To understand why people turn up at A&E or call ambulances

(117 Posts)
Bunraku Mon 16-Sep-13 12:50:06

Rather than going to their gp?

My son was taken to hospital last night after NHS direct advised an ambulance should be called as his temp was reaching 42 and his breathing was rapid.

He was diagnosed with pneumonia and given antibiotics on discharge but this morning he seemed zoned out, weak and couldn't stop coughing and vomiting so the medication won't stay down and nor will any fluid.

I asked my gp surgery for an emergency appointment but as I moved a few days ago the receptionist refused to even converse with me. She just said "use your own catchment, ok? Bye."

The gp in my new catchment wanted me to "pop down" to fill in forms and provide ID ect and wait for them to file it and accept us as registered, to which she added it was unlikely anyone would be available anyway as they were busy.

My son fell asleep while I was calling around and he really does need some rest as he has been up all night coughing and vomiting so I am keeping a close eye on him. The second I sense anything wrong I will be presenting myself at A&E again but I'm so angry that my gp would just refuse us when we have just moved and have not had time to sort these things out yet.

OHforDUCKScake Mon 16-Sep-13 13:28:32

Hea tiny, and he hasnt got meds in him.

Take him to A and E.

What can the GP do?

If he cant keep the meds down, likely he needs IV antibiotics. Which e GP cant do.

Wrap him up and take him in ASAP.

soverylucky Mon 16-Sep-13 13:28:58

Take him to a and e. In fact phone gp and say if you don't get an appointment then that is what you are going to do. DD was once ill and the receptionist refused an emergency appointment. I turned up anyway and plonked myself in the waiting room. When the gp came out of her room and saw me she announced to the whole room that she didn't know who was next but she was going to see the baby next. No-body minded at all and were genuinely concerned about dd who had a chest infection that was very, very bad. Her temp was through the roof etc. Thank god the gp had common sense and not the receptionist.

londonrach Mon 16-Sep-13 13:29:27

Sounds like he is a very ill little boy. Please dont wait for your husband. Call 999 and get him in and on to a iv to get some liquid into him. I hope he recovers quick. Complain re gp when he is better. Sending you hugs x

Sirzy Mon 16-Sep-13 13:39:38

To be fair there is very little a GP could do in that situation.

Take him to a and e now so they can monitor him. Give him fluids little and often - syringing works well.

DS gets pneumonia a lot and we always go straight to a and e because the GP doesn't take it seriously.

ReallyTired Mon 16-Sep-13 13:58:19

I'm sorry to hear that your little boy is so ill. It sounds like he really needs A and E.

SeaSickSal Mon 16-Sep-13 14:02:16

Did you explain to them exactly how sick he is? Have you asked if you can have a call back from an actual doctor rather than the receptionist?

Regardless, if you are worried I would take him back to A & E. The way you word this is like you think it's not an appropriate thing to take him to A & E for but I would say it was completely appropriate.

I fell ill with gastroenteritis the day after I moved house, and had a similar experience in that my old GP wouldn't treat me and new ones were too busy to register me and see me quickly. I ended up in hospital, severely dehydrated, after 3 days of waiting for an appointment and not even keeping water down. I just felt like a complete inconvenience!

Wow. That's crap. We've recently moved and went to get the forms to register at the closest doctors surgery. The receptionist was lovely and explained everything to us and made a special point of saying that if ds was ill before we got the forms back then they would be able to see him as he's a child. What sort of people will refuse to see a very sick child?
I really hope he is better soon op.

holidaysarenice Mon 16-Sep-13 14:21:43

Yes but you are an A and E case anyway. The GP would likely have sent you anyway.

What gets me is the patients who've had shoulder pain for 6 weeks, no change in it, no I haven't taken paracetamol or rested, but yet I've come to A and E.

hiddenhome Mon 16-Sep-13 14:24:20

You're actually better off seeing a vet than going to see a GP, so I can understand why people end up at A&E.

stuckonsmallrock Mon 16-Sep-13 14:27:50

My DD had pneumonia that was missed 3 times by the GP, we ended up in A&E and she was on childrens ward for days. Take your boy back to A&E and don't waste your time with a hopeless GP

VestaCurry Mon 16-Sep-13 14:31:56

I'm also really surprised he was discharged so fast! Awful and agree with going to A&E now, or I would be inclined to call an ambulance.

