GP Cherry picking their patients - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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GP Cherry picking their patients


Has anyone else had problems with the GP health provider being slow or awkward when it comes to the treatment of those of us with Heart Failure.

Maybe I have been particularly unlucky but I have had one spend 10 years GP treating me for Asthma when I really had Heart Failure.

My current Gp service has some strange policies and their IT system for ordering drugs doesn't work. I report it and just get ignored.

One lady on here had her GP refuse to prescribe the drugs she needed following open heart surgery.

is it because we are expensive? is it because we are more work?

I would be interested in knowing if anyone else has had issues.

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62 Replies

Are you in the UK? I ask because I don't know of any GP Practices that order drugs, other than Vaccines.

Thanksnhs in reply to Gaz_chops

Hi I am the lady mentioned, after my transplant my gp, I was in the practice for 54 years, and they refused to prescribe my steroids and immunosuppressants, I then had to find another gp to take me on, they gave no reason to myself or my transplant hospital for causing such a stressful situation when I actually needed help, I live in Scotland and even with my new gp they won't give me a repeat prescription so I can order online, I will be taking these drugs for life, and they won't give me a reason why I can't do it, I believe its all to do with money they want patients with nothing wrong with them not us hearties, char

What happened to you was terrible. That Doctor deserved to get struck off. I'm glad you have got it sorted out be, in my opinion, you should not have had that stress in your life.

I also wonder if it comes down to cost - but what kind of Doctor manages treatments via a spreadsheet.

You take care.

I still feel a bit traumatised, if I hadn't just been discharged and not feeling the best I would have complained, I think it's def cost and they can't be bothered changing the dosage in the early days the government should never allow them to leave patients high and dry without life saving drugs it's ridiculous char

Trishe in reply to Thanksnhs

Hi Thanks NHS,

So pleased you changed your surgery, and are now getting what you need, if more patients did this, perhaps they would buck up their behaviour.


Thanksnhs in reply to Trishe

I wish they would, particularly when people need there help after surgery or cancer, char

xr1450 in reply to Trishe

It wouldn't work that way Trishe, they would be glad to see you go as you are no longer costing them money.

They want patients that bring in the amount they get from the Government for each patient but don't want patients with illnesses that require expensive medication. They want patients on their list that are healthy.

The day they gave doctors control of money was the day the NHS dropped a massive clanger from a patients point of view.

The GP decides who gets what and that system STINKS!.....Especially if you clash with your GP.

GP practices are paid £152 per patient per year...

Curryandchips in reply to xr1450

I could not agree more.

Critical care and Accountants are a bad combination.

Yes. I am in the UK..........Scotland. When I said order - I meant repeat prescriptions.

Hi, after open heart surgery the discharge medication list was sent to my GP. They refused/ignored this list and denied me items on it (including warfarin!!!!) They told me to double my pain killers for chest pain (whilst refusing to issue them!!!) honestly GPs in this country are SHIT. rant over, dont get me started on the reception staff and having to redial 100 times (seriously) to get hold of anyone! Grrrrr

Thanks for your feedback. Again that sounds like you were an expensive patient.... like me. One of the problems I have found is - how do you complain? When I emailed my complaint i was just ignored.

I wrote to my GP twice!! ignored on both occasions, I asked for the Heparin injection repeats required by the INR clinc at the hospital and told to "contact the council for a sharps bin" FFS then told you cannot use heparin injections unless you have been trained??? - but i've been injecting myself for 2 weeks from the hospital supplied packs!! sorry... I hate them!

Thanksnhs in reply to Smarticus

Me too

Hi Gaz-chops,

Thanks for that link. I did try and follow the instructions and quickly got lost in a maze of NHS jargon. I found the list of services I could complain about but I couldn't see GP Services on the list. Have you had better luck?

I am in England and have no reason to complain about my GP or the Practice.

Gaz_chops in reply to Smarticus

Are you also in Scotland?

Yes, in Scotland.

Question was for Smarticus.

Smarticus in reply to Gaz_chops

no, englkand-uk. just as bad this side of the border...

Gaz_chops in reply to Smarticus

I have to completely disagree, my GP(‘s) & the practice staff have been amazing throughout my post op care!

I think people tarring all GP Practices because of there individual experiences is totally unfair.

