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Your gp surgery; how easy to get apt?

(70 Posts)
minxthemanx Fri 10-Nov-17 18:59:32

After a very frustrating 10 days of trying and failing to get an urgent apt with our GP for DS1, I'm wondering whether any surgery has a system that works. Our surgery operates the "phone at 8 am " system. You can't book in advance unless happy to wait 6 weeks . Having "rung at 8am" on 5 days, the earliest I've got through is 8.20, by which time all apts are gone. This 20 mins of repeated phoning takes place while I'm at work....not easy. This seems the most stupid and inefficient system yet I know a lot of surgeries use it. Anyone got a surgery with a more efficient system of allocating urgent apts?

Spam88 Fri 10-Nov-17 19:02:36

Ours has a similar system - call at 8:30am for morning appointments or 12pm for afternoon. Always get an appointment, and it’s fine while I’m on mat leave but it’s going to be a pain when I’m back in work. Never managed to book an appointment in advance, they’re always all gone.

Emergency appointments are presumably dealt with differently though if that’s what you’re referring to? Although given it’s been 10 days, presumably it’s not an emergency.

minxthemanx Fri 10-Nov-17 20:21:45

Well it was an urgent apt; DS1 has a complicated medical condition, had run out of medication and couldn't get another prescription till GP reviewed it. Plus he was off school quite poorly and I wanted him checked over. But still no apts by the time I managed to get through on phone each day. ...I could probably have insisted on going down as emergency and waiting for an hour or two, but wouldn't have seen my GPhD, who knows the history. Very frustrating.

PaddysMarket Fri 10-Nov-17 20:28:35

It's easy for a appointment in my surgery, phone in the morning and either select a emergency appointment or routine. If you select emergency then a nurse will phone you back to discuss symptoms and book you in. If you select routine then you give a reason why and the reception will give a appointment...usually within 3 days.

I phoned once for a routine appointment but when I told the receptionist that it was for my 3yr old she gave me one for that morning.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Fri 10-Nov-17 20:28:37

For children - very easy. They save appointments and will always always see little ones.

For adults - total nightmare.

Meant that when I found a non blanching rash on dd at 10:15am, I was seeing a doctor at 10:39am and at the hospital with a place on the children’s ward by 11:30am.

Also meant I ran out of pills last year because I had to wait 4 weeks for an appointment.

I approve of this balance.

JsOtherHalf Fri 10-Nov-17 20:33:05

Emergency appointment for children seems easy enough to get. They saw DS within 30 minutes of my call when he had a severe headache, and aversion to light.

For me,the same day when my asthma is flaring up.
Other appts are longer though_ anything up to a fortnight.

Ttbb Fri 10-Nov-17 20:33:51

Every single surgery I have used has been phone at 8. One particularly dodgy one I would start phoning before 8 and still be unable to get an appointment.

Redglitter Fri 10-Nov-17 20:34:19

Ours is great. They release appts for 2 weeks in advance and 48 hours in advance at 0830 every day. You can phone or book online. Online is excellent you get logged in at bang on 0830 and take your pick.

They hold some back for emergencies and we have a duty doctor. The duty doctor calls you back and basically does a triage over the phone. Sometimes they'll tell you to come and see them or they'll do a prescription and leave it for collection

It's a huge practise but it works. I had 3 appts in one week recently. 2 duty doctor callbacks and one actual appt

Amber0685 Fri 10-Nov-17 20:34:21

Ours has a walk in clinic everyday until 10.30am, if you want to book an appointment it is around a 2 week wait, if you want your regular doctor longer. This actually works much better than the old system where you had to ring up for an appointment and they did emergency ones. Apparently they changed system to free up the phone lines, a nightmare to get through and due to missed cancelled appointments.

IvorHughJarrs Fri 10-Nov-17 20:36:10

Ours is good. You can book online, call in or phone and are usually seen the same day if emergency or in the next 2 days if not

Battleax Fri 10-Nov-17 20:36:52

Ours is similar. "Routine" appointments 3-4 weeks hence can sometimes be had. Sometimes not "because we're waiting for more to be released".

Other than that it's mainly "emergency" phone appointments.

IFellDownAHole Fri 10-Nov-17 20:39:11

Ours is good but frustration system - call before 9 to register for a gp call back. Gp calls, summarise problem and either books you for that day or gives relevant advice.Gp does call backs until 9.30 to get people in that day. Any not done by 9.30 are called back between gp’s appointments. I’ve waited until nearly 2pm for call back before. It’s a rural area with very little mobile coverage so it means I have to stay by the landline. Also really tricky to sort round work etc. But as gp’s are deciding who needs appointment not a receptionist asking if it’s urgent or not it does seem to mean there are more appointments for those who need it.

