Appointments ( NHS ): Tomorrow I have a... - British Heart Fou...

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Appointments ( NHS )

Prada47 profile image

Tomorrow I have a telephone appointment with Cardiologist just thinking about it, is it really an appointment ? Telephone conversation Yes but an Appointment No in my opinion it's not . It seems strange how we have just accepted telephone conversation being substituted for appointments, a misuse of language in a medical scenario ??

I won't be surprised if following the telephone conversation I am booked in for a face to face, my GP seems to think I need to be seen.

Don't get me wrong I am very grateful for the telephone conversation just waiting to see what is the way forward.

Regards

75 Replies

I find telephone appts really difficult and honestly not much use.

One I had with a vascular surgeon was particularly bizarre, it was regarding an aneurysm found on an unrelated CT, although potentially life threatening, he hadn't seen the report, the images and obviously not me yet he was happy to offer his advice, prognosis and an appt in a year !!!

I won't be talking to him again !

Oboebec profile image
Oboebec in reply to bantam12

I'm in the same boat! Finally had an 'appointment' exactly 1 year after my scan found an aneurysm, which was by phone. He asked a few questions, then cut it short, saying he wanted another MRA done & would schedule an appointment when he had the results... that was a letter saying when my follow up would be! Absolutely mad. I was going to complain, but it'd do my BP no good... I've given up.

A telephone appointment is still an appointment!

Personally I honestly fail to see the difference, whether I sit in front of my GP and have a conversation or have the same conversation via the telephone!

I also trust that if THEY feel there is a benefit to be had by a f2f examination, then they will arrange one.

Hello gazchops hope your ok just to say I saw quite a lot of medical issues missed because of tel appointments I know because I worked in general practice and I’m not saying the gp’s would do anything to compromise a patient knowingly the fact of the matter is it did happen - sadly this is probably the way things will go I personally think this will be a slow time bomb I hope I’m wrong but having seen how things were before Covid and the way things are now it’s worrying your right when you say if they think it will benefit the patient they will invite them for f2f but this didn’t always happen patients unfortunately don’t want to push things with there surgeries but my advice YES you should if in anyway your not happy it should be that nobody feels uncomfortable with regards to there health we only have one shot at life 😊

I also work in practice and for the local PCN, as far as I am aware f2f appointments have been carried out since the end of the 1st lockdown, if the clinician felt it was necessary.

I think (hope) that as things settle even more, we will have a triage system that is somewhat more balanced between phone & f2f appointments.

It is very apparent that more elderly patients much prefer a f2f, in part due to the fact it is what they are used to! Whilst in general younger patients prefer a telephone consultation, as it better fits their lifestyle.

As has been proven, a lot of f2f appointments are unnecessary and can be done via a phone call, which in theory should free up more time for more f2f appointments.

Hello definitely take your point about the younger generation happy with tel appointments and simple queries sadly the rest of the patients do want to be seen but it is by no means an acceptable way of going forward and during my time I’ve seen this go from a vocation being a GP to a job at best - there is no reason at all why a patient cannot ring a surgery and ask directly for a f2f without having to wait for a tel consultation which on average is at least 10 days wait to then if thought needed is brought in for a f2f by which time valuable time has passed sorry but I’ve seen too many patients understandably upset and apologising for asking if they can be seen but the format is always tel consult first I have spent many times asking gp’s would they see a particular patient because I was worried about them it’s just become a sad state of affairs I do worry for the future my own surgery are brilliant neither would I bother them unless absolutely necessary but as ‘care navigators ‘ they are great and do there best and unless you have/are working in that environment you don’t know how difficult it is to manage patients concerns you can feel like you have let people down it has to be one of the most stressful jobs working in primary care I know at lot of colleagues are looking to leave as things are getting too much 😣

The Triage system of telephone consultations should ensure that patients are seen f2f more promptly (when necessary) according to the urgency of those requesting appointments, as you well know there are a finite number of GP's and appointments available each day, when the resources are not available the practices cannot 'magic' appointment slots.

Take your point but we managed perfectly well pre Covid don’t understand what’s changed people were happy to wait but as long as they could physically see a GP oh well suppose just going to have to see how all this pans out 😊

I think the problem is people, especially (in general) older people do not like 'change'! Even it is for the better!

But like you say, let's see how it pans out.

Hopefully, like I said, with a better balance 🤞

Here’s hoping !!! 😊

An extract from NHS England document dated 14/10/2021 -

Link - england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/...

