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To be irritated by GP receptionist

(21 Posts)
ilovechips Fri 19-Apr-13 11:43:29

My daughter is 11 months old. Will be due her MMR at age 1. We have relatives near Swansea, FIL is not in the best of health, we were meant to visit next week but have postponed due to the measles outbreak, as per Public Health Wales advice. I know they can have the vaccine any time from 6 months old, so I rang my GP surgery to see if i could arrange to get it done. The receptionist was quite abrupt and said she won't book her in if she hasn't had the letter. I explained the situation and she still refused. That's fair enough if that's surgery policy. Here is where I think she was unreasonable - I asked to speak to the Practice Nurse and she refused, said i just have to wait for the letter! i said no, i will book in to see GP and explain why, and only then did she take my number and say the nurse will ring me later.

I appreciate she has a job to do but surely she should not be so bloody abrupt, and also it's not her call to determine if my daughter can have her MMR and whether i can speak to the nurse - she should've advised me to speak to clinical staff before trying to just get me off the phone!

quoteunquote Fri 19-Apr-13 11:52:33

send an email to GP, and or practice manager, our GP, now have contact emails listed on their website, check yours,

I think you are being very sensible,

I also get very frustrated when talking to receptionists that respond from a script, which is why if you email the practice manager there is a chance they will be given permission to respond with a little flexibility.

Theas18 Fri 19-Apr-13 12:38:37

Speak to the GP. She may have not been kind and pleasant in dealing with you (an issue in it's self I agree) but the advice re "not till you are called" is still correct public health policy for areas outside the epidemic.

MMR before 1yr probably needs to be GP administered (unless there are special measures in place as it falls outside the usual protocols) .Practice nurses too can't go outside standard "patient group directive" protocols.

EnlightenedOwl Fri 19-Apr-13 12:59:26

Frustrating for you but she's following procedure/ instructions.

Sidge Fri 19-Apr-13 13:03:23

"I know they can have the vaccine any time from 6 months old"

Not exactly true.

The vaccine is actually unlicensed before 9 months, and any MMR given under the age of 1 is not "counted" so a child will still need their 2 doses at 12-13 months, and 3 yrs 4 mths. The vaccine would only be given before age one if the DoH has advised a vaccination programme, and if a GP has risk-assessed the child and decided vaccination is warranted.

A practice nurse can't just give the vaccine as requested by patients/parents as it wouldn't meet the Patient Group Directive, which is the 'prescription' we work from to allow us to give vaccines to groups of patients.

ilovechips Fri 19-Apr-13 13:20:34

I accept it's not clear cut regarding having the vaccine earlier than 12 months, so I agree that she can't just book me in. As i said, it was not this that i found unreasonable, but her rudeness and initial refusal to let me discuss with a clinician.

Public Health Wales currently advise that children between 6 and 12 months travelling to an affected area can be vaccinated http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/66384

ilovechips Fri 19-Apr-13 13:23:15

www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/66384

narmada Fri 19-Apr-13 13:28:43

Whatever the guidance, there is absolutely no justification for her being rude to you. I would complain.

I just called our surgery to ask about bringing forward DS's MMR booster for slightly different reasons and the nurse called me back within the hour and booked DS a slot.

BimbaBirba Fri 19-Apr-13 13:33:00

Can I just say that my DS had a very strong reaction to his MMR first dose at 13 months. I'm not sure I'd want to give it to a baby at 6 months. It's really quite unpleasant unlike the other inactive vaccines that are given. Can you not just avoid the area until she's 12 months?

ceebie Fri 19-Apr-13 13:34:13

Another poster recently said they were able to get a vaccination early for the same reason, although would have to have it again at the right time.

I appreciate that receptionists can't put every call through, but at the same time they can't make medical decisions for you either. How very rude of her!

BimbaBirba Fri 19-Apr-13 13:34:38

Forgot to say that receptionist sounds stupid and rude. There's no merit in applying rules without using a bit of common sense IMO

ilovechips Fri 19-Apr-13 13:39:45

We could avoid the area, but she may not get the letter until 15 months and like I said FIL is quite poorly so would like to get to see him. She is 5 weeks short of her 1st birthday so I hope they will at least do it then rather than waiting until up to 15 months.

EmmelineGoulden Fri 19-Apr-13 13:45:16

YABU to be annoyed at the receptionist rather than the practice management. I see so many threads here about really shoddy treatment by GP receptionsists, but I can't see how this can occur in a vaccum. There's no reason to think as a job it would attract rude and unhelpful people. There has to be pressure on people in this role and a lack of good management that pushes them into being obstructionist so often.

BimbaBirba Fri 19-Apr-13 13:54:26

Hmmm I'm not sure I agree. I think it's a case of GP receptionist hating their job and feeling they're underpaid for the sheer amount of work they do so they take it out on the patients

EmmelineGoulden Fri 19-Apr-13 14:12:50

That's still a matter of a working culture (and lack of performance management) put in place by the practice management Bimba.

BimbaBirba Fri 19-Apr-13 14:16:49

Not really Emmeline. Low pay and bad management should never affect the quality of service provided

ilovechips Fri 19-Apr-13 14:19:14

I work for the NHS myself, I know how rubbish the pay and staffing levels are (as for most other jobs!) but it's never an excuse to be rude or unhelpful to patients.

EmmelineGoulden Fri 19-Apr-13 14:25:22

Low pay and poor management affect the level of service provided in every other job on earth. Why would health care be different?

BimbaBirba Fri 19-Apr-13 14:26:21

Because it's not the patients'/clients' fault perhaps?

EmmelineGoulden Fri 19-Apr-13 15:34:22

It isn't the clients fault in other areas of work either. It doesn't mean that the good service is a natural state of things. Good service requires good conditions for service providers (and good management more than good pay).

Booboostoo Fri 19-Apr-13 16:23:38

Just for information's sake the MMR is standardly given at 9 months in France for children at risk (e.g. in contact with other children in nursery, or travelling to areas with outbreaks) and then a single repeat at 14 months, so some of the claims on this thread are not necessarily policy in other countries.

OP I think the secretary was wrong to effectively block you from getting medical advice. It's not her place to decide who should and should not be vaccinated. She should have told you practice policy once and if you insisted she should have made an appointment for you with the nurse/GP. The nurse/GP could then have made a decision on whether to offer you the vaccine or not.

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