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?

could the family planning clinic get the implant removed for you?

Sirzy Fri 15-Mar-13 09:13:31

I think its right for doctors to ask the patient (or their relative) what the problem is. Generally they are the ones who know their condition better than anyone else even if they don't know the medical side of things.

DS is asthmatic and I get pissed off because the GP doesn't listen to me when I tell him whats wrong. He was in A and E a few days ago and the doctor asked me how I felt he was now (this was after drugs), if I felt he had improved enough etc etc because I know how he normally is and what is ill for him.

Au I actually don't mind that. They're treating you as an intelligent person and it's your condition. For long term conditions there is an attitude that the person who lives with it day in, day out has something to add to the 'expert' knowledge. Obv when I had meningitis I was really pleased my doctor said erm no this looks serious and took charge! So it depends on the situation. But I've noticed a shift towards that in the last few years (what do you suspect it is? These are the treatment options, what would you like to try?") And think it is a good thing

iwantanafternoonnap Fri 15-Mar-13 09:14:55

Ring up and ask for a telephone appointment as you want a repeat prescription of the pill. I wouldn't go to A and E as you will just get sent away as A and E does not prescribe the pill and you'd be sent straight back to your GP. Only the triage nurse would call your GP and make them see you that day we we do in my A and E anyway.

maddening Fri 15-Mar-13 09:16:40

Oh and one thing even a nurse wouldn't see you for is abdominal pain - if there is more than one receptionist ring back and state you have abdominal pain (not lying ;)) and need to see a dr.

MidniteScribbler Fri 15-Mar-13 09:17:28

I thought the whole purpose of GPs were for non emergency purposes. If people only went in an emergency, no one would ever get seen. Next time, ask her where she completed her medical training.

Wowserz129 Fri 15-Mar-13 09:17:47

Arbitrary it is part of a medical receptionists job to ask and prioritise patients needs. They are well within their right to ask and it is 100% in their job role.

It sounds like to me that she only had emergency appointments left and didn't assess yours as an emergency. I wouldn't have assessed it as an emergency either.

Just go on Monday to the clinic

SuckingDiesel Fri 15-Mar-13 09:18:40

Naysa, what pill do you need?

SuckingDiesel Fri 15-Mar-13 09:19:54

Oh, and it's utterly ridiculous that the receptionist is deciding who is deserving of appointments. That's a law suit waiting to happen. I wonder if the GP's know what she's doing?

X post sirzy

BigPigLittlePig Fri 15-Mar-13 09:23:38

If it is purely the pill tthat you need, today, then the pharmacy where you usually collect the tablets from should be able to "loan" you some - they then deduct the tablets loaned (eg. one strip) from the rest of the prescription.

In future, say to the receptionist that is it a "personal" matter - that usually shuts them up.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 15-Mar-13 09:25:31

SuckingDiesel- it happens at our doctor's as well, and I doubt it's the same one as the OPs.

My cousin's wife is a receptionist and she has to do it (she has told me they are literally told by the GPs to fend off as many patients as possible shock)

How the hell can a clerical worker possibly be in a position to prioritise medical cases. Disgraceful.

How can a receptionist prioritise patients needs without medical training with which to make that judgement?

I don't actually have a problem with my doctors asking me what I think the problem is. It is presumably helpful to find out what i think is wrong. I just find it slightly odd when the expectation seems to be that I'm about to diagnose myself. I have to admit that I really don't know what it could be (and then i feel like i've somehow let them down). The registrar I saw last time at rheumatology seemed to think I actually did work in a medical field (I'm an academic in a field that is not at all like medicine) and seemed slightly disappointed when it turned out that I do not in fact know my areas from my elbow.

Arse from elbow.

Naysa Fri 15-Mar-13 09:30:36

The pill I need is Marvelon. I've tried a month of Cerazette(sp?) and that didn't touch it.

I've had a look at the Practice website and they do do phone consultations so I'll see if I can get that.

I just don't think it's acceptable that they had an appointment, gave it to me, then deemed me not ill enough to have it. Knowing my luck now one will want that appointment and it will go empty for the whole day.

Thanks for the advice and sharing my outrage everyone.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 15-Mar-13 09:32:15

YANBU to expect to be able to see a doctor when you need to.

BUT - this sounds like it is an ongoing problem, so why aren't you more on top of things and making sure you don't run out of medication?

Our surgery has a great system where you can ring and request a phone call in the morning. The GP who is doing the emergency surgery then rings you and discusses the problem - sometimes they just give advice, other times they will tell you to come down to the surgery. It works really well.

It sounds like you actually do need an appointment because you are having a problem with painful, heavy periods that is not currently being treated adequately. That's exactly the sort of thing you're supposed to see your GP about.

This appointment system that many surgeries seem to have (going by what's on MN) is farcical. Phoning for an appt on the day is stupid.

I get that maybe surgeries are trying to reduce missed appts, but many people want a non-urgent appt booked iin advance to help them plan things themselves.

I used to have the depo contraceptive injection and I was always able to book the next appt as I left after each injection. Simple, no faffing, and a date on the calendar to remind me with no scrabbling for any available appt when time came to have next jab.

Our surgey will book any appt in advance. It's only the case to ring up in the morning if you have an urgent need to see someone that day.

SuckingDiesel Fri 15-Mar-13 09:35:13

Shame. I have a few unopened packs of Cerazette here as I stopped taking it.

Hope you can at least get a phone consultation. Our GP does this and is usually a quick and simple for straightforward problems. This thread makes me appreciate the receptionists at our GP's as they are usually helpful and leave it to the patient to decide if they need to see the doctor same day or not.

Smartiepants79 Fri 15-Mar-13 09:35:14

Just thought I'd say that many 'regular' medications still have side effects so they are not on repeat as it is necessary to be checked by a doctor to make sure you are not reacting to them.
If I remember rightly you have to have regular blood pressure checks for the pill.
It is very annoying but in place for a good reason.
That said, doctors receptionists ( and we have lovely ones) should not be deciding if you see a doctor or not.

OTTMummA Fri 15-Mar-13 09:36:16

My gp tried to fob me off about my implant and wouldn't take it out until I threatened to cut it out myself.
They can not refuse to take it out op, it is unbelievable to me that gps do this or think it is ok to do.
Yanbu either, my FIL has muscular dystrophy and was told by a retired gp friend that if he was ever refused an appt he should say he has had chest pains/abdominal pain.

Alibaba It sound like OP is having trouble getting the doctors to take her problem seriously. I think OP also mentioned that she isn't sure if her surgery does phone consultations. I have heard of one or two that don't, so may not be an option for her.

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 15-Mar-13 09:37:54

FryOne- it's so that their statistics can say "everyone gets an appointment on the day they want one".

Our doctor's has no booked in advance system at all now, which is mad.

And don't get me started on the 30 second weekly window when you are allowed to go in and ask for a repeat prescription.

lyndie Fri 15-Mar-13 09:40:36

Why did you run out of your pill? Sounds like you could have predicted when you needed it for.

Phone back or go down there and explain what you need - could be sorted out easily over the phone.

If you want your implant out go back to whoever put it in, they should remove it for you.

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