GP Surgery on lockdown: Rang my local... - British Heart Fou...

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GP Surgery on lockdown


Rang my local surgery today to try and establish e few things 1) If I was to get an "annual review"as promised including blood test etc 2) If I could speak to someone about anti-platelet meds that I am having issues with and 3) If/When I am going to get the Flu jab as recommended/advised by NHS. 12 minutes of the practice Doctor addressing me via a recorded announcement that resembled an Adolf Hilter speech later I went on hold for another 15 minutes and never got 1 place down the supposed queue of 3. Basically they don't really want to see anybody for anything by the sound of it. Absolutely awful to be honest, I am still reeling. What the hell are these GP's doing all day? Can't even arrange a phone appointment apparently due to "possible staff shortages", they might as well just make them all redundant and save us the ££££?? Rant over any thoughts? This is south Derbyshire BTW.

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64 Replies

We are the same here in South Wales. I had Abdominal Surgery 6 weeks ago. .I had my Gallbladder and Gallstones,s removed ,they also unbocked my Bile Ducts. They also repaired 2 Hernias in my Stomach. All this was done on the Friday morning and I came home the following day. I've been to my GP twice since coming home, because some of my stitches were poking up and sticking to my clothes. Both times I had to see the Practice Nurse, even though 2 Doctors were in the Surgery. The Nurse emailed the Doctor that was in the next room,because she wasn't sure what to do. The Doctor still didn't come in to see me. She left it all to the Nurse. I had Titanium clips in my stomach and had mesh under my Belly Button. The stitches were dissolveable, so the Nurse trimmed them up a bit for me. As soon as I feel a bit better I'm changing Doctors. My Hubby's Doctors are totally different. I know the Coronaviru's have made things difficult. But flipping heck , we need to see them sometimes.

I totally agree with you. The NHS should get rid of some of them. They'd save a Humongous amount of money. Give the money they have saved to the Front Line Worker's. They are worth it. 👍

Thanksnhs in reply to KB47

My gp refused to prescribe my immunosuppressants after my transplant, what kind of practice does that, I had been with them 54 years, but no longer, it was very stressful having to deal with it just after getting discharged, I don't even have any idea what my new practice is like, I registered over the phone, char

KB47 in reply to Thanksnhs

I'm so sorry that you had to deal with all that. especially having just being discharged. I hope that you have better Luck with your New GP. Up until 12 months ago we had a real good bunch of Doctors. Then 2 of our Best Doctors left. apparently they were more or less forced out. Our one Lady Doctor broke down and cried on my shoulder in the Surgery the one Day. I can't say why because it was said in privacy. When she told me that she was leaving, I felt like crying. She was such a good Doctor. Our Young Male Doctor said that he was leaving the Practice as well. He couldn't wait to get out. He joined the Practice when he was very young.I can remember saying to him "Flipping heck, I've got Son's that are older than you. ". 😉🤗 Before they left, I went on the internet and ordered 1 bottle of Mens Cologne and 1 bottle of Ladies perfume. They were both called Escape. You should have seen their faces when I gave them their little gift. Especially as they were called Escape. Since then it's really gone downhill. Half the time you can't get to speak to a Doctor, let alone get to see one. Things are getting really frightening. The Hospital has enough to cope with in ICU and HDU .espescially when the Virus kicks off. Perhaps some of our so called Doctors should get off their butt's and go give a hand to the Doctors and Nurses that are dealing with the Coronaviru's cases. Or else stop their wages and get rid of them. The NHS could use that money for a much better cause. They could get some better protective clothing for our 1st Hands on Worker's for a start. When our 2 good Doctors left the Practice my Hubby changed Doctors at the same time, because he didn't like the ones that were left . I wish that I had gone with him now. He has real good Doctors. When he had to see the Doctor last week,he asked if I could go on their books. They said Yes and gave him some Forms for me to fill in .So it won't be long before I can get to see a Doctor. 🤞👍. Rant over. Take Care.🙏

I sympathise.

I totally changed my medication, and cardiology wrote to the GP asking them to monitor me (side effects, blood tests, blood pressure etc).

On my patient record it says 'this patient is not being monitored' ...

Catatvet05 in reply to TRST

How did you find out about your monitoring on record?

TRST in reply to Catatvet05

I have access to my online patient record, test results etc..

Catatvet05 in reply to TRST

Oh wow! How do I go about this? Do I need to register online with the practice? Be good to see my own results myself.

