Changing doctors - any advice please?

just had a long chat with a nurse at NHS direct (well the new 111 service) and she advised I change doctors as I am not getting hte care I need at my doctors surgery.

This is something that my husband has said for a while now.

I took their advice and looke dup doctors surgeries in my area using the CCG website and called the one with the best pateint reviews - also turns out it is closer than my current suregery.

I asked them if they were ( as detailed on the CCG website) taking on new patients, and they said yes - BUT they had a few questions - They asked me where I was currently registered and when I told them they asked me why, and I explained that I was not getting the level of care i needed, specifically in areas of thyroid, fibro and pernicious anemia.

The receptionist resposne was that their GP's are general practicioners and not experts in these fields and that I should contact the practice manager at my current surgery before calling them to try to register with them.

I was a little surprised at this - I get the distinct impression she did not want me to register with them.

Is this normal? How would you or have you, gone about changing GP's - is there anything I should know?

M

Last edited by

15 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Have you ever made a formal complaint about your current GP to the Practice Manager?

  • Hi,

    I do not have a current GP - I see a different doctor each time. They do not examine me, they are not all bad, but htey are stretched for time and this means you spend your 5 minutes explaining to them why you are there as they have not read the notes, and then say they have other patients when you ask them what is going on, or get cross when you ask for tests like thyroid antibodies or vitamin tests. I have not made any complaints to the practice manager - I am worried about making formal complaints of any kind in case it would antogonise the situation and possibly leave me without the any care.

    I have no idea who the practice manager is, or how to contact them.

  • Being told that they have other patients to see is downright rude and presumably they're completely out of their depth with thyroid matters.

    I guess your options are to either make a formal complaint to the Practice Manager and get him/her to investigate if there are any GPs there that have some knowledge on thyroid matters then second option would be to move to a different surgery.

    On the Practice website there should be information about their complaints procedure. In any case, from my experience, complaints need to be sent to the Practice Manager.

    There is no way that you would be left without care. Nobody likes complaining but there comes a time when you have to be assertive and take matters into your own hands.

    I've experienced 3 GPs failing to recognise my hypothyroidism when it was staring them in the face and subsequently wasted too much time seeing people who knew nothing and were utterly disinterested in me.

    Good luck.

  • Are you able to have private blood tests done? Or see someone from Louise's list?

  • my experience of dealing with the practice manager is don't bother,complete waste of time.i wrote to her and my gp (different versions of same letter fro respective person)and all she ddi was pass it to my dr.

  • Do not waste time complaining to prac manager - they are employed by the GPs so what arethey going to do? They have no power over GPs. The NHS is unaccountable and that is why itis such a failure. I have been down this road: the PCT is not accountable, the Dept of Health is not accountable; the GMC is a defence union for doctors; the Ombudsman is a waste of time.

    You are better off checking the website of MONITOR, NHS regulator - they are currently taking feedback on NHS gps

  • hi bluedaffodil been there done that.!all a waste of time,i ll try MONITOR

  • I took great delight in informing the Practice Manager in writing that I'd been diagnosed with hypothyroidism by an NHS Endocronologist and that reinforced my opinion that the 3 GPs knew nothing about the endocrine system.

    Some bruised egos for sure, not forgetting that one of the above GPs had failed to diagnose my neighbour with hyperthyroidism despite having all the typical signs.

    Have just sent a complaint to HealthWatch England although can't help feeling that it's just a sop.

    You're absolutely right Bluedaffodil but not sure about Monitor. Presumably I'm unable to report these GPs as it was over 2 years ago that I left the practice, although I'd been a patient for 30 years.

  • See this link:

    nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1088.aspx?...

    "You don’t have to tell your current GP that you want to change. However, if you do, it could speed up the process of transferring your medical records.

    You don’t have to tell the new GP surgery why you want to change either."

    Quite frankly, it's none of the receptionist's business.

  • I went to the new one & they asked why I was moving. I said the relationship had broken down and they accepted that. She said they have to ask in case you are just moving cos of the difficulty getting an appt, because they can't promise they would be any better in that regard.

  • As far as I know, it's none of their business why you want to move to another gp practice, and they shouldn't be asking.

