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AIBU to think ten days is too long to wait for a doctor's appointment?

(48 Posts)
cinnamontoast Tue 16-Apr-13 15:25:46

I don't remember ever having to wait more than 2 or 3 days in the past but I've just been quoted 10 days for an appointment for me, and it was the same for my DD a few weeks ago. There is a walk-in clinic from 8-10.30 but the waiting time is horrendous. Plus I want to discuss a fairly complex problem and don't think it's reasonable to do this during an emergency clinic. What experience do other MNers have. Am I entitled to complain, and if so, how?

Lovelygoldboots Tue 16-Apr-13 15:51:39

I can usually get an appointment the same day, or next day at my practice. You are assigned a gp and stick with that one but you can see another in an emergency. 10 days is ridiculous.

ShadowStorm Tue 16-Apr-13 16:03:50

Depends on how urgent your problem is I guess.

My GP surgery usually has appointments available on the same day or in a day or two's time. They also will let you book doctor appointments 2 weeks in advance, which is fine for fairly routine stuff.

Eskarina Tue 16-Apr-13 16:35:54

Our surgery only has on the day appointments for emergencies (though usually to get one you have to be seriously ill or you get triaged and someone calls you back, fair enough, you may then be brought in if the dr thinks it necessary), or advance appointments which are usually 2-4 weeks ahead. There is NO way of having an appt at the end of the week (say) as they are so booked up. Agree 10 days is daft but it's a situation I often face.

Sirzy Tue 16-Apr-13 16:39:32

If its a non urgent problem then its not ideal but at least you have an appointment.

ipswitch Tue 16-Apr-13 16:45:21

I think thats pretty normal now for a routine appointment. I am usually prepared to wait that long to see who I want to, , as long as Im not acutely unwell and then I would going to the walk in session.

Two of those days are weekend days too probably.

cinnamontoast Tue 16-Apr-13 17:23:05

I didn't even ask for a specific GP - that's the first available appt with ANY doctor. The pressure on the drop-in clinic must be immense.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Tue 16-Apr-13 17:25:55

We can't book in advance (well, unless you're happy to wait for a month). You have to phone on the day (which means calling at 8am when the surgery opens and hitting redial a million times until you get through). If you call at 9am, you have no chance of getting an appointment. It's rubbish.

Exhaustipated Tue 16-Apr-13 17:26:02

YANBU- I think the longest I've had to wait was a week, for a specific doctor. I can see any doctor within a couple of days max.

Can you change surgeries?

MissSusan Tue 16-Apr-13 17:26:06

I waited about that recently, not ideal like others have said.
I think most people just book an emergency appointment anyway just to be seen. It's the downside to the current system I suppose.

cinnamontoast Tue 16-Apr-13 17:42:29

I drove past the other day and they had a big sign outside saying 'We are now registering new NHS patients' - kind of begs the question why. It's a large practice too, with about half a dozen GPs, so it's not as if they're relying on just one or two doctors to meet patient demand.

deleted203 Tue 16-Apr-13 17:44:23

If I'm given a GPs appointment for 10 days time I tend to think 'well... I'll be better or dead by then'...

valiumredhead Tue 16-Apr-13 17:44:36

If it's an emergency you need to ring on the day usually ime, I usually see one of the nurses our surgery has loads and they are great and call the GP to double check so it's a quick way of seeing the doctor

Non emergency is well over a week's wait.

WorrySighWorrySigh Tue 16-Apr-13 17:55:33

We are a similar set up which quite frankly is crap.

You can see the doctor on the day if it is emergency or in two weeks (or more) time if not. Sounds great but on the day means phoning up and getting the next appointment on that day so if you work you dont know whether to go into work and phone then or phone from home.

The law of sod dictates that if you stay at home then the appointment wont be until 3pm but if you go into work then the appointment will be in 15 minutes which is impossible with a 45 minute drive.