I had a look online says only if your not registered with a gp in England

TRST in reply to Catatvet05

Talk to reception. They should give you all the details to make it work for your surgery.

No places at the surgery for flu jabs so I’ve arranged it at a local Tesco’s...the pharmacy not the garage...

Got an appointment for my annual bloods review for type 2 diabetes but had to push for that as it’s well over a year old.

Keep,pushing and hopefully you’ll be seen.

Move to Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 call system working well. Speak with your GP within an hour. If he requires to see you appointment same day (health center empty no mums with kid’s runny nose 😂😂 only joking ) prior to Covid waiting over a week for appointments

GP’s are doing telephone/video and if needed face to face.I can only speak for where I work,we also have flu clinics first ones are for over 65’s We are experiencing high call volumes as to be expected please keep trying doctors want to speak to patients

Well try ringing my local surgery and it doesn't sound like they want to talk to anyone to be honest! Sounds like they are just barricaded in and keeping their heads down. If you don't believe me i'll let you have the number it's a disgrace.

The government has stated that it is even more important that the flu vaccines are undertaken this year, so why are they only now available for over 65's? What has this got to do with Covid?? I understand it is not your fault but the service some GP's are providing is a disgrace it is falling apart. Honestly, you should hear the recorded announcement my local surgery has introduced, it basically says ring 111, 999 or s*d off.

The first two clinics are over 65 and the following week two clinics for under 65 for people with medical conditions and it’s the same again the week after that,again that’s just the surgery that I work for. If you feel that you are not getting the service you wish for write to your practice manager it’s the best course of action. I hope you get it sorted.

I complained last year when i was not offered the annual blood test that we are supposed to have, and when I finally badgered them into getting seen it was only with a "chronic disease nurse" who was about 6 st overweight and unable/unwilling to even print off my results and was unable to answer or discuss anything relating to my medication. I was assured I would be contacted to have the test this year on my birthday which was 16 days ago - next?

Sorry only thing I can say is there another surgery in your area you can move to ?

Sorry I wasn't having a go at you it's just so frustrating, as has been said you can't even get to speak to anyone! I think I might just phone up another surgery tomorrow and see what their approach is.

It’s fine I wasn’t taking it personally fully understand the frustration. We get verbally abused daily however we can only do what we can and always do the best we can,think doctors receptionist have a bad image unfortunately 😕

KB47 in reply to Maisiemay13

Our Doctors are a disgrace. I was in with the Practice Nurse a week ago because my stitches were still poking out of my Belly Button and a few out of my chest area. The Practice Nurse emailed the doctor that was in the room next door. The Doctor still wouldn't come in .The Nurse trimmed the stitches and changed my dressings for me.She couldn't do anything else, because they were supposed to be dissolveable stitches. The wounds are healing up now. But No Thanks to the GP. We have no Practice Manager there at the moment, because the one we had have also left. She was good, but she'd had enough. It really is a shambles down there..

People say the same to us receptionist but believe me we answer the phone non stop from 8.30 to 6 there have been days when we try to eat our lunch in between calls. We know it’s very frustrating but we really do our very best.

I've found that you've got to be persistent, my GP wanted to move my blood tests from June to December but eventually agreed to do them in June. But in saying that I was able to argue my case with a human being - being persistent with a recorded message is pretty much impossible.

Being as GPs are people who are medically trained and should understand stuff like this, some of them instead seem to be behaving in a totally irrational manor.

Post code lottery. Some areas are functioning well, other areas clearly aren't.

I was contacted by the surgery and given a flu jab appointment for early on a Sunday morning in October, so no lack of work ethic there! Plus I'm under the 65 age "cut off" that's been mentioned.

Regarding annual cardio check ups, that happened a few weeks ago. I had blood tests at a local centre and emailed in a set of self completed blood pressure results together with latest weight, exercise and diet information to the surgery. The check up was over the phone, but there was plenty of time for questions and I didn't feel a face to face meeting would have added much. The surgery have introduced a new on-line system which means I had access to my blood test results in advance of the call to facilitate asking questions.

I feel your pain. It is similar here. I had to wait over a month for a blood test to check my reaction to new arthritis drugs. And had to book my flu jab at Boots as couldn't get through to my GP for ages, when I did I was told to ring back in a week as they weren't making flu jab appointments yet.

