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To be quite annoyed with my doctors surgery?

(33 Posts)
TheCunnyFunt Mon 23-Nov-15 15:00:39

For years my doctors surgery was the same 5 GP's, for years and years it was just the 5 of them, no-one left or retired. I had the same GP for 21 years until he retired a couple of years ago. Since then I have had 4 different GP's. Four. It seems that since my old one left, the surgery haven't been able to keep anyone in his job for longer than a few months. It's ridiculous, every time I go there I see someone new. The last GP I saw, I really clicked with, she was lovely, really understood and listened carefully to everything I told her. Just got a letter from them about a flu-jab clinic and her name is gone (letters from the surgery have each doctors name at the top of the page), replaced with yet another new name. This will make GP number 5!

What is going on? Why can't they keep anyone for longer than a few months? Did my GP's retirement somehow curse the job? confused it is really puzzling!

IWantAnotherBaby Mon 23-Nov-15 15:10:04

Not actually the fault of the surgery, so yes, YABU. GP recruitment is in crisis, like the rest of the NHS, and GPs are leaving for less stressful, better paid posts overseas, or retiring, or locuming for better pay and more control over their working hours. I'm a (overworked and disillusioned) GP. I'd quit if I could, but am too young to retire, and have all the usual problems with mortgage etc etc. We have struggled to recruit, for all the reasons above, despite being an excellent practice in a nice area. One of my partners has just left for a post in a private General Practice, and everyone else is considering their options, and trying to get some kind of work/ life balance.

32ndfloorandabitdizzy Mon 23-Nov-15 15:10:05

Haven't had a named Gp for the past 9 years- my surgery has such a churn they cant do it. Only tried to go about 10 times in 9 years and last 4 times haven't been able to get an appointment at all even though I was quite poorly. Ended up going to a walk in over an hour away (ended up in hospital so I was pretty ill) but now I just pay for a private GP.

Totally dysfunctional NHS at GP level.

raranah Mon 23-Nov-15 15:11:34

Yabvu. I didn't know people had named doctors these days.

You dont have to get on with your go like a friend.

PaulAnkaTheDog Mon 23-Nov-15 15:14:32


sparechange Mon 23-Nov-15 15:15:15

Why do you need to see the same doctor every time? It is a very 1950s view of the NHS, and completely unreasonable and incompatible with the current demands placed on GP surgeries for longer opening hours and working weeks.
It is highly unlikely that one GP would remember you and your medical history when they see you. They see hundreds of patients a week!
So who ever you see, they'll be having to read your notes at the start of the appointment. It makes no difference if it was the same person you saw last time

Enjolrass Mon 23-Nov-15 15:15:52

I haven't seen the GP who I am apparently under for years.

It's unfortunately the way it is now.

My mum had a GP from being young, that gps son joined the practice and when the retirement came for mums gp, we were transferred to the Son.

Unfortunately when he and his wife split up (the senior nurse) it went downhill and mum never see the same one either.

It's not a job for life anymore, in that people do not stay in the same surgery as much anymore.

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Mon 23-Nov-15 15:24:39

I got bollocked by one GP at my practice for not seeing the same one each time. She wasn't having any of it that if you ring up for an emergency appointment, you get whichever of them is on emergency duty that day. And if you need a same day appointment, you can't wait three weeks to see a named GP. It was apparently not good enough to expect which ever GP you saw to read the notes the last one made confused. She was also the same GP who had never come across a teenage girl fainting before, and managed to not refer DD despite saying she would as it was such an unusual thing to be happening. So I put her bollocking down to being generally rubbish and ignored her grin.

Pandora97 Mon 23-Nov-15 15:32:00

I think I've been very lucky with my surgery in that I see the same GP virtually every time if I ask to. I don't have a named GP as such and I don't care about seeing the same GP for minor things but I like to see the same one if I'm going for issues relating to my depression as I've seen him for a year and a half, he's the one who's sorted all my medication, done blood tests, liaised with my uni etc. so it makes sense to see him. I don't expect him to remember everything about me, I work in the NHS so I know he's going to have to read my notes for a refresher but when I've had to see a different GP as he's been on holiday they've been a lot more abrupt and it's felt rushed. He seems more genuinely interested, I guess because he's seen me from the beginning so knows my story.

