To be irritated by Doctor's receptionist?

(74 Posts)
jellyfl00d Tue 29-Oct-13 13:49:06

I need to see my Gp this week, so I rang yesterday to get booked in, but they will only make appointments on the day this week due to annual leave.
So I rang again at 1pm which is the allotted time,only to be told their clock said 12.59 and I could not make an appointment. My clock said 1pm, we probably spoke for the 1 minute it took for her clock to get to 1 pm but she made me ring back, at which point I couldn't get through!! Arghh!confused

NightScentedStock Tue 29-Oct-13 13:52:49

Very petty of her. Hope you got an appointment in the end

ShatnersEmptyCatacomb Tue 29-Oct-13 13:53:27

YANBU. I once stood at the reception counter and phoned the phone on the desk there because the woman told me they could only make appointments over the phone. She almost laughed when she picked up and realised it was me grin

NightScentedStock Tue 29-Oct-13 13:57:32

Shatners that's hilarious!

jellyfl00d Tue 29-Oct-13 13:58:48

I hate the fact that they are so petty yet they think they rule the surgery. It's such unprofessional behaviour. I work for a hospital and we wouldn't get away with such awful behaviour!

Yes I eventually did get an appointment, painful process though!

jellyfl00d Tue 29-Oct-13 14:00:56

Shatners that's brilliant, how to show them up for the utter twits they are being!

The receptionist at my ols surgery used to insist on asking 'what's the problem' and would get shirty if you ignored her.

She asked my ex the question and he replied 'I've got a sore dick'. She then got the hump, so he said you asked! wink

thebody Tue 29-Oct-13 16:00:28

complain to the manager or the GP.

don't generalise as our receptionists are lovely.

ShatnersEmptyCatacomb Tue 29-Oct-13 16:01:13

I'd have snorted like a pig if I'd been in the waiting room, mummytowillow!

I recently had to see a new doctor, who would be the one to preform a small procedure. He is quite gruff, good at what he does, but no bed side manner.
His receptionist told me (as I was filling out paperwork, so couldn't get away) that he was so good at what he does, that
"People call here, and ask if the can book an appointment with God! "
I looked a bit surprised when she said that, and she noticed and said, " Yeah, he's that good"

She also has a big sticker in her window, with a picture or a stork, that says home deliveries are for pizza!hmm

To be fair, the receptionists at my family doctor's practice are wonderful

Twighlightsparkle Tue 29-Oct-13 17:31:01

They are lovely at mine too.

ooerrmissus Tue 29-Oct-13 17:36:39

Until recently I thought it was the law to hate doctor's receptionists as they are all generally horrid.

But then I moved surgery and the new ones are lovely.

Complain, OP.

Dobbiesmum Tue 29-Oct-13 17:39:07

Well if the appointment system shows the time the it was made and someone higher up saw it she could have got into trouble.. A couple of minutes seems silly but you never know what she had been told.

Purple2012 Tue 29-Oct-13 17:45:00

They are horrible at mine too. They won't let you book an appointment more than 4 weeks in advance. So when I had an ongoing problem and my doctor would tell me to make appointment in 6 weeks I couldn't do it. I wwould ring in 2 weeks later only to be given an appointment in 5-6 weeks time.

And they get shirty if you don't tell them what the problem is.

claretandamberforever Tue 29-Oct-13 17:47:05

its likely the slots were timed to open at 1pm so she physically couldnt book into them as she didnt have the computer rights to override it.

She could have still made small talk with you for a couple of minutes though til they opened.

aniara Tue 29-Oct-13 18:14:31

I once went to the health centre in tears as I needed antibiotics for a severe UTI with a high temperature and horrible back pain, but was told the earliest appointment was about a week away. Not their fault, but as it was really urgent I thanked her and said I would have to go to the A&E instead, to which she angrily replied: "No, you can't go to the A&E and waste their time! You haven't been in an accident! You just have to wait like everyone else". So what does the E stand for then..? Luckily, the other (amazing) receptionist pitied me and somehow managed to arrange so a doctor could see me straight away. smile

So, in my experience most of them are nice and helpful, but when they're not it can be really horrible.

thebody Tue 29-Oct-13 18:18:39

Sold I remember that Primrose Shipman used to refer to Dr Shipman as God.

if any doctors receptionist or any doctor for that matter started to refer to themselves as God it's time to report them.

jellyfl00d Tue 29-Oct-13 18:40:47

She wasnt rude to me and I wasn't rude to her, but it's just utter nonsense, I spent the extra minute on the phone to her til the requisite time but she still made me ring back! Grrr

ForalltheSaints Tue 29-Oct-13 19:44:13

You are probably more assertive and confident than someone who is an older person, or for whom English is not their native tongue.

