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British Lung Foundation
39,941 members46,852 posts

Doctors receptionist dilemma

Can anybody help my wife questioned a receptionist at her practice of 19 years with me present. She wasn’t aggressive or abusive. We were given a fit note without seeing the new doc for our son with aspergers. The note had the wrong diagnosis and length of time. My wife told the receptionist that his Own GP had left instructions that we had to merely call up and a new note would be ready when needed. She said the new doctor has said we must bring our son in because the doctor will not issue one without first seeing the patient. Mmmm she already has issued one and it was wrong my wife said. The receptionist became stubborn repeating her previous answer so we booked an appt for the next week. The problem is when we arrived the doctor said the receptionist accused my wife of being aggressive we refutef the remarks and spoke to the manager the next week and said even though the cameras they have don’t have sound you see our faces and behaviour so just check it to see if there was any truth in it. She calmed my wife down and said it was a misunderstanding. Last week the home visit planned for my sons Disability element was cancelled because they received new evidence from the practice we are aggressive and use threatening behavior. We are devastated we have 3 kids with disabilities and have never been accused of anything like this. My wife can’t stop cryimg. We have received any letters from GP about our behaviour surely that is wrong. how can somebody ruin are lives who is lying. Please please help we have asked manager to call us on Monday. Also the sad thing is my sons GP backed us all the way and we were successful in getting a home visit for his PIP and he received enhanced in both elements then they destroy all the good work we’re so upset

40 Replies
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OMG I am so sorry to hear this. How upsetting for you and your wife. You might want to try and speak to the nurses at BLF before the practice manager ‘phones. I am sure they will be able to advise you of the best way to move forward with this. Is it possible for you to make an appointment to see the doctor who normally sees your son?

They do seem to have contradicted themselves re the non issue without seeing the patient and then actually issuing the note with the wrong information. Difficult situation though - her word against yours. You really need some expert advice.

Hopefully it will be resolved with the Manager. It may be better to arrange a meeting in person with the receptionist present. If it doesn’t get resolved I am just wondering if PALS help with this sort of thing.

I hope you get some resolution soon.

Love to you both.

Cx

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Thank you can’t believe somebody can say something and it’s believed without any discussion or investigation. If it was the other way round and I complained about a member of staff and they denied it nothing would be done. But they have it on their system for all future employees and doctors to see without any proof wrong so wrong

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Absolutely agree.

Cx

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Thank you

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So sorry you are having this trouble it’s all very wrong. Good advice from cofdeop-uk. I bet if they had sound on their video footage the receptionist would not be blaming you both, quite honestly I hope she is sacked or pulled over the coals if the truth comes out. I wish you good luck with this. Keep us informed how you get on xx

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Thank you Were still in shock to be accused of something you haven’t done is sickening and we feel ashamed even though we know we’re innocent

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You need to find out if there is an appeals process, as this is a serious accusation, and do not need it to follow you into the future.

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I was hoping the appeal process is standard in all practices and somebody knew it and could advise thank you for your help

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Dear John,

I'm afraid that this 'Happens', on occasion! There are two Things, that you, can Do quickly- no actually three. One Approach your local PCC, two contact the Practice Manager (a tip worth remembering....If you address, your letter, to a Named Person then- by law- they must see it). My third option is to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), they are Very good indeed- by all reports. By all means send a copy, of this 'Post', with you Complaint. One word of Warning though.....Yes you are, very Justifiably, upset but NOT with PALS! Explain, your Position clearly, by all means emphasize your Feelings- again yes, of course- but PLEASE 'Stop Short' of DEMANDING Action. (Do you see what I'm advising against here John? Ok- Suppose I came, to you, regarding something I was unhappy about, in your Shop. I explain that I was, very unhappy, with 'Jake's Attitude, to me'. If I ask you, to Look Into It- For Me- you, almost certainly will....However, if I 'Tear YOU off a strip', and Demand Action', You might well Wonder who caused the 'Problem'. Do you see, what I'm Driving at?)

I'll leave you with a 'Hospital Related' joke.....Imagine the scene, a man is running, full pelt, through the Hospital Corridors being persuade by a 'Buxom' Nurse, carrying a Large Bowl of water...."Oh NO Nurse, I told you to 'Prick His Boil...…!"

