Appointments

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AMMoffat
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Re: Appointments

Postby AMMoffat » 7 Jun 2017, 7:30pm

I always expect a wait when I have a GP appointment and, although my GP practice is generaly quite good at keeping to time, I do sometimes have a long wait. I tend to take a relaxed view about this. Given that the average GP appointment is 10 mins and they don't know in advance what is coming through the door, clearly some patients will need much longer. I doubt that GPs take the view that their time is more important than mine rather than some other patient's need is greater than mine. I take the view that if the GP ever needs to spend more than the regulation 10 mins with me then he/she will give me all the time necessary which of course will mean the patients after me will have to wait and about which I will feel not in the least bit guilty.

Getting the appointment in the first place however....... :roll:

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Mick F
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Re: Appointments

Postby Mick F » 7 Jun 2017, 7:37pm

This was for a scheduled scan, programmed more than a month in advance.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurism Screening scan for men in their 65th year.

If I'd got there 20mins early, I'd have been waiting 40mins even before being acknowledged.
This was a routine appointment.
No specialists involved, no on-call doctor or emergencies.
It was just lax .......... and a lack of attention to the needs of a public who have other things to do.

There was no-one in front of me, no-one at all. The place was silent and deserted, and I sat there alone. No-one came out. It struck me that I was the first for the afternoon session.

Two chaps arrived after me were scheduled at ten minute intervals AFTER me.
By my leaving, they jumped half an hour ahead ........ but would still have been late.

.............. and whilst I'm ranting, I have blood tests every now and again, and need them "fasting" for 12hrs before. Therefore first thing in the morning as soon as the health centre opens is the best. They don't open the doors until 0830 .......... which is an hour after my breakfast time, and two hours after I want my morning cuppa x3 (with milk) ......... so I'm not a happy bunny by 0830.

The doors open at 0830.
Where is the staff at 0820?
Still arriving. :shock:
They should be there WELL BEFORE the doors open.

Where is the phlebotomist at 0830?
Not seeing me .........and once or twice STILL not arrived.
I've complained more than once, and complained to the health centre manager too.

If the doors open at 0830 and I have the very first appointment, I should be able to walk straight into the phlebotomist's room.
Rarely been in there before 0845.

Drives me MAD. :evil:
Mick F. Cornwall

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Paulatic
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Re: Appointments

Postby Paulatic » 7 Jun 2017, 7:47pm

Had my AAA test last week
Appointment 10am
Got there 9:45 put my paper on the desk, sat down and entered password for the public wifi.
Name called before I connected , job done and walking out at 9:55. Five minutes before my appointment. :D
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

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Psamathe
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Re: Appointments

Postby Psamathe » 7 Jun 2017, 7:54pm

Mick F wrote:This was for a scheduled scan, programmed more than a month in advance.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurism Screening scan for men in their 65th year.

If I'd got there 20mins early, I'd have been waiting 40mins even before being acknowledged.
This was a routine appointment.
No specialists involved, no on-call doctor or emergencies.
It was just lax .......... and a lack of attention to the needs of a public who have other things to do.
...

Ultra-sound is one of those departments that provide urgent scans for non pre-booked appointments for other hospital departments. I had one once when I saw a consultant with a "lump", consultant did his examination and decided he needed an ultra-sound scan so I was sent over and it was "urgent" as the consultant was only there for another hour and needed the ultra-sound to decide whether to take a biopsy. So use of the gear and operators has to be statistically scheduled which means that sometimes pre-booked appointment wait a short time (and 20 mins is a short time).

Ultra-sound is a limited resource, needs gear and operators which the NHS have a responsibility to see are used with best efficiency.

Do you know that there were no urgent appointments earlier in the day causing things to slip. And remember that those could have been hours before your arrived causing the technician to slip their breaks and remember how quick our society is to scream when an over-tired technician misses something ...

Last ultra-sound scan I had was carried out by a doctor (not a sonographer) because I asked them about the details of their findings and they said that they can discuss them as they are doctors.

To be checked for something serious, particularly given the pressure the NHS is under, I would not even think twice about a 20 minute wait.

Ian

Tangled Metal
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Re: Appointments

Postby Tangled Metal » 7 Jun 2017, 7:56pm

Although not really NHS related (sorry dentistry business is totally private IMHO) I once turned up to my dentist for my second ever appointment after registering with them 12 before. I was 1 minute late at most based on phone time, but their office clock was showing almost 10 minutes ahead.

The receptionist turned round to me and said I was late. There was a waiting room with a.handful of frustrated patients because one patient needed urgent treatment and it had taken over an hour and a half longer than expected! I found it out because the other dentist in the practise came out and asked how long his colleague had been in there.

Anyway, a week later I got a snotty letter saying because I was late for my appointment they were knocking me off their NHS list. The letter had something about denplan on the back. Apparently the practise was halfway through converting to completely private. They must have been looking for any excuse to get rid of NHS patients and converting to private. Or is that cynical?

