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AIBU to think that the receptionist shouldn't be allowed to do this?

(186 Posts)
Naysa Fri 15-Mar-13 08:49:23

I rang my doctors this morning to try and get an appointment for today. You have to ring at 8, one the day, to get an appointment.

I got through at about 8.25.

I spoke to the receptionist and she said that they had a 5 minute appointment, "for one thing only", to see a doctor. I'm not fussy about which GP I saw as although it is a problem it is something that can quickly and easily be sorted.

I'm having a problem with my implant that is resulting in very heavy, painful periods. The problem goes away completely when I'm prescribed the pill.
I've had the implant for almost a year and I'm still battling to get it taken out (this is another story) but, for now, this is working. Unfortunately if I try and put a repeat prescription in, I am told it has been rejected and I am to see my doctor. The annoying thing is, is that the doctor who rejects my request hasn't actually seen me once in the two years she's worked there.

My pill ran out on Saturday. My period started Sunday night and it has not been a problem until yesterday afternoon so I rang this morning. It is practically unbearable. I'm going through night time pads almost on the hour.

I accepted the appointment, the gave the receptionist my name and DOB. She then asked why I needed to see the doctor. I stupidly told her the reason and she then said that she couldn't give me the appointment because it's not an emergency. If it was an emergency, I would have gone to accident and emergency. She then said that I can go to the family planning clinic on Monday. This is not the first time I have had an appointment "taken away" because my condition is not serious enough.

I'm now going to have a weekend full of cramping and a very heavy period (TMI sorry!)

AIBU to email the GP and complain and AIBU to change surgery?

SPBInDisguise Fri 15-Mar-13 10:14:08

Thank you curryeater. It really isn't clear and yet the general public, instead of being told, is being patronized. Tell you something, a and e delta will be empty now GPS are dealing with breathing difficulties, foot chopped off, etc.

whimsicalmess Fri 15-Mar-13 10:15:10

What? I had that problem too OP , its very debilitating and that level of constant of blood loss makes you very ill, I have this now again, the coil is fairing no better :/.

Its awful she was that dismissive, I would make a complaint, in the meantime is there a walk in you could go to?

Naysa Fri 15-Mar-13 10:21:26

FryOne As others have said it can be bought and prescribed. For me personally it didn't really have much of an effect, but I'm not sure if this is because I was bleeding because of the implant.

I've heard a lot of success stories from people who have used it for their "natural" periods, if that makes sense confused

BramshawHill Fri 15-Mar-13 10:23:50

Can you phone again, give her your name etc but say you desperately need to see a doctor but you don't want to share private info (I.e. what's wrong) with the receptionist, just your health care provider.
I'm sure they couldn't turn you away in case it is actually serious?

BramshawHill Fri 15-Mar-13 10:23:51

Can you phone again, give her your name etc but say you desperately need to see a doctor but you don't want to share private info (I.e. what's wrong) with the receptionist, just your health care provider.
I'm sure they couldn't turn you away in case it is actually serious?

Naysa Fri 15-Mar-13 10:25:40

I've sent an email to my local PALS, I've had a reply so I've got the ball rolling.

Personally, it's aggravating, but I can't help thinking that if someone who was in a worse state than me, obviously mine is not a massive problem, then it could be fatal them being turned away. I hope that they review their policies.

sleepdodger Fri 15-Mar-13 10:29:10

My ooh gp provider refused to transfer me to a dr at 8pm at night for my 2 yo persistent 40degree temp as we were out of area (on holiday in uk, if I'd have known would have lied blush) as just needed advice- nhs direct said to call gp or go to a &e but I had no Internet and no idea where nearest ooh drop in was
When I asked If she was medical and could advise me she said no
When I asked what I should do with my sick baby she said she couldn't wouldn't help
I wider what would have happened if I'd not have had someone medically minded with me to sort the situation rationally

ubik Fri 15-Mar-13 10:29:15

SPB - re the breathing difficulty thing, why is it so surprising that GPs deal with breathing difficulties? In fact when DD1 had chest tightness, couldn't walk/talk at same time i got an emergency appt at GP and she was put on a nebuliser and prescribed medication - no need for A&E.

ubik Fri 15-Mar-13 10:30:14

Sleepdodger, that is shocking. sad

Naysa Fri 15-Mar-13 10:33:35

Sleepdodger That's exactly what I mean. My condition is very uncomfortable but is not fatal. If they are turning me away then who else?

ubik Fri 15-Mar-13 10:36:18

Op - I would phone back.

SPBInDisguise Fri 15-Mar-13 10:40:56

Ubik you are talking about people whose ltc leads to breathing difficulties I assume? I will agree with you there, as I'm sure you know better. However in general, struggling to breathe is a 999 job, not a "call the surgery" issue.

Smellslikecatspee Fri 15-Mar-13 10:42:41

Some of these policies are so time wasting.

OH carries an Epi-pen.

It needs renewing every 6 months
My GPs system will not 'allow' her/him to write a script that far in advance.
OH puts in a repeat request.
We get a call saying he needs to see the doctor as he hasn't seen one in 6 months.
I point out that while I appreciate the need to review patients medication intake on a regular basis you can't really abuse adrenaline and its not likely that his allergy will have just gone away. . .

If anything his reactions are getting worse.

