Paula’s Monday Peeve gives us the chance to whinge and rant about something that really pisses us off. Today we had a classic.
I often moan about our doctors surgery here and how service and healthcare is seriously lacking, so it is no surprise that our surgery has been voted the worst in the county.
Today we saw red and have put the wheels in motion to change surgeries if we can be accepted.
Hubby spent the night in A&E a couple of weekends ago and when discharged was told to contact his GP to arrange a referral to a specialist. We waited until we knew our preferred GP was on duty and spent 15 minutes trying to get through to the surgery. No joy, and in the end we sent an email explaining what had happened and requesting our GP to make the necessary referral. We received a phone call to say this could not be done and we would have to call back the following day to speak to the doctor (if we could get through, sigh). They also could not forward on the email. We therefore asked if we could write a letter to our GP and were told this was acceptable, so we did and handed it in personally on July 20th around 10.30 am.
We had a phone call from the surgery today, same girl, same script, saying they had JUST OPENED a letter from us and if we wanted to talk to the doctor we would have to ring the surgery tomorrow for an appointment. We referred her to last week’s email and subsequent letter and were told such a request could only be done by speaking to the doctor, and we would have to call back tomorrow to make an appointment. We told her that it cost us a lot of money on our mobile phone to be kept waiting on hold (one call actually cost me over £8 when I had to cancel an appointment as Hubby had been taken into hospital) so she said she would check with her manager. She came back with an appointment for a call back by our doctor of choice for…………… …………. AUGUST 17th. We took it, absolutely furious because our letter had been addressed to our GP marked Confidential and delivered by hand on 20th July, and they had only just opened it ??????
On the way back from town this morning, we went into another surgery some 11 miles away, knowing we are actually outside their preferred catchment area, but aware that some friends here had recently changed to them. We met a very nice lady who gave us the necessary 8 pages of forms to fill in, then came home to complete them, make copies, and provide proof of our address and ID. We returned them this afternoon.
We were invited into the surgery by the same lady we’d seen in the morning, and the receptionist was on the phone. No-one was waiting. Another member of staff came out and was very chatty and a fourth came to help with identifying which side of our town we lived on as that was the dividing line for home visits. As our surgery doesn’t do home visits that we know of now, any emergency is a 111 job and trip to the UTC or A&E, so we aren’t bothered. All we want is to be able to phone a doctors surgery and get through when we need to make an appointment. Meds etc can all be done as they are now and ordered by us online, and they also have their own INR nurse.
We have been asked to ring later in the week to give them a chance to get us on their system and for a GP to review our medication needs. That is perfectly fine by us.
We are hopeful that this will be a good move for us and take a lot of the stress off us due to our current surgery’s incompetence. From what we’ve seen so far, it looks very promising.