to expect to be able to find a doctor to see a child, in the uk, closer than 15 miles and less than a 4 hour wait?

(291 Posts)
SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 10:35:42

Shes actually not ill as such but does have spreading infected skin rash. (but imagine if she was ill?)

And 15 miles and 4 hours wait away isn't a Doctor but a triage nurse. I think it needs more than a nurse prescriber considering the fucidin isn't working and she can't take anything orally. But not ill enough to endure a 4 hour wait.

The NHS is in trouble isn't it.

wonkylegs Sat 06-Oct-12 10:40:21

Where are you? Because that certainly isn't the case here.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 10:42:09


Local minor injuries was closed 5 years ago. Now if you need medical help it is 15 miles away.

No doctors at the weekend.

4 hour wait.


hopenglory Sat 06-Oct-12 10:44:18

I guess if she was properly ill it wouldn't be a 4 hour wait?

It's different systems in different parts of the country. I can't fault our OOH system down here having had recent experience of it

RillaBlythe Sat 06-Oct-12 10:45:35

So she's not actually ill but you expect a full medical team when you click your fingers?

Whitecherry Sat 06-Oct-12 10:45:49

It's not like that here either!

Are you rural? Where did you expect/hope to be sent to?

BlueyDragon Sat 06-Oct-12 10:45:54

Not the case here either, in Surrey. But I do think you are being a bit unreasonable - your child isn't ill enough to be an emergency case as you say they're not sick enough to wait 4 hours. It's the weekend and the level of cover is aimed at emergencies. Have you tried the pharmacist or NHS Direct?

Jinsei Sat 06-Oct-12 10:46:58

Not the case here, thankfully. We have a walk-in centre in town, about two miles away from our house. You get seen by the triage nurse immediately and then have to wait if it's less urgent than the other patients who need to be seen. I've also called the out-of-hours number before, and have always been phoned back quite quickly.

Is it because you've said that your dc isn't ill, I wonder, so they haven't prioritised her case?

knackeredmother Sat 06-Oct-12 10:49:18

Well it is the case where I am in the midlands, I sympathise OP. I hope she gets better soon.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 10:50:24

Not outraged for her. Shes fine to wait. I phoned for advice and its a 4 hour wait for triage.
Its outrageous that if a child was ill they'd have to wait. After driving 15 miles. And still not see a dr.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 10:52:46

What do people who have to work do?

There is a gap between emergency, really ill, need to be seen now cases. And ones that can wait.

OldGreyWiffleTest Sat 06-Oct-12 10:52:47

It's the same here in Devon. Nearest small hospital (no A&E, no x-ray) 8 miles. Nearest main hospital 20 miles.

Tuttutitlookslikerain Sat 06-Oct-12 10:54:43

It's not like that here and we live in the arse end of no where.

I guess if your child actually was ill, she wouldn't have to wait 4 hours!

Whitecherry Sat 06-Oct-12 10:55:45

What do you think should happen then?

But if a child WAS ill they'd surely be seen more quickly. It's because your child isn't ill that she would have to wait. No? Did I misunderstand?

TidyGOLDDancer Sat 06-Oct-12 10:57:40

Not the case here either. In an emergency the care is pretty good.

As you say, it's not an emergency in this case. And I'm sure it would be different if your DD was ill. There are other options then.

ivykaty44 Sat 06-Oct-12 10:58:58

I am in the midlands and there is a walk in center 10 miles away, there is a doctor out of hours half a mile away and a&e half a mile away. I am situated in a town though so maybe different if located in the country side.

Aethelfleda Sat 06-Oct-12 10:59:05

<sticks head up over parapet>

The NHs has been trying to make ends meet for years due to a funding deficit (medical needs increasing, population increasing, medical costs increasing, taxation income can't keep up).

For over a decade one of the major ways they have saved money is by substituting doctors with "not-doctors-but-almost" practitioners. I'm not going to imply these chaps aren't competent, they get training and have defined roles (nurse practitioners, paramedics, prescrbing pharmacists). The point is they are cheaper than fully qualified doctors, so using them reduces the number of doctors the health authority has to employ. It's a way of keeping the system going. The down side is yes, it is harder to see a doctor in some circumstances. The only way to change this system is for people to object to it in a way that results in change.

So fair do's OP, but it's the system that has altered due to politics and health authority decisions over decades. dr Finlay is I'm afraid a thing of the past.

<hides again>

BoffinMum Sat 06-Oct-12 11:01:03

Want Dr Finlay!
Miss Dr Finlay!
Hate the weekend heathcare hiatus!

BoffinMum Sat 06-Oct-12 11:03:14

Wonder why pharmacies can't provide some sort of service where doctors do remote online consultations from a central point, backed up by pharmacists doing some of the more routine investigations? With communication between the two regarding upgrading of prescriptions and so on?

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 11:03:19

The wait is 4 hours. Whether ill or not. I suppose if said child was puking or something they might get bumped up the queue maybe.

I spoke to a receptionist who didn't take details. Just said 'There is currently a 4 hour wait'.

What do I think should happen?

I think there should be no difference to GP cover at weekends. People don't only get ill monday to friday. There are illnesses that need to be seen sooner than a week next thursday but not emergencies that need to go to A&E.

And people should be able to get treatment locally. Not 15 miles away.

dikkertjedap Sat 06-Oct-12 11:05:00

Same where I am. No OOH doctors as such near where we are. They are all based in the nearest hospital which is a 40 minute drive away. There are often long waits to get an appointment and A&E might actually be quicker (plus better doctors IMO). Our OOH doctors are drafted in from abroad and are quite hit and miss.

NUFC69 Sat 06-Oct-12 11:05:01

It is not like that here, either, and I live ten miles away from the nearest hospital. There is a pediatric a & e there, too. My son and his wife recently took their three month old baby there and I am sure she was seen fairly quickly.

Merinda Sat 06-Oct-12 11:05:25

Nobody should be made four hours! It is amazing that some of you suggest that it may be a normal thing for non-urgent cases. It is an absolute shame.

Whitecherry Sat 06-Oct-12 11:06:04

15 miles is really not that far!

Whitecherry Sat 06-Oct-12 11:07:25

The '4 hour wait' is maybe an estimation? Don't they ALL say this?

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 11:08:00

And don't get me started about the douth west pay cartel.

Did you know they are threatening to cut nurse and midwife pay by 10%, stop unsocial hours payments and cut holiday allowances?

And what happened to the extra 5000 midwifes the government promised?

More people signed the Save The Badger petition than the Please Give Us More Midwives petition.

TidyGOLDDancer Sat 06-Oct-12 11:08:19

15 miles I appreciate is a problem. And it is quite far if you don't drive. Do you drive, OP?

Four hours I don't think is a problem though. This isn't an emergency so I don't see what the issue is with that.

ihearsounds Sat 06-Oct-12 11:10:29

Local minor injuries, regardless of the day etc you are always told 4 hour wait. You arrive, book in and then seen based on need. So if you aren't that ill chances are you are there for the 4 hours. If ill seen quicker.. No different that going to a&e. There's a board up letting you know there's a 4 hour or whatever time wait, but realistically if your bleeding to death, puking etc you will be seen a lot quicker.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 11:11:03

15 miles and 4 hours is a long time if you are ill.

I know there isn't a bottomless pot of gold but what on earth is going to happen?

insancerre Sat 06-Oct-12 11:13:55

I doubt it will be 4 hours to see the triage nurse.
So what are you doing on here then? Why aren't you driving here the 15 miles to get treated? confused

Jenstar21 Sat 06-Oct-12 11:15:05

15 miles isn't that far for OOH/hospital services. We live in a large town, and our A&E was closed earlier this year. It's now 12 miles in one direction and 17 in the other to the nearest A&E or OOH. I had to go to A&E (for me, not a child) two weekends ago. The advertised waiting time was 3 hours, but I was taken within 20 minutes, as I was in a lot of pain. Every child who came in was triaged almost immediately, so I'm surprised a child would have to wait so long to be seen where you are. It's not great, but it's way better healthcare than many other places I've lived, and I have to say my care was excellent, and the biggest complaint I had was that the woman in the bed next to me was a terrible snorer!

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 11:15:23

Because she isn't bad enough for that. She can wait.

If she were actually ill. Or if I was. Or anyone else was it is an outrageous system.

insancerre Sat 06-Oct-12 11:18:59

Have you actually used the system though? Because most people seem to be telling you that it works.
I took dd to the local walk in centre on a saturday- she had tonsillitis. We were there and back (15 min journey), with medicines in about an hour and a half.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 11:20:06

I have for me. And yes. A 3 or 4 hour wait in agony is not nice.

procrastinor Sat 06-Oct-12 11:20:38

If the child is sick they will be seen sooner. All triage nurses stick their heads out of the door and eyeball the patients waiting - anyone sick gets triaged earlier. The receptionists are clued up too - they will haul ass if they see a sick child. The reason why they tell people that there is a four hour wait is 1) to let patients know so that they don't expect to be seen the minute they walk in (and if they get seen at say three hours they're happy campers because it's before 4 hrs); and 2) to discourage the inappropriate use of ooh services. So people who could wait to see their regular GPs are put off by the wait and wont go.

The NHS is struggling to meet the increased demands of the patient population - both realistic (better treatments and investigations now available for a whole host of conditions) and unrealistic (I've stubbed my toe and demand to see a doctor, I've had a bad back for months but want it cured at 3am on a Saturday night etc.).

They aren't morons in the ooh centre they do realise who needs seeing and the very very ill are a short free (at the point of delivery) ambulance trip away from the hospital.

higgle Sat 06-Oct-12 11:25:21

Emergency systems are shambolic in the South West. My 83 year old m-i-l was found on the floor following a fall with head injuries and a painful shoulder on Thursday at 6.15pm, she also had mental health problems. The ambulance did not turn up until 3.15am the following day, as out of hours and ambulance service both denied responsibility for her treatment initially and she keep getting put back down the lists.

TidyGOLDDancer Sat 06-Oct-12 11:35:03

Higgle that's awful. sad I hope your MIL is okay now.

Thankfully, my experience in the SW is radically different to that, so please be assured that's not happening all over.

cbeebiesatemybrain Sat 06-Oct-12 11:38:41

That's terrible! What happens to people who don't drive and cant afford taxi or bus fare?