Complain to the doctor and offer to appear in support of her or him in an employment tribunal.

AnyoneforTurps Tue 29-Oct-13 19:46:13

<i> She wasnt rude to me and I wasn't rude to her, but it's just utter nonsense, I spent the extra minute on the phone to her til the requisite time but she still made me ring back </i>

That is bizarre - and rude; I say that as a GP.

When I read your OP, I thought the problem must have been that the appointment software would not release more appointments till 1pm. Lots of practices block appointments to ensure some are available for urgent problems that arise during the day and, though you can over-ride it, it might take longer than just getting you to wait a minute. However, making you ring back is absolutely daft. I would contact the practice manager - probably wouldn't make a formal complaint but ask if s/he knows that his receptionists are being such jobsworths.

Mim78 Tue 29-Oct-13 19:49:22

It is very silly of her.

*ForalltheSaints - you have a good point about older people and people who don't have such good English.

I have to say I have resorted to crying in the past to get round them, but feel that should not be necessary!

DipMeInChocolate Tue 29-Oct-13 19:56:20

I've recently changed surgeries due to their "ring on the day" policies. Completely unhelpful in every way. Just changed to a lovely local small practice which is exactly how GPs should be.

YANBU. Our GP appointment line opens at 8.30 and it irritates me that it still goes to answerphone until 8.32. We have a clock that uses a radio signal to get the correct time, so I am certain that my clock is right. Obviously I am a bit of a pedant. However your example is weird.

DipMeInChocolate Tue 29-Oct-13 19:57:16

There's no need to listen to an engaged tone for 30-40 mins at 9am just to see your Doctor.

jellyfl00d Tue 29-Oct-13 21:08:04

Thanks Anyone for the insight, I might speak to practice manager as it's not an isolated incident.
Breatheslowly I have had that problem too, time must stand still for my surgery as well as yours!

EeyoreIsh Tue 29-Oct-13 21:16:56

I have to say the receptionists at my surgery are great. Shame the hours aren't great, their late appointments are only until 7. And they do the stupid ring on the day thing, it makes me feel bad using a same day appointment for something that isn't an emergency, but it's either that or an appointment weeks away.

I am about to move surgeries and when I dropped the paperwork off at the new place I was somewhat confused to see so many PA signs dotted everywhere. Particularly ones which said "Don't blames the receptionists for x y z". "The booking system has not been designed by the receptionists so please speak to your GP if you wish to complain". It has not reassured me of an easy ride ahead grin

AnyoneforTurps Tue 29-Oct-13 21:42:35

If there is a practice with the perfect appointment system, I've yet to find it (if you have, PM me immediately wink). It's a numbers problem: GPs & practice nurses between them provide a staggering 346,500,000 appointments per year (average consultation rate = 5.5 per patient per year) but there are only 11,000 practices in the UK. There just aren't enough GPs to meet demand which is why all practices have ways of trying to filter demand. But that is still no excuse for making a patient ring back twice in the space of one minute.

Fakebook Tue 29-Oct-13 21:42:41

Oh I love my surgery and receptionists. I forgot to book my 38 week check up for this week and they've given me an appointment this Saturday morning with my regular GP so I'm seen. grin.

Sparkle9 Tue 29-Oct-13 21:47:02

My surgery is okay. Generally they will find a way for you to be seen. They even offer to have a doctor phone you for a consultation if you can't get in for an appointment when there's a slot. And they reserve later appointments for people who work full-time. It could still be improved though.

