"Continued problems accessing healthcare in Manchester "

About: Manchester PCT / Emergency GP out of hours service

(as the patient),

I returned to the UK after having spent some time abroad and found it impossible to register with a doctor, as I did not have proof of address. I was running out of medication by then, as I had thought it should be fairly easy to see a doctor in my own country. But no! I tried calling around numerous places and drop in centres who all told me they could not administer my medication. Finally, it took my father (A GP himself, who has worked in the NHS for years) to contact the area manager and yell at her to let me see someone. I finally got an appointment at Kingsway medical practice, who then told me ‘sorry you cant see anyone for a week’, so I then had to explain it all over again to the receptionist who refused to book me in. I gave her the number of the area manager to speak to and as they spoke on the phone, she closed the window on me as if I was a criminal! She then preceded to tell me I should have made sure I had had enough medication to last me - What cheek! when she has no clue about the medication or my medical condition.

A few months later, I put my repeat prescription in, which I collected on the Friday night. Went to collect my meds at the chemist, who said that they were sorry but the Doctor had forgotten to sign it, so they could not administer it. I then had to go to the out of hours Dr, a good distance away, to get a new signature.

Finally, I fell pregnant 12 weeks ago. After spending my money and time on the phone almost everyday it took me about 3 weeks to get an appointment. I was asked every time I rang up ‘do you need to see a Dr or can you see the nurse?’ I am sorry but I feel I was treated as if I was completely thick. I got so fed up of them saying they had no appointments for 2/3 weeks or excuses like the Dr was on holiday (which I don’t understand, because surely they should have a locum to cover him) that I finally rang up and said I wanted to see the nurse. They said ‘ok what is it for?’ I said I am 10 weeks pregnant and haven’t seen anyone yet ’Oh,’ was the reply ‘you need to see a Dr’!

I am now nearly 13 weeks. Finally saw the Dr, who basically felt my tummy and moved me on without any instruction as to what to do next. I then got a letter through the post saying I had an ante natal appointment over the phone! I couldn’t believe it, as it sounded so pathetic. I waited two weeks for this phone call, which consisted of someone booking me in to see a midwife! so now, when I finally get to see a midwife, I will be about 15 weeks. Who knows when I will get a scan, I might as well just have the 20 week one. I am so fed up and anxious, having had a previous miscarriage at 12 weeks when I was abroad with no proper care or follow up. I am disgusted at the way I have been treated by my local NHS – I feel that nobody cares, and I am just a number on those screens.

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