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Is this GP fully qualified, or GP need to go back to Med. school?

(34 Posts)
strictlovingmum Mon 19-Sep-11 23:41:37

DD woke up last tuesday unable to speak properly, or lift her head of the pillow, her fever was so high 39.2 degrees, I phoned doctors surgery immediately and they told us to come and wait, which we did.
We waited at the surgery for 45 minutes, which was fine they were people there before with appointments, so didn't mind waiting.
Finally we were in, only for the doctor to check at DD over, ears, chest and throat, and conclude "it was probably viral, her throat is little bit red, give her calpol, she will pick up soon"hmm
Fast forward, Saturday DD is really ill, she cries and keep saying my head hurts, it hurts when I move my eyes"
She squirting a lot, and can not look at light, mean while I got frozen with fear, so I phoned NHS direct, nurse on the other side of the phone is very nice and sounds knowledgable, but she also sounds very concerned, so and so she arranges for the local weekend surgery to see DD right away, and if needed to arrange ambulance transport to local hospital.

DD was burning with fever, doctor at weekend surgery, took her temperature, looked at her throat, and right away diagnosed tonsillitis and ear infection, and just commented "This should have not been left untreated"
We were sent home with antibiotics, and DD is fine, but still recovering, no school for few days still.
I want to complain to our surgery, and put it in writing, Is this unreasonable?, local GP failed to diagnose DD, and in turn made her suffer unnecessary for days, due to his incompetence.
What would you do?

mumblechum1 Mon 19-Sep-11 23:44:41

to be honest, it may on Tuesday have not looked that bad, there was a gap of four days before she was "really ill" in your words. It's not as though the GP dismissed her and then an hour later there was a second opinion, it sounds like it got an awful lot worse in the four days.

Hope she gets better soon.

TheDetective Mon 19-Sep-11 23:45:15

Maybe she didn't have it on tuesday when she was seen? Maybe it was viral, and then developed into tonsillitis and ear infection. 4 days is a long time...

worraliberty Mon 19-Sep-11 23:46:19

It's not necessarily incompetence.

Things like that are hard to diagnose early one. It would have been easier for the second Doc to make diagnosis because by then the symptoms would have been worse.

As for being qualified are you suggesting your surgery would allow him to practise if he wasn't?


squeakytoy Mon 19-Sep-11 23:46:39

It is possible that when you took her in the first time, all her symptoms were not showing. As you say yourself, it got worse over the course of a few days..

The original GP would probably have diagnosed exactly the same if he had seen her on the Saturday as the weekend doctor.

I can understand your concern, but illnesses do take a day or two to manifest themselves as well.

mumblechum1 Mon 19-Sep-11 23:48:18

Of course the GP is qualified, but they have to be careful not to overprescribe anti biotics, and it doesn't sound like your dd had an infection on the Tues

mercibucket Mon 19-Sep-11 23:48:26

poor thing, hope she's on the mend soon.
what happened between the Tuesday and the Saturday? if they wouldn't see her again and refused to make another appointment, fair enough, but if this was just a virus that developed then if it were me, I would assume the doctor had not been able to diagnose on the Tuesday

Salmotrutta Mon 19-Sep-11 23:49:49

Sounds like it worsened with time. These things happen. GP examined her and it obviously didn't present as badly infected at that stage.

Yirkmum Mon 19-Sep-11 23:52:04

What would I do?

I would accept that she was not as ill on Tuesday as she became on Saturday. Some viral illnesses are self resolving, some aren't. Your GP is a doctor, he doen't have the ability to predict the future. I think the OOH doctor was the unprofessional one tbh.

WilsonFrickett Mon 19-Sep-11 23:54:01

Tonsillitis presents as a common cold in the first couple of days. It takes a while for the gunk to develop and the glands to swell up so it was probably too early to diagnose it on the first visit unfortunately. I have just had it! And the antibiotics were like a miracle cure, but I didnt go to the docs till 4 days after I got that first 'scratchy throat' feeling as I presumed it was just a virus/ cold thing. When it wasn't going away - and I started to resemble a hamster - thats when I went to the docs. So I can see easily how it could have been missed.

bubby64 Tue 20-Sep-11 00:06:54

At the first appointment on the Tuesday, you did say that the Dr checked your dd all over before saying it was prob viral, and, at the time, with no more evidence than a slightly inflamed throat and a temp, it seems a fair interpretations to think of it as viral, not bacterial infection. Did the gp not say (as they often do) to come back if the symptoms are not resolving or are getting more acute? Had your dd been getting steadily worse, in which case maybe she should have been returned to the GP sooner, or was it a sudden onset of the acute illness. Bacterial infections often follow viral infections and most doctors cannot tell in the early stages of developing them which until unless the severity of the symptons was an acute problem.

redexpat Tue 20-Sep-11 00:28:04

We all make mistakes.

Kalypso Tue 20-Sep-11 08:18:43

I'm sorry your DD hasn't been well.

I would also be hestitant to blame the doctor for making a mistake. It's quite possible the throat and ear infections weren't obvious when he/she checked.

