A Patient Writes

Today’s Blower cartoon in the Telegraph

I got an email from a frustrated reader who tried and failed to get an appointment with his GP yesterday.

Two days ago I got to witness what a basket case the NHS has been turned into.

My GP does not now do face to face bookings. Nor can you book an appointment over the internet any more, you have to ring up.

So at 12.30pm I did so. I was in a queue, and I ended up hanging on the phone for 40 minutes until I spoke to a receptionist. I asked her if I could speak to a GP. She said sorry, there were no appointments available this week, but I could ring at 8am or 2pm to try and get an ’emergency’ appointment. I said it’s only 45 minutes till 2pm, could this not be sorted now: she said no, the computer system only “opens” at 2pm.

So I rang back at 2pm. It was engaged. I tried again 20 times, it was always engaged. I finally got through and was put in a queue. At 2.45 I spoke to the receptionist. I requested an emergency appointment. She said sorry, they have all gone, I’d have to try tomorrow at 8am.

At this point I pretty much broke down, saying I’d been on the phone for nearly an hour and a half today and still no sign of any appointment with a GP, and no guarantee I would get one this week, no matter how many times I rang back. I was in utter despair.

The slightly happy ending to the tale is that because I complained to her so much, she did pass a message on to the doctor, and I was rang later to tell me a prescription was ready to pick up. But no GP appointment, which is what I most need.

This is what the Government has done to the NHS thanks to its bug eyed focus on one single virus, a virus which has declined massively in the last four months. I pity those who are older than me and iller than me, this is a terrible situation with real human cost.

Btw, I live in Bath which, as far as I am aware, has had very, very few infections in the last months

By 29 July 2020