"Having exited the emergency phase of the pandemic, all practices are currently grappling with the emergent challenge of working out the optimal blend of face-to-face appointments alongside remote appointments, wherever these are clinically warranted, taking account of patient preferences. There are limited evidence-based professional standards or guidance to help show what constitutes good practice or what is likely to be an unacceptable standard of care. Practices are working out the answers for themselves and their patients. Many are doing so brilliantly – often with much improved satisfaction – and not through a simplistic reversion back to pre-pandemic ways of working. Equally, other practices are still on a journey to that new optimal balance. However, a minority of practices are now offering wholly inappropriate access, with very low levels of face-to-face care. In August 2021 over 15% of practices recorded less than 20% of their GP appointments being held face to face. That is likely to be contrary to good clinical practice, even if it were to reflect the preferences of their patients.".

wischo profile image
wischo in reply to Gaz_chops

Probably because older people tend to be sicker than younger people and need more care in general. It is not as you appear to make out an age thing as you will find as those younger people get older they will change their views on how they view what type of consultations they require.

Gaz_chops profile image
Gaz_chops in reply to wischo

Totally disagree, as the younger population ages they will be used to and expect telephone consultations when & where necessary. Of course if the system changes when they are older, they too will not adapt so easily.

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Gaz_chops

Older people need more gp time.I don't mind change but struggling even to get through to the surgery to be told no appointments is not a change for the better.

Gaz_chops profile image
Gaz_chops in reply to ETHEL103

That is not change, that is a shortage of GP's that has been exacerbated by the pandemic, due to them being pulled from practice to assist in vaccination centres/A&E etc etc

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Gaz_chops

So do you think we will get face to face then down the line?

Gaz_chops profile image
Gaz_chops in reply to ETHEL103

We have f2f now, so not sure what you mean! If you mean will it go back to the way it was, then most definitely not, no.

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Gaz_chops

You work in a practice that is obviously working well.Not everyone is so fortunate.Cheers anyway.

Gaz_chops profile image
Gaz_chops in reply to ETHEL103

I believe any Practices that are using the guidelines to NOT provide sufficient F2F appointments will be penalised if they do not address the issue going forward, so hopefully that will result in the appropriate number of F2F appointments being offered.

As to the number of appointments available, that is a separate issue as I said, fewer GP's in practice and not enough Locum's available to cover.

Notdead profile image
Notdead in reply to Retirement65

Ten days for a phone appointment? I don’t have to wait an hour for one , then any medication I need or asked for is at my door within 30 mins

Retirement65 profile image
Retirement65 in reply to Notdead

So pleased your surgery is running efficiently there are luckily practices working well sadly it’s not the case for everyone and as gazchops has said fewer GP’s so it’s inevitable things are going to be tight but still comes down to how things are managed bottom line you should be able to ring your surgery and be offered which suits your needs f2f or telephone it’s that simple 😊but happy for you that life is good at your surgery well done to that practice it’s so good to hear 👏

What age is younger patients and what age older patients?

Good question, it really is a generalisation, I would say that 'younger' are those that are capable of adapting to change, whilst 'older' are those that are not.

If the number in your name is your year of birth, then you are definitely younger, as it is the same as mine 😏

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to Gaz_chops

A bit ageist! 1957 is my birth year, I don't like the phone appts does that suddenly put me in the 'older' bracket?

Gaz_chops profile image
Gaz_chops in reply to Lezzers

Not ageist, like I said 'a generalisation'.

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to Gaz_chops

When you say those of younger age are capable of adapting to change whilst those older are not' that's not generalisation that's a statement! Probably best not to bring age into it and accept some people are ok with phone appts, some are not and it's across all ages!

Gaz_chops profile image
Gaz_chops in reply to Lezzers

It is a generalisation because I qualified my statement by saying so! "it really is a generalisation, I would say that 'younger' are those that are capable of adapting to change, whilst 'older' are those that are not."

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Gaz_chops

I don't think you are going to convince people about gp calls.Ever.

Gaz_chops profile image
Gaz_chops in reply to ETHEL103

I don't think the NHS need to convince people, as people become more used to the change it will become the 'norm'. It is here to stay, as I said elsewhere, hopefully in a slightly more balanced way.