I now dont bother going to the doctor unless bits start falling off.

crashdoll Tue 16-Apr-13 18:18:07

If it's routine, then 10 days is perfectly reasonable IMO. I think YABU in wanting to complain.

didireallysaythat Tue 16-Apr-13 18:32:58

Emergency - seen on the day. See any doctor (mostly visiting locums) -usually a week. See a specific doctor usually 3-4 weeks - you need to ring the day the appointments are released which is 4 weeks in advance. Been like that for 4-5 years now. But its a big practise (15+ doctors) and the other two practises are similar. So I think what you describe is normal.

PearlyWhites Tue 16-Apr-13 18:35:51

Yes that's awful our gp you ring at 8am for an appointment that day, don't understand why all gp surgeries don't use the same system

cinnamontoast Tue 16-Apr-13 18:37:05

The thing is, I think there's a whole category of conditions that don't qualify as an emergency but which you shouldn't reasonably be expected to tolerate for over a week. Especially if it's something worrying (but not ultra urgent).

ShadowStorm Tue 16-Apr-13 18:46:52

PearlyWhites - being able to book an appointment a few days or a week in advance is very useful for most people (emergencies excepted).

I have leave home by 8am to get to work on time, the GP number is always very busy around opening time (they have a number of same day appointment slots), and you're not guaranteed to get a same day appointment if you can't get through quickly, especially if your problem isn't an emergency.

Not being able to book routine appointments in advance would be a massive inconvenience to me. I'm sure I'm not the only person to feel this way.

Andcake Tue 16-Apr-13 18:49:05

Mine can sometimes be over 2 weeks or you have to go and queue up outside for emergency appointments. Most weekdays if you aren't stood outside half an hour before you might not be seen. Not fun with child and rain! Worst case was when I called to see if I could get my c section scar checked as the mw and I were worried it was infected. Even though I explained what it was for and I had a 3 week old I was told to queue or have an appointment in 2 weeks. DP had words and a nurse checked it!

Sirzy Tue 16-Apr-13 18:53:19

Yes that's awful our gp you ring at 8am for an appointment that day, don't understand why all gp surgeries don't use the same system

because then you get clogged up phonelines with people who just need to see someone for something routine meaning people with emergencies can't get appointments or people who need a routine appointment have to spend ages fighting for one

being able to book in advance is much better

MiaowTheCat Tue 16-Apr-13 20:07:34

Tried to book an appointment for about 10 days in advance at our docs recently - couldn't - they hadn't been put on the system yet! (Reminds me I need to pop in and do that tomorrow btw) Ours is great getting shorter notice appointments... falls down with longer-term in the future ones for the appointments not on computer reason alone - used to be a problem with the midwife particularly but she seems to have either kicked arse (I'd kind of expect this off that midwife - she's fab) or taken it over herself and that aspect's sorted now.

nannyl Tue 16-Apr-13 22:19:32

I like our surgaries system

you can pre-book appts for more than 3 days time.... (ie if something isnt urgent)
they release some same day appts at 8.15, some more at 11, and some more at 2 or 2.30ish
(and you CAN get an afternoon appt at 8.15 too, so long as they havent all gone, and IF they have you could call later and get one)

The Drs themselves can also book an appt for ANYWHEN they have clinic, in the appointment if they need to see you again....... or if they dont want to waste their time, give you a slip to hand to receptionist with the day they want to see you on so you can pre-book via reception too, if Dr says so!

It means you can almost always get an appt that you "need now" within 2 - 3 hours time, and if its not urgent you can book it at a time to suit, in a few days time

RevoltingPeasant Tue 16-Apr-13 22:36:51

Our is similar to nanny's. You can get same day appointments or book in for later that week (with any dr). You can book in with 'your' GP but it normally takes a couple of weeks.

However I agree with OP that it's ridiculous having 'emergencies' vs 10 days. I am no doctor and can immediately think of loads of conditions that are definitely not emergencies but that you don't want to live with for a week and a half:

thrush
irritable skin complaint or topical infection
infection that won't quite clear up
possible side effects of a new drug
flare-up of a chronic condition requiring painkillers

That's just off the top of my head; I'm sure there are lots more.

PearlyWhites Tue 16-Apr-13 22:41:03

I see what you mean, I forgot to mention you can pre book up to two weeks in advance but they only have limited appointments.

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