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to wish people would use services appropriately?

(86 Posts)
mree Sun 19-Jun-11 20:30:38

I've been reading a topic on another forum about ongoing health worries someone's having. She doesn't seem to be being taken seriously by her GP and is becoming increasingly frustrated, quite understandably. Her condition isn't immediately life-threatening (ie., she's not bleeding, she's not burnt, her ability to breathe is not restricted, her circulation is not affected, there's no suggestion of an abnormal pulse, etc.), and is not acutely painful. Several posters on this forum have advised her to dump herself in A&E and refuse to move until they perform a diagnostic test usually done as an outpatient. This test is, in fact, not usually available in an emergency department and, when it is, is used to diagnose such conditions as a leaking aneurysm.

AIBU to jump up and down in frustration at the total lack of understanding from large portions of the general public as to what constitutes an emergency?!! These people are the reason those who attend A&E with appropriate problems have to wait so bloody long!!!

iMemoo Sun 19-Jun-11 20:32:22

Are you are medical professional?

midnightmunchies Sun 19-Jun-11 20:35:22

you are not being unreasonable. I've had several patients attend the Emergency department with broken nails - nothing else just a simple broken nail! Having said that it is very difficult if you have a rubbish GP.

mree Sun 19-Jun-11 20:35:29

Yes, for my sins! But surely one doesn't have to be a HCP to be able to use NHS services appropriately? Would anyone here think it was reasonable to attend A&E demanding diagnosis and treatment of a 5-month old condition which was not immediately life-threatening, and not acutely painful? Or AIBU?

iMemoo Sun 19-Jun-11 20:36:26

Yanbu

EverythingInMiniature Sun 19-Jun-11 20:37:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bubblecoral Sun 19-Jun-11 20:38:06

YANBU, and the staff at A&E should be able to prosecute people for wasting time, in the same way that you can be prosecuted for making false calls to the 999 services.

onagar Sun 19-Jun-11 20:49:57

On the other hand AIBU to think that GPs should be able to provide the service they are paid for so that people are not forced to go to A&E for non-emergency treatment.

No one says "I could go to my GP, but I'm bored with the decor so I think I'll go to A&E instead"

mree Sun 19-Jun-11 20:54:15

Of course not onagar, but that's a whole other issue. A&E is NOT there to pick up the slack from rubbish GPs, or those who are impossible to get an appointment with. If you're not getting anywhere with your GP, you get a new GP! No-one is 'forced' to go to A&E for non-emergency treatment, and it's often a wasted journey anyway as a triage nurse will more than likely send you away if your attendance is inappropriate, i.e. should be dealt with by a GP, could be handled by a pharmacist, etc.

OddBoots Sun 19-Jun-11 20:54:44

I can understand your point bubblecoral but knowing prosecution is an option some very ill and vulnerable people might choose wrongly to keep away.

mree Sun 19-Jun-11 20:55:31

And you'd be amazed at the reasons people pitch up at A&E instead of seeing their GP, believe me. 'I don't like the decor at my GP's surgery' wouldn't even be the weirdest excuse for inappropriate attendance I've heard this week!

mree Sun 19-Jun-11 20:59:00

OddBoots, you're absolutely right, and exactly the reason I would never agree with charging people for any attendance, or penalising them for something others might deem inappropriate, such as being/acting drunk. Older folk especially tend to leave it way too long to come in with symptoms as serious as chest pain, as 'I know you're terribly busy dear and I don't want to be a bother'.

choirmum Sun 19-Jun-11 21:00:53

I work as a specialist nurse in a hospital. We frequently get patients ringing our advice line asking to see their consultant as they can't get an appointment with their GP. Since when has it been (or should it be) easier to get a consultant appointment than a GP one? I also have a friend who took her daughter to A&E with conjunctivitis as the GP wouldn't see her quickly enough (in her opinion). Patient expectations are desperately unrealistic at times. That said, the GP in this case doesn't sound great, but who knows the whole story?

whyohwine Sun 19-Jun-11 21:12:07

I agree but it is not clear to many people what they are meant to do when they cannot get their gp to take them seriously. If it happened to me I would get a second opinion by going private but not many people are in the fortunate position to be able to do that. I don't know how i would go about getting a second opinion on the nhs if that was my only option and the reason why some people go to a and e in these scenarios is that it is a way a people know they can see a doctor other than their gp without needing to understand the procedure for getting appointments etc. In other words, there is more link between your Aibu question and ongar's Aibu question than you are acknowledging. Maybe you could explain what people should do if they are not taken seriously by their gp. There are a lot of stories kicking around of people who were not taken seriously by their gp and who were later diagnosed with cancer at a time when it is too late to treat.

So looking at your question in isolation, yanbu, but I am not sure iit really can be viewed in isolation.

wimpybar Sun 19-Jun-11 21:14:11

i've taken my 84 year old mil to a and e when she had a problem with her leg, because i knew it would take days to get a referral and she needed an xray there and then, shoot me.

StealthPolarBear Sun 19-Jun-11 21:16:28

Well I agree
But knowing which service and when to use them is not clear - our PCT had an entire capaign on it recently.
I was recently in the position of needing a GP appt for DD, and unable to get one. I was in the position of waiting all day for 5pm so I could attend OOH hmm

mree Sun 19-Jun-11 21:19:07

But wimpybar, if your mil needed an x-ray there and then, her attendance wasn't inappropriate, surely?

whyohwine, I have no advice on what people should do if not taken seriously by their GP, as I am not a GP, don't work for/with a GP, and generally have very little to do with GPs other than receiving their referrals. I'm quite sure that I could find out with a simple google search though, just as anyone else could.

WhoAteMySnickers Sun 19-Jun-11 21:23:42

YANBU. It irritates me no end. I have been de-friended on FB by someone after commenting on her status update which read "poor DD isn't well at all, going to take her to A&E in the morning", my reply being that if it could wait until morning then maybe the local walk in centre would be more appropriate.

bubblecoral Sun 19-Jun-11 21:27:09

I'm not sure how it works in most GP's surgeries so I really don't know if I'm being completely misguided, but at my local GP, and the one I was at befor we moved, you could ask to see whicheve GP you wanted. Quite often that one wouldn't be available, but there has always been more than one GP at the surgery that I could see if if chose to.

If one GP wasn't taking me seriously, I'd phone the next moring and see a different one. Is that uncommon?

whyohwine Sun 19-Jun-11 21:28:07

If you work in a and e and so done comes in in this type of scenario then I absolutely think you should be able to explain to them what they should in fact have done

KatyMac Sun 19-Jun-11 21:28:41

I used to like the walk in; it would see me after work or DD when her asthma got worse on a bank holiday weekend

They closed it as they couldn't deal with the numbers of patients

If I can't see the GP (which is often tricky) we only have A&E as an option; I'd like access to a nurse practitioner even if I had to pay

whyohwine Sun 19-Jun-11 21:29:05

So done = someone

mree Sun 19-Jun-11 21:30:03

Have to say bubblecoral, that's probably what I would do. If that didn't work, I would then start looking for information on how to get another opinion, or change to a different GP. Even before I started doing the job I do now, it would NEVER have occurred to me to take myself to the emergency department for something that wasn't actually an emergency!

MissBetsyTrotwood Sun 19-Jun-11 21:31:30

There's a GP walk in service next to our A and E. The triage nurse escorts people over there who are neither an accident nor an emergency. Is this common?

bubblecoral Sun 19-Jun-11 21:32:15

KatyMac, what makes you think that A&E is an option because you can't see your GP? What sort of things are you talking about that make you be unable to see your GP?

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