Well regardless or not what your medical need is it is simply not acceptable that it takes 51 attempts from 0829 to have the doctors phone even ring.
It’s not fair on patients and causes me significant reluctance to actually call them.
Now I do want to say that my usual doctors(when I get lucky and see them) and several admin and nursing staff who I see regularly that I really appreciate all their help they are good and really care but have no control of the administrative challenges that are budget decisions out with their control.
It’s not really fair that then we must (if we want to get an appointment) tell the reception staff what the problem is. In my opinion that’s unfair and therefore reception teams are forced to make decisions that they can not be trained for. Life and death decisions in some cases, then after their triage they are trained to try and give out an appointment with a nurse practitioner first who in my opinion can only deal with clear very clear symptoms and causes. They are not able to provide certain prescriptions or refer to certain specialist teams in the hospitals and in my own case I usually need to see another doctor afterwards also. Wasting my own the the surgeries sparse appointments.
Now I want to say that I feel sorry for the admin staff who every day have the phone lines ringing of the hook a queue in reception that goes outside the front door at times. Therefore every day they start off with panic and stories of patient hardship while only being employed as a receptionist they are doing triage for the doctors and nurse practitioners. That for me seems to be well over their pay grade.
The surgery used to be able to book a scheduled appointment for 2 weeks ahead on the day that you request the appointment. That’s great but most of the doctors seem to not work full time in the surgery for reasons I don’t follow but if the doctor you want to see is not in that day then I seem to always be pushed to a locum doctor. So the contact with the patients is lost and I really fear that the risk is that by seeing someone different every time we loose the Doctor patient link that is so important in diagnosing illness early. Early diagnosis is not only better for the outcome for the patient but is better for the medical practice as there are less appointments needed. Being bounced from locum to nurse practitioners to doctors is tiring for patients and takes longer for the doctor. I can also see that my parents GP practice is the polar opposite of my experience, they are a large practice also but offer so many other services and getting a routine appointment is easy and an emergency appointment is always possible. So why the different levels of care? I do t have a clue to be honest.. But the reality is my me and other neighbors in the street that it’s not working the health of the population should not be a financial calculation a formula that relies on statistics and risk factors.
It should be local focused with adequate resources to meet the requirement of the area.
Everywhere over Edinburgh and east and west lothian there are cranes over the city skyline, housing estates appearing in every commutable town and the GP service is not coping now. It cannot he allowed to become unfit for purpose until the NHS, local councils, local GP’s and Westminster give the resource to meet the required demand.
The health of the nation is our future and we are making it worse.
So how I ask do we make this better? Would I believe any politician that promises to make it better? No Is my feeling as all the goodwill locally will always be reduced to a financial calculation rather than a medical benefit.
What does it take to change?