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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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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”

 

They absolutely should ask the question. (See, the practices do try and manage the appointment system!.

It seems to me they are 'damned if they do, damned if they don't' .......

 

They absolutely shouldn't be shouted at in reply.

Yet, the patient doesn't have to tell the receptionist (though, I'd suggest telling them unless you have a good reason not to!)

 

In the past, I've suggested a 'middle ground' (where that OP had felt barriers were being put in their way)

https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?483606-Is-there-a-way-to-see-my-GP-blood-test-results-for-free&p=5084033#post5084033

 

Book an appointment with your GP. You don't have to tell the reception why you want one, if they ask.

 

You can say "I understand you may be told to ask, and that you might want to check that it is a GP appointment I need, rather than a nurse or other health care professional, but it definitely is a GP who I want to see / speak with".

 

The receptionist gets to do their job, and gets a reply they can work with, without being told the details, but also without being shouted at ......

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Getting back to the OP’s complaint.

 

To be fair, it doesn’t seem that you need help drafting a letter, just copy-paste what you’ve written here.

 

As I say on most of these types of post neither I nor anyone else I know who works as a practice manager is all that bothered if the letter isn’t perfectly worded, provided we can get the gist of the issue we’ll be okay and it’s normal practice to confirm the issues with you in our initial holding response.

 

It’s perhaps easier for me to break down each of your points.

 

So:

 

1. People waiting outside – this is something that they’re choosing to do, the practice cannot and do not control what happens outside the building an hour before they open. If they were to open the doors any earlier then people would just arrive earlier to be at the front of that queue.

 

2. Appointments are a finite resource, if the number of people outside matches the number of available appointments then there are none available to release for online booking.

 

The online booking systems I’ve used do release appointments at 8am, but only if they’re there to be booked.

 

Likewise over the telephone, if a significant proportion of the day’s available appointments have been booked over the desk, then the remainder will very quickly be taken up over the telephone.

 

You can apply this rationale to any of your issues around availability of appointments, once they’re booked

– they’re no longer available, ie: 2/3 days in advance.

 

My colleagues in reception can complete a telephone booking in about 15 seconds,

during our morning rush our phones ring continually so the three receptionists are taking at least 4 bookings each per minute.

So in those six minutes that for ‘some reason’ all of the appointments have gone, my team will have booked 72 appointments if they’re available.

 

3. It is indeed a contractual requirement that we accept bookings over the phone, it would seem that the reason you can’t always get through is that the practice is busy fulfilling that contractual requirement with other patients.

 

4. If you’re concerned about a ‘Soviet Era’ queue, speak to your MP. Practices are doing all they can with what they have.

 

5. As Bazza so rightly says, the answer to a shortage of ‘cake’ is not to slice it differently. As I mentioned in my other post, clinicians are working at and beyond capacity, many practices have GP vacancies that they cannot fill and if only to make matters worse, consultation rates have steadily increased.

 

So, perhaps – rather than saying “it’s disgusting”, have a think about how you believe the practice can improve.

 

Put simply, there are no more appointments, we’re not at the golf course, we’re already doing 12/14 hour days and we too have families and lives outside of work. Get out of your head the romanticised idea that being a doctor or nurse is a vocation, it’s not – it’s a job.

 

Someone mentioned earlier, ‘make them commit more hours’ – yeah that’s going to solve the recruitment crisis in a heartbeat.

“Hey Kids, wanna be a GP and spend your every waking moment in an office listening to people grumble about a sore throat that started this morning and how they want antibiotics because their Aunt Jane had them and they worked in 1963?”

 

This misconception that if a GP is off, they must be working privately, and they’re all earning over £100,000 a year

– do you not think that if there were really the case there’d be a recruitment crisis?

 

The ones I work with take an afternoon / day off every few weeks to keep from burning out, not sitting in another consulting room with a debit card machine on the table.

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Clearly there ae several major problem at this surgery.

 

Getting back to the OP’s complaint.

