"Giving feedback."

About: NHS Lanarkshire

(as the patient),

My daughter, a school teacher, suffered a head injury at work. When she came home she looked 'glazed over' and was disoriented. I called the GP practice at 5. 20 to ask for basic reassurance, with her well being paramount after a head injury, that it would be ok to drive her to hospital and was there anything I shouldn't or should do immediately. After being answered and put on hold for 10-15 mins I was advised a telephone call back was being put to the on call doctor. Just before 6. 00pm the practice called to say that the GP asked them to call to say she was now finished for the evening and if I required advice to contact NHS 24.

I called the practice manager the following day to advise of this and to say ' it was very unlike the service that had always been shown from this practice and its many other professionals and that the tone of this doctors message was very curt almost dispassionate considering the reason I contacted. '

This was passed on to the GP who then proceeded at the GP meeting to tell ' an account' of what had happened without confidentiality to either myself or my daughter. The GP then called me to say that all the GP's in the practice agreed with her: ' advice can't always be given'. Her tone was abrupt and I felt like the fool as she named the doctors one by one who agreed with her. I felt discredited for only trying to be constructive with feedback that I felt would have only enhanced an excellent practice.

Since then I have not wanted to attend the GP practice feeling like a 'whistle blower'. I feel it was inappropriate of the GP to discuss myself, not in a medical sense, in an open forum without consent or my being present.

Since this my daughter has been in contact regarding a prescription mix up only for the conversation to lead to her having to end the call again as rather than offering support or advice the practice insists in becoming defensive, saying 'if you have lost confidence ( a phrase she never used) it may be time to consider other options'.

I have been with the practice for many years and have great faith in its work, as my husband has MS and dementia and myself a series of complex medical issues. At the moment however, whilst feeling very unwell after surgery to drain sepsis and a double bacteria bladder infection rather than feeling supported I feel disillusioned as to how to move forward. Shocked, and disappointed.

Unfortunately I do not know who to turn to for impartial advice or the best way to move forward. Why should I have to leave all of those professionals whom I have come to trust with all of my family's health over these many years because I wanted to give constructive feedback.

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Responses

Response from Rick Edwards, Patient Information & Experience Manager, Patient Affairs, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Rick Edwards

Dear getloudforms,

It sounds like you have a lot of things to deal with at the moment and it’s important that you and your family are able to access the right services at the right time.

We know that good communication is really important if we are to establish good relationships with patients; providing the right information and including them and their family in decisions about their care is a crucial part of that.

You are of course entitled to provide feedback about the services you receive and we positively encourage members of the public to do that as it enables us to reflect on our practice, to learn and improve.

I’m disappointed to read of your experiences with your GP Practice which initially appears to hinge around poor communication leading to your present disillusionment; I wonder, is there a chance of reconciliation? You do say that until recently you’ve received an excellent service, so I’d hope we could find a way to re-establish the positive relationship you had with the Practice beforehand.

If you’d like to contact the Patient Affairs Department on Tel No: 01698 858321 we’d be happy to discuss your circumstances and the options available to you, or, you could contact the Patient Advice and Support Service which is an independent service providing free, accessible and confidential information, advice and support to patients, their carers and families about NHS healthcare.

If you want to give feedback or comments, or raise concerns or complaints about your NHS treatment, the Patient Advice and Support Service can:

Help you to understand your rights and responsibilities as a patient

Support you if you are going to a meeting

Help you write letters and make phone calls

Help you access your medical and clinical records

Help you find health services and social care

Help you access the treatment, care and support you need

You can access this service from any Citizens Advice Bureau in Scotland. Your CAB adviser will refer you to a Patient Adviser if it is appropriate, who can provide specialist help or support regarding the NHS in Scotland. Citizens Advice Lanarkshire can be contacted on 01555 664301.

I wish you well with whatever course of action you decide to take.

Kind regards

Rick

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