So sorry for NHS staff

(257 Posts)
6demandingchildren Mon 11-Oct-21 10:54:58

Tried calling my GP practice this morning to get a telephone appointment, Mondays is the worst time to call as you can never get through but I was lucky only this time I was met with a different welcome message, it basically said that its not the receptionists fault if their are no available appointments and please do not take your frustrations out on the staff.
Anyway once the receptionist answered (this was around 10am) all the appointments for the day had gone and she asked what was wrong, I have only got pins and needles in my face so nothing major and she advised me to call back tomorrow morning or phone 111.
No wonder these poor people are so stressed out.

OP’s posts: |
user2346421 Mon 11-Oct-21 11:01:24

???
Pins and needles in face doesn't sound great. Definitely call 111.

Important to note that GPs are basically private business funded by the NHS. The GPs decide their own pay, employ their own staff etc.

It isn't fair on the NHS to imply that GPs zero Covid policy and thus behind-doors behaviour is in any way reflective of the NHS proper, which is functioning normally. Especially shit in Emergency Departments of the proper NHS where all the patients who can't see their GPs properly end up going.
So yes, you really SHOULD feel sorry for the NHS, but not highly paid GPs.

6demandingchildren Mon 11-Oct-21 11:11:32

The receptionists in our surgery have been there years and it must be so hard to have all this added pressure added to their jobs, I can understand peoples frustration but to take it out on people who cant change the rules or do anything about it is horrid.

OP’s posts: |
MrsPsmalls Mon 11-Oct-21 11:15:27

user2346421

???
Pins and needles in face doesn't sound great. Definitely call 111.

Important to note that GPs are basically private business funded by the NHS. The GPs decide their own pay, employ their own staff etc.

It isn't fair on the NHS to imply that GPs zero Covid policy and thus behind-doors behaviour is in any way reflective of the NHS proper, which is functioning normally. Especially shit in Emergency Departments of the proper NHS where all the patients who can't see their GPs properly end up going.
So yes, you really SHOULD feel sorry for the NHS, but not highly paid GPs.

Bollocks. There is a huge shortage of gps. This is not a job most doctors want whatever the pay. Because it is a thankless difficult job. They have to pay the staff out of the limited budget too. Our gp recently killed himself and to be absolutely honest this is not particularly unusual. No one will take over his one man band practice,..because being a gp.. is not a popular career choice. And yes op you are right to feel sorry for the GPS and staff. I work in the NHS but would hate to work for a gp practice at the moment.

Stompythedinosaur Mon 11-Oct-21 11:16:23

I think GP receptionists get a really disproportionate amount of abuse which is totally unfair, when I have only ever known them to do their best in difficult circumstances.

myheartskippedabeat Mon 11-Oct-21 12:41:25

The receptionists at our practice are always nice and helpful however the lack of face to face appointments is difficult for patients and people do want to be seen
Ours has gone on to Askmygp and basically it closes around 9:30am when it "reaches capacity" and some older people haven't got organised by then or would only be able to phone
I wrote to them recently suggesting a dedicated line for vunerable/older patients but they responded and said yes but then we'd need a children's one, one for pregnant ladies, one for this that and the other and it would become un-manageable

Koph Mon 11-Oct-21 13:31:09

I had to go for a blood test today and there was a queue out the door to reception. People go in because they can't get through on phone. I know that GP surgeries are essentially businesses and GPs are self employed. They could choose to employ more admin staff to answer phones and instal more lines.
Yes there is a shortage of GPs but that's because most work part time (something like 90%). It's seen as family friendly and while I obviously agree that flexible working is essential for parents tnere is a trend for less than full time to be the norm. I do think there should be a minimum term that newly qualified doctors have to commit to in return for the huge state investment in their training.

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pianolessons1 Mon 11-Oct-21 13:38:28

Koph

I had to go for a blood test today and there was a queue out the door to reception. People go in because they can't get through on phone. I know that GP surgeries are essentially businesses and GPs are self employed. They could choose to employ more admin staff to answer phones and instal more lines.
Yes there is a shortage of GPs but that's because most work part time (something like 90%). It's seen as family friendly and while I obviously agree that flexible working is essential for parents tnere is a trend for less than full time to be the norm. I do think there should be a minimum term that newly qualified doctors have to commit to in return for the huge state investment in their training.

