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To think this man had no right to rage at the GPs receptionist because appointment was late?

(95 Posts)
listsandbudgets Tue 11-Mar-14 12:18:54

I had to take DS to the GP last night. The appointment was at 5.40pm. We were finally seen at 6.50pm. GP was already running late then took ages with the man who went in just before us at 6.10pm for his 5.30 apointment - I think he had to be admitted to hospital and she didn't want to leave him until arrangements were made. The last appointment was for 6pm.

The receptionist was obviously working late in order to deal with what was going on. She told us that there would be a long wait as the doctor was dealing with an emergency.

By 6.15 the person with the 5.50 appointment (the one after ours) were shouting at her and demanding she hurried everything up. She explained the sitaution again. THey started shouting at her then banging on the GPs surgery door shouting that they had to be seen. GP came out and told them to leave the premises or wait quietly. They calmed down a bit but still went up to receptionist every 2-3 minutes to insist she hurried things up.

AIBU to think that

1. They should be grateful that the GP was prepared to see them at all given how late it was and their behaviour
2. They should be bl**dy grateful it wasn't them who needed admitting to hospital they were there because they thought they had scabies according to what they were shouting
3. Banging on surgery door when you know GP is dealing with an emergency is completely beyond reason

They ranted and raged at me too trying to get me to complain and I point blank refused. I told it wasn't the receptionists fault or the doctors fault and that I didn't mind waiting because I'd rather have a GP who spent time with people and dealt with them properly then shoved them out in 5 minutes when they clearly needed help. he called me a sanctimonious busy body

DD (8) did not help when she said very loudly "mummy I think that man is very rude, I think we're lucky to live in a country were we can see a doctor and not worry about money"

Sorry epic post didn't realise how angry I was about it. Call it therapy!!

Dahlen Tue 11-Mar-14 12:22:44

Of course YANBU. I can sympathise with the man as waiting around can be incredibly frustrating especially if you have other plans and you aren't being kept informed about how long you might be expected to wait. However, emergencies are unforseeable, we are lucky to have an NHS that is free, and frustration is not an excuse for aggressive or abusive behaviour.

Lottiedoubtie Tue 11-Mar-14 12:23:25

Of course Yanbu. You know that though wink

MoominIsWaitingToMeetHerMiniMe Tue 11-Mar-14 12:23:37

YADNBU! People get wound up and it's understandable but to behave like that is completely unacceptable!

angelos02 Tue 11-Mar-14 12:23:47

YANBU - He should have been kicked out of the surgery the moment he banged on the doctor's door. He should then be removed from the surgery's patient list.

But I find it hard to believe an 8 year old would say "mummy I think that man is very rude, I think we're lucky to live in a country were we can see a doctor and not worry about money". Not in a million years do I believe this.

PeterParkerSays Tue 11-Mar-14 12:25:57

I would write to the Practice manager saying how helpful and informative you found the receptionist and how the GP handled the situation really well, and if they want a witness to record their version of events you are happy to help.

The bloke was clearly being a knob. I'm reminded of the end of "Danny, Champion of the world", where the local doctor gets a patient who's the local landowner and total arse, and gives him an injection with the largest, bluntest needle he can find. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall when the man did get to see the GP.

listsandbudgets Tue 11-Mar-14 12:27:17

angelos you've not met dd honestly its the kind of things she comes out with. She's obsessed with reading about poverty / developing world and talking about the differences in this country. Her best friend at school is from The Ivory Coast so she does talk about that sort of thing with them and their family quite a bit

WorraLiberty Tue 11-Mar-14 12:33:18

As long as you explained what national insurance is lol

SarahAndFuck Tue 11-Mar-14 12:37:43

The man was being unreasonable.

I don't know what he thought the receptionist could do? Drag the emergency patient out? Drag the doctor out to see the man in reception?

It's a difficult balance for appointments. I've seen our doctor's receptionists turn people away because they were one minute late for their appointment, which seems harsh but if everyone turns up a little bit late then it snowballs so I can understand why they do it.

I've also been kept waiting for 45 minutes after my appointment should have taken place to be seen because they were running late that day, which is a worry when you've paid for parking or have to get back home or to work etc.

And I've been seen earlier than my appointment because they were running ahead and I was there early, which is always good.

And I've been offered a choice of times, chosen the later one to give us time to get there, and then turned up to be told they had given me the earlier one by mistake and I'd missed it. I wasn't happy that day as it was an appointment for DS and they were saying they wouldn't see him now.

I did complain that time as it was their mistake and we were fitted in, which probably made someone else's appointment start later than it should have. DS was sent to hospital following that appointment so I'm glad I stuck to my guns, but I didn't shout or bang on doors.

But in any case, shouting at the receptionist and banging on doors isn't the way to go. He's lucky they didn't call the police.

CoffeeTea103 Tue 11-Mar-14 12:41:47

Yeah right your dd said that grin

Charlie97 Tue 11-Mar-14 12:43:58

YANBU, my father had a heart attack and died in the doctors surgery, I am sure lots of people were held up that day. As far as I am aware none complained though.

Also, the next few times that my mum went to the surgery, she was never expected to wait in the waiting room (where it all happened), she was very kindly taken straight through.

