"A lot of waiting for a GP out of hours"
Posted by Bernardthebear (as ),
Yesterday (Sunday) I needed to access the Out of Hours GP. I had symptoms which matched those in the section marked "seek medical attention immediately" on the patient information leaflet of a new medication that I have started taking. This suggested to me that I should not wait until my GP surgery re-opened on Monday. I rang 111 at 13. 20. The call handler agreed I needed to see the OOH GP, so passed on my case. She said that they were busy but I might get a call back within an hour, otherwise 2-3 hours. At 15. 40 I was still waiting, so called again. The call handler checked that my call had gone through and said that if I hadn't heard within another couple of hours there would be something wrong. Unsurprisingly perhaps, I hadn't, and at 1800 I rang again. I explained again that although my symptoms sounded fairly minor (swollen glands, fever), it was the fact that they were listed in the "seek medical attention" bit of the patient leaflet that was giving me concern. I wanted to know whether or not to take the next dose which was due at 9pm. This time they coded my request as "call back within an hour", and I was called by the OOH GP at 1830. After listening to my symptoms she said that I would need to be seen and gave me an appointment at 7pm at the Out of Hours centre in Manzil Way, East Oxford. Upon arrival it was evident that 7pm was a very optimistic time. The waiting room was heaving and it was going to be a long wait. It was an unpleasant place to wait, full of people coughing, and very hot and airless. What was interesting was the number of people who left whilst I was there as the wait was so long - if they didn't ABSOLUTELY need to be seen, why were they there? ! I was eventually seen at around 20: 45, nearly 7. 5 hours since I first attempted to get an appointment. The OOH GP was excellent and thorough, but I then needed bloods which out of hours, had to be done in A and E...another wait up there, an hour for triage, and then another hour or so waiitng for bloods to see the Dr. I got home after midnight, having not had dinner because I'd not known what was happening all afternoon and not been able to prepare anything.
In contrast, I rang my own GP surgery (Gosford Hill Medical Centre) first thing this morning and requested to speak to a GP and was called back in less than an hour and given a clear plan of how to proceed.