Anyway, like the others have said, there is a big GP recruitment crisis. No-one seems to want to do it anymore, lots of endless paperwork, stress etc. I remember my GP rang me up at 9pm from the surgery once about some blood test results. I was shocked - he said he was just finishing up paperwork and loose ends but it sounded like a regular occurrence for him. Unfortunately, the days of GPs knowing all the patients in their area and cheerily doing home visits to their beloved residents is long gone. When my grandmother was ill at home we had to fight tooth and nail to get one to come out and see her, even though it was only just up the road. I get the impression it's a very different job now and a lot of it is paper shuffling. Obviously I'm being very simplistic but there seems to be a lot of bureaucracy involved.

Daisysbear Mon 23-Nov-15 15:34:27

Its not necessarily the practice's fault, but it is a shame that the concept of a regular GP, who knows you and your history (and often your family as well) is disappearing. Feeling comfortable and able to talk freely to your doctor is really important, and that isn't easy when you're starting from scratch with each visit.

Preminstreltension Mon 23-Nov-15 15:46:57

I think having your own GP is a concept that's disappearing. I have seen 10 at least at my surgery over the last 5 years - there's absolutely no expectation that I should see the same one twice and if I insisted on this the wait would be two months rather than the current three weeks! I've actually literally never met my named GP.

What's frustrating is that a lot of healthcare is still predicated on the concept of having to go through a GP who knows you and your family and your history - but they don't so why do I have to go through them for almost everything?

eastwest Mon 23-Nov-15 15:48:07

Yes I think this is normal, sadly. Certainly the case at my local surgery, you never have the same doctor twice. the nurse is the person who I know/ see the most!

cansu Mon 23-Nov-15 15:49:38

The service we get from our surgery has declined rapidly when as doctors have retired they have been unable to recruit. I disagree with those who say it doesn't matter who you see. Of course it does. Most of the time I now have to see a nurse practitioner, rather than a doctor. When you have a child with learning disabilities having a GP who knows said child and is a familiar face then this makes life much easier. Whilst nurse is more trained and is supposed to be able to deal with more than standard nurse, I am not convinced. I think that tbh if I could afford it I would have private healthcare. In the past I would not have thought it to be either necessary or worthwhile. I think our services are being run down. It is such a disaster.

mumblechum1 Mon 23-Nov-15 15:50:49

I'm another one who has never seen the same GP twice, and I've been registered with the surgery for 16 years.

I haven't been for years though, it's impossible to get an appointment so I either go to the private GP at vast expense or just wait to get better by myself which nearly always happens grin.

Naty1 Mon 23-Nov-15 16:08:18

they have registered (or should i say changed) me and the 2 kids to 3 diff gps. not quite sure how that makes sense.
i dont mind seeing different gps, as long as they are good. also in some ways its good as if you get a bad one you just see someone else next time and they might be more helpful.
it seems a lot dont work full time and i would prefer to see someone when necessary.
i also like having a telephone consult, as if you need a same day appt you can understandably be waiting a long time, which isnt practical with young kids plus the contagion factor.
i appreciate though for those with ongoing issues it would be good to have the same person available.
i feel like gps who own the practice try to avoid referring you.

Spellcaster Mon 23-Nov-15 16:27:36

There are still places in the country where people see the same gp every time?? Even in a small rural town it has been Russian roulette since at least 1996!! In shock :/

incywincybitofa Mon 23-Nov-15 16:45:56

I think it varies- I do have a named GP and if I phone up for a same day appointment if he has a slot I can see him, if he doesn't he will call or I can see someone else, but I have a health condition that hasn't benefited from being bounced around GPs.
There are at least 3 or 4 other GPs I would be happy to see, and the ones that I have come across who aren't great generally don't last long.
Generally the appointment bookings rule is you have two weeks ahead slots to book a time and the ones that aren't used get moved off the system and used for same day and follow up appointments.
I think given the circumstances that they are working under this is the best they can do- population changes, from immigration which has been significant in the town where we live, a larger elderly community building up, as well as lots of new housing in the area have made a huge difference to our GP practice over the last 30 odd years, they have struggled to find Drs willing to work in the conditions they do, able and willing to provide the service they want to.