Softlysoftly Sat 06-Oct-12 11:45:44

SIL covers a lot of OOH (GP) the majority of her cases could and should have waited, such as the lovely lady who was brought in by transport ambulance with an insect bite she was worried may get infected so wanted antibiotics NOW. When refused she waited until shift change and called out the transport ambulance again.

Perhaps if people didn't abuse the service waits for genuine cases would be shorter.

Also "*what do people that work do*" they take time off to go to their regular gps, they shouldn't be using OOHs for their own convenience.

eileenf Sat 06-Oct-12 11:46:45


Did you phone your GP? I thought they had to provide an out of hours cover and where we live (also South West) there is a GP OOH cover, albeit 10 miles away. However they make you an appointment so no waiting.

Or is the info you have got from an A&E dept?

Also, couldn't you go the local pharmacy or is it something that needs prescription drugs.

WilsonFrickett Sat 06-Oct-12 11:47:36

Not my experience either. We have a minor injury walk-in clinic which is fantastic and I've never waited more than half an hour to be seen (this is me, not DS. Thankfully he's not inherited my clumsy gene). For any OOH treatment such as you describe - DS with a temp, me with a rare migraine side effect that I didn't recognise as such - we were given a specific appointment time, usually around 2 hours later and were seen right away.

eileenf Sat 06-Oct-12 11:48:05

Think you said you're in Wiltshire. Have you tried the link below.

freetoanyhome Sat 06-Oct-12 11:49:05

15 miles is a long way if you dont drive. Its just as bad in town though. We werent sure if my daughter was ill - coughing, not herself etc so walked 3 miles in pouring rain to the OOH. He diagnosed pneumonia after a 3 hour wait. Ambulance ride to the A&E at the children's hospital in town then a 4 hour wait on oxygen with a monitor in a crowded waiting room full of people puking. She had double pneumonia and ended up in ICU then on the ward for weeks. And yes, she caught Noro from the pukers.
Maybe with decent and fast access she wouldnt have become so ill and cost so much in the extended stay?

Hopeforever Sat 06-Oct-12 11:52:07

A&E 9pm Friday night DD saw the triage nurse within 10 minutes, x ray straight after.

So it can be done, but I've been told our Local NHS is bankrupt sad

Tuttutitlookslikerain Sat 06-Oct-12 12:03:54

The thing is though, people use emergency care when they could wait for their GP. You see on here all the time.

Some one will post, my child has D&V and people will shout A&E now.
Then, it'll be my child has a cough, should I got to A&E or the GP in the morning and everyone goes A&E.

When did it start that people took ill children to A&E? When mine were ill they either waited until morning or I called OOH. Also, people don't seem to realise that because people pitch up to A&E with non emergency issues that is why they are waiting for 4 or 5 hours and then start whinging about the waiting time!

GrimAndHumourless Sat 06-Oct-12 12:08:53

our OOHs is crap (SW also) and nearest A and E 30 miles away

not bemoaning cuntry life cos it is great on the whole, but access to stuff like hosp is pretty difficult

Whitecherry Sat 06-Oct-12 12:10:21

Those saying 15 miles is too far... Do you expect a hospital/A&E/surgery on every street corner?

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 12:12:05

No. But I do expect to see a GP locally. At weekends.

The rest of life carries on at weekends. Shops, pubs, work. Why not healthcare!

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 12:12:50

? Not !

GrimAndHumourless Sat 06-Oct-12 12:13:03

no but we are saying GPs could do late openings/weekends or something similar

Whitecherry Sat 06-Oct-12 12:14:23

So a surgery should open and staff come in?

I guess it's been suggested and disregarded, probably due to costs or something

Whitecherry Sat 06-Oct-12 12:15:18

Would help working people too if appointment system was offered over the weekend

GrimAndHumourless Sat 06-Oct-12 12:16:45

yes we understand all of that, it won't happen, for a start it's not fair on the staff who work all week brilliantly, money is an issue I'm sure

just a bit y'know, wistful, envious praps, of the bonuses of city life like walk-in centres

GrimAndHumourless Sat 06-Oct-12 12:18:37

yy to working population also having probs accessing healthcare.

Anyhoo, I'll take me pity party elsewhere, sorry to drag thread down

SundaeGirl Sat 06-Oct-12 12:21:23

YABU. completely unreasonable, first world kinda brattish.

GPs surgeries are staff by actual people. People who would like their weekends.

If your DD was in a great deal of pain or even just pretty sick an ambulance would come to your home and get her with blue flashing lights. If you chose to drive her to A&E she would only have to wait as long as the seriousness of her case warranted.

I think hospital ward consultants should/must be on a 24/7 rota - there's no weekend justification for them. But fungal toenails? They can wait til Monday. GPs definitely shouldn't have to be open weekend.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 06-Oct-12 12:37:36

I undertsand where you are coming from, but you are expecting too much. There just isn't the money in the system to provide the same GP cover as we have in the week at weekends. It would be a 'nice to have' rather than an essential. The NHS has far greater priorities tbh.

We have to go to the hospital to see the OOH GP, luckily for us it's not too far away. I don't think 15 miles is too far to travel, you are making it sound like an hours journey.

Tuttutitlookslikerain Sat 06-Oct-12 12:39:35

Our surgery does actually open on a Saturday morning. And in the week starts at 8 and closes at 6.30.

I think that the vast majority of people can actually manage to get to the docotr's in the week. Surely if you are ill, or your child is ill, you make the time to go?

TinyDancingHoofer Sat 06-Oct-12 12:42:39

Having just been very seriously ill and treated amazingly by staff i understand why minor injuries and ailments have to wait. If your child was actually ill and it was an emergency but the doctors were busy treating a small skin complaint would be furious.

sashh Sat 06-Oct-12 12:44:37

Can't you take her to a pharmacy - they are good for things like a rash.

nurseneedshelp Sat 06-Oct-12 12:45:26

If you're daughter has already been prescribed fucidin then I pressume it's an ongoing problem therefore not an's something you're own GP can see! A+E, walk in centres and 101 aren't there for routine follow-up stuff or for second opinions when folk are unhappy with their GP......

LadyFlumpalot Sat 06-Oct-12 12:46:15

OP, are you anywhere near Shaftesbury? I'm on the edge of Wiltshire/North Dorset and I just took DS straight up to Shaftesbury Hospital when he developed a nasty allergy rash.

Didn't even bother phoning NHS direct.

suburbandream Sat 06-Oct-12 12:47:19

YABU, you say in your OP she's not actually ill, so of course if you go to the nurse you would not be a priority. If it was an emergency she would be seen much sooner. My own experiences of the NHs have all been positive although I know it's not always the case everywhere. Yesterday, DS was off school with a tummy ache and feeling sick which he'd had since the day before. When it got much worse and moved to the right side I was worried it was appendicitis and called the GP, they fitted him in within an hour. He is much improved now thank goodness. If it'd happened at the weekend there is an out of hours number and the local A & E is only about five miles away.

LadyFlumpalot Sat 06-Oct-12 12:47:23

Sorry, need to read more posts, didn't see that it was an ongoing thing...

Please disregard previous post.

OwedToAutumn Sat 06-Oct-12 12:51:38

If you ring my doctors surgery out of hours,you get a message to say if it's an emergency, dial 999. People in that category wouldn't wait 4 hours for the triage nurse!

If its not an absolute emergency, you can call the emergency doctor, but if you want to be seen, you have to drive to the hospital where they are situated. If you really can't wait, I don't think that's such a terrible thing. I agree that if you have no access to transport, this would be difficult. Lots of buses do go to our local hospitals, though, but we are not rural.

Otherwise there is A&E. I took DD2, yesterday. I was greeted by a triage nurse, who directed us to the emergency care area (staffed by nurses, for minor injuries etc). If they had not been able to help, we would've been sent to children's A&E.

There was a sign in A&E that waiting times were up to 4 hours. We were in and out within an hour and a half, for a non urgent situation. Half an hour of that was waiting for a numbing cream to work.

WorraLiberty Sat 06-Oct-12 12:53:46

YABU. completely unreasonable, first world kinda brattish

This ^^

If you were life threateningly ill, you'd bee seen immediately.

If you were just ill, you can wait 4 hours I'm sure.

I don't see what the problem is?

Pourquoimoi Sat 06-Oct-12 12:55:09

I haven't read the whole thread but OP I think YABU. The whole point is that if she was properly ill and needed more urgent attention, she would get it.

If you turned up and she was in any sort of danger then you'd be seen and sorted out immediately, despite them saying a 4h wait.

Even you said she's not ill enough to warrant a 4h wait, so by saying that you're saying she's not that ill and perfectly capable of waiting safely.

There are limited resources but our NHS is blinking fantastic compared to other countries. Think yourself lucky.

Purple2012 Sat 06-Oct-12 13:07:35

Yabu, the nhs can't have walk in centres everywhere because not everyone drives. She isnt ill, if she was you would be seen quicker or advised to go to a and e. All my experience of the nhs is if it's not an emergency they are slow, but if it is an emergency the service is fantastic.

If you had doctors open all weekend there would be less available during the week so wouldn't solve much. Most things can wait until doctors are open, if not there's nhs direct, ooh pharmacists, and a and e.

I'm lucky, in a day. I live in a town that has an ooh service, a minor injuries unit 20 minutes away.

But my 'local' a and e is 40 minutes away and is supposed to be more central. There have been an increase of roadside births.

I always go see my local pharmacist if I'm not sure and if my son is I'll and needs to see a doctor we have sit and wait appointments. I took him up there the other day with a chesty cough, the receptionist asked me if I felt it was an emergency, instead of saying 'yes' I explained that as a family we are prone to chest infections.

My a and e is slow, they took 4 hours to see my dad, but when they got round to him everything moved on pdq, especially after they discovered he had no red blood cells.

People who are not seriously ill should not use a and e as a weekend doctors.

ISingSoprano Sat 06-Oct-12 13:32:42

GPs do evenings and weekends. Most surgeries will offer 'extended hours' based on the findings from patient surveys. However, when the surgery is closed you have several options; call OOH where you will be triaged and offered advice over the telephone or asked to visit an OOH centre, or offered a home visit. If your condition is life threatening then you phone 999 or get yourself to A&E if that is appropriate.

