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missmermaid

Sick/elderly have to wait outside in the cold for up to an hour before a GP surgery opens - help me write a complaint!!

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Sick and elderly have to wait outside in all weather in the cold for up to an hour before a GP surgery opens - just to get an appointment.

 

Patients are said to start queuing at around 7am every day, although the surgery doesn’t open its doors until 8.00am. What if you are elderly and living on your own? You can’t expect them to come and queue. It’s disgusting.

 

There are lots of old people standing in the freezing cold in the middle of winter. The system needs to change. There are queues every morning.

 

The surgery should open up its doors earlier and have a ticket system, whereby the surgery doors open early to let them inside that way Sick and elderly are not waiting in the cold.

 

The weather is only going to get colder and colder, please help me draft up a complaint to the surgery to get them to change their ways.

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You can phone you know.

If the GP opens at 8 then its 8.

No need to queues.

 

Imagine if you were told that you had to come in an hour before you start work

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The weather is only going to get colder and colder, please help me draft up a complaint to the surgery to get them to change their ways.

 

Hello missmermaid.

 

I have to say that opening at 8am doesn't sound too bad compared with my GP. As sgtbush says, possibly you can ring as well.

 

We would be happy to help you draft a letter, perhaps you could post something up yourself and then we'll help you to refine it?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Me again, MM.

 

You say that patients are said to queue from 7am. How do you know this please?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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People are regularly being forced to wait outside in the cold, only to be told there are no appointments left when they finally get to the counter.

 

The surgery's phone lines are frequently engaged, making it 'impossible' to make an appointment.

 

The upshot is a scene that resembles a Soviet-era bread queue, as locals in various states of ill-health wait patiently for a few minutes of their GP's time.

 

When I visited a few weeks ago, some were obviously in considerable discomfort.

 

You can phone you know.

If the GP opens at 8 then its 8.

No need to queues.

 

Imagine if you were told that you had to come in an hour before you start work

 

Hello honybee,

 

Many of those queuing seem frail and elderly are having to queue from 7am onwards outside in the freezing cold weather, I've seen it myself, when I've had to queue to try to get a GP appointment the same day.

 

So shocking how they run the place. It must change before someone dies.

 

The weather is only going to get colder and colder, please help me draft up a complaint to the surgery to get them to change their ways.

 

Hello missmermaid.

 

I have to say that opening at 8am doesn't sound too bad compared with my GP. As sgtbush says, possibly you can ring as well.

 

We would be happy to help you draft a letter, perhaps you could post something up yourself and then we'll help you to refine it?

 

HB

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Would you like to post up a draft letter so that we can help you to refine it, MM?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I've seen people in the queue when I have had to queue to try to get a same day appointment.

 

The GP surgery tell people to queue outside the surgery before it opens in the hope of trying to get a same day appointment, this is disgusting.

 

The Surgery has an approval rating of 62% - that shows how badly it is being run.

 

The surgery is getting away with this disgusting behaviour because nobody has complained.

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and are you planning to complain, is that what you would like our help with?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Yes, I would welcome your help honybee :-)

 

Can also add the surgery claim you can 'book 3 days in advance' but I've been trying for the past 2 weeks to get an appointment with my GP only to be told 'there is nothing available' - This falls flat in the face of the surgery claiming you can 'book 3 days in advance'

 

They also expect you to take a day off work to queue outside in the hope of trying to get an appointment the same day.

 

This is disgusting!!

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Yes, I would welcome your help honybee

 

What we normally suggest, as I mentioned earlier, is that people draft up their own letter and we help them to refine it. We don't know your circumstances, it's difficult for us to guess.

 

HB

Edited by honeybee13
Typo

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Complain to whom, the Surgery? The CCQ may have some influence.

They can't allow patients in before appointed Opening Time, for H&S reasons.

The Govt are trying to 'encourage' Doctors to work longer, provide some evening/weekend surgeries or even on-line, remote Consultations.

I can already book an appointment on-line, prob not for same day, order repeat prescriptions on-line and have them delivered by a Pharmacy.

Things are not perfect, but better than the queueing/waiting system of 30-40 years ago.

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Yes, complain to the Surgery, I highly doubt it will make a difference, they will whitewash the complaint.

Whats the CCQ, can they make the surgery change?

 

The sick and elderly who have to wait outside in all weather outside the surgery, do not have an appointment, they are trying to get a same day appointment to see a GP.

 

The receptionist told me I had to either call at 8am to try to get an appointment, which magically all disappear in less than 5mins!! Phoneline is constantly engaged and even if you got through at 8.05 you will be told 'sorry no appointments available', thats why people wait outside.

 

This surgery needs a good solid complaint so they can mend their ways

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I meant CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group).

Only the GP Partners or Govt can enforce change in this archaic Practice.

