"Why is it so difficult to get an appointment? "

About: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

(as the patient),

Off work sick on Monday - called to get an appointment at 8. 30 on the dot. When I finally got through, they couldn't hear me (sore throat) and hung up on me, twice. Tuesday (day off) - called for an appointment at 8. 30am and told that I wouldn't get an appointment with my doctor that day, that I can't get an appointment in advance and to try again Thursday as my doctor isn't in on Wednesdays.

Thursday - call again at 8. 30am on the dot, cannot get an appointment with my doctor as he's doing home calls. Why wasn't I told this on Tuesday? Then I'm asked if I want the doctor to call me back and determine whether I need an appointment. I ask when they would call, the receptionist tells me half past 9. So I wait, and half past 9 comes and goes. It's now quarter past 10 and I've missed the 10. 10am 2. 5hr train I'd need to get to get to my doctors office on time for any afternoon appointments. I'm visiting my grandfather, I'm not usually 2. 5 hours away, I should add.

Low and behold a phonecall at 10. 18, they leave a voicemail - not my doctor. Another voicemail follows shortly after booking me in for an appointment at 3.10pm, which I cannot do as I've already missed the train, and I already told the receptionist I was working at 4pm. Also, since the surgery is permanently running late I definitely would not be able to make work (11 miles away from the surgery) on time.

I call to cancel this as I cannot make that appointment, and I go over how I've been unable to get an appointment since Monday, the receptionist tells me she can book me in for an appointment tomorrow. I thought you couldn't advance book appointments? I'm working all day tomorrow. I wouldn't be able to make it. Then she offers for next week, again, advance booking? Seriously? ! The receptionist then tells me I should always leave my name and contact details and if reception cannot get me an appointment a doctor will call me and determine if I need one. It's the first I've heard of this being an option, I thought I had to be offered a phonecall.

I'd also like to note that although I'm going to work, it's because I'm not paid for sick days and cannot afford any more time off. Minimum wage is fantastic.

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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear Millie11,

Thank you for taking the time to get in touch to highlight the issues you have had in getting an appointment to see your GP. Unfortunately, I am not able to comment on how individual GP surgeries manage their appointment systems. I have however passed on your comments to the practice directly for them to consider the points you have made and have invited them to respond to you through Patient Opinion.

Please also call the surgery directly if you still feel unwell and would like to speak with someone.

Best Wishes,


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