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To be fucked off with the doctors situation

(380 Posts)
StopFancyingPeople Thu 27-Feb-20 07:17:23

I’m so sick of the fight to get a doctors appointment. It never used to be so difficult and now it’s near on impossible.

I rang at 8am on Monday like you’re meant to. Automated message .... press 1 for appointments ... I press 1. I then get a long automated lecture about Coronovirus and then get told to press 1 again if I still want an appointment and have no symptoms of CV. I press 1. Automated message telling me the lines are very busy and press 1 for a call back. I press 1 and head off to work. They ring back at 9:30 when I’m upto my eyes in it at work and can’t answer the phone.

I try again Tuesday. Same kerfuffle with the automated messages. I request a call back and head off to work. Get a call back at 11am by which point there are no appointments left.

I try again yesterday. Same old shit. No appointments left by the time they ring me back. I lost my shit a little as I feel so Ill. I need to see a fucking doctor. It shouldn’t be this difficult!!! They sympathise and offer me an appointment ... for the end of March!!!!

I’m barely functioning. I’m incredibly fatigued, constant headache, nausea, anxious mess and not sleeping. Yesterday I could barely stay awake whilst driving home. Last night I went to bed do fucking tired that I woke up in a pool of my own piss. I didn’t even wake up for a wee. 2nd night in a row that I’ve wet the bed.

AIBU to call dr again today, make up some shit just to get an emergency same day appointment?! I don’t even feel that I should need to make shit up, I think I genuinely need to see a Dr today.

The annoying thing is, when you do by some miracle of god get to see a GP they then decide you need a blood test. Now god forbid the GP do this test there and then ... noooo .... you’ll have to make another appointment for a nurse to do it and good luck getting that within the next month or so.

It’s ridiculous. The system is fucking failing.

Also, as a nurse I see this from other people’s points of view too. A woman made up an excuse to come to my clinic last week. When she got there she asked me to diagnose something she had as she’d been trying to get a dr appointment for 3 weeks and has all the ducking symptoms of cancer. I could not help her, she needed to see a GP 3 weeks ago.

Iliketeaagain Thu 27-Feb-20 07:20:21

This might not help today, but if you get the NHS app, you could book drs appointments for the day before your surgery opens, plus have options for the next 4 weeks.
I did it recently, I can now see all my test results, order meds and book appointments for the next 4 weeks.
I don't think it has been advertised enough. Most people now have a smart phone that could be used for that, saves trying to get through on the phone.

Hearhoovesthinkzebras Thu 27-Feb-20 07:23:57

You aren't being unreasonable at all.op. My doctors is exactly the same except we can't even book appointments now. We have to phone at 8am for every single appointment, even routine ones which is ridiculous. You can't go to work because the appointment might be in the next hour. I had a blood test mid January. 2 days later I get a text to say my GP needs to see me to discuss results and was given an appointment for 5th March!! My blood tests are never normal and I've never been called in so no idea what's wrong, hopefully nothing serious seeing as I've waited 6 weeks to be seen.

As an aside, can you do a urine dip tests at work to check glucose/ketones?

MrsPatrickDempsey Thu 27-Feb-20 07:24:37

It's very frustrating but agreed with op - the nhs app is easy to set up and I was able to access an online booking system. Alternatively does your surgery website have this function? You may need to pop in for a password but it really saves time.

JavaQ Thu 27-Feb-20 07:25:01

Oh yes. You are not alone.
A total farce.
And what riles me even more...prissy little notes telling people/hopeful patients that they wont tolerate rudeness!!!!! ( after ignoring said patient standing at the desk...not acknowledging or meeting their eye....and pretending they didnt see you). Pick up the f@cking phone, fix your online booking system that doesnt f@cking work, and open some f@cking windows in your airless hovel of waiting room.
If you want better health care go to your vet who is at the mercy of commercial pressure.

The UK should.look to Australia and copy its system. (Ditto university offers but that is another rant)

Ps. Get well

Hearhoovesthinkzebras Thu 27-Feb-20 07:27:02


Isn't that dependent on your surgery? I do t have the NHS app (but I'm going to have a look now). We have an app at our drs for online booking, ordering medication etc but the appointments follow the same rules as if I phoned up and the surgery hasn't allowed test results to be available.

NerrSnerr Thu 27-Feb-20 07:30:20

@Iliketeaagain that's dependent on individual GP surgeries and not universal. Every GP surgery has their own booking protocol.

waterbottle12 Thu 27-Feb-20 07:32:38

Well we've had real terms funding cuts every year for the last 16 years. Doctors are leaving in droves and the rates of depression and suicide in doctors are high. The average patient now consults 7 times a year, ten years ago it was 2. What would you suggest that we do when supply and demand not only don't meet but can barely wave at each other?

Purplewithred Thu 27-Feb-20 07:33:07

It sounds as if you do need an emergency appointment anyway.

When I hear stories like this I realise how lucky we are in our area. 2 really good big practices to choose from, on-site pharmacist as well as physio, and automated phone booking systems as well as receptionist, plenty of next day appointments, phone consultations.

GPs are effectively privatised - they are businesses contracted to the nhs. Like any other private business in ‘naice’ areas like mine they thrive, in more challenging areas they struggle. It’s a real failing of nhs management imho.

EmmaJR1 Thu 27-Feb-20 07:34:56

I'm really sorry you are so unwell! That's a bad situation at your GP's.

In my area we have urgent care centres and walk in GP's. If you look in the nhs website you can find one most local to you.

I know it's not good enough but it's a start.

