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GP’s, what merits a face to face appointment?

(56 Posts)
Sago Fri 30-Jul-21 13:27:58

Our grandson became ill on Wednesday, it was his first birthday. His temperature was very high and my daughter was struggling to keep it down, she called the GP practice who offered her a telephone appointment later in the week.
Or a possible appointment with a negative PCR test, the nearest testing centre was a 60 mile round trip and a potential 3 hour wait, with a sick child this is not feasible.

He deteriorated that evening and ended up at A&E, after 4 hours he was seen by a nurse who couldn’t prescribe, she said there wasn’t an available doctor and to insist on a GP appointment the following morning.

My daughter called the surgery, they refused to see him, she drove there and demanded to be seen, she was sent to wait in the car park.

A doctor came out eventually and told my daughter that there was a pandemic people were dying and appointments were only for the elderly and infirm.
She was advised to go to A&E.

5 hours later they are seen by a kind but frustrated doctor, she stated that they were overrun because GP’s were not seeing children.

He was diagnosed with severe tonsillitis and prescribed antibiotics.

He is one year old, never had a visit from a midwife or health visitor and never seen a GP.

This cannot be right.

lavenderzen Fri 30-Jul-21 13:38:24

I am so sorry to read your post. What a disgraceful situation we are in. Absolutely disgusting.
Certainly with my GP an appointment to see her is impossible, quite happy to talk on the phone! Fortunately, I haven't needed to.
I do hope your little grandson is on the mend and feeling more comfortable, how stressful for you all.
Take care flowers

cornishpatsy Fri 30-Jul-21 13:50:52

This really is getting ridiculous, what are the GPs doing all day.

Many working people have face to face contact, hospital staff, shop workers, beauty industry, dentists to name a few. The GPs have no more work to do than before Covid so what are they doing?

MissAdventure Fri 30-Jul-21 13:53:23

I would have thought physically checking a baby of that age would be a priority, although in general I like the phone system.

Baggs Fri 30-Jul-21 14:05:16

A baby with a very high temperature is "infirm", isn't it?

muse Fri 30-Jul-21 14:06:40

I'm really shocked that a surgery and the doctor have behaved like this. Such treatment must be reported.

During Covid we have had to contact our surgery several times. They do it all through eConsult. It's on the surgery's website. Over 3,330 NHS practices have it now.

A very thorough form to fill in and you can include photographs. Someone then has to ring within 48 hours. Between the two of us we have used this five times now since covid started and someone has rung within 12 hours. On two occasions the doctor needed to see me. Appointment the next day. The last time I was immediately referred to the hospital. The other occasions, a phone call sorted it out without a long drive to see the doctor.

There was one time, before submitting the form, I was given a message to ring 111. I'd had a fall.

He is one year old, never had a visit from a midwife or health visitor and never seen a GP.

My DD's friend had a baby just over a year ago. Your daughter should have had least 3 postnatal appointments with your local continuity team or community midwife: first full day at home, then on day 5 and day 10. As far as I know, health visitors are still working but are likely to be offering a 9 to 5 telephone advice service instead of face-to-face visits.

I hope the antibiotics are taking effect.

Report the surgery though.

anna7 Fri 30-Jul-21 14:06:41

Exactly the same thing happened to my nieces 20 month old daughter a couple of weeks ago. She became very unwell and had not passed water for several hours. The gp would not see her so in desperation my niece took her to A and E. She was seen there after several hours, if fact it was 4am by now, and she also was diagnosed with severe tonsillitis. I agree that this is disgraceful. Surely babies and small children should be a priority.

Granmarderby10 Fri 30-Jul-21 14:09:59

This must have been a nightmare situation Sago I cannot help wondering how many other patients with none-covid related symptoms are being given the run-around like this?

Poppyred Fri 30-Jul-21 14:49:17

The 111 service is overwhelmed by people who can’t get an appointment with their G.P surgery. It’s a national disgrace!

