Doctors appointments

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  • Doctors appointments
  • ste_t
    Member

    Called up yesterday wanting to book an appointment for today. They told me I have to call back today as you can only book a same day appointment.

    Is this normal?!

    Haven’t been to a doctor in 13 years – last time I walked in he apologised for not getting up out of his chair as his back had gone.

    Obviously ligament damage to my knee following an accident at work so should I just go to hospital and not bother with the doctor anyway?

    eskay
    Member

    Normal here. It seems to be increasingly difficult to actually see a gp.

    I was ill in August and called the docs for the first time in about 10 years and they diagnosed me as having a virus over the phone. Two days later I was in intensive care!

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    Our GP’s in unusual in that you can book up to 2 weeks in advance, they hold some appointments back for booking on the day and have a drop in surgery each morning where you can just turn up if you are prepared to wait.

    All in all works very well and I can’t understand why implementing such a system elsewhere would cause any issues.

    jonba
    Member

    Ours do both. The majority you need to phone for on the day but some stuff you can book in advance but it normally ends up being weeks so only works for non important stuff like injections and repeat prescriptions.

    It is a pain because it opens at 8:30 so I really struggle. We still have some walk in centres in Newcastle so my wife has been to them a few times as they offer better service.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Subscriber

    Obviously ligament damage to my knee following an accident at work so should I just go to hospital and not bother with the doctor anyway?

    Because of arcane rules relating to the internal NHS market, unless it’s just happened you’ll need to see your GPnto get referred into secondary care. OTOH if it’s not a new injury, can they offer you an appointment further away than tomorrow?

    ste_t
    Member

    New injury as of Saturday but was working late and working Sunday & Monday hence wanting to get in there today. Buggered my other knee
    years ago, so recognise the sensation!

    eskay – what was wrong with you then?!

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    he had a virus ! jeez, don’t people read others posts

    😉

    Premier Icon Pik n Mix
    Subscriber

    That’s how it works here, furthermore you can only ask the doctor about one issue, if you need to speak about two things then you need seperate appointments! It’s madness.

    messiah
    Member

    I called the local surgery yesterday…

    1. First available appointment with my GP is Feb 24th

    2. First available appointment with any GP is Feb 14th

    3. Phone at 8.30 tomorrow and hope to get an on the day appointment.

    My reason for the appointment is not urgent but I don’t want to be waiting 3+ weeks either!!!

    ste_t
    Member

    Got through to the surgery, can’t even have an appointment. I can only have a telephone consultation and the doctor will call me after 9. Seems utterly ridiculous!

    globalti
    Member

    Bizarre. Here in Blackburn we can ring and get an appointment for the very same or the next day.

    peterfile
    Member

    I phone up at 8am and arrange an appointment for that day. Never been unable to get one. Can book in advance too, but there’s less availability so it might be a few days either side of your preferred date if in the next couple of weeks.

    Great system IMO.

    That’s with three different surgeries, one in Glasgow and two in Leeds.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Obviously ligament damage to my knee following an accident at work so should I just go to hospital and not bother with the doctor anyway?

    Minor Injuries Unit or Walk in Center.

    jekkyl
    Member

    Going to a Drs appointment is equally as annoying. People just accept that you have to wait 30+ minutes. Appointment at 9am last time, didn’t get seen until 10.05!! sitting there next to old ladies who are coughing & smelling of wee is not my idea of fun. Yes some people will take longer but just book less appointments in, it’s not rocket science. Normal people have to fit appointments in around work, having to wait around that length of time is not acceptable and just because it’s state funded no-one seems to mind or complain. If they keep me waiting at the vets (where they charge £20 odd) I complain (nicely) every single time. Go me!

    chrismac
    Member

    Well the GPs are the private sector face of the NHS. As a result they can get away with doing whatever they like

    I think I’m fairly lucky with my GP. You can phone up and get a phone appointment – GP will decide on the phone if they need you to come in, if so, they will see you that day. It’s usually possible to get a non-urgent appointment within a week, if you’re fairly flexible on times. They do two late surgeries – Tuesday until 7pm and Thursday until 8pm so if it’s non urgent and you don’t mind which GP you see, getting an appointment after work is possible as well.

