To complain about this GP receptionist?

(66 Posts)
Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 20:29:50

Tell me if I am making a mountain out of a molehill please.

I went to see the GP today with DC (7 months) in tow. I checked myself in and found out that there was going to be a long wait, about 5 patients before me. I told the (nice) receptionist that I was going to pop out across the steet to the playground and she said that was fine and apologised for the long wait.

Outside at the car park, I went to the car, got DC dressed in her winter coat and hat whilst more cars arrived looking for space to park. I got some impatient looks from people in their cars thinking I was about to leave, one driver even swore at me when I hinted that I wasn't moving my car.

Anyhow, I closed the boot and walked across the street to the playground.

Suddenly a women got out of her car and shouted across the street asking if I was seeing the GP or not. I didn't feel like shouting back and anyway it was none of that woman's business really. So I turned around and ignored her. Next I know she shouts my name "mrs Ginghamcurtains" in a school master voice, "a you or aren't you seeing the GP". I recognised that this was other GP receptionist. I mumbled something about waiting to see the Gp. She went off in a huff saying that she needed to park her car implying that she needed the space my car was parked in.

Aibu to feel really put out that she used my name which she only knows because I am a patient to shout across the street at me because she needed a parking space? I thought this was really rude and i am considering complaining about her. Would you?

I am however worried that if I complain she will make me pay for it when I call for appointments in the future. confused

CustardLover Fri 22-Nov-13 20:32:41

Personally I wouldn't bother - what would your objective be for such a complaint? I think it won't make your life any better but might make it slightly worse if, as you say, it makes her take against you. Can completely understand you being put out but I don't think complaining will help you.

MrsFlorrick Fri 22-Nov-13 20:33:20

GP receptionists hmm they seem to be a special self important breed.

I know why you feel like complaining but it's not worth hassle over future appointment. They rule like nazis in my experience.

For the sake of your DS and to save worries, I would leave it

You can always come here and vent!

ceeveebee Fri 22-Nov-13 20:33:46

Personaly I would say you were rude for totally ignoring her question the first time you were asked.

tracypenisbeaker Fri 22-Nov-13 20:34:04

Your grievance is that she said your name, which she only used because you ignored her?

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 20:44:45

I ignored her because I don't like to be shouted at and commanded from across the street. A simple 'excuse me, are you going to see the Gp? I need a parking space' would have made a world of difference.

I don't think that's very nice manner, especially when talking to a patient is it?

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 20:46:33

She didn't just say my name she said called my name in a reprimanding way just to secure herself a parking space. Also, sorry but why use the knowledge of my name (confidential patient data) for the benefit of finding a space to park her car?

You ignored her, you were also odd for taking a 7mo to a playground. What's wrong with just sitting and waiting for the GP?

BobaFetaCheese Fri 22-Nov-13 20:49:19

Why didnt you wait in the GP reception room?

TheCrumpetQueen Fri 22-Nov-13 20:51:01

You were both rude

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 22-Nov-13 20:53:06

YWBU for not waiting in the surgery like other people.

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 20:53:56

I had to wait for an hour. The playground is literally across the street and tiny and I popped back every five minutes to check progress. DC would have screamed the whole place down had I waited. I thought I was being considered to the other people waiting as well allowing DC some fresh air.

Sorry but why was I rude exactly???

SirChenjin Fri 22-Nov-13 20:54:45

She was bloody rude - there is a way to ask someone if they are moving out from their parking space and that wasn't it. As for 'ignoring' her, if you believe that shouting at someone across a car park warrants a response then you are mistaken. You did the right thing going to the playpark - who wants to sit about for 15-30 minutes in a germ infested GP waiting room? As long as you understood that if the appointments had suddenly sped up and that as a result you had missed your important then that was just too bad, then you took the sensible option.

Bue Fri 22-Nov-13 20:55:24

I really, really fail to see how your name is confidential patient data confused It pops up on the screen when the GP is ready to see you!!!

