Oesophageal Patients Association

Trying to get a doctors appointment

Thought I would share this conversation with everybody.......I phoned the doctors surgery today to make an appointment to review my medication I have been taking since I came out of hospital....plus another problem..sorry we have no appointments left. If you phone back tomorrow we may have some appointments on Friday...thats ok can i book an appointment for next week....sorry we haven`t any. If I phone back tomorrow will I get an appointment for Friday....phone tomorrow to find out.....if I don`t get an appointment when can I book an appointment to see the doctor, sorry all appointments are booked, so when can I see a doctor...(by now blood pressure slightly raised), I can get a doctor to phone you, but I still need to see a doctor...forget it I`ll phone back tomorrow... would you like to speak to the practice manager....no I`ll speak to him when I get an appointment.....but he only works 2 days a week....Ok I`ll speak to the manager...Now speaking to the manager he tells me all appointments are booked and to phone for an appointment tomorrow......what happens if there are no appointments left.....he now explains that they are short of doctors and they are trying to get a locum for friday but are having no luck, so when can i see a doctor.....he now tells me its like a BAKERY once all the bread has gone thats it....( whats that got to do with anything) ... so I reply sorry but I have had surgery for cancer of the oeasphagus in Feb and would like to see a doctor for a review of my medication and another problem. Suddenly `we keep spare appointment back for emergencys you can have one of those` no thanks its not an emergency I just want an appointment,,,,,sorry we haven`t got any... well when can i see a doctor....(blood pressure going up)..i can fit you in with an emergency slot... no thanks they are for emergencys.....can you get a doctor to phone me.....no that only wastes the doctors time...( really annoyed now)... but the receptionist said she would get the doctor to phone me.......ok can I take your details gave him my details he then starts calling me by my 1st name which really annoyed me....3 hours later the doctor rang me back......I explained the situation and that I wasn`t happy and it was bad enough going through the trials of having cancer and the surgery without having the hassle of trying to get an appointment .............her reply was I`m very sorry we can give you an appointment on Friday (No it wasnt an emergency one)

Anybody else had this happen to them !!!!!!!!!!!!!

12 Replies

Hi Mick,

A similar situation happens in my area as well. I have to see doc next month for a medication review as well so am keeping my fingers crossed. It seems to be a common fault theses days.

All the best



Hopeless trying to see my doctor. Usually have to wait at least a week. Surgery usually has doctors that come and go who I think fill in for the regular doctors who dont seem to be there much. I suspect they are doing private moonlighting! As for seeing my own designated doctor, almost impossible.

All this after doctors got massive pay rises to stay open longer!. A note at the surgery says they have appointments on wednesday evenings and saturdays. Try to get one..................

Route cause is a massive increase in the population. Afraid its endemic throughout public services now.


Hi Mick I am having a similar problem with the hospital, I am now 2 years post op and definitely not important anymore. I have had a continual problem of coughing when I eat, so after speaking to my clinician I was told I needed a barium swallow to see what was going on,I was told it would be about a four week wait, that was almost 10 weekes ago. When i called to find out why I hadn't heard anything I was told it was becasue GP's were sending anyone with a sore finger for xrays so the waiting list was getting longer. I don't want to complain but it is worrying me as I can feel a 'sore' spot as I swallow, but not much it seems I can do about it.




How annoying Mick I do feel sorry for you. We had a similar situation at my surgery and they have recently adopted a new system whereby they only book so many appointments a.m. and p.m. for each doctor, each day, leaving some spaces open. If you then need an appointment on that day, you ring in the morning for a morning one or if you need one in the afternoon you ring as soon as afternoon surgery starts. There is still a limited number of spaces and they are first come first served. Despite my initial scepticism it does seem to work. GP practices should now have a Patient Participation Group - if they don't you should ask for one to be formed, this way you do get to air your views. You might not be up to this at present but it might be something to be considered for the future. In the meantime I suggest that you send a written complaint to your doctor copying in the practice manager, I suggest you copy and paste your conversation. This way it makes your complaint more formal and perhaps the situation might improve or at least be looked at. I think it is well worth the effort. No matter how busy or short staffed they are, patients do deserve respect and the situation obviously needs addressing. I hope that things are progressing well for you after your operation and I wish you all the very best.