I have been surprised how many people a lot older than me have adapted to technology and can use video chat, whatsapp etc. Yes I am 64 and can manage okay with technology even managed some conference calls during lockdown. When I was hospitalised a few weeks back it was amazing how many older people were using video chats, not to get them to use earphones!!!But simple phone conversations should be something we can all use, I really do understand how people are more reassured by a f2f but unless a patient needs an examination I do feel a phone conversation can do the trick.

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to Heather1957

Completely agree. My sister is older than me and has embraced all the new technology available and has no issues with phone appts, despite being deaf and uses hearing aids!!

Totally agree, my mum at 87 was amazing with tech, always on her iPad or iPhone, playing games like bridge on-line, did most of her shopping, banking etc on-line.If you had asked her, she would say she preferred f2f appointments, but she was happy with a phone call, this was pre covid as sadly she passed away just before the pandemic started.

Oboebec profile image
Oboebec in reply to Gaz_chops

I'm not sure I agree. One of the questions I was asked in mine was if I got breathless walking up hills. I do, but said I'd always just imagined I was unfit. I'm not. In my follow up letter he'd put something about me being unfit. Had he met me, he'd have seen I'm not! Whilst I'm sure they're great for some, initial appointments after diagnosis I feel should be conducted in person.

Barbara72 profile image
Barbara72 in reply to Oboebec

They can only depend on the patient’s response to questions, and if you told him you were unfit, whether on the phone or face to face, then that has to be part of his received information.

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Oboebec

What about you would make him realise you were not unfit if he had actually seen you?

Notdead profile image
Notdead in reply to Gaz_chops

I agree ! I’ve had many phine calls with the doctors since my heart attack, needing meds , antibiotics etc and it’s been easier and quicker than trying to get a face to face appointment. My doctors is a bit away and I don’t drive so for me it saves time.

wischo profile image
wischo in reply to Gaz_chops

Of course there is a difference, in a face to face appointment your GP can listen to your heart, check blood pressure, pulse, sounds for congestion and various other visual checks to boot. A telephone appointment is akin to putting your symptoms on google and seeing what comes up ( just my opinion).

Gaz_chops profile image
Gaz_chops in reply to wischo

Not every appointment requires the clinician to do obs, of course if they are required then a f2f maybe appropriate, not necessarily with a GP.

Suggesting a telephone consultation with a medical professional is akin to googling is ludicrous.

A lot of people on here suggest a phone call to the BHF nurses, how many demand to see them f2f, or suggest Google instead!!!

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to wischo

When I had my phone conversation with my GP re my angina pains he recommended I visit A & E so they could do blood tests, ECG and scans etc. The A & E visit was a nightmare but within 5 days I had a Rotablation which allowed them to fit 2 stents, when I needed a bypass 4/5 years ago I would say it was about 9 months from first seeing a GP to operation.The phone appointment can only be classed as a bonus for me.

I wish in 14 months I could get even that 😪 Good Luck

Hi prada. It seems to me it is a case of 'horses for courses'. A telephone appointment to discuss results or treatment options may be perfectly adequate if (and only if) that suits you. On the other hand I absolutely believe that diagnostics are never suited to a phone conversation. So many vital clues to a person's health will be missed. How does someone actually look (pale, sweaty, flushed etc), how do they walk into the room, etc etc. These cues are essential to an overall assessment of someone's wellbeing. I hope you get what you need from your phonecall, if not push for that elusive face to face. X

Hi Prada,

From my perspective I find F2F preferable, mainly because I've been seeing the same Cardiologist for 25years or so, and he seems to know when I'm being overly optimistic on my health. In May I had Xrays and an Echo, the Echo showed an EF of 38%, so he had me in to see him very quickly. After examining me, he wasn't happy and arranged for a CT scan which showed I also had an Effusion. Tomorrow I have my 4th F2F appointment since May, with another booked with a different Cardio at another hospital in December. Also had half a dozen appts with Heart Failure Nurse on top.

I've been at this a long long time, and telephone conversations aren't the same in my opinion.

It's a difficult issue, balancing the need to provide patient care without exposing them to the risk of catching COVID. Those of us with serious underlying problems are more at risk, and need to avoid places where we are more likely to be infected.I like telephone appointments for routine matters, as it saves me having to get to the surgery or hospital, saving me a hour or so. There is always the chance of something being missed though...

Just to say my GP wrote to the Cardiologist to request an appointment, I didn't ask for one I do think a Telephone " Appointment " may work with your GP but I can't see how it can work with a Consultant Cardiologist, is the GP not the Triage in this scenario ??

