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Refused appt to diagnose rash (might be chickenpox) is this right?

(41 Posts)
springintheair Fri 19-May-06 10:58:10

I tried to make an appt for dd1 today but the practice manager said as her spots could potentially be chickenpox she couldn't come in. I was offered a health visitor appt instead (bizarrely the contagion thing didn't apply in this case because dd1 could be isolated apparently). When I said I was entitled to see a GP I was told I wasn't allowed to and this was nationaly policy. Is this right? Has anyone else been refused an appointment. Even when I said that I wasn't in a position to diagnose which is why I wanted to see a doctor and the spots could be anything including meningitis I was still refused. Told health visitors experienced and able to diagnose but I want to see a doctor about this and other things (dd2 has excema and 4 or 5 weird skin tags).

This is not the 1st time I've had probs with this practice. I have tried to make doctor appts several times before and been given a time to come down only to find this wasn't a doctor appt at all instead I had to wait in a queue to see a health visitor. The health visitor is nice and I'm sure highly competent and trained but as a health visitor not a doctor. Aren't I entitled to see a doctor if that's what I ask for? When I asked the health visitor to be referred to an alergy clinic for dd2 she said she would find out if this was possible, try to refer me to a dietiician and phone in a week to tell me about these things and check if hydrocortisione cream was working for dd2's excema. She never called back. Again is this just one of those things or should I be angry?

Advice please.

Heartmum2Jamie Fri 19-May-06 11:22:46

I don't think that's right. I have just called my surgery for the same thing (ds has a rash that could possibly be chickenpox) and was offered an appt at 12.20??

I would write and complain to the practice manager.

Piffle Fri 19-May-06 11:24:54

Take the Hv appt, doctors rarely care to be troubled with routine childhood illnesses
Sad but true, the HV can call the dr if she is worried.
The contagion thing is a load of horses arse to be blunt.
My dd had measles and we went in without segregation!

daisy1999 Fri 19-May-06 11:25:46

when we had chickenpox we were told not to go to the surgery.

handlemecarefully Fri 19-May-06 11:25:59

We had no difficulty getting an appointment for query chickenpox

WigWamBam Fri 19-May-06 11:27:15

My GP won't make an appointment to diagnose suspected chicken pox because they say it's such an easy rash to self-diagnose - there's not much else that it could be - so it's not worth the risk of infecting other people. When dd had measles she had to have it diagnosed because it's notifiable, and it's easily confused with other rashes, but she was kept in isolation in an unused office.

jamsam Fri 19-May-06 11:28:34

my two ds's have between them had chicken pox 6 times...so if you are really worried go to a&e and demand to be seen, then tell them your practice refused you an appointment. they will get a nasty surprise form the health authority in the next days post...beleive me..

LIZS Fri 19-May-06 11:29:34

I would have thought they could have asked you to come right at the end of surgery and put you straight into a room to wait so that risk of contagion is limited. However you shouldn't need to see a dr for cp, it isn't an emergency and the rest could wait . HV would be fine if you want a more positive diagnosis. Are you sure the skin tags aren't just molluscum contagiosum?

Heartmum2Jamie Fri 19-May-06 11:32:40

My son does need to be seen for CP, he has other medical problems that make him more suscepitable to complications

springintheair Fri 19-May-06 11:34:18

Thanks so much for your replies. I really wanted to talk about this issue. I'm annoyed about it at so many levels. It makes me angry that I'm screened by the receptionists who ask exactly what's wrong and try and fob me off, then I'm passed on to HVs who are usually not very effective and sometimes pass me on to doctors anyway. Aren't I entitled to just see my GP without a fight and without having to justify myself and being treated like a stroppy patient? And isn't it the job of the GP to diagnose and treat minor childhood illnesses as well as everything else? It certainly doesn't feel right that a receptionist (although in this case it was the practice manager) feels he can tell me not to bother with the doctor when he's not qualified and is on the other end of the phone FFS.

I've now got an appt with Dr on Monday (it seems the contagion thing isn't an issue on Mondays!) but onyl cos I phoned back and had a fight with another receptionist.

