- Patients have reported making hundreds of calls to try and get through GPs
- When they finally pass, they say they can’t see the GP face-to-face
- This comes after Boris Johnson called on GPs to offer more personalized consultations
Patients trying to contact GP surgery say they’ve been calling hundreds of times – including one that took 390 attempts before getting it.
They say they’ve been spending hours on the phone to reach doctors, only to be told they can’t make a face-to-face appointment once they finally meet.
One patient said she needed to change some of her husband’s cancer medications and called 390 times to go through Abbey Meads Medical Practice in Swindon, Wiltshire.
Another patient, Mark Kahlen, said he dialed 269 times to reach Ashington House Surgery, also in Swindon.
Discussing his struggles, Mark, 63, said: ‘My wife called the landline and it took 45 minutes to get to her.
‘And then the receptionist was saying they couldn’t make a face-to-face appointment until we talked to the doctor. You are just moving in circles.’
It comes after Boris Johnson pressed for a more personalized consultation at the GP last night.
One patient said she needed to change some of her husband’s cancer medication and called 390 times through Abby Meads Medical Practice in Swindon, Wiltshire.
His spokesman said that every patient has the right to make a face-to-face appointment if they so desire.
A day after launching a campaign to improve access to family doctors by mail, Downing Street said: ‘The public rightfully wants to see their GP face-to-face – and GP practices should make this available to their patients. .’
Amid fears of cancer and other serious health conditions being missed in far-flung consultations, charities and politicians are struggling to get the prime minister to act.
There are now only 57 percent of GP appointments, compared to 80 percent before the pandemic.
Mark said that he Called surgery the next day and waited 55 minutes before proceeding.
He said: ‘Then there is a call queue which was another 15 minutes. And then, they said they couldn’t make a face-to-face appointment, ‘you have to wait to call the doctor’.
‘Unless you’re familiar with local government policies, you’re a good communicator, you’re forthright or you can use all the jargon, you’re going to run around, that’s what we’ve got.
‘You are trying to sort things out as the NHS is trying to capture the backlog of patients. My wife has a very bad ankle and it is serious and she needs to get it fixed.
‘I was trying to be polite and calm. It was stressful like anything else.’
After waiting for hours, a doctor called Mark’s wife.
She said: ‘A doctor called her, and she was absolutely brilliant. You give respect, you want a little respect and this doctor was absolutely beautiful. And now my wife is being referred.
‘It’s just the process, the process bothers you a lot.’
Another patient, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had called 390 times to practice through Abby Meads Medical Practice in Swindon, Wilts.
She said: ‘It was for my husband. He has cancer and needs to change some of his medications. It was Monday, and I know Mondays are always busy – so I just had surgery and I re-dialed 390 times – but before I had about 425 more – and then you were in a queue. Get in and you still have to wait.
Another patient, Mark Cahillane, said he dialed 269 times to reach Ashington House Surgery, also in Swindon.
‘It takes a good hour and 15 minutes, and then they’ll say ‘Sorry, there’s no appointment, you have to come back tomorrow’ and you start all over again.
‘But how can an old man do that? Someone in the 80s can’t even try to make an appointment.’
The woman said she was unable to change her GP practice.
“I tried to go to homegrown surgery, and what they said is that if you’re having surgery, they won’t let you change,” she said.
‘So, I have to move out of Swindon and then go back to Swindon to change my surgery and have another address.’
She said that after three days she was finally able to recover from it.
Discussing Mark’s case, Dean Mills, assistant practice manager at Ashington House Surgery, said the pandemic has seen new ways of doing things.
He added: ‘The introduction of the initial telephone assessment ensures that patients can be cared for by the most appropriate member of our team, either in person or online.
‘Patients can do their part in reducing pressure by calling outside the busiest times, such as first thing in the morning, and using alternative health services, such as NHS 111 and local pharmacies.’
GWH NHS Hospital Trust took on Abby Meads earlier this year and, responding to an anonymous woman, a spokesperson said: ‘Our practices are currently facing significant pressure and a high level of demand means some calls Doers are waiting longer than we expected. to talk to someone.
‘We introduced a new electronic counseling system to help provide a better experience for those wanting to access primary care and are working to improve our telephony system as soon as possible and have made a significant improvement since October are hoping.
‘We are sorry that the caller concerned had to wait so long.
‘The booking team, which supports Moredon, Abby Meads, Penhill and Crossroads Surgery, is working hard every day to answer as many calls as possible.’
Delay in COVID pandemic due to fall in emergency referrals from GPs could result in additional 10,000 Britons dying of cancer, report warns
A study has suggested that more than 10,000 people are likely to die of cancer due to the COVID pandemic.
Researchers at University College London said last year a drop in emergency referrals from GPs across the UK resulted in nearly 40,000 late diagnoses of the disease.
This delay and a long wait for the NHS…