Rufus has the double vaccination and booster not reduced the risk of catching covid 19 to an acceptable level to both Staff and Patient ??

Regards

Regards

Kristin1812 profile image
Kristin1812Heart Star in reply to Prada47

One in 50 people now have Covid, many with cold symptoms they identify as flu or a cold, and go untested and undiagnosed, many not isolating. So GP face-to-face visits could pass the virus on, and generate more and more variants. My husband is immunosuppressed, among 500,000 others in the UK who have no, or v little protection from even 3 vaccines, and are not enjoying any of the new ‘freedoms’. He and I really prefer (safer) phone appts with the GP.

Well said, I hear so many people say 'it's just a cold' and haven't bothered getting tested!!

Kristin1812 profile image
Kristin1812Heart Star in reply to Gaz_chops

Just to get the facts out…….the ‘most common COVID-19 symptoms include headache, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, fever, and cough’. Zoe study report.Sounds terribly like flu doesn’t it?

Loss of smell is the only less common, additional one, reported just in Covid, not flu.

Prada47 profile image
Prada47 in reply to Kristin1812

Hi Kristin

It isn't just the vaccine that protects, Masks, Sanitiser and General Clean conditions prevent transmission, which is the norm in Hospitals.

He and I really prefer (safer) phone appts with the GP.

That's Fine if it suits you but it doesn't suit everyone !!!

This is not meant to be controversial just a different perspective

Regards

Know what you mean, I had a Telephone appointment with a Cardiologist, don't see how he can check anything over the phone. Following on from that conversation I was sent an appointment to see a Heart Failure Nurse Specialist. Give her her dues it did end up being a thorough consultation, she has changed two of my medications, sent me off for some Blood Tests and then to the Cardiology Department for an ECG, I was at the hospital for about 3 hours. I have another appointment with her on the 16th November which from what she had said I think she wants me to have one of those 24 hour monitors on so I think that is the reason for that appointment. but as for the cardiologist I have received a letter telling me I have another telephone appointment with him 11th May 2022 - 8 months after the first Telephone Appointment with him. They can't check your heart rate or blood pressure over the phone or see how bad my breathing is. Does however seem that this seems to be the future way of doing things now.

I have mixed feelings about telephone appointments. They can be useful and save a lot of time. I think sometimes important symptoms can easily be missed. My GP practice currently used a system where you are given either a morning or afternoon phone call. Where I work it is difficult as soon as the phone goes, I have to run to a private area, often down some stairs and through corridors to an outside private space and then explain what the difficulty is. At least the cardiologist gives me a set time and sticks to it!. I would always prefer face to face as at least you can have a proper examination of needed.

Cruise1 profile image
Cruise1 in reply to Louisep1958

My GP practice also gives out morning or afternoon appointments but if I subsequently go online on Patient Access or NHS app it gives a time and name of the GP. I found this out by accident. The time is usually fairly accurate within about 5 minutes.

It really depends what your issue is. I had a telephone appointment with a cardiologist and found it useful. Does it move my medical position any quicker forward than a f2f. I don’t think so. Approach any appointment with a positive attitude.

I think it really depends on the current issue. I was fine with telephone appointments before my operation when I was just saying that my symptoms were getting worse and based on that they pushed me up the surgery priority list. But since my surgery, I’ve had a face to face appointment with the surgeon (6 week follow up) and then at 3 months I was given a phone appointment with my cardiologist. For that one I phoned his secretary and asked for face to face as I had so many issues to discuss and they agreed. It was definitely more useful in this particular case.

I much prefer telephone appointments when possible. Far better than a long hike to a hospital, finding car parking, sitting in a waiting room for god knows how long etc. just for a chat.

My experience is GP or consultant, if I've asked to be seen F2F they've been more than happy to accommodate........just got to ask in my opinion and experience.

I find I have more time when speaking to NHS staff via telephone/video.

Used correctly I think telephone appointments can work really well but are not always appropriate. My most informative and helpful appointment with my consultant was by phone but that was a follow up to an initial in person appointment. I'm a long way from the hospital so one big advantage is the appointment takes just the time for the call, not pretty much all day. But also I was able to record the conversation and listen again which is really helpful for picking up all the details I missed in the first pass.

I have only ever had “phone appointments “ since my event during lockdown, except for blood tests which they can’t do over the phone (yet) . The one positive seems to be that you can get the appointment quicker less hassle.

