only needed to go via one once. My daughter has taken other times.
Also attend clinic appointments at the hospital.

I know some patients have been let down. But over the decades with various relatives had to use most services hospitals offer so have a wide experience of our health care system.
Like every thing in life it's not perfect but who or what is.

growstuff Sat 02-Oct-21 07:55:54

The question is why can your practice deliver a good service, but others can't. I can assure you that anything I write about my own practice isn't heavily edited and is definitely real. I don't expect it to be perfect, but I'd like an acceptable service which is something like it was just 10 years ago.

MerylStreep Sat 02-Oct-21 07:59:43

This is the man who’s going to shake up the NHS.

Aveline Sat 02-Oct-21 08:25:16

It doesn't matter what the percentage of GP failed appointments is. At the practice I especially noticed it was 300 opportunities for patients to be seen but who didn't turn up.

Mamie Sat 02-Oct-21 08:55:42

I think there is a danger with thinking that the alternative system to the NHS is a system where you pay or go without. I probably thought that when I lived in the UK, but fifteen years of living with a different funding model has made me see that alternatives are possible. We pay a top-up insurance because we can afford it, but you would not be denied treatment if you could not.
We pay it willingly for access to excellent services.

MerylStreep Sat 02-Oct-21 09:07:39

An interesting question from someone on the news this morning.
If our health service is the best in the world, why has no other country copied it

growstuff Sat 02-Oct-21 10:56:51


It doesn't matter what the percentage of GP failed appointments is. At the practice I especially noticed it was 300 opportunities for patients to be seen but who didn't turn up.

I think it does matter what percentage that represents. If it's a big practice and makes thousands of appointments a month, it could only be a fraction of a percent for all I know. There are all sorts of reasons people legitimately miss appointments. For example, there was a message on my mother's phone about a missed appointment. Unfortunately, she had passed away a couple of days previously. As I explained above, I was admonished for missing an appointment I didn't even know about.

Rather than blaming patients, maybe it would be more productive for practices to work with patients to find out what's going wrong.

Aveline Sat 02-Oct-21 11:12:05

My GP friend has worked very hard during the pandemic. She's noticed that there are far fewer patients with trivial complaints. Previously, there were patients making appointments for really minor things eg 'my nose is red and sore' from someone with a cold. Others, she felt were attending almost as a social outing. Obviously, loneliness is a major problem and contributor to mental ill health but going to see the nice lady doctor for a wee chat is not ideal.
Clearly I do know what most of you are on about but I do think the old war time slogan, 'Is this trip really necessary?', if adhered to, could free up GP time for more urgent cases.

MamaCaz Sat 02-Oct-21 11:25:19

I've only had one face-to-face appt., (13 months ago) and that was with a less experienced doctor who was still checking her decisions with an experienced doctor. I have no complaints about that - it was a same-day appt., resulting in a referral to the breast clinic, where I was seen only two days later (and given the all-clear).

But I think that there are some issues where things do tend to be fast-tracked, and that breast health is one of them. In that sense, I was very lucky.

My OH is pulling his hair out - he can normally only get phone appts., and his hearing is poor so he really struggles to hear what is said, despite hearing aids, unless the person at the other end has a very clear voice. It's far from ideal.