 

To be fair, it doesn’t seem that you need help drafting a letter, just copy-paste what you’ve written here.

 

As I say on most of these types of post neither I nor anyone else I know who works as a practice manager is all that bothered if the letter isn’t perfectly worded, provided we can get the gist of the issue we’ll be okay and it’s normal practice to confirm the issues with you in our initial holding response.

 

It’s perhaps easier for me to break down each of your points.

 

So:

 

1. People waiting outside – this is something that they’re choosing to do, the practice cannot and do not control what happens outside the building an hour before they open. If they were to open the doors any earlier then people would just arrive earlier to be at the front of that queue.

 

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, so the receptionists tell patients to either try ringing at 8am or wait outside in the queue - so in fact its the surgery giving patients the 2 options of trying to ring at 8am in the hope of getting an appointment or go queue outside the surgery AND then only have 5-6 appointments they give to people in the queue.

2. Appointments are a finite resource, if the number of people outside matches the number of available appointments then there are none available to release for online booking.

The surgery state you can book your appointment online for 3 days in advance at 8am in the morning, well that's a lie, I've logged in at 8am in the morning over several days and every time, it showed 'nothing is available' - so these appointments for online bookings are not realised, because IF they were released they would be showing as available to book at 8am. The appointments are not released.

 

The online booking systems I’ve used do release appointments at 8am, but only if they’re there to be booked.

 

Likewise over the telephone, if a significant proportion of the day’s available appointments have been booked over the desk, then the remainder will very quickly be taken up over the telephone.

NO, there are no significant apointments booked over the desk at 8am because this surgery ONLY has 5-6 appointments for the same day and when you ring in the morning, you either get through once all appointments are gone or are asked to try again the next day in the morning. Clearly the appoitment system this surgery uses is to cause for the blame.

You can apply this rationale to any of your issues around availability of appointments, once they’re booked

– they’re no longer available, ie: 2/3 days in advance.

 

My colleagues in reception can complete a telephone booking in about 15 seconds,

 

Thats clearly NOT the case at this surgery

during our morning rush our phones ring continually so the three receptionists are taking at least 4 bookings each per minute.

Again clearly NOT the case at this surgery, your either waiting trying to get through or get told all appointments are gone

So in those six minutes that for ‘some reason’ all of the appointments have gone, my team will have booked 72 appointments if they’re available.

 

3. It is indeed a contractual requirement that we accept bookings over the phone, it would seem that the reason you can’t always get through is that the practice is busy fulfilling that contractual requirement with other patients.

 

You can't get through because the telephone system is a shamble and the staff operating the phones are not fit for the job, this surgery does NOT have 4 phones with staff abailable, if they did, people would be able to get through

 

4. If you’re concerned about a ‘Soviet Era’ queue, speak to your MP. Practices are doing all they can with what they have.

 

Thats not true!! practiv is the frail and elderly to wait outside the freezing weather if they want a same day appointment, you call that doing all they can?!?

 

5. As Bazza so rightly says, the answer to a shortage of ‘cake’ is not to slice it differently. As I mentioned in my other post, clinicians are working at and beyond capacity, many practices have GP vacancies that they cannot fill and if only to make matters worse, consultation rates have steadily increased.

This surgery ONLY lets you tell the Dr ONLY 1 illness, so you can't say you have a cold and pain in your back for example

 

So, perhaps – rather than saying “it’s disgusting”, have a think about how you believe the practice can improve.

 

How do YOU think after reading whats wrong with this practice, they can improve and why do you think they are telling the frail and elderly to wait outside in the queue in the freezing weather if they want a same day appoitment?

Put simply, there are no more appointments, we’re not at the golf course, we’re already doing 12/14 hour days and we too have families and lives outside of work. Get out of your head the romanticised idea that being a doctor or nurse is a vocation, it’s not – it’s a job.

 

Someone mentioned earlier, ‘make them commit more hours’ – yeah that’s going to solve the recruitment crisis in a heartbeat.

