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Tried to get a doctors appointment for my severely constipated 16 month old, let me tell you how fucked the system is

(106 Posts)
Lsquiggles Sat 07-Nov-20 07:54:28

Yes I understand covid has changed how and when you can see your doctor, but this is disgusting and a complete neglect of care.

My DD has been constipated for a few days but it all came to a head yesterday lunch time when she was screaming and I was scared she was going to give herself an injury. My dp went to the pharmacy which is opposite our gp surgery, queued up for 30 minutes (behind lots of people with physical prescriptions, interesting) to be told they couldn't give us anything over the counter as she's so young so to call gp. Annoying but fair enough.

Call the gp at 2pm and they say there's no appointments (of course), the doctor isn't in today (?!) and she'll send him an email so he can prescribe something.

The receptionist calls me back at 5pm (3 hours later) to say my DD needs to be seen in person but they're closed now so either she'll be seen Monday or to call the local walk in centre and 'they'll see her today'. At this point I'm already angry because they left me 3 hours with an upset child instead of telling me to call the walk in centre at 2pm.

I call the walk in centre, explain everything, she said they're doing a call back service and a doctor will call me in 2-3 hours. I explain my doctor has already said she needs to be seen in person, she shouts over me that it's the discretion of each doctor to decide that.

The walk in centre closes at 8pm, the doctor calls me at 8pm. The nicest doctor tells me how sorry he is that my doctors surgery passed the buck over to them and that they should've never turned away a child. He said your children are the most precious things to you and he's shocked with our doctors actions. He said he'd prescribe it over the phone or stay half an hour longer for us so we could bring her in to be seen. At this point my DD was in bed so I just accepted the prescription but he did say if we were worried over the weekend to call back and he'd see her ASAP.

How is this allowed to happen? My DD has no medical issues or allergies, all the symptoms I described were of basic constipation, why did I have to jump through all these hoops and be patronised by multiple receptionists just to get something to help my child go to the toilet?

This is why people are going to A&E with minor complaints, something needs to change before serious issues are left untreated or misdiagnosed

OP’s posts: |
Thatwentbadly Sat 07-Nov-20 07:57:53

The issue is probably that you waited until 2pm to ring for a same day appointment. At my doctors I’ve not had an issue getting a same day emergency appointment since lockdown when I’ve rang in the mornings.

How many doctors are at your practice?

Lsquiggles Sat 07-Nov-20 07:59:15

I understand that but she wasn't screaming at 8am when they opened so surely they should factor in that people will have emergencies?

OP’s posts: |
Mollscroll Sat 07-Nov-20 08:01:35

Ageee entirely but you’ll be told it’s all your fault and you should be grateful that anyone even bothered to answer the phone.

CarrotCakeSupprise Sat 07-Nov-20 08:03:45

You're being over dramatic.

Your DD was seen by a doctor within 6 hours of you making a call, which for an non-emergency (and being constipated for a few days is a non-emergency) is really bloody good.

Sorry you had some stressful phone calls.

Lsquiggles Sat 07-Nov-20 08:04:05

@Mollscroll that does seem the case! I'm very grateful for the work the NHS are doing for covid, but that doesn't excuse the lack of care elsewhere

OP’s posts: |
tortoiseshell1985 Sat 07-Nov-20 08:06:09

I agree OP. Some GP surgeries have not behaved terribly well.

Bythehairywartsonmywitchychin Sat 07-Nov-20 08:07:46

The receptionists weren’t patronising, they pass the details on to the doctors for them to make the decision if the patient can be triaged over the phone or if they need to be seen in person.

Raise a complaint with your local CCG. The more complaints they receive the more they’ll have to do something about it.

LizzieSiddal Sat 07-Nov-20 08:08:17

Absolutely ridiculous.

Dd has a similar incident. She was 7 days post CS, midwife told her to ring her Dr about two issues she had, one being a urine infection. Receptionist told her she shouldn’t ring the Drs and must use the online process. She filled it all in and this told her to ring 111. 111 told her they weren’t allowed to discuss two issues at once. In floods of tears DD rang back the Dr and had to lie and say 111 had insisted she phoned the Dr.
The Dr was incredibly lovely and prescribed several medications for her.

The system is a disgrace.angry

Hobbitfeet32 Sat 07-Nov-20 08:09:10

You are right. Doctors should continue to work 24 hours a day to get through their workload. They don’t have families to get back to or children to collect from childcare or school and they certainly don’t need a break so if the demand on their services is exceeding their capacity of course they should just keep working to make sure every person has been seen that day.

LizzieSiddal Sat 07-Nov-20 08:09:41

The receptionists weren’t patronising, they pass the details on to the doctors for them to make the decision if the patient can be triaged over the phone or if they need to be seen in person.

Absolutely untrue!

The receptionists are making decisions without the Dr knowing anything about these calls.

Breastfeedingworries Sat 07-Nov-20 08:10:11

You could of handled that yourself, gripe water, infafcol, lots of tummy massages and calpol.

I didn’t contact a doctor for that when my dd was small. I dealt with it myself at home. Just read she’s 16 months! You could of gave prune juice, chopped up grapes. There’s plenty of home remedies.