Jaxjacky Fri 30-Jul-21 15:08:51

Sago appalling, I hope a formal complaint has been made to the Practice Manager. Our surgery has struggled, staff with Covid, long Covid and last week a number had been pinged, so had to isolate before clear PCR tests. I have been seen face to face three times in the last 15 months, I’m neither elderly or infirm, I think it really does depend on the surgery.
Babies should be having regular checks by the health visitor for weight and other developmental milestones.

Nanna58 Fri 30-Jul-21 15:53:43

I had a nurses appt at the surgery( well done nurses for still seeing people!) and asked if I could use the toilet. It was locked said the nurse and a Dr would have to be asked to unlock it. Please I said. But Lo - no Drs were in the Surgery , all working from home. I asked if there was any chance that this nonsense would end on July 19th to be told she didn’t know , I’d have to ask a Doctor!!!!
As I hotfooted it to the loo at Costa my language was choice 😤😤

joannapiano Fri 30-Jul-21 15:55:58

DH has advanced cancer and hasn’t seen a doctor face to face since March of last year. The GP phoned once last year to see how he was getting on.
Most people I know,with children who are ill, use A&E.

Nanna58 Fri 30-Jul-21 15:58:16

Joannapiano that is appalling. 💐

kissngate Fri 30-Jul-21 15:59:55

Earlier this year my friend started having intermittent stomach and stabbing pains in her side. She never sees a doctor as shes always healthy doing plenty of hiking or walking with the Ramblers Club. She knew something was wrong so tried to get a GP appt but never got further than receptionist. She tried numerous times but got nowhere despite the practice having five doctors. Eventually after weeks getting worse she got a call from a nurse who advised Gaviscon. She said she wanted to see a GP but was told she wasnt a priority. After complaining she did get a phone call and he prescribed a course of NSAIDS told her to give them time to work but didnt want to see her. After spending the next few days in agony her OH took her to A&E. They examined her took blood tests sent her home with pain killers. A day later hospital rang she needed more blood tests told to ring GP practice and arrange for nurse to do them immediately. The GPs surgery were no different in their response, you can have them done in a month! Her OH rang the hospital asked if they could be done there, yes but you need a form from GP. He rang but they were no different said the form would be authorised at some point over the next week or so. Another hospital call and they told her to come back following day for blood and other tests. Just over two weeks later she had a tumour removed and is having further treatment. The hospital were appalled by the actions of the GP practice especially when she told them she had been trying to see a GP for months, her family have made a formal complaint. I have no doubt they will deny all responsibility but if it was up to me I would close the practice down and sack the lot of them.

AGAA4 Fri 30-Jul-21 16:17:36

My D had a message from her doctor to say don't contact them unless necessary! Surely most people, especially now, don't contact their doctor of it isn't necessary.

ginny Fri 30-Jul-21 16:18:55

I am amazed at the treatment ( or (non treatment ) that some of you have received. Something needs to be done.
Our surgery are usually very good but a few months ago I was very concerned about a problem I had. After a couple of phone conversations with the GP , I then was told to send a photo. The 2D photo did not show up a 3D problem. In the end I told the GP that I would go to A & E and would say that my G P would not see me. I was seen 1/2 hour later.
No wonder A & E departments are so busy.

ginny Fri 30-Jul-21 16:19:41

Ps , I did need some fairly urgent attention and medication.

Gin Fri 30-Jul-21 16:33:00

I hurt my foot and was seen by a nurse who thought I had an infection and I was prescribed a course of antibiotics but the pain increased. A phone call to the nurse suggested another course of antibiotics. I refused and said I thought I needed an x-ray so a doctor phoned the next day and a request was sent. The x-ray dept phoned with an app two weeks away but suggested I might want to visit A&E fora quicker result which I did and oh the difference, efficient, friendly and quick, diagnosing a fracture, quite a bad one. I was speedily plastered and sent home. All that pain could have been avoided if the doctor had examined the foot initially.