When I asked her who to complain to she told me I had to write to the practice manager (the guy who fobbed me off in the 1st place. When I told her I didn't think this was appropriate ans was there anyone else she told me that was it and she had' other patients to deal with'.

springintheair Fri 19-May-06 11:39:53

I think what I'm most annoyed about is that I don't know it's CP and neither do they? She actually has no other syptoms just a clump of spots on one side and then isolated spots elsewhere. Doesn't seem ill at all. I need to know whether it is CP because she goes to nursery and obviously they will need to know whether to alert other parents and so do I so I need to know whether I can go to work next week. What is molluscum contagiosum?

crunchie Fri 19-May-06 11:52:38

With CP the spots are quite 'blistery' and full of liquid. Very often there will be spots and no other symptoms, you might be lucky. Also some get loads of spots everywhere, others get isolated ones.

It is normal not to go to the GP, our GO wouldn't give us an appointment, she said wait a few hrs and you will know!!

However it does sound like they are being difficult so do complain.

Heartmum2Jamie Fri 19-May-06 11:53:49

From what I can tell, molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection of the skin that is harmless. Having looked at the pics though, they look very similar to CP....Grrr!!!

My ds sounds exactly like your ddm spots/rash and no other symptoms! I am going to the dr with him in a bit. I'll let you know what they say!

zippitippitoes Fri 19-May-06 11:55:26

I think the gp practice is obliged to prioritise resources where a diagnosis will benefit the patient

mousiemousie Fri 19-May-06 11:55:46

I phoned the surgery to ask if it was OK to take dd in with suspected CP and they had no problem with it here.

Surely you have the right to access to a doctor for your child if you wish? I wouldn't be happy if it were me

DumbledoresGirl Fri 19-May-06 12:00:13

springintheair, to help you work out if it might be CP or not, try comparing the spots with this picture . Children don't have to be feeling ill to have CP - none of mine did and 2 of them were much worse affected than the boy in the picture.

LIZS Fri 19-May-06 12:00:13

Molluscum looks like tiny pearls on the surface of the skin, the spots aren't red until they are about to burst, tend to occur in crops rather than randomly over the body, and can last for months. CP starts as reddish pimples which appear over a period of a few days all over the body, then they fill with fluid, like blisters, and scab over as they dry out.

springintheair Fri 19-May-06 12:01:07

Thanks all. Tbh I'm surprised they can afford to take the risk of not giving you an appt. For every 20 people they fob off 19 may turn out to be ok with minor complaints that clear up but 1 may be or turn into something serious. If a patient is at all anxious surely it is the duty of the GP to see them.

springintheair Fri 19-May-06 12:03:44

Hmmm thatnks Dumbledoresgirl. The spots do look a bit like that but aren't fluid filled.

DumbledoresGirl Fri 19-May-06 12:04:12

At our practice, it is virtually impossible to get an appointment unless you want one that day which, actually, I don't often require. Instead of booking you in for a few days time (they say they are fully booked) you can a time given to you when the GP will ring you up. The GP then talks to you on the phone and 9 times out of 10 has then gone on to make an appt for me themselves. Apparently they have this system to screen out time wasters, but I can't help but think it is also wastes the GPs time ringing up to talk to me when I know an appt will eventually be offered anyway (eg I ring up a lot about my son who has asthma and he is always seen).

CountessDracula Fri 19-May-06 12:06:44

ddg our surgery operates a triage system too. I was chatting to to doc about it the other week, she said that although I have always been seen when calling (for dd, and for me when I had kidney infections) it does screen out the vast number of people who have a runny nose and a sore throat who just need to go to bed and take paracetomal!

CountessDracula Fri 19-May-06 12:07:26

oh and they always see young kids/babies if the parents are concerned btw

LIZS Fri 19-May-06 12:08:10

That picture is similar to how ours looked with cp ! The fluid blisters don't appear at the start though, just red spots/pimples, so by Monday you will know if it is !

springintheair Fri 19-May-06 12:11:45

THat system would drive me mad Dumbledores girl esp if I knew my child had a serious illness (and knew the GP knew). Surely there's a case for GPs seeing their patients routinely as well even if it's for minor complaints. How else would they pick up serious problems (blood pressure, potential child abuse whatever). I now feel as though I or my children can't make a doctor's appt unless we're on death's door in which case we'd go straight to hospital anyway. Such a hostile reception could put off patients from seeing their doctors full stop. That can't be healthy.

DumbledoresGirl Fri 19-May-06 12:12:14

I was told the same CD when I quizzed my GP about it. It just annoys me because the GP will say to me come back with ds2 in three months time, but twhen that time comes, I can't make an appointment for love or money. So the GP has to waste 2 mins of his time and 10p of practice funds ringing me up just for me to say you wanted to see ds2 again and for him to then book an appt. Also, I have to hang around waiting for his phone call and can't make the appt when I first ring.

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