"Quick GP referral"

About: General practices in Greater Glasgow & Clyde Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / General medicine

(as a service user),

Last week I was struggling with pain and moving my bowels, after trying to move them I realised I was bleeding from my back passage and the pain was increasing. I decided to call my GP's surgery and ask them to make a note on my file, they have been investigating dietary issues for a while with me.

When I called in, there was a recorded message on how to order your repeated prescription now and what to do if you have suspected covid19 symptoms. There was also information on only being offered a face-to-face appointment if deemed necessary by the GP after a phone appointment.

Once through the receptionist asked what the appointment would be in regards to, I said dietary issues. She informed me the Doctor would call back within the hour, and they did.

I explained my symptoms to the GP and she asked some routine questions. She asked if it was possible for me to come to the surgery, I was surprised as I hadn't expected to be seen in person. I was asked to wear a mask and gloves before arriving, and to ring the bell and step back from the main door. The receptionist checked my name and who I was to see and asked me to wait at the side door.

The GP opened the side door, she was wearing full PPE, gloves, mask, apron and a face screen protector. I was taken in to the examination room, it was very clean and had no extra equipment, just the desk, a chair and the examination table.

The Doctor asked me some questions and then asked to do a physical examination, it was a very routine appointment apart from the PPE we were both wearing. She was able to take my blood pressure while I wore the gloves, I have honestly never felt safer in the surgery.

She left to make a call, to a Doctor at the QUEH and they wanted see me as soon as possible. I was really shocked and seriously struggling to believe her, but she gave me a note of where to go and who to ask for. She checked I had more gloves and masks to wear while attending and explained that there was a completely separate entrance for non covid19 patients.

I went home and fed my dog then went straight to the hospital, driven by my husband. Most of you will know getting to the QEUH can be a challenge, it was 5 o'clock and we made it in 20 mins from the Hampden area of Glasgow.

The hospital was so quiet, it was kind of eerie, I've never noticed what an imposing site it is when it's not busy. Husband dropped me at the drop off section and I went in alone. It had been explained I couldn't take anyone with me as waiting areas were observing social distancing rules.

The non covid19 entrance was very clearly marked and I met 2 people who checked why I was there and that I wasn't experiencing any Covid19 related symptoms. There were markings on the floor like at the supermarket to keep you 2 meters from the next person. The revolving doors are wedged open so you don't have to crowd in or touch anything. There is hand sanitizer at the door for anyone to use.

I asked the main receptionist from the taped off area for directions and want straight through to the department. The door was locked so I had to push a buzzer and wait to be admitted. Again met by a nurse wearing full PPE who checked my details and asked me to wait in the seating area. There were 3 other people waiting and every 2nd chaired was marked not to be sat on. You never try to sit close to someone in the Doctors or hospital waiting room but this felt weird. We were actively trying to stay as far apart as possible. It was very effective, no one was any closer than 10ft with the chairs and marked areas to direct travel.

I took a book to read and it helped to pass the time before and after my initial intake examination. Both the intake nurse and the assistant she had were dressed in full PPE, while taking blood and having internal exams. I honestly don't know why that isn't what they always use. It made me feel so much more comfortable in general about the spread of germs, I am very aware of the ease of transmission in simple things like colds and this was such a sterile feeling situation. I normally experience stress in these situations due to the high volume of people the hospital surgeries see, this visit was a completely different experiences

When I was seen by the Doctor they again wore full PPE during the consultation and I kept my mask on, I was able to take my gloves off once I was in the room. She was able to examine me fully with out any concerns about transmission of anything.

It was very reassuring to know they were all well catered for in the forms of PPE, from the GP's receptionist right they way through to the hospital on call Doctor. The instructions given to me were very clear and what I was told matched what I experienced.

While I wasn't expecting to go to hospital I'm glad I did, I'm glad the Doctor had time to see me and so quickly. I'm really glad she did, me and my bum are on the mend. I'm scheduled for more tests and unless I experience a big change in symptoms ill get them when normal services return.

I wanted to let anyone out there who is putting off speaking to their GP about new or increased symptoms - don't!

They want to see you, they want to help and so do the hospital staff. It is frightening to go to hospital at any time, it's especially frightening during the covid19 outbreak, but it is being done safely, for staff and patients. They all understand long term health conditions haven't stopped because of covid19.


Response from Rachel Pyle, Patient Experience Project Manager, Patient Experience Team, NHSGGC last month
Rachel Pyle
Patient Experience Project Manager, Patient Experience Team,
Submitted on 02/06/2020 at 16:54
Published on Care Opinion at 16:54

picture of Rachel Pyle

Hello Firewm94,

I'm sorry to read you've been feeling unwell and had to take a trip to hospital. As you say, visiting hospital can be worrying at any time, and can be especially worrying in the current circumstances. However, I'm so pleased that you were looked after so well and were treated promptly and safely.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to share this detailed post with us, it's very much appreciated. I will pass on your kind words to the staff at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. I'm sure they will be heartened to hear that you felt reassured by the staff and the measures in place to protect everyone.

I note you've also mentioned GP services. They have a slightly different way of gathering feedback than our acute (hospital) sites. If you would like to email me the name of your practice, I would be delighted to share this lovely post with them. You can reach me at Rachel.pyle@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

Thank you again for sharing this very kind feedback with us.

Best wishes,


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