If it bothers you that much, find out if your GP surgery has a patient practice committee and ask to join then you can get some input and feedback.

Mistigri Mon 23-Nov-15 18:01:42

There are a lot of benefits to having a named GP if you have a chronic health condition. We've had the same GP for 17 years now, and for DH in particular (chronic mental health condition) it's very useful to have a GP who knows his history. It is probably less important for people who only see their GP occasionally or who have easy-to-manage conditions.

I appreciate that recruitment is becoming more difficult everywhere and the idea of a named GP is probably going to be consigned to the history books out of sheer necessity, but there is no doubt in my mind that it leads to better and more efficient healthcare.

MiaowTheCat Mon 23-Nov-15 19:07:23

Unless it's coming up to or coming off holiday time I can usually get in with the GP I request within about a week at our surgery - next day appointment with whoever's free if I need one, or if I want a "pickier" appointment timeslot like afterwork or whatever - it'll be a couple of days wait.

We're really rather lucky with our surgery though apart from the doctor who put us through hell over DD2's neocate.

Unfortunately the consistent staffing means that the practice nurse is still the one that DD1 has been holding a grudge against for nearly 3 years now since she did her little sister's jabs and made little sis cry!

Crazypetlady Mon 23-Nov-15 19:40:19

We see lots of different ones at ours I don't think it matters really.

PiperChapstick Mon 23-Nov-15 19:43:21

YABU this is a national problem and long gone are the days where you spend your whole life seeing the same doctor. As long as they do a good job and listen to you I don't see the problem

NannyOggsHedgehogs Mon 23-Nov-15 19:49:58

My surgery manage to have named GPs and they utterly incredible. Last saw mine with ds1 about a year ago, then walked in with brand new ds2 for his 6w check. She enquired about dh and ds1 by name, and how was I coping with various related issues, then dh saw her a few weeks later and bam, vasectomy referral approved because she was fully aware that it was a family decision.

She might just be the most amazing person ever though, I don't know that I could have recall on that kind of knowledge about, what, 0.5% of my client group?

jacks11 Mon 23-Nov-15 20:41:24

The problem is that there is a crisis in GP recruitment. The numbers going into GP training do not match the numbers required- GP training programmes are under-recruiting by between 10 and 15% (in some areas higher) every year. So there are less newly qualified GPs coming through the ranks.

The number now nowhere near matches the number of GPs retiring/leaving. Retention is a big problem too- significant numbers of GP's are leaving to go abroad, do another specialism or leaving medicine altogether.

So your GP surgery may well be trying very hard to recruit staff, but being unsuccessful. The good GP's are able to pick and choose where they work. Many are choosing to work as locums or salaried GPs as it gives them greater flexibility without the enormous hassle of the extremely heavy load of paperwork that goes with being a GP partner.

My GP surgery also have named GP with a "preferred GP" for home visits. They are not always able to offer that GP (may be off, duty doctor and not able to go etc) but they do try their best.

jevoudrais Mon 23-Nov-15 21:12:43

I haven't seen my named GP since I was registered there six years ago. There are six who rotate, I've seen five but never my own one... Very hard to get an appt with the same GP more than once.

Sadly it just seems to be how it goes. Our community nurse has been the same lately which has been novel.

I can cope with lack of continuity in the GP I see, albeit I would like some continuity. The receptionists at mine annoy me an awful lot, though............

TheCunnyFunt Mon 23-Nov-15 21:37:30

I'm amazed that so many of you never see the same GP twice, there are 3 doctors surgeries in our town and each of them books patients in for appointments in the same way, 'You'd like to see a GP? Your name and DOB? Ah you're with Dr X. He has Y time and date available, is that ok?'

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