YABVVVU to expect a child who is 'not unwell' to be seen in under four hours. Get real.

I think Sheelas point was that the OOH hadn't ascertained how her dd was before stating it was a four hour wait. It's probably the blanket statement that has caused the issue.

PandaNot Sat 06-Oct-12 13:44:41

YABU you said she's not I'll, if she was then she would be seen more quickly. Even if I phone our doctors at 8.30 when they open during the week when surgery is open I would expect to wait longer than four hours to see the GP or the nurse practitioner.

BatCave Sat 06-Oct-12 14:47:34

Sorry but YABU, the advice you have been given applies to YOUR situation, your non-emergency. I'm also in the south west. I work here and currently in hospital (community) being given help with breastfeeding with my 4 day old DS.I am astonished at the lengths people have gone to to help me - the maternity assistant who went home an hour late last night to help me through a bit of pain for example.

Like others have said - the NHS is stretched throgh lack of funding, added to that people timewasting acute services for non acute cases.

Lets praise the good of it, we are damn lucky with what we have got, yes it could be better but I'm sick of hearing how shite it is when there are people who dedicate themselves to it.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 15:02:08

Like I said up thread. Her pus and sore bits isn't the point. She can wait.

What I am outraged about is the non-service for anybody not ill enough for an emergency but too ill for self treatment or waiting a week to see a GP.

Yes the NHS is fabulous for emergencies. Generally though I think it is shit and doesn't work.

And I work for it. I know what it is like.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 15:03:57

And the advice wasn't specifically for my situation. It was bare fact for anybody looking fir a doctor on a saturday.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 15:05:30

If you get ill on a saturday what are you supposed to do?

BatCave Sat 06-Oct-12 15:08:41

I suspected you worked in the NHS funnily enough OP, I do too. Which is why i'm surprised at the blanket statement you make about a sick child not receiving medical attention for 4 hours. I just can't believe there isn't a human somewhere in your vicinity that wouldn't triage adequately.

They tell you 4 hours to put off timewasters like yourself potentially . If your child was properly sick and you were sat in an ED waiting room, you would be seen. Fact.

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 15:09:15

OOH services are always harder to access, less doctors to cover more people. Not helped by people using OOH when it could wait until Monday to go to the GP.

I have never had to wait to access medical treatment for DS but then when I take him it is a genuine emergency so we are seen straight away

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 15:10:22

And having worked nights for said glorious NHS all week, with no break, barely time to go to the loo, leaving late and knowing I haven't been good enough, wasting time trying to find essential equipment which isn't there, working my ass off, I honestly think that it is on the verge of vollapse. There has to be an alternative that works because the current system doesn't.

And that includes needing to get treatment on a saturday.

Snog Sat 06-Oct-12 15:11:51

OOH here In my city is 3 miles away and a usual 4 hour wait. You are however seen by a doctor.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 15:12:02

But its not an emergency. I know that.

But it is painful and could do with being treated sooner rather than later.

hazeyjane Sat 06-Oct-12 15:13:14

Well, in fact ds did need to see an ooh dr a while ago, and we were told similar - choice was an estimated 4 hour wait if we went to a+e (25 miles away), and nearest ooh service to see a gp was 18 miles away and only available appointment 3 hours time. We chose the ooh service, because the last time we went to a+e with him we had actually waited 6 hours, despite him having breathing difficulties, due to a cock up by the initial assessment being cocked up. After another hour, we realised he was a lot worse than we originally thought, and we ended up having to have an ambulance.

I know exactly what you mean about the awkward middle ground.

BatCave Sat 06-Oct-12 15:13:52

Surely it depends on the situation, the type of illness. Ie, chest pain - call an ambulance. Broke your leg - ditto.Acute abdo pain? Call OOH, if no success go to ED. A bit of D&V call NHS direct/OOH - if you have to wait for hours, its not going to harm. If you feel it might,go toED/call an ambulance. I don't really understand what's not to get. Either you're sick enough to require emergency treatment or you're not.

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 15:14:00

Our a and e has a sign up saying that the wait is currently 4 hours (or whatever it is at that time) doesn't mean they dont triage and see emergencies much quicker than that!

hazeyjane Sat 06-Oct-12 15:16:47

Sorry, crossposted Batcave, ds was an emergency when we were left waiting in a+e - low oxygen levels and with a complex medical history, but we were still left waiting for hours, we were then given wrong advice, and sent home. Only for him to be admitted to the children's ward the next day.

higgle Sat 06-Oct-12 15:30:29

My m-i-l who waited over 9 hours for an ambulance on Thursday night is now in hospital and will be for some time ( see post above). Reading through all the stuff above about waits I sometimes think GP services are one area of life where we are asked to suspend all our usual conceptions about what is and is not good customer service. I'm particularly impressed by the sort of service most vets offer, open til 7pmish, invitations to phone for advice, never much of a wait for an appointment or to be seen and very friendly service. Garages, libraries, shops, hairdressers all open to accommodate those who work. I've never quite understood why we are supposed to think it is OK to wait weeks for appointments, have to take time off work and quite often experience abrupt and unfriendly service in the health sector, plus a lengthy wait at a pre booked appointment.

It would be slightly better if GPs and theNHS in general would say ,"yes, we know it is crap but this is all we can afford" ( though a smile costs nothing)
but instead we have this strange attitude that 4 hours is not very long to have to wait. Having had one son who spent much of his childhood breaking his wrists ( until surgery sorted it out) I can say with some authority that 4 hours seems interminable, it disrupts your working day and costs your employer money and is just far too long.

VodkaKnockers Sat 06-Oct-12 15:36:51

I think the services depends on what part of the country you are in.

I'm in West of Scotland in an area served by 4 large Hospitals a&e hospitals, 2 minor injuries units and a dedicated childrens hospital as well as several OOH services whethers a friend of mine who stays roughly 30miles away the services is a bit more patchier.

TheAngelshavetheOod Sat 06-Oct-12 15:53:12

We are 15 miles from ooh drs/A&E. Lots of people are further away here.

flow4 Sat 06-Oct-12 16:13:39

When DS1 broke his arm - bone sticking out of wrist - it was 10 miles to the nearest A&E and then a 4 hour wait with nothing but paracetamol for pain relief.
And frankly, it was all those people who were "not really ill" who made his wait so long...
A girl with a 'spot' on her hairline and a GCSE the next morning...
A young woman who had cut her finger gardening (but no blood spurting)...
A mum who had brought her daughter with 'tummy ache'...
A mum with a toddler she was 'worried' about who was so energetic he kept bashing into my DS's broken arm sad ...
They were all sent home as soon as they had been seen. My son was sedated and admitted.
It all made me feel VERY unreasonable.

mantlepiece Sat 06-Oct-12 16:18:14

Read an item in the news recently, apparently Cherie Blair is investing in a company offering healthcare from Supermarkets!

You can get a flu jab for £7 at Asda at the moment and they will eventually be offering appointments with a GP.

She obviously saw a gap in the market!

hazeyjane Sat 06-Oct-12 16:32:17

Hmmm, I wonder if I could get ds flu jabbed at Asda then, he has to wait until December for the jab from the gp.

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 16:35:43

I think children have to be done via the GP

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 16:38:41

What is it that you do in the NHS OP? I can't imagine if you were clinical staff you would be saying these remarks because a) you'd know how unreasonable you were being if you were and b) you'd know if someone was genuinely ill on the weekend they would be seen much quicker than after 4 hours.

Stop wasting the NHS's time with this non-emergency. It is inappropriate usage of emergency services like this that bumps up waiting times. Well that and no money to employ more clinical staff.

hazeyjane Sat 06-Oct-12 16:42:08

oh darn, I didn't think I would be able to reallysmile. December just seems a long time away!

Thebitchdoctor, I thought the whole point of the op was that she didn't want to waste the time of the emergency services. And I'm sorry but we have had the misfortune of having to wait longer than 4 hours to get to see a dr with a sick child, so it does happen (I realise not all the time, but it really does happen)

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 16:51:09

She is wasting time by contacting OOH for something that can wait till she is seen by her own GP during the week. And I don't subscribe to this 'it takes 4 weeks for an appointment' rubbish either. I've worked in 4 GP practices now and every single one of them had different ways of seeing emergencies daily and all GP practices should be offering telephone consultations as well. My current one also offers online consults. And all GP surgeries are contracted to be open between 8-6.30 and many do extended hours for workers too.

If you live in rural areas, being a bit of a distance from healthcare during out of hours is something you have to accept. Mind you I live in a big city and my nearest A&E is 9 miles away, I don't have a problem with that at all!

ilovesooty Sat 06-Oct-12 17:20:16

I had an appointment to se my GP for an injured ankle at 5-30pm last Wednesday. At 6pm she sent me to the local injuries unit to have it Xrayed (I had to take a taxi as I couldn't drive). The wait is advertised as 4 hours but the whole process took about an hour and a half. I think the service is good and the OP is BU: her daughter wasn't an emergency and I don't see that the NHS can reasonably offer the same service at weekends as during the week. I think getting seen by an NHS dentist at any convenient time, even in an emergency, is far more difficult - and you have to pay for that.

Perhaps the OP would like schools to open on Saturdays too with a full complement of teachers in case she fancies sending her daughter in for some extra classes.

One of the reasons for the dire state of the nhs is because of people with unrealistic expectations.

Just sayin.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 17:33:33

Have I touched a nerve bitchdoctor?

Yes. I work clinically in the NHS and have done so for many years. This is how I know it simply does not work well. Chronic understaffing. Constant change for the sake of it. Disgusting wasteful practices.

I make my point once more.

My own issue is not an emergency which is why I won't be taking her to OOH.

My point is that if child was indeed sicker it would have to be seen and treated. And it is not unreasonable in 2012, in the UK, with healthcare free at the point of delivery, to expect to be available on a saturday.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 17:36:03

Weekend schools? Why not? Would sort out overcrowded classrooms.

Why should life stop on saturday and sunday? Theres no need.

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 17:37:13

Where are you finding the money to offer more at a weekend?

You can access treatment at the weekend. Your issue is the fact you have to wait

MangoLangoTango Sat 06-Oct-12 17:38:50

Spreading infected skin rash isn't an emergency, but neither can it wait for the Monday. It is generally something that needs treatment within a few hours to prevent it getting worse and leading to sepsis. There is a proliferation of nurse practitioners replacing doctors as a cost saving measure, the downside is they have a limited remit.

