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To think this was a breach of confidentiality.

(16 Posts)
higgyhog Fri 05-Apr-19 13:11:05

I seldom contact my GPs surgery. I needed to speak to them about a prescription this week and the phone is now answered by a message from the senior partner GP saying that all the staff there are covered by NHS confidentiality rules and that to help patients we may need to speak to someone other than a doctor or nurse about our "problem".

I duly attended to collect my prescription and at the same time another lady was there collecting a prescription too. The receptionist spoke to her first and asked her, in front of me, the reason why she did not have to pay a prescription charge. She looked a bit awkward and then said quickly and in an embarrassed way "diabetes" . During this I was just standing there thinking of something witty to say about my reason and it was not until the other lady had given this detail about her reason that I realised this should not have happened. I then thought back to the number of conversations I'd had over the preceding days with the receptionist about collecting my difficult for the to source incontinence gadget and began to wonder how much of the local population now know about that.

CuriousaboutSamphire Fri 05-Apr-19 13:20:33

In our doctors you can't stand particularly close to the patient talking to the receptionist. Though, thinking about it, you can at the dispensary, though people tend to step back quite a way.

It's one of those areas where the law and the geography / day to day running of the usual GP surgery just don't seem to be able to come together!

Maybe ask to talk to the practice manager, explain what happened and let them know that such conversations can be overheard. I think that's why ours has sign asking you to stop and "Give the person in front of you some privacy" a fair few feet short of the receptionist.

palebluewalls Fri 05-Apr-19 13:21:15

In my GP there is a sign to stand behind if you are waiting to be seen to give the person at the desk some privacy. There is also a sign on the wall above the desk saying if you prefer to speak to someone in private then just ask.

chillpizza Fri 05-Apr-19 13:29:18

There is no privacy. I can be sat in the waiting area and hear every words being said by people at the desk unless there are children being loud. Even the phone conversations.

So that’s Mr X of Y street, your appointment with doctor Z regarding your A issue has been booking for B day at C time.

vintanner Fri 05-Apr-19 13:52:12

There is no reason you cannot just say to the receptionist that you would like to speak privately, they have room(s) available specifically for this reason, as do chemists, so it is up to you how much information 'you' make public.

clairemcnam Fri 05-Apr-19 13:53:56

Yes the Drs surgery I use you can hear what is being talked about unless someone speaks very very quietly.

CheekyChappy710 Fri 05-Apr-19 13:56:08

The receptionist should offer for someone to speak in private or they prefer or if I were the patient and felt particularly embarrassed I would have written down diabetes and shown it to her. I wouldn't really care if some random behind me heard what illnesses I had though but that's just me.

Peterpiperpickedwrong Fri 05-Apr-19 14:00:03

In the GP there is a sign saying to stand here to give the patient at the desk some privacy but you can still hear everything.

I was a bit miffed in the chemist today at the young lady LOUDLY telling me my new prescription for HRT was out of stock. Not something I needed the whole shop hearing about blush

cortex10 Fri 05-Apr-19 14:10:38

I have previously complained at my opticians (a large busy practice - well known high street brand) because on arrival you are expected to sit at a desk in the reception area with one of the staff who verbally runs through the personal health questionnaire. I now always ask to be taken through to the consulting room first. They really don't get it.

TarragonSauce Fri 05-Apr-19 14:13:42

My gp surgery has a laminate stuck to the top of the reception desk 'Privacy. Please tap here if you wish to speak to the receptionist in a private area' so nobody in the queue behind even needs to hear you ask to speak in private. You would just tap it and then walk around to the side room, the receptionist will follow. It's saved many a teenager's blushes.
We also have a computerised check in across the other side of the room so queues (and thus eavesdropping) are minimised.
But why would the surgery need to ask why a patient got free prescriptions. That's a dispensing issue, not a prescribing one. As long as the surgery have your NHS number on record to ensure you're eligible for NHS treatment, it's nine of their business how it is paid for.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Fri 05-Apr-19 14:13:57

The GP fills in the FP92A medical exemption certificates, so it would be on record - but if the lady was collecting a prescription, whether or not she pays for it is irrelevent, its not something that would be discussed in the doctors, it's a pharmacy issue.

Irrelevent but diabetes is hardly like announcing you have Fourniers is it?

KaterinaPetrova Fri 05-Apr-19 14:16:10

Our reception desk is as you come through the door. There's nowhere else to stand but thankfully, the private matters chat is really limited by the receptionists. It's not often they have to ask embarrassing stuff because it's a small village practice and they already know everything blush

I did have to book a smear recently and there was someone behind me who would have heard everything. If I was at all concerned about anyone's opinion I would have been seriously embarrassed. Luckily I give no fucks.

I think if they're going to discuss private information or ask probing confidential questions then they really need to do a doctors clinic refurb and change the reception/dispensary areas to better locations and behind doors or something.

NoCardiganWearers Fri 05-Apr-19 14:40:46

My Doctors surgery only one person is allowed into the dispensary at a time, there's a sign on the door that says "If someone's in here please take a seat in the waiting area and wait for the room to be free". You can see the dispensary from the waiting area.

higgyhog Fri 05-Apr-19 14:42:26

Well, in order to highlight the lack of privacy i was going to say i was there to collect my pessary to stop me pissing myself and the reason I wasn't paying was that I was geriatric. I rather hoped that might highlight the issue. As it was they didn't ask me.

JemSynergy Fri 05-Apr-19 15:59:23

Our surgery now has a "please wait here" sign by the reception after there were several complaints about privacy. During an appointment with the surgery nurse, she recommended I made an appointment with a specific doctor. When I went to the reception to make the appointment the receptionist asked me in a waiting room full of people why it was I needed to see the doctor. I replied that I was advised to after a discussion with the nurse, she then went on to ask very loudly more questions about what it could be that I needed to see the doctor about. In the end I said I didn't want to discuss it in an open waiting room but I like to make the appointment as advised by the nurse! There happened to be one of my neighbours in the waiting room and my issue was something I really didn't want anyone knowing!

cloudymelonade Fri 05-Apr-19 16:34:49

I love our doctors surgery but in the upstairs rooms you can hear the whole appointment through the door blush

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