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Appointment Times - do you mind waiting?

(33 Posts)
Earlybird Fri 15-Aug-08 13:39:23

I took dd for an appointment yesterday (fwiw, we arrived on time), and it was 40 minutes past appointment time when her name was called. The assistant escorted dd to the back with a breezy 'sorry we're running a bit behind'.

Do you mind waiting, or do you expect it? How long will you wait before starting to feel agitated?

sarah293 Fri 15-Aug-08 13:42:58

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hanaflower Fri 15-Aug-08 13:43:20

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sarah293 Fri 15-Aug-08 13:45:34

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Dropdeadfred Fri 15-Aug-08 13:45:42

I am pleasaently suprised if I get seen within 15 mins of appt time. Alot of clinics have signs saying they may be runing 30 mins later and this is just one of those things..I think the pressure to see more people each da is reflected in impossible appt schedules..if someone needs more than 5 mins it affects the whole schedule afterwards

etchasketch Fri 15-Aug-08 13:47:50

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Earlybird Fri 15-Aug-08 13:48:57

Would also be interested in hearing perspectives from those here who make clients wait. What sorts of things might cause you to be running significantly late? I sometimes wonder if office admin overschedule, and thus everything runs late as a matter of course.

I once flounced out of a facial appointment at a very posh salon. I had been kept waiting 45 minutes past my appointment time because the previous client arrived late. I got a free facial treatment as compensation (which was nice), but I started going elsewhere after that experience.

Earlybird Fri 15-Aug-08 13:52:45

riven - it must be impossibly difficult to wait a long time with an ill child. There are so many layers of upset/frustration in that scenario - you're worried about your child, you're agitated at being made to wait, and your child is likely to be upset too. Nightmare situation, imo.

sarah293 Fri 15-Aug-08 13:53:47

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Overmydeadbody Fri 15-Aug-08 13:56:58

EarlyBird if it is for something I'm paying for like a facial or haircut, I would complain, as you did, and not use them again.

But for hospitals/dentists/doctors where unexpected things could be happening with the previous patent, although it can be frustrating to wait, there really is no point in getting annoyed and showing it, as this won't suddenly make you gain back the time you've lost.

Overmydeadbody Fri 15-Aug-08 13:59:37

In cses like yours riven, where small children are involved, then hospitals should really sort themselves out and make sure there are not long unexpected waiting times.

VictorianSqualor Fri 15-Aug-08 14:09:04

Hmm, I very rarely have to wait for any appointments tbh. My doctors are pretty much on time , in fact they're normally early if you're early. I once arrived 45 minutes early for DS1&2's injections and DS2's 8 week check.
I arrived early because we don't live near the surgery and I would have had to hang around somewhere for an hour anyway, so I decided to go there early, feed DS2 and then the it would be appointment time, but the receptionist explained to the GP why I was early, he saw me and then so did the nurse.

suedonim Fri 15-Aug-08 14:18:25

I hate the assumption that their time is more important than mine. But when it comes to hospital/dr's appts, of course things can get delayed. As long as I am informed and/or have an explanation, I don't mind waiting.

One time when ds2 was sent from Outpatients for an X-ray for his asthma we had to wait so long that dd1 ended up having an accident in the waiting room and needed treatment herself! shock

Earlybird Fri 15-Aug-08 14:37:04

My dentist is extremely punctual, and I appreciate it.

Suzy - while we were sat waiting yesterday, the thought did cross my mind that waiting 40 minutes equated to 'X' of my own hourly rate.

Fwiw, the office we visited yesterday always seems to be running late.

superloopy Fri 15-Aug-08 14:54:37

When I was pregnant with DS my average wait at the obstetrician office was usually an hour! The longest was 2 hrs the shortest was 1/2 hour.
It drove me crazy, especially as I had to take my DD(3yo at the time) with me. He was always so overbooked running 3 consulting rooms with 3 patients all given the same appt time. He would also get called to the hospital for deliveries too.
I will not go back to him if I have any more babies!

branflake81 Fri 15-Aug-08 15:05:09

I think at a doctor's you can't complain. Things do run over and it's no one's fault. Everyone is doing their best and I think a bit of patience is called for (although I admit at my last appt where I waited 50 minutes it was hard!).

In a hair salon where you're a paying customer it's a bit different.

Sidge Fri 15-Aug-08 15:16:18

If I have a paying appointment I wouldn't expect to wait more than 10 minutes.

At the doctors/hospital I expect to be there for ages so go prepared, but it is difficult when your child gets agitated/hungry/thirsty. I find often when I explain that we can't wait any longer they do their best to get you in (where possible, and it does depend who you're seeing).

