I had my physio appointment at 11.30 today and we arrived at the surgery at 11.10.
Plenty of time……………… you would think.
The self registration arrival machine didn’t accept my details last time, so I was second in line to report to reception. It would have been useless anyway because it was out of order (again).
The patient at position one was hovering several inches off the floor getting angrier by the minute at not being able to make an appointment. She was told that appointments were available ‘on the day’ but she would have to ring early. When she asked what time the surgery opened, she was told 8am. So her response was that perhaps they would see to it that the recorded messages were turned off at that time then and calls taken as the line was either engaged or she was kept on hold. The receptionist explained that the calls were in a queue and dealt with in rotation, and she would have to ring next week to make an appointment as one could not be given to her. She hovered higher.
The lady in front of me in the queue was growing agitated at having to wait.
Meanwhile at position two, a man was trying to arrange medication for a family member. He gave his own DOB instead of the patient’s, so they had to start again. He said he had to go the pharmacy (in house) and would come back, so the receptionist asked him for more details before he did so.
Both positions now occupied by non-straightforward patients, the lady in front of me was getting even more agitated as she had been waiting ‘a long time’, and did not intend to give way to a patient who tried to barge in ahead of her with ‘I’ll just be a minute’ . I don’t blame her.
Tempers started to boil, and mine was getting warm. It was 11.20 and I had been in the queue ten minutes.
Patient One stormed off telling the receptionist that there had better be an appointment for her when she rang on Monday.
The receptionist then started talking to a colleague, who in turn started dealing with a patient who had NOT queued, and they were all laughing and joking in the interim.
The lady in front of me was now visibly livid.
Receptionist Two had disappeared (with a piece of paper in hand) as had the guy into the pharmacy. There were now seven people behind me, and I had not moved from second position.
The lady was eventually invited up to Receptionist One and started to have a go. I was getting anxious as I hate to be late for anything. It was 11.27 and four more people arrived.
At 11.30 I scribbled a note with my name and DOB on it, saying I was here for my 11.30 physio appointment and slapped it on (vacant) Receptionist Two’s desk. She still hadn’t come back.
Normally I have sympathy for the girls on reception as they are in the front line and have to take the flack from angry patients for a poorly managed surgery and appointment system, but today if I was marked as a NO SHOW because I couldn’t register my arrival, there would have been hell to pay.
Luckily for me, ‘Johnny’ upstairs goes by his own list and was running ten minutes late anyway. He called me in before another patient who was waiting for her appointment at 10 to 12. She said she gave up with reception ages ago and just goes straight upstairs now. I wish I’d known I could do that as it would have saved my blood pressure rocketing.
I confessed to not doing the exercises every day as I hurt sometimes, but I had been walking the dog every day, and it was easier.
The inflammation has gone down and I am more flexible, but I am still stiff and sore if I turn a certain way or too far, and we agree that because of the curve at the base of my spine, I am always going to have to be careful. The good news is I’m doing all the right things to keep mobile and I don’t have to go back.
At 11. 55 I was on my way downstairs and intended to apologise to reception for my hasty note, but seeing that the guy behind me in the queue when I left it was still there, I thought why bother?