"Changing doctor is causing me worry and frustration"

About: Cumbria Teaching PCT

(as the patient),

I moved address. I immediately signed an application form to register with another doctor and returned the form before the begining of May and was told this would take at least two weeks before I heard from them as it was Monday Bank Holiday.

I eventually got a letter of acceptance and I rang immediately to make an appointment for a Registration Medical. I was told they were very busy and the earliest appointment was 2nd June. By now I had run out of tablets so I managed to get a repeat prescription for some from my old surgery.

Well now we are coming up to yet another Bank Holiday and I need another prescription (only a months supply but one tablet I was given 28 but was taking two a day - this should have been 56 tablets).

So I rang my new surgery up and was told - we can't give you any prescription go back to your old doctor (a good job it was only in the next village and not Lands End!!!). When I rang them they said they had nothing to do with me now I had signed on at another doctor. Some of these tablets were for blood pressure but by now my blood pressure was getting higher and higher.

I gave up and went to another Group Surgery and asked their advice as to what I should do. She was extremely helpful and said she would ring up my new doctors surgery and tell them that they should give me a repeat prescription and that I had brought in my old repeat prescription and all the tablets that she was taking.

So back I went to the new doctors surgery and was greeted with this very objectionable receptionist who refused to let me speak to the practice manager. Eventually I admit I made a firm announcement that I was not leaving until I had seen her. Eventually I did and she explained the procedure which I understood but as I explained...what do I do for tablets in the meantime?

She said I will TRY and get you a prescription for Friday. I asked for the phone number and what times they were open and she said "did you not get a leaflet when you received the acceptance letter" and I said no. She then said "no probably not as all these doctors here are leaving" and she probably thought it not a good idea to send it out. So here it is now Thursday - will I get my tablets or till I just have a heart attack instead when I run out of the medication?

Incidentally I had received a new medical card from Carlisle so the new surgery had received my papers and anyway the Practice Manager said usually in these cases electronic mail to the old surgery would suffice. I did not move because I wanted to, I had to move as I was out of their catchment area so there was no secret about it. But franklly this procedure of the NHS for changing doctors should be reviewed and quickly. When you are only allowed a months supply of tablets and the change takes over 6 weeks there is something very wrong with the system.

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Responses

Response from NHS Cumbria

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment about our services. I was sorry to learn of the difficulties you experienced when you transferred to a new GP Practice.

I sincerely hope that you have now received the medication you need and you concerns with the GP Practice in question have now been resolved. However, if you would like further advice, you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0300 123 9006.

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Update posted by Linda73 (the patient)

The problem with the prescription was eventually resolved but getting an appointment to actually see a doctor was worse.

First, I had to have a Registration Medical and had to wait some weeks for that. Once the nurse had taken tests and an ECG she immediately went to get advice from a doctor. Since then I had phone calls at home saying I should be admitted to hospital. I got frightening messsages from the doctors over the phone which I found awkward to relate to.

Another Friday I was told to call out CueDoc immediaely if I had certain symptoms. Then before I had even seen a doctor I was given an appointment to see a Consultant - well at least I got some idea what was going on then. I eventually saw a doctor for the first time at the surgery this week 16th June (I moved in April). I have to say she actually gave me the time of day to discuss what was going on and she explained everything clearly.

Perhaps I would get her into trouble by saying she did not keep to the 10 minute appt - thank goodness because I needed some answers to all this pressure. I would like to know just how long it takes to pass over medical records when you change doctors?

I do not believe it is the GP Surgery at fault but the NHS system is failing. Unless you are a total emergency at near death, getting an appointment with the doctor of your choice is impossible. I have been through this system of seeing different doctors and each one has a different idea - changing medication, try this, do that do this, all different for the same complaint. It might be good for the doctors to feel that they have to be careful because someone else will come along and view what they have done, but it is no good for the patient to have so many different ideas and medications thrown at them.

And of course you see a doctor they spend 8 minutes reading the screen, then press a button, change your prescription, hand it to you and out the door you go. Procedures and medication as a whole has improved vastly over the years but human contact is disappearing fast and as a patient I, and many of my friends, feel we are just a statistic on an assembly line.

Needless to say that during the time of changing doctors because I had to move home, caused my ailments and the medication I had to take which needed adjusting, to deteriorate severely when they could have been put right a lot earlier. I think this is a very serious matter that should be dealt with. As it is, when I saw the doctor eventually she had to ask for part of my papers to be electronically sent over as a matter of urgency.