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To make a formal complaint about the GP surgery?

(102 Posts)
wink1970 Mon 30-Sep-13 14:39:39

Early in August I developed a sudden-onset range of symptoms including swollen abdomen, excruciating back-ache and spotting. After a bit of online research - it was over the weekend, so 2 full days before the surgery opened again -I put this down to my coil possibly slipping (coil number 3, had always had a good experience) and went to the doctors..... who did nothing, nothing at all except refer me for an ultrasound.

Ultrasound was an 8 week wait (!) so I went to the FPC and had the coil removed. This didn't change the symptoms, it clearly wasn't the coil.

Fast forward to about 1 week ago (and in the meantime I have been back to the doctors 3 times, with no course of action by them other than 'wait for the ultrasound') and I bought some antibiotics on the Internet... and lo, my symptoms have gone. I would guess that I had some form of cervix infection.

Now, I know we shouldn't over-use antibiotics, but surely over 4 visits you would have thought they would have (a) thought of the possibility of an infection, or (b) prescribed some just to shut me up, or (c) had a good poke around rather than waiting for an ultrasound that didn't tell them anything anyway?

AIBU in thinking of making a formal complaint, maybe even a snotty lawyer's letter about malpractice? I have been in considerable pain and discomfort, but am also wary of being 'blacklisted' - it's hard enough to get an appointment as it is.

parakeet Mon 30-Sep-13 15:08:23


GemmaTeller Mon 30-Sep-13 15:10:30


CeliaFate Mon 30-Sep-13 15:13:46

Did you ask for anti-biotics or an internal? I don't think yabu to want them to be more pro-active, but buying anti-biotics over the internet is never a good idea.
Perhaps go back with a list of questions and request them to take action prior to the ultrasound. I don't think anything will be achieved by a lawyer's letter.

Tee2072 Mon 30-Sep-13 15:15:14

Why is she BU? I would totally complain. Loud and hard.

Although I probably would not contact a lawyer.

EnlightenedOwl Mon 30-Sep-13 15:16:15

You say they did nothing? They referred you for an ultrasound! The waits can be long - beyond their control.
Do you know the dangers of buying drugs over the internet? No guarantee that what you've "bought" is what you "get." Are you qualified to decide what antibiotics work best? Also doctors won't give you antibiotics to "shut you up." The reason many antibiotics don't work is because of over use.
Good luck with your "snotty lawyer's letter" but you're completely unreasonable and sound a nightmare to be honest.
I am also a bit amused by your online research and diagnosing yourself. I've done the go online thing and diagnose myself thing...and usually, invariably been totally wrong! How would it work if we all did that then went into the doctor demanding this that or the other?
I'm not saying doctors are always right but you sound high handed and a nightmare to be honest.

Featherbag Mon 30-Sep-13 15:16:52

YABmassivelyU! I bet if you'd been px antibiotics on the first visit and they hadn't worked you'd be wanting to complain about not being referred for a scan!

LessMissAbs Mon 30-Sep-13 15:20:04

YANBU. I wouldn't have said YANBU until encountering my last GP. He had a total arsey attitude about women in their prime.

I am sure there are many infections that go untreated in the NHS that go on to cause unnecessary further harm.

Up to you if you complain, its probably a bit of a waste of time as you cannot prove the antibiotics cured it without an expert's opinion, and even then it is only an expert's opinion, and a letter of complaint will no doubt mark you down for arsey treatment in the future.

Interested to hear how you go antibiotics off the internet. Not saying you are wrong to do it though - congrats on taking the initiative.

EnlightenedOwl Mon 30-Sep-13 15:25:27

antibiotics should only be taken if necessary to avoid resistance building up to the antibiotic. Buying prescription drugs online without prescription because you consider they are necessary is stupidity.

IceCreamForCrow Mon 30-Sep-13 15:29:18

I can't see why people are saying yabuconfused

You must have had some sort of infection for it to clear up with AB'S (but yikes at buying them and treating yourself, that admittedly sounds unwise).

Over 4 appts couldn't they have checked for an infection and sent for a scan? How could they know your symptoms were def due to one thing?

pinkdelight Mon 30-Sep-13 15:29:58

I wouldn't make a complaint, as they were right to refer you for the ultrasound and you were wrong to get meds from the net. But I definitely wouldn't say "you sound high handed and a nightmare to be honest". You sound like you were in pain and desperate, so fair enough. But be glad that your pain has gone and don't go making enemies. Oh, and still go for the ultrasound. The meds might've cleared some symptoms but you still don't know the real cause.

ISingSoprano Mon 30-Sep-13 15:36:05

If you feel the treatment you have received from your GP has been poor then by all means complain. But write the letter yourself and address it to the GP concerned (via the Practice Manager) and give them a chance to review your case.

I cannot say if the GPs treatment of you amounts to 'malpractice' but I do think you have been foolhardy in buying drugs over the internet.

