I am very passionate about the NHS and will defend (within reason) any criticism that I hear about anyone working in this wonderful organisation.
My experience comes with working in the Reception areas of both large and small GP Surgeries, Hospitals and for the out of hours’ service. I have seen lots of different policies and procedures, and have worked with many different set up within this different organisation – especially the GP Surgeries.
I hear a lot of people bad mouthing Doctors, Receptionists and other health care professionals, and most of the time it’s because they (the complainer) do not really appreciate or understand the system they are complaining about. There are always two sides of the story.
Sadly, I feel like “one of those people” that I dread hearing from. I have felt very let down by my own GP Surgery and I feel their “system” hasn’t helped.
Let me explain what happened.
When I registered at the practice I was told that you could only see the doctor you were registered with. When I needed to make an appointment I would have to speak to his secretary and she would offer me the next available appointment with him and him only.
In the event of an “urgent” appointment needed if he wasn’t available then and only then would you be offered another doctor.
I have an ongoing issue that has needed following up. I had to wait two and a half weeks to get an appointment with my doctor. I didn’t feel it warranted an “urgent” appointment as I very conscious about the misuse at times of these appointments and know how difficult they are to get sometimes.
So, I waited the two and half weeks. In the meantime, I started to get a bad ear, again, I felt it could wait as my appointment was due in a couple of days’ time.
On arrival at the surgery I used the check in system and it said that I was due to see the locum doctor and not my named doctor.
I was called in by the locum doctor, she said that she was there covering for my regular doctor. I explained about my ear and she confirmed it was indeed infected and issued a script for antibiotics. I then started to explain about the main reason of the appointment and she cut me dead – she said that she had already dealt with one issue and wasn’t prepared to discuss anything else in this consultation. I had only been in the room a matter of minutes. I fully understand that had it been a “urgent” appointment that I had booked that I couldn’t really discuss ongoing issues, but this was a routine appointment that I had booked some time ago.
I tried to explain that I had waited over two and half weeks to discuss the issue, to which she said I would have to make another appointment to come back and see my dedicated doctor.
I couldn’t believe it, what a complete waste of my time, I had waited two and half weeks for this only to be told I had to see my own doctor.
I left her room, quite upset by the whole thing, and more of her attitude in dealing with me, she wasn’t even prepared to listen to what I had to say.
I went to the front desk to ask about an appointment for my own doctor and was told it would be another 3 weeks ahead. So in all it will take five and half weeks to see my own doctor and thus taking a much-needed appointment that could be used by someone else when my issue could have been dealt with in the appointment I had just had.
This sadly would be one of those occasions where I don’t think I would have been able to defend the situation that I found myself in.