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to book a pre-emptive doctor's appointment?

(23 Posts)
tooposhtopost Mon 20-Dec-10 15:19:50

Year after year, we end up queuing for emergency doctors' appointments over Christmas.

One of my DD's has just come down with flu (2 days ago). She also has a skin infection that last time required antibiotics.

So I have booked a doctor's appointment for Thursday, in case she is not better by then, even though I hope we won't need to go. My logic is that doctors can't do much for flu but they always say to go if you are not better in a week (which will be Christmas Day) and DD has an underlying health issue that usually means she gets iller than others. So AIBU to reserve a slot just in case (thus depriving others of the chance to book until I cancel) or am I being wise?

Dropdeadfred Mon 20-Dec-10 15:21:54

although i sympathise i think you are BU

tooposhtopost Mon 20-Dec-10 15:23:24

I was going to cancel it on Wednesday if she is on the mend........does that help?

Alouiseg Mon 20-Dec-10 15:24:26

As long as you cancel it as early as possible if you don't need it then I think you're being sensible.

MeUnscrabbly Mon 20-Dec-10 15:24:33

I don't think it's unreasonable just so long as if you don't need it you call in plenty of time to cancel so they can allocate it to someone who needs to see the doctor urgently. I work in a health centre and it's always appreciated (and cancelled appointments are almost always filled within minutes) if you let them know.

Just don't not bother to tell them, because that pisses us off. We even send out letters to persistent offenders telling them that if they keep missing appointments that they will be taken off our list.

fel1x Mon 20-Dec-10 15:24:42

YANBU sounds sensible in your circumstances

GlitteryBalls Mon 20-Dec-10 15:25:11

YANBU. They will fill that apt no problem even if you cancel it earlier that day. x

InkyStamp Mon 20-Dec-10 15:25:51


Although last week I called for an appointment and they couldnt fit me in for another NINE days. That would have been helpful!

I tend to wait until 6pm now and get a same day OOH appointment!

Dropdeadfred Mon 20-Dec-10 15:26:24

if you cancel, as said, then YANBU in your circumstances smile

going Mon 20-Dec-10 15:26:34

As long as you canel it if she doesn't need it I think you are doing the right thing. Going by past experince it sounds as if she will need the appointment.

fayc84 Mon 20-Dec-10 15:26:43

Most surgeries I know of offer emergency on-the-day slots for urgent cases and other appointments are booked up in advance. I don't think you are unreasonable to book a slot at all. It would be unreasonable just not to turn up though, so make sure if you don't need it you give plenty of notice and they might be able to offer it to someone else. Those who book "emergency" appointments when they could easily wait a couple of days are also unreasonable. But I don't think you are.

JaneS Mon 20-Dec-10 15:31:37

Ask their opinion, if you have a decent GP practice they won't mind being asked, will they? And if they do mind, you can be sure they'd be furious about you doing it and not asking!

hairyfairylights Mon 20-Dec-10 15:38:25

YANBU! What is wrong with booking a doctor's appointment in advance???

If DC is better on Thursday, phone first thing to cancel. The appointment will be offered to someone who needs to be seen urgently on Thursday.

dockate Mon 20-Dec-10 16:49:07

Seems very sensible in the circumstances, since most surgeries will be very full in the pre-Christmas run-up, and many will be seeing ONLY emergencies on Thursday/ Friday this week to control demand.

What makes me psychotic, though, are the unspeakably rude patients who don't bother to show up and then phone in demanding ANOTHER appointment on the same day, and those who phone up 5 minutes before their appointment to cancel. Both lots are noted, get a 'black mark' and will be removed from our list if they keep doing it. Many in healthcare feel that they should be charged (as in NHS dentistry) for missed appointments.

Also, inkystamp, using the OOH emergency service in this way is totally inappropriate; it is for emergencies, not the convenience of seeing a GP later in the evening.

Hulababy Mon 20-Dec-10 16:55:28

yanb so long as you cancel it as soon as you know it is not needed.

I am trying to get a GPs appointment at the moment and all appointments bar 2 emergency ones each surgery session are now booked up until after Christnmas. So can see why you'd want to

orangepoo Mon 20-Dec-10 17:12:11


It can be so hard to get a docs appt and it is so stressful and worrying with sick kids. If you cancel it, it will get retaken almost immediately I would think.

Megatron Mon 20-Dec-10 17:14:27

Definitely not unreasonable, especially as she has an underlying health issue. I have done the same thing with my own DD (also with underlying problem). Just remember to cancel!

A1980 Mon 20-Dec-10 17:21:51

Although I do sympathise I think YABU.

So many people are saying on this how hard it is to get emergency appointments. It doens't help with people booking slots they may not need.

If you child is known at the surgery to have underlying health conditions they'll fit her in if need be.

bumperella Mon 20-Dec-10 17:22:13

It's tricky though, because if it was only available to you as an emergency appointment then think what would happen if EVERYONE did this - no emergency appointments would ever be available.

But whilst it is unfair to deliberately book EMERGENCY appointment slots when it isn't an emergency, it is also unfair that your DD should have to wait over a week to see a doctor if it's an emergency.

AnyoneforTurps Mon 20-Dec-10 17:24:44

As a GP, I'd say YANBU if your DD has underlying health problems but please please remember to cancel if you don't need it. My practice has at least 60 missed appointments per week which is so frustrating when we know many other people would have been grateful for them.

thefurryone Mon 20-Dec-10 17:35:55

My GP surgery runs an open surgery every morning for a couple of hours with two doctors on, you just turn up get added to the list and get seen in order. I went the other day and despite being 22nd on the list was seen in just over an hour. Seems to work really well. Why don't all GPs do something similar?

snowmash Mon 20-Dec-10 17:37:56

YANBU - my GP sorted an appt similarly for me two weeks ago for next week.

That said, I may end up cancelling mine due to snow :S (I was thoroughly castigated earlier for not being able to pick up test results from the surgery , but I can't get traction at all).

tooposhtopost Mon 20-Dec-10 17:58:51

Thanks everyone, I am reassured that IANBU

Actually, my GP surgery is seriously wonderful and I know they WOULD fit DD in if ever she got bad....I am just not sure whether it is better (for the doctors, I mean) to have a planned appointment rather than add to their emergency list when it is (possibly) predictable that we need to see the doctor - fingers crossed, not.

I have tried to pick the best middle course (book but cancel the day before if DD is getting better) but I felt SOOOO guilty when I was booking it.

I really WILL cancel in plenty of time if not needed and, as other posters have said, no doubt someone else will be able to snap up the space.

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