Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Can you get an appointment with your GP?

Today I sent this to my member of parliament - Have a read, have you got any suggestions?

Dear Jess Phillips,

Today, I tried to get an appointment at my GP, I was unsuccessful.

My GP's appointment procedure is to call at 8am and if you are lucky you will get one of the appointments.

I started calling at 8am, it was engaged, eventually about 8.15 I got to the hold message, by 8.30 there was a ring tone for a couple of minutes and then I spoke to a receptionist, who told me all the appointments were gone.

I asked how best to get an appointment, as I need one. She suggested the following:

Come to the surgery at 8am in person and get an appointment then - This isn't feasible for me as I am on the school run (In fairness, phoning at this time, isn't ideal as I am having to concentrate on my child whilst phoning the GP, repeatedly)

Go online, I tried that, there were no appointments available.

Call again tomorrow.

I need to see the doctor for a medicines review, I have a repeat prescription as I have a long term condition, so it's not urgent, but as time goes on it becomes so, as my current supply of medicines will run out.

I know the NHS is underfunded, that there is a shortage of GP's and at my GP's not enough resources to answer phones, but I don't know what the answer is. I thought of complaining to my GP's but realistically I don't think they have the resources to make a change.

So I have come to you as my local member of parliament to ask, what can we do to improve this.

The NHS is brilliant, and I am proud that I live in a country where this exists. My long term condition is Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia and the NHS have helped me tremendously with this, I have lived with this condition for over 7 years and hope to continue living with it for a good few more, but GPs are struggling, people are living longer as medicines have improved (20 years ago my condition would have killed me in the first year), but I can see no increase in GP's or resources to allow for this?

Do we need to offer incentives to people to become GP's? Could you get nurses to do medicines reviews and some of the more basic GP tasks, (Having said that I know we are struggling with nurses as well). Are there administrative tasks that the GPs do that could be outsourced so the GP's can concentrate on patient care?

I don't know what the answer is but a change is vital as this is only going to get worse if nothing is done.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

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