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To make a formal complaint about the GP surgery?

(102 Posts)
wink1970 Mon 30-Sep-13 14:39:39

Early in August I developed a sudden-onset range of symptoms including swollen abdomen, excruciating back-ache and spotting. After a bit of online research - it was over the weekend, so 2 full days before the surgery opened again -I put this down to my coil possibly slipping (coil number 3, had always had a good experience) and went to the doctors..... who did nothing, nothing at all except refer me for an ultrasound.

Ultrasound was an 8 week wait (!) so I went to the FPC and had the coil removed. This didn't change the symptoms, it clearly wasn't the coil.

Fast forward to about 1 week ago (and in the meantime I have been back to the doctors 3 times, with no course of action by them other than 'wait for the ultrasound') and I bought some antibiotics on the Internet... and lo, my symptoms have gone. I would guess that I had some form of cervix infection.

Now, I know we shouldn't over-use antibiotics, but surely over 4 visits you would have thought they would have (a) thought of the possibility of an infection, or (b) prescribed some just to shut me up, or (c) had a good poke around rather than waiting for an ultrasound that didn't tell them anything anyway?

AIBU in thinking of making a formal complaint, maybe even a snotty lawyer's letter about malpractice? I have been in considerable pain and discomfort, but am also wary of being 'blacklisted' - it's hard enough to get an appointment as it is.

ukatlast Sat 05-Oct-13 21:48:36

PennySillin with a rising and ageing population, they need to be training more Doctors and Nurses for sure.

PennySillin Thu 03-Oct-13 15:46:06

Can we ever be too flippant when it comes to our health?

No never and anything less is unacceptable BUT the NHS is broken. We have a population of 63.23 million and only just over 250,000 GPs. More and more GPs are working part time and we are not recruiting enough to maintain the numbers we currently have never mind increase the numbers to what they should be.

Now this doesn't excuse how the OP was treated and I think extra investigations should have been done but we are expecting top notch healthcare from a failing system. Its imploding and I can't see a way out.

IamSlave Thu 03-Oct-13 12:09:34

BTW I don't want to scare people but a lady was lodging with a friends family, had a week of urinary tract infection, kept going back to docs who had already said what it was and prescribed whatever, a week later she was moaning of severe back pain and collapsed and died of kidney failure.

Can we ever be too flippant when it comes to our health?

MrsWedgeAntilles Thu 03-Oct-13 11:31:27

YABU to buy drugs off the internet, what were you thinking? You were very lucky not to be harmed and as others have said you might have funded crimes.
However, YANU to complain about the management plan, or to a least ask why the only investigation the GP wanted to carry out with was an ultra sound when it might have been easier to just examine you.
In the first instance I think you should contact the practice manager and see if they can help you, if not they should be able to tell you the proper channels to go down.
I can never understand why people don't make more complaints, nothing will ever get better if people don't realise their not doing brilliantly.

IamSlave Thu 03-Oct-13 11:05:20

I am aghast at the replies to you on here OP.

Is it any wonder we have such atrocious cancer stats compared to other European countries?

Of course he should have done more to find out what was wrong you!!

Op was in so much pain she brought her own drugs off internet!!

OP docs are good bad and plain useless.

you should have seen another doc at your surgey. caused a fuss, gone back said you were in too much pain and on the verge of buyin drugs off internet.

PennySillin Thu 03-Oct-13 11:03:40

Also hmm

MaidOfStars Thu 03-Oct-13 09:00:39

Gaybaron I have heard a dozen stories of patients being misdiagnosed in the UK, being suspicious, flying to Poland at once and being told by the Polish doctor that they required antibiotics

Hmmmm. Instead of, say, getting a second opinion or paying for a private appointment with a consultant?

Gaybaron Wed 02-Oct-13 22:56:57

In most European countries, you can get antibiotics over the counter. But in the country we visit, they swab you and develop the cultures the same day then give you targeted antibiotics rather than some generic one that might or might not work, again a day or two later. I couldn't believe it the first time I went there and saw the lab results a few hours later and was on the correct antibiotics a day later.

They do this in Poland, so that the infection is, as you say, specifically targeted. UK GPs are living in the Stone Age. I have heard a dozen stories of patients being misdiagnosed in the UK, being suspicious, flying to Poland at once and being told by the Polish doctor that they required antibiotics, or, in one particularly bad case, a surgical operation.

magnumicelolly Wed 02-Oct-13 21:57:15

You're not unreasonable. Expecting you to wait 2 months in pain is not on, but only to be expected from the NHS, based on what I've seen. Doubt complaining will get you anywhere though.

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Wed 02-Oct-13 15:55:50

But they didn't even do any kind of examination/swab to see if there was any other explanation while waiting for the scan. That's what I have the problem with and why I don't think the OP is unreasonable.

kali110 Wed 02-Oct-13 13:42:02

Yea but its not the docs fault there wAs a wait. Doc referred op for a scan to see if there was anything other than an infection. Its their fault there was a wait for a scan.
If it was or is something and not an infection then there would have been no point giving antibiotics. Sone antibiotics have horrible side effects so why prescribe without knowing if they are needed.

MaidOfStars Wed 02-Oct-13 13:13:56

OP, do the words "nocturnal canine" mean anything to you? If so, then I assume you were given the antibiotics under prescription (albeit without physically seeing a doctor)?

pixiepotter Wed 02-Oct-13 13:02:03

If the company is based abroad, they are not under the jurisdiction of English law surely?

