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To think that the NHS could reduce a lot of the burden on A&E depts by advertising their out of hours GP clinics more?

(28 Posts)
CherryChoc Tue 09-Jun-09 19:55:50

At our local hospital, there is an OOH GP clinic. The desk is next to the A&E desk, but not signposted or anything. There is a sign above it saying something like "Fracture Clinic".

Also, if I phone my GP I get a recorded message with their opening times, thinking about it, they probably do say the OOH GP number on the end of the message but it is so long (and an 0845 number to ring them) that I've given up by that point.

The only reason I knew we had an OOH GP locally was because when I was pg I went to A&E about something not particularly urgent and they quietly pointed me in the direction of the desk. They gave me an appointment about 4 hours later and I went home (and actually ended up cancelling the appt as I felt better)

Now I've had to tell about 3 people in the last few months that the OOH GP service exists. They all thought (as I used to) that if they need to see a doctor outside of office hours, the only option is to go to A&E (and then complain when they are kept waiting for 10 hours and sent home with paracetamol). So why isn't it publicised more?

blinks Tue 09-Jun-09 19:58:04

you have to go through NHS Direct/24.

which IS advertised.

Unicornvomit Tue 09-Jun-09 19:58:34

they are advertised , if people can;t be bothred listening to a recorded message, that is not the fault of the NHS

stuff about it is always in out local papers

posters up in doctors and local pharmacies about NHS direct, when to use 999 / A%E etc

if people think A&E is their only option then they have been walking around with their eyes closed

Unicornvomit Tue 09-Jun-09 19:59:16

and NHS direct is publicised

people are encouraged to use it , and that is how you get to your Doc's out of hours clinic or referred to A&E etc

Unicornvomit Tue 09-Jun-09 19:59:17

and NHS direct is publicised

people are encouraged to use it , and that is how you get to your Doc's out of hours clinic or referred to A&E etc

southeastastra Tue 09-Jun-09 19:59:46

do you mean the drop in clinics? ours are always heaving with people they're a nightmare.

rubyslippers Tue 09-Jun-09 19:59:55

they are well advertised

the numbers are on the GP phone messages, literature and via NHS DIRECT

if you can't hang on to get the number and picth up at A & E that is not the practice's fault

bigchris Tue 09-Jun-09 20:01:41

our gps have extended opening now

it is fab on Thursdays they open at 7am

so I can go get a smear before work, woo hoo!

Unicornvomit Tue 09-Jun-09 20:01:41

i am always baffled people go to A&E for all sorts of minor things, i have to have a limb hanging off to even consider going to the docs, never mind A&E

pharmacists are also v v helpful in telling you if you need to see a doctor

if you are discharged from A&E with paracetomal, you did not need to go in the first place

people need to take responsibility for themselves and use their common sense

ruddynorah Tue 09-Jun-09 20:05:40

why did you go to A&E with something not particularly urgent?

CherryChoc Tue 09-Jun-09 20:09:09

Because it was Friday night and my GP was closed and I didn't know there was another option. I think I phoned them and heard the opening hours and didn't realise there would be an OOH number at the end, because it's only recently I've heard that all GPs should state the OOH number on a recorded message if they are closed.

What do you mean blinks when you say you have to go through NHS Direct?

Unicornvomit Tue 09-Jun-09 20:10:39

did you honestly not know there was an option between doctors and A&E??

and that you could phone NHS direct

you have never seen a poster referring to it or anything in the local papers?

misdee Tue 09-Jun-09 20:11:34

our ut of hurs is mentioned on the answerpone message at the surgery. i only go there if its the weekend, and i know the kids need anti biotics or urgent eczema skin problems.

the pharmacist is an excellant place to go for minor issues.

A+E is for emergencies. i seem to spend too much time down there though. last time was about 5 weeks ago, and a+e were wonderful.

ruddynorah Tue 09-Jun-09 20:12:49

did you ring nhs direct first if it wasn't something urgent? and you say you felt better later.

i go to A&E fairly often with a dislocated jaw problem i have. i'm often amazed at the number of seemingly quite well people sitting there waiting.

Surfermum Tue 09-Jun-09 20:13:46

For as long as I have been consulting GPs, and dealing with them through my job, there has always been instructions about what to do in an emergency when the surgery is closed.

rubyslippers Tue 09-Jun-09 20:15:08

i would do anything to avoid A & E

OOH services have been around for a while

NHS direct is really heavily advertised

Unicornvomit Tue 09-Jun-09 20:15:48

the clue is also in the name

Accident and Emergency

sorry, but people could reduce the burden on the NHS by listening to the ~GP phone message and using their common sense

sorry to sound harsh, but as a grown adult you have to take some responsibility to know how to look after yourself and your families health

CherryChoc Tue 09-Jun-09 20:16:14

I had heard of an out of hours GP but didn't know where it was or how to find out, even whether there was one locally. No, I have never seen it mentioned in a local paper (though don't read them much) or on a poster. I did know about NHS Direct actually, no idea why I didn't think of that at the time. I was at work and because I was pg people looked concerned and told me to go to hospital.

brimfull Tue 09-Jun-09 20:16:43

I do agree with the OP

There seems to be a lot of people who think it's either nhs direct or a&e.

You don't actually have to go through nhs direct to use OOH ,which needs to be advertised more.

Sidge Tue 09-Jun-09 20:16:58

OOH GP services aren't usually drop in services that you just pitch up at, like A&E.

In our area if you need to see a GP out of hours you phone your local surgery, listen to the message for the OOH number to call then call the OOH service. The nurse speaks to you, triages your problem then if you need to see the GP she gives you a time to come down to the OOH place, which for us is in the local cottage hospital.

There are signs in the surgery as well as on the door, so most people seem to know what to do out of hours. Generally A&E really isn't the place to go for things that you would need a GP out of hours for.

And also in many areas, the GPs are provided/run by a different PCT than A&E/hospitals are, so a hospital won't necessarily advertise a GP service as they are run and funded by a completely separate authority.

Unicornvomit Tue 09-Jun-09 20:17:28

but you phoned the GP and did not listen to the whole message !!!

come on

in the nicest possible way...

InTheseShoes Tue 09-Jun-09 20:17:44

I used to manage a GP OOH co-operative. Usually these are not "drop-in" as such - they are for people who need to access GP services out of the opening hours, and not the same as A and E services, which technically translates as "Accident and Emergency". This is why you have to wait for the number on the GP phone.

The one I worked at offered Nurse and Doctor triage and advice, which can mean that you don't need the clinic at all, this can include telephoning prescriptions and so on.

This is why they are not * advertised * as such because as GP run services they are separate from the NHS run A and E services. They are mainly sited near to A and E because it's an appropriate place and urgent cases can be easily referred. The one I worked for had A and E staff working on rotation or from the Bank also.

bigchris Tue 09-Jun-09 20:18:08

aw cherrychoc don't beat yourself up
some posters on here sound a bit sanctiminous if you ask me, not everyone knows everything guys

lisad123 Tue 09-Jun-09 20:20:46

I thought everyone knew about out of hours GPs. I aviod A&E as much as possible and have gone to GP when should have gone straight to A&E and they have sent me straight round to A&E.

ThingOne Tue 09-Jun-09 20:24:06

You ring for information and can't be bothered to listen to the message? I'm afraid the responsibility lies entirely with you.

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