Thank you one and all who responded to my whinge about length of GP consultations. I see that some of us are pretty lucky with their GP's generous laissez faire attitude to appointment disciplines.

Just as a footnote: I received the Practice Newsletter today. Somebody must have raised a similar point with the management and they responded by saying, wait for it......the reason that you have to wait past your appointment time is because some patients raise questions about MORE THAN ONE CONDITION. The response goes on to chide patients who should "PRIORITISE" WHICH OF THE CONDITIONS IS MOST URGENT!!!! - (and presumably keep stum about anything else?)

You couldn't make it up could you?

18 Replies

  • Oh dear that's terrible but Pete has been chastised for trying to mention more than one problem.

    Apparently you have to book a double appointment. Nowadays you are lucky to get an appointment at all. Xxxxx

  • Haha! There's a notice in our GPs waiting room that states "Should you have more than one issue to discuss please book a double appointment "! It's all getting a bit silly. 😞😞😞

  • When I visit the GP, I have never felt rushed. Once in a while, I will tell them that I have more than one issue, saying that I am happy to make a second aptment.

  • I have been told before that only one condition can be discussed in at the appointment and if I want to talk about others then I need to make a double appointment. The chances of finding any doctor with 2 appointments free together is pretty remote. Also if I try and discuss any problems about my asthma or copd, I get told to make an appointment to see the respiratory nurse as 'We haven't got time and they know more about it than we do anyway'. Unfortunately the nurses never have a spare appointment so I end up (if I am lucky) having a telephone consultation instead. x

  • I use the list technique to rattle off the different problems (as sometimes they can all be related and lead to a better diagnosis), and let the GP have the list after so that he/she can gallop through them too. I also dispense with the banter at the start - you know the thing: "How are you, Mrs S?" "I'm fine, Doctor." "Then why have you come to see me?" Instead I go straight for it - "Hi, Doctor, I've come about my xyz..."

    Often it's the GP who will introduce the second issue. I may go there with a medication problem, and they will insist on taking my blood pressure.

  • I recently made an appointment to see a doctor, re a letter sent by a respiratory nurse suggesting changing the way I have to take steroids and asking if I could have an extra Ventolin every other month. I had waited 3 weeks for the appointment and as it was an 8.30 had to make a big effort to get ready. The appointment was supposed to last 10 minutes. After talking about the steroids he was reluctant to change I then said there was an other thing to talk about he said you had better hurry up I am busy. Not one kind word came out of his mouth. He was in a vile mood but said he had made adjustments on screen and I would get 2 ventolin and have extra steroids to call off. I was in his office for only 4 minutes. I will not be seeing him again. I will buy an extra ventolin from Asda if needed as I did once before and continue to look after myself.

  • SOUNDS like my doctor. HE does not listen what you are trying to explain, Ask a question, he gets annoyed, walks out the exam room and you think he is coming back, he doesn't. Are all the younger doctors like that? Never had that problem with my now retired GP. A Lot of us senior s feel that they are. That is why I am hesitant to find a new doc.

  • I have signed on line to order repeats which are then supposed to be electronically sent to the pharmacy at Sainsburys. Twice now they have not received them and I have ended up with an extra journey to collect them. When I asked why they had not gone through was told it depends who signs them. As for the alterations he said he had made regarding the steroids and increasing my Ventolin, this was not the case, so what he was typing in when he was so busy I don't know. Been with that surgery now for 45 years and the best GP ever retired about 6 years ago. Don't like to complain about anyone but that man left me wondering what I had done wrong.

  • What I would like to know is how can practices afford newsletters, when they can't afford treatment. Also might I ask what do we do when the problem is caused by more than one condition or due to drugs given for another condition is the writer suggesting doctors only treat the symptom.? I would say all factors are relevent to the symptoms and should be discussed and investigated, we no longer live in an age of write a prescrption and get rid so to speak for quickness. An example of it not being the patient is ask for a blood test result and end up being told its fine and the doctor proceeding to do a prescription reveiw that was not needed wasting surgery time then blaming the patient. Suffice to say there is no perfect answer but it is not always the patients fault I can assure the writer.

  • Sorry Edwardo, by writer I mean the writer of your practice newsletter not yourself. Oh and I went to my Gp and was diagnosed without tests and refused treatment with no concrete reason why, because my doctor felt prescription reveiw was more important than my new problem.

  • I usually mention up to three, no problem. Though they often don't require much time for each one.

  • My biggest bugbear is when I go for an appointment which I always readilly get due to my many complaints I think? There is nearly always an hours wait to see the doctor and when patients come out there is often a 15minute wait for next ...Also with a practice that consists of 5/6 doctors there is only ever 2 on at a time. Do they think their patients have no life or jobs ?

  • My sister-in-law went to see a doctor Tuesday night, as she's going through a real rough patch right now. I won't bore you all with details but needless to say she was after anti-depression/anti-anxiety medication, and wanted to be signed off for a month.

    She saw a locum, who she said was very uncaring, bordering on unprofessional even. She was in and out within 4 minutes. The girl was a wreck, but he wouldn't even give her the time of day. He did give her the prescription for the meds though, and signed her off for 2 weeks, refused to sign her off for 4.

    We decided that Wednesday morning, I would try and get her another appointment with one of the regular doctors at the surgery. The family is very well known, have been patients there for nearly 50 years.

    I was on the phone bang on 8am. Could I get through? Could I fairycakes.

    Ring ring. Ring ring.

    You are connected to .... surgery. Press 1 for appointments, press 2 for..

    Press 1

    Beep. Beep. Beep (continuous for 5 minutes or more). Then...

    You are connected to Press 1 for appointments

    Press 1

    Beep. Beep. Beep. Again for over 5 minutes, then...

    You are connected to....

    So I thought bugger this, jumped in a taxi and went down there in person. Queued up in a lengthy queue at 08:30. Finally got to speak to the receptionist.

    Me: I need an appointment for my sister in law.

    Receptionist: I'm sorry, all appointments are taken for today. If it's an emergency, I can put her on the urgent list and a doctor will call her later....

    Me: Yes it's an emergency.

    R: What's the problem?

    Me: She's damn near suicidal...

    R: Right. Doctor will call her before 11. (he actually called within 10 minutes!)

    Saw the regular Doctor. was in there for a great deal longer than 4 minutes. Referred to the local crisis team. Got a hug, and was signed off work for 4 weeks!

    Chalk and cheese between doctor thats treated her for 40+ years, and the locum who just wasn't interested.

  • Good for you! You're exactly the hero we all need in our corner from time to time.

  • I don't know about hero. Family is important. Just doing what I was brought up to do. Look out for and look after family.

  • I have often wondered what takes up a doctor's time between patients, paperwork I guess.

    I have sat in an empty waiting room for over 30 minutes. Maybe one patient during that time has come out.

    My eye doctor was the worst. Everything that was done, took 3 times as long. Spent most of that 2 1/2 hrs just waiting, but they never seems 'busy'.

    The worst: I had an appt for 12:45. Got there on time, but no one was behind the counter and the lights were off. I noticed a sign that stated that their lunch hour was from 12-1. At 1:00 some one comes in to behind the counter. I asked why did you have me come in 15 minutes early? Her answer: We get like to have the patient get here early. AND I still had to wait another 15 minutes to be called back and another 15 minutes before seeing the dr. Well.....little did they know, but I work at the hospital that they are associated with, and knew their Site Manager. Called her and asked her is that standard procedure to have people come in early and she said No and that she would take care of it.

    Sometimes they want you there early to update their information so they will ask you to arrive early, so I understand that.


  • And did the Site Manager "take care of it" Beth?

  • Yes, she did!

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