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GP walk in service

(9 Posts)
frustratedddd Fri 19-May-17 11:15:08

My GP surgery operates a walk in clinic a few mornings a week for things that can't wait the typical 2 week wait for an appointment.

They ask that you arrive at 8:30 if possible but no later than 9:00 to be Triaged.

I arrived at 7:50 and joined a queue, I was fourth. By the time they opened the doors there were easily 20 odd people queuing.

I am heavily pregnant and in agony with a back injury and SPD and was told that I cannot get stronger pain relief without seeing a doctor. I went to the walk in clinic on the advice of a pharmacist.

14 people went in ahead of me and the 3 people before me in the queue.

This was purely because they were elderly or a child. Not based on their medical problem.

I asked at reception why I had not kept my place in the queue or at least been seen reasonably close to that point, and was told there are at least another 4 before me (elderly and children) but if anyone else arrives (even after the cut off) they will probably go ahead of me. They said elderly and children go first no matter what.

I have a young child, and an elderly relative I look out, for so I understand it's hard if they are poorly in a waiting room. I would obviously rather a distressed baby or very unwell person etc go first, but it doesn't mean every single other person in there is less in need just because of their age. Surely that's the point of 'triage'.

I queued outside in drizzly rain for 40 minutes, then sat and stood a further 2 hours in a waiting room, when I had got myself there early.

The pain became so unbearable from being sat on a hard chair squashed up close with other people that patients were offering to help me get comfortable in the chair, using a rolled up coat for back support, offering paracetamol etc.

Many people that were seen before me had arrived much later than me, and much later after the so called cut off point. Some as late at 9:30, and strolled in with the kids wearing school uniform as though they are off to school after the doctors?

Surely it would be fairer to gradually slot priority people in between other patients in the queue, depending on their arrival time, rather than bump the whole lot up the queue to go first?

Suppose it's more annoying when you can't help but hear at the front desk (tiny waiting room) many people arguing with the receptionist that their PFB must be seen because they have a sniffle. Or they can't shift a cold after a few days. So you know some aren't actually urgent yet wander in so later and go before people who waited for hours.

There was a man before me in the queue whose skin was yellow, he was shaking terribly and couldn't stand. He still had to wait till a few kids had gone in before anyone bothered to do anything. He was almost collapsed over the reception desk asking when he would go through.

It's done with now anyway and am home with a hot cuppa but just felt very frustrated and upset earlier, and wondered if other people have experienced similar? I haven't used the walk in service at my GP before and was amazed at the lack of giving a shit by the receptionist when I was clearly in a lot of pain and there was at least 1 patient with very severe problems and needed urgent attention!

isletsoffrangipane Fri 19-May-17 11:19:18

Your complaint is with the GPs who make the policy, not the receptionist.

I used to work at this kind of practice and there was precisely fuck all I could do in order to get sick people seen quickly. Asking the doctor results in a flat "no".

Complain to the manager.

frustratedddd Fri 19-May-17 11:23:49

Crazy isn't it! I do feel for receptionists, they are up against it.

That poor man looked so unwell it was horrendous watching him practically begging to be seen.

I will send a letter asking that they rethink the policy to consider everyone not just certain age brackets.

Musicaltheatremum Sat 20-May-17 18:03:23

What a daft system. I hate this "all children under 5 should be seen first" or all people over 75. There are ill people in between these age ranges and it should always be on clinical need.

In fact people should be seen on a first come first served and only people who look really unwell like the yellow guy, should be pushed ahead.

Sorry you're in pain OP. sounds awful.

frustratedddd Sat 20-May-17 20:44:17


It is bizarre, the state of that poor man and people with kids got sent in first while he was slumped in a chair.

Being very young or old doesn't always mean more in need, I do think it is a very unfair system when it comes to health.

Booksandcrocheting Sat 20-May-17 20:50:26

I agree that doesn't sound like a fair system. My GP has open surgery every morning and it's literally first come first served, everyone waits about an hour, and you can go in and sit down in the surgery an hour before the surgery starts. Though I'm sure noone would object if someone who was visibly very unwell jumped the queue!

TroysMammy Sat 20-May-17 20:53:57

The surgery I work in has phone in the morning for a morning appointment. It's frustrating to see the same names time and time again. Once the morning appointments have gone I ultimately get the requests for appointments for people who tell me they have a chest infection, urine infection, are in pain or have ear or eye infections. These people have to wait until later in the day to see a GP when I think they are the ones who should be seen first.

frustratedddd Sun 21-May-17 18:08:22

Glad to see people agree!

I will contact the Practice Manager about rethinking the policy. No doubt I will need to use that service again in the near future due to pregnancy and my injury, and I am really put off using it as I am sure many others are.

AyeAmarok Sun 21-May-17 18:23:11

I agree that's pointless. It's not really a triage system, is it.

May as well have a "children and elderly" two hour slot starting at, say, 930, with the walk-in for all urgent cases from 8am.

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