"Turned away from my medical centre"

About: NHS Fife

(as the patient),

Everytime I call this medical centre I am always told that there are no "routine" appointments available for 2 to 3 weeks and that I need to call the next day at 8am and ask for an "emergency appointment".

As a person with mental health issues there are times when I do need to see the doctor very urgently.

Two weeks ago I went to the surgery at 8am, I was very ill as anyone who suffers mental health issues will understand it can be very frightening and you really do need to see a doctor straight away.

When I explained this to the receptionist (you are required to tell them all your symptoms when you book an emergency appointment even though they have no medical training) and then they decide if you are sick enough to merit an appointment.

On this occasion the receptionist told me that severe anxiety, agitation, panic and mental health issues were not an emergency and I was sent away, ill and frightened. I almost felt that it was a lottery and that I had lost. It seems really unfair that if the receptionist doesn't understand mental health you get sent away, and no one takes you seriously.

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Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

picture of Louise Ewing

Dear Alex C

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your efforts to get an appointment at the medical centre. I was sorry to hear of the diffciulties you encountered and appreciate that when you are struggling to deal with a range of issues such as the ones you describe, it can leave you feeling like you are not being taken seriously.

I wonder if you would consider giving me a call to discuss the specifics of your case to see if there is anything that can be done, should you find yourself in a similar position in the future. It would also be helpful if you were able to identify the medical centre so that we can make sure that they get sight of your posting. Please contact me directly on 01592 648153.

Kind Regards

Louise Ewing

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