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Age discrimination at Doctor


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My elderly parents - 78 and 79 have had a problem in getting to see their GP, when they make appointments they are told they can only see the practise nurse and all attempts at getting GP appointment have been refused by the surgery, I phoned the surgery this morning to complain about this and was told that if I complained they would take my parents of their list

I know they can take people of the surgery list without giving a reason, but I believe its due to age discrimination ( and therefore illegal) and I want to challenge them, I would like to have facts and figures with me when I go down to see them

 

Can anyone help

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Well, unless you have more than a belief that they are discriminating, you are not going to get very far.

 

What is the reason being given for refusing a GP appointment? A lot of things are being routinely handled by the nurse at my surgery.

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No reason given my parents are happy to see a practise nurse for blood tests etc but want to see their GP about other things and I am sorry a PN may miss something that a GP will pick up on, I have also looked at the web site that advises GPs on removing a patient and they are not allowed to unless they give a warning ( unless there is violence ) and certainly cannot do so due to age or 'cost'

 

Any way ( and I am sorry if people dont agree with me) my parents have paid into the NHS are are bleddy entitled nto see a GP if they want

 

From Cradle to Grave is what the NHS promised

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Well, after the treatment my parents received from my local hospital, I too believe that age discrimination is alive and kicking in the NHS, but like Bookworm says, you need to prove it.

Can you make the appointment on behalf of your mum or dad? If the appointment is refused ask why and to whom you are speaking so that you can challenge it in writing to head of practice.

Don't let your parents be threatened into not making a complaint.

One thing I've learned over the last few years is that there is definitely no such thing as an expert. Even if you think the GP will know more than the PN, they both don't know everything. You should never be embarrassed to return to the doctor several times and ask for a second opinion if you feel your 'problem' is not being dealt with effectively.

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There is no prohibition on age discrimination in the context of provision of goods or services. There is no basis to complain about this in law.

 

It might be worth looking at changing GP.

If I've been helpful, please add to my rep. :)

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Maybe there is no such law at present, but if the GP is turning elderly patients away because of their age, it is discrimination. Why should they change their GP? It may be close by and convenient. Challenge what is unacceptable. If this is age discrimination, I would be making a formal complaint. Perhaps 'phone Age Concern to see whether they have any advice. The goal should be to make age discrimination as unacceptable to the public psyche as race and sex discrimination.

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Maybe there is no such law at present, but if the GP is turning elderly patients away because of their age, it is discrimination. Why should they change their GP? It may be close by and convenient. Challenge what is unacceptable. If this is age discrimination, I would be making a formal complaint. Perhaps 'phone Age Concern to see whether they have any advice. The goal should be to make age discrimination as unacceptable to the public psyche as race and sex discrimination.

 

The point is though, that at present, it is not unacceptable. What do you feel will be gained from a formal complaint? Attitudes don't change because of letters, they change because of laws.

 

SV

If I've been helpful, please add to my rep. :)

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I phoned the surgery today to make an appointment for my dad, didnt say what it was for and was offered an appointment with the PN, I refused this and was told by the surgery - Mrxxxx always sees the PN. I said this time MRxxx will see the GP, The receptionist then asked to speak to my father as a 'matter of confidentialty' as she need to ask him what the problem was, I refused point blank and told her we would not be discussing my dads problem with her only with the GP and if she didnt make an appointment we would be taking up the matter with the the local health authority and we also go straight to the surgery and demand to see a GP Dad has an appointment with GP on Monday, he has trouble with his sight and his optician has told him to see his GP as it may be that wet eye problem that was in the papers recently, but I want him checked out and referred to an eye specialist if need be.

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Seftonview

Age discrimination is accepted because of the following

1. Old people dont contest things as they are bought up not to make a fuss and to treat doctors and the like as 'authority figures.'

2 Young people dont give a damn as they cant percieve themselves as ever getting old so it does not concern them

3. It is people like me in middleage who tend to make a stand as we know we will be in the same situation in 10 - 20 years

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Good for you madamfluff. As the optician is unsure of the eye disorder, he rightly referred your dad to his GP. Your GP can refer him to a specialist. It sounds rather like the PN is filtering the GPs appointments. I'm sure there are a great many problems that they can deal with, but ultimately it should be an absolute right for the patient to make the appointment with the GP. I wish your dad well.