MummyInTheNecropolis Fri 10-Nov-17 20:41:17

Ours is similar to yours. I've also been trying to get an appointment all week, start phoning at 8am, call non stop for 20-30 mins and get the engaged tone, get through eventually and all appointments are gone. Mine wasn't an emergency but our surgery don't book advance appointments, they all have to be booked on the day. In the end, I went to the surgery at 7.50 this morning, queued up for 20 mins and eventually got an appointment for 9.30. Such a bloody pain, I'd have been happy to book earlier and wait a couple of weeks but it just isn't possible.

whoareyoukidding Fri 10-Nov-17 20:41:31

Ours has a mixture of walk in sessions in the mornings and book in advance appointments in the afternoons. One does have to book a few weeks in advance for the afternoon appointments. I do have to say that my GP works really hard and she is bloody brilliant at her job - I love her.

LinaBo Fri 10-Nov-17 20:41:44

Mine is ring at 8.30 and it's dreadful.

Got a letter from my gp today asking me to ring her about some bloods results, rang immediately (10-ish) and was told I couldn't speak to her because I didn't ring at 8.30 (!!!) but I could pre-book a phone appointment - on soonest available date, which today was the 20th. Oh well...

Passmethecrisps Fri 10-Nov-17 20:42:10

We are extremely lucky.

If you turn up between 9 and 10:30 you will get an appointment that day. They also used to let you pick your own GP but they had to stop that.

If you call later with a sick child they will do their best to see you and have also done a home visit for us.

Booked appointments vary depending on the time of year but are generally within a week

minxthemanx Fri 10-Nov-17 20:43:09

So there are efficient systems available. Ours is truly ridiculous; 20 minutes trying to get through on phone every morning, to be told all apts gone. Have emailed the practice manager today as I'm not happy DS1 had to go without medication.

Lules Fri 10-Nov-17 20:45:31

It's straightforward. Ring at 8.30. Speak to the lovely and efficient receptionist, get an appointment.

But it is a very odd single GP practice plus a 'lady doctor' (their words) who comes in once a week.

Crumbs1 Fri 10-Nov-17 20:47:54

Ours has a minor injury walk in service ( but not a proper minor then phone for same day/urgent appointment and GP on duty will call back to assess and direct to most appropriate source of help.
We also have a webform system where you complete an online form and it is triaged by GP who will either contact you are get secretary to call and pass on advice. I’ve been referred under two week wait from webform without seeing GP.
Never been unable to get same day appointment. Even had GP keep surgery open to see me because we were travelling back from Isle of Wight. It’s an excellent practice.
Routine appointments bookable online.

Floralnomad Fri 10-Nov-17 20:48:26

We have a walk in clinic , turn up between 9-10.30 and you are guaranteed to be seen , and you can choose which Dr , although obviously that might make your wait longer . You can also book in , get a rough idea of the wait , go away and come back a bit later . If you go with a sick child ( under10 ) you also get seen quicker . Prebookable appts are released on a Monday for 2 weeks time . Blood tests are usually available within a week .

JaneEyre70 Fri 10-Nov-17 20:48:49

Ours is generally very good. There is a nurse practitioner every morning who takes all the emergency appointments, and as she works lots of shifts in the local OOH/A & E she's actually very switched on to new drug combinations/trust prescribing practice etc and I find her very helpful. Routine appointments are generally within a week, and it's made a big difference having online booking as there are always a good availability. Sadly the dispensary lets the system down somewhat (rural practice) but you can't have it all grin.

SomethingAboutNothing Fri 10-Nov-17 20:48:50

I work in a surgery, the system isn't ideal but we always see people if they feel they require an urgent appointment. If you want to see a specific GP you might have to wait a while, usually 2-4 weeks, but we also release appts on the day and 2 days ahead so most get seen.

I really don't think there is a system that will please absolutely everybody, and some people aren't reasonable in their requests, but in the most part it works.

It probably help that we are in a rural area and not a large city though.

Battleax Fri 10-Nov-17 20:49:06

Ours has a mixture of walk in sessions in the mornings and book in advance appointments in the afternoons

That sounds much more sensible.

Phillipa12 Fri 10-Nov-17 20:53:25

We have a phone in and the duty dr will call you back and then book you an appointment if necessary, i phoned yesterday at 3.30pm, dr called back at 4pm and ds was seen at 5pm and then dr referred him straight to the hospital and he was admitted at 6pm. Ds ok and home now, very very happy with our surgery.

cashmerecardigans Fri 10-Nov-17 20:56:43

Ours is fabulous. Walk in sessions every morning and bookable ones in the afternoon. It's brilliant and I dint know why more don't do it.

First thing is everyone knows they'll have to wait, so no stress. Plus less hassle for reception staff and hardly any phone calls. You can ask to see whichever GP is in an they'll tell you how many are in the queue.
They prioritise children too, it's just brilliant.

We're moving next year and I'll miss it so much

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