During lockdown I was left untreated for a major arthritis flare up. So bad I ended up virtually bed ridden. They could send people out to deliver and fit raised toilet seats so I could use the loo but couldn't see me to give me an injection that would mean I didn't need said loo seats. At the time we had no covid cases in the hospital and throughout have had very low covid numbers here, yet GPs and rheumatology services were, still are, largely suspended. As covid numbers pick up again I dread to think what is going to happen to all other services. There is going to be more death and suffering down to lack of access to other services than that down to Covid unless things change soon.

TRST in reply to GracieOS

"There is going to be more death and suffering down to lack of access to other services than that down to Covid unless things change soon."

I totally agree Gracie. And I am sorry you've had such troubles with the NHS

As has been said it’s a post code lottery. My GP always calls back same day. Asked for flu jab 10 days ago and am going today. Called about another issue and got immediate treatment.

That’s my experience too.

Rosei in reply to IrisCarter

And me.

Before I start - I am sure there are some good ones - life is Pareto 80/20 - but sadly from what I can gather talking to friends & family the 80% in this case are badly performing GP practices. Our doctors are a great example - I think they have seen an opportunity in this terrible crisis. They seem to love the idea of not filling up their surgeries with sick people - “video consultations” - absolute disgrace - trying to get an appointment - it’s like trying to get into a high security prison - the outgoing messages on the phone line go on & on - suggesting you try everything you can Internet, Self Help, 111, Pharmacy, 999 anything but God Forbid you try and come here if you are ill. I’m half expecting them to give out numbers for faith healers and local witch doctors!! The government need to deal with it - it’s fast becoming a national disgrace and they wonder why so many people are “missing life threatening treatments”. Get to the root cause - sort out these malingerers! Rant over........but how many more people out there feel like I do???

Ps I am not having a go at the receptionists - they are in the front line and take the flak - i feel sorry for them - it is the “management” and the worrying trend away from seeing people - face to face - there is NO SUBSTITUTE for human contact - that’s what annoys me!

IrisCarter in reply to Ian2006

I know that it is frustrating and difficult to understand but..........calling Drs ‘malingerers’ is really unfair and inaccurate.

The vast majority of G.P.s are working flat out. And to be honest the more people they see face to face the higher the risks of infection for everyone - especially the most vulnerable.

They are not working "flat out" here, because in order to do so you need to actually see patients, which is fairly obviously discouraged. As I sit here typing this I know I should pick up the phone and try again, but to be honest I just can't be bothered with all the grief involved, particularly when they are actually supposed to be contacting me! The recorded announcement actually states that they have suspended all but emergency treatment so they might as well just pack up altogether, it's a disgrace.

Just because they are not seeing you and are encouraging telephone appointments or other help does not mean that they are sitting on their hands. Unless you do the job you won’t know what is actually going on. I was a teacher and got very tired of people telling me that I only worked 9am - 3pm 40 weeks of the year. I’ve also worked as staff nurse in ITU and A & E and used to have patients complaining about Drs always drinking tea and ‘hanging around the desk’ when what they.d seen was a Dr snatching a gulp during a 24hr shift with no breaks at the same time as discussing triage. Anyway, I’m still sorry that you haven’t been able to see a G.P.

Your reply made me titter this morning, as has been said I am not sure about malingerers but it does make you wonder what they are doing as they hide in their fortress surgery's where no man dares to try and enter. It would be funny if it were not so serious

Unless the surgery is closed to casual visitors and non urgent visits they would become hubs of cross infection.

What like hairdressers and supermarkets? Sorry Iris I think you are fighting a lone battle here, just look at some of the responses. These surgeries need to get their backsides into gear they are very clearly letting their patients down. It would be VERY easy for my local surgery to adopt Covid safe procedures, instead of deciding to just not see anyone, it is just not good enough.

So now your surgery is refusing to see anyone? Wow. You need to get onto the NHS complaints website.

And yes, surgeries are different to supermarkets etc. People are attending when ill. Drs see patients who are ill and/or vulnerable. Drs also have close contact within a confined space. Drs surgeries are also a lot smaller and less well funded than Tesco.

Anyway its clear that you believe that if a Dr is not talking to or examining you personally then they are doing nothing all day and nothing is going to change that erroneous belief.

Regarding the replies here, have you ever heard of the phenomenon that people who are unhappy are far more likely to write about it than people who are happy? It’s a bias that is very common and is partly why I like to share positive experiences as well.