GP cover at the weekends is so centralised now because the government did not value the out of hours care being provided by individual GPs and claimed they could do it better for less money. The incredulous GPs handed back that responsibility and this is what we have now.

ilovesooty Sat 06-Oct-12 17:39:43

Weekend schools? Why not? Would sort out overcrowded classrooms

Imagine the fury from parents who'd have their weekend and family activities curtailed. Imagine the impact on school budgets.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 17:39:56

You can access 'emergency' treatment.

I don't know how to fund it. I just think the service should be there.

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 17:40:58

Anyone can access OOH, you could have but didn't want to wait. The service is there but people expect to have everything on their doorstep at that exact moment

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 17:41:21

But you'd get a couple of days off in the week. So plan activities for then. Same as I do.

ilovesooty Sat 06-Oct-12 17:42:09

I don't know how to fund it. I just think the service should be there

Hardly helpful to express an (IMO) unrealistic expectation with no idea about possible ways to fund it.

musicposy Sat 06-Oct-12 17:42:34

mantlepiece I think healthcare from supermarkets will be the way to go. I recently took my repeat prescription to Tescos, having managed to wrench it away from our stroppy and unhelpful GP dispensers after many years.

The pharmacist took me into her room and asked if I was happy with all my medication, did I have any worries etc etc. I felt so loved thanksgrin. This never happens at the doctors. It took me over 4 months to get a GP appointment for my medical review this time (yes, you read that correctly, 4 months ) and then, although they try their best they are so busy you are in and out in 30 seconds.

I agree something needs to change. I do think a lot of people might be willing to pay a small sum for better care and maybe this is the way to go - like the £7 Asda flu jabs.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 17:43:13

And 300 people up thread have said OOH is for emergencies. This isn't. Yes the 4 hour wait would annoy but if it was necessary i would. My theoretical pondering is about if you were actually ill a 4 hour wait would be unreasonable.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 17:44:14

Why is it unreasonable to want change but not know how?

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 06-Oct-12 17:44:28

I feel your pain. We used to live about 10 minutes drive (probably less) from the walk in centre in Milton Keynes, but because we lived just outside MK, they refused to see us. Instead we had to schlep to Daventry, which was about 30 miles away - yes, with a sick child.

ilovesooty Sat 06-Oct-12 17:44:50

But you'd get a couple of days off in the week. So plan activities for then

And how would you fund it then? Oh sorry: I forgot: you've no idea.

And I can just imagine how many complaints there'd be about school impacting on family life, about the problems of timetabling, about the difficulties of incorporating weekends into the curriculum.

MangoLangoTango Sat 06-Oct-12 17:47:44

OP it's pretty obvious if it was an life or limb threatening emergency then A&E would be appropriate, if it was something that you would ring a GP up to ask for an emergency appointment during the week then OOH at a weekend would be appropriate (such as your daughter's rash) anything else can wait for a routine appointment. I don't really understand what your issue with a 4 hour OOH wait is, seeing as anything needing attention sooner ought to be in A&E anyway. Yes, it's a bit inconvenient but for a national healthcare system free at the point of delivery, it's actually pretty good.

musicposy Sat 06-Oct-12 17:49:35

I think the trouble is also that the wait for non emergencies is so abysmal that people make out they have more than an emergency than they do, to buck the system.
Then the wait for non emergencies is even longer sad hence 4 months to see my GP. hmm

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 17:49:46

a and e is for emergencies. OOH is for things which aren't emergencies but can't wait until the GP is open.

I managed to get DS a GP appointment 20 minutes before they closed last night for his chest infection. If I hadn't been able to get that he would have ended up needing an OOH appointment because 48 hours without being seen wouldn't have been good but at that point it wasn't an emergency.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 17:52:51

I think its a bloody brilliant idea.

Abolish weekends.

Everyone has to work or school on any of the 7 days. If you want family time you plan your days off together. If you struggle to find childcare on certain days you plan for them to be in school that day.

Shops are open 7 days. You can shop on your day off whenever that is.

Book doctor or dentist appointments for any day.

Arrange your will or divorce on a sunday if thats when you and the solicitor are available.

No more price hiking of holidays because of term dates.

No more sunday evening back to school woes.

No more massive plumber call out fees because it is sunday.

Actually do away with weekend extra pay (going to happen anyway). If everyone has to work at the weekend why should anyone get paid extra?

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 17:54:52

And if demand for appointmemts is spread out more evenly then there won't be a 4 hour wait because it is sunday.

Problem solved.

musicposy Sat 06-Oct-12 17:58:56

I agree, actually. In an ideal world we would go back to everyone having Saturday and Sunday off, but that's the case for so few people now, it just becomes a massive PITA for those who don't.
DH works at an airport on a rolling shift. Weekends mean nothing - and he certainly doesn't get paid extra. The trains don't run properly on Sundays, we can't shop the same hours, the DCs always choose weekends to be ill.

I think it will head that way anyway. Not sure about the education system, however. But the current situation we have where a large chunk of the population work weekends but a large amount of services are unavailable seems outdated.

ilovesooty Sat 06-Oct-12 18:04:27

Everyone has to work or school on any of the 7 days. If you want family time you plan your days off together. If you struggle to find childcare on certain days you plan for them to be in school that day

What about the effect on families who simply can't plan their time like that? How will you feel if your child's teacher is on time off with his/her own family and your child is taught by someone else on a rota? And you still have no ideas about how it will be funded, by school budgets already under strain.

As a matter of fact I agree with some of your other points. I live alone and would be quite happy to work weekends and have days off in the week.

Tuttutitlookslikerain Sat 06-Oct-12 18:06:05

How on earth can you abolish weekendsconfused

What if we wanted our weekend Tuesday/Wednesday, but DS's A level English teacher wants hers Thursday/Friday? DS would miss half his lessons.

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 18:06:26

Those suggestions are so flawed they can't serious!

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 18:06:28

Nope you haven't touched a nerve OP at all, I just think YABVVVVVU!!!!

And I'm astonished you are clinical staff with your comments.

And your idea about abolishing weekends is ridiculous quite frankly. Completely unworkable.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 18:07:40

It would be funded by saving on OOH payments.

Teachers would jobshare providing 7 day cover.

If everyone worked every day then days off can be planned.

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 18:08:59

OOH requires a couple of GPs each weekend. Your plans would mean each surgery would realistically have to employ at least one more full time GP - not sure how you figure that would save money!

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 18:09:26

And how to schools plan the curriculum?

ilovesooty Sat 06-Oct-12 18:11:49

Teachers would jobshare providing 7 day cover

What about the increased cost for utilities on site? How would that work with delivering a complex curriculum in a large state comprehensive?

ilovesooty Sat 06-Oct-12 18:12:51

Snap, Sirzy grin

The OP really is talking utter unworkable tripe here.

The extra staff needed would cost billions - you really have thought this through, have you?

GhouliaYelps Sat 06-Oct-12 18:20:06

Skin infections are v serious actually.

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 18:26:06

Some are, some arent. Cellulitis = can be really serious Pityriasis versicolor = not so much.

Tuttutitlookslikerain Sat 06-Oct-12 18:26:12

Could you imagine the arguments in workplaces because Mrs X wants Mon/Tues off, but so does Mrs Y? They draw straws and Mrs Y gets it, so Mr X now has to go back and re negotiate for different days so he can spend time with his wife and family.

Also, it actually couldn't work in schools. They'd have to have seperate classes for the children according to the days of their weekends because otherwise their lessons would be repeated.

It just can't be done!

Vickibee Sat 06-Oct-12 18:28:14

Our go practice has 15 doctors I can't understand why a rota can't be operated at weekends for minor emergencies. They get paid enough and can have time off in lieu. Just one or two docs. On duty for a few hours

ISingSoprano Sat 06-Oct-12 18:30:58

Vickibee - many practices do in fact open at weekends. Ours is open on Saturday mornings.

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 18:39:57

Oh I was waiting for the 'they get paid enough' arguments. They (we) get paid enough for working full time during the week. Are you suggesting they (we) should work weekends for free occasionally? What if we applied that to other jobs? There would be an outcry!

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 18:41:00

obviously i haven't thought it through.

But I am musing.

Why should things cost more at weekends?

Why shouldn't life carry on as normal?

I think it is workable.

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 18:42:25

And time off in lieu during the week means weekday surgeries are down in numbers of clinical staff available so less appointments during the week.

If you want 24/7 full time GP services, the NHS would collapse. There just isn't enough money for that sort of thing!

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 18:42:30

I guess you haven't read any posts if you still think it is remotely workable?

Another point but a lot of youth organisations run events at weekends for young people. How would they fit into your weekend less world?

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 18:43:10

If everyone worked through werkends there would be no difference between tuesday and saturday so no need for extra pay. poor gps only getting paid 100k can't be expected to give up their golf on a sunday

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 18:44:49

Sirzy. They'd be held on a tuesday. And if yor DC had A level maths on friday obviously you'd book your 'weekend' for a fifferent day.

GhouliaYelps Sat 06-Oct-12 18:45:15

DD had what looked like a minor skin infection with pain, 1 hour later she had a tracking red line - cellulitis, and needed hospitalisation immediately. Thank God we had insurance they rushed us in so quickly.

ilovesooty Sat 06-Oct-12 18:46:25

Well, it wouldn't work in most schools, for reasons which have been explained to you.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 18:46:48

And TutTut. That is pretty much how life works already for those who work every day. You negotiate with your colleagues.

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 18:46:55

I get paid £100K? Really? checks bank account nope, not even close.

I don't object to working hard, I work damn hard and am paid a good wage for it (but much less than half that supposed £100k) But I will object if my one precious day off with my daughter and husband is taken away from me.

ilovesooty Sat 06-Oct-12 18:48:45

Sirzy. They'd be held on a tuesday. And if yor DC had A level maths on friday obviously you'd book your 'weekend' for a fifferent day

For heaven's sake. It would mean a whole load of people would have to have fixed days off for the entire school year. They might get no family time at all.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 18:49:28

I object to working 3 out of 4 weekends too. But its part of the job. Why should I have to and teachers not?

