Saturday, 25 September 2021

51 Calls

A few days ago Mrs H tried to contact our GP surgery for advice on an ankle sprain which is taking a long time to heal. The usual procedure is to phone the surgery at 8:00am when the lines open. When the engaged tone sounds just call again - it’s the only way to get anywhere. After 51 calls Mrs H gave up but eventually managed to get in touch with the physiotherapy service in the afternoon.

In future, if we need to contact the GP we’ll use two phones because our experience and the experience of other people suggests we need to make at least 100 calls between us to have any chance of getting through. Envy of the world you know.


Scrobs. said...

That is just awful, AK!

Our surgery has around three or four doctors, who are there some days, not others. The nurses are just fabulous, and seem to deal with just about everything! We use Benenden Hospital, but guess what, as it's 'private', I even have to pay for prescriptions!

Thanks a bunch Tony Blair, for rolling over after a bad press on interns working a normal week plus a bit of overtime, they're all taking the p**s nowadays! Typical Labour policy, screw it up for the future generations, get the credit now then b****r off.


My surgery sent me a letter asking me to book an appointment, apparently the GP wants to test the blood pressure for over 50s. I binned the letter.

wiggiatlarge said...

That is even worse than ours, we have the usual scramble at 8 in the morning to try and get an appointment, phone or otherwise, one gets the 'due to high demand your call will be answered as soon as possible, there is one receptionist who answers the phones!, this is followed by minutes of warnings about abusing the system and then Covid regulations should you actually get an appointment, this is followed by 'you are number 23 in the queue.
The whole thing has reached farce levels.
And if you do not phone on the day your doctor is actually there you have to repeat the performance, mine is there on Fridays, not exactly under pressure.

dearieme said...

I recently completed a short online form and the GP phoned me back later that day. Is there any good reason why most or all practices don't offer such a service?

A K Haart said...

Scrobs - it isn't easy to work out what the problem is, but if we had to pay per consultation I suspect it would suddenly improve, especially if we could just pay to go elsewhere.

Anon - probably wants to put you on statins.

Wiggia - ours has no phone queue system in the morning so you get through or you get the engaged tone and that's it.

dearieme - our GP had an online system but soon took it down, claiming people were misusing it in various ways. My wife used it and it did work although it was long-winded.

wiggiatlarge said...

Dearime, there is something very wrong in the different ways GP practices operate, I have a friend in Chelmsford who can phone and get an appointment the same or next day and even a home visit,that I have to say is a rarity, others like ours has effectively closed its doors to patients the place is empty and this started before the virus .

Anonymous said...

If they only got paid for the patients they'd actually seen (as opposed to £100K+ for not providing the contracted service), the problem would vanish instantly.


A K Haart said...

Wiggia - they do seem to vary very widely indeed.

Anon - yes the problem would vanish although ours would soon lose people to better services so presumably they don't want it to vanish.