It was not an emergency really, there’s a lot of their plate at the moment. I’m glad it’s now resolved and you spoke to a doctor. Constipation Can be sorted with some basic knowledge and diet at home. flowers

bringmelaughter Sat 07-Nov-20 08:11:41

You got a same day prescription. I understand the frustration of having to go through a couple of systems to get there but the timing rather than Covid was the main factor here.

For many surgeries ringing at 2pm (which isn’t your fault just the way the symptoms went) wouldn’t get you a same day appt even without Covid. Out of hours is there as back up for these situations and worked - you got a prescription.

Lsquiggles Sat 07-Nov-20 08:12:27

@LizzieSiddal so sorry that happened to your daughter, I hope she's okay now! flowers

OP’s posts: |
WhenTwoBecomeThree Sat 07-Nov-20 08:12:46

Completely agree with you, a child should never be left in pain! In comparison, our 11 month old needed a doctor's appointment this week, we rang at 2.30, they got her in at 3.30.

WhenTwoBecomeThree Sat 07-Nov-20 08:13:23

& hope your DD is feeling better now x

BelleSausage Sat 07-Nov-20 08:14:06

It wasn’t ideal that you got passed around. But you got a prescription that same day having started out in the middle of the afternoon on a Friday.

It’s no one’s fault but I don’t see how this would have been different without COVID. It was non-urgent care and it was all sorted out the same day.

I know people like to bash the NHS but this is non-complaint. Your main issue seems to be that your child wasn’t rushed to the front of the queue and your (non-urgent) query wasn’t dealt with instantly. You have no idea how urgent the other issue were that the doctor was tying to deal with.

Maybe campaign for better funding and the recruitment of more GPs and nurses.

LizzieSiddal Sat 07-Nov-20 08:14:53

Lsquiggles thank you, yes she’s much improved and now able to enjoy her baby.

How is your DD doing?

FlibblyFlobblyFloo Sat 07-Nov-20 08:15:32

Our doctors surgery have been an embarrassment through this. They are just short of putting barbed wire around their front door. There is no access at all for anyone. Old people stood outside in the pouring rain waiting for an appointment.

Aren’t hospital doctors outraged they they are getting a stream of people getting sent to them from inept surgeries? The A and E doctors have been working hard through all of this. Plus picking up the pieces of people who have ended up in A and E half dead because their surgery has repeatedly refused to see them and they end up more ill than necessary. It’s a shit show.

Sirzy Sat 07-Nov-20 08:16:46

I think in this particular case the only possible issue was the fact that the GP didn’t think “well it’s Friday afternoon, I can’t see them, let’s prescribe some movicol for the weekend”

Children do seem to have a habit of picking the most inconvenient times to become poorly which even at the best of times makes it much harder to access the care

FlibblyFlobblyFloo Sat 07-Nov-20 08:17:35

And that’s not even remotely a bashing of the NHS. Different surgeries offer different experiences but lots have got away with an awful lot since March. It’s not a consistent care service across the board.

Missmonkeypenny Sat 07-Nov-20 08:17:37

I've been struggling with our surgery too, OP. My smear test was due last September. I was pregnant until December, had a test booked for late March but was cancelled due to covid. Had an appointment made for August which was cancelled due to me having a cough ( and a negative covid test ). Told to call back in a week to book an appointment as there were none. I have called every week since to be told that there are none at ANY of the three surgery's in our health network left in 2020 and to try again the next week..

Nailgirl Sat 07-Nov-20 08:18:07

It is awful right now. I had an infected leg -I don't know how or why but a huge sore appeared on my leg. I treated it at home with Dettol etc and it was clear it was much worse after 2 weeks and twice the size and I was struggling to walk on it.

I phoned the GP - here we leave details -they all work from home - and without seeing it 24 hours later he prescribed antibiotics. I had to take time off work (I have to go in) and a week later -no improvement -if anything it was worse. No video call -this is just over the phone.
Phoned GP another course of antibiotics - I explain it is worse. Another week off work.

So 2 weeks on still bad -Phoned GP -the GP phoned back 2 hours later -he works from home. He says more antibiotics -I say it is weeping large amounts of pus -and I'm really worried -he says ok. He books an appointment for me to come into the surgery to see the nurse.
Go in next day to see the nurse. She takes one look and says -I need to get the GP.
She phones him.
I wait an hour -he comes into the surgery to see me. He then said "why have you waited this long before seeing someone" etc.

The nurses here say they are the ones seeing the patients and the GP are at home doing it all over the phone.

Lsquiggles Sat 07-Nov-20 08:18:49

I didn't need her to be seen by a gp, I just wanted them to prescribe her something to help so she wasn't screaming in pain

OP’s posts: |
Nailgirl Sat 07-Nov-20 08:20:06

Missmonkeypenny

I've been struggling with our surgery too, OP. My smear test was due last September. I was pregnant until December, had a test booked for late March but was cancelled due to covid. Had an appointment made for August which was cancelled due to me having a cough ( and a negative covid test ). Told to call back in a week to book an appointment as there were none. I have called every week since to be told that there are none at ANY of the three surgery's in our health network left in 2020 and to try again the next week..

This is dire.

Like the hospital I heard on the news the other day -due to Covid the services they choose to cancel -yep gynae.

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