Get told that unless he makes an appointment they won't issue the script.
OH re-arranges work to go to GP (contract so loses money).
Goes to GP.
Waits waits waits, goes in to GP

Normally goes along the lines of 'what can I do for you today?'
'I need a repeat script for my epipen'
'ok anything else?'


Total waste of appointment

ByTheWay1 Fri 15-Mar-13 10:58:57

Tranexamic acid is not suitable for everyone. It affects the way your blood clots and can affect your stomach and digestive system - I had more cramps on tranexamic acid than without, it slowed the bleeding by about 30-40%, but gave me chronic diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

In the US you are advised not to fly or sit for long periods whilst taking it, as it can lead to DVT. A pharmacist can advise, but for first use they usually recommend seeing your GP.

CotedePablo Fri 15-Mar-13 11:40:20

I've been a doctor's receptionist. In general, the receptionist can ask what you want the appointment for, if it's using an emergency appointment. However, you have every right to reply - I would prefer not to discuss this with you, but I do consider it an emergency - and she has to take you at your word. It is NONE OF HER BUSINESS why you need to see a doctor.

Sorry if someone else has said this - I've not had time to read the whole thread.

Flobbadobs Fri 15-Mar-13 11:45:01

Glad to see you've had an answer from PALS.
When I worked as a receptionist we were instructed to triage for certain things but only if the patient mentioned it in the conversation, not in a "what do you want an appointment for" way. So for example if a patient phoned up with chest pains we would have a check list infront of us to go through and if we suspected anything serious we would speak to the doctor and if necessary call an ambulance. But only after speaking to the GP. This happened quite a few times when I was on the desk!
But for normal appointments we just booked them in, it wasn't our business why someone needed to see a Doctor. I would actually question whether it's even allowed under patient confidentiality.
YANBU. I hope you get sorted x

SPBInDisguise Fri 15-Mar-13 11:49:43

Good point flob, receptionists should be triaging for more serious stuff too. If I call for a sake day appointment, abs they discover my issue is that I've chopped my foot off, they are the ones who can say "actually you need to hang up and call 999"

Callycat Fri 15-Mar-13 11:55:29

My cousin was rejected an appointment by the receptionist because her severe headache was not considered an emergency. The headache was in fact a symptom of meningitis, which lucky she survived - and I know the receptionist felt terrible when she found out about her mistake - but it's too much responsibility for someone who is not medically trained.

mum11970 Fri 15-Mar-13 12:00:32

Can you not ring gain at 2 pm for the evening appointments? My gp does 8 am calls for morning appointments and 2 pm calls for he evening.

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 15-Mar-13 12:07:00

Boots pharmacist used to do a one month pill supply for if you were caught out. I once left my pills at home and was at my student house. They provided them over the counter.

CheeseandPickledOnion Fri 15-Mar-13 12:23:49

A huge part of the problem is that a regular (non emergancy) appointment at most GP's seems to be for at least 3 weeks in the future. Unless you have a long ongoing issue which requires regular checkups, that is pretty useless to most people.

Therefore most people are all battling to get an emergancy appointment so that they can be seen reasonably quickly.

Andro Fri 15-Mar-13 12:44:23


I also carry an Epi-pen, my phone call usually goes like this:

May I speak to the doctor please (my surgery has times when you can be put through)
What do you need to speak to the doctor about?
It's a medical issue, I would prefer to speak to the doctor.
(much huffing later) I'll put you through
A quick chat with the doctor and I'm told to collect my script from reception (unless I've ended up in hospital since the last script).

LadyPessaryPam Fri 15-Mar-13 12:51:14

My daughter is a medical student and she ended up taking out her own implant. It involved a scalpel and some vodka I believe. Pretty shocking really.

MrsTwinks Fri 15-Mar-13 12:55:59

By all means complain, but in all honesty I dont think it will get you anywhere.

Someone up thread asked what would happen if this happened and it was serious - I'll tell you. Absolutely bugger all.

I had horrible abdominal pain, called NHS direct as doctor was useless, they told me to inform my doctor surgery they said I needed to be assessed AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, so go to GP as they will check and they will refer as needed (bypass A&E, and its protocall). I called, was told doctor would call me back as soon as, but defo within an hour. I was too sick to move, so called DH home from work (an hours commute), no call by the time he got back, by this time I was crying in pain and I have a high threshold (v painful periods each month) He rang the receptionist to insist he talk to a doctor on my behalf, refused to get off the line as he was irate. They said soonest they could get me in - despite being told I needed to be seen as a matter of urgency - would be the next afternoon. We went to A&E, who asked for my referal letter, and because I didnt have one I would be waiting at least 3 hours. In the end they saw how ill I was and I was in within an hour. My appendix was on point of bursting by the time they took it out and the surgeon told me it was one of the nastiest he'd seen.

Made complaints to EVERYONE about the fact the nurses phone assessment was ignored etc, what is the point of doing that, why they couldnt refer me to a&e, you name it I asked it. Didn't even get an apology, let alone an explaination. Infact I got a bollocking from the doctor when I went for a check about 2 weeks later (they pulled like every muscle in my chest when I was under) for not going to them first before A&E. If I had waited the 24hrs for my emergency appointment, I could have got peritonitis and died. And dont get me started on when I miscarried shudder

Complaining will get you nowhere in my experience, it does just seem to be something you have to suck up

Murphy0510 Fri 15-Mar-13 12:56:39

Why can't/won't they remove the implant? I would be kicking up a fuss about that with PALS too as its the implant that's causing your problems!

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