Daddypigsgusset Fri 22-Nov-13 20:55:32

What's odd about a 7mo at a playground? [Confused]

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 20:56:17

Sir, you put it better than me, but that's was what I was exactly thinking.

kinkyfuckery Fri 22-Nov-13 20:56:21

She used your name to get your attention? Shoot her!

ZombieMonkeyButler Fri 22-Nov-13 20:56:41

Well, when I used to be a GP Receptionist, the 'house rule' was that if you left the building you lost your place in the queue (other than smokers popping out for a cigarette, nipping to fetch something from the car etc etc). It wasn't our rule (as patients no doubt thought), it was the GPs rule. Therefore, I think you're pretty U for heading off to the playground in the first place. Especially in November, with a 7mo baby confused.

But putting that to one side, you should have answered the Receptionist the first time she spoke to you. Look at the other side of the coin, she might be fed up with patients looking and talking down to her! Oh, and pinching the last parking space to go shopping.

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 20:57:54

Yes my name does pop up on the screen indeed but she used the knowledge of my name outside of the surgery to secure herself a parking space and she shouted my name across the street to make herself noticed. hmm

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 20:58:56

The other receptionist new I was popping out a d supported it. So different rules in this surgery I guess. DC was dressed warmly and enjoyed the swings.

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 20:59:19

knew not new...

Salmotrutta Fri 22-Nov-13 20:59:50

They tend to call out our names at my GP when the Doc is ready to see you.

So it's hardly confidential at my surgery - maybe I should complain?

SirChenjin Fri 22-Nov-13 21:00:22

Maybe that wasn't the rule in this surgery though? And not heading off the playpark in November - what??!!

As for ignoring her - I'd have done the same. If someone wants to engage with me then they can do it without shouting at me - otherwise I will either shout back or ignore them.

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 21:00:24

Zombie, if she and talked to me in a policed way I would never have ignored her. She shouted to me from across the street.

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 21:01:00

Salmo, it was outside of the surgery, like I said.

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 21:02:12

Oh god, I give up, bloody predictive spelling. I try again.

Zombie, if she had talked to me, I would have never ignored her. She shouted out my name from across the street.

Salmotrutta Fri 22-Nov-13 21:02:34

I don't really understand why you didn't just answer her question tbh.

It doesn't seem terrible (to me at least) to ask if someone is using the space intended for the surgery for an appointment when they are seen heading away from the surgery?

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 22-Nov-13 21:03:47

It doesn't seem terrible (to me at least) to ask if someone is using the space intended for the surgery for an appointment when they are seen heading away from the surgery?


Salmotrutta Fri 22-Nov-13 21:04:04

Oh well.

We all have different levels of reasonableness...

Bowlersarm Fri 22-Nov-13 21:04:39

I don't think she was rude at all.

She used your name, polite rather than "oi you". I don't see why you would want your name to be top secret?

She probably thought it odd you were waiting to see your GP outside.

What could you possibly say in your complaint "I'm very cross because the receptionist called me Mrs Gingham, and asked if I was leaving the car park so she could use my space"

I'm not sure that complaint would be high on their list of priorities.

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 21:05:00

She didn't ask nicely! She was really grumpy and reprimanding, so I do mind being addressed in that way, especially being sick and having to see the Gp.

Bowlersarm Fri 22-Nov-13 21:05:42

Sorry OP I can tell you are cross but really struggling to understand why you are cross.

SirChenjin Fri 22-Nov-13 21:06:48

She didn't ask - she got out of the car and shouted to find out if she was seeing the GP or not. If a stranger shouted at me from across the street wanting to know if I was seeing the GP I wouldn't necessarily answer them - it's none of their business. Just because someone shouts at you and asks you a question about where you are going doesn't mean you are actually required to give an answer.

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 21:07:05

Bowlers grin If you put like that....... i can imagine that would look a bit ludicrous and most definitely not top priority on a complaint list haha.

Salmotrutta Fri 22-Nov-13 21:07:13

You asked if you were making a mountain out of a molehill OP?


