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To make a complaint about the GP?

(80 Posts)
GoosevonMoose Sat 28-Jan-17 23:39:19

My 14 week old DC started showing some fairly alarming symptoms on Thursday. Rang the GP first thing Friday but had missed all the same day appointments. The duty doctor phoned me back within the hour. Having described DC symptoms in detail the duty doctor said she would refer us to the paediatrician. I questioned whether we should just go to A&E and was told absolutely not. After discussion with DH I decided to follow my gut and went to A&E anyway. Triage nurse put us in a room and the paediatrician admitted us as soon as she'd seen DC. Clearly the GP made the wrong call. Would I be unreasonable to complain to the GP practice or should I just leave it?

AwkwardTurtles Sat 28-Jan-17 23:41:22

Leave it

IMissGrannyW Sat 28-Jan-17 23:43:46

I'm sorry about your DC, and hope he/she is on the mend.

What would your complaint achieve?

CommonFramework Sat 28-Jan-17 23:46:13

Depends what is wrong with DC. Did they admit them to check on them, or what is their diagnosis?

GeordieShorefg Sat 28-Jan-17 23:48:04

Clearly the GP didn't see it as an emergency situation as it was described at the time. I never know how GPs are expected to make a full diagnoses over the phone

You wouldn't ring a garage and expect them to diagnose a suspected car fault over the phone would you? You would expect them to examine the issue and I think the same here,

OP, you yourself hadn't seen it as an emergency situation at that point - and you had actually been with her, as your daughter was ill on Thursday and you took her to a&e on Friday.
If you had been on the doorstep of the doctors at 0800hrs you could have got a same day appointment so maybe your apparent lack of urgency at the time spoke volumes to the doctor , who knows

TooSmittle Sat 28-Jan-17 23:48:29

I don't think you should just leave it. For whatever reason the duty doctor made the wrong call and they can learn from this. I would not necessarily go in all guns blazing "I want to make a complaint", but I would certainly let them know what happened to try and minimise the chance of it ever happening to anyone else.

I hope your DC is on the mend now, it must have been a scary time. Well done for following your instincts flowers

Batwomanrisesagain Sat 28-Jan-17 23:50:03

Did the GP mean refer to outpatients Paeds or did she ask you to make your way to hospital to be reviewed by a Paed same day? If the latter then GP absolutely did not make the wrong call and in actual fact you would have been seen sooner having bypassed A and E

PurpleDaisies Sat 28-Jan-17 23:50:38

I think it's fair enough to raise the question about why you were told you should "absolutely not" go to A and E. Making a diagnosis over the phone is pretty tricky though. What follow up had they planned, or what were you advised to do if anything changed?

PonderLand Sat 28-Jan-17 23:51:20

Did he actually say 'absolutely not' or just say what he thought?

I think it's scary that your gp would tell you to 'absolutely not' go to a&e when he hadn't even examined your baby.

Depending on the wording would depend on if I would complain. Also depending on what was wrong with the baby, was it life-threatening? Long lasting side effects due to late treatment?

You used your instincts and took your baby, mothers makes the final decision about what service is required for their baby - gp, a&e, out of hours etc.

JennyWoodentop Sun 29-Jan-17 00:37:08

If the duty Dr said they would refer to the paediatrician, they may have meant the oncall paediatrician - so Batwomanrisesagain may well be right.

It all depends what was said, what was meant, and what you understood by it.........and you're not conveying that clearly - fair enough your child is ill, you're upset - but people can't give clear advice as to whether you should complain or not without adequate information.

I hope your child makes a speedy recovery.

haveacupoftea Sun 29-Jan-17 00:42:52

Yes I think it sounds like the GP was referring you to the paediatrician to be seen asap, saving you going through the process of waiting in A&E.

SingingInTheRainstorm Sun 29-Jan-17 00:57:42

I think we need to know more context before we make a call like this. Like what's wrong with DC. When GP mentioned a referral did they mean in a few weeks time or that day.
I've been in A&E a few times via ambulance, always through 111, who assess what is wrong and what treatment is needed. I listen or watch to see what other patients are about.
As I usually go in at night, there's usually mothers with DC's who have a cough or something. If not aware, you can call 111 at any time and day or night, they will get a GP to you at even 4am after 'after hours services' are closed if they think the symptoms need assessment by a GP.
If not they'll refer you to A&E by ambulance, A&E by your own transport, or your GP the next day. Saying that such people are only human and can only go from the information given.
Rather than a complaint feedback maybe, like was DC in hospital a day or are they still there now? If for a day it's unlikely it was anything life changing.
We complained to the manager the same day as our DC's rarely go to the Dr's, in fact, only twice for 11 year old DS, not including asthma check ups. I guess we're lucky. But we went mental that DS was 6 maybe, hadn't been to GP since his 6 week check, if we thought he needed a GP, look at his records, obviously something is wrong in that case.
This GP is notorious across the board though for making patients of all ages feel stupid. Do you know the GP's well at the practise? Was the GP condescending or helpful in tone? You disagreed about A&E, but your GP will be aware that services in your area are overstretched so if not an accident or emergency, they wouldn't advocate it.
For future reference, if the situation is that bad you need same day appointment. Be at their doorstep before 8am and you'll usually be seen first around 8:30am.