( BTW auto correct changed receptionist to terrorist, she was very nasty with the way she kicked me out but that was too much!)

Psamathe
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Re: Appointments

Postby Psamathe » 7 Jun 2017, 8:00pm

Mick F wrote:....
.............. and whilst I'm ranting, I have blood tests every now and again, and need them "fasting" for 12hrs before. Therefore first thing in the morning as soon as the health centre opens is the best. They don't open the doors until 0830 .......... which is an hour after my breakfast time, and two hours after I want my morning cuppa x3 (with milk) ......... so I'm not a happy bunny by 0830....

You are of course quite right that the NHS should schedule it's entire working around your schedule to ensure that you are not inconvenience in any way. Horrendous that you can't have a cuppa at your usual time. NHS - pile of junk if it delays your morning cuppa ...

And how many billions are we paying out for it and it still delays Mick's morning cuppa.

There are other ways to get your blood taken for testing under the NHS (because my parents have worked out alternative ways due to constraints from their own local centre).

Ian

blackbike
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Re: Appointments

Postby blackbike » 7 Jun 2017, 8:10pm

Mick F wrote:Is it just me?

If I get a letter from the NHS for an appointment at the local clinic, turn up 5mins early, and 20mins after my appointment time I'm still not called forward, I go and complain.
What makes them think that their time is more important than my time?
If there's a delay, why can't I be told when I arrive?
If I have an appointment with them, they also have an appointment with me. This is a two-way thing!
If I turned up 20mins late, THEY would complain!

Today, I complained, and then left, and told them to send me another appointment, and we'll try again.

Drives me MAD. :evil:


I've found NHS administration to be unprofessional. Far too many mix ups and mistakes.

I was once given a lecture by a dentist at the dental hospital because she thought I had missed my previous appointment.

When she'd finished I showed her the letter from the hospital cancelling it and rearranging it for the time of the appointment I was then attending.

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Mick F
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Re: Appointments

Postby Mick F » 7 Jun 2017, 8:13pm

Paulatic wrote:Had my AAA test last week
Appointment 10am
Got there 9:45 put my paper on the desk, sat down and entered password for the public wifi.
Name called before I connected , job done and walking out at 9:55. Five minutes before my appointment. :D
That is the way it should be.
Mrs Mick F has her mammogram scans regularly, and she's seen promptly every single time.
Women wouldn't put up with waiting to be put through that. Do it at the appointed time, and get out.
Psamathe wrote:Ultra-sound is one of those departments that provide urgent scans for non pre-booked appointments for other hospital departments.

I would not even think twice about a 20 minute wait.
Agree.

BUT, all it takes is for someone to come out and apologise and explain and suggest a wait or to come back later. Perhaps the letter should suggest you could be waiting some time.
It didn't, and I know that the scanner was booked at ten minute intervals for the afternoon.

However, if you have an appointment, it isn't an appointment for ME, it's an appointment for WE.
It takes two to tango.
Make an appointment, and keep it ............ both of us ............ or apologise early and offer an alternative date/time.
Mick F. Cornwall

Psamathe
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Re: Appointments

Postby Psamathe » 7 Jun 2017, 8:33pm

Mick F wrote:...
BUT, all it takes is for someone to come out and apologise and explain and suggest a wait or to come back later. Perhaps the letter should suggest you could be waiting some time.
It didn't, and I know that the scanner was booked at ten minute intervals for the afternoon.

However, if you have an appointment, it isn't an appointment for ME, it's an appointment for WE.
It takes two to tango.
Make an appointment, and keep it ............ both of us ............ or apologise early and offer an alternative date/time.

Sorry, I'd not realised you walked out because they failed to apologise or because their letter didn't warn about waiting; I'd assumed you walked out because they made you wait 20 mins. Still NHS gets billions so wasting a bit of that wont impact anybody!

At least if/when they get a chance to re-schedule the appointment you wasted, if they don't pre-warn you in the appointment letter you know not to even bother turning-up. But I'm sure somebody is already writing you a letter of profuse apology (it's not like the NHS have anything better to do).

And you might notice a bit of cynicism in my comments because many don't seem to appreciate the pressure the NHS is under and expect them to drop everything to accommodate their particular non-medical requirements.

Ian

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Mick F
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Re: Appointments

Postby Mick F » 7 Jun 2017, 8:52pm

That's ok. :D

The letter was from Peninsula NHS - Devon and Cornwall - and my appointment was for a local place.
It's simple.
Programmed appointments at ten minute intervals. Slot in as required.

There's an email address, so I've sent them a (polite) email and explained about the delay and why I Ieft, and asked them to give me another appointment by email and not bother sending out another postal letter.