“Hey Kids, wanna be a GP and spend your every waking moment in an office listening to people grumble about a sore throat that started this morning and how they want antibiotics because their Aunt Jane had them and they worked in 1963?”

 

This misconception that if a GP is off, they must be working privately, and they’re all earning over £100,000 a year

– do you not think that if there were really the case there’d be a recruitment crisis?

 

Recruitment crisis is because GP's that qualify in the UK are leaving the UK to work abroad for more money and a better working life than in the UK

 

 

The ones I work with take an afternoon / day off every few weeks to keep from burning out, not sitting in another consulting room with a debit card machine on the table.

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This is about not being able to get a same day appointment and you need to concentrate on that.

 

I only say this as you keep going back over the same things when the main issue is a same day appointment at your own surgery.

 

One individual complaining about this issue with that surgery will get no where, all those that this impacts need to individually complain to the Surgery following its complaints procedure, write to local Councillor & MP. (whether this will make a difference only those using that surgery will know)


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Clearly there ae several major problem at this surgery.

 

Well, then, if it is “just that practice”, and not a generalised problem : move practice, (as can those poor freezing people queuing ...)

 

Recruitment crisis is because GP's that qualify in the UK are leaving the UK to work abroad for more money and a better working life than in the UK

 

Firstly, I thought that the major factors were:

a) not enough (more recently qualified) doctors choosing to train in general practice post qualification, not “leaving once qualified as a GP, to work abroad”,

b) GP’s towards the end of their career’s retiring early because they are fed up (and retiring, rather than leaving to go abroad), and

c) existing GP’s moving to part time working, due to the stresses of the job (but working in the U.K., not abroad)

 

Yet, I’m happy to be persuaded it is “qualified GP’s headed abroad for better pay & working conditions” ; do you have any cites for this?

 

Mind you, you are first saying it is a problem with that specific practice, and then saying it is a problem that can be improved by offering more money / better working conditions.

However, isn’t the problem (according to at least one contributor) those fat cat GP’s taking time off for their golf and private practice?

So, the solution for them not being recruitable in the first place, or leaving (for better pay and better working conditions) is to make them work more hours and for less pay for those hours than they can get elsewhere?

It appears “the beatings will continue, until morale improves .....”!

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Dear OP,

 

I’m going to be blunt because it seems you’re stuck.

 

It’s not ‘impossible’ to get an appointment, otherwise the clinics would be empty. The reason you can’t get through on the telephone is that other people have. Like I said, repeatedly, there are only a finite amount of available appointments; once they have been filled there are no more – there’s no mystery or mismanagement to this.

 

As I said with regards to online booking services, they can only release AVAILABLE appointments, if there are none then it cannot release them.

 

As I explained in my first reply, there is no such thing as a perfect appointment system, only one that best meets the needs of all of the patients registered at the practice. I explained in detail the pros and cons of each type of clinic booking system in my first reply, the truth is that none of them create capacity, only offer slightly different ways of filling those available slots.

 

You make mention that the information I provided about how a receptionist can book appointments very quickly is wrong. I trust you’ve seen them in action at your practice then? Tell us how that differs from my account please. You say they’re not fit for the job, why is that?

 

You repeatedly mention the ‘frail and elderly’, have they appointed you as a spokesperson? Are they aware and have provided their consent for you to speak on their behalf? As I’ve explained twice now, if they open the doors any earlier all that will happen is that the queue forms earlier. I’ve also asked twice how you feel, in light of the information I’ve provided, that you would improve this?

 

GP’s have ten minute appointment slots, just about enough time to deal with one issue and document it before it’s time to call the next patient through. It’s not an opportunity to get out a shopping list of ailments and go through each – if you’ve more than one issue you’d like to discuss then make a double appointment. Interestingly the most common complaint we hear about online is that the GP’s don’t run on time, that’s because people want to trot out a list of every minor thing and expect the GP to deal with it there and then, no choose the most important issue and discuss that.