    My GP is in an affluent, Jewish area of Leeds though. My friend who lives in a less affluent area with a mix of students and migrants has more trouble getting appointments and they don’t do any late surgeries.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    Yes some people will take longer but just book less appointments in, it’s not rocket science

    But then you will have to wait much longer to get an appointment.

    GP’s work at capacity with pretty much every minute accounted for. If they are running 1hr late, it is likely to be causing them as much grief as it is to you.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    Have to phone @ 8am when they open to get an appointment round here. You eventually get through at 8.10 when they tell that there are no appointments left and you should have tried ringing at 8.00 👿

    In the meantime the walk in centre has been closed as the local GPs have capacity, and A&E are in crisis

    olddog
    Member

    GPs are private contractors – but they are bound by terms of contract to the NHS. There are required standards.

    My local practice is pretty good – I think it’s because its fairly big, but also because there are always 2/3 nurses covering off all the monitoring, bloods, injections and general public health which takes the pressure of the GPs.

    If you need to see a GP urgently – you turn up before 10:30 and wai, takes 3040 minutes on average – if you want an appointment then it’s usually within a few days, no more than a week. There is also an in-practice NHS physio clinic which I’ve used.

    I was in there this morning getting some blood taken – there is an electronic clocking in system now, and it actually works, although prodding a touch screen that’s been fingered by lots of ill people doesn’t seem desperately hygienic.

    olddog
    Member

    littlemisspanda – I live in a posh bit of Leeds too (not where you live though). I really think that it does make a lot of difference for access to GP services.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    takes 3040 minutes on average

    that’s quite a long wait, isn’t it?

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Surgeries have their systems for booking but they’re not always transparent about what they are. They’ve a requirement to keep appointments available at short notice but they necessarily tell you that so if you call to make one you’ll be offered one days/weeks in the future just to keep those short term ones free. It took quite a few calls recently to get a shorter notice appointment, being offered one 12 days away instead. Once I did manage to persuade my way in there (which still took 24hrs) I was rushed straight from the GPs to hospital for to have my brain scanned.

    Now as a supplementary question….. what does it cost you to call your GP? Mine uses an 0844 number which they advise while you’re on hold costs 5p/min from a BT line but calls from other providers will vary. From my provider it costs more than 40p/min (about £2 a call if you call and get a message to say call back at another time, between £4 and £6 to actually manage to make an appointment). I had some orthotics made privately recently and an actual consultation with them only cost 10p/min, so for me a call for an NHS appointment actually costs four times more than getting private treatment.

    peterfile
    Member

    My GP is in an affluent, Jewish area of Leeds though.

    Roundhay? I used to live just off Park Avenue for a number of years before moving back to Glasgow in 2011. Lovely part of the world.

    olddog
    Member

    wwawas – 30/40 minutes wait after pitching up to see a GP without an appointment – or (example above) of appointment late by an hour?

    I can live with the inconvenience of a half hour wait compared with the hassle of phoning at 8am on the dot on the off chance of an appointment.

    To get an ideal service we would need more doctors/practice nurses – which means either more tax spend or tightening up the GP contract I guess

    jag61
    Member

    You just never know on 4th jan i could not get appt for 2 weeks 17th jan today I have just phoned same surgery and got one wed morning. OTOH eldest daughter cannot get a gp to see her baby who is wheezy chesty poorly 7 month old.:(

    Premier Icon Mad Pierre
    Subscriber

    You can book at ours in advance and they even have online booking, self sign in when you get there etc….

    core
    Member

    My mate wanted an appointment yesterday, our village surgery only runs a very basic service 2 or 3 1/2 days a week now, no appointment available for a week.

    But receptionist (who he knows) put him down as urgent and got him an 11am appointment at main surgery 6 miles away, he waited until 12.35pm before he got in. Only one GP and one nurse on duty, in a brand new (£3.5m) purpose built facility.

    Tidy.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    Now as a supplementary question….. what does it cost you to call your GP? Mine uses an 0844 number which they advise while you’re on hold costs 5p/min from a BT line but calls from other providers will vary.

