"Patient Centred Care?"

About: King George Hospital / General surgery Redbridge PCT

(as the patient),

I have just relocated to Essex and needed to find a GP quickly- I had thyroid surgery in Januray and had 10 days of my medication left. I thought this was a feasible amount of time to secure myself a prescription.

I duly filled out the patient questionnaire and asked for a docs appointment. I was told I needed to see a Health Care Assistant first and the next appointment was in 7 days. I was clear to the receptionist I had to see a doctor for an appointment for some important medication. I was told I had to see the HCA first and then call the next day for an appointment. There was no grey area here and she would not budge from this process. I called when I was told to for an appointment and relayed my story and was duly told there were no appointments- call again tommorrow. I now had 2 days to get mysef thyroxine. I asked her to take me off their register.

I frantically called another GP practice and asked for their help. I was told I needed to see a Practice Nurse first, then a doctor. I couldn't see a nurse until Friday and my meds were due to run out on Sunday. The nurse can't prescribe thyroxine. There were no doc appointments for Friday left.

In desperation I saw a private GP in London City who would have prescribed me anything I wanted and I paid £65 for the priveledge.

I am a Registered Nurse and I understand fully how the GP system works- that by seeing a HCA and Practice Nurse earns the surgery 'points' -AKA money. These two visits were absolutely pointless- I wasn't fully assessed or asked how I was feeling/adapting to thyroxine. Just sent 25 miles away for a blood test as the GP surgery does not carry out its own blood test- as an oncology nurse I could have saved myself the hassle and unpleasant experience of dealing with King George Hospital staff- and done the blood test myself.

I am appalled at incentive driven care in the UK- I would rather pay for my visit and get decent care. Which is what I will now do. As a Health Care Professional I cannot believe that my colleagues can call themselves professionals by ticking a few boxes on a computer generated assessment sheet, or insisiting I need to 'follow the process' before I can get medications prescribed that keep me well. Far better to follow the process and miss a week of thyroxine and end up unwell and taking up more resources.

Primary care?

Patient Focussed Care?

Patient Empowerment?

No- shameful beaurocratic, incentive driven, reduced waiting list care.

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