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Sorry but the impression I get is that your issue is not that the Surgery Opens at 8 am, its the lack of available Same Day Appointments.

 

Ask the Surgery or check their website for a copy of there Complaints Procedure and follow the process.

 

Link that may be of interest:

 

NHS Constitution for England: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nhs-constitution-for-england

 

How do I make a complaint about an NHS service?: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1084.aspx?categoryid=68

 

What is PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)?: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1082.aspx?CategoryID=68

 

Feedback and complaints about the NHS in England: https://www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/complaints-and-feedback/pages/nhs-complaints.aspx


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An appointment system that suits everyone is sadly the impossible dream in primary care.

 

If the practice were to do as you suggest and open their doors at say 7am and operate a ticket system then people would just get there at 6am to be first in the queue.

 

It’s also worth noting that once the doors are open we need to have a clinician on site also, adding at least 5 hours a week to their and the reception team’s working week / salary bill.

 

A colleague of mine in a neighbouring practice has just announced that they’ll no longer accept bookings over the desk of a morning and that all appointments must be booked by telephone, I’m eager to see how that works out.

 

But, what’s apparent is that we’re all dealing with what is a finite resource so it’s impossible to just create capacity and people queuing is a symptom of that.

 

So, what are the options open to the practice?

Opening earlier just exacerbates the issue,

open clinics are unmanageable and actually worse for sick patients as they end up sat for hours on end in waiting room which is almost totally incompatible with anyone who works or has caring responsibilities.

 

Just offering telephone bookings is subject to the added physical constraints of staffing and telephony systems.

All of this runs parallel with the fact that 1/3 of all GP surgeries have at least one GP vacancy which due to the issues mentioned above and many others means that in our current climate of a significant workforce crisis that of all the specialities, GP is the least attractive to Dr’s.

 

By all means submit a complaint,

but expect an answer that goes far beyond the emotive into the realities of why people are having to wait and an open invitation to tell us about your ideas because in this time of limited workforce we’re running out of options.


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Yes, the complaint is not about the surgery opening up at 8am. The complaint is about the following

 

1. Patients queuing in the cold for up to an hour before a GP surgery opens - just to get a same day/routine appointment.

 

The sick and elderly have to wait outside in all weather, Patients are said to start queuing at around 7am every day, although the surgery doesn’t open its doors until 8.00am. What if you are elderly and living on your own? You can’t expect them to come and queue. It’s disgusting.

 

There are lots of old people standing in the freezing cold in the middle of winter. The system needs to change. There are queues every morning.The weather is only going to get colder

 

This surgery does not even release online slots where you can book an appointment online, all slots are magically taken up at 8am!!

 

One of the requirements of the practice’s contract is that people should be able to make appointments by phone. The surgery's phone lines are frequently engaged, making it 'impossible' to make an appointment

 

The upshot is a scene that resembles a Soviet-era bread queue, as locals in various states of ill-health wait patiently for a few minutes of their GP's time. When I visited a few weeks ago, some were obviously in considerable discomfort.

 

2. The receptionist telling patients to ring at 8am in the morning for same day appointments which are impossible to make as phone lines are busy and by time you manage to get through your told there are no appointments left when they finally get to the through to the reception. All same day appointments for some reason all get taken up within 6 mins of the surgery opening.

 

3. Routine appointments which the surgery has a notice on wall claiming 'you can book 3 days in advance' is pure nonsense because every time I've rang I've been told 'nothing is available' - even when I've asked for 2-3 weeks in advance!!! This is disgraceful

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry but the impression I get is that your issue is not that the Surgery Opens at 8 am, its the lack of available Same Day Appointments.

 

Ask the Surgery or check there website for a copy of there Complaints Procedure and follow the process.

 

Link that may be of interest:

 

NHS Constitution for England: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nhs-constitution-for-england

 

How do I make a complaint about an NHS service?: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1084.aspx?categoryid=68

 

What is PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)?: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1082.aspx?CategoryID=68

 

Feedback and complaints about the NHS in England: https://www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/complaints-and-feedback/pages/nhs-complaints.aspx

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You’ve ignored the (well-reasoned) reply from ‘think about it’.

 

So, it seem you haven’t “thought about it”!.

Clearly there is a problem, but it has been highlighted why there isn’t an easy solution.

Given that : move on from telling us there is a problem.

What do you propose as a (realistic!) solution?

 

An appointment system that suits everyone is sadly the impossible dream in primary care.

 

......

 

But, what’s apparent is that we’re all dealing with what is a finite resource so it’s impossible to just create capacity and people queuing is a symptom of that.

.......

By all means submit a complaint, but expect an answer that goes far beyond the emotive into the realities of why people are having to wait and an open invitation to tell us about your ideas because in this time of limited workforce we’re running out of options.

 

The OP was asked for their “cure”, and I too would like to hear their solution!

