Inefficient GPs

I'm sulking a little while I write this as I'm feeling sorry for myself. I thought I was finally getting somewhere (albeit slowly) but now it's all come to a standstill. My consultant wrote to my GP regarding further tests and sent me a copy. I had an MRI (booked in while with consultant) very soon after the letter arrived but the other test, a gastroscopy needed to be referred by my GP before an appointment could be booked. First I was a little miffed that after receiving a copy of this letter it somehow took over a week longer to get to my GP (they are a stones throw away from me), but I got over it. It then took two weeks to get an appointment with the GP. On explaining the need for the appointment, I was advised that a telephone appointment would be sufficient. Glad that no time from work was needed, I booked it. The appointment came and after all was explained my GP determined that she was unable to do it over the phone as she likes to have a chat about things first. Another week passed before being able to get another appointment. I went, no "discussion" took place and no information in addition to the original phone call was provided nor received. The outcome was that I got a referral note though and was told that I would have to wait 4 working days before calling to book it - this meant waiting again until the following week. I am now still waiting five weeks on for her to send the referral letter off so I can make this appointment. I have had to cancel my follow up appointment with the consultant and now it looks like I am going to have to cancel the one I made in its place. I am soooo cross. The appointment line seemed perplexed that this is happening and keep encouraging me to phone the Medical Secretary at the surgery. I have done this every week, and every time I get the same response - "She hasn't done it; we will red flag it and remind her, we will call you when it has been done.” I just don’t know what to do about it. I have the name of the practice manager to write a complaint to, but from what i’ve read online, these things are ignored by the practice and people don’t get even an acknowledgement letter. I almost feel that it will be another waste of my time. I could have moved to a different practice and probably had the referral by now. I know the waiting time was only 7 days at one of the nearest clinics too, I can’t understand why this is happening. Is she working to targets? I know she hasn’t been unwell or in holiday as I’ve checked that too, I am losing my patience quickly. Any advice would be welcomed.


6 Replies

  • Maybe she has too many consultations to do in a week. If I wanted to see my GP it was around 3 days. Now appointments are more than two weeks ahead but I agree it is frustrating for you.

  • Poor thing your GP needs to get off their backside and do as they are asked!  There is no logic in delaying you.  Change your surgery.

  • I find GPs painfully delaying. If something could be done in one phone call or visit to the surgery, it will be done in three. I don't understand how they have so much time to waste! I suspect it's a strategy to somehow save time by preventing patients from getting their desired outcome so they don't come back. 

  • You are not alone sadly - any time I want something done I can kiss a month goodbye & that's when they are being efficient :(

    I've tried all sorts with no success, even going down the complaints route, but unfortunately I have experienced no improvement in service :(

    I would say either try & change GP to see if you have better success, or change practice. Wait until the current referral is done though else you might be at the "back of the queue" again.

  • I am fortunate that my GP actually dictates his letters (into a recorder) as soon as he decides he to make a referral so it is always done before I leave the surgery.  But there is a lot of pressure on GPs because surgeries are often understaffed and over worked. This is not an excuse but it is a fact of life. 

    Is there not another GP, at the same surgery, who you could see?  Try booking a double appointment.  Whilst there state that you have come for the purpose of seeing the letter written and have made a double appointment to allow time for it.

    Otherwise you could try contacting your local PALS service for advice or pass your complaint on to your local commissioner  Either way I would seriously consider changing surgery.

  • Thank you for all of your replies.  I have found out today that he surgery have gone into special measures (if that's the correct term) as they have been rated as inadequate. I have been advised (by friends) to change surgeries without waiting for a referral due to this.  It does make me wonder whether all surgeries are like this as my last one before I moved was awful too...

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