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To think that the GPs surgery should have its Christmas party outside of surgery hours?

(26 Posts)
LivinLaVidaLoki Fri 18-Dec-15 10:45:29

Our GP's surgery has late opening on a Wednesday, you can get an appointment any time up until 7pm. I called at lunchtime to try and get a telephone consultation and got a message that the surgery was now closed for the day, and to go to the walk in centre.

I didn't really think anything of it and thought I could phone the next day as it wasn't urgent and the walk in centre is miles away, complete pain to get to by bus.

Anyhow, I had started work early that day so when I had finished what I needed to do I finished work early and decided to go to the gym. The gym I go to is in a hotel. When I got there, there were two of the receptionists and one of the nurses in their party gear going from one of the banqueting rooms to the ladies (this hotel is near the doctors surgery), so they had essentially closed the surgery about 7 hours early (I called at 1230), to go and have a Christmas party (a lot of the hotels around here do either afternoon or evening parties every day in the couple of weeks leading up to Christmas).

The surgery itself is in one of the most deprived areas in the Borough and access to the walk in centre is not great from there, so even though I know realistically that they deserve a break/to kick back and relax, that maybe, as they service an area with a lot of people with various complex health/emotional needs, that they shouldnt have closed the surgery so early and just chosen a different time or date to have a party.

MrsItsNoworNotatAll Fri 18-Dec-15 10:50:00

I wouldn't be happy with if my surgery had done this. It's very hard to get an appointment as it is so yanbu.

KakiFruit Fri 18-Dec-15 10:55:14

Are you sure it was their Christmas party? You only saw a few of the staff, so they might have been friends outside of work and went for a drink/meal.

If they did close the surgery to have their party, YANBU. GP surgeries should be much more customer-focused than they are, IMO.

BondJayneBond Fri 18-Dec-15 10:56:58

I agree that the Christmas party should have been organised outside of their standard opening hours.

Are you sure that's why they closed early though? My GP surgery sometimes closes for an afternoon because of staff training.

MissFitt68 Fri 18-Dec-15 10:59:12

My dd is a receptionist and this is what they did yesterday. It was so all the partners could attend. And it had to be pre booked back in the summer due to everywhere booking up quickly

goodnightdarthvader1 Fri 18-Dec-15 11:02:53

Fitt, so? They must have known what their opening hours were in the summer.

we have our xmas lunch meeting in work hours, so do lots of places, can't see a problem really.

TheFairyCaravan Fri 18-Dec-15 11:10:40

When I was a dental nurse we used to close for the afternoon so we could go out for our Christmas lunch.

It's only once a year. I can't see the problem, tbh. Our surgery closes once a month, for the afternoon, every month for staff training.

MissFitt68 Fri 18-Dec-15 11:12:16

Partners from other surgery I meant, not husband/wives

They choose their opening hours so can do this. They also close for joint meetings and training days too

MissFitt68 Fri 18-Dec-15 11:13:54

Can't see the problem either!!

There is an alternative.... the walk in

BondJayneBond Fri 18-Dec-15 11:15:06

If having the Christmas party in work hours means that your clients / customers / patients are unable to access your services, then it's a problem. How big a problem it is will depend on the nature of the business.

Patients being unable to access a GP surgery puts extra pressure on other NHS services, such as walk in centres and A&E, especially as it's winter. That's why closing a GP surgery for a Christmas party is unacceptable IMO. It should be perfectly possible to book a Christmas party out of opening hours if it's booked early enough.

WitchWay Fri 18-Dec-15 11:16:00

please don't begrudge surgery staff a little time for R&R - most are nearing breaking point as it is & as pointed out, there are alternatives

BondJayneBond Fri 18-Dec-15 11:17:57

And closing the GP surgery for staff training is different. Staff training will presumably have some sort of positive impact on patient care. Social events in opening hours don't benefit the patients.

Lyndie Fri 18-Dec-15 11:20:57

The practice is allowed to shut as long as they arrange cover. Ours does protected learning time one afternoon a month and the OOH service covers this time.

Commonly you'd have a sandwich lunch and informal get together before the training started. I think a lot of places would have a Christmas type lunch, I doubt they're down the pub!!

Once a year or so the learning time can be for team building rather than training so they might do a walk or activity like climbing or canoeing. Is that ok with you OP??

DrMum83 Fri 18-Dec-15 11:22:39

If GP practices close early for staff training or whatever, they must pay a fee to be covered by out of hours services. It's not a case of closing as and when they like. Some practices close for one afternoon per month anyway for training, maybe they used this month's training session to have a Xmas do? Don't see the problem really. There is still access to healthcare locally.
People moaning about this - I know it's a cliche but there are million of people in the world who don't have the luxury of options when accessing healthcare and walk for days to see a Dr.

Potatoface2 Fri 18-Dec-15 11:25:34

its nice that they can close and can ALL attend a christmas party.....lots of people missed out on our christmas party as people had to work and couldnt get time off....you cant close a hospital !

bankerror Fri 18-Dec-15 11:30:35

I disagree that having a party doesn't benefit patients - it might contribute to a whole host of thinngs such as improving staff morale, improving working relations, staff retention etc all of which could result in an improved service for patients.

Dipankrispaneven Fri 18-Dec-15 11:31:21

I see no problem with closing for a few hours so long as cover has been arranged. It will in practice put very little pressure on other local health services as most people will be able to put off their appointment for one day. If they have to wait till the end of a long tiring day for their celebration and then do a full day's work the next day, it won't be much fun.

Zampa Fri 18-Dec-15 11:33:20

Social events in opening hours don't benefit the patients

Of course it does. Having happy and motivated staff benefits the patients. A few hours in the year for staff to have some time to let off steam creates good will. YABU.

peggyundercrackers Fri 18-Dec-15 11:37:39

don't see a problem - lots of work places do this. you still had access to services as you could go to the walk in centre - yep it was a little more inconvenient for you but no doubt it was more convenient for others who lived nearby - swings and roundabouts come to mind.

Sallyingforth Fri 18-Dec-15 11:46:11

YABU.
You left work early, they should be able to have a break too.
Was your telephone consultation so urgent that it couldn't wait until the morning?
Our local GP surgery staff all work bloody hard and I expect them to have some de-stressing time. Especially as they often have to deal with very entitled callers like you.

Junosmum Fri 18-Dec-15 11:48:44

We take ours in work time, I don't see why a GPs surgery should be any different. It is't like they cancelled peoples appointments on the day or left emergencies with no where to go.

SirChenjin Fri 18-Dec-15 11:53:23

The NHS doesn't close up early to allow its staff to attend Christmas parties, and rightly so.

YANBU - by closing early for something non-essential they have moved people elsewhere and created pressure points across elsewhere for other NHS. Not clever.

DrMum83 Fri 18-Dec-15 12:01:39

Sir - it does not create pressure points. The surgery pays out of hours to cover this time period and hence would use that fee to pay for a doctor/nurse.

TheFairyCaravan Fri 18-Dec-15 12:04:27

I've just re-read the OP. She doesn't actually know that they closed 7hours early for the party, she's just presuming. They might have closed early for staff training and then tagged the party on the end of it.

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