Ohwhatwitcheryisthis Tue 29-Oct-13 22:03:44

mine one kept me and ds waiting for an emergency app as he was having an asthma attack that was getting worse and worse. I kept asking she keeps saying you will have to wait. I also wanted to call ambulance but had other 3 kids there too. I was sat in front of her. Finally they started turning the lights off and the doctor came out with his coat on. He rushed me back in, called an ambulance. She stood there smirking. fucking cow. put in a complaint, she is still there. angry

Trumpton Tue 29-Oct-13 22:07:44

My doctors' receptionists are fab. I take my 90 year old MIL every few weeks and my DS has been severely depressed for some time and is chaotic about his meds and sick notes . They are always so helpful. I luffs them .
The appointment system does drive me potty as you have to ring on the dot of 8.30 for a same day appointment but can generally get one.

jellyfl00d Tue 29-Oct-13 22:13:35

Ohwhat, that is truly awful, that person should not be working in a healthcare setting if that's their attitude,

Does anyone have a docs where they have a nurse triage-ing phone calls to decide on appts? I was wondering if this works better than receptionist giving appointments?

lagerlout Tue 29-Oct-13 22:29:39

Don't get me started on them, Doctors receptionists are a breed of their own, I've yet to encounter a helpful reasonable one who actually listens and engages their own mind to solve a problem. I am saying this as someone who rarely goes to a doctor apart for straight forward routine things but have dozens of stories. I have been under Moorfields eye hospital for months and they want to keep me on some meds longterm. They told me I would have to get repeat prescriptions from my GP. I rang the other week to ask for prescription, all seemed quite straight forward, they even said it would be collected by local chemist. I spent 20 mins in chemist yesterday morning as they couldn't find prescription. I then went to the doctors to explain the situation, I got as far as I rang for a prescription and receptionist barked at me "we don't take prescriptions over the phone". I was a little taken aback as I did ring and they did take it over the phone and I rang a few days later to double check chemist had picked it up and this was confirmed. I explained all of this to receptionist who again didn't seem to register any of what I was saying and just said we don't take prescriptions over the phone. The big sign on the wall behind her did back up what she was saying but it still didn't make sense as they had taken request from me over phone. I started explaining again at which point she cut me dead and snapped what's your date of birth. I gave this to her and she said you can't have a prescription you have only just been issued one. I said you have never issued me a prescription before, I have had them direct from Moorfields previously. It turned out she was referring to the one I had requested over the phone which turned out was with the chemist when I went back over there. Before i left she read me the riot act demanding I come in and put all future prescriptions in the request box. I leave the house at 8am every morning and don't get home until after 7pm, this isn't practical for me, what is the problem with calling?

That's really annoying lagerlout. We can't ring for repeat prescriptions, but we can email which works really well for me.

runningonwillpower Tue 29-Oct-13 22:54:26

I always think that front line staff do not set the tone, they reflect the tone.

Receptionists would not and could not behave like this - not in a sustained way - without the backing of the establishment.

In short, if the receptionists at my local surgery were behaving unhelpfully towards me, I would have to wonder if the GPs felt similarly.

Dobbiesmum Tue 29-Oct-13 23:05:09

I always defend GP receptionists but lagerlout I swear I used to work with the one you encountered! She was a snotty baggage with a God complex too... angry
Having said that...
I know a lot of really good receptionists, the ones at my GP's are fab and lovely and frankly I always tried to be a good one myself. even though an awful lot of the patients were arses
It's not an easy job, striking a balance between following the rules set out to you by the manager and the doctors but still trying to accommodate the patients is actually quite hard. I would challenge anyone here, you know the usual mob that come out with the generalisations about the people actually doing the job to try it for a few days.
Try being threatened and spat at because a GP is on holiday. Try juggling 4 GP appointment systems plus the practice nurse plus the midwife plus the antenatal clinic and the phlebotomist. How about try being followed by an upset patient (who you didn't even speak to) and being too scared to go home until you found a policeman?
Oh and here's a good one, try finding out through a fairly impersonal fax that an older patient who you have known all your life and who was practically a second father to your husband has passed away and you can't tell your DH anything about it.
There are twats in every job, why are GP receptionists such an open target?
<opens wine>

Lottiedoubtie Tue 29-Oct-13 23:10:08

My GPs has a good system - although it does bypass the actual humans on reception a lot blush

You can book standard appointments online, and the system lets you see all available appointments with each doctor and categorises them into bands eg, 'commuter clinic' designed for people who can't go to the docs til after six PM (it doesn't actually check you ARE a commuter so it relys on good will, which I suppose is open to abuse).

Repeat prescriptions can be done online.

