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To think there are probably a lot of swine flu obsesives hogging the NHS Direct line without good reason?

(45 Posts)
hobbgoblin Sun 05-Jul-09 11:33:44

You can't get through for advice on anything because they are overloaded with calls.

Obviously I expect more people to be calling because they have reason to be concerned but I just BET there are lots of people phoning thinking they have SF because they sneezed more than twice or because they saw some phlegm in their hanky that formed the shape of a pig if you closed your eyes up and tight and opened the left eye slightly to look at it.

MummyDragon Sun 05-Jul-09 11:55:24

Lol hobbgoblin

Some people are really quite pathetic when they feel unwell - I know someone who phones NHS Direct at least once a month. If you're worried about something, can you get to A&E? (Nightmare, I know).

OhYouBadBadKitten Sun 05-Jul-09 12:07:08

If the government had their dedicated swine flu up and running as they are supposed to it would be a whole lot better. nhsdirect struggles in a normal winter.

Really feel for gps too, people are being advised to phone them if they have symptoms so that if necc they can get a voucher for meds. Must be causing overload in some areas.

katiestar Sun 05-Jul-09 12:36:30

THobbgoblin the whole point of NHS direct is to take pressure off GPs and A & E.Personally I wouldn't use them again after they told DH who had a ruptured appendix to take a paracetamol and ring them back in 3 days if no better

audreyraines Mon 06-Jul-09 05:03:05

actually nhs direct was excellent yesterday and prioritised my call and called me back within 15 minutes. shock

they did inititally quote an 8 hour wait though.

Glitterknickaz Mon 06-Jul-09 08:14:22

still waiting for a call back.... been 7 hours now!

StealthPolarBear Mon 06-Jul-09 08:20:19

Well ikwym, I started an AIBU thread recently because they had a message saying they were taking urgent calls only. However I decided I was being unreasonable, as anyone who suspects they might have swine flu is told not to go to their GP - not leaving them with many other options.

hobbgoblin Mon 06-Jul-09 09:27:58

It's tricky isn't it? I can't get through to GP because lines constantly engaged, I can't even get as far as speaking to someone on NHS Direct so not even an opportunity to be prioritised or to wait for an eventual call back.

I am not in urgent need of being seen but I do need some advice which will become urgent if I go into labour. Am due on Thursday so me going into labour could happen any moment and quite quickly as is 4th baby. It is just soooo frustrating and when you hear some of the conversations going on about Swine Flu, you just know there will be plenty of people calling somewhat unnecessarily because they are not following the advice being given.

I know people are worried and I also feel that the Governmental approach to advice and reassurrance is making people feel uneasy and lacking in trust which is really creating exactly the situation we have been trying to avoid.

People are receiving the leaflets but then ignoring the advice because they feel it is being downplayed in order to avoid hysteria.

It's not good.

NorbertDentressangle Mon 06-Jul-09 09:36:01

hobbgoblin -is it something you can ask your midwife about? Even if she can't answer your query she might be able to speak to a GP direct for advice for you if you explain that you can't get to speak to anyone via NHS Direct/doctors surgery.

hobbgoblin Mon 06-Jul-09 09:39:51

Thanks ND. Since posting, that is what I've done. I'm waiting for midwife to call me back now. I didn't want to overstretch their resources but having a long chat with them but I think I'll have to. And, like you say, they can perhaps liaise with a GP if necessary.

NorbertDentressangle Mon 06-Jul-09 10:00:40

Good luck! I'm sure she'll try and find out for you if you explain your problems getting through

PlasticQueen Mon 06-Jul-09 10:04:21

Better that they are on the phone rather than clogging up the drs waiting room with their snotty piggy germs.

Hope you get your problem sorted.

Fruitysunshine Mon 06-Jul-09 10:16:28

My 17 has been slightly unwell most of the weekend until he rang me last night to pick him up from his girlfriends. The pain had gotten so bad in his ribs that he was struggling to breathe. I told him I thought I should take him to A&E and he refused as he did not want a fuss! (men!) So I rang NHS Direct when I got him home and it was a 32min wait on the phone due to the high level of calls relating to swine flu! After we got through the first thing the person said was "is your call related to swine flu?" He advised my son was a high priority and give them credit they called back within 15mins and I had to take him to the late night GP centre to be examined. I felt irked that whilst SF is serious for some people that there are problably lots that are panicking over nothing and people like my son who clearly needed immediate help were struggling to get through. Maybe I am just more sensitive about this because it was MY son but some people do worry about the slightest thing.

Anyway, DS is confined to bed and rest and due to having Pleurisy.

