Tuesday, 6 August 2013

How easy is it for you to see your GP?

I don't mean to see a specific GP at your practice, but any GP.

I am old enough to remember the days when you just arrived at the surgery at the opening time, walked into the waiting room and asked who was last for Doctor XXXX?  Everyone was seen on a first come first served basis, no-one pushed in or demanded to be seen first.  If someone came in with a poorly child then everyone automatically let them go next.  The receptionist's role was simply to decipher the buzzers to let the waiting patients know which doctor was free.

Then came appointments, you could call in or phone for an appointment, sometimes being seen within minutes.

When my last GP retired (he was the sole doctor at the practice), I moved to my current practice.  The appointments system was still in place, but it was generally easier to call in than phone up as the phones always seemed to be engaged.  

An online booking system was briefly introduced but it was very shortlived, as was the self check-in system once you got to the surgery, I never got to try any of these and do feel somewhat deprived.

The latest system, and this has now been in place for some time now, is this.  Should you need a GP, you have to phone the surgery (good luck, the phones are still almost constantly engaged), once you have got through your name is added to a list. The doctor on triage duty will then phone you back AT SOME POINT and discuss your issue over the phone.  If the doctor then decides you need a prescription or a sicknote, you then have to go to the surgery to collect it.  If the doctor decides you need a face to face appointment you have to phone back to reception to make one.

So, as I don't really want to discuss my problems over the phone whilst sat at my desk, or stood in the corridor outside my office, or on the bus to or from work, I potentially have to book a day's annual leave.  My last appointment to discuss my current medication was made by letter!

Does anyone else have the same issues?


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