SingingInTheRainstorm Sun 29-Jan-17 01:12:10

Another couple of examples maybe useful for MN. Had a pregnancy that was deemed a threatened MC in first trimester, HCG levels not rising as should, nothing seen on scan when should, Sunday night in losing clots, in pain, so bring evidence to A&E to show Dr's. (Should add was surrounded by Mum's, all chatting, all very supportive when they found out what I was gripping tight!) I was in and in surgery for ectopic within a couple of hours.
Another pregnancy again threatened but made it to 2nd trimester. I started losing clumps of stuff. GP's hold open clinic in AM was literally there a minute before closing and receptionists said nothing can be done. I showed them again samples of what I was losing, seen by a Dr right away who send me to hospital which led to another loss but the latest I've had.
Generally receptionists when presented with gruesome facts or samples, will know it's beyond their expertise & get you in. Again at A&E if you present all the facts. People can only go from what they know. If under pressure they have to act by guidelines. Otherwise everyone would turn up with relatively minor stuff, yes you want answers then and there, but not always possible when overstretched.
I suspect maybe bronchiolitis which is prevalent this time of year. If you report to GP DC has temp & cough, they can't advocate every patient gets seen. But it does sound like the GP was going to try and get you admitted. It's hard with so little facts presented.

SingingInTheRainstorm Sun 29-Jan-17 01:15:25

Sorry third post, admission from A&E frees up a bed and gets you into the ward where they can do tests. There'd be little point doing tests in A&E as they are more careful with young babies. The fact you got admitted so quickly may have little bearing on what was wrong, just that they have to see so many patients.
As I said before you can be sent to a ward for there to be little wrong, but will monitor overnight & send you home the next day.

Italiangreyhound Sun 29-Jan-17 01:51:55

GoosevonMoose I am so sorry this has happened and hope your child will make a speedy recovery.

"The duty doctor phoned me back within the hour. Having described DC symptoms in detail the duty doctor said she would refer us to the paediatrician. I questioned whether we should just go to A&E and was told absolutely not."

So it is a bit unclear to me when the pediatrician would be getting in touch with you or seeing your child.

Was it also unclear to you when that would be?

Was the condition life threatening or very serious?

Did you describe the symptoms fully?

If you can answer yes to most of those questions, I think you are not wrong to make a complaint although I would probably make it feedback rather than a formal complaint unless you definitely wish to make a formal complaint. Certainly, it is not wrong to let the doctor know that going to A and E was not a bad thing for your child!

I am very frustrated by all this constant references to not going to A and E. If the service is so bad they need to inject more money into A and E services and not simply encourage people not to go!

GeordieShorefg "Clearly the GP didn't see it as an emergency situation as it was described at the time. I never know how GPs are expected to make a full diagnoses over the phone

You wouldn't ring a garage and expect them to diagnose a suspected car fault over the phone would you? You would expect them to examine the issue and I think the same here..."

Then why do doctors do consultations over the phone if they cannot safely diagnose over the phone?

If they cannot safely diagnose over the phone they should say so, and absolutely not say do not go to A and E. That is similar to the mechanic saying 'I am not sure I can diagnose over the phone, but don't stop using the car even if you think the breaks are faulty!" Or something similar!

Darlink Sun 29-Jan-17 01:55:23

Give us the detail.

UterusUterusGhali Sun 29-Jan-17 02:05:07

Leave it.

Your child had a timely response.

Italiangreyhound Sun 29-Jan-17 02:17:09

UterusUterusGhali and what about the next child who is very ill and their parent is told absolutely not to go to A and E??

Seriously, these are OUR services to use, we pay for them, they do not belong to the doctors.! This is a bit like employing a doorman who keeps you out of your own house!

UterusUterusGhali Sun 29-Jan-17 02:25:50

Any physician would base their advice on a case-by-case basis. And the child had been referred to a paed. :/
It turned out ok.

UterusUterusGhali Sun 29-Jan-17 02:30:34

ED is rarely appropriate for wee baby ime, unless an accident or emergency.
I'd refer direct to a paed, on the children's or neonatal ward, unless I thought treatment would be better in the main hospital. (Not a GP tho)

Trifleorbust Sun 29-Jan-17 03:30:04

Clearly the GP made the wrong call.

Well, no, not 'clearly' at all. Perhaps A&E admitted her in a non-emergency situation. What was the issue?

And since when is medicine an exact science? Doctors make decisions with the information available to them at the time. Bar incompetence, negligence, rudeness, why do you believe you have grounds for a complaint?

Atenco Sun 29-Jan-17 04:32:19

Maybe you should give feedback, rather than make a complaint, OP.

SingingInTheRainstorm Sun 29-Jan-17 04:38:23

For us to advise further we need to know more specifics.

Feedback is always better than a complaint, I know with DC especially when ill we are highly emotive.

A parents instinct is always/mostly right. But it's not obvious if you were going to get admitted anyway by GP.

GoosevonMoose Sun 29-Jan-17 06:32:56

The baby is experiencing what I thought looked like seizures but I really wasn't sure but they were very alarming. The GP referred us to the paed and told me we would should get an appointment within two weeks but if not to call back and she would chase it. I pushed back and asked if she thought it really was ok to leave that long and should I just go to A&E. That's when she said this was absolutely not a case for A&E.

We are still in the hospital and being transferred to GOSH on Monday morning so I don't think waiting two weeks was the right call. In the past when I've had to use the on call doctor they have asked to see the child. I would have been happy with the GP examining the baby as I really wasn't sure if I was jumping at shadows. But the GP wouldn't see the baby and the paed appointment would take weeks so ultimately I decided to go to A&E and potentially be a time waster. I know how stretched services are and was very reluctant to go against the GPs advice.

I'm not looking to go guns blazing at all but did wonder if it might be helpful for the GP to understand that in this case waiting wasn't the right call. The consultant in the hospital wasn't too impressed that we had been told to wait and didn't even offer to examine the baby.

And yes, I'm fairly terrified for the baby.

Trifleorbust Sun 29-Jan-17 06:38:56

Okay, yes, I would complain. Seizures in an infant are not a two week wait sort of issue.

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