 

It’s remarkable that you seem to have accepted the Daily Mail’s explanation for the recruitment crisis. As Bazza so ably explained, the issue is not people jetting off to better working conditions, although who could blame them? But rather the fact that applications for GP training are at about 50% of the capacity of the courses nationally. Not many young doctors would choose General Practice, and who can blame them when an Emergency Department job offers a better work / life balance in truth.


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so, open up at 7am and people will queue at 6am, nothing will change. any way,

the queue is for the urgent appointments slots

so nothing to stop you phoning and booking ahead for routine matters,

anyone queueing that early for a routine appointemnt needs their head examined not anything else.

 

Agree that these can fill up and you might have to make an appointment for 5 weeks hence but in the summer you can get an appointment the same day so it is very much a generalisation that is not borne out by reality to say you cant get one. many surgeries also do a "walk in" clinic for urgent cases but this is the most misused facility offered where my wife works. there is also the problem of ignorance such as people not knowing they dont need an appointment for a repeat prescription for regular medicines and so forth.

 

My wife works for a largish GP surgery, she has worked the maxiumum hours allowed under the WTD by thursday, how do you think that opening an hour earlier will help matters, it will merely create a staff shortage later on in the week.

 

there are massive propblems with parts of the health service and GP surgeries are at the forefront of this.

It all starts with the fact that the population has increased by 20 million in the last 30 years

but the numbers of places at med school has not increased

so there is a built in shortage of about 30% of the doctors needed

and even if you addressed this in the uni's this year it will be 10 years before you start to see the effects.

 

Because it is free at all contact points you also see an unreasonable expectation of what you are entitled to and this has its own pressures.

Also, doctors arent allowed to say it as they see it so bad habits really do die hard and that eats time and money.

 

"free" healthcare i nFrance, Belgium and Spain arent totally free and in Belgium they offer a 2 tier system where you can pay extra for nice food ect when in hospital. Doesnt affect your clinical care but you can opt for single room, a la carte dining etc. ( Note to anyone claiming on their insurance they dont like it when you go for any more than the basic)

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This is interesting reading and it relates to queing - to a point! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42511553


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This is interesting reading and it relates to queing - to a point! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42511553

 

 

It is an attempt at demand management.

If it limits "avoidable appointments" that might be dealt with adequately (and safely!) elsewhere, all well and good. My concenr is the limtations on its effectiveness, and what 'cost' of bringing it in....

 

So, how many appointments can be better dealt with by someone else?.

 

How many appointments where someone presents stating it is one thing, but actually it is something else?. These situations get 'lost' in the headlines.... (the elderly patient who finally gets the courage to attend about something 'embarassing', so starts off asking about something else minor, and at the end of the 10 minutes says "ohh, whilst I'm here .... and reveals the real [and sometimes significant] problem).

 

The "should have gone to a pharmacist" scenario?. If they shout at the receptionist when the receptionist asks what the problem is, they aren't likely to be receptive to advice to check online, or go to a pharmacy ......

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Indeed, how much of what is seen by GP’s is unspoken or perhaps presents as X only to be found to be Y.

 

Prof. Stokes Lampard has a point however and self limiting illnesses are indeed just that,

the thing that frequently surprises me is the speed at which some patients will make an appointment following the onset of symptoms,

 

so often I see “Cough, started last night - asking for abx” in the records.

 

Education is most definitely key in ensuring appropriate and safe use of clinical resources.

 

As I’m sure is the case everywhere at the minute our entire practice team is down with a streaming head cold, and we have patients presenting with identical symptoms wanting urgent attention so it doesn’t spoil their new year’s celebrations. (Sniff)

 

so I’m tempted to stand at our reception desk with boxes of tissues and paracetamol/decongestant sprays as that’s what is keeping us all in work.


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triage nurses and nurse practitioners are available at some GP's practices,

some A&E's are going to introduce triage doctors to whittle down the queues

 

but we still have a problem with govt set waiting times and a tick box culture that doesnt work.