Because my heart bypass and recovery have been ‘unremarkable’ (the cardiologist’s term) I was ok not to have to travel 90 miles to have a 10 minute appointment with him for my 6 week review ( which was actually 16 weeks and only happened then because I’d phoned the secretary to say I hadn’t had a follow up)

My GP practice does see me face to face i.e. when my leg wound became infected and again when my BP was high. The doctor also phoned me to follow up on both of these events and I left messages with reception and these were auctioned by the GP and he also sent me a text to let me know.

Yes I agree that the way we access our healthcare providers has changed but you can always ask to be seen F2F by your GP and possibly by your consultant.

Maybe I’m very fortunate because the treatment I have received this year in hospital, from emergency services and from my GP has been excellent.

I’m booked in for one on Thursday and will be making sure to have a full list of questions.Haven’t seen anyone from the heart unit since my discharge for AVR replacement and double bypass on 4 March 2020. The date is maybe a bit of a clue!

Had one telephone conversation from the department about a year on. Not my surgeon or cardiologist: to be honest I thought it was a scam call initially. His main purpose seemed to be to officially discharge me from their care, but I did use the opportunity to raise some concerns.

In the circumstances, I was grateful that they hadn’t forgotten about me completely.

Have had an echocardiogram since at a local community hospital, but my recovery has basically been by ploughing my own furrow and following the practical advice on this forum. Thanks in particular to Pauline, our Guardian Angel!

I do understand how difficult it’s been for them and I’m so grateful I had my operation, at the third attempt, when I did.

Will be trying to make the most of the telephone appointment as that is all that is on offer, in particular as regards the drugs regime.

Fortunately, fingers crossed, I’m very pleased with my recovery: much better than the alternative…

Many thanks again to all the support available from members of this forum.

I can only speak personally but I spoke to a cardiologist over the phone last Feb re my a fib.She was brilliant and asked lots of questions.Guess it's just pot luck on who you talk to.I do prefer face to face but I think covid has let them make the change and doubt it will ever go back.

It's horses for courses.

In some instances a face-to-face appointment with my cardiologist was essential : for example where he gave me an ECG, listened to my heart and lungs, measured my blood pressure, etc.

In other instances, a telephone conversation was fine: eg where we were reviewing previous tests or medication. In one instance, I had an appointment whilst on holiday, so didn't have return home early! Very convenient for me.

In your case it all depends on what you are likely to cover with your appointment. I wouldn't necessarily feel short changed. If you feel it is imperative, insist on a face-to-face.

I hope it goes well.

I would look on your telephone appointment as a first step to your treatment. I’m aged 72 and think video and telephone consultations are a great idea, saves me a lot of stress getting to hospital and sitting waiting for an hour or so.

Also our hospital sends out a ‘Questions that matter’ paper with the appointment with some suggestions of questions you might want to ask on one side and a lined space on the other to list your questions,I find this very helpful. So maybe jot down your questions before the call.

Good luck I hope it works out for you.

I think there a time & place for a telephone appt. Heart issues are not that time/place!! Good luck, I hope you won't have to wait long for the face to face appointment to follow.

It depends.I had a phone call with GP about an ear infection.

I described the problem, and he was prepared to prescribe ear drops. Infection went away. On the other hand If I try to talk about anything more complicated, it does not seem to work.

I had a heart attack 16 months ago. I can't even talk to a GP about it (by phone of course). If I do, and mention any symptoms related to slight chest pains, or anything similar, within 20 minutes an ambulance appears to take me to A&E. 4 weeks ago, I tried to get the results of a Holter monitor, but was simply unable to get the GP to talk about it. She insisted on a visit to A&E

Paramedics turned up and asked where the patient was. (it was me). We had a long chat about inconsequential stuff. They took an ECG and compared it to a previous one I had, and looked puzzled, but said that I had to go to A&E where they did a couple of blood tests and another ECG then sent me home. I still don't know if I have any sort of arrhythmia, or what the Holter monitor had to say. One concerning thing was that when I rang to get the results of the Holter, the receptionist mentioned an aneurism. This was the first and last time anyone has used the word about me. The whole situation leads me to question how viable the NHS is at present, and how many illnesses and worse are being overlooked.

In my case apparently the GP or A&E have asked for an appointment with the cardiologist. I really have no idea when that might be.

I may be in the minority but I have no issue with telephone appointments even when my psoriasis flared up I had a video appointment and the GP prescribed very good ointment. I do class it as an appointment as I don't think it has to be in person.

Of course my opinion may change but since March last year I have had several telephone appointments and am happy with them all.