DoJo Fri 22-Nov-13 21:08:03

To be fair, it may be a part of her job to keep an eye on parking and ensure that people aren't using the car park to go to the playground and not the GP. I don't see why you are so upset that she used your name, unless you are hiding from someone or so private that you consider it privileged information for anyone to over hear it. I think it was reasonable of her to confront you over the parking situation, and I don't understand why you didn't just answer her the first time she asked you - surely you can see why it's in their interests to ensure that people aren't misusing their car park, especially if it's often as busy as you describe.

ZombieMonkeyButler Fri 22-Nov-13 21:08:12

Hmm, I suppose I can see both sides really. I can see why she (the Receptionist) was annoyed, but I can see why you thought being shouted out across the street was rude.

Technically speaking, you are probably correct in assuming that she shouldn't have used your name outside of the surgery - but would you have felt the same if she wasn't a Receptionist but, some other casual acquaintance/mother from school etc?

Complain if you really feel you should, I imagine the Practice Manager will have a quiet word and leave it at that.

SirChenjin Fri 22-Nov-13 21:08:59

You asked if you were making a mountain out of a molehill OP?


softlysoftly Fri 22-Nov-13 21:09:16

Was it a surgery space or Road parking?

If it was Road parking yanbu, though could have responded first time.

If it was surgery parking yabu, she quite rightly thought that you were abusing the space to go to the park.

I also think it's odd to leave the surgery, does everyone have to wait if they reach you and you aren't there? GPs get 5 minute slots, 5 × 5 could mean 25m max wait if all were uncomplicated.

bababababoom Fri 22-Nov-13 21:10:56

YANBU to leave the surgery and go to the playground....not sure why people think 7mo baby won't enjoy the playground or benefit from the fresh air. Mine was 8 mo last year when she was rolling round in the snow (in a waterproof ski suit)....

YABU not to have answered when she called you. She was being ratty, probably because she thought (understandably) that you weren't using the surgery and were taking up her parking space.

Y would be U to make a complaint.

kinkyfuckery Fri 22-Nov-13 21:11:12

So you are pissed off that someone used your name in a reprimanding way, on the street, whilst not working? So you want to report her to her boss?

Bowlersarm Fri 22-Nov-13 21:12:32

You asked if you were making a mountain out of a molehill Op?


(Although doctors surgeries, especially with a young child in tow is a stressful business, so your experience may look distorted)

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 21:13:56

But I didn't recognise her before she called me by my name.i thought Shen was just a grumpy old hag / cheeky mare and thus ignored her.

Once she called my name, I looked against saw it was the receptionist.

BobaFetaCheese Fri 22-Nov-13 21:14:57

I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

'She got out of her car'
^ does thatmean she wasnt at work when you went in for your appointment first time around/the times you came back in to check on progress?

SirChenjin Fri 22-Nov-13 21:15:01

You asked if you were making a mountain out of a molehill Op?

Some of us think no, some think yes.

The joys of AIBU! grin

CoffeeTea103 Fri 22-Nov-13 21:15:44

Yabu, get over it. There are real issues in life to get bothered about, this isn't one of them. She did not put your life in danger by using your name publicly. If a colleague, teacher, acquaintance used your name acquired would you be making complaints all over the place?

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 21:15:53

kincky, she was working. Trying to find parking to return to her post at the reception.

gordyslovesheep Fri 22-Nov-13 21:18:12

she probably thought you had seen the Dr and when now taking your child to the park - and she needed the space, which is for patients and staff at the Dr's. I don't think she was rude to ask you if you still needed the space

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 21:21:23

Gordy, yep you're probably right. However, I reiterate that there was no need to bark at me. I am a patient after all. For all she knew I could have been feeling quite delicate rather than jut bone tired.

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 21:25:23

Anyways, thank you all for your candid responses.

I have decided not to make a formal complaint as it's not worth the hassle and could turn her against me when making future appointments.

But I do think she should have been more polite and less bossy. Fwiw.