I would love to hear the side of the GP Practices that are accused of failing!

I dont get the impression that all GP practices are being 'tarred'. I'm glad you are getting the service you need, long may that continue. My original question was for those of us who are not as lucky as you, perhaps the bad GP's could learn from the good GP's - but lets not try to hide the problem.

I checked on line what the GPs specialise in, none for cardiology! My surgery has gone down hill on services. My husbands not been invited for the vaccinations he’s due, no cholesterol & BP checks, or flu jab! I was told last year that I can have the flu jab and never invited to. My GP left nearly a year ago, they are NOT actively seeking a replacement or transferring patients!! I’ve had t threaten to complain as I’d seen a letter to practice managers from the GMC I think saying it is required, they’d only just had the letter!

MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to LaceyLady

GP practices are businesses who contract their services to the NHS.

In England the Clinical Commissioning groups ( CCG ) and NHS England commission and pay GPs

This link explains the contacts.

The General Medical Council (GMC) has different regulatory responsibilities.

It sets the training requirements of who can be on the GMC register along with regulations and standards of a medical practitioner's practice.

LaceyLady in reply to Milkfairy

Mmm, so I now understand why my minor surgery was difficult to get, I was told they ‘weren’t paid for it’!

I’ll have to check their website to see what they do provide’.

Hi Curry and Chips,

I must say I think your surgery should be reported to the relevant body, it's simply not right for you and other patients to be treated like that, I would certainly look into changing surgery. I don't have a problem at all with my surgery, when I moved out of their catchment area, they let me stay, because of my complex condition "Alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency" the only thing i cant have is a doctors visit, but if I'm that I'll to need one I have to phone for an ambulance, but I have no problem getting the meds I need, which are for other conditions too.

Hope you get yours sorted soon, good luck.

Curryandchips in reply to Trishe

I tried to move outside my Postcode area and got knocked back. Took it as far as my Constituency MSP but was railroaded back into accepting the rubbish service offered by my GP.

To get political was your MSP a member of the Governing party !! It can make a difference believe me .

Hands Face Space

My wife had open-heart surgery in October and from the first consultant referral in August till after the op she had no contact at all from our GP of 25 years, and in the after op phone contact the GP didn't even bother to find out what the op was.

Drug changes were specified by the hospital in the inpatient discharge summary, and they then prescribed the wrong doses.

The hospital has said they are contacting the GP to complain

Had a similar situation with my dad last year. Although he wasn't a heart patient he had a glioblastoma brain tumour. Following a hospital admission he went back to his GP to be told he didn't need one of the steroids there was no point!

We had already been told by the hospital he only had months left but the steroids should help with any more future seizures. We were made to feel he was an added expense and he was going to die anyway it was disgusting! We contacted the consultant at the hospital who was livid he was straight on the phone to GP practice - steroids issued from then on.

If that's happening to you might be worth contacting your consultant?

Hope you get what you need xx

Smarticus in reply to Ninjanoo

OMG thats awful!! I thought (hoped) it was just me that had problems with their local GP. I don't know whats happened to them... remember being able to go in the evening or even the dr coming out to see you at home, appointments longer than 5 mins, being able to discuss more than one problem per appoinment, not having to queue round the block at 8am... They push everything onto reception staff and nurses, Im in the wrong job!

Ninjanoo in reply to Smarticus

No things aren't what they used to be! OMG sounding just like my mum!!

That's just disgusting. What kind of person could deny a dying man a bit of comfort.

Why do you think it has anything to do with cost? Do you think GP Practices pay for your meds?

Doesn't it always come down to cost? Could you explain any other reason why a GP would deny a dying man pain reducing treatment?

I certainly think a light needs to be shined on GP practices and issues resolved.

GP practices don’t pay for the meds, so you are 100% wrong.

If you are correct then there must be other reasons. Either way it needs fixed - would you not agree?

No I don’t, I don’t see anything that needs fixing.

For each complaint I would rather hear both sides before I draw any conclusions.

You are not a GP are you?

No, but I know there are always two sides to a story!

Yes one person needs medication and the other refuses to give it.

LOL! So true!

Of course we don’t know the reason why it isn’t given, in my experience there is ‘normally’ a valid reason.

