"Upset by care at my GP surgery"

About: Newham PCT

(as the patient),

I am writing to complain about the service I have received at the doctors' surgery at Wordsworth Health Centre in E12. I’ve been a patient there for the last 5 years and I am not happy. The very first time I went there I was told to hurry up as GPs are allowed only 12 min with each patient. And I am allowed to ask only one question. After my visit, there was a note at reception to remind every patient to ask only one question per visit!

The last time I went, in September, was to complain about my ears as I had pain, and the backs of my ear sometimes get swollen. I was assigned to a junior doctor who was very nice but within five minutes I had two different diagnosis – my ear drum is perforated, then my tooth is not good and I should go and see my dentist, even though I had a check up with the dentist just a few weeks before. In order to confirm his results the junior doctor called a senior colleague who came and said that my dentist should have a look at it.

During this visit, I asked for a referral letter to one of the hospitals as my specialist SLE clinic there had cancelled my appointment and had told me to go back to my GP. My GP refused to write the letter straight away with “We are not allowed to do this!”. Frustrated, I returned the following Monday, when I was seen by another senior GP who was very nice and wrote me a letter and prescribed antibiotics for my ears.

Today is April and I still have a pain in my ear which is now spreading to my head, but I am scared to make an appointment as I feel I was treated rudely and ineffectively by the original junior doctor.

I am diagnosed with SLE (lupus) and I need a prescription every month, which means I have to leave my office in Central London to go to the GP in order to collect my prescription, which means explaining to my boss my frequent absences. They don’t know about my life-long illness, as I am worried I may lose my job. I try to get a supply for longer than one month, as my intake varies depending how I feel, and because I often travel for work at very short notice for long periods of time. And guess what? I am not allowed to get a prescription for longer than one month. I had to beg to get two months' supply and even if I re-order my prescription before the two month period, I get phone calls to say that my two month period is not finished yet! The official reason for giving only one months' supply is that tablets get wasted or misused. Well I am diagnosed with a life threatening illness and I will be on my medications for the rest of my life, so how can tablets get wasted or misused!

If I ask for simple things like for a doctor’s note I get reply “Oh we are not allowed to that here. If doctor X finds out we would be in trouble”

The latest incident came two weeks ago, when I called to ask about my blood test only to be advised by the receptionist they are fine. When I asked her to fax me the results, she just said she is not allowed to do that.

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