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Five-week wait for a GP appointment

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Friday 13 May 2016 4.49pm
My sentiments entirely, Jan! Peter has hit the nail on the head though with why the problem is as it is.
Saturday 14 May 2016 10.21am
peterroe wrote:
I'm with Decima Street. Turn up and queue early in the morning to get a same day appointment.
Isn't the immediate problem that the surgery will register new patients although they are already "full". Because more patients means more money for the practice.

I see people in the queue at 7.15am most morning.

I'm with PSGP who recently merged with other surgeries in Southwark, my GP said I should be able to get an appointment with any surgery within 24 hours, time will tell.
Saturday 14 May 2016 9.39pm
appalling -in particular for a child
Monday 16 May 2016 6.59am
Gavin Smith wrote:
My wife tried to make an appointment for our three-month-old baby to see the GP on 27 April. The earliest appointment was 31 May! Only after making a formal complaint to the surgery was the appointment eventually brought forward to 10 May. The matter for which the appointment was sought wasn't in itself urgent but was a matter of concern for my wife and we didn't feel it was fair or appropriate to insist on an emergency appointment. We're hardly regular attenders - this was the baby's first ever visit to the GP and my wife, older two children and I between us have probably visited the GP five times in the last 15 years.
The surgery concerned - which I won't name, but which may be identifiable by the fact of its "sick queue" as, instead of releasing any appointments, they ask patients to turn up at 8.00 am and to form an orderly line which extends into the road - seems to think it is acceptable for a five-week wait or, put another way, almost half of my baby son's life, citing "NHS cuts". They should be named and shamed I am a PPG member could always join your local branch GP...might help

Is this sort of shocking service commonplace elsewhere? Does anyone have any suggestions of good practices at the Bricklayers' Arms end of TBR?
Monday 16 May 2016 1.34pm
Decima Street is a complete joke. The wait for appointments can easily be 4 - 6 weeks which is ridiculous. You'll get to see a completely random doctor who doesn't know you from Adam. They seem to prefer people to turn up early and get allocated a same-day appointment for that day, which is utterly useless for working people. Honestly think the doctors' "service", or lack of, is the worst thing about SE1. It's obvious they can't cope with the huge influx of people this area has seen.
Monday 16 May 2016 1.50pm
I've had an interesting response from Decima Street to my complaint, along the lines of they plan/budget (as do all surgeries apparently) for all patients having "3.5 weighted appointments" each year and, in the politest possible way, saying that that is the way it is and that it is all the fault of the Government/NHS. They also say: "We are very impressed that Dr Campion [New Mill Street] manages to see his patients for routine appointments within a few days". They also make reference to the Grange Road Practice partners (a completely separate practice, not the Artesian, which is a branch surgery of Decima Street) having retired at the end of April and relinquishing their contract, "leaving another 5,000 patients requiring care in the short term". I suppose the inference from that is that Decima Street have agreed to take on those patients also.

General practice IS a lucrative business. As part of my work for healthcare regulators (fitness to practise) I am only too well aware that it is very lucrative. I will not be persuaded otherwise notwithstanding protestations to the contrary. Of course the "super-merger", as reported on this site, must have cost/profit benefits to all concerned, otherwise the surgeries (as independent and profitable businesses) would not have agreed.
Monday 16 May 2016 5.31pm
I rang their auto appointment system to find I could not get an appointment any day, any clinic, any M/F doctor and finally spoke to a real person who offered me an appointment so far into the distance that I then missed it myself by a day (my bad).
Then the indignity of waiting in a sick queue well before 8 to see any old doctor, I'm beginning to understand why people go straight to ER.
This used to be a very good practice but I have become more disenchanted as time goes by. Sadly I suspect every other surgery in the area is as bad or worse. :(
Monday 16 May 2016 6.06pm
I find this bizarre. At the Waterloo Health Centre you need to ring up first thing in the morning to book a chat with a GP. If he/she decides in a callback that morning it can't be dealt with on the phone you get an appointment, probably that afternoon. is the Waterloo Health Centre just better run? Why don't they all do this?
Monday 16 May 2016 9.50pm
Bobby, this system at Waterloo Health Centre drives me crazy, it seems like they too have an aversion to scheduling non-urgent appointments and the phone consultation process is deeply flawed.

My wife recently suffered from an irritation of her eye. She sought medical advice from WHC and got the standard call-back from a GP, who mis-diagnosed the problem (without seeing it, obviously) and told her to go to a pharmacist for some ineffective treatment - by Saturday morning her eye had gotten worse, enough for us to end up in the Urgent Care department at St. Thomas's for several hours.

Surely this approach has wasted NHS money, even ignoring the inconvenience this system causes to those working standard office hours? In the past I have tried to schedule an appointment for a non-urgent request, and been told that I should call back the next morning (at the time I needed to leave for work) to speak to a doctor to assess my request. So I either have to have this conversation publicly (presuming I can even get a phone signal on my commute) or wait at home for a call, making me late for work.

Why is it such a problem to make an appointment at some point in the next week or two so I can plan around it?
Tuesday 17 May 2016 8.22am
No wonder why these 'phone a doc' type services are so popular. Just heard advertisement on radio for one, think they guarantee to get doctor to you in hour or so. Oh for the old days. Dr.smith at the borough had a good system. Turn up in morning to be seen and wait, and evening were appointments only.
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