So many people looked on GP and hospital appointments as trips out so I appreciate for them it may not be good enough but for me, I have no issue.

Well had the telephone appointment this morning it went reasonably well as he had information in front of him. The outcome is start on Isosorbide Mono Nitrate again !! double the Statin dose only up from 10mg to 20mg and he has booked me in for a stress MRI. It appears I have a couple of off shoots on my blocked RCA which he thinks may need some attention (from previous Angiogram and MRI ) He said they will be able to work out if it is still Risk v Reward and if another angiogram is going to be worthwhile. He did say we will be able to get an Accurate Ejection Fraction from the MRI to see how the Heart Failure 40% ef has reacted to Entresto.

So all in all looks like I may be jumping back on the roundabouts still been on the swings for 3 years now !!!

Personally I think this thread has been worthwhile to see how people feel, I trust this much more than a newspaper survey.

Regards

Gaz_chops profile image
Gaz_chops in reply to Prada47

So in your opinion, does that mean a telephone appointment is or is not an appointment? 😉

Prada47 profile image
Prada47 in reply to Gaz_chops

Hello I haven't made up my mind as yet !!!

He did start Isosorbide and double the Statins without seeing me. I didn't really have the option to question him on why double the Statin ? I will have to leave that to the GP who will either phone to see me or just issue a prescription.

I was going to say if no cholesterol level why double the dose !! I did think it would be a good starting point to have a reference level. Then again if they check bloods in 6 months and cholesterol is low it was worth doubling !! He also booked an MRI so it was a proper outcome, but f2f may have been marginal better !!!

On further reflexion I think it was made easier with the Cardiologist having my previous notes in front of him, don't know if it would have been the same if it had been a first time .

Regards

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Prada47

After the consultation I ask myself ' would I have expected more from a f2f?', if not I am happy with this. I don't have to go out in the cold, find somewhere to park, hang around in a waiting room with other people and then come home. 2 weeks ago I was in hospital for 5 days and all I was worried about was getting Covid!! Of course I leave my house, but I like to be in control of who I meet and where I go.

we are sitting waiting for gp phone appointment - its an am one aka between 8am & 2pm -we daren't move because from previous experience they will only ring once & you can'tget back to them. Re phone appointment with cardiologist - one of the important things is a physical check on abdomen/chest/heart etc & you cannot do this by phone - & I object to taking my blessed phone into the bathroom (frequent visits) because we are waiting ...for hours

I feel telephone calls are simply a way of delaying your appointment and doing their own triage so they can actually say they've spoken to you. I even got a telephone appointment with ENT when I completely lost my hearing!!!!!!!!! Just had one 3 weeks ago with musculoskeletal. I'd waited from June in agony with spinal stenosis but all I got was a phone call then told he needed to see me. Just delaying tactics. I don't mind GPs phoning to decide whether they need to see me but not hospital consultants who have already had a GP referral. The only ones I was happy with were before covid with my pain consultant who gave me the option of F to F or phone because of the distance.

At least you’re getting some acknowledgment and interaction! My respiratory consultant sent several letters to me promising telephone consultations, cancelling them, renewing them but none of them actually happened! When I called his secretary, she informed that he had ‘reviewed case notes’ and decided to discharge me!! My GP disagreed with this but he replied to her letter saying his lists were full and I couldn’t be ‘reinstated’. I haven’t seen a cardiologist for years and year either but I still have heart failure, respiratory problems and kidney disease, as well as lesions on my adrenal g,ands. Talk about falling through the holes in the NHS, where I worked for most of my life by the way!!

Definetly doesn’t work for most appointments. I had an appointment about damage to my shoulder joint, from 6 months ago and the guy from MSK was asking me to do a number of movements to try and establish whether he should see me or not, however some of the movements were nigh on impossible and he couldn’t understand why! I said perhaps you need to see me in front of you to make an informed judgment, to which he agreed but tbh I think it was a waste of a phonecall, when certain pain is affecting your sleep it’s obvious that it needs to be looked at. I agree especially with heart problems, that you need to be seen.

I am more than happy with phone appointments for certain situations ie repeat prescriptions test results etc they are great for that but i had a phone appointment with my cardiologist but the call came from another person and it was just like a call centre call ,date of birth etc how you feeling, ok speak to you in 12 months to be honest it was a complete waste of time my heart failure nurse is off the radar but my gp has been very good in phone and fsf and she is now controlling my meds .

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