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 18:50:06

Sooty - some people might see that as a bonus.

ilovesooty Sat 06-Oct-12 18:51:10

Oh I see. It's just a bunch of sour grapes then.

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 18:51:29

Sheela because you CHOSE to work in a job that works weekends...that's why.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 18:52:32

Nope. Not sour grapes. Just musing. Why are some services 7 days per week and others not?

crashdoll Sat 06-Oct-12 18:53:46

If your child was seriously ill, she would be seen in less than 4 hours. She's not, so you have to wait. Welcome to life. Sometimes we wait for stuff!

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 18:54:29

But basically I think GP services should cover weekends. Locally.

featherbag Sat 06-Oct-12 18:54:54

A 4-hour wait for triage? OP, you've misunderstood. If there really was a 4-hour wait to see the triage nurse the Department of Health and all sorts would be involved! So speaks an A&E nurse getting ready to spend the night triaging (it's my turn).

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 18:55:11

Oh crashdoll do keep up.


crashdoll Sat 06-Oct-12 18:56:09

So, why are you still bloody whinging about it?

crashdoll Sat 06-Oct-12 18:57:04

I get what you're asking for but where is the money coming from? The NHS cannot afford for 24:7 GP services. As someone in the health care profession, how do you not know this?

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 18:58:56

It could if it stopped paying agency workers enormous amounts for working 'unsocial hours'. Or if the didn't insist on ridiculous wasteful administration exercises. Or stopped faffing about and admitted that free healthcare is simply not posdible.

featherbag Sat 06-Oct-12 19:03:17

Just out of curiosity OP, and I apologise if you've already mentioned this upthread, but what exactly is your clinical role in the NHS?

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 19:03:17

Ah, a NHS clinical worker who agrees with privatisation of the NHS! Well carry on feeling that way because you won't be working weekends if that happens as you won't have a job...or might have to become one of those agency workers yourself...

crashdoll Sat 06-Oct-12 19:03:57

I hear you on the ridiculous wasteful admin but there are other places it needs to go first before fully staffing surgeries on weekends. Incidentally, many surgeries run commuter clinics so maybe you need to find a new GP surgery.

But you aren't only asking for 7 days a week for emergency docs, you are asking for 7 days a week for everything.

It is absolute madness, would never work in a million years and cost billions to fund - not everyone gets paid unsocial hours pay - I don't and neither does DH; not paying unsocial hours would fund only a fraction. And the logistics in places like schools would be completely unworkable, especially for families with two or mo children.

procrastinor Sat 06-Oct-12 19:09:18

You must be on a windup, surely? There is a 24 hour medical service - just because it means that some people wait for 4 hrs doesn't mean it isn't working. Seriously you're coming across as quite foot stamping tantrumming "I want to see a doctor and I want to see them noooooow!"

You want a paid for at delivery service? Because that is the alternative and then those that can afford it can certainly see their doctor at a moments notice. What do you intend for the millions who couldn't afford it? I agree that there are large amounts of waste in the NHS but even if this was eliminated it certainly wouldn't fund the extra doctors/nurses/phlebotomists/radiologists/theatre staff/cleaners/porters/secretaries/HCAs etc etc that this 24 hr 7 day a week utopia would need that you think is possible/necessary.

People nowadays have such unrealistic expectations, both of what the medical profession can do and how healthy they should feel. People get ill with minor illnesses all the time and there's very little that can be done for that. But people expect to feel 100% healthy all the time and expect doctors/nurses to wave a magic wand immediately and sort it out. I'd have that seeing as you are in the NHS clinically you'd be more realistic both about what you can expect and what the NHS can feasibly be expected to do.

<Rant over>

crashdoll Sat 06-Oct-12 19:12:46

Even for paid at delivery services, you may still have to wait. So, even if you paid for private GP visit, you're likely to have to wait.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 06-Oct-12 19:17:06

I am astounded that someone who claims to work clinically within the NHS thinks that improving OOH GP services are at the top of the list of priorities.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sat 06-Oct-12 19:20:12

I have a disability that occasionally requires urgent hospital treatment. I also have two of my four DC's having SN's and picky with medicines. I used to live 2 buses and a 55 minute journey each way from both OOH doctors and A&E.

I moved. I now live a 5 minute bus journey from the Walk in centre and A&E.

Makes life much easier.

Bubblegum78 Sat 06-Oct-12 19:24:47

I have a question OP, if you (or anyone) is NOT that ill, then why CAN'T you wait?

In theory this is not a problem that sprung up an hour ago, this is a current problem that is not improving, so why didn't you make an appointment sometime in the week?

Why wait til the weekend to decide you need a GP for a problem you have had all week?

Doctors are VERY expensive, this is why they are not available on a weekend, they are on a high wage and if they do any form of overtime or unsociable hours they want (quite rightly) paying accordingly. That would cost an extortionate amount of money that the NHS cannot afford?

If we start employing GP's on a weekend it needs to be paid for so the government will put our taxes up AGAIN and people will moan about THAT?

Is it ok that you have to travel 15 miles for an A&E dept? No.

Would your child have to wait 4 hours if she was REALLY poorly? No.

It is priority order, whoever is the most ill gets treatment first. You can be sitting in A&E for 2 hours with a broken arm but if a man walks in at that point having a heart attack, he will get seen first.

We are lucky in Bedfordshire, we have something called BEDDOC, it is an out of hours service that will see you, you ring NHS Direct, they assess you over the phone if they think it necessary they either make you an appointment to come in within the hour and you see a Doctor or they decide if you need to go to A& or if you will be OK til Monday. We also have walk in clinics.

I thought everyone had this option, clearly it's a postcode lottery!

hazeyjane Sat 06-Oct-12 19:33:20

Sorry, I know I am repeating myself from earlier in the thread, but I have had to wait over 4 hour with a sick child, in the night, to be seen at both a+e and at the ooh service (I believe I am in the same area as Sheela na gig). It is obviously different in different areas, and I don't think it happens all the time but it has happened to us a couple of times.

Also, I have often found myself in the position of not knowing which service to use, am I the only person that ums and ahs as to whether we need to see an ooh dr or go to a+e or call an ambulance!?

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 19:46:11

Is it ok that you have to travel 15 miles for an A&E dept?

There are quite a few areas where people are likely to be more than 15 miles away from A and E. Not everyone lives in big towns or cities with everything on their doorstep. I live in a town but I am still 13 miles from my nearest adult A and E, thankfully Peads is only 6 miles away.

Also, I have often found myself in the position of not knowing which service to use, am I the only person that ums and ahs as to whether we need to see an ooh dr or go to a+e or call an ambulance!?

I think most people end up like that. I have only called an ambulance once for DS but have been told off on 2 other occasions for not doing so, but living close to the peads a and e makes the decision easier as I can chuck him in the car and be there in 10 minutes.

Bubblegum78 Sat 06-Oct-12 19:47:48

Hi Hazeyjane,

I think it must be an area thing, which is, frankly, out of order IMO?

I think some people worry about making a fuss and feeling embaressed, hence the oohing and aahing, but if you are worried always follow your instincts, you know your children better than anyone.

The rule of thumb is, if your child is screaming blue murder, they do require medical attention but maybe they are not at deaths door. It's they are super quiet they are the ones you need to watch, ones that are usually bubbly but go totally quiet, only responding to pain but very floppy, vomiting, whimpering, you can consider that an acute emergency.

There are always exceptions to the rule obviously, broken bones, profuse bleeding, ingesting suspected poisons ect..

If your gut say's "my child is ill and I'm REALLY scared" just call an ambulance or go straight to A&E and bypass NHS Direct.

Never feel guilty. xx

Iteotwawki Sat 06-Oct-12 19:54:40

I started out thinking you were merely being unreasonable, but having read your "everyone and everything 24/7" scheme I think you're on a (very bad) windup.

Not remotely workable given that people are people and not robots.

elizaregina Sat 06-Oct-12 20:00:14

After seeing Panormas Health Tourist program last week - which revealed the NHS is heamoraging money left right and center in so many ways - all over the place and DOESNT EVEN HAVE ANYONE TO CHECK IF PEOPLE ARE OR ARE NOT ENTILTED TO HEALTH CARE...

I am amazed we have any NHS service left at all.

musicposy Sat 06-Oct-12 20:02:28

But half of our services already work 7 days a week. The other half don't. People who work over 7 days, don't choose their hours. They are on a rota.

This is reality for many people. But not others. I think eventually it will be reality for more and more people.

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 20:06:36


What do you want them to do? Have a citizenship test in A and E? expect people to carry proof of their nationality everywhere they go?

Now not following payment up with their home country afterwards is a different matter but at the point of needing treatment people should get that treatment.

hazeyjane Sat 06-Oct-12 20:08:35

The problem I have is that ds is always pretty floppy (due to low muscle tone), and when he is ill he is like a rag doll, when ill he also makes a lot of grunty, bubbly sounds in his chest, but this is usually in his upper airways, because he struggles with swallowing his saliva. We have ended up doing a lot of umming and ahhing and have been sent away by drs when we shouldn't have been, and done midnight dashes to a+e when it is not needed. I do find it annoying though that when calling the ooh service, we have been told on several occasions that we could be seen 25 miles away at an appointment in 3 or 4 hours time - which does seem like a long wait when it is in the middle of the night.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 20:12:41

OK. I accept my 'Abolish Weekends' might be unpopular (or even unworkable). Good thing I'm not In Charge.

I still think it is not unreasonable to want to see a GP at weekends.

And I know the NHS doesn't work in its present form. I don't want it privatised though.

crashdoll Sat 06-Oct-12 20:21:12

Why did you post in AIBU if you clearly didn't think you were being unreasonable?

Bubblegum78 Sat 06-Oct-12 20:22:34

Wow Hazey, how stressful! I totally understand what you mean now.

I'm definately not saying it's anyway ok to be kept waiting or that it doesn't happen, I have been on the recieving end also (and I work for the NHS!), I think you just have to use your judgement and as time goes along you will just get better at it as you gain more experience, but if in doubt go to A&E.

A&E would rather see 100 children who end up not being really poorly than spending several hours battling to save a poorly child who was brought in too late.....not something I hasten to add I think you would do in any way.


SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 20:24:43

Don't know crashdoll. But I'm not.

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 20:29:04

hazey have you not been given an action plan of when to seek what help?