On the day appointments can be booked from 8 am but it's an automated telephone system, where you can choose an available appointment from a selection and also specify a doctor (you don't always get who you want but I've always got a doctors appointment within 4 hours of the 8am call.

And best of all when you get there there's an automated check yourself in touchscreen and even tells you which room/floor your doctor is in.

It's great, a really huge, busy city practice, but they get these things right.

NB- there are opt outs so the elderly/technophobes/people who prefer talking to the actual receptionists can still do this. Presumably they spend less time on hold because those that can use the automated systems do.

deepfriedsage Tue 29-Oct-13 23:16:16


pixwix Tue 29-Oct-13 23:25:21

Mine are brill - you can book routine appointments in advance with your own doctor - though if you specifically want your own doctor, you might have a longer wait, rather than with someone else.

If it's an emergency, I've never had a problem booking an appointment with a GP the same day - they might ask for a few details (like with me being asthmatic, they like to make sure they have a pulse oximeter ready etc - just to give them a heads up)

I've been going to this surgery for 23 years now - they have seen me through marriage, contraception, miscarriage, childbirth, postnatal mental illness, asthma, and all sorts - then also my children through their stuff too.

They are unfailingly helpful, professional and friendly, and on friday, attending with wheezing and needing steroids, I took the receptionists a tin of chocolates (and one for the back room of other staff) but the receptionists have always been brill - I couldn't do it!

Coupon Wed 30-Oct-13 00:09:06

YANBU. Nonsense is over-represented in the NHS.

Lukat Wed 30-Oct-13 07:17:23

Hi... Just want to say that i am a
Clinic receptionist and to be honest we have some rules which would make your blood boil...... But sadly we have to follow them as they are set by managers...... Sometimes I am tempted to say that "we are not being rude or difficult, it's the managers" but I would prob lose my job.

Isisizzie Wed 30-Oct-13 07:24:52

My doctors are great. They open at 7am to offer a walk in. If you arrive anytime before 10am you will be seen by a doctor that day. They also have other staff starting at 8am so I try to arrive about 8.05am and I usually get seen within 10 minutes. But if you get a popular doctor the wait could be up to an hour.

They wait for routine appointments is 2 weeks+ but I can handle that when its not urgent.

Phineyj Wed 30-Oct-13 07:31:07

I think that if a lot of this did not come from the rules and culture set by the GPs/practice managers, you would not get such wide variation in small areas. I switched from one GP to another after this sort of problem and my goodness the new ones are better. Same area, same high demand for services. I think if you can switch, do - if people were more proactive about it hopefully the PCT might eventually notice a pattern.

The thing that makes me most angry is the notices saying you won't be seen if you are late - the ones you have tons of time to read when they are running an hour late with no explanation grin.

EBearhug Wed 30-Oct-13 08:07:21

You can book online with my GP, too. You can either book a particular GP, or "any male doctor", "any female doctor" or "the duty doctor" for on the day appointments. If you need a follow up, the GP can book it while you're in the appointment with them. You can still book by phone - the receptionist just uses the same system, and it can still be difficult to get same day appointments, but there are only so many 10 minute slots in a day. And you can't book the nurse online if you need blood tests or the travel clinic.

But, lucky as I am, I realise this only works because it's a large, town centre surgery. In other towns, I've been registered with a doctor who practised alone, or small practices. You can't book "any female doctor" next week if she's the only one and is on leave. Flexibility only really works with large practices, and they're not always feasible in more rural areas (like those most of my family live in.)

Ggsoph Wed 30-Oct-13 08:18:04

I'm not a GP's receptionist but a very close family member is.

They haven't designed the system but they have very strictly enforced rules on when they can book an appointment. They are hideously understaffed and unsupported by the practice manger (who keeps setting them unachievable targets), many of the GPs will explode at them if they squeeze someone in or book a home visit which is not considered necessary. They also deal with abuse from patients every day, both over the phone and in person (family member threatened and stalked by a patient) They get in trouble if they book a non emergency into an emergency slot so HAVE to ask 'what is the problem?'

I'm not saying there aren't some utter cows out there who take pleasure in pissing you off - I've dealt with one who brought me to tears she was so mean - but most of them are just at the end of their tether and on the minimum wage.

If you don't like the system please complain to the practice manager and tell everyone you know to do the same - they are the ones responsible.

