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Postby Dod101 » July 2nd, 2019, 12:51 pm

I appreciate that this is a huge topic but I am prompted to post after my first visit to a GP for a very long while for a very minor problem but one for which I was given some antibiotics. We have a good service where I live. I called the surgery around 9 am, got a telephone appointment for later in the morning which resulted in a face to face consultation and a prescription which I then took to the pharmacy, and left five minutes later with the required medication. All for free of course.

An amazing service and it left me feeling almost guilty for making no financial contribution. I have been thinking about that ever since. If I did have to pay say £10 to see the GP, I would be happy enough to pay that but whether I like it or not it would change the dynamics of the relationship. I would then become a paying customer and could get bolshie if the service was not up to what I felt I needed. As it is, whilst I did not in any way feel like a supplicant, I was well aware of the fact that I was being put in a privileged position because had I simply called to ask for a non urgent appointment I would probably have been offered one a week tomorrow. I therefore made certain that I was wasting no one's time and showed (I hope) that I was very grateful which made for a pleasant experience, hopefully all round.

So however the NHS problems are sorted out, if they ever are, nothing is quite as easy as it might seem. And a fee to see the GP would I am sure be full of exemptions, a bit like the fee for prescriptions (which we no longer have in Scotland)


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Re: The NHS


Postby bungeejumper » July 2nd, 2019, 2:42 pm

Only a week for a non-urgent appointment? Down here it's now a month. Which makes a bit of a mockery of all that online advice "to see your doctor if your stomach ache/pulled muscle/ingrown toenail/allergic reaction isn't better after three days". (I might have made one of those up.) By the time I'd got to the appointment I'd have already been either fixed or nixed.

That said, I would cheerfully put my hand into my pocket for the excellent service I've had on many occasions. I think I could cope with not being entitled to queue-jump in exchange for my donations :lol: , but where would I actually want my money to go? To the surgery? To a specific public NHS pot, such as elderly healthcare or juvenile cancer, or to better facilities for the poor?

I'm not sure, but the NHS has saved my life twice in the last ten years, and I know how to be grateful. I make my donations instead to the local hospice charity.

Not that somebody somewhere wouldn't make the wrong link if they heard about it. "You're rewarding your doctor's successes by subsidising his (dying) failures" would be one argument that you'd get. They said the same thing when one of our local charity hospices bought an interest in a funeral firm. ("Bad taste!") Some people are just like that, I suppose?


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Re: The NHS


Postby Lootman » July 2nd, 2019, 3:02 pm

bungeejumper wrote:Not that somebody somewhere wouldn't make the wrong link if they heard about it. "You're rewarding your doctor's successes by subsidising his (dying) failures" would be one argument that you'd get. They said the same thing when one of our local charity hospices bought an interest in a funeral firm. ("Bad taste!") Some people are just like that, I suppose?

I recall reading somewhere that in China you pay your doctor as long as you are healthy. If you are sick he doesn't get paid. No idea if that is really true but it is a nice idea.

I also like the co-pay idea, set at maybe ten or twenty quid. It would deter the serial hypochondraics who clog up the surgeries with their endless paranoia. And others who go to the doctor's for ulterior reasons simply because it is free. A friend of one of my sons works in a GP office. She is female, young and attractive and she told me that a certain segment of the male patients who regularly see her don't really have anything wrong with them. They just enjoy the attention and company of a cute young clinician. More than a fair share of the reported ailments are in their nethers, perhaps not surprisingly.

Maybe a nominal cash charge would deter such time wasters.

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Re: The NHS


Postby tjh290633 » July 2nd, 2019, 3:49 pm

The system in our practice is that you can book appointments online, for any doctor at any of 3 centres. You can also book by phone or in person.

If you want your allocated GP your choice is much more limited, as the popular ones get booked up well ahead. However they keep spare slots for urgent cases, which get released twice a day, at 08:30 and 13:00. These can only be booked by phone or in person. If you will accept any GP you have lots of options.

I got my wife an evening appointment on the same day which led to a walk in referral to a clinic at a nearby hospital. The follow up to that cannot be with our own GP as she is booked up and is then going on holiday. So she will see a different GP on Friday, which is the earliest convenient day for us. A lot of the routine checking is done by Practice Nurses, usually calling for a blood test first with a phlebotomist, then the nurse a week or so later, when test results are in. Oddly, you cannot book these online.

There are various clinics around the locality to which you may be referred. These usually contact you to arrange an appointment, a few weeks after referral, depending on how busy they are. I have had a couple recently, one to the physiotherapist and one to the MSK clinic. Both very thorough and with good outcomes.

From talking to the practice manager, I get the feeling that they could do a lot more were it not for some of the NHS guidelines. There is an out of hours service which we have used and which is very useful in an emergency not warranting going to A&E, which is in the same building.

I reckon that we get a good service, albeit one which could be improved with more staff. Female GPs tend to work part time, to suit family circumstances. We just need more of them.


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