GP's want patients that bring in the amount they get from the Government for each patient but don't want patients with illnesses that require expensive medication. They want patients on their list that are healthy.

The day they gave doctors control of money was the day the NHS dropped a massive clanger from a patients point of view.

The GP decides who gets what and that system STINKS!.....Especially if you clash with your GP.

GP practices are paid around £152 per patient per year...

Although a lot of my appointments are with a nurse I have no problems with medication. I'm on a strong opiate painkiller where the branded version is FAR more expensive than the generic. When the generic version became available they tried to change me to it but It made me feel terrible. GP now prescribes it by name so I get only the branded version ( Although the hospital did ignore that last time I was in and again I was ill from it until I realised and told them that was why it was prescribed by name. They should have known. Apart from being more expensive it causes more work. My GP has to w rite a letter to the health authority every month explaining precisely why I can't have the cheaper version. During lockdown they've even put things on my repeat that should now be bought over the counter, just to stop me having to go to the chemist every week; even paracetamol when the chemist was only allowing me six at a time. My pharmacy even tries to ensure I get the same brand of meds every time because I@m allergic to some preservatives and colourings. For prescribing I have no complaints at all. Getting to see the GP I want to see is a different matter. Before Covid I used to be able to book maybe 3 weeks ahead. Now I can only see him IF he happens to be doing a clinic and IF I ring at 8am two days before and redial 50 times or more to then be told he's booked up! I have found though that I can now email him which works better. If he thinks it's important he rings me. The only med problem I had was right after my heart attack when he point blank refused to change my ticagrelor when I couldn't get my breath.

This "call at 08:00" appointment gimmick is just stupid. It means that someone with an ingrowing toenail is given the same importance as someone with a brain tumour or heart attack. Just seams a weird way to dispense healthcare.

That is down to patients not GP Practices, the same as patients dialling 999 because they’ve got a splinter.

The econsult system is now the preferred method for patients to use for those in England at least.

Hey Gaz-Chops, maybe there are other conversations that would appreciate your input. Don't feel you have to hang around here all day.

Spoken like someone who won’t accept that they are wrong.

Think this conversation needs locking/removing.

Thanks for your input. Stay safe.

Then stop responding and that way it will end. This lady had a genuine complaint and you are making it appear that the fault lies with her. Are you a troll or something. This site is to give support to undermine people which you are doing. I suggest you take a hike.

How do we know it’s a genuine complaint unless we hear both sides! I do not think this is the place to discuss these alleged ‘complaints’.

I have reported the post.

Hi Curryandchips

I have reported your comment not needed When you ask for an Opinion that is what you get an Opinion if it's not to your liking well sorry.


Qualipop in reply to Gaz_chops

Not here it's not. Ours don't use it because the town is a very deprived area where very many don't have computers.

Well only in so far as the initial getting through. You are then triaged by a nurse and the most urgent get a phone call or appointment as a priority. For seeing any doctor who happens to be on call I've rung at 2pm and still been given a f ace to face appointment same day

Here is a very simple leaflet setting out how you complain about your GP.

Hi Dunestar,

Thanks for that document.

I cant help thinking that the stories that have been posted today shows a systemic issue on how people with serious / end of life conditions are treated. I have doubts that one person complaining will not do a lot to change a system where I am just a line on a spreadsheet, where money is more important than peoples lives and well being. Take care.

Poor you what a terrible situation. I would make a complaint about that doctor, although it is more stress that you do not want. I am glad you are sorted out. I do have to say and the GP level mine are not good. Took me three years to get them to make me an appointment to see a cardiologist.

Thanks for that. I think xr1450 hit the nail on the head. Whilst we are lines on a spreadsheet we are all stuffed!

Again with the ‘costs’, very strange when it’s not a consideration.

This thread has shown a little of what's wrong with the system but it has also shown that peoples expectations of the NHS GP Practice Service are very varied across the UK. You can not compare England , Wales and Scotland we have totally different systems. Maybe in Scotland because you have Free Prescriptions they do control the purse strings !!!

As for your comment with regard to your MSP name them, after all like your GP they work for you.

Voicing your complaints here can not and will not alter anything Only YOU can do that not anyone on a forum

Hands Face Space


Hi guys, we're going to turn comments off on this post as there's been several reports. Many thanks.

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