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Dragon School

Does anyone have any tips for dealing with GP receptionists? I've heard others refer to them as dragons, but generally not experienced problems myself - until today.

I saw my GP today following my recent admission and because I'm really not doing too well she said she wanted all stress taken off (my uni are giving me hell at the moment :( ), other medical issues can also wait, and she just wants to focus on the asthma on a day-to-day basis. I felt more reassured after seeing her, and she said to come back in a week or sooner if needed.

Fine, went to reception to book appointment, and came face to face with the dragon of all dragons who has obviously just finished a BA in Dragon Studies. He would absolutely not let me have an appointment under any circumstances. I was told my GP was fully booked for the next two weeks and the problem would have to wait (! - hope you're listening lungs). I was too breathless to argue and left in tears; I don't feel in control of my asthma and I'm scared.

Any really practical tips to get past dragons like this would be greatly appreciated.

9 Replies

I would be inclined to leave a message for the GP you saw explaining that you have been refused an appointment within the time scale they requested and see what happens!

Good luck - please don't be upset, maybe you could talk to the practice manager about how the incident made you feel?

Good luck




Sorry you are having problems I would complain to the top people.

my GP is brill.told him how scared I am to face my first winter and not to good at the moment.

He said dont worry I will be there to hold your hand all through winter and said he will see me anytime with no appointment if its for my asthma and just ring up and also said would phone me it just needed advise xxx


I agree, the GP obviously needs to see you and you should get an appointment. I get the same in my surgery, I think they think they are gods because they can use a phone!

Don't let them upset you, I could use a few choice words but I'm too much of a lady for that!

Good luck

Take Care



don't worry GP receptionists are bread specially for the job LOL!. Just like FeeJay said, have a word with your GP. My mother did that, and now she can phone up two weeks in advance and make an appointment for the exact day and time she wants without any fuss.


dragon school

I meet some strange receptionists that must go to this school. It is very difficult to follow procedure with an illness that works outside the norms. I had a receptionist who believed they had all the answers about asthma when you rang to confer with the doctor. However since all my admissions she suddenly quieten down and is the 1st to get the doctor for me, I wonder what changed? don't let them upset you.



Ratty, find out if you have community matron, mine has been amazing. I am not to go into the surgery I am now tagged as home visit only and she came to me and did my flu jab and will do my swine flu one for me at home. They are the perfect protection from receptionists.




Have you phoned for an appointment instead its not normally the receptionist that answers the phone or go on line??


Oh dear Ratty, sorry you had a bad experience, should you come across this unpleasant receptionist again try saying - the GP said I needed to be seen and yet you would appear to be denying me this could i ask for your name. Then say i am not one to complain but i do when necessary and you are leaving me no alternative, so to clarify at 15.00 hours (or whatever time) you (dragons name) are refusing me access to a GP apt despite the GP themself requesting I be seen and despite the fact that i suffer from a chronic life threatening illness. Also I understand that the govt have said that all pts should be seen or able to access a GP or healthcare assisstant within 48 hours as you are denying me this basic right you leave with me no option other than to complain to your Practice Manager, the PCT and PALS.

Playing the 48 hour access card is a particularly good one as if someone reports a GP practice to the PCT for denying 48 hr access the practice can be penalised financially and a complaint will trigger a flutter of daily/weekly checks rather than just random checks. GP's do not like to lose money and therefore said receptionist will be in trouble. If a dragon tries to fob you off with go to A&E stand your ground if you think they are wrong and calmly reiterate your need to be seen in the Community.

If they still refuse you an appointment ask to speak to their line manager or Practice Manager and say that whilst you appreciate the GP is busy you do genuinely need to be seen and would not ask otherwise.

Thankfully dragons days are numbered, largely due to patient surveys and other initiatives, especially ones that hit GP's in their pockets are forcing Practices to address the agressive and unhelpful manner which some receptionists adopt. I am a GP receptionist but not of the dragon variety, lol. Hope you get an apt Ratty, take good care, Lois


Wow lois those are some impressively calm but effective sentences!! Ratty - I hope you managed to get an appointment and are feeling better. So horrid to be made to feel even more stressed. Take good care.


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