It should make no difference to the length of time, you are still a cancer patient and as such you should not be kept waiting when you are worried. If it helps I still have similar problems to you and I am four years post op. It does not take a lot to irritate what is left of the oesophagus and make it feel raw. The good news is the coughing has eased up when I eat, but it has taken a very long time.



Thanks for that Steve, it is reassuring to know I am not alone, I keep telling myself it is just scar tissue, but we all know how the dark thoughts can creep in


At my Gp surgery when we phone for an appointment the doctor phones back maybe many hours later and talks to you. So we now do not see our Gp. I find this very difficult because if they dont physically see you how can they pick up any problems eg anemic. Also emegency appts we are seen by any doctor who do not have knowledge of you and your medical history.Moya



I would leave the poltics of the health center problems to the staff, I can count on one hand how many times I have seen a doctor since my operation. When I have made an appointment I have always stated clearly that I am a cancer patient and quite frankly I don't care if it is a so called emergency slot, it is just a slot to me. Getting worked up over things are quite easy when we are feeling low but we know it is not good for our recovery.



Hi Mick

are you still under the Hospital?(I am after 6 years this July,) I only have to ring my upper nurse, who has looked after me, and is so helpful makes me feel I am the only one that has had the Op, it's worth the try,

All the Best Tony


Hi Tony

I only had the op in Feb 2012 I have seen the consultant twice since and i`m due to see him again in August. The specialist nurse left a couple of months ago and I only met the new nurse on my last visit the only way I can contact her is by phoning and leaving amessage for her to contact me.

I haven`t felt the need to contact her as I`m just going with the flow and taking it one day at a time.


Well, the doctor phoned and she gave me an appointment. On the appointment I explained that my problem was numbness in my upper left leg, and I wanted to `come off the medication` She asked me various questions then felt my neck and upper shoulders.

Then explained that they would do a blood test, to check things out and I had to make another appointment to see the nurse. Appointment made for a week later, `blood fasting test` couldn`t eat from 7pm until after the test the next day (9.30am). When the nurse was taking the blood I remarked about not eating since the day before to which she said `oh they haven`t put you down for a `fasting check` !!!!!! but I`ll do it anyway........Now waiting for the results to see how things are.

Have since had a phone call from my doctor, she will be looking into the way appointments are booked and suggested I might be `Red Flagged` as being higher priority due to cancer. (not what I wanted, just a better booking system). Also had a letter from the practice manager who said he was sorry i was having difficulty obtaining an appointment and went into explain the booking system. When I told him I had had major surgery for cancer in Feb, that is why he said he would give me an `embargoed appointment. Also said he was sorry that this matter has caused me to write and complain.

He further went onto say ` I do hope you accept my apologies for being familiar, I was only trying to be genuinelt friendly. I am 58 years old, served 12 years in the Army, 22 years in the Prison service and i was always brought up to treat others with respect and to only be `friendly with people when you know them`.

Strange thing though he never even mentioned the `BAKERY`........


Well the results of the blood test came back yesterday and the doctors surgery phoned to make an appointment.....got one for the following day.

It seems as though the blood tests show I need to take folic acid tablets, eat more green leafed vegatables and liver...After a chat and checking my weight now have to take folic acid for 4 months and then have another blood test. Still no idea what has caused the numbing in my upper left leg, could it be caused by the epidural in my back......

Still can`t find an interest in food, have to clock watch and remind myself to eat, but all a learning experience. We live and learn.

Apart from that still plodding along, doing bits here and there, bit of gardening, pottering in my shed making a dolls house for my grandaughter, back full time in the cub pack, been on a weekend camp, then a 1 night sleepover to help Beavers out.

Still have a few up and down days, usually its to do with getting the balance right when eating and NOT doing anything for about an hour after I`ve eaten.

My long suffering wife has decided we need a holiday, so the other day I got a phone call to say can you transfer some money.........I`ve booked a holiday. So in September we are away for a week flying to Corfu then on a cruise ship for about 5 days. (thanks to all friends, partners and family we couldn`t do without them)

1st holiday together in 31 years without our children........................


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