People need to wind there necks in and understand that "things happen", an appointment at the doctors is dependent on many variables.

maillotjaune Tue 11-Mar-14 12:45:02


Our fantastic GP often runs late. Almost always because she had an emergency and the genuinely sick person needs admission or something.

I have always thought this is a bonus - if I or my children needed it we would also be given priority. Unlike when DS1 had been knocked out and after he'd been taken to a hospital in another part of London because it had paeds a&e we were forgotten behind the child who may or may not have shoved a baked bean up his nose grin

angelos02 Tue 11-Mar-14 12:46:05

CoffeeTea glad its not just me that thinks that.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 11-Mar-14 12:49:09

Well it's frustrating obviously as many people would have taken morning/afternoon off work to go or have someone staying late til they get back and you expect to be late but not that late.

He was unreasonable for shouting and yes it's far better that the dr is thorough than rushed through appointments and misses something.

But just because something is free at point of service ( we have paid in fir this) doesn't mean we should be grateful for chaos and something sub standard.

Obviously they need more staff or a walk in clinic/minor injury clinic or nurse practitioner or something to relieve the strain.

LadyInDisguise Tue 11-Mar-14 12:51:12

As a px having to wait that long for my appointment I would be annoyed tbh.
And yes I would expect explanation from the surgery as well as an idea about Kate the appointment would be. Eg if the appointment us late by 30min it means I am late at work by 30 mins or that I am late collecting the dcs at school.

However there is NO reason why that man carried on shouting and going to see the receptionist like this. I would gave though the answer should have been: the GO is running late by 45mins, is that ok for you or roils you like to reschedule your appointment?'

Btw I think it was completely Normal both for the GP and the receptionist to have stayed late too.

mychildrenarebarmy Tue 11-Mar-14 12:51:19

My DD would have made a similar comment at 8. Just ask the people who swore in front of her, or dropped rubbish, or friends of ours who chose not to wear seat belts.

angelos02 Tue 11-Mar-14 12:51:56

They don't need more staff if this only happens occasionally. It is the nature of the job and people just have to suck it up.

Hegsy Tue 11-Mar-14 12:51:58

YANBU my docs generally run late too but I accept that for the service we get. I once went in for a normal appointment and came out 40 mins later, doctor couldn't have spent anymore time with me that day whilst I blubbered in her room, she was fantastic.

MagicalHamSandwich Tue 11-Mar-14 12:53:15

Of course YANBU - he was BU, though.

Being yelled at is unfortunately a pretty much inevitable part of any job facing the public. It happened to me a gazillion times when working as a receptionist during my uni years.

Love your DD's reaction, BTW. Hope he felt adequately ashamed by the fact that even a child knows more about appropriate behaviour than him.

NoodleOodle Tue 11-Mar-14 12:54:10

I can imagine an 8yr old saying that, loudly, whilst you yourself are desperately trying to look away, not catch his eye or be noticed by him in case he starts on you again.

He's also an idiot for wasting a Drs time with scabies. Why not get lotion from pharmacist and spend his time boil washing his clothes and bedding rather than spreading the mites around a surgery waiting room.

FryOneFatManic Tue 11-Mar-14 12:54:14

Giles I understand it may be frustrating for some, but emergencies can't always be scheduled, you know.

My dad had an apt last month, and when he got to the surgery, collapsed with a heart attack. Obviously, that threw the apt times out of the window while the doctor saw to him and waited for an ambulance.

Which bit of that would you label as chaos and sub-standard?

I have never come across a doctor who was running late for the sheer hello of it, there was always a good reason.

And hiring walk-in staff isn't necessarily the answer.

Pigletin Tue 11-Mar-14 12:55:05

"mummy I think that man is very rude, I think we're lucky to live in a country were we can see a doctor and not worry about money"

Why is it that so many people insist that the NHS is free...I wonder why I have been paying so much in national insurance taxes then...

Otherwise, YANBU as the man was quite rude.

MagicalHamSandwich Tue 11-Mar-14 12:58:08

Why is it that so many people insist that the NHS is free...I wonder why I have been paying so much in national insurance taxes then...

Try living outside the UK, then. I'm currently in Switzerland and paying taxes, the equivalent of NI and separate health insurance (which is mandatory but ridiculously expensive - mine's about £100/month).

The service is no better than at the NHS by the way, and my insurance limits my choice of doctors.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 11-Mar-14 13:03:25

It depends on the drs. Obviously energencies can't be scheduled for but for instance my drs you can't pre book appointments. So if it's something minor that can wait you still have to call in first thing. I always feel guilty for that because I could be taking an appointment away from someone who needs it more. And depending on time we have waited over an hour ourselves.

Ours for instance often has patients going in in groups or having patients spend along time trying to communicate with the receptionist with no staff available to translate so it's difficult for the patient and the receptionist and of course delays the patients behind them in the queue from checking in.

So yes somethings can't he helped

But other things sometimes depending in your patient base, an extra receptionist or a nurse available to talk through something simple or even a translater could reduce the wait for everybody.

SaucyJack Tue 11-Mar-14 13:04:23

Yes, he was rude.

But even I (judgy old cow that I am) would've given him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he was just desperate to get treatment himself.

Dunno much about scabies, but it doesn't sound fun.

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