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another gp reception story... (with apologies to all gp receptionists)

(50 Posts)
littlepollyflinders Wed 08-Jul-09 18:20:48

We are going on holiday next week.
DD (17) is on the pill (for heavy periods...) and is running out. She needs to see a doctor for a repeat prescription before we go and left it late, of course.
So tried to get an emergency appointment only to be told by gp receptionist that they didn't consider contraception a priority while they had so many calls about possible swine flu.

I am a bit horrified by this and managed to keep my cool but still tell her that I thought that was a very dangerous statement she made.
Given that the vast majority of those who get the flu will recover easily and be ill for only a few days and I do understand that people have been whipped into a real scare over this - BUT how can they possibly dismiss the impact that an unwanted pregnancy could have on a teenage girl?
Never mind the reason she was prescribed the pill - it is also a contraception and as I had yet to give receptionist any personal details she was not judging our particular case which she is no position to do anyway.

I am fuming about this.
I don't think I'm being unreasonable...

SusieDerkins Wed 08-Jul-09 18:25:38

Whilst I kind of see where you are coming from she really ought to be more organised about renewing her pills.

OfYou are right of course that unwanted pregnancy can have a big impact on a teenage girl. A girl in that situation could and should use a condom.

Or say no.


I think that sometimes GP receptionists have such an unfortunate and rude manner. Mine make me behave like a surly teenager at times. blush

MrsKitty Wed 08-Jul-09 18:28:43

Agree, a very irresponsible comment for the receptionist to make.

Could they not just do a short repeat prescription (maybe just 1 month) without an appointment on the proviso that she goes in for an appointment on your return?

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Wed 08-Jul-09 18:29:23

I think YABU but also NBU.
Your dd is 17 and old enough to know that she needs to make an appointment when her pill is about to run out in plenty of time to avoid taking an emergency appointment which really are for people who have got suddenly ill and need an appointment that cannot be pre-planned which your dd's could have been. SO to that end yes YABVU.

YANBU to be annoyed at the comment, it was a bit out of order and I know at my old GP practice they could have issued an emergency prescrtition for one months supply on the basis of a dleay in getting an appointment. Although that surgery was nototriously bad for not having an appoinment for 2 weeks at times so even leaving plenty of time was no guarentee.

Your dd really needs to be more organised it is bad enough that it may be used as contraception but in an emergency situation condoms could be used but if she needs them for a more medical relief then it is kind of her fault really isn't it?

bigchris Wed 08-Jul-09 18:30:55

I think yabu

there are plenty of elderly people who could get very ill with swine flu

no contraception isn't going to prove fatal for your dd is it?

can't she use other protection in the meantime

Tamarto Wed 08-Jul-09 18:35:53

They should be able to give her a prescription for 1 month.
People with suspected swine flu are being told to stay at home not go into the surgery so i don't understand her point tbh.

bradsmissus Wed 08-Jul-09 18:36:51

YABU - if a person has no contraception because they left it too late, it is not the responsibility of the surgery if that person gets pregnant. Alot of patients seem to think being without their pill is equivalent to someone being without their heart medication.

No contraception - no sex - no pregnancy.
It's not that difficult.

Tamarto Wed 08-Jul-09 18:39:09

She doesn't need the pill for contraception does no one read the op nowadays? hmm

bradsmissus Wed 08-Jul-09 18:43:15

"BUT how can they possibly dismiss the impact that an unwanted pregnancy could have on a teenage girl?"

I think I read this bit right.

bigstripeytiger Wed 08-Jul-09 18:43:51

Most GP surgeries would think that a repeat prescription request wasnt an appropriate use of an emergency appointment.

My surgery has a phone line where you can leave a message when you need a prescription, and you collect the prescription 2 days later. Does your surgery have anything like that?

Or if it cant wait, could your DD go to a Family Planning Clinic to get her pill?

bigchris Wed 08-Jul-09 18:45:14

well the receptionist wouldnt know your dd has heavy periods

she was just doing her job, as her boss would have told her what to do

you could take it to the practice manager if you are really bothered by it

SouthMum Wed 08-Jul-09 18:47:31

I can see where you are coming from but am a bit shock if your DD is thinking about having sex on a family holiday anyway! I'd want to be a million miles away from my mum if I was hoping to get sausaged!!

Surfermum Wed 08-Jul-09 18:55:01

She's not though Southmum, that isn't why she takes them. To be honest, I think it's a bit off to be using the contraception angle to justify why your dd should take up an emergency appointment if it isn't the case.

Why didn't you just come clean and say that you'd ballsed up and why she needs it?

YABU to be fuming at the surgery, the one you need to be cross with is your dd/yourself for leaving it too late.

SerendipitousHarlot Wed 08-Jul-09 18:55:57

pmsl @ 'sausaged' grin

SouthMum Wed 08-Jul-09 19:02:25

OP mentioned contraception tho??

