"All I wanted was a repeat prescription"

About: Bradford and Airedale Teaching PCT Idle Medical Centre

(as the patient),

I needed to obtain a repeat prescription from my GP practice. I know they want people to ring for this service after 11am as they are busy earlier with clinics.

I work full time so it is not always easy to take time out of work to ring.

I couldn't ring on Thursday morning but tried in the afternoon - but had forgotten the practice is closed and you get put through to the out of hours service. I did not have an opportunity to ring later that day.

On the Friday morning I was expected in a meeting at 11am so waited until 10.59am to ring.

I told the receptionist, who answered the phone, that I wanted a repeat prescription - she asked if I would ring back in a couple of minutes as it was not yet time.

I replied that I was at work and that would be difficult.

She then asked if I would hang on the phone for the couple of minutes.

I said why as it must be very near 11am by now.

She said if I could wait a few more seconds it would then be time.

I asked why again.

She said it was now time and what was my date of birth.

It was the most surreal conversation I have had. I am stunned that this lady could not see that as I was already on the phone and it was probably only 30 seconds before 11am - so why not take my request immediately.

Even though this incident only took a few minutes it was a waste of her and my time. She did not go and do anything else - she just stayed on the phone to me.

People who ring the service are not always sat at home or doing nothing, they are working and have commitments.

I think this incident showed a remarkable lack of insight and respect to customers of her practice.

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