"GP appointment system"

About: Perth Royal Infirmary / Accident & Emergency

(as the patient),

I had been getting pain in my finger for about a week. After a few days of pain It was starting to swell. It is squint and feeling quite hot.

I phoned my GP on Monday morning as the website states for appointments phone in the morning. So 8am came, I phoned multiple times, but the lines were busy, I eventually got through at 8.25 to be told all appointments for that day had gone. So I then phone back Tuesday morning, starting at 8am again after multiple calls I get through at 8.15. Once again, told all appointments had gone.

I thought my finger could be broken so took myself to A&E at Perth Royal Infirmary. They were busy up there so I waited. I got seen by a nurse who did not have a look at my injury, instead just asked the same questions as they did at the reception desk. Then, I was told that I needed to wait for the senior doctor to see me to see if I should be treated in the emergency department, because I had the injury for more than 3 days. I was told that it might take a while as there was a lot of sick people coming in and handed me a booklet which said on the front save A&E for emergencies. If I can't get to doctors where else am I meant to go for a possible fracture?

The doctor saw me and it isn't broken, but thinks I have an infection in the tendons and advised me to see a GP. After saying that I have tried the past 2 days, I was told that they were are not a replacement service for GPs. I never said they were.

I went down my GP surgery after the hospital to see if there was anyone I could see, as I had been advised by the hospital. They said there is nothing that they could give me for today. As I work full time it is hard to get away and I don't want my infection getting any worse because I can't get an appointment.

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Response from Mary Cumming, NHS Tayside

Thank you for your feedback.

The Emergency Departments in Tayside operate a redirection policy/procedure. This has been in place for many years and has been held up as 'good practice' by the Scottish Government Department of Health. This policy within the ED at Perth helps to ensure that patients are seen by the most appropriate health care professional, in the most appropriate setting, at the most appropriate time.

As your health problem was one that would normally be seen and dealt with by a GP, you were redirected by a senior member of staff who felt it was more appropriate for you to be seen by your GP for treatment.

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