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AIBU to complain at doctors

(25 Posts)
Donthate Thu 18-Jun-15 13:48:45

My 5yo ds started urinating frequently last bank holiday including accidents at night. I called the docs on the tues and the first appointment they could give me was the following Monday. By Thursday he was no better so I called in the morning for an appointment that day. The receptionist said "what is the emergency" and I explained I thought he had a urine infection. We turned up and had been booked in to see a nurse. She tested his urine and said he was fine and maybe it was habit or the top of his penis was sore. I went away thinking he had no infection as he had been checked. Fast forward and his weeing still far too often and school mentioned it so I booked him in again with a doctor. He does have an infection and most likely has had for over a month. His urine has been sent off to be cultured and he may need scans depending on outcome. I am ready to complain to the practice manager about the receptionist who booked him in to see nurse and the nurse who should probably have sent off the urine for further testing. AIBU?

cailindana Thu 18-Jun-15 13:50:46

YANBU at all. A urine infection can be very serious and you should definitely have been given an appointment with a doctor. Complain if only to flag up the fact that people are being ineffectively triaged.

Rockclimbingtigger Thu 18-Jun-15 13:58:43

Yabu in my opinion.

You asked for an emergency appointment and relieved one with a trained professional. She checked his urine and said it was clear ie that there was no blood or leucocytes present. There was no reason to send for further testing and the lab would have thrown the sample away.

She acted entirely within recommended current treatment and just because your son had an infection when the doctor saw him - does not mean it was present when the nurse saw him. I think you wbvu to complain.

Having said all that I hope you son is now feeling better and is recovering well.

ItsTricky Thu 18-Jun-15 14:23:33

Yanbu to complain. Poor boy, urine infections are nasty. Is he on AB's now?

Donthate Thu 18-Jun-15 14:29:39

He is, one week to start and probably two.

I can see where you are coming from Rock but the doctor seems to think it had been present when the nurse checked him and is talking about scans to see if the infection has progressed. You are assuming she tested the urine correctly which I hope is the case. My ds's symptoms have not worsened since the last appointment but have stayed the same. I don't have an issue with nurse practitioners but I don't think it was suitable in this case.

LazyLouLou Thu 18-Jun-15 14:29:58

Contact the practice manager. You may get a reassuring answer, something along the lines of Rockclimbingtigger's post, as this may be what happened.

I know that as far as you are concerned he had an infection then and has only just been treated for it, but the nurse did nothing wrong, she checked, he was, as far as she could tell, clear. The infection could well have set in later, she would not know, as the tests she did came up negative.

Is he OK now?

Donthate Thu 18-Jun-15 14:37:11

He is on ABs and once his urine is cultured they will know whether he needs further investigation and scans. The doctor I saw today said that he suspects he has had the infection for over a month.

LazyLouLou Thu 18-Jun-15 14:40:29

Focus on the 'suspects'... I actually would rather complain about the GP. He seems to have made an unsupported assumption and undermined your confidence in the nurse... That is unprofessional of him... your response, anger and worry, is an example of why it is unprofessional.

I hope your DS is feeling better.

buildmeabuttercup Thu 18-Jun-15 14:45:41

At my GPs if you need an emergency appointment after urgent care walk in hours you have to either see a triage nurse or speak to one over the phone and then they will assess whether you need to see a GP, maybe it's similar thing. I've had to go through triage twice this week for my dd to be seen, and she's only 2.

It seems that the receptionist was doing her job, and the nurse most likely would have sent your son to see a GP had the test come back positive. Assuming she did the test correctly of course, the result would have probably been the same had you seen a GP not a nurse.

If she didn't do the test correctly then that's a different thing.nhow could you find out?

buildmeabuttercup Thu 18-Jun-15 14:46:13

I hope your ds is better though poor mite, they're not nice at all.

Idontseeanydragons Thu 18-Jun-15 14:48:54

The receptionist booked you in with the nurse for an emergency appointment - this was probably what she had been told to do by the practice management - having worked as one myself I can pretty confidently say that she was following practice guidelines set down by her superiors. If an error has been made then it's down to them.
I would speak to the manager.
I hope he's feeling better but YABU to lump this one onto the receptionist.

Donthate Thu 18-Jun-15 14:49:27

The GP was fantastic and there is no way I will complain about him. I will wait for the test results and decide whether to complain then. My complaint would be that I should have seen a doctor initially.

The nurse did not do any physical examination she literally dipped the paper in the urine and said he was fine. She did not check his temperature or feel his stomach. I just feel a doctor would have done more.

LazyLouLou Thu 18-Jun-15 14:59:11

As others have said, if you complain that you were, in effect, triaged, you won't get a satisfactory response, as this is what regularly happens when a surgery is busy.

If you ask the practice manager to look at what the PN actually did, to see if there was anything she missed, you might get a different response, assuming she did anything wrong.