DS had a fever of around 40 for nearly two weeks in April. He was about 14 months at the time. He was in hospital for a week and all sorts of GPs and a paediatrician saw him and could only diagnose him with a virus - he had fever and rash. Every day they checked his ears and throat for infection, only to see no signs (hence they held off on antibiotics). He didn't improve. One afternoon, they checked again and all of a sudden it was clear he had both a throat and ear infection. So it does sometimes come on very quickly, and 4 days is quite a while for something to develop.

Hope your DD improves quickly!

CoffeeDog Tue 20-Sep-11 08:32:52

I saw 5 Gp at 2 different practices with my son... i just 'knew' somthing wasn't quite right with him... he screamed like he was in pain and would go stiff and un responsive - 4 doctors said there wasnt anything wrong with him/or it might be viral....

Last doctor looked at him/looked at me decided i wasnt neurotic and sent us up A&E... they wern't sure what to do by GP had underlined NOT A NEUROTIC MOTHER on his refere letter so they refered him to a ped... who MRI him and now he is under the neuro suergon...

If i ever see that GP again i am liable to hug him till he is blue... because of him my son will now get the surgery he needs, that will take away his pain and improve his life - he was a locum so not often at the practice ;)

Trust yourself first if you think your kids are that poorly take them to walk in or demand a second opion, I had to get a 5th opion before anything happened ;)

cwtch4967 Tue 20-Sep-11 09:24:03

I don't understand why you didn't take her back if she was no better? Tuesday to Saturday is a long time............
I really don't think you can complain about your GP.

Minus273 Tue 20-Sep-11 09:26:35

Obviously none of us saw her but IME your dd could very easily only have been showing viral symptoms on the Tuesday. The condition of children can change fast never mind over 4 days.

banana87 Tue 20-Sep-11 09:35:59

I wouldn't go too hard on the GP. Tuesday to Saturday is a long time and enough time for something nasty to develop that was possibly too early to see on the Tuesday.

CocktailQueen Tue 20-Sep-11 09:37:46

Agree with the others - sometimes viruses can develop into infections, and I'm sure if your dd had tonsilitis on Tue the GP would have noticed. There's no point prescribing ABs for a virus - you have to wait till it either clears up OR becomes an infection. Hope your dd is better soon!

ggirl Tue 20-Sep-11 09:41:34

Agree with the poster who said the OOH doc is the one being unprofessional by commenting about the first GP

diddl Tue 20-Sep-11 09:41:52

How did the first GP make her "suffer for days"?

You could have taken her back at any point.

Were you looking at her throat to see if it was getting worse?

LRDTheFeministDragon Tue 20-Sep-11 09:46:18

I don't think the other GP intended to comment on the first doc - surely s/he meant, 'you should not have left your child getting more ill for 4 days, you should have taken her back to the GP sooner'?

It sounds like a really scary experience OP, and the GP IMO wasn't incompetent but maybe a letter to say he should have told you to come back if it got worse wouldn't do any harm.

munstersmum Tue 20-Sep-11 09:47:39

A sick child does cause us all great worry. You were given a same day appointment on the Tuesday and a same day appointment at the weekend. This is why we should be grateful for the NHS.

The first doctor examined your DD's throat etc. So to label him incompetent seems harsh. He took a professional judgment and unfortunately her symptoms deteriorated - as others have said 5 days is plenty of time for that to happen.

Riveninabingle Tue 20-Sep-11 09:48:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hardgoing Tue 20-Sep-11 09:52:12

I don't think the first GP was incompetent to diagnose a virus on a Tue, to have it turn into an infection on a Sat! Bacterial infections can develop quickly, if your daughter was ill on We-Sat, you should have taken her back in. Unfortunately, one of the only ways to tell whether something like that is more serious than the usual virus is to leave it and wait and see. You did, you were seen promptly at every step. The doctors are not clairvoyant and treated your daughter quickly when really ill. Saying 'this should not have been left untreated' could also have been a way of saying 'why did you let it get that bad and not take her back?'

I'm sorry you had an awful experience, it sounds very frightening, but I don't see what anyone has done wrong. Now if the original GP had misdiagnosed on the same day (Sat), I would agree a complaint was the best way forward.

featherbag Tue 20-Sep-11 10:40:51

YABU I'm afraid, but understandably so, it's very distressing to watch your child suffer and a normal human reaction to want to blame someone for this. Your GP is fully qualified, they have to study many years then work as a doctor in various other settings for many more years before they get to be a GP.

Doctors have to limit the amout of antibiotics they precribe, as dishing them out for every ailment leads to gastro-intestinal problems and the development of superbugs (see Daily Fail yesterday for -load of bollocks- story about the latest) among other issues. What doctors don't have is a crystal ball - many minor infections are self-limiting and go away on their own. Comparitively few do not, and develop into something that actually does need antibiotics. A high temperature in a child is not necessarily an indicator of an infection severe enough to warrant antibiotics.

The second GP may not have been having a dig at the first GP - 4 days is a long time to leave it before seeking a second opinion. He may have merely been pointing out that your DDs condition should have been reassessed in that time. As a general rule, unless something drastic changes, I would seek reassessment if symptoms have worsened 48-72 hours from last being seen. If it's a self-limiting viral illness, symptoms will usually have started to improve in that timescale.

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