Practices get funded £80-120 per patient per year. Try insuring a pet for that. It won't pay for unlimited numbers of staff.

chinateapot Mon 11-Oct-21 13:42:38

On the subject of GPs working part time: even the Daily Mail article that’s run this as the headline today admits that this is an average of over 40 hours per week. That’s not part time in any other job. GP days are generally over 12 hours long and they are absolutely exhausting.

Kummerspeck Mon 11-Oct-21 13:47:18

Koph

I had to go for a blood test today and there was a queue out the door to reception. People go in because they can't get through on phone. I know that GP surgeries are essentially businesses and GPs are self employed. They could choose to employ more admin staff to answer phones and instal more lines.
Yes there is a shortage of GPs but that's because most work part time (something like 90%). It's seen as family friendly and while I obviously agree that flexible working is essential for parents tnere is a trend for less than full time to be the norm. I do think there should be a minimum term that newly qualified doctors have to commit to in return for the huge state investment in their training.

It's also worth noting that not all part-time GPs spend the rest of their time at home with their families. I work in a practice (not a GP though) and, of our "part-timers" one also has a role with NHS England, one with the local Primary Care Network and one at the local hospice. They are all valuable jobs that need doing and add value to patient care

Being a GP is a thankless task nowadays and they and their staff are taking ridiculous amounts of abuse

RedFlyingBeeBee Mon 11-Oct-21 13:51:37

YABU I know you didn't ask. I feel sorry for the patients who don't get the healthcare they need and are entitled to. WTH are GPs doing about it all? Why should we feel sorry for the receptionist? It's the GP practice's responsibility to deliver a service. They are not doing this, hiding behind Covid excuses, it's a disgrace. Of course no-one should be abuse but the GP service is now beyond the pale, I mean what GP service?

Cbtb Mon 11-Oct-21 13:59:53

What mandatory nhs work term were you thinking? GPs will already have worked a minimum of 5yrs FT in nhs before becoming a GP (or more years less than full time)

What taxpayer payments to their training? Medical students have student loans and pay fees like everybody else other than the last year of uni when their fees are paid for them but they have to do nights and weekends in the hospital that year. The figures bandied around for post grad training cost are the wages of the doctors themselves…..since they are working while “training” - it’s not the cost of training a doctor it’s the cost of employing one.

The usual nhs “training” for post grad junior doctors is a half day of zoom lectures a week term time only and a e learning package they do in their own time. Exams, external courses etc are paid for by the doctors themselves.

Can you define full time? The government says it’s 36hrs a week. A GP will easily do that in 3 days. A trainee working “less than full time” at 80% works more than that that. I’m training at 50% and I worked 55 hours last week (I do now have this week as mandatory “annual leave” to even it out - but I didn’t want my annual leave days now as my kid is in school but I don’t get to choose when I take my leave - it’s used to bring my hours down to compliance)

So really no I don’t think I owe the government anything for my training (other than the student loan I am paying back like anyone else), and I don’t see how them “mandate” people work “full time” helps when most people already work full time by their own definitions.

We’re paid at an hourly rate (other than Gp partners) and most doctors have slowly woken up to the fact that they can therefore work a normal for other jobs “full time” number of hours and make an acceptable income. So most work 30-40hours a week and make a salary proportional to that……

We need more doctors, making current ones work more hours isn’t going to help anything

Cbtb Mon 11-Oct-21 14:03:30

Good point about working elsewhere as well. I work one of my “off” days in a covid vaccine centre…..others work in out of hours or walk in centres or similar

Lansley the idiot asked GPs to take over the commissioning of the health service and removed the sos’s obligation to provide a service. So GPs now spend time trying to run the service rather than seeing patients….

Changednamehere56 Mon 11-Oct-21 14:07:05

@MrsPsmalls that's terrible. Your poor GP.

Sprostongreen21 Mon 11-Oct-21 14:09:50

There isn’t a gp service because there isn’t enough gps and staff. There isn’t enough money/funding for more. There are too many patients registered for far too few available doctor’s and appointments. I’ve read thread after thread where GPs have stated how busy they are and that they are working ridiculous hours. Hospitals are pretty much the same. I’ve never know. For so many staff to be leaving where I work.

