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To Be Unhappy with GP Surgery

(57 Posts)
ruby29 Sun 07-Aug-11 19:17:00

My 9 year old DD is just home from hospital recovering from a nasty appendicitis.

She developed the symptoms overnight and I phoned the GP surgery as soon as they opened at 8.30am and explained that I belived my daughter had appendicitis and would like an appt as soon as poss.

I was told that the only appt was 4pm as the Drs do not offer morning emergency appts and that there was no possibility to speak to anyone prior to that. I emphasised again that I was worried about her but the receptionist wan't budging.

In hindsight I should have gone straight to A&E at this point but waited it out for the appt. This was a mistake as the GP was of the opnion that there wasn't anything to worry about and sent us on our way.

Fortunately at this point. I trusted my instincts and took her to A&E and she went to theatre later that night.

I am upset with the Dr as I don't feel she took it seriously enough but in addition feel that the system of not seeing anyone in the morning is totally unreasonable. How many people must be worrying about a sick child overnight and phoning in at 8.30 only to be told they have to wait an additional 7 hours?

Surely they should at least have a triage system in place. Am I unreasonable in thinking this is totally
unsafe practice or is it the norm?

Mimile Sun 07-Aug-11 19:19:09

Hope your DD is recovering well

I would complain to the practice manager - not that it led anywhere when I did this.

NickNacks Sun 07-Aug-11 19:22:29


7 hours in not unreasonable for the sort of ailments that a GP should be seeing and if a patient can't then A & E should be the obvious next step.

Triage system? HA!

I think you feel bad because you didn't go to the hosptial straight away.

EuphemiaMcGonagall Sun 07-Aug-11 19:23:10

They have a triage system at our surgery, seems like a good idea. I'd suggest it to your practice manager.

TheOriginalFAB Sun 07-Aug-11 19:24:28

TBH if you thought your child had appendicitis what did you think the GP was going to do?


AKMD Sun 07-Aug-11 19:24:58

I find it ridiculous when I call the doctor's surgery and have to wait 2 weeks for an appointment hmm

YABU. There are plenty of options if you have immediate concerns - doctor, NHS Direct, NHS walk-in centres and finally A&E.

EuphemiaMcGonagall Sun 07-Aug-11 19:27:11

NHS walk-in centres. envy

Mind you, I shouldn't complain, given that we get free prescriptions! grin

EttiKetti Sun 07-Aug-11 19:28:44

Please complain. I almost died earlier this year after a catalogue of incompetencies by 3 separate GPs in my practice. They've actually changed procedures as a result, thank goodness. Hope your daughter is recovering well x

BimboNo5 Sun 07-Aug-11 19:30:10

You didnt have to wait an additional 7 hours, the option to go straight to A&E was open to you. Saying that when my DS had a terrible stomach ache and was screaming in agony DH rang the surgery (it wasnt even open at the time) and my GP told him to bring him straight in, but he is the only doctor at the surgery and I think that makes a difference sometimes.

Northernlurkerisgoingonholiday Sun 07-Aug-11 19:31:39

In fairness every parent always thinks they child has appendicitis and as appendicitis is rare in children of that age a GP has some justification in diagnosing something else. Regarding appointments - if they didn't have any then they didn't have any. At that point your choice was to wait or go for A&E. If you waited again they can be forgiven for thinking things were less serious.

activate Sun 07-Aug-11 19:33:34

if someone is that sick that they can't wait until they can get a GP appointment later in the day then NHS walk-in or A&E is the best approach

rainbowtoenails Sun 07-Aug-11 19:37:49

GPs are a waste of time for urgent conditions.

ruby29 Sun 07-Aug-11 19:38:54

Interesting To read opnions!

I have obviously been spoilt by previous surgery which offered triage for this type of situation!

I do think it would be in the remit of a GP to assess a child with abdo pain and refer on to surgeons if needed?

Whilst I regret not taking her sooner, these things are always easy with hindsight and as the GP didn't think it was appendicitis I don't think I was too neglectful!

I am just reluctant to pitch up at A&E unless completely sure something requires urgent treatment.

Probably explains why A&E is so busy!

FilthyDirtyHeathen Sun 07-Aug-11 19:41:01

I am really sorry you have had a stressful time and I hope your daughter is feeling better.

In a suspected emergency the GP is not the first port of call nor is a Walk In Centre. It's NHS Direct for an appraisal and then A&E or straight to A&E. GP's don't have an emergency function. I'm surprised they didn't tell you to go to A&E though.

FilthyDirtyHeathen Sun 07-Aug-11 19:45:07

I am just reluctant to pitch up at A&E unless completely sure something requires urgent treatment.

But unless you are medically trained, how do you make that call?

A&E is there for emergency actual or suspected. If you are genuinely concerned there is nothing wrong with pitching up there and getting an assessment.

FutureNannyOgg Sun 07-Aug-11 19:45:48

When I had appendicitis it took all day (from ringing the out of hours Dr at 7am until 5pm) to get onto a ward and 4 days for them to decide to operate to "have a look". My insides were rotten, I had to have serious open surgery (not the keyhole they started with. If it takes 4 days for a surgical team who are used to dealing with appendicitis to come up with a half arsed diagnosis for a bad case, I am not surprised a GP had issues.
They probably should have referred you just in case, but like people have said, the GP is for the kind of problems that can wait a few hours or even days, walk in centres, minor emergencies and A&E are there if you can't wait.
Anyhow, now all is done, I wish your little one the best recovery.

Sassybeast Sun 07-Aug-11 19:48:09

YANBU. The GP missed the signs. Flag it up to the practice manager.

ednurse Sun 07-Aug-11 19:49:29

YABU to take your DD to the GP when she had appendicitis. They don't remove them there and would have referred to A+E anyway.

Northernlurkerisgoingonholiday Sun 07-Aug-11 19:50:06

FNO - my friend also had that experience with her dd - who was very young to have appendicitis. It is not easy to diagnose. With hindsight it's a doddle.

CatFlaps Sun 07-Aug-11 19:53:47

Same thing happened to me. I went in a few years back with abdo pain, only for my gp to tell me it was just a virus. 12 hours later I had had my appendix out. Stupid man! Did your GP press your dds tummy?

bubblesincoffee Sun 07-Aug-11 19:54:22

The GP making a wrong diagnosis is something worth complaining about, the fact that you had to wait until the afternoon for an appointment is not.

The fact that you said that you suspect appendicitis is irrelevant, the GP's and receptionists probably have loads of hypochondriac type patients trying to wrongly diagnose themselves, and they can't really give too much credibilty to it.

herbietea Sun 07-Aug-11 20:02:46

Message withdrawn

FilthyDirtyHeathen Sun 07-Aug-11 20:04:12

As the title suggests a GP is a generalist. So many conditions present with the same symptoms and GPs tend to make many a wrong diagnosis. They aren't infallible. I do think the GP should have signposted you to A&E though.

pointydog Sun 07-Aug-11 20:09:26


What do you mean, 'a nasty appendicitis'? Different to a usual one?

You should have phoned nhs 24. Or gone to A&E.

It's not particularly straightforward to diagnose appendicitis

DizzyKipper Sun 07-Aug-11 20:18:56

I would complain. Patients are non-experts who don't necessarily know the right course of action to follow for a given situation (which in this case would be going to A&E rather than the GP). Medical professionals are the experts and should know, and should advise you appropriately. A GP should always take any medical complaint given by a patient seriously and be willing to question/explore it until they come to what they believe to be a satisfactory conclusion. They should never assume you are just being a hypochondriac and ignore you. If you phoned in the morning with concerns that your child had appendicitis then they should have referred you to A&E.

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