We agree to disagree, but I thank god that there are so many willing to work in such a thankless role.

See below

Did you read my comment that unhappy campers are more likely to post?

Or in my case just get rid of the patients that might be too much trouble to treat, after my transplant 8 weeks ago, they refused to prescribe my immunosuppressants, I then had so much stress when I didn't need it to find another gp, absolutely shocking they are allowed to do something like that, the hospital are raging about it, I was with them 54 years, the doctor didn't even have the guts to tell me personally that they didn't want me, they got my transplant nurse to do it, char

IrisCarter in reply to Thanksnhs

That is truly shocking and I know that there are poorly run and unethical practices and lazy Drs around. I hope that you have found a good practice now.

However, I don’t think that it is the majority so it is important not to generalise too much.

I would hate a G.P. , receptionist or practice manager to read some of these posts, especially in the current climate and I really think that we need to be mindful and to be kind.

That is exactly why surgeries are not open,if a clinician wishes to see a patient they are asked to come in after the telephone consultation. Gp’s have 10mins telephone appointments from 8.30 to 6 obviously sometimes these appointments over run,also if needed home visits are also carried out.

Perhaps they should add bereavement councilors to the list as well as faith healers and witch doctors

I joined a GP’s with a low number of patients because there crap. But I do get seen, tested etc. And to get around their general incompetency leading to misdiagnosis of symptoms I just ask to be referred to a consultant if anything untoward comes up.

Is there a list of crap ones? They might be better than the others.

Sorry that’s going on. Our G.P. also has a long intro message and then there is often a queue. I just try and be patient (no pun intended) and I always get through eventually. Other than that in the last month I have seen her in person twice at her request. To be honest, phone consultations take much longer than in person so I think G.P.s are quite busy.

I have to say that my GP Surgery have been very good to me since my HA and 2 stents at the end of April, i have been going for regular blood tests, last week i was not feeling very well and after waiting about 20 minutes to get through on the phone a Doctor called me back within the hour and asked me to come to the surgery and a Paramedic would check me over.

I must say that my Doctor is a Young Lady and new to the practice and she seems to be more on the ball than the older ones.

Hopefully the warning by the NHS to GP surgeries that they need to comply with agreed contracts (face to face appointments) will make some GPs reconsider their positions.

The GP standard of service has been declining for years due to a shortage of GPs, increasing demands on them, and the fact that many/most of them now choose to work part-time. Covid has only worsened the service, not sure why, given that many people are still reportedly staying clear of doctors.

The role and function of a GP in modern medicine needs a full review. I find they often just get in the way. Why does every aspect of your healthcare have to be routed through your GP?

For example, if my cardiologist makes a change to my medication, instead of informing me and emailing me a prescription, he sends a letter by second class mail to my GP. A week later I will receive a copy of this letter. So I call my GP to get the prescription and find that they haven't opened and processed incoming mail. If I have any questions about the medication I have to wait for a GP to call me, which could be any time of day, any day of the week. One prescription was for Amiodarone which required blood tests and a chest x-ray ahead of starting the medication. My GP seemed to think this should have been arranged by the cardiologist, but did it anyway. The result was that the starting of the medication was delayed by several weeks, not to mention the unnecessary waste of my GP's time and my time.

And why, even if you're prepared to pay or use private health insurance, do you have to get your GP to refer you to a specialist consultant, even when your need for such a consultation is evident?

TRST in reply to PeterGabriel

Amen to all of this.

I agree that the role of the G.P. needs reassessing and there are unnecessary waiting periods. In my own NHS trust information is available immediately online, but I still have to stay ‘on the ball’ and chase things. This is especially the case with the anticoagulation clinic.

A&E will, I think, close from end of Oct for all walk-ins. Instead, we'll be told to phone 111 and answer a raft of questions by a non-medic.

I completely understand your frustration and anger. You can get your hair styled, but a GP will refuse to see you. Over that last 40 years I have had a number of occasions to be very dissatisfied with the NHS treatment I have received. Contrast this with the treatment I received last year for my AVR which was exceptional. I have learnt to keep pushing and pushing them. I have a couple of long term issues that I had put off having looked at due to Covid. However it has now got to to the stage where they need to be checked. On my local GP ‘telephone consultation’ they tried their best to put me off. Even when I said I really need these things looking at, they said - well it will be along time before we can see you. I persevered and said I still have to see someone. Result, the alleged long wait meant a two day wait before I got an appointment, which by chance will be tomorrow. This is Derbyshire by the way, so keep persevering. Good luck.