Anyway OP - if your DD gets the prescription at the same chemist they may 'loan' a single pack until your DD gets the prescription from the docs. It is at discretion but might be worth a go??

readyfornumber2and3 Wed 08-Jul-09 19:05:58

If she takes them due to heavy periods then surely she should know the effects of not having the pills enough to be up on getting her perscription? She is 17 and surely old enough to realise that actions have consequences.

As far as saying that it is the gps fault if she gets pregnant then yabvvvu!! If she wants to have sex and knows she wont have the pill then surely she is old enough to know how to use a condom?

People cant help getting ill and sometimes need emergency treatment this is alot higher on the agenda than your daughter being too lazy to forward plan.

Its no wonder people can never get emergency appointments when they need them if people think they are for getting a pill perscription angry angry

kathyis6incheshigh Wed 08-Jul-09 19:07:28

"Given that the vast majority of those who get the flu will recover easily and be ill for only a few days and I do understand that people have been whipped into a real scare over this"

Yeah, the majority will, but then the majority of teens who don't get their pills on time won't get pregnant, will they?
Quite a few people with swine flu have died already - and I am sure that the fact that they already had underlying health problems doesn't make it any less awful for their families. I am not hysterical about it, but on the other hand I am pregnant, and would quite like to have priority to get an emergency appointment so I can have a jab on time if I'm unlucky enough to get swine flu.

I think the OP is being completely unreasonable.

GrinnyPig Wed 08-Jul-09 19:10:19

YABU. Emergency appointments are not for repeat prescriptions. You could just try asking the receptionist nicely if they can provide a repeat prescription in this case without an appointment and apologise for your and your DDs lack of organisation.

Longtalljosie Wed 08-Jul-09 19:49:15

Well, I was on the pill at 17 for heavy, painful periods and on many occasions didn't realise I was running out until the last minute. Fortunately I always had nice doctors receptionists who understood I was only human (and a teenager). Don't forget that messing up your pills means having to start from scratch, which in my case always means a month-long period. Not good.

OP - from my experience you have two options. First - your local family planning clinic will have a dropin centre somewhere near you, some time this week. It's not a bad idea to get repeats from there anyway. Although you do have to queue.

Second - beg your pharmacist. I did that once when I was at King's Cross and realised I'd forgotten to pack my pills. I had to pay a prescription charge and only got a month's worth out of it, but worth a go.

littlepollyflinders Wed 08-Jul-09 20:08:56

Oh you guys!
Have you never left it to the lat minute to get repeat prescriptions. I know I have!
And no she isn't expecting to have sex on holiday and if she were she always carries condoms.
That is not the point.

I do agree that emergency appointments aren't for repeats but as they prescribe them in 6 month batches they want to do blood pressure etc.

I said very clearly, and I still stand by the fact that it is not the receptionist's job to make a judgment.
It can take up to two weeks to get an appointment and there were other issues she wanted to discuss with the doctor that I wasn't given the chance to explain.

While they may be 'up to our eyes in flu', as I was told, people are still going to the doctor for other stuff.

As it happens when I called back they promised the doctor would call her, which she did and she now has an appointment tomorrow.

AND I still don't believe that we, as patients should be told that our issues aren't as important as someone else's.
That's not in the spirit of the NHS as it was conceived.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 08-Jul-09 20:10:58

YABU, the receptionist will have rules to follow and would probably get into trouble if a patient turned up for an emergency appointment and asked for a repeat prescription.

I work as a dental receptionist and have to ask questions about any emergency and follow rules as to who can have an appointment and when.

Be annoyed with the practice rules, not the receptionist who was just doing her job.

lucky1979 Wed 08-Jul-09 21:12:04

get your daughter to go to a drop in family planning clinic - they can dole them out on the spot

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Wed 08-Jul-09 21:12:28

Could they not just give her a repeat prescription, on a doctors say so providing she has an appointment when you get back from holiday?

I don't think it is an emergency, however, its not good to break your cycle of pill taking really. Whether its for contraception or not - its not really down to the receptionist to comment on whether it is an emergency or not. Either there is an appointment free or there isn't. We are never asked what the appointment is for.

Is there not a practice nurse who your DD could see?

nannyL Wed 08-Jul-09 21:16:15

I really dont see why a Dr (who has been working all day for god knows how many hours) should stay any longer for your DD to get a repeat prescription. (sorry)... she had had presumabley 3 (or even 6) months to plan this

can you not ask for a repeat presciption online (like you can at my Drs) also a NURSE can prescribe it so you dont need a Drs appt anyway

yes YABU

kathyis6incheshigh Wed 08-Jul-09 21:18:54

LittlePollyFlinders - yes I have, I am rubbish at remembering that kind of thing. I think it's my own silly fault though, and I certainly wouldn't blame the receptionist for not having enough appointments especially when there's a pandemic going on!

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