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AIBU to think that the receptionist shouldn't be allowed to do this?

(186 Posts)
Naysa Fri 15-Mar-13 08:49:23

I rang my doctors this morning to try and get an appointment for today. You have to ring at 8, one the day, to get an appointment.

I got through at about 8.25.

I spoke to the receptionist and she said that they had a 5 minute appointment, "for one thing only", to see a doctor. I'm not fussy about which GP I saw as although it is a problem it is something that can quickly and easily be sorted.

I'm having a problem with my implant that is resulting in very heavy, painful periods. The problem goes away completely when I'm prescribed the pill.
I've had the implant for almost a year and I'm still battling to get it taken out (this is another story) but, for now, this is working. Unfortunately if I try and put a repeat prescription in, I am told it has been rejected and I am to see my doctor. The annoying thing is, is that the doctor who rejects my request hasn't actually seen me once in the two years she's worked there.

My pill ran out on Saturday. My period started Sunday night and it has not been a problem until yesterday afternoon so I rang this morning. It is practically unbearable. I'm going through night time pads almost on the hour.

I accepted the appointment, the gave the receptionist my name and DOB. She then asked why I needed to see the doctor. I stupidly told her the reason and she then said that she couldn't give me the appointment because it's not an emergency. If it was an emergency, I would have gone to accident and emergency. She then said that I can go to the family planning clinic on Monday. This is not the first time I have had an appointment "taken away" because my condition is not serious enough.

I'm now going to have a weekend full of cramping and a very heavy period (TMI sorry!)

AIBU to email the GP and complain and AIBU to change surgery?

nethunsreject Fri 15-Mar-13 08:50:51

Yanbu. That's rotten. Hope you feel better soon.

Since when have doctors appts been for emergencies only?! Contact pals at your pct (before end of this monrh!)

Theas18 Fri 15-Mar-13 08:52:46

Why not ask for telephone call? Sounds easily dealt with by phone.

I have scalp psoriasis. It is itchy and unsightly. In my case it is a very minor conditionwhich does not cause pain. I still see the GP about it!

I would never tell the receptionist what I wanted an appointment for. She doesn't need to know. I'd complain if I was asked, especially if she then decided to withdraw an appointment. It isn't up to her to decide what is urgent and what is not.

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 15-Mar-13 08:53:54

YANBU. Unfortunately it seems to happen a lot.

I wonder what the comeuppance would be when a receptionist (with all that medical training hmm) turns someone away and something Very Bad happens.....

Some doctors I think are running a great risk by telling their receptionists to do this "triage" thing and making decisions which really they are not competent to make.

This is actually making me really angry. You are in pain and are going to be all weekend. Please call back (or get a friend to help) and insist on an appointment. Tell them if you don't get one you will be going to A&E and then to the newspapers.

It amazes me that anyone thinks GP receptionists can do any kind of 'triage'. NotTreadingGrapes is right: it could be very dangerous. There's a reason you see a nurse for triage at A&E.

this is what the NHS has come to. great progress. Well done government

She doesn't need to know. We just get asked if it can be dealt with over phone. You do not have to tell her anything!!!

louschmoo Fri 15-Mar-13 08:57:51

Surely if their booking system is to ring at 8am on the day to book then none of the appointments are 'emergency' are they. My GP operates this system and it is for all appointments except for follow-ups. And it's none of her business what your appointment is for. You should write to the practice manager.

Naysa Fri 15-Mar-13 08:59:17

Theas18 I don't think my GP do over the phone. I've never heard of anyone who uses this surgery speaking to a GP on the phone.

SPB thanks, I'll get on that now.

It's just such a pain. I don't want to take up doctor time, I know that they can get over stretched with minor things, but my request for a repeat prescription just gets bounced back and I have to see the doctor.

weegiemum Fri 15-Mar-13 08:59:28

I'm married to a GP. Did you know they're officially not an emergency service. Receptionist shouldn't triage. Phone back and ask for the on-call GP or failing that, the practice manager. Complain!!

I often get asked if it's somethin the nurse practitioner can deal with (well I did until they lost the NP sad) and don't mind that. But the default should be doctor.

Naysa Fri 15-Mar-13 09:02:58

I'm not slating receptionists either. Just the practices at this surgery.

She gets me every time with it.

This is the only thing I ever see the doctor for. I go in, tell them that it's run out and they write me a prescription. I'm in there for >3 minutes every three months.

I don't understand how she can decide whether it is urgent as I'm presuming she doesn't have any medical training.

VBisme Fri 15-Mar-13 09:03:00

I always answer the question "what's wrong with you", with "I don't know, I'm not a dr". It's such a stupid question...

I remember NHS Direct doing a pompous "THINK before you ring us...is it an emergency" thing a couple of years ago. This, the service that was launched as an alternative to the 999 EMERGENCY number, and one of its suggested services was "need to know what vaccinations you need for your holiday?".
Really pissing me off.

Sorry OP. Will take my fury elsewhere. I really really hope you get sorted. The people who work in the NHS are atill great but IMO the NHS is being eaten from the top down.

Naysa Fri 15-Mar-13 09:05:08

VBisme I go to the doctors so little that I forget that three months ago she did it and she gets me with it the next time.

good luck

Sirzy Fri 15-Mar-13 09:06:44

Thats not on and I would also be fighting for them to put it onto repeat as its a waste of everyones time otherwise.

I don't understand what GPs gain from refusing to put regular drugs onto repeat. I have had the same argument with our practice when they have refused to put inhalers on repeat for DS

Naysa Fri 15-Mar-13 09:07:21

SPB it's fine. I'd be furious too but there is a family planning clinic in my town and I'm going to ring them and see if they prescribe the pill I need. If not I'm screwed. If they don't have it there is going to be untold fury.

Y won't they take out ur implant? sad they should respect ur choice

I think NHS direct do that because their default response to everything is 'go to A&E'. It really is a pointless waste of money. You'd've been better proceeding straight to A&E.

Doctors always seem to be asking me what I think the problem is. My rheumatologist asked me what I was thinking it was the first time I saw her. I answered that I didn't know, which is why I needed to see her, and then she diagnosed something I'd never heard of. My GP always asks too. I suspect it might be because they're trying to find out if you've consulted dr google to diagnose something really hyperbolic.

maddening Fri 15-Mar-13 09:11:47

Also filling a pad an hour is often seen as urgent.

Call out of hours after your gp closes - they might take it more seriously - that level of blood loss is not to be ignored as far as I have been informed in the past.

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