Temperature and abdomen tonus do not diagnose a UTI, so whilst that may have reassured you that something was being done dipping urine is standard procedure (yes, I am another who has previously worked in a GP surgery).

And your GP was not fantastic. He should not have undermined the PN in any way. He should have waited for the test results and then acted as he saw fit, working with evidence not conjecture! Had he done that you would not now be angry and upset... and your DS would have received the same treatment, without his mum being wound up over something that may not be true.

Donthate Thu 18-Jun-15 15:05:16

The GP was fantastic. He in no way added to my worry. As soon as he said my ds had an infection I also suspected that he has had it all along as his symptoms have not changed. I will wait for the test results. He was careful in the way he said he suspected my ds had the infection for a while and did not undermine the nurse.

buildmeabuttercup Thu 18-Jun-15 15:06:09

i wouldn't complain that you should have seen a doctor first, it's standard in a lot of practices that if there are no appointments then you are triaged, and then the nurse will usually decide wether a GP is needed or not. Otherwise they would be overflowed with people wanting to see a GP, and not all of them necessary.

They tested for urine infection and it was clear, a GP would have done exactly the same thing. I would only complain if the nurse did the test wrong, and I don't know how this could be proved?

WoonerismSpit Thu 18-Jun-15 15:10:24

Why are you complaining about the poor receptionist? She booked him in with an available HCP. I've seen nurses on emergency appointments with urine infections, why did it have to be a doctor?

nihatsgirl Thu 18-Jun-15 15:10:36

I also agree with Rock. The test to detect an infection cannot easily be done incorrectly. Unless you believe that she did nor actually test. You may complain, but if she acted as she should've then there won't be any reprimand . Hope your son is betting better.

LazyLouLou Thu 18-Jun-15 15:26:46

Then why are you determined to complain about the nurse? It seems to be because, according to your GPs guesswork, your DS had the infection when the nurse saw him? You currently don't even know if DS has an infection...

I am trying to help, really. That is why I have suggested who to complain to and why. I appreciate you are upset for your DS, but you seem to be really resistant to suggestions/help. Obviously you are fully entitled to do that, I didn't mean to suggest that any of us here are in anyway expert, sorry grin

Donthate Thu 18-Jun-15 15:38:31

I'm not determined to complain about the nurse. If it turns out that ds has had a urine infection for over a month (if it has progressed/ caused further damage) then I want to ask why I called the doctors saying that I thought ds had an infection but was sent away thinking there was no way he had.

I was not told to come back if he continued to urinate frequently but that he was probably doing it out of habit or a sore penis. I am not sat here panicking I am just frustrated. It is interesting that most of the posters who are saying not to complain have worked in a GP surgery. When would you say it is ok to raise concerns?

Urinalysis sticks are a quick, easy way to check for protein, sugar, ketones, blood, bilirubin and leucocytes, amongst other things. The little squares change colour to indicate the presence of these things, and how much is present - they are simple and easy to use, and doing this sort of urinalysis is something I was doing routinely on my first ward, within three months of starting nurse training.

If I recall correctly, the presence of protein and leucocytes would suggest an infection - and the nurse must have recorded the results of the analysis - if she recorded NAD (nothing abnormal discovered), then there was nothing to indicate a need for further testing.

If I were you, I would ask to see the record of that visit. If the test of your ds's urine was clear, then I would doubt there was an infection present, and the doctor was wrong to tell you that he knows there was. But if there were leucocytes (white blood cells), and/or protein, and/or blood, then she should have investigated further.

buildmeabuttercup Thu 18-Jun-15 15:47:37

I think you were sent away thinking he didn't have one because the test said he didn't have one. if they didn't bother to test his urine at all then that would have been a cause for complaint, but they did. If the test came back negative then she obviously would try and give other reasons for his symptoms. I understand your frustration I just can't see what the nurse or receptionist has done wrong. Sorry and hope your ds improves smile

Donthate Thu 18-Jun-15 15:48:19

Thank you I will do.

LazyLouLou Thu 18-Jun-15 15:48:31

I haven't said not to complain. I have outlined one way of complaining that would be most likely to get you the best response.

electionfatigue Thu 18-Jun-15 15:49:45

If she dipped his urine and it was normal then he almost certainly didn't have a UTI at the time, it may have developed. Urine dipsticks are designed to be over sensitive, even when they come up vaguely positive there is often no infection when it goes off to the lab.

JakieOH Fri 19-Jun-15 15:44:12

what election said!

Just complain about the nurse, it will make you feel better. The nurse will most likely not be bothered because I'm sure people blame her every day for things she has no control over. Par for the course in the profession. If the test was negative at the time it won't go any further anyway. If the test was negative I can only presume her magic powers that allow her to see into the future were not working that day either.

Sorry for the sarcy message but it's such a blame culture these days. Always someone's fault, not an option that sometimes things happen out with anyone's reasonable control. But yeah, I'd complain, like I said you will probably feel better. Hope your son feels better soon

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