"New triage system"

About: General practices in Lanarkshire

(as a service user),

There is a new triage system place at Calderglen Medical Practice which requires you to tell the receptionist why you need to see the doctor. As a result I was prescribed antibiotics without seeing or speaking to the doctor which did not solve the problem. After a follow up call for an appointment a doctor called me and prescribed further antibiotics. These have still not resolved my problem but I am reluctant to call for a third time as I feel I am just being fobbed off despite having an underlying life-limiting condition. 

I believe it is intrinsically wrong for people to be required to discuss with the receptionist intimate or embarrassing health problems. In the past I would have described the service from this practice as exemplary I would now describe it as extremely poor.


Response from Laura Jack, Patient Affairs Manager, Primary Care Division, NHS Lanarkshire

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Dear Concerned east kilbride,

Thanks for getting in touch with us, although I'm sorry to read about your experiences with your local GP Practice.

GP's are independant contractors and so are responsible for investigating and responding to any concerns about their services directly. I would of couse however be happy to let them know that you have been in touch. If you are happy for me to contact the practice manager at Calderglen, please let me know via email at patientaffairs.primarycare@lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk or via telephone 01698 858 321 quoting Care Opinion.

Many thanks


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Response from Laura Jack, Patient Affairs Manager, Primary Care Division, NHS Lanarkshire

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Dear Concerned East Kilbride,

I wanted to get back in touch to let you know that Dr Slavin at Calderglen Medical Practice has been in touch with some helpful information that may answer your concerns.

In line with most GP Practices across Scotland Calderglen has found that triage at the initial point of contact ( I.e. when you call the practice and speak with a receptionist) has now become a necessity, given the often severe strain on GP Practices. This allows the practice to prioritise limited appointments and make sure patients are seen by the appropriate person as efficiently as possible. Dr Slavin has confirmed that although reception staff do not make clinical decisions they are required to obtain basic information to allow them to signpost patients to other services such as physiotherapy, community pharmacy or opticians etc.

The practice feel this model of triage now offered is more suitable to ensure they deliver safer medicine and the high standard of care patients would expect.

If you want to discuss your specific worries around prescribing antibiotics for patients it might be helpful to discuss this directly with the practice or your GP the next time you are in the practice.

Thanks again for getting in touch.


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Update posted by Concerened east kilbride (a service user)

Whilst I fully understand this triage system may ease the load on GP's, I do not feel it considers the dignity of the patient and shows little respect for their privacy.