DS has asthma and we have been told if he presents with certain symptoms then to go to A and E, in most cases we are to skip OOH completely since they have missed things to often with him. I think when a child has a medical history A and E is often the better option.

crashdoll Sat 06-Oct-12 20:31:36

Patients with chronic long-term illnesses are made to wait for drugs because of the price while they get iller and you want your child to be seen when it suits you when, by your own admission, she's not ill as such.

......And you worth in healthcare. Jesus, people like you are why the NHS is on its knees. Patients are far too demanding.

crashdoll Sat 06-Oct-12 20:32:46

hazey in your situation, I can't imagine many empathetic people would think you are misusing services.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 20:39:19

Crashdoll i admire your psychic abilities.

If you can decide from this that my child is less deserving of treatment than someone else who has a diagnosed chronic illness, you should offer your services to the Nhs.

As i have stated (more than once) my own situation is not an emergency and because of that I did not take her to the OOH.

But I do not think it would be 'misusing services' had I decided she needed treating sooner rather than later.

PurityBrown Sat 06-Oct-12 20:39:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 20:43:57

Thanks Purity.
Topical ABs have not worked. Will see doc monday (or a week next thursday).

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 20:46:17

OOH isn't for emergencies, thats what A and E is for. OOH is for those things which aren't emergencies but which can't really wait until the GP is open.

ISingSoprano Sat 06-Oct-12 20:47:01

Lets just be clear here that it was the government that decided GPs should not work weekends and that PCTs should provide an Out of Hours service.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 20:49:08

Yes. It is.

But locslly. And staffed by GPs would be nice.

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 20:53:32

The OOH service locally runs well I think, much better than it did when it was controlled by each GP practice.

We have a walk in centre manned by a GP and nurse 24/7. During 'working hours' you go and sit and wait to see someone. Ok the wait is often 3-4 hours but you know you will get seen. At night you phone for an appointment and then go to the walk in centre at your appointment time.

It is based in the local hospital and covers two towns but people can always get seen. When DS was in HDU i needed to go and they pushed me through and gave me stock medication rather than sending me off to the pharmacist which I was very greatful for!

crashdoll Sat 06-Oct-12 21:14:02

Your child was not denied treatment! She would have had to wait. It's not ideal but perhaps you should look into changing services.

I never bloody said she wasn't deserving nor claim to know anything other than what you said.

crashdoll Sat 06-Oct-12 21:14:56

*surgeries not services

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 21:27:38

I quote 'people like you are why the NHS is on its knees'.

Thanks for that.

What about the extra 7 or so hours free work I have given the NHS this week? And the fact I have tried every home treatment available? Is it actually that bad that I would like advice and/or medical treatment for my child?

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 21:33:09

And yes.

I think a 4 hour wait is unreasonable for anyone.

And people should not have to travel 15 miles.

No matter what day.

How does that then transpire into it being all my fault the NHS is broken?

crashdoll Sat 06-Oct-12 21:34:06

Again, I'm not saying your child shouldn't have medical advice and treatment. Of course she should, she had a medical problem and she's just a child! My issue is that you were offered it and didn't like the fact that you had to wait. It is annoying but she isn't an emergency. You went off on one claiming that GP surgeries should be open on weekends. There are other, more cost effective solutions.

crashdoll Sat 06-Oct-12 21:37:00

Anyway I'm off to bed as I've been up to 6 am. I had to go to hospital today and they were wonderful. I had to wait though but that's ok.

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 21:37:02

15 miles isn't really that far. I would have thought a lot of people are around that far away from the nearest a and e

4 hour wait isn't ideal but its certainly not unreasonable for a non life threatening problem.

People need to learn to be realistic about what they can expect. You are being far from realistic.

ISingSoprano Sat 06-Oct-12 21:37:36

Of course it's not 'bad that I would like advice and/or medical treatment for my child'. The issue is the four hour wait. I don't actually think it is unreasonable for you to want to seek advice at the weekend about a problem which is clearly distressing for you and your child - an infected rash is not pleasant. But I still maintain that the service you are being offered is not that bad.

hazeyjane Sat 06-Oct-12 21:41:03

but, as far as i can tell, Sheela was saying it wasn't that much of a biggie for her child but if another child was ill then...

'Its outrageous that if a child was ill they'd have to wait'

and as i have said (being in the same area) we have had to wait this amount of time, and travel further.

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 21:44:29

The NHS is not broken Sheela. Your perception of this is completely bizarre. Be grateful for the NHS we have, without it we'd be up shit creek without a paddle (and you'd be without a job).

How far is reasonable to you for you to travel to A&E?

And instead of blathering on about the 7 hours free work for the NHS you did this week, if you dislike your job so much why don't you go into the community...oh yeah because community clinical staff also work above and beyond!!!

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 21:50:20

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

hazeyjane Sat 06-Oct-12 21:52:41

Anyway I'm off to bed as I've been up to 6 am. I had to go to hospital today and they were wonderful. I had to wait though but that's ok.

And yes, we have had to go to hospital, a lot, and they are so wonderful and we have had some amazing treatment on the nhs and without them I wouldn't be here, and neither would ds and believe me i would love to not have to rely on drs and therapists as much as we do, but, but it is still ok to sometimes say that things could be better, or that something is not working as well as it should, or that something or someone has fucked up.

Anyway, i really should leave this thread now, not something i normally do, but it has touched a nerve, probably because ds is coming down with something and I know that tonight or tomorrow I will be in that position of wondering what the fuck we should do. After the last on call gp didn't take his sats levels (it turned out he had pneumonia) we have bought a home oximeter. Honestly I know that the nhs is amazing and we are lucky to have it, but we should also be able to moan about it when it gets it wrong.

sorry rant over.

ISingSoprano Sat 06-Oct-12 21:53:36

But it's 15 miles not 150!

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 21:55:32

Would you be happy to travel then sit and wait 4 hours with a sick child?

If that meant they were going to get the treatment they needed, and the wait wasn't going to risk making them worse then yes I would.

One thing that pisses me off when I am in A and E with DS is people who complain about waiting and the fact others get seen before them when they are there with realitively minor complaints.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 21:56:38

Which might as well be 150 miles if you don't drive.

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 22:03:07

Great counterargument Sheela!!!!!!! :D Nope, won't be shutting up, you're in AIBU sweetheart! laughs And I'm not missing your point at all either. You want your child to be seen for medical treatment which she needs but at a time which the NHS cannot provide it. It's not bad to want your child to be treated but the way you've harped on about it has been pretty pathetic and stinks of sour grapes quite frankly.

Ive been to A&E with a sick child, I've not had to wait long when she's needed urgent medical treatment and I've had to wait longer when she's been ill but stable to not need urgent medical treatment. And that's fine by me because I'm not unreasonable. I am thankful for the care she has received in her short life and in general I am thankful for the care other ill family members have received lately from the NHS.

hazeyjane Sat 06-Oct-12 22:04:17

head explodes.

ISingSoprano Sat 06-Oct-12 22:04:31

So should there be a GP surgery open 24/7 on every street corner just in case a patient can't drive and won't wait?

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:10:16

Head >>>>>>

Wall >>>>>>>

Gives up as phone jyst can't take any more.

ISingSoprano Sat 06-Oct-12 22:12:24

You and me both sunshine!

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 22:12:47

Perhaps you need to realise that as much as you protest otherwise you are being unreasonable.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:16:11

Stubnorn maybe. Not u. grin

Bubblegum78 Sat 06-Oct-12 22:19:03

Hi again Sheela,
would it not be possible to move somewhere closer to civilisation as you sound as if you live a bit out of the way?
That way, you may be closer to better amenities?

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 22:20:20

hazeyjane, I'm sorry you've had some bad experiences with your son and no one is denying if and when things are wrong people should be able to moan HOWEVER the OPs gripe is totally unreasonable, there is no need for your head to explode.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:20:53

I'm not even in the sticks. Not far from civilisation. Just no taxis. Shit bus service and 15 miles from OOH since our MI was vlosed. Bastards.

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 22:22:14

Exactly thebitchdoctor

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:22:56

Bitch. Me and Hazey live in the same place. We share the same problem with PCTs and OOH. Whats the difference?

MonthlyChange Sat 06-Oct-12 22:24:18

Bit late to the party. Yabu
I used to live in the sticks, where doctors was 30mins, hospital 1 hour. Now live where hospital is 15min, my choice of where to live.

I think its perfectly reasonable of you to think that the small village practice of 2 doctors should work a 24 hour shift every other day with no sleep. Completely inline with European working time directive.Even if they only get called out three times over night that's no sleep, and they would be so much better doctors for it the next morning. Oh and they do home visits for people who don't want to pay to go to doctors (either through petrol&car loan, bus, taxi etc)

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:24:38

My gripe is (for the very last time, honest) nobody should have to travel 15+ miles and/or wait 4 hours to see a dr (or nurse).

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 22:25:40

sheela Because what happened to hazey's child was really bad. What's happened to you and your child isn't bad at all.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:25:57

European working time directive diesn't apply to HCPs (slightly bitter).

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:27:43




I. Am. Outraged. Not. Because. My. Slightly. Scabby. Child. Is. Affected. But. Because. If. A. Child. Is. Really. Ill. They. Have. To. Wait.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:29:43

Sweet. Jeesus.

Like every other GP I have had the misfortune to encounter in the last 5 years you are dimply not listening.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:30:26


Not dimply.

Dimply would be cute though.

MonthlyChange Sat 06-Oct-12 22:30:51

Eh yes it does. European working time directive does apply. It's the law. Just because they/us/we end up working over our paid hours does not make it not exist.

Bloody hell, of course we should all live near a doctor biscuit but that's your choice and 15 miles is nothing to everyone outside a town/city

MonthlyChange Sat 06-Oct-12 22:33:14

This has prob been done to death, but if your child was too sick to wait 4 hours to see a GP, then they probably need A&E, so your argument is null and void.

op you can't be a hcp if you think you're not working to EWTD

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:35:58

Let me just check my rota.....

Finush one shift at 10....

Back the next shift less than 9.5 hours later....

How does that work then?

Maybe its a figment of my overactive imagination.

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 22:39:50

I'm disagreeing with you Sheela, not ignoring what you're saying. Huge difference. I'm explaining why I disagree with you and Im answerimg your questions and you, unfortunately counteract it with throwing your toys out of the pram and throwing out insults because everyone thinks you are unreasonable!