ElaineI Fri 30-Jul-21 16:33:46

That is absolutely disgusting treatment Sago! As a retired nurse who used to work in a GP Practice your daughter must complain as this could have ended with your grandson being gravely ill. Complaints should be in writing and to the head GP, Health board and to Paediatrics AE at the hospital (also her MP). To all of you with these experiences - please complain. Nothing is going to get better otherwise. We also can't see GP's, can't go into surgery without being invited, collecting regular prescriptions requires 7 days notice and even then they are not ready. My husband whose hearing is affected by his stroke is having to pay privately or go on a 74 week waiting list. Dentists are working for private patients not NHS unless emergency. We are not going to have an NHS at this rate which will probably suit Boris!

Ladyleftfieldlover Fri 30-Jul-21 16:37:04

We are so lucky. OH has seen his GP a couple of times recently face to face. One time he was asked if he could get there in an hour. I saw the nurse today for my annual long term conditions appointment.

Grannybags Fri 30-Jul-21 16:44:58

That's really shocking Sago To turn away a one year old - I'm speechless!

Sara1954 Fri 30-Jul-21 16:48:24

Oh poor baby. That is terrible.
I really fail to understand what is stopping face to face appointments.
My husband has a pain in his hand and arm, quite acute I think, having not being able to see a doctor for eighteen months, he went to a chiropractor today to see if they could help. I hope so, but it shouldn’t be necessary.

Gwyneth Fri 30-Jul-21 16:52:56

And all GPS are getting a 3% payrise!!! I am appalled at some of the experiences some posters have related on here although I’m sure there are still some committed and dedicated GPS out there. I think people must start reporting these surgeries to their local health boards as well as writing to their MPs. I hope your grandson makes a full recovery Sago and also others who have had similar experiences.

Greta8 Fri 30-Jul-21 17:07:59

I am wondering what on earth is going on with the GPs. We are having similar issues with our two year old grandson - for the last month he has been suffering from constipation issues - not been able to see a GP face to face for an abdominal examination - just prescribed a laxative to which he was allergic and suffered extreme vomiting. Then prescribed something different - all via telephone consultation. He is still unwell and my daughter can only get a telephone consultation in two weeks time. My son-in-law has complained to his MP, and I have told them that if he gets any worse they must take him to A and E. What of earth is going on? Our surgery is fine dealing with all us old people, my husband and I get excellent attention. As do our elderly neighbours. Is there some Tory directive here to keep the old people (usually Tory voters - not us, hell would freeze over first) sweet? I despair at the current situation.

B9exchange Fri 30-Jul-21 17:09:56

There is something very wrong with receptionists' training. I know they have pressure from GPs to keep the number of appointments down, but they must know how to recognise an emergency, and a one year old with acute tonsillitis is just that. It isn't altogether a new phenomenon. Many years ago I rang for a same day appointment for my one year old. None forthcoming, so I carried my unconscious son into our local surgery. They did take notice and diagnosed possible meningitis, but it turned out to be tonsillitis turning to septicaemia (sepsis these days). Ten years ago I rang for an appointment for my 11 month old DGD who hadn't passed urine for nearly three days. Receptionist told me they had nothing, she could not be seen. I pointed out they had a drop in clinic at noon, and I was jolly well going to attend that, which I did. Waited for an hour with semi-conscious child. Passing GP, whom I knew, remarked on what a peaceful baby. I pointed out far from it, hardly conscious, and alarm bells finally registered, and within 10 minutes we were inside an ambulance blue lighted to hospital. I complained to the surgery, and the receptionists did receive further training.

OP, I would complain to the Practice Manager in writing, saying you want to report a Serious Untoward Incident (the language is important!) but also cc to the Chief Exec of the local CCG, they will make sure that action is taken. GP Surgeries are answerable to them. You can look up your local CCG and Chief Exec's name and address here