"GP services in SE20"

About: London

(as a service user),

I have been registered with a local GPs' practice for almost 30 years and, fortunately, have had little need to consult them. For the past 5 years I have needed a repeat prescription of a medicine that was prescribed for me by a South London teaching hospital, which monitors the dosage I need to take on a near monthly basis. My experience of the GPs' practice is mixed: the reception staff I have met have been surly, unhelpful, even rude - though their manner has improved in recent months.

Initially, the practice gave me repeat prescriptions sufficient for 3 months, then abruptly this reduced to approximately 6 weeks' worth. I was only informed of the reason for this when I asked (apparently the local health authority - Bromley - will only pay [though I pay for my own prescriptions] for one month at a time). I decided to ask a local branch of Boots to obtain my prescription, which were often accompanied by notes like, "need to see yellow book".

I have had the impression that the practice has not read my notes when making out the prescription. Although the practice is in a different borough to the hospital which monitors me, my notes must disclose that the hospital monitors me and, for heavens sake, who would take Warfarin for fun? The prescription before last was for 3 weeks' worth and after I remonstrated, a GP asked me to call to see her, which I did yesterday.

I was angry: it was inconvenient, and my recent experience of consultations had not given me confidence in the practice. Two doctors had said that matters I complained of were not serious when there were underlying issues, including - as I suspected - a DVT. The GP I saw said there was no hidden agenda to my being called in for a review, but she was unable to answer why it was happening now, more than 5 years after I had been taking the medicine. I wondered whether, in the transfer to electronic notes, someone had noticed that I had not been seen by the practice.

I don't have any health concerns because I get medicals through my work, but I wondered whether local authority funding arrangements require a GP to see her/his patient on a regular basis.

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