"In pain and invisible"

About: Portsmouth City Teaching PCT / Emergency GP out of hours service

(as the patient),

I am 65 years old, and recently had a worrying experience whilst feeling most unwell. I had what turned out to be a bout of chronic indegestion or inflammation of the duodenum (not sure which), and was in excrutiating pain and vomiting. My husband phoned the out of hours Doctors number (it was at about 11pm) and we were told that we would have to go to a late night surgery some 6 miles away.

We had a bit of a fraught journey because I was very uncomfortable and had to have a bucket on my lap due to the vomiting. We arrived at this surgery to be 'greeted' by two stony faced females, who handed me a small tube and told me to give a urine sample, (no jug or other receptable was provided) I didn't give a sample. After waiting for about 15 mins I was called in to see a Doctor, he was very pleasant, examined me, and wrote me out a prescription and told me the only chemist open was another 6 miles away in the other direction and closed at midnight (it was now 11.45pm.

Needless to say, we didn't get the tablets that night. On the following day, my husband called our local surgery to try to get a visit, I was still in pain and still vomiting. However, to cut the story short, I didn't get a home visit, and I got the impression that the best I could do was either self diagnose and self medicate, or go to A&E. I have an appointment with my own GP this coming Thursday, 10 days after the event. I find this situation very disturbing, I am at a loss to understand a) why we have Doctors, b) why they get paid so much and c) why don't we just have 24 hour drop in surgeries to deal with these relatively minor illnesses, as from my experience it seems GPs can't be bothered.

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