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 30-Oct-13 08:23:22

Interesting statistic anyoneforturps. What really gets me though is that rather than 5.5 consultations per year per person I reckon our family of 4 has three per year absolute tops. And every time it is a nightmare.

Our practice has run a few classics in the last 10 years or so:

Firstly the only getting an appointment if you ring on the day one. Everyone ringing at 8am for a non urgent appointment for an HRT check - made especially difficult when one has two children at schools in opposite directions who both need to be in school no later than 8.15. Effectively meant that one didn't have access to GP services at all for about three years until there was a change in government policy which highly trained people knew was absurd but in spite of being self employed said they had to follow

Secondly the 28 day prescribing business (I need thyroxine). Admittedly my practice prescribed for 56 days at this time. Might have been fine if the practice had been able to provide the repeat and send it to the right place but it was always three phone calls because it went to the wrong chemist, or didn't get done, or was in the surgery rather than the chemist. Thyroxine has a long shelf life, is as cheap as chips and in the end I made a dr's appt unnecessarily for every repeat prescription and when the drs started getting grumpy I wrote to the Chief Pharmacist at the PCT setting out my case and it got sorted out. I am as busy as my GP and don't work part-time and actually I expect my GPs to respect my time as much as I respect theirs.

The figures you quote make a bit of a mockery when compared to the very unsmart and time consuming practices assumed by many GP practices. It seems to be that it's perfectly OK to waste patient time from where I'm sitting.

Spidermama Wed 30-Oct-13 08:26:35

Some fun on this thread. I love the woman who phoned from the reception area and the husband with the sore dick.

There's definitely something about GP receptionists which makes for a petty officiousness making patients all feel like time wasting enemies of the NHS.

Of course this is a generalisation and some are lovely bla blah blah but in my lengthy experience they're in the minority.

Ggsoph Wed 30-Oct-13 08:26:53

Should add I only mention the minimum wage as I know people often assume they are paid more.

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 30-Oct-13 08:39:48

I appreciate they follow the rules set by the GPs. The GPs are actually self employed and could chose to make a little less profit and pay a little more in order to provide a better service to their patients.

Can anyone tell me why I am not allowed to use my mobile phone in the dr's waiting room and I don't mean a lengthy and loud chat about next door's cat's sex drive. I'm not entirely certain what highly sensitive equipment is there for it to interfere with but find it extraordinary that if I step outside to phone work and say I'm running 45 minutes late at the doctors I get shouted at; and if I send a text from the waiting room I have been shouted at.

Is it something they just enjoy or are they following doctor's instructions? Actually why is that so many have to raise their voices to patients in a manner that indicates the patient is a moron.

jellyfl00d Wed 30-Oct-13 08:39:51

I work in a busy hospital ward, there are some staff who are paid the lowest band possible, however this does not mean they get the right to tie patients/users/visitors up in red tape, they are required to be helpful and polite at all times. The (probably small) group of docs receptionists who do feel it's ok to treat people rudely and inappropriately, should not, whether they are on minimum wage or £100k

jellyfl00d Wed 30-Oct-13 08:45:08

As an aside, I was an inpatient on the ward I work on once and. Had to phone the nurses station from my mobile for help as I couldn't reach the call bell and I was bed bound! smile very silly

Alexandrite Wed 30-Oct-13 08:50:23

Ive had exactly the same happen OP. I wouldn't complain though. I think they do it as they have to have a cut off time somewhere that they stick to. If they didn't then people will purposely phone a bit early, which disadvantages people who phone bang on 3. I think it's not really serious enough to complain about. Especially as you said she wasn't rude to you.

Ggsoph Wed 30-Oct-13 08:55:58

Totally Agree Jelly - as previous poster has said there are unsuitable, rude people in most jobs and at both ends of the pay scale. I just made the pay point as I have heard people moaning that they have a 'cushy' public sector pay packet!

I suppose the reason I posted is that a lot of the complaints on here are about the utterly ridiculous systems put in place by practice managers/GPs and the pressure this puts on the patients and the reception staff. No one at the practice I mentioned thinks the system works but they can't change it without the public complaining. Maybe OPs receptionist was on a power trip and that's why she made her call back, but maybe, just maybe, they have a ridiculous rule which she was having to follow...