Can you let, us all, know how you Get On please John? Sending you our, very best, Wishes.

Kind Regards

AndrewT

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Andrew thank you made me laugh and I understand totally but it’s not our way to demand. It’s just we’re getting older my sons GP fought tooth and nail for us to get a home visit and then this happens. Just the accusation can damage us innocent or not. We’ve been dealing with DWP and UC and pip and wanted to scream but always been civilised and to be let down by those who should help us is devastating especially because it’s her word against our with no proof again thank you hope you’re well. My sons regular GP gave extra evidence to PIP which resulted in enhanced in both categories so makes it even more depressing.

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I will apologise in advance if I have got this wrong! Your GP seems to be supportive so I cannot understand where the receptionist has an advantage over the doctors assessment. Surely this is wrong!

My second comment is that legally you are not obliged to give information to a receptionist as to why you require an appointment. Their request for this information is merely an adjunct to helping a doctor to review your need to see him or her in whatever capacity in the shortest possible time given the ten minute slots allowed. You do not have to do this!

Thirdly, I would suggest getting in touch with your local MP. They can move mountains when it comes to beaurocracy and the need to have help when it is needed. Regards Ann

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Thank you Annie His GP was off sick it was a locum. Second point I did not know at the time we didn’t have to say anything. An MP was involved they broke the news to us because the disability assessment had messed us up so many times for example they had lost my sons file them found it. That we never handed in doctors medical evidence but we had we even dropped it off at their office and had a copy signed. The UC apparently said the UC were holding things up then the UC were saying the DWP were holding it up. Being given appointments when we asked for home visit knowing we couldn’t attend then saying we never showed up that’s just some of the things .They were all a nightmare its gone on for 11 months so far we ended up with UC resolution team saying we had done everything right but they didn’t know how to correct it till MP got involved. So now we’re embarrassed because the MP will have a nagging doubt about us. I could go on forever the only point really is how do we answer an accusation that is unfounded some damage has been done agin she has been with the practice for 19 years and our 3 kids all have disabilities and we have never had a problem it’s unbelievable.

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That is so awful John! I don't know what else to suggest! I think if it was me, I would continue with the MP and try to have faith that he will see you as a family and that you are only trying to do the best you can by your family and get this sorted. You have to trust that someone can help. My very best wishes go with you and yours - Ann

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Thank you

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Hello , If I was you I would make a written complaint with all the facts to the practice manager. These matters are not for a receptionist to decide she should have referred the note back to the oncall GP for that day and not discussed it in the reception area. This has caused you untold stress and it would be understandable if you were annoyed about the mistake, but it seems we as patients have to tolerate all sorts of frustrations ,mistakes and even misdiagnosis plus sometimes even ridicule till we are reduced to either tears, anger or disgust. While they get away with mis representing the facts to suit their own need. Pals can deal with this and in your case Powher (ACAS) in Birmingham can put the whole case on behalf of you as carers of a disabled person with an unpredicatable illness. Please get in touch with those who can help you highlight your case as soon as possible. Every best Wish and take care.

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Thanks

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Hi there. I must write and express my shock and sadness at the way you have all been treated.

You have had many great suggestions already and I cannot add anything better to help you. That said you absolutely must make a formal complaint to the Practice Manager and it will by law have to be investigated thoroughly.

I wish I could help in some way and can only send you the best of wishes that this is resolved quickly and fairly.

I really feel for your whole family. This is NOT the type of treatment anyone should receive from NHS staff.

Do take care.

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Can't you go and see your old gp and ask him for help ,if he's still at the surgery.

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Old GP back next month she has been his GP for 7 years and gave all the evidence needed to get PIP and UC home visit but this doc whom we saw for 10 mins gave extra eviidence not needed at the last minute don’t know why and the UC home visit was withdrawn. The old GP deals with all my 3 children with disabilities and has been a rock she will be mortified this is happening many thanks

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Thank you

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Goodness, how awful for you both. I think you need to do whatever it takes to get the record put straight and have this damaging statement removed from your file. This will involve having everything in writing so i wonder if a meeting with the practice manager is the best way and take along a written account of your version of events to discuss. You need to have your account uploaded onto your file - i know this can be done because I once complained to my consultant about his gross errors and i cc’d my GP in with my photographic evidence and her copy is now on my GP record.