YoungGirlGrowingOld Mon 30-Sep-13 15:37:15

I don't think YABU and I don't think you sound like a nightmare. It's reasonable to expect investigations such as a blood test (which would show evidence of infection) and a prescription for AB's if anything was revealed, in addition to an ultrasound referral.

Where I live, we can purchase AB's over the counter for pennies. Most people do - I don't condone the overuse of AB's but I find the huffy sanctimonious twaddle about 'resistance" quite amusing since the very same drugs are available OTC in most of the world and online cheaply (and legally) from the UK.

Your GP sounds lazy and useless and in your shoes, I would complain.

PennySillin Mon 30-Sep-13 15:38:03

Hmmm YABU and YANBU.

YABU to think prescribing you something to shut you up is a valid reason to give antibiotics or any medication (although I realise this happens).

YABU to purchase medication over the internet. Very very dodgy!

Have you had the USS?

YANBU to have expected a little more proactive treatment than a 8 week wait for an USS. I would have sent cervical and vaginal swabs while waiting for the USS to rule out infection.

Malpractice - well it fits the definition, you suffered "considerable pain and discomfort", something that may have been avoided if they had sent swabs and ruled out/in infection 8 months ago. As for blacklisting - that doesn't happen, you can't highlight a patients screen to let everyone know you are a troublemaker or however else you might think they would perceive you. smile

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 30-Sep-13 15:38:07

I don't think you should have self-diagnosed and medicated, but the GP was wrong, surely, not to check for other possible causes?

I'd write, for sure. Not a lawyer's letter though, unless or until they send you a shitty/indifferent response.

DaleyBump Mon 30-Sep-13 15:38:46

Yes, YABU. They referred you for an ultrasound, you should have waited for it.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Mon 30-Sep-13 15:40:08

YABVVVU by buying medication over the internet. That was incredibly dangerous! Stuff like that doesn't come from the medication fairy y'know. You've quite possibly funded some organised crime by paying for illegal tablets...

In all other areas, YANBU. I've never known doctors to leave a patient in ongoing pain without doing some sort of examination and at the very least prescribing analgesic of some form. There's nothing that can be helped about the wait for the ultrasound though. That's just life with an underfunded and overstretched NHS.

CheeseandGherkins Mon 30-Sep-13 15:42:17

Yanbu and I can't see why people think you are. I would expect more to be done with those symptoms, 8 weeks with not even a look at you?! Disgraceful.

WillSingForCake Mon 30-Sep-13 15:43:49

A lawyers letter is a massive overreaction, get a grip!

Mumsyblouse Mon 30-Sep-13 15:52:35

In most European countries, you can get antibiotics over the counter. But in the country we visit, they swab you and develop the cultures the same day then give you targeted antibiotics rather than some generic one that might or might not work, again a day or two later. I couldn't believe it the first time I went there and saw the lab results a few hours later and was on the correct antibiotics a day later.

The NHS is lumbering and slow and it is ridiculous to have discomfort/pain for two months out of your life for this and part of the problem is the incredibly slow diagnosis procedure around infections- no wonder people turn to the net. It may be somewhat dangerous to take them if you don't know what they are which is why I have a packet or two from my holidays at home, and I have used them successfully to cure a chest infection after a month of pleading with my dr who kept saying that young people (I'm over 40) didn't get chest infections unless there was something wrong with them!

wink1970 Mon 30-Sep-13 15:52:53

Thanks for the varied response, though LOL at the 'nightmare' part! I hardly think wanting to understand the possible causes makes me 'high handed'. Still, each to their own...

Thanks for the notes on internet purchases, I do agree there was a risk, although I fully checked out the company - it's a real surgery based in Glasgow. I filled in an online form based on a presumption (oh, there I go again being a nightmare) that it was an infection of sorts, and they gave me a broad-spectrum that hits bladder, cervix and related areas.

I guess a lawyer letter is too strong, so a complaint first....

BTW the ultrasound was clear, not that the doctors have bothered to tell me, I rang the hospital.

YoungGirlGrowingOld Mon 30-Sep-13 15:53:59

Agree that the lawyer's letter is overkill, at least at this stage - it would not be if you have suffered any damage as a result of the delay, but you will presumably not know this until you have a proper diagnosis.

After similar experiences with my GP, I now insist on only seeing one of the senior partners. It can be more difficult to get an appointment, but I have so much more confidence in them. In your shoes I would probably see one of the partners and explain your concerns about the other GP - it is more likely to be enough to make them pull their socks up.

redexpat Mon 30-Sep-13 16:27:42

Did you not ask for an appointment with a different Dr at the same surgery?

HeySoulSister Mon 30-Sep-13 16:32:23

Glasgow?? This kind of slapdash diagnosing actually exists? shock

Bamboobambino Mon 30-Sep-13 16:39:57

YABU, very

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