Feel better soon

Sleephead1 Thu 27-Feb-20 07:39:29

Hi op I work in a surgery can you go to the surgery when they open and ask for an emergency appointment? We often tell people to do this as the phones are insane at 8.30 If you cant I would hang on the phone not request a call back if that is an option. If there is nothing left and you feel you need to be seen ask the receptionist to pass your details to on call doctor and they will contact you that day. Other ideas would be present at walk in or drop in if your hospital has one or ring 111 they can book out of hours appointments and in our area they also have acsess to surgery appointments ( there Is a clinic the on call gp deals with that 111 have access to via the computer. Hope any of the above is helpful and when you are better absolutely put all of this in writing to the practice manager.

Knobblybobbly Thu 27-Feb-20 07:40:38

OMG OP you sound like me! (I also work in NHS but not a nurse). Yesterday I had such bad anxiety symptoms that it was either see a GP to get some meds or take the rest of the week off and let down 24 patients. About half of these would almost certainly be phoning their GP to complain/get help. I explained this to the receptionist. Admittedly I was sounding a bit hysterical on the phone.

She arranged a phone call with the duty doctor. He called me after I finished work and wrote the prescription for me to pick up on my way home. I’ve woken up feeling calmer and able to go to work.

Like you, I find the rigmarole around getting blood taken just so time consuming and obstructive. Wait 2 weeks to see a GP. Then another week to have blood taken. Another week for results, another 2 weeks to see the GP to discuss results. Nearly 2 months of feeling ill before anything can be done. There must be a more sustainable way of doing this. Perhaps a ‘duty nurse’ (or HCA) who operates a sit and wait drop-in clinic for all the blood tests, urine samples etc each day?

Anyway, maybe if you make it clear you are a nurse, that will bump you up the priority scale somewhat? The service I work in prioritises NHS and emergency services workers. Standard practice.

Phillipa12 Thu 27-Feb-20 07:41:22

Same here, except i went in after trying to get through to no avail, i was told there were no appointments for that day even though i was stood there clearly very ill. Receptionist relented when i burst into tears and told her i was coughing up brown shit, at that point she told me not to be rude! Dr saw me 30 mins later and gave me a bollocking for not coming in sooner as i had a severe chest infection, when i showed him that i had tried 61 times that morning and 25 the day before so had come in he reeled off an email to reception to express his displeasure. Sadly still no better.....

MRex Thu 27-Feb-20 07:42:36

Do you have any other GP surgeries as an option to change practice? Or out of hours GP clinics? We hate one of the GPs at our practice but stay with the practice despite the risk of being switched to see him because we can always get an appointment within 2 days (though guess who has the most free appointments), whereas some practices our neighbours wait weeks every time. There are also three out of hours health centres with weekend appointments in our borough, search "out of hours GP [name of district]" on Google just in case, you can book it using 111 or their dedicated out of hours number on Friday night for a Saturday morning appointment. One evening 111 sent us to a GP at the local hospital with DS's spotty fever, the appointment was within the hour so that might also be an option in your area.

TitaniaQoF Thu 27-Feb-20 07:43:38

Do you not have an urgent care centre that you can attend nearby?

EnidBlyton Thu 27-Feb-20 07:43:50

it is at crisis point. thanks for the tip of registering though.

bumblenbean Thu 27-Feb-20 07:46:13

Sounds shit OP. If you feel that unwell and are wetting the bed because you’re so tired / unwell it sounds like that constitutes an emergency appt. good luck

Marellaspirit Thu 27-Feb-20 07:46:36

OP you could be describing our GP surgery-it really doesn't cater for working people at all. I have the NHS app and in theory it's great, however in the 4 tubes I've used it to book appointments, once it offered me one the same day (bit I didn't need it then) twice it offered me one 3 days away and once 15 days away! Twice I was also offered a telephone consultation. There is only ever one choice of time and you can only book to see your own GP which was no good when I needed an appointment to see the Nurse Practitioner. So sometimes I have to bite the bullet and ring the rottweiler receptionist.

Jellybeansincognito Thu 27-Feb-20 07:48:21

You’re not being unreasonable but I guess it filters out the people who are well enough to go to work.

... just saying.

emilybrontescorsett Thu 27-Feb-20 07:49:10

That is dreadful.
Yet what is the solution.
Where is the extra £350 million per week we were promised?..........
Anyhow, we have a growing population, less funding and people who do not want to work for the NHS (and who can blame them).
I would go down the online route if you can, or satirist an emergency.

AlwaysCheddar Thu 27-Feb-20 07:50:16

If you do ring back then everyone else is going to phone in and get the appointments. You need to persist.

Esspee Thu 27-Feb-20 07:50:32

I’m in Scotland and don’t have any complaints about our GP practice. If I need an urgent appointment and do not specify which doctor I get an appointment that day or next.
For routine appointments it could be a two week wait. I can self refer for things like physio or podiatry and my local pharmacy prescribes for minor ailments.

Jellybeansincognito Thu 27-Feb-20 07:52:19

We can ring 111 and make an appointment here with an out of hours/ alternative service.

FruitorCheese Thu 27-Feb-20 07:55:19

I'm also in Scotland. I got an urgent appointment recently on the same day which was fine but had to wait three weeks a few years ago for a non-urgent appointment, which is ridiculous.

There's a shortage of GPs and many work part-time (I don't blame them) which means you need far more of them.

Princessdebthe1st Thu 27-Feb-20 07:55:59

Dear OP,
I am also a HCP. Those symptoms merit an emergency appointment. If they are sudden onset I would actually go to a walk in centre or A&E if you don't have an accessible walk in. If more gradual onset go to your GPs and ask for an emergency same day appointment or call 111 who may be able to arrange it for you. I hope you feel better soon.

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