Ggsoph Wed 30-Oct-13 09:08:02

Sorry Jelly - you are OP! Not woken up properly yet!

claretandamberforever Wed 30-Oct-13 09:20:40

Married - no idea! We have signs up asking people not to use their phones in the consultations, but they're free to use them in the waiting room. Very archaic rule as you can pretty much use them freely in hospitals now can't you?

I work in a GP's in a densely populated area where there is a massive demand for appointments. We have tried everything to try and lessen the demand but nothing works. As a receptionist the doctors do not want us to automatically say "there's nothing left" and be immovable. If we have appointments to offer and people want them, they automatically get booked in. If there are no appointments and the patient doesn't want to wait three weeks for the next one, the doctors want us to ask what the matter is so we are not turning seriously ill patients away.

I'd much rather be able to offer appointments to everyone who wants one, but it's just not possible. I don't know what the answer is. It's okay the government saying that they want GP's to be open for umpteen hours a day but that won't create more appointments, there'll be the same number, just at different times in the day. You can't please all of the people all of the time.

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 30-Oct-13 09:31:26

But in the last year or so I have been offered a nurse review because I am over 50 (I have nothing wrong with me), breast screening, smear tests, flu jabs, etc. All of that is fine and dandy but I access all of it privately and that should all be in my notes. To top it all off I got a letter from my health authority recently telling me I hadn't responded to screening invitations and if I didn't write and confirm my address within two weeks (I might have been away for a month) I would be struck off my GP's list. I have never been notified such screening invitations are mandatory and usually they contain a sentence that says if have x done privately please let your GP know - not if you don't take up this non compulsory invitation you will be struck off.

In short what I am trying to say is that I am offered a lot of stuff that I don't need (I really really don't need a nurse to tell me that no, I'm not overweight) but when I really really need services for the chronic health condition I have it seems as though that service is made as inaccessible as humanly possible. That is what I rather object to.

Spidermama Wed 30-Oct-13 09:35:21

If there were a practise rule in place locking her out of the software she should have said so. 'Sorry. I know it seems silly but I can't book you in until One.'

MissMarplesBloomers Wed 30-Oct-13 09:37:02

As a counter our receptionists are luffly, and always try & fit us in if they can, & have recently been very supportive through various family medical problems.

Our house is on the market & I almost don't want to move as I've been with them for over 20 years & they have helped through 2 pregnancies, a divorce & mulitple horrible situations.

SoupDragon Wed 30-Oct-13 09:39:30

But if it is O to phone at 12:59 and keep the receptionist talking til the allotted time, is it OK to phone at 12:58: 12:55? 12:45...?

SoupDragon Wed 30-Oct-13 09:39:52

OK. not just O.

Debs75 Wed 30-Oct-13 09:57:56

YANBU I left my old lovely drs for my new ones because the old drs had a very nasty receptionist.
She would always ask what is wrong with you. She had a very snooty tone. She once gave me a sit and wait for my 2 ds's who were quite sick. The younger had autism and was literally screaming. Everytime she called through a sit and wait she would glare at ds and me then look for another patient and call them in. We were last and ds was exhausted and banging his head by the time we got through. The dr was angry that we had waited so long as ds was so upset he wouldn't let the dr near him.
She once berated an old man who had been ringing for 20 mins at 8 and couldn't get through so he came from across the road to beg for an appt for his very sick wife. She was very nasty and the man was in tears

Appt booking is dreadful here as well though, you ring at 8am for the days apt but you never get through until 8.15 and all the appts have gone

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 30-Oct-13 10:01:33

I was actually told, well if you can't get through on the phone, come and wait outside the surgery - if you get here at 7.50 you'll be first in the queue and be sure of an appointment. Not quite so simple with two children who need to get to school and not what one should ever have been expected to do for a routine, non urgent appointment that should have been booked in advance. But there was a little window when this was stopped due to the rule about appointments in 24 hours. Utterly absurd and facilitated by highly trained professionals who clearly had absolutely not an iota of respect for the general public.

Littlemisstax Wed 30-Oct-13 10:26:08

I'm still waiting for an appointment for DS to have his six week check, he's 9 weeks now. Have a second attempt for his jabs today as the nurse refused to do them last time as he was only 7 weeks and 6 days old at the appointment that they had made confused

AmIGoingMad Wed 30-Oct-13 10:34:30

Our receptionist are as helpful as they can be in a ridiculous system that is in place in our practice. I've tried to move but cannot hmm

Op I think its madness that you had to phone back! I'd definitely be having an informal chat with the practice manager. I understand that's difficult in a small surgery though where it seems that one person had lots of jobs and you could well be complaining about her to her!

gobbin Wed 30-Oct-13 11:09:15

Ours can be a bit hit and miss depending on who you get but are generally quite helpful.