 

That on top of what think about it points out with people's unreasonable expectations and demands

- insist on antibiotics for a cold when they have been told no by their GP already so back at the walk in clinic creating a fuss

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think about it

I'm talking about this oarticular practice, where it is 9/10 times its impossible to get a same day appointment over the telephone...WHY...because by the time you get through...all the appoitments for that day are all gone, so your told to either try again in the morning at 8am (where 9/10 times the same thing will happen again) OR you get told to QUEUE outside the surgery, which is not a good thing to tell the elderly patients, is it?

As I said with regards to online booking services, they can only release AVAILABLE appointments, if there are none then it cannot release them.

 

Well AVAILABLE appoitments at this surgery are rarely released, its a shambles, appointments seem to be held back, whats the point in this surgery having an online appoitmnet system and claiming you can book '3 days in advance' - when clearly this is not true

At this practice the receptionist are bad mannered and thats 1st thing in the morning, so don't go on about how stressed these receptionist are, thats baloney and you know it!! Its part and parcel of their job, they should deal with it. You can get an appointment in the time you can in YOUR surgery

 

You sound upset? - its beggers belief that this surgery is telling the frail and elderly to queue outside the surgery before it opens at 8am if they want an appointment the same day. This is wrong, how would you feel, if you were frail and elderly to be told go queue outside in the freezing weather before 8am, if you want an appoint?

The ONLY queue that forms outside the surgery are patients inc the frail and elderly that queue up in the freezing weather in the hope they can get a same day appointment. I've seen it with my own eyes, WHAT would YOU say about the surgery telling these people to queue outside in the freezing weather to try to get an appointment, is it the right thing to do? Do YOU do this at YOUR surgery?

 

 

In light of the information I’ve provided, that you would improve this?

 

WRONG....A 10-minute appointment may suffice for a patient with only one problem and no other health needs, who can give a clear and concise account of their symptoms, and who is physically mobile. In reality, the majority of patients are elderly and have multiple coexisting conditions. They often have impaired mobility and memory, as well as communication difficulties, and don’t forget the wider social issues they often face. Its increasingly unfit for purpose, and does not lend itself to the type of in-depth conversations necessary to explain what are often complicated health matters.

 

I'm talking about this surgery and the way it works NOT your surgery, it doesn't have a rating of 54% for no reason now, does it!!

 

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Hi

 

What you are forgetting is yes certain staff have taken that oath that you mention but they are then employed by an employer whether that be the NHS or Private etc and have numerous other Regulation & Legislation that they would come under as would those employed at your Doctors Surgery.

 

Your issue is still not been able to get a same day appointment.

 

You need to use the advice given and see what responses you get then come back and lets us know.


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A simple remedy to this would surely be to make GP appointment bookings in 15 minute slots rather than 10 - that way if someone is seen quicker then there will be time left over which can either be swallowed up by the odd over-run or leave time for walk ins toward the end of the day or even during !!


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A simple remedy to this would surely be to make GP appointment bookings in 15 minute slots rather than 10 - that way if someone is seen quicker then there will be time left over which can either be swallowed up by the odd over-run or leave time for walk ins toward the end of the day or even during !!

 

Wouldn’t that result in an instant 33% reduction in slots? Not very helpful...

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Wouldn’t that result in an instant 33% reduction in slots? Not very helpful...

 

As we’ve said before, the solution to a shortage of cake is not to slice it differently.


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Make the 1st hour a 'walk in surgery'. (no appt required) but restrict time to 5 mins and 1 symptom ONLY.

This would free telephone for non-mobile patients to request a 'home visit'?

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..

Hi

 

Your issue is still not been able to get a same day appointment.

 

There are 2 issues

 

1. This practice telling elderly/frail patients to queue up outside the surgery in the morning before it opens at 8am in the freezing weather, if they want to try to get a same day appointment. WHY should elderly/frail patients to queue up outside the surgery in the freezing weather? Can you help write a complaint on this?