SirChenjin Fri 22-Nov-13 21:30:23

Agree with both points there, but remember to cut her some slack - she is a GP receptionist and therefore truly believes she is God wink grin

carabos Fri 22-Nov-13 21:31:34

See, my take on the confidentiality thing is that nobody should publicise your name at all at the docs. It drives me nuts that they put the names on the marquee thing - strictly speaking, no doctor can even confirm to anyone that someone is as much as registered with them let alone give out their names to a waiting room full of random strangers. And no, I didn't give permission for that by default by the fact of being there. It's IMO a MASSIVE breach of confidentiality and there's no excuse for it. Give out the NHS number ffs or a cloakroom ticket angry. And don't get me started on franking the envelope with the surgery name for correspondence. Who thought that was ok?

Ginghamcurtains Fri 22-Nov-13 21:31:54

grin sir

LCHammer Fri 22-Nov-13 21:36:42

Well done OP for accepting that it's not worth the hassle for anyone concerned. Enjoy your weekend and get better.

LCHammer Fri 22-Nov-13 21:38:23

Carabaos - do you mean tickets like you get in Clarkes or the fish counter in Morrisons?

LCHammer Fri 22-Nov-13 21:39:38

Doctors could also be known by their GMC number only. A third party could put the two together. The third party could be the GP receptionist. Now that would be power.

SirChenjin Fri 22-Nov-13 21:43:00

franking the envelope with the surgery name for correspondence

Our surgery doesn't do this - all correspondence is via a plain, white, handwritten envelope.

I'm with you Caraboas - your name should not be linked to a GP, it's a breach of data protection.

Bowlersarm Fri 22-Nov-13 21:45:58

Why shouldn't your name be linked to a GP?

tudorqueen Fri 22-Nov-13 21:48:55

Whilst we all know keeping patient information confidential is vitally important (we even have a Code of Confidentiality in the NHS) - in practice, when there are a number of patients in the waiting room, how else are the GPs/nurses going to know who to call in for their appointment? Also, in most communities, especially fairly small ones, people will know your name anyway. I know most of the patients in my practice from living in the same village. She was rude and I wouldn't like any of my receptionists shouting to a patient, but then it works both ways. I also don't like anyone who uses my practice carpark for shopping either!!

bimbabirba Fri 22-Nov-13 21:55:02

Receptionists call people by name and it's not confidential information nor abuse of power to use it if they see you outside side of surgery

MyPrettyToes Fri 22-Nov-13 21:55:44

For what it's worth OP, I get it. YANBU overall, although I think complaining would have been a bit OTT. If she had come over to you and asked you politely if you were seeing the GP then your reaction would have been unreasonable.

I never, ever respond to anyone who shouts at me. I ignore them. Always.

SirChenjin Fri 22-Nov-13 21:57:01

In our the GP comes out and calls you in by your first name only.

What the OP is describing though is very different - her name was called out in an non-NHS public area on a non-NHS matter, linking her to that particular GP.

Sidge Fri 22-Nov-13 22:05:32

SirChenjin you must be with a really small practice!

Where I work if I went out to the waiting room and called for Bob, or Shirley, or Ethan, I'd potentially have half a dozen people standing up!

We might have 10 clinical practitioners calling patients - the potential for confusion is enormous!

Ziggyzoom Fri 22-Nov-13 22:09:25

I get the feeling that this GP's practice has a problem with people using the car park to visit the park over the road. It probably drives the staff mad. She clearly suspected that this was what you were doing and I suspect that you knew this. By not responding the first time you have raised her levels of irritation and I think you need to take some responsibility for that, and put it down to experience.

SirChenjin Fri 22-Nov-13 22:11:38

There are about 4000 people registered, with 4 GPs and associated NMAHP staff. It's a wonderful surgery, can't rate it highly enough smile

bimbabirba Fri 22-Nov-13 22:13:17

How do you know the receptionist wanted to nick your car park space anyway? I bet she was just trying to find out if you'd be returning for your appointment!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now