I have no issue about turning up for appointments providing they keep their end of the bargain. If there's a delay at their end, just keep me informed. If there's a delay at my end, I would keep them informed just the same wouldn't I?

I have a 'flu jab each year.
The health centres work like clockwork. Three members of staff in there: one calling you through, one injecting you, and one recording you on the computer. Conveyor belt stuff.
Mick F. Cornwall

toontra
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Re: Appointments

Postby toontra » 7 Jun 2017, 8:54pm

Psamathe wrote:And you might notice a bit of cynicism in my comments because many don't seem to appreciate the pressure the NHS is under and expect them to drop everything to accommodate their particular non-medical requirements.

Ian


I think you'll find you're using sarcasm, not cynicism.

The rest of your post is equally wide of the mark. Are you really saying we should all be grateful and beholding to the almighty NHS no matter how inefficient and incompetent it sometimes is? Non-urgent treatment is the bread-and-butter of their work and they should be able to accommodate routine appointments in a timely manner and if they can't (for whatever reason) have the decency to explain why and not just expect the patient to suck it up regardless.

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Mick F
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Re: Appointments

Postby Mick F » 7 Jun 2017, 9:06pm

toontra wrote: Non-urgent treatment is the bread-and-butter of their work and they should be able to accommodate routine appointments in a timely manner and if they can't (for whatever reason) have the decency to explain why and not just expect the patient to suck it up regardless.
+1


.............. and I'm off to bed now.
Early to bed and early to rise etc. :wink:
Mick F. Cornwall

pwa
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Re: Appointments

Postby pwa » 7 Jun 2017, 9:15pm

toontra wrote:
Psamathe wrote:And you might notice a bit of cynicism in my comments because many don't seem to appreciate the pressure the NHS is under and expect them to drop everything to accommodate their particular non-medical requirements.

Ian


I think you'll find you're using sarcasm, not cynicism.

The rest of your post is equally wide of the mark. Are you really saying we should all be grateful and beholding to the almighty NHS no matter how inefficient and incompetent it sometimes is? Non-urgent treatment is the bread-and-butter of their work and they should be able to accommodate routine appointments in a timely manner and if they can't (for whatever reason) have the decency to explain why and not just expect the patient to suck it up regardless.


Keeping waiting patients informed is a good thing if it is practical, but if that takes a professional away from what they are doing it could add to the delay.

Psamathe
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Re: Appointments

Postby Psamathe » 7 Jun 2017, 10:36pm

pwa wrote:
toontra wrote:
Psamathe wrote:And you might notice a bit of cynicism in my comments because many don't seem to appreciate the pressure the NHS is under and expect them to drop everything to accommodate their particular non-medical requirements.

Ian


I think you'll find you're using sarcasm, not cynicism.

The rest of your post is equally wide of the mark. Are you really saying we should all be grateful and beholding to the almighty NHS no matter how inefficient and incompetent it sometimes is? Non-urgent treatment is the bread-and-butter of their work and they should be able to accommodate routine appointments in a timely manner and if they can't (for whatever reason) have the decency to explain why and not just expect the patient to suck it up regardless.


Keeping waiting patients informed is a good thing if it is practical, but if that takes a professional away from what they are doing it could add to the delay.

I would agree. And one this I have been made aware of is how a hospital can be frantically busy and overloads without showing signs of the problems, everything appearing quiet and routine.

Ian

Psamathe
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Re: Appointments

Postby Psamathe » 7 Jun 2017, 10:44pm

toontra wrote:
Psamathe wrote:And you might notice a bit of cynicism in my comments because many don't seem to appreciate the pressure the NHS is under and expect them to drop everything to accommodate their particular non-medical requirements.

Ian


I think you'll find you're using sarcasm, not cynicism.

Sorry, my mistake, you are right.

toontra wrote:The rest of your post is equally wide of the mark. Are you really saying we should all be grateful and beholding to the almighty NHS no matter how inefficient and incompetent it sometimes is? Non-urgent treatment is the bread-and-butter of their work and they should be able to accommodate routine appointments in a timely manner and if they can't (for whatever reason) have the decency to explain why and not just expect the patient to suck it up regardless.

No, I'm saying we should be tolerant where things do not go exactly as we'd like them to. We should appreciate the pressures they face - which is nothing like "being grateful and beholding" (although a bit of gratitude is probably reasonable.

I can see not reason to assume a 20 minute delay means they are "inefficient and incompetent". As I previously pointed out, some departments cover both urgent and routine appointments and thus to keep staff and equipment working efficiently there will be peaks and troughs and urgent cases should have priority over non-urgent cases and that means sometimes non-urgent appointment will be delayed a bit.

If they have spare staff who have time to keep patients updated through peaks and troughs, fine, but if they don't then a 20 min wait is hardly the end of the world and hardly reason to walk out and waste an appointment.

Ian