 

2. Not being able to get even a routine appoitment 9/10 times and being repeatedly told to do the same thing the next day and going around in a loop with not being able to book even a routine appoitment.

 

 

These are the 2 isssue, now if you or anyone else can help write a letter of complaint, please do so.

 

You need to use the advice given and see what responses you get then come back and lets us know.

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These are the 2 isssue, now if you or anyone else can help write a letter of complaint, please do so.

 

Think about it advised you about writing a complaint in post #27, MM.

 

Could I ask please what outcome you're looking for?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi

 

We are a Self Help Forum and you need to use the advice that has been given.

 

What you could do is write your complaint letter that you wish to send then post it here for advice on any adjustments.


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Dear PM,

 

I’m writing to raise a concern with regards to your appointments system. I have had significant difficulty in obtaining an appointment of late, either by calling the reception which seems to be almost permanently engaged or via online booking where appointments are seldom made available. I also have a concern that it seems to be common practice to advise patients to queue outside prior to the opening time of the practice in order to secure an appointment, especially when those patients may be unwell / elderly. I would appreciate it if you could consider reviewing your appointment system to minimise this.

 

I look forward to hearing from you

 

Kind Regards,

 

Miss Mermaid

 

See? easy…

 

As I’ve said repeatedly, I’ve no interest whatsoever in how a concern is worded, it doesn’t change our response “Oh look, this one used a semi-colon instead of a comma, so we’d better be on our toes…” You’ve adequately explained your concerns on here on a number of occasions, so you really don’t need someone to write a letter for you, just copy / paste what you’ve already written.


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Thanks :-)

 

I will polish that up, but I think what you've written is to the point, what would be the next step if I'm not happen with the response from the practice, is it common practice to surgeries to not really address the issue and sweep it under the carpet? Because a good PM would address the issue and not blame targets or increased workload.

 

Oh...the surgery does not have enough GP's to deal with patients as well

 

 

Dear PM,

 

I’m writing to raise a concern with regards to your appointments system. I have had significant difficulty in obtaining an appointment of late, either by calling the reception which seems to be almost permanently engaged or via online booking where appointments are seldom made available. I also have a concern that it seems to be common practice to advise patients to queue outside prior to the opening time of the practice in order to secure an appointment, especially when those patients may be unwell / elderly. I would appreciate it if you could consider reviewing your appointment system to minimise this.

 

I look forward to hearing from you

 

Kind Regards,

 

Miss Mermaid

 

See? easy…

 

As I’ve said repeatedly, I’ve no interest whatsoever in how a concern is worded, it doesn’t change our response “Oh look, this one used a semi-colon instead of a comma, so we’d better be on our toes…” You’ve adequately explained your concerns on here on a number of occasions, so you really don’t need someone to write a letter for you, just copy / paste what you’ve already written.

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Thanks :-)

 

I will polish that up, but I think what you've written is to the point, what would be the next step if I'm not happen with the response from the practice, is it common practice to surgeries to not really address the issue and sweep it under the carpet? Because a good PM would address the issue and not blame targets or increased workload.

 

Oh...the surgery does not have enough GP's to deal with patients as well

 

How do you expect the practice manager to resolve the issue if they don’t have enough GP’s?.

 

I suspect the practice manager is still looking for the Nescafé healthcare professionals, you know, open the packet, add boiling water and voila: an instant solution.

 

In the absence of enough GP’s / “more cake”, I doubt the practice manager will have a magic wand to wave to solve the problem.

 

Sorry that that may not be what you want to hear, but if that is the reality the practice manager faces, that is the reality their reply will have to comment on.

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As Bazza says, I too get the impression that unless the PM magically finds a new GP and increases capacity to the point where there are an excess of appointments then you’ll feel unsatisfied with their response.