The system is broken but don’t blame the individuals that try and keep it going. Blame the consecutive governments that have let our health service fail and a pandemic which just made it worse and so much more obvious then hide it with meaningless platitudes

AmanitaRubescens Mon 11-Oct-21 14:15:38

Good point about working elsewhere as well. I work one of my “off” days in a covid vaccine centre…..others work in out of hours or walk in centres or similar

Shouldn't GPs look after those on their list first? Or would that be soul destroying?

pianolessons1 Mon 11-Oct-21 14:22:35

AmanitaRubescens

*Good point about working elsewhere as well. I work one of my “off” days in a covid vaccine centre…..others work in out of hours or walk in centres or similar*

Shouldn't GPs look after those on their list first? Or would that be soul destroying?

absolutely. when I'm not seeing patients, I'm working on producing CPD so that other doctors can keep up to date, doing admin work which keeps services running and doing appraisals on other doctors. Does none of that need to be done?

RosieLemonade Mon 11-Oct-21 14:26:58

The receptionist at my last GP told me they couldn't help me with a post birth injury and hung up the phone before I even finished my sentence. Thankfully a kind nurse practitioner took pity on me as I needed two different kinds of medication and antibiotics.
New surgery refused to book me in for a flu jab because they had no proof I was pregnant. I've had 2 midwife appointments and a 12 weeks scan and all the various bloods along the way. Funnily enough no one replied to my message asking how I could prove it!

chinateapot Mon 11-Oct-21 14:29:20

I teach medical students when I’m not working in GP. It won’t help if we don’t have any more doctors trained.

I also don’t have a personal list and am employed by a GP partnership. Doing a mix of work means I can work five days a week. I could not do 5 days a week core GP. It’s just too exhausting and too hard.

OttilieStonelady Mon 11-Oct-21 14:37:20

Honestly, I know it's frustrating but people genuinely do not understand what it is to be a GP. I live with one. He is broken. He leaves for work at 7am and gets home at 10pm. EVERY DAY. He still never has his tasks done. He works for a few hours every weekend. He still can't get through all his patients. It's awful. Doctors, especially GPs now have a notable higher risk of suicide than the general population. You couldn't pay me enough.

Cbtb Mon 11-Oct-21 14:38:01

“Shouldn't GPs look after those on their list first? Or would that be soul destroying?”

I’m not a Gp, but how is working OOH (out of hours) or doing vaccine clinics not looking after their patients? The patients need care at night don’t they? They need vaccines….there is a finite number of doctors and so may jobs that need doing- the Uk is very under doctored per head compared to similar countries- answer is simple hire more doctors!

Working in more that one environment is good for medical professionals as well because it allows them To keep their skills fresh and see other practice.

cptartapp Mon 11-Oct-21 14:40:54

I work in a GP practice (nurse). In over thirty years I have never been so busy. The GP's neither. In the last month three senior staff with over 100 years experience between them have all retired early. At least two more due to go in the next two years.
We've all seen patients face to face throughout Covid, in addition to running a hot hub for symptomatic people wearing a paper mask for protection, and continue to do so.Now we're doing flu clinics on our days off and dealing with the unprecedented demand of a growing population that is routinely living into their 80's and 90's and beyond with a multitude of health issues. Plus the backlog of problems people didn't want to bother anyone with.
None of our staff FWIW work in out of hours, certainly nobody wants overtime, but covering self isolating and unwell colleagues over the last 18 months to maintain some semblance of service has become commonplace.
Some practIces have no doubt been poor, but to tar them all with the same brush is extremely demoralising.
Any yes to the kicking off and banging on the reception desk. Usually men of a certain age. Saw it twice last Friday.

Cbtb Mon 11-Oct-21 14:41:40

Rosie. I’m sorry about your birth injury. The government removed the funding for postnatal care from GP and gave it to the midwives and hospitals a while a ago (at the request of the midwife’s as well). The GP is not paid to provide care for your birth injury but Maternity services are and so your anger should be directed at them who took the money away from GPs and then haven’t provided a service

TrainforSpeed Mon 11-Oct-21 14:43:30

It's not the reveptionists' fault but it is the GP practice's. Ridiculous that their own system requires you to call back tomorrow when they could just make the appointment for you today

RosieLemonade Mon 11-Oct-21 14:50:07

@Cbtb entirely understandable but would have been nice for her to explain this to me rather than hanging up the phone! I would have then understood where to look for help. Please understand I was never angry with the GP but the receptionist who hung up on me.

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