Threatening Meeting with 2 gps at my practice yesterday

I made a complaint to NHS England about my gps. I'm under the mental health team to get support, because I lost my job, life as the previous GP wouldn't treat my hashis. We moved surgeries and its like starting all over again..very stressful.

Anyway the mental health team were also there at the meeting to 'support' me. They didn't do that. In fact it felt like an attack by them all. Nobody backed me up. My so called care co-ordinater told my gps confidential things in the meeting!

The practice manager, another useless medical professional, was there. They wanted me to sign a letter with conditions, but I was not comfortable doing that. They accused me of recording them, but I have my phone out, because of my alarms for my meds and supplements. The letter was full of lies.

At the end of the letter they say if I don't sign it then I'll be thrown out of the surgery. Can they do this?

All this because I complained to NHS England.

47 Replies

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  • Why would they be worried if you'd recorded them, if they weren't aware on some level that what they were doing was wrong? I bet there's a part of you that wishes you had now!

    {{hugs}}, Neeta. That sounds horrible. I certainly wouldn't sign in those circumstances. I'm wondering whether now might be a good time to involve your MP, given we're about to head into election season. Most MPs hold "surgerys". You could certainly do with some advice. It sounds like you've been very let down by your so-called health "professionals" and could do with someone fighting your corner. How about Citizen's Advice?

  • Thanks for the hug and advice. I will contct the citizens advice bureau on Monday and look into seeing my MP too

  • That sounds awful and I'm so sorry you went through that but good for you for complaining about them, I don't have the guts to complain about my GPs.

    I 'think' they can ask you to change surgeries but would second jazz's recommendation of seeing CAB and your local MP for help.

    Sounds like the predictably useless 'medical professionals' are closing ranks so it'll help you to have someone on your side.

  • The mental health team told me it was a meeting about the mental health team working with the gps...helping me.

    Also, I feel now I cant complain about the gps in fear of being thrown out of a surgery.

  • So they invited you to a meeting to discuss 'helping' you and then tried to cooerce you into signing an agreement if you want to stay at the surgery?

    Is there another surgery you can register at?

  • Yes.

    This is meant to be the best surgery in the area! The best of a bad lot.

  • Telford?

  • We moved to Bradford in June.

  • I knew there was a reason I never bother to complain about healthcare or lack of!

  • You don't get anywhere. I think there's a petition about NHS complaints and how it's basically a waste of time

  • Sorry to hear about how badly you're being treated.

    What kind of conditions are they requesting you to adhere to?

  • They have a 30 minute policy, where you can't book more than 30 minutes of appointments. My complaint was that I had general appointments about long standing issues, and when I wanted an urgent appointment for uti, ear infection and fever, they wouldn't give me one until I cancelled a future appointment. I contacted NHS England about it.

    I'm under the mental health team because I asked for councilling. I've lost my life because the previous GP in Shropshire wouldn't diagnose or treat me. When I had my assessment in primary care, they could see I was under secondary care in Shropshire. I was getting my thyroid meds there from a psychiatrist as he believed I was hypo. So now I'm under secondary care here. Waiting for councilling and family therapy. My parents are from a different culture and I find it difficult living with them. I think i have been hypo for 25 years and it has ruined my life that I was never diagnosed.

    Ok so the conditions are;

    1) I am allocated one routine double appointment of 20 mins every 2 weeks

    2) any other appointment requests will be triaged by the duty doctor

    3) the facility to book appointments on line will be removed

    4) you are required to comply with changes to your repeat prescriptions. Medications will only be added to your repeat prescriptions on agreement by the practice team

    5) any requests for blood tests or referrals will be needed to be agreed by the practice team

    6) if you wish to record a conversation you agree to politely inform the practiser that you are doing so

    Any deviation from this proposal will be considered a further breakdown in the doctor/patient relationship and will result in you being removed from the practice list

  • Really sorry to hear about this. Something similar but more complicated also happened to me.

    Do u have a contact at nhs England u can speak to? If u phone NHS England helpline say u feel you're getting repercussions as a result of making your complaint - which all NHS patients are supposed to be protected from and complaints not to affect current and future care - and ask them to allocate a case worker to help u sort it out.

    They can do this when necessary - u may have to press them as to the importance and intimidation you feel etc for them to do this.

    This meeting you landed up in sounds very coercive and is a breach of your rights to ask u to sign under those pressured circumstances with no advocate or friend there to support you.

    Are they alleging that It is your mental health state that resulted in the complaint? As if this is untrue this could be discrimination on grounds of mental health diagnosis/association.

