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To think my GPs are shit and complain?

(25 Posts)
TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 11:36:38

I had a miscarriage in the summer which has been followed by two more miscarriages. My GPs finally agreed to test us and my bloods case back okay and DPs sperm analysis came back okay. So they referred us to a recurrent miscarriage clinic at hospital A. They chose hospital A because it has managed my pregnancies.

I ring up hospital A yesterday to ask where I am in the list. I’m told I’m through to the wrong department. Eventually I get to booking who tell me they don’t have a referral for me at all. They give me the number for the clinic. I ring GP who insists it was done, so I go down to my GPs. After much confusion, the receptionists tell me the staff member who can help has gone home but they’ll follow it up tomorrow.

I got a call today saying they had resent it. I ring the hospital on that number and get through to fertility, who tell me I need EPAU. I ring that number who inform me that hospital A doesn’t even HAVE a recurrent miscarriage clinic and it’s at hospital B, which I can’t travel to because I don’t drive. I ring hospital B and they still haven’t had my appointment.

AIBU to now put in a formal complaint? I am fuming at how this has been handled.

retirednow Thu 07-Dec-17 11:50:39

Yes yanbu. Communication sounds terrible, speak to the GP and Practice Manager, this is a difficult time for you without their incompetence. Are you able to get to the right clinic by taxi, public transport, have someone else take you?

TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 11:55:51

I might be able to get a lift there but need to know when the appointment is supposed to be. I’m going to ring my GP again in a minute.

inlectorecumbit Thu 07-Dec-17 11:56:21

Yanbu but there is no point in going to hospital A if they don't have the appropriate services. You need to find a way to get to hospital B when you get your appointment.
Make an appointment with the GP surgery to get your complaint listened to.

TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 11:57:37

I’m not annoyed hospital A doesn’t have the service, I’m annoyed my GP referred me there, and didn’t give me the correct options as there are other hospitals that are easier to travel to. I’m also annoyed at how the referrals keep getting lost.

TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 12:15:35

So I’ve just spoken to the receptionists. “Well it was done last month, just because it didn’t go through doesn’t mean we did anything wrong”. They also wouldn’t let me speak to the practise manager. I’ve got a phonecall booked tomorrow with the GP to discuss referring me somewhere closer. So it’ll be another month. Sigh.

Tinysarah1985 Thu 07-Dec-17 12:37:02

We’ve had this happen quite a bit at our surgery. The secretaries do thr referral as
Per procedures and sent it off to the department/hospital and they never receive it. We only know about it when we phone to chase it up to be met with “oh no we’ve not received it, can you fax it over again?”. One was a 48hour appointment for a possible dvt- the company that do the scans could not have cared less

TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 12:38:47

Sarah that’s awful! I’m thinking about complaining to my MP about the piss poor state of these services. I spent most of yesterday crying and worrying this won’t get fixed.

TooDamnSarky Thu 07-Dec-17 13:01:42

In my (sadly extensive) experience of dealing with problems at GP surgeries I encourage you to put EVERYTHING in writing. To the practice manager, listing in detail how they have failed you. And asking for details of their formal complaints procedure.
In my experience, if there isn't a written record of your complaint then (often) nothing happens. Not becuase they are bad people, but because they are busy people and only a papertrail forces them to deal with issues.

Musicaltheatremum Thu 07-Dec-17 13:05:49

They also change the services all the time. I was used to referring something somewhere then was told weeks later, oh we don't do this now and had to be resent.
GPs don't always know what gets done at each hospital as things change so maybe ask about the mix up first before complaining.

TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 13:10:37

Musicaltheatremum I understand that but isn’t part of their job checking and informing the patient? I don’t understand why I’m having to chase everything up. sad

retirednow Thu 07-Dec-17 14:37:01

The receptionist is in no position to not let you speak to the practice manager, that is really rude and unprofessional. You need to speak to the GP about the poor service, you can always send a copy of your complaint to the CQC to make them aware. In this day and age of electronic mail I can't see why the referral was not received.