I work in healthcare myself so know how easy it is to run over - it's also cumulative so if every other appointment runs over by 5 mins you can get horribly late by the middle of your clinic. I hate running late and always apologise, but if the lady before you was booked in for 10 minutes for a BP check and then turns out to have an infected leg ulcer you have to deal with it, making you run over.

FAQ Fri 15-Aug-08 15:26:23

if it's something I@m paying for I get cross.

But for doctors/hopsital appointments etc although it winds me up having to wait (especially if I'e got DS3 with me wanting to wreck everything) I know that if I was ushered out of my appointment after 10 minutes (or however long as "scheduled" for appointments - and I didn't feel things had been sorted/I still had things to ask/wanted them to check etc I'd be pretty p*ssed off

Hecate Fri 15-Aug-08 15:29:52

It's annoying when I'm the one waiting, but I have been on the other side too. taken more than my allotted time because I needed to go through some stuff, pushes everyone back, but what are they to do? Stop you mid sentence and say sorry, time's up?

What does annoy me is the other reason they keep you waiting, and this happens mainly in hospitals. They book too many people in, so if they all turn up, the wait will be horrible! However, they do this because so many people make appts and then never show! Leaving big gaps etc. So they overbook, banking on the fact that there'll be a percentage of no-shows. So really, it's the fault of those of us who miss our appointments without giving notice!

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Fri 15-Aug-08 15:30:19

I can't wait with ds1. He won't. When I make appointments for him I make sure he's the first and explain that he can't wait.

When we go to A&E they always call him through first (last time before I'd even given in his name- they spotted him). Obviously if someone was bleeding to death in front of us he'd have to wait until they'd been dealt with but he queue jumps everyone non-urgent. They did try to make him wait the first time and he was all over the place and trying to run into everyone else's cubicles or press the buttons on various machinery so it is in other patient's interests that he goes first.

I don't really mind waiting with ds2 and ds3. DS3 has had quite a few eye appointments (for a squint) and he plays fairly happily until its his turn.

potoftea Fri 15-Aug-08 15:40:05

I hate waiting. It's like they are saying "my time is so much more important than yours".

I know in hospitals etc. it can be unavoidable, but it's the fact that it's taken for granted and that there is no apology that annoys me so much.
People sometimes have to do a lot of arranging to attend an appointment. And than they are worried whether they'll be out in time to collect children from school, or get back to work after lunch like they promised their boss, etc.

It seems to happen everywhere; hairdressers, meetings with school personnel, solicitors, bank officials; and don't get me started on people who keep you waiting by not calling to your home at the arranged time. angry

mummydoc Fri 15-Aug-08 15:47:30

it can be very frustrating waiting, but in the gps surgery it is a cumulative thing over which we have little control, and to give the other side of the story - it is hugely frustrating when patients turn up late, most gps have 10 minute slots for each patient, i often have patients who turn up 4or 5 mins late ,now i know that doesn't sound much but actually by hte time you have called them in, they have sat down etc you are often 8 minutes into the 10 , then they want to discuss something like depression and hey you are now 20 minutes behind because you cannot get through that in 2 minutes and so on and so on, can oyu now see why it often snowballs to 40 minutes quite easily.

Earlybird Fri 15-Aug-08 18:53:43

mummydoc - who mandates the 10 minute slots? Given the scenario you describe of being 8 minutes into the 10 allowed before real discussions begin, would it be possible/sensible to allocate more time per patient?

Yesterday, I had set myself up for agitation by perhaps foolishly arranging to meet a friend for lunch. If the appointment had been on time, it would have been easily possible. When the appointment began 40 minutes past time, the pressure/agitation started to build....I think one answer may be to book the first slot of the day where possible.

lizziemun Fri 15-Aug-08 18:57:32

It depends on the time of day. I did get annoyed at the doctors last week when my appointment was at 8.35am but wasn't called untill 8.55am. How can you be running 20mins late with your second appointment of the day.

psychomum5 Fri 15-Aug-08 19:01:51

yes I do...especially when they keep me waiting for over half hour most times, yet the one time I turned up ten mins late (and they were still running late), they had the audacity (sp?) to try and tell me that I was not allowed my appointment and I was going to have to re-book.

I was not happy, altho I stayed calm and requested to see someone more senior.......I in fact recieved a letter of apology from the practice for the rudeness of the reception staff.

they still run later howeverhmm, and I still think it rude, but hey, I take a book now and expect it!

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