    Hopefully an NHS England case worker and/or an independent advocate - try Healthwatch to access this - may be able to help u resolve the issue with the practice to prevent having to move as it is against the rules of the NHS constitution for this to happen to you as a result of your complaint.

    Take care,

    Starbys :-)

  • Thanks Starbys. Please see my above post for more details. They are saying that I am too demanding, I have too many appointments, that I intimidate doctors, that I will only see certain doctors, only deal with one receptionist, that I am recording consultations, that I don't trust the doctors.

    All of the above is untrue.

  • I would have thought the last one was true. How can you trust people that behave like that!!! I haven't trusted doctors for years, and have no reason to!!!

    You have been treated appaulingly. It's absolutely disgusting. How dare they behave like that. Had it been me, I think I would have told them where to stuff their 'agreement' - in no uncertain terms - and left! Surely the other surgery can't be worse than that!

    What angers me is that they are supposed to be there to meet your demands. If you appear 'too' demanding, it's obvious that they aren't meeting your needs. Do they think you go there for an afternoon out, or something? Nothing is worse than going to the doctors (except, perhaps the dentist!), I refuse to believe that anyone does it if they don't need to. They are an ingnorant bunch of pretentious morons, too far up their own backsides to be capable of treating anybody! And I think you would be wise to follow the advice of those above who know more about the procedures than I do, and get help from the relevant authorities. They have no right, under any circumstances, to treat you like that!

    Take care of yourself.

    Hugs, Grey

  • Hi Grey

    Hear! Hear!

    I told them in the meeting 'going to the doctors is not my hobby, I have better things to do'.

  • Of course you do! No, that meeting says more about them and their incompetence than it does about you! x

  • Thanks for the support Grey. Xxx

  • You're welcome. :)

  • I complained to my surgery and soon found out they are pretty much a 'locked in house business'. Unless proven misconduct its almost impossible to get anywhere.

    Shouldn't be like that.

    One thing I say is you can request the body doing reports on gp surgeries. Won't help you but may make them sit up.

    X

  • Hi jelly pain. I'm not sure I understand. Who should I contact?

  • Wow! What an awful experience. I have also complained about my practice, though I just get a letter telling me to book in with a different gp. I also contacted the patient advocate and she has not got back to me.

    I come from citizens advice background having volunteered and done paid specialist advice for a few bureaus in Wales since 2003. Only with one at mo. My main specialist areas are Welfare Benefits, Housing and Debt though am a Generalist Adviser and a Gateway Assessor too - which is who you would see at CAB, as your case would come under that category. To be honest, what we would do to help you is help you complain (which you have already done), by helping you write letters, advocate on you behalf by speaking to them over the phone and inform you of your rights and how to go to the next step above them such as going to your MP/AM, who may be the best person to go to in this situation. I have come across something similar in my line of work and in that case we could assist them to make a complaint, but you have already done this. The other thing we can do is help you to contact the local health board.

    Also, in Wales, if we get thrown out of a surgery, we contact the local health board who then allocate us with a gp/surgery - is that the same in England? When I lived in Swansea, I complained about a GP who told me to by St John's Wort as an antidepressant. Firstly, I am vegetarian and it contains gelatine and also I don't agree with antidepressants anyway, I would never touch them, even when I had severe anorexia in the past and couldn't function and felt in total despair. So, I complained as I didn't want depressants, I wanted to be able to deal with my raw emotions no matter how bad I felt - and over the years, its that which has made me stronger, not antidepressants which give a quick fix and don't deal with the underlying cause. All that happened was that I ended up with another practice which was 2 bus journeys away grr, eventually I did a driving test and got a car. That was more than 15years ago.

    However, in your case, they are trying to use your 'mental health' as an excuse not to deal with your thyroid which is downright ignorant and unfair of them.

    This is why there are Dr's like Dr S (who is sadly no longer), Dr M ect who will do the best for thyroid patients. However, not always affordable to everyone who needs it. Seriously, the NHS needs a good shake-up.

    xx

  • Hi pink girl. I will look into when my MP has his next surgery xxx

  • Hi Neeta, that sounds awful. The NHS has an advocacy service which is independent and will help with complaints and they will attend meetings with you as well, it might be worth speaking to them. The number to call is 0300 330 5454. You could also call MIND, 0300 123 3393 as they also have an advocacy service for mental health but I'm not sure if it's available everywhere but they might be able to advise you further if it's not.