 

Seftonview, silence gives consent. There is, I believe an Equality Bill in process. My attitude towards descrimination is already formed, I do not need a law to know right from wrong.

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What Seftonview is trying to say, I think, is that you said in your first post:

but I believe its due to age discrimination ( and therefore illegal)
and he is pointing out that in law at this point, there is no such thing as age discrimination outside of work. So no, the alleged discrimination of which you complain is not illegal.

 

Therefore, any complaint of age discrimination to the surgery would fail in law.

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go for it, and complain to your MP, or anyone who will listen. GP's get paid a fortune, and pick and choose who they will see. It is wrong to do this, and I have had problems with my GP when my mum was alive and she was unwell, but would not complain or say anything.

It takes us, their next of kin to take up the mantle and fight for fair treatment for everyone, no matter who you are.

It really makes me mad to hear about this behaviour:evil:

Good luck in your fight

LilythePink

If you liked what I said, and if it helped in any way, please tip my scales..... thank you:)

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What Seftonview is trying to say, I think, is that you said in your first post:

and he is pointing out that in law at this point, there is no such thing as age discrimination outside of work. So no, the alleged discrimination of which you complain is not illegal.

 

Therefore, any complaint of age discrimination to the surgery would fail in law.

 

This is exactly the point I was making.

 

If the GPs "issue", for want of a better word, is with the patients age, as it stands he has done nothing wrong in law. I'm not advocating that is right or fair, but it is the way it is at present.

 

Seftonview, silence gives consent. There is, I believe an Equality Bill in process. My attitude towards descrimination is already formed, I do not need a law to know right from wrong.

 

I agree with you, I'm not advocating that discrimination is ever just, but in law there has been none. Challenging with the GP won't sway his opinion... it's difficult enough to force change where the law is on your side (and I speak as someone who is a minority group in four respects - disability, race, religion and sexual orientation); let alone when it is not.

 

Seftonview

Age discrimination is accepted because of the following

1. Old people dont contest things as they are bought up not to make a fuss and to treat doctors and the like as 'authority figures.'

2 Young people dont give a damn as they cant percieve themselves as ever getting old so it does not concern them

3. It is people like me in middleage who tend to make a stand as we know we will be in the same situation in 10 - 20 years

 

These are quite sweeping statements to make, and they aren't really accurate. I am a young person, and I do give a damn. I have a real appreciation of the difficulties various parts of society can face (see above), and I do work in my community as a volunteer to try and challenge and improve this. What I am advocating is that, as Uncle Remus would say, "we need to think with our heads rather than our feets."

 

SV

Edited by seftonview

If I've been helpful, please add to my rep. :)

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Hang on a minute Seftonview. You earlier suggested that it may be an idea to change GPs. That sounds more like thinking with your feet than your head. You may think it not worthwhile to complain as it will not sway the GP, but challenging opinions and attitudes is a good thing. It makes us think and question ourselves...and just sometimes things may change for the better.

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Hang on a minute Seftonview. You earlier suggested that it may be an idea to change GPs. That sounds more like thinking with your feet than your head. You may think it not worthwhile to complain as it will not sway the GP, but challenging opinions and attitudes is a good thing. It makes us think and question ourselves...and just sometimes things may change for the better.

 

Ironically, moving on is thinking with your head in this case.

 

You can't force the GP not to discriminate in this instance, since he isn't breaking the law.

 

You can however, go to a GP with a better attitude and outlook.

 

SV

If I've been helpful, please add to my rep. :)

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Ahh, couldn't get to your Uncle Remus link to read the quote.

 

So, you move on to another GP and find he has the same outlook and attitude as the one you just left but now it takes two bus rides to get there. People aren't allowed to interview the head of practice before registering with a surgery; you just go to the nearest or most convenient. Madamfluff was told that if she complained her parents would be taken off the list. No way is that acceptable. If such a decision is not challenged, the GP practice will go on to treat others the same way - perhaps next time it will be your relative.

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Sali, you are missing the point altogether.

 

Yes, this type of attitude should be challenged.

 

However, any challenge can only be successful if done the right way. Go in alleging age discrimination: no basis in law, challenge will fail. On the other hand, complain about the blackmail attempt (if you make a fuss, we'll kick you out) which can be acted upon, you are far more likely to get a result.