The pharmacist up the road is another ballgame though... I have never come across such a rude 'professional' in all my life. The way she talks to people in the shop is quite astonishing.

SueDoku Wed 30-Oct-13 12:44:10

Our practice is wonderful, they do all the things mentioned above by Lottie.

We have online appointment booking (you can choose a specific doctor, any doctor or a nurse) repeat prescription ordering, telephone appointments if you just need to check something with a doctor - and they also have the touchscreen system when you arrive at the surgery, so that they know that you are there.

You can book appointments as far in advance as you need - and best of all, if it's really urgent and there are no appointments left (such as when I had a sudden-onset UTI) you can ring and someone will always see you as an emergency....

I can't praise them enough - and I NEVER intend to move out of the area. And all this is in a small town in a rural setting - not a spanking new purpose-built medical centre in a big city smile

at risk of going all Godwin. The guards at treblinka were following orders from management and sticking to the system.

They were still strung up. (and rightly so)

Before i get the clarion calls of it just doesn't compare - you are right it doesn't compare. But the "i am just following orders" " I blame the system" has a dangerous precedent and people must be accountable for their actions. The receptionists choose to be rude, nosy and obstructive. They can inform practice managers that the approach is unworkable or unpleasant, but no, they happily apply the kafkaesque rules and blame "the system" and thus it is so across the NHS. Individuals personally responsible for neglect blame the system and complicit closed shop unions enforce this.

So receptionists of the UK remember this. We the population are taking names. There will be a reckoning. grin

SoupDragon Wed 30-Oct-13 13:32:51


Dobbiesmum Wed 30-Oct-13 13:49:29

Just remember that it will be the taxpayers money that will be paying for the receptionists benefits if they lose their jobs due to not following the rules. Then you really will have something to complain about...
And you're right, Treblinka and a GP surgery are in no way comparable and a really stupid comparison to make.
Oh, and if you look back at other threads on this subject you would see that receptionists tend to be aware that the general public are taking names. That's why it's no surprise when some are followed home and threatened. It has happened many times.

AnyoneforTurps Wed 30-Oct-13 13:52:02

married I don't think anyone believes it is ok to waste patients' time. However I do agree with you there are many inefficiencies in the system. The problem is that the system is at breaking point and everyone is (mixing metaphors) too busy bailing out the boat to fix the hole in the hull. Blood tests are a good example - I'd like my patients who need a blood test (unless it's a fasting one etc) to be able to have them that day, rather than having to come back especially. We do try to do this in my practice but we can only achieve it by leaving some healthcare assistant appointments free and these are often unused which is a waste when there are patients wanting them. We try to get the balance right but it is hard when there is no slack. And things are only going to get worse with 13% of the entire GP workforce retiring over the next 2 years and medical students reluctant to become GPs. In my own (friendly, well-run) practice, all the GPs under 40 have left to pursue other careers. I feel your pain- I'm currently having to wait 3 weeks to see my own GP - but I don't know what the answer is, short of cloning wink.

Having said all that, there is still no excuse for fuckwittery as described in the OP.

AnyoneforTurps Wed 30-Oct-13 13:59:36

Actually, having read voice's posting! I suddenly feel a whole lot better about the imminent demise of general practice. If you are comparing GP receptionists to the SS, then you really deserve what is coming as the NHS collapses. That is unbelievably offensive.

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 30-Oct-13 17:27:14

I think Voices post was an OTT analogy but I also think that if the NHS had maintained better more common sense within and ditched some of the PC moronics and kept individuals at its heart it wouldn't be in the mess it is now. How much did the extra layer of PCTs cost? How much did GP's put their collective support behind them? What benefits did they institute for patients? Mine had a CEO on 50k (in 1999) who couldn't read a balance sheet. They were introduced by a labour government, supported by an over politicised BMA,and had purchasing rather than patients at their hearyt lumping all patients into the lowest common denominator across two to three very diverse boroughs. I recall no local GPs speaking out. I was on the board at the time.

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