    Don't give up and don't be bullied, I've had to complain on someone's behalf regarding mental health treatment and they were less than helpful and quite aggressive at times but I put everything in writing and kept escalating the complaint higher and eventually got what I wanted. I was offered the advocacy support but in the end didn't need it but it is available, at least it was in my area.

    Good luck with everything

    Shaz

  • Thanks Shaz. I will call them.

  • i to had to complain about a gp who refused me more levothyroxine saying thyroid had healed. luckily i had already gone to another surgery then complained after.i am a nurse myself often taking care of thyroid patients yet didnt recieve the same care standards when i needed them. the practice manager also back up the staff rather then me the patient. i to was refered to a mental health team when all along it was the thyroid that caused my (imaginary as the gp put it) symptoms.

  • I know exactly how you feel Joyce

  • I have never made a complaint to the NHS, for the simple fact that it is more trouble than its worth. It would just go on my records that I'm "a trouble maker" or "difficult patient". I have to say I have a lot of respect for your bravery and just going for it. I wouldn't have dared.

  • Thanks Lindsey. My complaint was about making exceptions for the 30 minute policy, and they have gone ballistic!

  • hi lindsay some time ago i would never have complain about a gp but now after years of not getting good standards i felt i needed to make a complaint. iam sure you wouldnt be classed as a difficult patient as it is your right to complain about bad service same as we would complain say in a shop or restaurant.

  • Get yourself an advocate your local MIND will help.

  • Thanks Janet. I will contact them.

  • Neeta-k, have you contacted The Patients Association? The are independant and very helpful. Sorry to read the appaling way you have been treated.

  • Hi Tiger. Is that the same as Pals or different?

  • Morning Neeta, sorry my wireless service not working last light. Patient Association is not PALS. Patient Association is a charity body not connected to NHS so they don't 'work' for them. They were really kind and helpful to me recently when GP/hospital were stalling on a referal I was desperate for - still on the long road to a diagnosis but at least i'm On the road now.

    As far as Your probem is concerned, could you get a family member or friend to go into the appointments with you for support? I always take my husband, mainly as I have had so much treatment I forget details & he was with me so remembers more, but also so I don't get squashed by imperious medics! I wish you could be treated in a decent way, I know personally that this condition Can effect your mental wellbeing & luckily, after pressure from GP, who told Psych I had anorexia, I was told by Psych she completely understood why I was having problems eating, & I didn't need her help!

    Kind regards

    Tricia

  • Hi Tricia. I do take one of my parents with me most of the time. I think I will organise an advocate now. Glad you are on the road now to get a diagnosis.

    I will also get in touch with the patients association.

  • Hi Neeta-K,

    Thanks for the reply.

    What exactly is the 30 minute rule?

    You have a right to appointments for chronic condirions whenever you need them; they cannot make arbritary restrictions that may not fit with your needs.

    It would be wortb ringing the NHS helpline and asking for a case worker to help you sort things out. But u need an advocate or friend or relative to attend appts with u too.

    Some of the things you described - being too demanding, having too many appointments, and only seeing certain doctors - are all reasons that GPs are NOT allowed to use for removing patients from a GP practice list.

    The difficulty is that that have not said those things In so many words on paper - as always they are always careful to cover their paper trail even if they know what they are saying to you when they speak is different and wrong - so what this means is that you need to get someone to attend Al your future appointments with you; that way you will have a witness.

    Do you have a trusted friend or family member who can attend appts with you? Or if not, an advocate should be able to attend with you.

    It would be a good idea to take a look at the Disability Rights UK website.

    And I have some other links which if I can find them I'll post.

    But in case I can't you should be able to find them - they were from the NHS website and also from a Google search on 'reasons why GP's are not allowed to remove patients from practice list'. Also from the Medical Protection Society.

    Also, are u able to ask to be referred back to the psychiatrist in Sheffield (who sounds like was more helpful).

    Also, as part of the NHS Constitution, all NHS patients have the right to be involved in decision making about their own care and treatment decisions should be made jointly between doctor and patient.

    In 'requiring' to 'comply' with changes to your prescriptions, they are obviously not involving you in your own treatment decisions. As complying is agreeing to something you've been told you have to do by someone else.

    Unfortunately these are the problems that happen when mental health teams become involved in the care of patients with poorly understood physical conditions - even when they are involved for an unrelated reason like your situation- as the psychiatrists far too often assume the symptoms are psychological and start trying to interfere with the treatment for the physical condition (usually trying to stop treatment aimed at physical causes as they think it's not needed/not appropriate as the symptoms are psychological).