 

I base that on your reaction to my explanations of how primary care works, how different appointment systems simply slice the same cake differently and your take on the recruitment crisis. It’s not like they are going to sit around the PM’s desk next week following receipt of your letter and think: “oh no, we’ve been rumbled, all of those empty appointments that we sat doing nothing during, we’re going to have to release those. Oh, and the phones too – tell the reception team they’re to stop telling people there’s no appointments left…”

 

So, let me break down the issues you attribute to a ‘bad’ practice manager. You asked: “is it common practice to surgeries to not really address the issue and sweep it under the carpet? Because a good PM would address the issue and not blame targets or workload.” Frankly I’m sat here somewhat incredulous that you can’t see the direct link between no having enough GP’s, an ever worsening recruitment crisis, a 16% increase in consultation rates in the last seven years and an ever growing pressure on remaining practices to do more with availability of appointments. I’m certain I don’t need to explain that if you started with 3 GP’s offering an appointment every 10 minutes for 7 hours a day that you’d have 126 appointments, if one were to leave there’d be just 84 appointments, but it seems a good PM wouldn’t let that bother them and would maintain the 126 appointments somehow. Of course, that’s assuming that people are happy with 10 minute appointments, which we know that you are not, so let’s take that to 20 minute appointments and then we’ve got just 42 available each day. So, we’ve gone from 126 to 42 and a good PM would just ‘address the issue’…

 

How? How do you expect my colleague to be able to address the issue – exactly? Do you think that a letter from a patient will suddenly make the clouds part and a new GP appear at the door asking for a job? Do you think it will stop people pressing redial on the telephone 98 times clogging up the system to the point where it can no-longer cope? Do you think it will suddenly make them realise that it’s far easier to give someone an appointment that doesn’t exist than it would be to come up with a reason as to why they can’t have one?

 

I hope my colleague calls you in and shows you first-hand what they’re dealing with and what resources they actually have, I hope they take a few moments out of their day to explain to you exactly what they’re achieving with limited resources and steers you away from the rhetoric of “it’s nothing to do with workload, they’re just lazy sitting in their ivory towers earning six figures whilst you’re coughing and sneezing”.

 

I know you’ll be unhappy with what I’ve written, I can live with that because it’s the truth and it’s a truth that is echoed in hundreds of practices across the UK where neighbouring practices close down, GP’s leave or retire and can’t be replaced regardless of how much they spend on advertising vacant posts, EU doctors are no longer feeling welcome and so are packing up too leaving an even bigger gap, hospitals reach their breaking point meaning that operations are cancelled – did you know that following the cancellation of a booked surgery, 50% of patients affected present at either their GP or local emergency department within 48 hours of the cancellation? But, no – we’re not to blame resources or workload. We’re not to point the finger at an incompetent government who routinely victimises the ill and disabled forcing them to seek out sick notes to maintain their income and then fails to adequately support the NHS. Because doing that would make me a ‘bad’ PM? Sign me up.

 

 

There’s a little additional reading for you here:

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/12/waiting-lists-set-soar-amid-six-fold-rise-gp-vacancies/

http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2016-04-06-clinical-workload-general-practice-england-rises-16-seven-years

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/gp-surgeries-the-forgotten-crisis-in-the-nhs-a6881201.html


My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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I know you’ll be unhappy with what I’ve written, I can live with that because it’s the truth and it’s a truth that is echoed in hundreds of practices across the UK

 

Cue comments of "But, but, think of the sick and elderly" (having to queue, with no appointment available).

 

One can only hope the penny drops and they realise you do think of that, day in, day out ............ It appears "the beatings will continue until morale improves".

Perhaps they should hold off blaming the GP and / or practice manager until they can come up with what the practice manager should be doing that they aren't yet (or shouldn't be doing, that they currently are).

 

If they've been told why the practice manager can't "fix it" surely one shouldn't say "but you have to fix it!" and move to "I'm going to try to get you the resources you need" (more GP's available for all practices?) or "I disagree, here's what you could do that would improve it".

I suspect you'd be delighted for someone to say "here is a solution that you haven't thought of, that will actually work!"

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