  • Hello I too had the same problem. .my doctor wasn't interested and didn't understand the depths and complications of the thyroid.i saw many doctors in the surgery and although by now was diagnosed with hypothyroidism it was a case of take the tablets and go away...eventually after numerous arguments I saw practice manager ..I got her on side ...The surgery then had meeting about me and my illness...from there I had a meeting with my doctor and practise manager..I got it all out how I felt about the way I was treated by them all and how my illness has affected me and my family...my doctor and I now are working together to get me better ..I've had second opinions ..hospital appointments and will shortly see an endocrinologist. ..Please call your practice manager give them a chance to make it right good luck

  • Oh, there is so much you should know. I have been there and done that.

    You are unlikely to find better care elsewhere - you are a low value patient. If you are hypo, the surgery gets funding for you without actually having to treat you. The funding point they get for you does not oblige them to treat you - i got this a while back via a FOI request. Some diseases are worth more points than others. If you have hypertension, you will be worth more funding and they would love to have you on their books.

    I moved 3 x and each was worse than the last. Recently i did an exercise and wrote to all GP practices whose catchment area i fall into. I asked whether they would prescribe as per my various specialists' advice (current gp refuses to prescribe as per specialist instructions - yes it is apparently lawful) - of those that bothered to respond, none said yes.

    So bottom line: do not waste your energy moving as you will wear yourself out and get nowhere. Best you can do is start self medicating - i left it far too late to take control, but I am so glad i did

    Please bear in mind that many NHS surgeries - in my view- may be writing positive posts about themseleves. I have some experience of this: moved to one with lots of good reviews and they were downright dangerous. They actually tampered with my electronic records to cover up negligence. They also blocked a negative review i tried to publish. When i re-read the positive reviews it was clear to me they were probably bogus as they all used the same style and were almost identical.

  • Hi Mrs Somerset,

    I changed GP last June as I considered that I wasn't getting the care that I needed - I'll not bore you with all of the details, but looking back now, it was truly sub-standard. This was a big step for me to take and I was so nervous that I was going to jump out of the frying pan into the fire. In the end, however, I felt I had no choice.

    I simply rang the new surgery to ask if they were taking new patients and they said yes and so I asked if I could come in and register. I went in that same day and filled out the paperwork AND IT THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE! No one asked any questions, as far as they were concerned I might just have moved into the area. You have a right to change your surgery.

    I like you had looked online at surgeries in the area, reviews etc. I also asked around and spoke to a couple of people who used the surgery. I think this last piece of research was especially definitive in helping me make up my mind.

    Another thing that I discovered after the event, which has been particularly advantageous is that I can view my results/medical record online at the new surgery. This has been invaluable in helping me prepare for appointments after I have had tests done. It is also a bigger surgery with a real range of doctors (i.e., male/female/newly qualified/older etc...)

    To date, I have no complaints about my new GP, she really listens and works with me. I feel like I am slowly getting my life back after years and years of ill health.

    I could possibly have complained about my treatment at my previous surgery, but to be honest I just wanted to move forward and concentrate on getting my heath back.

  • I think I need to say a big thank-you to my sister.

    She had threatened to complain to my surgery on my behalf, I told her I did not want any hassle, I need my thyroid treatment, physio etc and cannot go 3 months without whilst trying to sort out paperwork move - I was pretty down and my hubby was pretty cross.

    anywhoo - I had my call with my docs this morning - list ready, even set a timer to make sure I do not take up too much of thier time, but it was a totally different experience

    they asked me how I felt on the treatment I was having - not asked me that before, they said they would not only book aspoecialist but would email them as they knew waiting times were long.

    just the effect of having the doc listen to me, and not get cross when I stumble over words was really positive, and I am greatful he came to the phone appointment prepared - we got a lot covered and he really did seem to listen to me :-)

    he said they would look into why my condition was not treated earlier - I just care about my treatment now quite frankly.

    I would not have had the courage to say anything, and cannot see how this massive turnaround has happeend without a complaint - I will have to tell her off of course, but also give her massive thanks.

    I am not sure this would work for everyone, or even if this change will last, but I can say it makes a massive difference to your mindset to think something is being done, so if you are brave - it might be worth a try for others too.

You may also like...