FrenchRuby Mon 16-Sep-13 14:37:14

GPs are useless. My GP told me ds had tonsilitis (after just looking at his throat for 2 seconds)..... he ended up in hospital that night being treated for meningitis, he was in hospital for over a week.

eurochick Mon 16-Sep-13 14:40:35

I think this does sound like a case for A&E anyway, but once your son is better, you should complain about that receptionist.

MrsOakenshield Mon 16-Sep-13 14:40:50

I would certainly take him back to A&E.

We've been to A&E rather too much, mainly because major things seem to happen at the weekend and it's the only place to go!

Misspixietrix Mon 16-Sep-13 14:41:13

What Birdsgottofly said. As someone who's Dd has unstable asthma I've got quite a reputation for being Insistent! grin as her SATS can drop so suddenly. I agree with other Posters I would take him back to A & E to be honest. How old is he? Do they usually send home with pneumonia. Only asking because a friends Ds was recently in hospital over a week with pneumonia. Not trying to scare you OP but Mum always knows best. Trust your instincts and Hope Ds is feeling better soon. Would be talking to thé Practice Manager to about this If I were you.

Misspixietrix Mon 16-Sep-13 14:42:08

FrenchRuby shock

Andro Mon 16-Sep-13 14:43:34

I'm hoping OP's lack of reply means she's already taken her DS to A&E.

MrsDeVere Mon 16-Sep-13 14:45:04

I hope you have taken him to A&E now OP.
He is so little, things take hold very quickly.
The service you have had is awful

Don't feel guilty about taking him in. If I were you I would.

I hope he is better soon.

pigletmania Mon 16-Sep-13 14:45:08

Hi op thoughts and hugs with you, just don't bother with GP now, A&E now!!! He needs to go to hospital just don't take any chances

dontyouknow Mon 16-Sep-13 15:07:07

We moved house when I was 8 months pregnant. That same day I was at the nearest GP registering. I asked for a midwife appt and was told they were all booked up for 5 weeks - I said that was after my due date and surely I should have a few appts in the last month. I got told again they were all booked up. I had to kick up quite a fuss to see anyone before the baby was born.

I had even tried to sort it out before we moved but was told there was nothing they could do until we had actually moved.....

I really didn't understand it as after that they were generally pretty helpful and good at booking appts if you needed one at short notice. Hopefully yours will get better too.

At A&E I would certainly tell them why you couldn't go to your GP.

poppydoppy Mon 16-Sep-13 15:32:43

There should be a separate section for non life threatening conditions next to A&E. When I went to A&E a while back it was full of time wasters one woman has brought her baby in because it hadn't burped all day, the baby wasn't even crying !!

Musicaltheatremum Mon 16-Sep-13 15:49:56

This makes me cross. The OP's child needs medical attention and I hope she has got it. Her previous GP has no obligation to provide treatment once they are outside the area but I think a quick phone call from the GP with advice even if just to say go to A&E would should not be beyond the realms of common sense by the GP. the GP has no duty to visit if the patient is out with their practice area and this is logical especially in a big city where if someone has moved some way away it takes ages to get there therefore taking the GP away from other patients.

Re the new GP they are under an obligation to provide medical services to you if you are in their practice area. You could be visiting from the other end of the country but they have an obligation to provide you with the same service as their registered patients in an urgent situation as this was. Receptionists should not be making these decisions. If someone feels it is urgent details should be taken and a medically qualified person should speak to them there is no need to be fully registered for this. Registering as a temporary resident is the way to deal with this.

We get patients who have tried several GPs in our area who say their lists are full or they have no appointments and they are laying themselves open to complaints. And quite rightly so.

Hope everything is ok OP

Mumoftwoyoungkids Mon 16-Sep-13 15:57:18

Our GP practice is wonderful!

A few months ago I found a few (about 6) spots of non-blanching rash on dd. she was completely healthy with no signs of illness other than that.

Phoned the GP at 10:15, saw the doctor at 10:55, was driving into the hospital at 11:35 having been reassured by the dr that he was 99% certain that it was nothing but he didn't take chances with meningitis.

The senior partner of the GP practice usually does the emergency appointments and she always checks that we were able to get an appointment easily if I go in with the kids. I think she has a rule that all children are seen (even if it sounds like nothing) and as it is her that will miss her lunch break if she ends up with 157 appointments that is exactly what happens. I love her.

Secretswitch Mon 16-Sep-13 16:04:38

Bunraku (love your name btw!)
I read your thread last night and felt concern for your little boy. Please do take him back to A&E. I am also shocked he was discharged so soon. I will be thinking about you and praying for a rapid recovery. Don't forget to take care of yourself as well. Take some water and snacks with you.

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