DeWe Wed 02-Oct-13 11:46:26

But selling online drugs that are prescription only in this country are illegal. Therefore the company you got them from is illegal and not reputable.

You say you checked-how do you know they are who they say they are? They could have taken genuine doctor's names and used them. Not too hard to find out.

I have a little medical knowledge about my dd's condition. One time I googled it. You'd be amazed at the number of "online doctors" claiming all sorts of degrees that were spouting utter rubbish. Sites filled with "greatful patients" and information that not only had no basis of facts, but if you used a little common sense were obviously rubbish. And yes, they were advising medical procedures/medicines through this nonsense.

LtEveDallas Wed 02-Oct-13 10:45:21

Every year when we go abroad we come back with antibiotics that we buy OTC from a pharmacy. We explain what we want them for, and tend to get targetted antib's rather than broad spectrum

We've done this ever since a doctors surgery made my then 3 year old wait 5 days, in pain, for the results of a urine test (kidney infection) before they would prescribe antibiotics. Having had the same myself - (recurrect infections, used to be able to go to the docs and would be prescribed Trimeth before the results came back - and would be better before they did. New doc on the scene made me wait and I ended up in hosp and off work for 2 weeks) I said I'd never put my family through that again.

We also buy stronger versions of lansoprazol for heartburn/ulcer, because sometimes my 15mg prescription just doesnt cut it. Oh and in Egypt we buy a set of tablets that cut through the worst D&V in hours rather than days - I've never seen results like it (haven't got a clue what they are, just that they work)

DH gets sinusitis once a year - we treat it.
I tend to get a urine/kidney infection once a year - we treat it.
DD tends to get an ear infection once a year - we treat it.

Maybe we are saving the NHS some cash!

ukatlast Wed 02-Oct-13 10:34:57

It is not good enough that the system celebrates 16 week waits as a positive. I doubt you would ever have to wait that long for treatment in Germany/France etc and they are not like USA shambles.

ukatlast Wed 02-Oct-13 10:31:12

Quote 'Dont think the doc was wrong with sending you for a scan straight away rather than just pumping you with drugs.'

But it wasn't straightaway was it? It was a long wait and she was in pain. She went back to assert herself and was fobbed off. Complain OP.

ukatlast Wed 02-Oct-13 10:29:42

YANBU no one should have to wait weeks if in severe pain for a scan that will likely show zilch.
Trouble is because it is free at point of use, you are supposed to be grateful and not complain.

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Wed 02-Oct-13 10:18:18

I'd hope the surgery won't think she's 'a right twonk' but will recognise that a patient was concerned and in pain and the surgery didn't give enough support and investigation.

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 01-Oct-13 17:57:06

I'm not saying don't complain, just that you will look a right twonk because it may not have been an infection, just a self-limiting condition.

pixiepotter Tue 01-Oct-13 17:21:58

Of course YANBU.To have left the infection festering for 10+ weeks sounds a very dangerous thing to do.I would certainly complain

kali110 Tue 01-Oct-13 16:35:03

The pills you took may not have done anything at all though as you dont actually know what you had.
Antibiotics treat a multitude of things, i would rather have known what was wrong incase there was still something wrong rather than just treated a few of the aliments. Dont think the doc was wrong with sending you for a scan straight away rather than just pumping you with drugs. .

wink1970 Tue 01-Oct-13 11:22:17

Hot sure how to edit posts, so just to add: I am quite new on here and read each rational post (obviously disregarding the 'you are a nightmare/nutter/murderer' ones, lol) and appreciate the diversity or answers.

Ilovechips - yes I got an earlier apt by calling the hospital and asking to go on a cancellation list, that's good advice from other posters.

The online doctor is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, GPhC, & GMC, I checked with each before ordering. I'm aware most of you think it is distasteful, that they exist, but I think it fulfils a service.

wink1970 Tue 01-Oct-13 10:59:38

Thank you all for your comments, surprised I had so many!

I have made an appointment (2 weeks wait) to see the GP and I will talk to her about my treatment - I'm not afraid of a face-to-face, and I'm as disappointed as I am angry. I trusted her as 6 years ago she was the GP who realised (after many visits to others) that my husband's "flu" was in fact stage 2a cancer. I will also talk to the FPC as they didn't do any swabs despite knowing why I wanted the coil out.

I also take the slap on the wrists about online ABs - however I will repeat this was a real GP surgery/pharmacy, registered with the appropriate authorities & regulatory bodies (I checked the reg numbers against the addresses and the directors/doctors names).

Thanks, all, I just needed - if you will excuse the medical pun - a sanity check.

ubik Tue 01-Oct-13 09:47:30

Re: US treatment.

An acquaintance who is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, let's say, went to NYC and spent the first night sampling lovely cocktails, yum yum.

In the early hours she awoke; clammy, cold, vomiting, killer headache ...panicked and pitched up at the nearest hospital-v.posh. - anyway they ran the full bank of diagnostic tests -ER kind if stuff -and she may there terrified thinking meningitis etc. hours later a dr arrived with a glass of water and 2 paracetamol. The tests had indicated she had a hangover.

Then she was presented with a bill fir $2,000. shock duly paid later by a pissed off daddy.

Op - ABs over the Internet from Glasgow? Did you know we recently had supplies of heroin with anthrax in it? Do you realise the risk you took?

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