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Based on my experience a few years back.

 

GP practice Doctor/Nurse hours have not increased to match the number of new patients they have taken on. Was told by someone at the practice that they were operating beyond capacity and trying to manage as best as they could.

 

Trying to call the practice meant 20 minutes or more in a queue.

 

In the mornings there was a queue of a dozen of more people looking to get an urgent appointment. The receptionists explained that only urgent cases would be seen and others would have to attend an appointment the next day or be phoned by a Doctor.

 

GP practice has an online booking system. You can book different types of appointment, Doctors appointment at surgery, Doctors phone call appointment, Nurse appointment if this was already discussed with Doctor previously.

 

Here are some of my solutions.

 

Before local government allows new housing in an area, they need to work with NHS to create new capacity to handle increased local populations.

 

Negotiate for Doctors to contribute a minimum number of hours and days to NHS. At my local practice, out of 12 GP's only 4 of them work Monday to Friday. The others only work 2 or 3 days and sometimes only a morning. They also work in NHS elsewhere or in private practice.

 

Educate the public to understand when they need to attend a GP practice and when they can make use of other options. E.g Doctors telephone appointment, NHS minor injuries units, visit to local Pharmacist.

 

Allow the NHS to apply an administrative penalty scheme for missed Doctors appointments. First missed appointment patient gets a warning, second missed appointment a £20 penalty, third missed appointment £50 penalty, Forth and subsequent missed appointments £100 each time.


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Here is my solutions.

 

Everytime I've been to the doctors is full of people with "a cough" or "a cold".

So my doctors run a telephone back consultation. Most of the ailments can be sorted by the pharmacy.

The last time I needed the doctors I went thru the advised process.

Phoned NHS direct for advice.

They advised I rang the doctors telling them that NHS direct have advised to see the doc as an urgent case.

Phoned doctors and got an appointment that day.

 

I know that if I need to see my doc quickly I can, but that might be to I have had to see my doc on an urgent basis once in the past 10 years. Anything else like a medical I needed or well man check was made by appointment.

 

If I need my doc I get to see him, wether by face to face or telephone consultation.

 

Its people clogging up the system with stupid things that could get advice in other ways.

 

I also support a fine system for failed or missed appointments.

 

Warning for 1st

£20 for second and third.

£50 for 4th onwards.

Payable at the doctors before another appointment is made.

 

All issued under a change of legislation so no private dca is involved

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Thanks for your suggestions, I’m only on my phone at the moment so it’s difficult to properly explain the rationale behind why we/don’t do certain things but I’ll reply more fully when I break out my laptop later today.


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The problem with not being able to get an appointment is nothing to do shortage of GP etc. The problem is the way people use the NHS it is seen as the "cure all" for any medical problem/ condition it should be the place of last resort.Most problems can be sorted using common sense only involve your GP after exhausting all other options

 

I live in Sweden which had the finest health service in the world it was abused by people so having to face the financal realitys they introduced a nominal fee which was payable when you saw the doctor this was waived when reached a certain level.The same with prescriptions you pay the cost of the drugs which in 90% of them was less than the prescription charge in the UK again with cost ceiling to protect the chronically sick

 

This has solved the problem in Sweden you can normally get an appointment the same day , very short wating times for operations etc

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If people can't afford these fines people are proposing, what happens? I'm sure there's a notice up in my surgery saying after x amount of missed appointments, you'll be told to register with another GP.

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Unlikely to happen anyway, as politically difficult. I can't see GP practice off loading a patient due to missing appointments either. There might not be another GP practice locally.

 

But each missed appointments means that another patient who might have been seen instead misses out.

 

My local GP practice allows an appointment to be booked about a month in advance.

 

This is not just restricted to repeat visits, where a Doctor is checking up on success of treatment.

 

Seems a bit silly allowing patients to book appointments a month in advance online.

 

Perhaps GP practices should look at how they organise appointments/GP time ?


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Why shouldn’t routine appointments be bookable up to a month in advance?.

Such can be for predictable appointments or those that can wait and be at the patient’s convenience.

 

Those ‘bread & butter’ ‘routine’ appointments don’t compete with the urgent appointment issue, other than if they stopped doing routine appointments (to try to deal with more ‘urgent’ appointments in the short term), one can predict that more potentially avoidable issues will occur, putting even more strain on the service.

 

The answer to “not enough cake” isn’t to “slice the cake differently”, (especially if their aren’t enough bakers to go around!). The senior bakers get fed up and retire early......

 

You can reduce the demand for cake (difficult with healthcare), or increase the supply of cake.

 

Perhaps GP practices should look at how they organise appointments/GP time ?

 

Do you really think that they don’t already do so?

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and of course if the receptionist dare ask why someone would like cake so that they can be offered the most appropriate type of cake they get shouted at and told “I don’t want to tell you, you’re not a baker”


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