Doctor's Appointments.


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Hospital casualty departments always have an experienced trigage nurse who can assess the patient's condition, prioritise and determine what sort of treatment they are likely to need and who they should see. This is just as it should be.
Our local health centre now has notices up to say that in future, that if you want to book an appointment to see a doctor, you should tell a receptionist about your problem and they will determine which doctor you should see. You also get a pre-recorded message explaining all this if you phone for an appoinment, before you get to speak to anyone. I believe this was brought in because patients were preferring to see who they considered to be their "own doctor" who they've been seeing for years and not one of the young "newbies," who've recently joined the practice, even if it means a wait of three or more weeks. "I understand the receptionists have been on a course." Well, the surgery was closed for a day "for training" a few weeks back.

The patients have not taken to well to this, as I understand from a member of the staff, that the receptionists have been told to "mind their own business, just book me an appointment" so many times, they no longer bother to ask.
It was a stupid idea in the first place.
 
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Logan

Logan
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is this considered universal health care across the UK?
No my surgery does'nt ask what the problem is but my hubby's does so they can assess if you need a urgent appointment.
When i phone up there's a system that says, if you want a urgent appointment press 1 or if you want to speak to the receptionist. Sometimes I've spoken to a doctor over the phone, he asks what's wrong and in my case i had 3 days course of antibiotics. I usually have to wait a week to see any doctor, when i get there there's hardly anyone there. It's a local practice and i think that there's not many doctors. These days the phone calls are recorded for their records so if you keep on being nasty to the receptionist, probably get struck off the list.
 
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is this considered universal health care across the UK?
Dunno. It's the NHS.

You can go private. This can be expensive.
Also if you need an operation, your provider may not allow sufficient funds to pay for the total cost of the operation.

As I undersand it, medical practices get paid "per registered patient head" by the NHS, to run the pracice, so the "partners" get the lions' share of the cash and they have other "salaried" doctors employed. It's not in their financial interests to have too many doctors in the practice, so hence long waiting times.
 
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With our centre, if you don't want to see a particular doctor, you can see one in a couple of days. But all they'll know about you is what's on the computer about you, which half the time they don't bother to read.
 
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With our centre, if you don't want to see a particular doctor, you can see one in a couple of days. But all they'll know about you is what's on the computer about you, which half the time they don't bother to read.
that is so true. Many times I go to the hospitals as an advocate for our individuals in the group homes. I will catch the doctor about to do something that I know in the past was tried and failed. there is no notation on the record. Assertive me, stops the doctor (nicely). They know they don't have the full report. So they go with what I tell them. I have had a local hospital call me directly about a person of whom I never met, for some reason my name got on their records. In general, you have to have an advocate to be with you when your in the hospital. And don't be afraid to speak up to the doctor should he / she prescribe something you should not take.
 
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I think GP receptionists are people who know much more nowadays than ever before and should be given the respect they deserve.

My surgery operates a system where you can turn up first thing in the morning for an acute condition. Once the reception team know what your issue is you will either be referred to the senior nurse practitioner for triage/treatment or go straight onto the GP's list of the morning. It works well - provided patients are not so stuffy as to object to mentioning symptoms to the receptionist on duty. I don't have a problem with this method of assessing need vs level of medical practitioner required.

The only time I got a bit frustrated with the whole system was when a particular receptionist was on duty who prefers to use the term "Urgent" as opposed to "acute". If it were urgent I may well have skipped the surgery to attend A&E! So, when I needed an updated "Fit for Work" note for a newly diagnosed issue, which expired that day but needed extending (which only a GP could do), she was fixated on her "urgent" criteria. I had to present to a GP for an extension to the fit for work note (issued on a 2 week duration period only) because I had no way predicting if I would be well enough for work by the time the fit note ran out vs waiting 3 weeks for a "regular" appointment. Not insolvable if common sense was applied but frustrating when the receptionist in question is a bit OCD about definitions. Bless her! I'm sure she was trained well, but it does all boil down to perception.
 
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Perhaps it's me, I won't subscribe to the system, the staff are taking the easy way ou despite the several notices and I don't blame them.


As far as receptionists are concerned, these can have various levels of training as there are several at most large health centres. The fact that they've "been on a course" doesn't cut it for me. They are just "clerks." The don't get paid a lot of money and they probably don't want the responsibility (except the "know-all" ones, we've one of those). They aren't likely to have had any medical training, you're either a doctor or you aren't.

It's even more intrusive if you go to the surgery to book an appointment and are in a queue.
 

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