GP appointments

About two weeks ago I had an exacerbation which lasted all morning. After inhaling Ventolin and resting I began to feel well enough not to call an ambulance. I phoned my surgery for an appointment but was told I couldn't see my GP until the 16 March. I was none too pleased about this but accepted that date. I

now find that talking to two different neighbours who had phoned in after me that one has an appointment on 1 March and another on 10 March. How does this system work, if at all?

16 Replies

  • if you tell them you have breathing problems they should get you in under an emergency appointment on the same day , when I ring mine I get told no appointments when I tell receptionist I have emphysema and my breathing isnt to good I normally get seen with in an hour ,

  • Same for me never been refused, maybe its because you are only willing to see a certain doctor.

  • I am glad I do not have that problem has in the morning you can just walk in to my docts but in the afternoon you got to have an appointment

  • Hi, I have been struggling all night with my breathing so rang the Health Centre on the off chance of a GP was advised to go the drop in clinic. But it was jam packed full and no chairs available so I will have to go back later.

  • things just seem to be getting worse don't they ,

  • In my surgery if I ring at 8 I can get an emergency appointment for the same day. If I ring at 8 or at 2 I can get a same day telephone consultation. If I want an appointment with a specific GP then I have to wait until whenever there is an opening, which is highly variable.

  • Always ask for an emergency appointment because of your breathing problems.

  • It doesn't !! I think it depends on who answers the phone. Having said that you need an appointment earlier than the 16th March. I spoke to our Doctor about this and explained that because my husband has COPD when we ring he needs to see a doctor - actually she agreed. If there is a problem I now ask the nurse to call me back who discusses his symptoms etc. and then talks to the doctor and then comes back to me. Convoluted but better than nothing!

    I think you need to ring back and explain that you have a chronic illness and believe that you are having an exacerbation and need to see a doctor. Please do not be put off!

    Take good care, lots of love xxx

  • Hi Sherry44

    I hope I can be of some help here..I was a doctors receptionist for 9yrs and I'm familiar with the in's and out's of the system..

    All GP'S have scheduled appointments for their own patients daily. On top of that..daily, each GP as the facility of extended appointments for emergencies only. They may only have 4 or 5 slots to accommodate on the day though. Once these have been used up..the receptionist as to look at the other GP's appointments and fit you in with the GP that as remaining emergency appointments. You will always be seen by a GP on the day but not necessarily your own. But you must state it is an emergency and not just a routine appointment you need. The receptionists get a bad time coz patients think they are dragon's - not so..they are under immense pressure even from the GP's they are ruled by them and certain situations..a GP may also have to be called out on the day for other having to certify a death, speak to consultant's, speak to the Secretary about referrals he's requested, and many more..all of which utilises there time. It all works on a daily basis with appointments. An appointment may have been cancelled on the day, therefore freeing up an appointment. So when you rang the surgery your GP will not have had any appointments left..but when your neighbour rang after, one may have come available by way of a cancellation

    Hope this makes to you, feel free to ask if not.


  • Meant to say..makes sense to you. Typo error sorry 😀

  • At my surgery in the West Midlands, because I have severe emphysema I am classed as a "star" patient. Lovely name that. If I need an appointment due to breathing problems I just have to say that I am a star patient and I get an appointment immediately. Have to say I never use this unless its my breathing and actually due to the fact that my respiratory team are so good I have not had to use this for 2 years now. I am at the moment on steroids and have had antibiotics but have had excellent care from the team of nurses. At the moment they are struggling to bring my breathing back up again. There is no infection just SOB which is worse. I started rehab exercises and was doing fine until half way through the course when this SOB started in earnest. I am just coping at the moment. Just started to reduce today to 4 steroids daily. I am wondering if my problem has just suddenly got worse and will not improve. Only time will tell. I have a wonderful Lung Specialist and I suppose the team will refer me back if this course of steroids do not work. Have had this SOB severely sincere mid Jan.

    I am still managing a little light exercising and short walks were I can.

    Do you think I will get back to how I was before? Its anyone's guess.

    We just have to keep trying don't we.

    Keep smiling xx

  • sorry to hear you aren't very well...can I ask please what is SOB ??

  • SOB means shortness of breath

  • It's not working well at all and l would get back in touch and explain your situation. If it is a practice with a number of doctors, you should be able to see any.

    Good luck. Xxx

  • GP practices have their own policies about appointment allocations. Its not just a postcode lottery, there are differences in practices in the same town. Do what mmzetor suggests but be prepared to see any doctor if your GP is swamped with patients. Even so March 16th is really unreasonable. You could get in at the crew before then!!! Sue x

  • You should ask for an emergency appointment or ask to speak to the on call DR that happens all the time at my GP have to wait up to two week for normal appointment not enough doctors witch is a disgrace

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