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 22:42:21

If they are your genuine finish times and not you staying late on your own time and you haven't opted out of the EWTD then you need to speak to your line manager/ward manager/matron (depending on what level you are of course) because that is illegal.

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 22:43:39

And yes if a child is really ill they wouldn't have to wait so your outrage is pointless!

MonthlyChange Sat 06-Oct-12 22:44:11

What rota are you working to? As that ain't any nursing shift pattern, nor a doctor's etc

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:44:44

No bitch. You keeo on saying this is about me and my situation.

12 hors ago I said this wasn't about me.

I find it extraordinary that anyone thinks it is acceptable to wait 4 hours for a child to be seen. And more than a bit sad that it is acceptable. I don't think it is.

MonthlyChange Sat 06-Oct-12 22:45:43

What thebitch said above as you seem to keep ignoring people who say sick children wouldn't have to wait

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:46:08

Monthly - late shift finishes at 21.45.
Early starts at 07.00.

Bubblegum78 Sat 06-Oct-12 22:46:09

Hi Sheela, I DO understand what you are saying...

However (eek) if your child is THAT ill they WON'T have to wait 4 hours.

If your child is ACUTELY ill they will be classified as a priority and been seen swiftly.

So please don't worry about that. x

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:47:09

Yes. Monthly. They do. Under 5s are fast tracked. Everyone else waits.

MonthlyChange Sat 06-Oct-12 22:47:30

What bubblegum said

MonthlyChange Sat 06-Oct-12 22:48:55

By sick I mean propper sick, not as in the case where you turn down the appointment and go back on Monday where you have said you didn't need to be seen

Where I used to live (commuter London), nearest A&E was 25 miles away which was 3 buses and the wait was always longer that 4 hours.

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 22:49:37

So what's your workable solution then? You keep complaining but other than having everyone working 24/7 your not making any suggestions.

If someone is well enough to be at Out of hours then they can wait 4 hours to be seen. Not ideal but not going to do any harm to anyone.

In an a and e situation the vast majority of the time urgent cases are seen immediatly. Others are seen in order of clinical need. I have never waited more than 10 minutes for DS to be seen in a and e because he is always in high need when he arrives. Other I know have had to wait a couple of hours but most people understand that's what happens when your not an urgent case

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:51:21

I have been there. 4 hours wait while ill is not acceptable. Adult or child. And if you think that is ok then you have a higher pain threshold and more patience than I have.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 22:52:51

I haven't a solution but that does not stop me thinking there needs to be one.

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 22:57:08

No, Sheela. I don't keep saying its about you and your situation. You say things, I respond based on the things you say. It's called debating.

If they are your genuine hours you should speak to your ward manager.

teacherwith2kids Sat 06-Oct-12 22:57:23

How ill is ill, though?

If it will keep until Monday, then 4 hours is neither here nor there - it will keep until Monday, so 4 hours isn't a problem, because you just wait until Monday, when the wait will be shorter.

If a child really is ILL, then the wait will be less than 4 hours because your case will be urgent and you won't have to wait.

A wait for a non-urgent case, at a weekend, is reasonable - because that non-urgent case should wait until Monday when there won't be such a long wait. A 4 hour wait for something urgent / life-threatening would obviously be unacceptable - but is vanishingly unlikely to happen as such patients are prioritised.

Staffing etc for non-urgent cases to be seen immediately over the weekend would be poor use of resources....

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 22:59:41

In an ideal world of course 4 hours wait wouldn't happen. However it does and in general no-one is harmed from waiting thanks to the triage system filtering the urgent cases.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 06-Oct-12 23:01:54

procrastinor Sat 06-Oct-12 11:20:38
If the child is sick they will be seen sooner. All triage nurses stick their heads out of the door and eyeball the patients waiting - anyone sick gets triaged earlier. The receptionists are clued up too - they will haul ass if they see a sick child. The reason why they tell people that there is a four hour wait is 1) to let patients know so that they don't expect to be seen the minute they walk in (and if they get seen at say three hours they're happy campers because it's before 4 hrs); and 2) to discourage the inappropriate use of ooh services. So people who could wait to see their regular GPs are put off by the wait and wont go

Seems straightforward to me.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 23:07:31

Wjat the actual bloody hell 'if those hours are genuine'???? What? Just what?

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 23:08:58

Sorry. Am now laughing too much to carry on. And phone really not likimg long winded discussion.

I still think it is unacceptable.

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 23:09:37

Rather than working over your hours for free which you said you do, 7 extra hours you worked this week you mentioned...

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 23:12:57

Np. I worked extra because of the impossibility of habing any sort.of break. Too much to do amd not enpugh staff.

'speak to your ward manager' hahahahahahahahahaha. You are funny!

Bubblegum78 Sat 06-Oct-12 23:15:48

I work the same hours as you sheela, not sure where you are coming from though?
I'm a bit lol.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 23:16:52

And because I actually a nice human(contrary to popular opinion) I can't just walk out and leave stuff umdone.

Hence the approx 7 hours extra this week.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 23:19:33

European WTD states people must have something like 11 hors between shifts. But adds in a disclaimer about HCPs.

Bitchdoctor thinks this can be sorted by speaking to my manager. Whicj i thought was funny.

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 23:23:49

I'm glad you find me amusing Sheela smile you've not mentioned what you do so perhaps you have a different form of management. Either way, if you are not having an 11 hour break between shifts then it is illegal and you should speak to someone about it be it management or union.

No one has said you are not a nice person either, you've been the confrontational one on here because fundamentally people think YABVVVU.

I too work over my hours. Most of my colleagues do too. Its part of working in healthcare/medicine.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 23:28:25

But do you think it is acceptable for anyone who is ill to wait 4 hours?

And is it ok to expect you to work extra hours (unpaid) because you work in healthcare?

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 23:29:28

Actually looking on a few websites your hours probably aren't illegal as it seems they calculate them over an average of 17 weeks.

When the EWTD came in I was still in hospitals we were regularly forced to lie about our hours until we did something about it hence why I mentioned doing something about it. If you don't like something, change it!

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 23:30:03

Yez. I stirring because it bloody shouldn't be ok on either count. But it is. All that stiff upper lip and martyr mentality.

ilovesooty Sat 06-Oct-12 23:31:04

I've worked until between 6 and 7pm unpaid (I finish at 5) every working day for the past two weeks. It's hardly exclusive to healthcare.

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 23:31:08

Oh i am trying to changw stuff. I really am. Small cog. Big wheel.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 06-Oct-12 23:31:58

No Sheela, I don't think anyone on the thread says it's ok to wait 4 hours if you're ill.

But I htink the consensus is that if you're actually ill, triage gets you through more quickly.

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 23:37:57

As I've said previously in an ideal world no one would have to wait 4 hours but it happens and yes, I accept that as I'm not unreasonable. I did say that before, guess not listening isn't exclusive to every GP under the Sun? ;)

And as I've gained more experience I stay late less and less because as the years have gone by I have learnt how to manage my time better, I ften work through lunch, I am more comfortable with handing stuff over which is part of the GMC Code of Conduct and also I have to pickup my daughter from nursery. Yes, I do stay late occasionally and I'm happy to because like you I am dedicated to patient care. I don't expect medals or cookies or a parade for it and yes I think it is ok to expect to work extra occasionally. It's like teachers, you moaned about them having to only work during mon-fri but they do loads of work outside their working hours..

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 23:40:34

And my husband works ridiculous hours unpaid too (not in medicine) but he loves his job and takes pride in it.

We're not bothered about extra money. The only thing that bothers us it that it is time away from our daughter.

thebitchdoctor Sat 06-Oct-12 23:43:21

Anyway im off to bed. I've not been in work today but I've sat an exam so I'm very tired. Night night MNers, it's been fun! smile

SheelaNeGig Sat 06-Oct-12 23:51:48

ME too. Bed not exam. Goo luck with results.

hazeyjane Sun 07-Oct-12 06:20:07

And yes if a child is really ill they wouldn't have to wait so your outrage is pointless!

*However (eek) if your child is THAT ill they WON'T have to wait 4 hours.

If your child is ACUTELY ill they will be classified as a priority and been seen swiftly.

So please don't worry about that. x*

What thebitch said above as you seem to keep ignoring people who say sick children wouldn't have to wait

If a child really is ILL, then the wait will be less than 4 hours because your case will be urgent and you won't have to wait.

If the child is sick they will be seen sooner. All triage nurses stick their heads out of the door and eyeball the patients waiting - anyone sick gets triaged earlier. The receptionists are clued up too - they will haul ass if they see a sick child. The reason why they tell people that there is a four hour wait is 1) to let patients know so that they don't expect to be seen the minute they walk in (and if they get seen at say three hours they're happy campers because it's before 4 hrs); and 2) to discourage the inappropriate use of ooh services. So people who could wait to see their regular GPs are put off by the wait and wont go

ok, one more time! I believe I live in the same place as Sheela, and I have had a sick child have to wait at least 4 hours to be seen. On one occassion, we were told on the phone that we could be seen in 4 hours (an appointment was given) in an ooh 20 miles away - this was in the night and ds was ill enough that an hour into our 3 hour wait (at home - so no triage nurse able to pop her head out and see how ds was), we called back because ds looked even more ill, and he ended up in an ambulance and being admitted.

I don't think in our area the triage system works as well as it should, I think it would be great if there was an ooh service available at night less than 20 miles away, I think if you call ooh in the night you should be seen sooner than 4 hours , and whilst I think the children's ward in our local hospital is fantastic - the a+e department is not working as well as it should. We have one gp service in our small town, it is on the whole amazing, and I have been able to be seen very quickly with ds. I know that friends locally have also had the same gripes about the local ooh service, so maybe it is just our area, but in conclusion - OP YANBU!!

Didn't really think there'd be much to add this many posts into the thread but I see virtually no one has answered your question OP wink

I took my 1 year old DS to ooh for bad tonsillitis. We had to wait 3 hours for an appointment slot then another hour when we got there as the session was running over. The ooh is 15 miles away and either 3 buses or a £30 taxi ride.

