"trying to getthrough to a doctor"

About: NHS Wigan Borough CCG North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

(as a parent/guardian),

My daughter in terrific pain unable to get past receptionist to see a doctor at her surgery, promised call back nothing happened rang again told she had not made the first call as they hadn't logged it. then diagnoses over the phone by a 'triage' nurse. Already on pain killers told to take more, first appointment with doctor more than two weeks.

This scenario repeated again and only when she eventually managed to speak with practice manager after threatening to make a formal complaint did she get a call from the doctor who brought forward blood tests for the following day and gave her an appointment for the day after.

This was cancelled by a call from the surgery to say that due to unforseen circumstances she would now not be seen until the following Monday. A week after that due to the pain she tried again by Wednesday we tried to get a doctor out to see her and we then experienced the dreadful system of trying to get to the on call service.

The practice's website tells patients to ring 111 this her husband did only to be told they must speak to the patient, she was so weak she could hardly hold the phone to answer a series of questions, then the call was put through to someone else who again went through the same questions, next put through to someone else (this is the 3rd lot of same questions) when asked why we were told that the call had been put through but not the information. As my daughter then had to use the toilet the person said they would ring back, which to be fair they did, but then told that the information would be passed on to a doctor to decide or could she be taken to the on call centre, having told them she couldn't walk they then said a doctor would ring with decision. We waited more than 30 mins but no call so her husband rang the centre and as he did the doctor arrived and was appalled to see the state she was in. All this took more than two hours.

the following morning her husband rang the surgery and spoke with her g. p. who came out before lunch ordered an ambulance to take her to the Infirmary at Wigan.

Her efforts to be seen properly instead of this triage system took over six weeks, she was diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica which to-day at the hospital has been dismissed and she has cancer of the spine.

Heads should roll over this and I don't want to hear that lessons have been learned because I very much doubt these people and their system will ever recognise that not all patients are trying to pull the wool over their eyes but that they are in extreme pain and need to be physically seen not spoken to over the phone. On any packet of pain killers the warning is see your doctor if it has not subsided after 3 days, well some hope at this surgery

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