"Difficulty contacting Doctors Surgery"

About: East Anglia

(as the patient),

I am overall very happy with my surgery, Lawson Road Health Centre, having being with this one in Norwich for almost 2 years. I have an excellent Doctor, who really actively listens to me. I have a disability and many long term health conditions, so have frequent contact. As well as seeing the G.P., have to see the nurse and Health Care Practitioner for blood tests, etc.

The surgery phone line opens at 8 am but it is difficult to get through then, the lines shut from 12.30 - 1.30 pm, which I think is ludicrous. What if you are working during the day, earlier in morning or later in day, you would be getting ready and travelling to work? I find it difficult to hear on a mobile phone outdoors or in noisy places, and when I tried to ring the surgery, it was problematic and stressful.

At the end of last year, they started an online registration, where you could book appointments and get repeat prescriptions online So I went about setting it up. It didn't work initially and I had no choice but to go back to the surgery to set it up again, which took quite some time, but set out to use it. I had been asked on my last visit to my Doctor to see him again in 2 months and to book a blood test for 3 months. Anyway couldn't book that far in advance with Doctor. This is a regular issue, then I discovered you can't book the nurse or Health Care person online! That doesn't make any sense and now find the online system is of very limited use.

I'm not actually working at present so have more flexibility with making appointments etc., many retired people likely don't have issues as have plenty free time. But as I'm still "working age", I either have to sign on at Job Centre and attend various daytime appointments/meetings and all that entails (or risk being sanctioned) or I have to be involved in stressful/involved sickness claims (currently doing), so the surgery being more difficult to contact or trying to get GP appointments adds to this. What about working people? Surgeries need to be more flexible with bookings.

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