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Health

Making a GP appointment

(34 Posts)
MarilynneT33 Sun 27-Nov-22 23:50:54

I know I've left this a bit late but I'm worried about making an appointment with my GP. I'm not sure if I have an eye infection or a blocked tear duct. I also get a lot of back pain on the right side of the small of my back. I got a really good new mattress this year so it's not that. I've also started getting a nerve fluttering in my shin which has been happening for a couple of weeks. It's not all the time but frequently throughout the day. I've tried to put off going because I know how things are with surgeries at the moment but I really feel I need to see a GP. I'm 70 by the way.
I'm picking up my usual prescriptions in the morning from the chemist downstairs from my surgery so will go upstairs to try and make an appointment.
The thing that is bothering me is the fact they might try and fob me off and not let me have an appointment. I know it sounds silly but what do I do if they won't let me have one.

Deedaa Mon 28-Nov-22 00:11:49

I have found 111 very useful. If you can speak to one of the 111 doctors they usually have time to talk to you and organise an appointment if they think you need one.

Last week DS had an infected tooth and was prescribed antibiotics. By the next day he had a temperature of 40 degrees and was very ill. I rang 111 and was told a doctor would ring us within 6 hours. In fact the doctor rang 15 minutes later with an appointment at A&E for him. He spent most of the day on IV antibiotics for sepsis and was home in the evening with two different boxes of antibiotics. Couldn't fault his treatment at all.

Ro60 Mon 28-Nov-22 00:19:07

I agree 111 is the way to go I think they can make an appointment for you.
A friend was fobbed off by the GP - she had visible blood in her urine & in pain the GPS receptionist said they didn't have any appointments.
Somehow, she was seen the next day. (Don't know any more details yet).
You could even ring tonight - they're 24/7.

MarilynneT33 Mon 28-Nov-22 00:21:46

Thankyou. I will see what they say in the morning. I just wanted to know what to do if you are refused an appointment.

AussieGran59 Mon 28-Nov-22 06:03:37

MarilynneT33, I hope you aren’t fobbed off. To us here in Australia this seems inconceivable. The receptionist never queries why we need a doctors appointment over here! You simply phone and ask for one. If there are none available quickly you just go to one of the medical centres and see a doctor there. No appointments just sit down and wait your turn.
Someone on GN criticised our health system but it’s not difficult to see a doctor and you never have to justify it with some idiot of a receptionist or get fobbed off onto a nurse when you need a doctor.
All the best, hope your health improves.

Washerwoman Mon 28-Nov-22 06:35:56

It's awful that we feel so stressed about getting appointments. I had to really push to get one recently. And then it was with the nurse practitioner. But she was actually excellent.And told me if ever I had problems to do an e consultation -on the surgery website there's a link .She said the doctors read them each day and then you get a call back. And promised me it was immediate if the GP felt it was urgent. Is that something you could do ?Good luck.

Whiff Mon 28-Nov-22 06:52:56

My GP surgery is operating normally. I had a text to go and see the nurse about my blood test results. Had a good chat and having them retested in January even gave me the date to ring and book the test and what tests I needed. If I need to see the GP had no problem but found phone appointments work well and online . I sent photos of my leg and explanation how I was feeling it was cellulitis and within a couple of hours the pharmacy I am registered with delivered the antibiotics. And it cleared up.
But you need to see your GP as you have multiple concerns . Hope your can get a face to face appointment very soon .

volver Mon 28-Nov-22 08:19:15

Please stop calling the receptionists "idiots" *Aussiegran59". I have a minor problem at the moment, called for an appointment, got one within a week, suited me fine. The receptionist asked if I minded giving her a few details to back up the appointment, which I did, no problem.

I've once had a problem with a receptionist who lied to me. A decade ago. Reported it, she was disciplined and their systems were changed.

Just stop calling professionals "idiots" for doing the job their surgery asks them to do.