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 06-Jul-09 10:28:52

poor lad! hope he gets better soon.

hobbgoblin, hope she gives you helpful advice

misdee Mon 06-Jul-09 10:51:28

i dont bother with nhs direct, i always call the surgery or out of hours.
i suspected dd3 had swine flu, so i called our gp receptionist and asked them what to do. they had a dedicated gp dealing with swine flu, who called me back and sorted out the tamiflu perscription. dd3 is still recovering.

StealthPolarBear Mon 06-Jul-09 12:13:45

Hope you get it sorted hobbgoblin!
Fruity, at pleurisy - DH had it and it was agony!
misdee - to get to our local out of hours Gp you have to go through NHS Direct - madness!

hazeyjane Mon 06-Jul-09 12:31:22

I think you might be being a bit unreasonable, because the whole swine flu thing is a bit murky. Dd's have been really ill (dd1 very bad, dd2 less so). We spoke to NHS Direct yesterday and they were very good, they said it sounded like swine flu, couldn't confirm one way or the other, but to treat like normal flu unless dd1's asthma got worse. The govt phone line was a recorded message, and our gp's out of hours are a bit rubbish.

I felt stupid for even thinking it could be swine flu TBH, but I think it is starting to spread more rapidly now.

Greensleeves Mon 06-Jul-09 12:33:41


we've just had swine flu and it is bloody horrible

Why on earth shouldn't people ring NHS Direct about it? That's what they're there for hmm

Nixz Mon 06-Jul-09 12:41:17

I called nhs direct and was told someone would call me back within the next midnight, i still had no call...still havent. Couldnt get through to GP so ended up turning up at childrens a & e dept at 6am, only to be given a mouthful of abuse about new born babies etc.....
Well, excuse me but i followed all the advice and got nowhere...the hosptital cant give dd the anti viral now because it has been 4 days since symptoms began. Its a load of rubbish...luckily for us, i think dd has turned a corner, her temp has come down slightly and she has managed to have a drink etc but ive never seen her so ill and became quite worried. No one knows what to do...its so silly!

BrieVanDerKamp Mon 06-Jul-09 12:42:52

People who think they may have swine flu, have been told not to go to what are they supposed to do??

If you think that your reason for trying to get through to nhs direct is more important than anyone elses then you should get yourself or whoever it is dowm to A and E or walk in.

It is there for advice, when people don't think it's seroius enough to worry the dr's surgery or hospital.

So yes YABU, it's a public service for everyone to use, not just you

LuluSkipToMyLou Mon 06-Jul-09 12:49:23

I phoned the GP for advice on my son, who has just been sent home with a high temp, aching all over and more ill than I've seen him, ever. He also has brittle asthma. Husband works next to someone whose children were sent home from a school closed by swine flu. Was told to phone NHS Direct, as they have the latest advice, so I did so. They say it's 'seasonal flu' (how do they know the difference across the telephone wires?) and that they can get a nurse to call and advise 'in about 5 hours'. Said never mind, will take him to the GP after all.

Sorry to have inconvenienced you, and I apologise that the limitations of NHS Direct are obviously my fault hmm.

namechangerforareason Mon 06-Jul-09 12:53:32

I think YABslightlyU here.

The service is in great demand and its not only suspected swine flu cases who phone! Agree you should call midwife/labour suite who can liase with GP on your behalf.

I called NHS24(Scotland's version of NHS direct) 3 weeks ago as my DP was really ill with flu like symptoms, then I became ill with the same and DS too, I didnt want to take any chances with DS so phoned on his behalf(he is just 8 months this week).
I was told off for not phoning GP in first instance, even though my surgery closes for half day on a thursday(day I phoned) and told to keep him home with plenty fluids and calpol/calprofen alternately.
His temp was 39.5 for 2 days, off his food, not sleeping, generally not himself. The nurse I spoke to didnt give me the chance to speak to him, just rattled off instructions from his script. Found him really unhelpful but didnt want to take DS to local childrens A&E or GP incase it was swine flu, plus the fact I didnt have the energy to do so.
Not sure if it was swine flu but it was blooming horrible and we have had a lot of cases in our area.

belgo Mon 06-Jul-09 12:56:56

YABU. There has been so much hysteria surrounding swine flu I'm not surprised people are confused and worried. I would be worried if I was pregnant.

NHS direct is a service for all people in the UK, and people are allowed to use it if they are genuinely worried about something.

sarah293 Mon 06-Jul-09 12:57:48

Message withdrawn

OhYouBadBadKitten Mon 06-Jul-09 13:11:31

At the moment the main difference is that there is very little seasonal flu about. So if it is genuinely flu it is more likely to be swine flu. They can't possibly tell over the phone!

However, I believe d&V is more prevalent in swine flu than it is in seasonal.

dh needs a gp appt for a non flu related thing. he is struggling to get through today even though we are not in a 'hot spot' atm.

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