    If I were you I would discharge yourself from the mental health team's involvement and then your GPs may gradually stop being so unhelpful.

    You could get counselling and/or family therapy possibly from charities - worth investigating.

    It depends really on which is your biggest problem at the moment; your mental health or your phusical health, and how much worse you think it will make you stopping your thyroid treatment versus how much you need the therapy.

    Take care and I really hope things improve for you ASAP.

    Starbys :-)

  • Hi Starbys. Thanks again for the help and advice.

    The 30 minute appointment policy is that you can't have more then 30 minute appointments booked. So for eg, if I have a future 20min appointment, and a telephone call with a doctor that's classed as 10mins. So in total thats 30mins. So if I need an urgent appointment for the UTI I had, I can only get that urgent appointment if I cancel one of my other appointments, as I'd be going over 30mins.

    The things they said like being too demanding etc..they actually wrote in the letter. It's a 2 page letter! I can scan it and email it to NHS England.

    My parents came with me to the appointment, and come to nearly all the GP appointments with me.

    The psychiatrist is in a different city and I think you can only see a local psychiatrist, which I have seen, and he said he will write to my GP. It's been 2 months and he hasn't even dictated the letter. I keep chasing it up but he's 'very busy'.

    When I saw him he was on my side. In fact he said that he can't imagine what it would be like to be ill for 25 years and not be diagnosed. And he told me that the gps don't like me probably because I'm very knowledgable and they find it intimidating.

    I was hoping his letter and the pressure from the mental health team would make the gps listen. The psychiatrist discharged me and didn't want to put me on any mental health drugs.

    Mentally I am well, except when things like this happen. My hypothyroidism treatment is the most important thing for me.

    I will look at all the websites etc.. you've suggested.

    Thanks again xxx

  • Hi Neeta,

    I was wondering what the situation was regarding your health issues. You state that you've been unwell for 25 years - which is a really long time and it's hard to believe that your GP's have not followed up on your Hypo/Hashi.

    If they don't think you've got a thyroid problem, what exactly do they think is wrong or is it that they feel your physical records from your bloods etc, do not match your symptoms? Have you been referred to anyone else for anything else - there are other conditions that come sometimes mimic thyroid conditions, would you be prepared to share the information on this site?

    Would you consider a different approach before you head off to escalate the situation? I must apologise for what I'm about to do, which is to spout some well known and overused cliches but here goes..., you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar and there are many ways to skin a cat. With that in mind, may I suggest that instead of going in all guns blazing you try the approach below which worked for me.

    First of all, it may be useful to request all the documents/reports and paperwork your GPs have on you - say, covering the last three to five years. This will give you the opportunity to see for yourself, what has been written, what your test results are and how they have been handling or managing your symptoms and concerns. It will cost you, but in my opinion, it's generally money well spent. The more information you request, the more it will cost as they tend to charge for the copying as well as collating.

    After that, you can address the situation fully armed with the information, addressing each individual point that concerns you and/or challenge their decisions, medications, approaches, perceptions of you. You could, if you wanted to, draw up a counter proposal for signature and request the same people to be present, go with an advocate (if you wish) and re-negotiate the agreement in your favour. Remember, Knowlege is Power - I promise, that's my last cliche.

  • Hi Reykua

    I diagnosed myself at the age of 36 that I have hypothyroidism. I've suffered these symptoms since I was 11. I then had to fight for a diagnosis because my TSH wasn't over 10.

    My gps keep saying I'm over treated as I have suppressed TSH now that I am on liothyronine. So they keep saying I can't still be hypo. But the Endo has said he's ok with me having a suppressed TSH as long as my t4&3 are in range. The gps prescribe on the endos say so. But they just don't get it.

    That is the main problem...my suppressed TSH and the gps not being knowledgable enough. I have also been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue so I have to try and sort that out. We all know where the NHS stands on AF!

    Thanks for your suggestions and help.

  • It's time to get a solicitor!

  • Yep

  • I mmade an official complaint following PALS prodeeure in 2007 and found myself promptly struck off!

  • That's so bad. We should be protected if we complain.

  • Thanks for all the help everyone. Today my care coordinator came out. My parents told her that the letter is threatening. She said that she didn't know they were going to do that. She suggested to get an advocate to deal with it.

    Thanks to you all, I have a lot of places to contact, and will be doing so tomorrow.

    Neeta xxxx

  • Good on you Neeta - it takes some guts to stick up to these medics - especially when you're not well!! I hope you get a successful outcome.

  • Thanks Juliet. I will let you know.

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