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AIBU to fib to doctor's receptionist?

(105 Posts)
lalalalyra Sun 03-Jul-16 11:55:52

I think I've got a chest infection. In fact I'm pretty sure (I've had 5 in the last 2 years and have been spot on each time I've gone to the doctors). I can feel it.

The problem I have is that I'm also loaded with the cold. Have been for four weeks, so as soon as I phone and mention anything about the chest she'll ask if I've got/had a cold and then receptionists will give the 'antbiotics don't help colds' spiel. Which I know.

I've got asthma and throughout my cold my peak flow hasn't been too low (normally 500, dropped to 400/420), but yesterday it was 350 and today it's 300. I've been keeping a tight control on my asthma through it (slight increase in ventolin as normal with a cold), but I really don't want my PF to drop any lower.

I know that if you say you need an appointment for 'lady problems' the receptionists ask no questions... WIBU to phone tomorrow say that and then present with a cold/chest infection/asthma playing up? The receptionists say that they need to know as it gives the GP's a heads up on what patients are in for, but anytime I go the GP starts with "What can we do for you today?" so I don't think they read it/take it as gospel.

CaptainCrunch Sun 03-Jul-16 11:59:38

I know all surgeries are different but my GP reception has NEVER asked me why I need an appointment and if they did they would be quickly told it's absolutely none of their business.

Just say "I'm not prepared to discuss that with you".

FarelyKnuts Sun 03-Jul-16 12:00:33

Can you not say asthma?

giraffesCantReachTheirToes Sun 03-Jul-16 12:01:10

So you phone and say you have chest tightness, shortness of breath on exertion, cough. And that you are an asthmatic.

They require no other info. Even if it is "just a cold" you need seen anyway. Eg might need steroids.

I've been hospitalised many times for having a cold cos caused my lungs such problems

Natsku Sun 03-Jul-16 12:01:14

Why not just say that you are having asthma complications? They shouldn't give you the spiel with that.

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Sun 03-Jul-16 12:01:31

Don't lie. Tell the truth about a suspected chest infection - if she asks if you have a cold say you don't think so, you think it's a chest infection. Insist on a same day appointment.

ChessieFL Sun 03-Jul-16 12:01:48

I've never been asked why I need an appointment either.

MangoIsTheNewApple Sun 03-Jul-16 12:02:29

I'd say asthma, my peak flow is right down. And my surgery would probably have a doctor ring me back ASAP and either give me advice / a prescription to pick up or ask me to come in that day.

giraffesCantReachTheirToes Sun 03-Jul-16 12:02:50

If they try to not give you an appointment for that then you can quote some shocking UK death statistics from asthma from asthma UK and ask to speak to practice manager...or get me to phone them wink

ThePigeon314 Sun 03-Jul-16 12:02:52

I agree with captaincrunch, say ''i'll discuss that more openly with the doctor herself''

I was once given the third degree by doctor's receptionist trying to get an appointment and I said in answer to a question that I had blood in my urine. I was told to come in straight away. So I've never abused that, but I've always remembered its 'power' over the receptionist! she went from nothing for ten days to come in now.

lalalalyra Sun 03-Jul-16 12:03:00

They won't give you an appointment if you do that. You need to give them a reason so that they can "guide you to the appropriate person".

It's supposed to be because we don't have specific GP's so they are supposed to give you an appointment for the most appropriate GP for your ailment (I think the GP's have different interests - it's always the same GP you get sent too for anything contraceptive for example).

It's like an inquisition getting through. Plus because all the appointments are on the day if you spend too long with the receptionist then the others are answering phones and giving appointments and you can find yourself not able to get an appointment as they've all gone.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Sun 03-Jul-16 12:04:12

Just say you've got a chest infection and you're asthmatic. I work in a gp surgery and that would go down as urgent.

hazeyjane Sun 03-Jul-16 12:04:13

Just tell her you are struggling to keep on top of your asthma and you are worried you may have a chest infection.

Are you talking about triage nurse or receptionist, I thought the receptionist asks so they can make a note on the Drs screen as a heads up, but the triage nurse can prioritise appointments.

When making an appointment with the receptionist I often say it is for an ongoing issue, unless it is for an emergency appointment, then I say I'll explain to the triage nurse.

lalalalyra Sun 03-Jul-16 12:04:55

Never thought of saying asthma. FFS. What an idiot. The joys of sleep deprivation.

Thank you.

CaptainCrunch Sun 03-Jul-16 12:05:05

I wonder if it depends on what sort of GP surgery you attend? Mines is in a really posh catchment (I'm not posh...just on border of posh bit so can legitimately register at this surgery) been there for 30 years and not once been asked what my reasons for the appointment are. I think they'd get short shrift from the bulk of their clientele if they did.

I have friends who go to surgeries which have a more diverse and eclectic mix of client base and they tend to get asked. I sometimes wonder if it's because they think they can get away with it with them.

giraffesCantReachTheirToes Sun 03-Jul-16 12:05:23

Many surgeries do ask why. It can help them triage it and send patients who want their smear test to a nurse not a gp for example.

Mine ask if it's for an emergency appointment. Most of them know me and will ask if I need to come down within the hour or can I wait until the end of morning surgery. Sometimes I'm so breathless I just gasp the word asthma at them.

Justbeingnosey123 Sun 03-Jul-16 12:05:36

id say worsening asthma. I have never been turned away from the go for mine and if she asks anymore you are well within your rights to refuse to say she has no right to know.

Birdsgottafly Sun 03-Jul-16 12:06:03

I'd also say it was Asthma complications possibly bought on by a chest infection.

I've had to present at A&E because I couldn't get a GP appointment and they ask you about this, because they report it.

In your circumstances you should be seen and if the receptionist is denying you an appointment, then it needs to change.

giraffesCantReachTheirToes Sun 03-Jul-16 12:06:30

Lalala hope you feel better soon. Do post if you need any asthma help/advice/support.

hazeyjane Sun 03-Jul-16 12:06:54

I live in a very posh area and we always get asked, I don't think it is relevant.

NoahVale Sun 03-Jul-16 12:06:55

no, not to do with poshness, how bizarre,

mine the receptionist has to ask and the doctor has to judge, they either call you and help over the phone or call you and offer an appointment.

coldcanary Sun 03-Jul-16 12:08:17

Ive been a GP receptionist and got told to so this triage thing, we hated doing it.
Don't lie about any 'lady issues', you might redirected to the nurse when you need a GP - tell them it's asthma related wink

TaliZorahVasNormandy Sun 03-Jul-16 12:08:19

Also mention your peak flow and chuck in a "Getting a breathless" too.

ohidoliketobe Sun 03-Jul-16 12:08:53

At my GP's as soon as I mention "well, I have asthma and..." they get me seen to no problems. I wouldn't mention the "lady problems" as you're potentially taking up an appointment slot with a GP specialised/ experienced in that area or a female GP who patients with such issues may prefer to see. At my GP the Practice Nurse can deal with chest infections. Saves a GP slot for something much more serious.
If the receptionist starts with the cold spiel then mention the peak flow results and if need be stress how you've been told to carefully monitor and seek medical advice if there's a sharp drop like you're displaying

CaptainCrunch Sun 03-Jul-16 12:09:34

Sorry, I hope I didn't offend anyone with that...only stating what my own experience has been. Just never, ever been asked at my surgery and they give you an appointment the same day if you phone at 8am on the dot, whereas friends who go to surgeries a mile or two up the road have a completely different experience.

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