"Criteria for an emergency appointment"

About: Crosshouse Hospital / Ear, Nose & Throat General practices in Ayrshire & Arran

(as a parent/guardian),

I am currently abroad and my 17 year old son is being cared for by his aunt. He called to say he felt ill which quickly escalated to him being really poorly-was very evidently bad case of tonsillitis which needed an antibiotic. Called surgery to request an emergency appointment to be told to come down at 8am next day!! This was lunch time. He deteriorated further and was vomiting and had a fever. Both his sister and aunt called asking for emergency appointment explaining how ill he felt and explaining he would be happy to see an ANP (or anyone who could prescribe something) to be told a further twice a firm NO - come back down and wait at 8am next day. 

By the evening, out of hours had to be called and they seen him and quickly admitted him to a ward at Crosshouse Hospital. He ended up on IV antibiotics and fluids and under care of ENT!!! I feel so angry and disappointed with Medical Practice. I called to make a complaint and was told ‘well we only had 2 GPs on yesterday’. I asked what the criteria is to fit the emergency appointment system to be told to put complaint in writing to practice - still don’t know what the criteria for an emergency appointment is!!!

I get GPs also need holidays and time off. I am a nurse and work within a team-however we ensure our service is adequately covered over holiday periods as emergencies do occur! But for a front line service to be so under staffed that appointments cannot be facilitated is unacceptable. I also understand the outcome more than likely would not have been different had he been seen in surgery, however the attitude and resistance from the reception staff was totally out of order. 

And I shall be putting my complaint in writing and hopefully they can answer my question re what fits the criteria to be seen on an emergency basis. 

Thankfully, he is receiving excellent care in Crosshouse Hospital ENT ward.