At least it sounds as if you still have Drs at the Surgery. All 3 Drs at my local surgery retired within a couple of years of each other. Gaps filled by locums, the practice was eventually sold to one with 2 further surgeries within it's group. Big plans for 'wellness centre' which did not materialise and following Covid have virtually closed local surgery except for nurse related treatment. Drs all at main surgery in town and they are doing e -consults which is a tick box one size fits all form and it doesn't. I put a repeat prescription request in last week - this now takes about 10 days - and as getting a bit low rang chemist to see what was happening. Was told that scrip not back from Drs yet and as there was only 1 Dr working it was taking longer than usual, the rest have apparently resigned!! 😯😰 Lovely lady at local chemist sorted out meds for me and Am now stocked up again but at this rate will be putting repeat request in before I have had the last one!

Why does Hell and Hand Carts spring to mind.!

Part of it is thay are only allowed 4 people in waiting room at a time

So most surgery's only have a GP and a Nurse to see patients face to face .

All surgery's where going to go to telephone consolations or Zoom or similar before this virus started .Virus has only speeded up process.

You can book flu vaccine on line at many chemist

Much the same here inKent. Feel I am on the slag heap frankly .....

I couldn't agree more. Perhaps writing to your MP and CQC. Actually I wish some clever person (better than I am at IT)could get a petition online stating that GP's in their present form are just not pulling there weight with of course chapter and verse of the problem. Just the same down here in Hampshire. I have grown to heartily dislike the profession. Wish you the best.

The GP practice today confirmed that they take instruction on if/when they will ever reopen. However, Hancock revealed at a conference weeks ago that he doesn't want them to ever reopen as normal for face-to-face appts. And now they're closing A&E for walk-ins, whilst hospitals remain largely under occupied. We were told this was all for just 3 wks in March 2020. It wasn't.

I started to have suspicions about the “system” just over 10 years ago. We had a big “super” gp practice near where we lived at the time in a typical mill town on the outskirts of Manchester. I had never visited in almost 5 years but then had a problem and I had to go 4 or 5 times in quite quick succession. Every time they had no availability to suit me - I was working at the time - now retired - except for one particular doctor - so I saw him every time. I found out from neighbours that people avoided him because they didn’t rate him but I suspect it was more to do with his direct / no nonsense manner. I found out quickly that if you persevered and gave as good as you got - you generally got what you wanted from him. On my last visit I said something like “well, see you in 5 years” - and he said “you won’t” - he told me he was retiring soon - he looked about late 50’s - “you look too young” I said - “yes, but it’s my pension” - I probed - he had about £1.2m in his pension fund and because of tax free limits or whatever the regulations were at that time - he would now be much worse off working. Now as a life long capitalist I can understand that logic - but surely you have to question a system that allows a doctor who is “always available” - because the patients don’t rate him to gain that level of reward? That pension issue I understand has been a big problem for the NHS with many people retiring early and not enough coming through but either way the system needs a thorough “shake up” and they must put patients and performance first.

Goldfish7 in reply to Ian2006

I think this is all deliberate as BoJo goes about undermining and destroying the NHS just prior to a sell off to US private health care. The tories know they need the population to lose faith in the run down NHS sothat there wont be public disorder when this happens

Looks like the country is starting to fall apart on this front at least.

Just had a look at my practice's website for guidance on flu jabs. Looks like they have remodelled their website. Looking very pretty. But zero information about flu jabs.

Everything is due to covid 19 these days, weather it is or isn't.


I have t had a named GP for nearly a year, my last one left, think she was fed up. I have had to see random Drs and since have been diagnosed with A Fib and a partial knee replacement. I developed a serious reaction to the dressing on my op site and needed to see a doctor as I was worried the wound would be affected. I had asked about registering with another GP in the practice but was told ‘we’re not transferring Dr X’s patients as yet’!! Husband found a letter on the BMA site to practice managers about making sure patients were assigned a designated GP who is responsible for the patients care as per their rights. So, emailed, got told the same, this being months after the first request. Got the same answer, phoned and quoted the letter, result, registered with the named GP I asked for!

Prior to rcvg any flu vaccine it is a good idea to conduct your own research regarding the exact vaccine product+brand that you are considering.

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