 

The danger is to let emotions cloud reason, MadamFluff wanted "facts and figures" to deal with them, this is what both Sefton and myself are doing.

 

If you read a few more of Sefton's posts, you will see that where there is a way to complain about discrimination, he will find it and help. So don't waste your anger on the wrong target. ;-)

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Let us know how you get on. Remember, cold facts will get you listened to better than anger, so try to stay calm and collected (easier said than done, I know!).

 

Good luck. Your parents are lucky to have you to fight their corner. :-)

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Bookworm, I'm not angry and at no time have I suggested any legal challenge - but I'd disagreed with Seftonview who suggested they might look for another GP and not bother with a formal complaint. I haven't suggested that madamfluff go in all guns blazing, but that she ask why her parents have been denied access to the GP and challenge it with head of practice if necessary.

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Bookworm, I'm not angry and at no time have I suggested any legal challenge - but I'd disagreed with Seftonview who suggested they might look for another GP and not bother with a formal complaint. I haven't suggested that madamfluff go in all guns blazing, but that she ask why her parents have been denied access to the GP and challenge it with head of practice if necessary.

 

I understand your point of view, but I think we'll have to agree to disagree.

 

Even if the OP makes a complaint, and challenges the behaviour with the practice manager, it is very unlikely to change things. If it doesn't change things, what has been achieved? No apology will be forthcoming, because nothing wrong has been done. Even if it had been, in all of my experience of discrimination cases, admissions are never made. The OP probably won't feel any better, time will have been wasted on an unfruitful complant that was doomed to fail from the start.

 

I know it's a horrid situation, and the GP deserves a good dressing down, but I'm afriad he isn't likely to get one.

 

SV

If I've been helpful, please add to my rep. :)

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Hold on a minute, Are you sure the GP is even aware of this? Some receptionists seem to think that they can do what they like, some even think that answering a phone gives them the right to ask patients about their conditions. Every patient has a right to see the practitioner of their choice and doesn't have to give a reason why. The first thing they should do next time they ring up is take the receptionists name. They should then very politely ask to see a GP. if they get threatened again in this manner they should write a letter to the senior partner not the practice manager (another jumped up receptionist). This makes the doctors aware of what is happening. Most will be horrified to find out that their admin staff are behaving in this way. If there i no satisfactory answer I would then suggest writing to the PCT outlining your complaint and asking them to find you another GP. The practice you are currently at will have their wrists slapped big time.

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Well we went to the GP and what a blasted palava

 

First of all when we got there by Dad was told ( and in such a rude patronising manner) that his appointment was with the nurse and that if she felt that he needed to see a GP then she would refer him to one ( bad mistake lady) I gently and calmly hold her that Mr xxx appointment was with the GP not nurse and I had made the appointment myself , she argued but I was very polite and very very firm so in we goes to see the doctor despite being told by the receptionist that I could not go in with my Dad due to 'Medical Confidentiality' yeah and thats going to stop me is it?

 

The Doctor told dad it was old age and nothing he could do ( in other words go away old man) . I explained that the Optician thought it may be

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and that I wanted Dad to see a specialist as there are various treatments available for this and we needed to keep options open, although GP initally refused I persisted and Dad is going to Moorfields

 

I also asked him why it was his practises policy to ration elderly patients access to GPs , of course he denied there was such a policy and also denied that the reception would say a patient would be taken of the list if they complained - I left him in no doubt that I didnt believe a word and that I would be monitoring the situation

 

It is awful that elderly people are treated in this manner, I mean how many others have the same problem and dont have a relative or anybody to make a fuss on their behalf . I will be taking this up with Age Concern and getting advise also I think there is on old age tsar at least there was once I think it was Professor Phillips anyhow I will be looking into this

 

I have really got my Dander up about this

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Good for you madamfluff. I would have done exactly the same. I have accompanied my elderly relatives to their doctors and as long as the patient agrees that you can go in with them, there should be no argument from the GP.

You are quite right to have pushed for your dad to see an eye specialist. However, it is a concern that you had to. Age Concern will have heard thousands and thousands of tales like yours... and worse.

Dame Joan Bakewell has, I believe, been appointed tzar for the elderly. Apparently she has been deluged with communications from members of the public on the poor treatment of elderly people by our healthcare system.

I wish your dad well.

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