"What time is that surgery open?"

About: Waltham Forest PCT

(as a relative),

I would like to make a suggestion, at some point one may need to call a doctor on behalf of a friend relative or partner.

In my case I needed to do just that for my partner. He was quite ill experiencing some sharp chest pains and gave me the doctors number so I could make an appointment.

I called and called and called some more and kept receiving an answering machine message to call the out of hours service if it was a medical emergency.

I looked the surgery up on the internet and went to at least 4 websites if not more to try and determine the opening times, which could not be found.

I worked for an out of hours GP deputising service for 8 years and in my experience there are some genuine callers who don't want to disturb an emergency service to get access to simple opening hour details.

The internet is a great medium to share useful information. My suggestion would be to have a surgery opening times online along with the services offered at that practice...We don't always hold on the leaflets handed out by surgerys. In addition it may not always be a registered person at that practice making the call.

2011 - can't even get that right!

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