Whiff Mon 28-Nov-22 08:54:06

Aussiegran the receptionists at my GPs are all lovely and I always say before they ask why I need to see my GP. It makes life easier to see if I need to see the GP or have phone appointment. They are friendly ,polite and we always had a short chat. I treat people the way I want to be treated via the phone or in person. Kindness and manners don't cost anything.

Sago Mon 28-Nov-22 08:58:55

Firmly and calmly state you have a number of issues you wish to discuss in person.
It worked for me, first face to face appointment in over 3 years.

BigBertha1 Mon 28-Nov-22 09:43:19

I would have a word with the pharmacist when you pick up your prescription they are very knowledgably and can prescribe for you if appropriate. The pain in your shin may be related to your back - how about seeing a physio or osteopath for that?

MarilynneT33 Mon 28-Nov-22 16:54:23

Thankyou for your comments. Just to update you all I managed to get an appointment with one of our good GP's this afternoon. The outcome is I have an eye infection for which I have some drops and some painkillers for my back pain. He has also given me a card to take to one of our local clinics to get an x-ray because my bad knee which has been a problem for me for quite a few years and is probably the cause of my back pain and the fluttering nerve in my leg. So I'm satisfied I've got somewhere at last. I managed to fit a further thing is which is I have a growth on my back which they are not allowed to treat anymore but he recommended some stuff to buy to treat it with. I did well for a 10 minute appointment.

volver Mon 28-Nov-22 17:12:33

Good to hear that you managed to get an appointment MarilynneT33. I hope all your health issues clear up soon.

Barmeyoldbat Mon 28-Nov-22 18:15:21

Yes I object strongly to reception staff being called idiots. I rang our surgery one late Friday afternoon before the Queens Funeral about terrible back pain, I was almost crying, said I believed it was a lung infection and thought I might need antibiotics. I was told she would. Get a Dr to ring me and they did within 10 mins. Our reception have always been great, they do ask why you want to see a dr but I just say it’s ongoing and they are fine It’s part of their job and they have been asked to do this. Show respect and you get it back Aussiegran

AussieGran59 Tue 29-Nov-22 23:47:47

I am not referring to any receptionist I have encountered in a surgery but the constant complaining from people on GN about having to post a letter to get a phone call to make an appointment to see a doctor. And the people who were not allowed to make appointments at the reception desk but went outside and phoned them instead! The excuse was covid but there was nobody around. I don’t blame gransnetters for complaining and it was from these posts that I drew the conclusion that some idiotic practices were in place! If I were a receptionist I would question these ridiculous protocols as they make absolutely no sense.
So no, I have never been rude to a receptionist as ours is a practical down to earth woman who would be in stitches if I told her about some of the idiotic hoops people have to jump through just to get an appointment! My conclusion was reached by reading complaints on GN.
I cannot abide people who blindly follow a stupid pointless system without question. I don’t know if it’s the receptionist herself who makes silly rules but they should be challenged. And if you care about your patients you would do so!

AussieGran59 Wed 30-Nov-22 00:35:48

The only reason I mention this is that I feel for the poor patients who have complained about a complicated system here on GN. None of this is my experience but can't I be annoyed on behalf of the sad stories I've read on GN?
Situations which could have been avoided had people given the protocol some thought and commonsense?
How that went from sympathy for people's predicament to me being rude to receptionists I do not know nor do I care.

Catterygirl Wed 30-Nov-22 01:05:21

We are a married couple and aren’t exactly complaining. We are registered with a surgery in Chelsea and we live well away from there. They hassle us non stop to have face to face appointments. This vaccine and that vaccine. We get fed up with the constant harassment but realise how lucky we are.

volver Wed 30-Nov-22 06:07:10

AussieGran59

The only reason I mention this is that I feel for the poor patients who have complained about a complicated system here on GN. None of this is my experience but can't I be annoyed on behalf of the sad stories I've read on GN?
Situations which could have been avoided had people given the protocol some thought and commonsense?
How that went from sympathy for people's predicament to me being rude to receptionists I do not know nor do I care.

You referred to receptionists as idiots.