Don’t give up on this, its very important. Do let us know how things go xx

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Thank you for advice

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Good morning to you and your wife. I've read your post and the brilliant replies from our very knowledgeable members and I can't think of anything else I can add which would be of any use. Apologies. It is so sad to read about the way patients are treated and more and more,if it's about a GP Practice, there's a fair chance it will involve the reception staff. I always think,if you don't like your job,then leave it for someone else who would be qualified.....and most definitely a person who takes pride and care in their position!

I am sure you will keep us informed and I wish you strength,determination and resilience... Oh and of course,some good luck. Best wishes.

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Thank you

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Although I can see your point of view, turning this into a war will not help

your already stressful situation. People are all different and maybe the receptionist had underlying problems. Although this does not excuse her behaviour, it may explain it.

Burying yourselves into the negativity of this situation will not help you, so

rise above it, forgive her and straighten out the rest of it. Be the bigger persons and it will find a way of miraculously coming right for you both.

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Thank you wise words much appreciated

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Good morning

No one should have to go through that experience. From what you have said it sounds, to me, that you have been defamed by the practice. Unfortunately criminal libel was repealed in 2010 in the UK. You might still have redress through the civil courts. Drastic as it might seem I would suggest that you see a good solicitor for advice. A solicitor's letter might just put some manners on the practice. The least you deserve is a written apology and an assurance that the practice has forwarded the apology to the appropriate department(s). I wish you and all your family the best for the future.

Best regards

Kevin

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Thanks for reply but we’re gonna speak to manager first hopefully she will understand

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Hi John,

You will probably find that this is not the first time the receptionist has complained about someone. Without realizing how ignorant she was in her own dealings with you, sounds like she likes to blame others. There is some excellent advice here. I wish you and your wife all the best.

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Thank you

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Wow that is a terrible position to end up in with no validity. One person got her nose out of joint and can cause all of these issues. They put way to much weight on her perception of the event. They may find out her true nature and let her go but the damage is done and the incorrect notes are on file.

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This is a PS , you can also contact Healthwatch and they can help you to redress the problem with your practice if it is too stressful to do yourself. There is a form on line at healthwatches website you can find your nearest one on line too by putting in your post code. Solicitors are only for those who are seeking compensation but they can be approached for free on a no win no fee, if you find a need to go this far to clear your name & put the records straight. Hope this further helps you to reach a decision. Try not to delay as peoples memories fade the longer you leave it. Best wishes to you and your family.

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Thank you

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John, It might be worth contacting the BMA - bma.org.uk/advice/employmen... - if you could get a written reference from your old GP that might be beneficial - wishing you luck.

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Thanks

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That will eventually happen no matter what the result thank you

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Don't want to give you offer you any further advice, John, as you have plenty to go on but I just wanted to say that I understand how difficult it can be for you and your with 3 children with disabilities. I spent most of my career teaching children with special needs and advising on their education and I know a lot of parents and carers have to go through so much, feeling they have to battle the systems in place at every turn.

I'm sorry you and your wife are having to go through this and I'm sending you my best wishes in the hope that this situation is resolved to your satisfaction very soon.

Take care

Corin

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Thank you

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Thank you

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Just an update on my dilemma with Docs receptionist and getting disability element of UC for my son with aspergers. Manager at practice has insisted nothing has been submitted by her staff or any doctor accusing any of my family with aggressive or threatening behaviour we have been granted access to view all my family’s files. The MPs office have been dragging their feet since the UC accused us of the wrongful behaviour we have never met any MPs staff but seems they believe UC and not us. Received a letter from UC very ambiguous and has poor grammar. Here is the main part word for word. I understand you attended you doctors surgery and you acted in a threatening and aggressive manor and for this reason the home visit has been withdrawn. Doesn’t give any names of people’s involved or either time or date so how on earth can we answer this accusation. Worse still they haven’t given us a chance to reply and have passed it on to their unacceptable behaviour team who will investigate. No timescale. Just to remind people im not a patient of this surgery just my wife and kids. The letter is addressed to me as I am my sons appointee. Advice will be very welcome. Many thanks to all for your input so far

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