Less than a mile from my house are 2 GP practices with 8 permanent doctors and various locums each. My GP who works at this practice does ooh shifts. Whilst I travel 15 miles in one direction he is sent 20 miles in another direction to provide ooh care in an adjacent pct.

Tbh the initial appointment wait doesn't bother me too much, not an emergency etc. However the distance is a real problem and prevents people from accessing the care they need. It is all the more ridiculous when our local GPs are happy to work but sent elsewhere

Sirzy Sun 07-Oct-12 08:36:15

The GPs are put in a central location to provide OOH cover for a much larger area than they normally cover with the practise though.

It's all well and good expecting when it's your GPs turn to do the OOH shift he stays local but that could mean that for others they are 40 miles away from the OOH gp.

They can't plan based on whether people drive or not, they plan of the a average number of people in an area who are likely to want to access the facilities and try to make it so people can get any treatment which can't wait over a weekend.

crashdoll Sun 07-Oct-12 08:39:20

hazel I'm sorry you've had a bad experience and no, a genuinely ill child should not have to wait 4 hours. You were within your rights to complain and what you experienced was appalling. As I said up-thread, your situation is totally different. But for a skin infection, if the child is not otherwise presenting in an ill manner, then why shouldn't she wait? If they rush through complaints like that, it slows down those who are more urgent. In a perfect world, people who are sitting in A&E/OOH genuinely ill should not have to wait. Unfortunately, there are two major issues (which I'm sure you know) a.) those who abuse the system and turn up to A&E with a bad cold and b.) the limited pot of money we have.

Above you said this thread touched a nerve and I'm genuinely sorry if anything I said offended you and I'll never pretend the NHS is perfect nor that I don't grumble about. However, I believe the OP in her suggestions (changing weekends) and in her situation is being unreasonable.

OP, not read the whole thread but has your daughter not had this rash for over a week, and you culdhave got her a midweek appointment locally? Is the problem more that you wanted a weekend service, which is provided at a centralised location for many of us, and this has pissed you off?

YANBU to ish you had a localised service, but you did have a local choice earlier in the week.

Forgive me if this is not the kitten scratch case I read about last weekend.

Sorry, I meant to add my point is people who use OOH docs, which is emergency wekeend cover, for appointments which could have been made midweek at local GPs, surely contribute to the fact it is a four hour wait at weekends.

I understand what youu're saying, but there are 2 large practices a mile from us and surely if our town is big enough to require nearly 20 GPs then it is big enough to require weekend cover locally. The current system restricts access to weekend healthcare to non drivers and people on low incomes. That can't be right.

I agree with you to some extent re the wait, and I don't necessarily think a modest wait is unreasonable. It's more the accessibility I have a problem with.

crashdoll Sun 07-Oct-12 08:58:56

The accessibility is due to finances though. I don't disagree with you that they should be open but there just is not the money.

Sirzy Sun 07-Oct-12 09:05:03

But there obviously isn't the call for it or you would never be able to see anyone at the weekends which isn't the case. They need to balance the system to ensure that it is providing best value for money whilst still seeing everyone who needs to be seen which the vast majority of the time it does.

If you had things more local then we would be paying GPs to sit around waiting until someone needed to be seen - that just doesn't make sense.

JeezyOrangePips Sun 07-Oct-12 09:20:09

Out of hours i am likely to have to travel 26 miles to see a doctor. Not always, it depends on which local practice is covering on call. Others would have to travel further.

I don't think 15 miles is a major issue, personally. Some people don't havd a doctor on their island in the island group I live in, and depending on weather might not be able to see a doctor for days.

Snog Sun 07-Oct-12 10:01:45

Just like the fireservice, and even supermarkets fgs, doctors need to arrange their services for 7 days a week, equal cover at weekends as for weekdays.

We could fund this by employing more GPs directly and paying them less, such that instead of a GP practice resulting in an income of £200k for one partner, we employ 4 full time GPs on £50k.

Doctors aren't primarily motivated by earning huge sums, and if they are then perhaps they're not the ones we want to keep as our GPs.

So basically redistribute the budget to employ more GPs and reconfigure the service as a 7 day service. This should go for hospitals too because billions of things go wrong at the w/ends at the moment due to the low staffing levels for doctors compared to weekdays.

Healthcare requirements do not reduce on Saturdays and Sundays and it is ludicrous to build a system that assumes they do.

I just don't think that a single ooh facility for nearly half a million people spread over 157 square miles is adequate access to health care. Neither do our local GPs. Our town has 25000 residents a large proportion of whom are elderly non carowning people who are effectively unable to access any form of ooh care short of calling an ambulance.

Sorry, my point was that the current service doesn't see everyone that needs it - only those that need it and have the facility to get there.

teacherwith2kids Sun 07-Oct-12 10:15:14

Until we moved to our current house, my NORMAL GP was 12 miles away - because we lived rurally. Nearest supermarket, ditto. Nearest secondary school, ditto. Nearest dentist, ditto. OOH (and A&E where I took DS the day he sliced his head open) a little further away, in the slightly further away larger town, so about 15 miles away. Hospital where I gave birth a little further still at 16 or so miles [now that WAS an interesting drive through the night].

What might seem totally unreasonable to someone not living so remotely is just part of an everyday norm for others....

flow4 Sun 07-Oct-12 11:36:27

Just another voice saying they had a 4 hour wait with a genuinely sick child - visibly broken arm, bone sticking out - well, 3 hours 55 mins actually. We were triaged promptly, then had to wait... And wait...

GoSakuramachi Sun 07-Oct-12 11:54:20

Nobody should have to travel 15 miles or wait more than 4 hours to see a doctor? So you want doctors to be all over the UK open 24 hours a day? What bout rural areas, there should be round the clock doctors dotted around the countryside on the offchance someone needs attention at 4am on a sunday on a remote farm?

You are being ridiculous, and unbearably entitled.

Sirzy Sun 07-Oct-12 12:09:49

But flow when you compare to some that go in then that won't be life threatening just painful. Waiting isn't good but it also won't be the top priority for the staff when they have established their is no immediate risk to the limb.

I have just been to a and with with DS in and out in 2 hours with the treatment he needed. Others in there waited longer but DS was struggling to breathe therefore couldnt wait

flow4 Sun 07-Oct-12 12:19:16

Oh absolutely, sirzy smile I hold on to the perhaps naive belief that we were kept waiting so long because someone in greater need was being treated. But the waiting room was full of people with ailments I wouldn't have even taken to a doctor, let alone A&E, and I can't help thinking that if they'd looked after themselves, my son would have had his arm treated sooner. The triage process didn't work for us either, because they didn't give him any pain relief, which was his most urgent need. sad

Sirzy Sun 07-Oct-12 12:26:04

That's bad sad our hospital give pain relief in triage if needed

hazeyjane Sun 07-Oct-12 14:47:42

And in our extensive wait at a+e, ds did have breathing problems, but did he need his sats taken, straight away, oh no because he didn't present as child with breathing difficulties!

BoffinMum Sun 07-Oct-12 16:02:19

Once DH broke his wrist and went to A and E at 9am on a Sunday morning. It was completely empty, utterly completely empty, and he still had to wait an hour!

crashdoll Sun 07-Oct-12 16:44:58

hazey You seem to be taking this personally. Your son was clearly ill and was treated badly. People do time waste terrible in A&E and OOH and this is what slows down genuine needs.

Incidentally, I don't think children should be made to wait as long as adults.

MonthlyChange Sun 07-Oct-12 17:51:39

Can I point out that if you go to A&E and the waiting room is empty and you wait, that the patients who are dead and dying come through a seperate door that you don't see. So the doctors were busy restarting somebodies mother/fathers/child's heart in the resus room. The waiting room is where they keep the not dying people.

thegreylady Sun 07-Oct-12 20:38:17

Here in Shropshire Shropdoc is available whenever surgeries are closed. If serious they will visit or they will see you at a local clinic or will give excellent phone advice. It is staffed by a rota of local GP's.

BoffinMum Sun 07-Oct-12 20:52:09

No, seriously, they had managed to clear it. I know because I had a snoop around (I work there sometimes so know my way around the back). wink

It was like the Marie Celeste.

knackeredmother Mon 08-Oct-12 17:41:05

In support of the op I have been to A and E more than a few times with a
seriously sick child (urosepsis and breathing difficulties with oxygen levels in the 70s ) and waited hours to be seen. Both times my son was admitted for over a week. Both times I begged for him to be looked at earlier and have since discovered the a and e nurse wrote to my GP saying I was anxious and aggressive. I have also had the same a and e refuse to let me take my dd with a temp of 42 outside to cool down but made me wait 2 hours for paracetamol.
Belive it or not some departments are shocking. I also work in the NHS op so perhaps we have greater insight into how things should be?

BoffinMum Tue 09-Oct-12 10:12:39

I think it's a bit of a cop-out, this myth that everyone is always being pushy and that patients are seen in a sensible order, and if patients were, well, more patient, it would all be fine and dandy. I think it comes from the British desire to queue incessantly, and ascribe moral attributes to the art of queuing.

It has to be said that many staff members in A and E certainly see the worst of human nature, and I admire them for everything they have to do. But there are certainly also groups within departments who are fairly hopeless at managing demand, unless they are properly supervised, and are happy to sit out of sight of the patients doing as little as possible, if they think nobody is about to pop their clogs and there are unlikely to be repercussions.

I've seen this, just as I have seen them being told off for it as well. I've also seen people (usually the quiet and polite elderly) collapse in the waiting room because members of staff just couldn't be bothered to do their jobs properly.

featherbag Tue 09-Oct-12 12:14:23

I'd be very interested to know where you've seen these things boffin, I'm an A&E nurse and where I work this wouldn't even vaguely be tolerated. We have about half the staff and half the resources we need, because of this care is often less than we'd like to give but hand on heart not one person shirks or doesn't do something because they 'can't be bothered'.

BoffinMum Tue 09-Oct-12 12:56:06

Featherbag, I have seen them with my work hat on, but it wasn't well tolerated there either and they got a telling off. That having been said, I think there is always the tendency for things to slip back if the SMT have their eye off the ball. And interestingly, I am aware there was a problem with a particular team of midwives in the nearby maternity hospital basically doing the same thing in their area as well. They were all disciplined in the end, I think.

BoffinMum Tue 09-Oct-12 12:56:27

Oh yes, and this was a top teaching hospital as well.

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