    That is a disgrace and also has been banned. Not sure though when the ban came / will come into effect

    BBC News Linky

    NHS England Linky (I assume you are in Englandshire)

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    its almost like weve got a Tory government or something….

    bonjye
    Member

    I’m a GP. We run a system called Doctor First where every patient who calls to request an appointment first speaks to a doctor. About 60-70% can be safely managed over the telephone, 30-40% need to be seen face to face. Patients call on the day they want an appointment and provided they call before 5pm are guaranteed to be seen on that day. Patients love it (with the odd exception). We moved to this system because we weren’t able to offer patients an appointment within a reasonable time frame.

    To give you some idea of workload- we have 7600 registered patients on our list and average about 800 appointment requests per week. We have 4 full time equivalent GPs. We work 10-12 hour days by the time referrals, letters, blood tests etc are done. Yesterday I called 53 patients, saw 20 in face to face appointments and did 3 home visits. Demand for appointments has risen significantly over the past few years and continues to do so. Walk in clinics are funded to the tune of 2-3x what we are (per patient).

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    Bonjye. Sounds like that system works well. I’m interested to know how that works for patients who may find it very difficult to discuss their problem, for example a teenage girl who is pregnant. Do they still have to go through telephone screening first?

    bonjye
    Member

    Franksinatra- everyone has to go through the call back system (or the whole thing falls apart we’ve found) but they can choose to say to receptionist and dr “I don’t want to discuss it over the phone, I just want to book an appointment”. Probably 1 or 2 a day do this (per dr). It’s more of a problem for the hard of hearing elderly and for people with poor English but it still works so long as you default to a face to face appointment.

    Roundhay? I used to live just off Park Avenue for a number of years before moving back to Glasgow in 2011. Lovely part of the world.

    My GP surgery is in Moortown so not far away. I live in a neighbouring suburb.

    Previously I lived in Harehills, and before that, Holbeck and Armley, all poorer suburbs. Where I was in Harehills, they built a nice new medical centre a few years ago and it was quite easy to get appointments, they opened 7am-7pm Tues, Weds, Thurs and had Sat am surgery once a month. In Holbeck and Armley, appointments were like hens teeth, and the GPs were never very nice. I think it also depends on the level of investment/regeneration in these areas. These medical “supercentres” that are popping up now tend to cater better to the needs of working people.

    DrP
    Member

    ..furthermore you can only ask the doctor about one issue, if you need to speak about two things then you need seperate appointments! It’s madness.

    Going to a Drs appointment is equally as annoying. People just accept that you have to wait 30+ minutes. Appointment at 9am last time, didn’t get seen until 10.05!!

    Hmmm…wonder if the two are related….

    DrP

    badnewz
    Member

    Where I am there is usually a two week wait for an appointment at the minimum. You can also phone in the morning to see if there are any openings – along with 20 other people at the same time:-

    They do a good job under difficult circumstances. The situation will get worse as the population gets older.

    poah
    Member

    my GP is usually quite good, can normally get an appointment that day although I’m having to wait 4 days through a mixture of no appointments and me not being able to go to the ones that were free. I generally see an FY2 (don’t really care who I see TBH) rather than one of the named partners. My current GP doesn’t do phone consultations like my old one which is a bit of a pain sometimes. normally get seen quite quickly.

    Dentists are worse though – had to wait 6 weeks to go see them when my tooth broke as it wasn’t an emergency since I wasn’t in pain.

    vickypea
    Member

    At my last surgery it was easy to get an appointment, but at my new one it’s really difficult. Last time I was offered one 3 weeks away and when I said it was a bit more urgent than that, I got a raised eyebrow and disbelieving look from the receptionist. I’ve been registered 7 months, they received my notes within 2 weeks but my notes summary on the computer system doesn’t even show that I have migraine and have seen various neurologists over the years, nor go they have a clue what meds I’ve been prescribed for it. I summarised it all for them: dates, doses, duration, outcome. They said it was very helpful and they’d get it scanned in, but they haven’t even done that!

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