That's rude, and insulting. That's all there is to it.

Allsorts Wed 30-Nov-22 07:01:27

Marilyn, so glad you got to see your GP and getting correct treatment. It's a bit of a postcode lottery it seems with surgeries but receptionists are just doing their job. I think if I had diffuculty seeing someone I would ring 111 as suggested.

Sago Wed 30-Nov-22 09:38:03

During Covid I had a text asking me to call the surgery urgently.
I was out but as soon as I was in the car I called the surgery,40 minutes and still in a call queue.
I drove straight to the surgery and stood outside, still on the phone, I pressed the buzzer and waited for 5 minutes in the rain.
Whilst waiting a patient in a wheelchair had wedged himself in the door between the consulting rooms and the waiting area, I signalled to him I would get help.
I pressed the buzzer again to be shouted at!
I explained the situation, receptionist came and freed the patient then released the front door, I went to hold it open only to be told off again, she thought I was trying to barge in.
The door was closed and the receptionist then answered the buzzer but told me she couldn’t give me the information through the buzzer I would have to ring, I explained I was in a call queue and had been for an hour.
I asked if I could come in and be told what was so urgent, no, I couldn’t!
I told her I would remain outside with my finger on the buzzer until someone let me in.
They relented.
The message to call them urgently was an error.
The phones were ringing in the background and staff were ignoring them.
The term idiot is not strong enough for the way I felt that filthy February afternoon.

rosie1959 Wed 30-Nov-22 09:42:23

Reading your story Sago it seems that common sense was seriously lacking in your surgery

benadams201 Wed 30-Nov-22 18:30:36

Message deleted by Gransnet for breaking our forum guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Yammy Wed 30-Nov-22 19:49:06

volver

Please stop calling the receptionists "idiots" *Aussiegran59". I have a minor problem at the moment, called for an appointment, got one within a week, suited me fine. The receptionist asked if I minded giving her a few details to back up the appointment, which I did, no problem.

I've once had a problem with a receptionist who lied to me. A decade ago. Reported it, she was disciplined and their systems were changed.

Just stop calling professionals "idiots" for doing the job their surgery asks them to do.

You are lucky, in two incidents I have had trouble with a receptionist who is not a medical professional, and certainly does not have the knowledge or skill to decide if you need an appointment and should not be asking for your details to make that judgment. That is certainly not professional.
I phoned for an appointment with a bad back. After sitting for an hour on the phone I was told by the receptionist she was very busy, all that day's appointments were booked, and someone would call me back. It was a Young Spanish Dr. who eventually phoned and saw the joke the same as me. How could he see my back down a phone or examine me, he apologised and said I would have to self-refer to the physio department at the local hospital.
The second the receptionist just kept repeating all today's appointments are taken and would not listen. In the end, I phoned 111.
Do you think perhaps your name is known at the surgery like your alias is known on GN for sharp retorts and put-downs? Especially after you reported someone accused them of lying and got them disciplined and the whole system changed!!!! Which seems incredulous.
How can anyone know from another country know what our NHS is like at the moment when we do not know what it is like from one practice to another?
Living with medics most of my life I find it incredible that one person's letter got the whole system changed. Did you have to appear at a tribunal?

volver Wed 30-Nov-22 19:53:32

Do you think perhaps your name is known at the surgery like your alias is known on GN for sharp retorts and put-downs? Especially after you reported someone accused them of lying and got them disciplined and the whole system changed!!!! Which seems incredulous. hmm

I think you mean incredible. But I am incredulous.

volver Wed 30-Nov-22 20:53:58

Oh, I just read it again and noticed the final comment.

I didn't write a letter. I phoned them. Explained that she had told me one thing about my results and then when I pressed her on it, she told me the exact opposite. Got a meeting with the practice manager, who changed the policy on the way results were explained over the phone and told the receptionist not to "dissemble" again. First Written Warning. No letters, no tribunals, no more slopey shoulders.

What do your live-in medics think of that? Incredulousness?