Ellapaella Thu 07-Dec-17 14:42:46

Complain in writing to your practice manager, they have to follow up on complaints within a time frame. It’s no excuse to ‘not know where to refer to and it certainly isn’t the bloody patients problem the GP doesn’t know who to refer to because services keep changing! A quick bloody google search can tell you what services and clinics are available in a hospital!

CantChoose Thu 07-Dec-17 14:43:58

As a GP it would be fairly ridiculous for me to phone ahead for every single referral to check the clinic is still running and in the same place as it was last week. It would be nice if the hospital informed us but that pretty much never happens.
Your GP might be shit, I'm not saying they aren't but it's not necessarily their fault they referred you to the wrong place.

TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 14:56:03

CantChoose but surely it’s not supposed to be my job to keep chasing the referral? I feel so upset by this. It feels like no one cares enough to actually help us, because they’re “just” miscarriages. sad

CantChoose Thu 07-Dec-17 15:30:23

It's nothing to do with it being a miscarriage clinic. It happens across all clinics from time to time.
Our secretaries spend a lot of time chasing referrals but equally once they've sent it off, until someone comes back to them to tell them the clinic has moved etc, they can't possibly know there's a problem.

CantChoose Thu 07-Dec-17 15:37:53

For example this week it's happened to an eye clinic. It has been moved from our local hospital to one half an hour away. The current patients have been sent letters to tell them. Nobody has told us - the first I knew of it was a patient coming in angry at me for changing it and that the clinic is too far, wanting me to change it back...

TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 15:52:01

If they change frequently why isn’t it anyone’s job to ensure they are still there?

retirednow Thu 07-Dec-17 16:00:34

Perhaps hospitals and gp surgeries need to get together and sort this out then. Poor communication is the number one complaint from NHS patients. If a clinic don't tell gp the service has moved then the gp needs to complain. What's the point of millions of pounds being spent on IT services. I don't think it is ridiculous for someone at a gp surgery to check where clinics are held, whose job do they think it should be? Especially as they already know communication is poor, isn't it better for everyone if they check.

Standandwait Thu 07-Dec-17 16:05:43

This happens pretty much every referral we get through our GPs, but I'd say the actual GPs are fab. I have sat in their offices while they tear their hair out trying to find out what happened to the previous two efforts. And yes, once (but only once!) we did get referred to a hospital that didn't have the relevant clinic, but that too I think is an inter-department communication issue, not down to just one side. COmmunication within different bits of the NHS is absolutely dreadful as far as I can see, but it's not the GPs' fault.

BTW, flowers for your misfortunes. I too had a number of MC before getting my DC, and yes, I learned how slooooowly everything seems to happen and how many dropped threads there are in the process. I promise you it's worth it in the long run. flowers flowers

Standandwait Thu 07-Dec-17 16:11:12

And tbh harsh though it seems you'll be better off thinking that yes, it IS your job to chase up referrals, remind doctors of relevant info every time you see them, and generally take charge of your healthcare.

Look at it this way, it's good practice for when the DC need referrals grin My years of infertility taught me what has since proved a valuable life skill.

CantChoose Thu 07-Dec-17 16:11:17

We do try to feed back that it isn't helpful retired but it falls on deaf ears.
I am drowning in workload as it is (as are my secretaries) without having to phone for every single referral to check things are where they should be. Do you have any idea how many referral and letters etc are sent off by a GP surgery every day?
I completely agree that the system should be better. But that's a central issue, not down to individual GPs.

TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 16:11:47

I should add the actual doctor is very nice, but it’s the surgery that’s the issue. Difficult receptionists, lost referrals and unclear information sad

TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 16:12:51

Stand that is true. I have one DS who I had before this problem and the amount of lost referrals I’ve had with him is also ridiculous.

retirednow Thu 07-Dec-17 17:31:37

What's the solution, everyone working in the NHS system is over worked and busy. Its always the patient who suffers.

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