Doctors Appointments? How do they work?

#1
Is it just me or is it incredibly difficult to see a doctor these days?

I'm not sure if it's always been that way as I've only needed to see a doctor for the first time - since I was about 15 - earlier this year.

About Jan/Feb I suddenly became one of these people who suffers from Tony Soprano-style panic attacks. I'll be sitting around doing something mundane and suddenly be short of breath, have a pain in the left of my abdomen and, more-often-than-not, I'll black out. You can imagine this was a pretty serious issue when it started happening and I responded by going to A&E a couple of times. When I was seen there the first time it was written off and I was told to see my GP. Then it happened again a few days later and I collapsed at home. At hospital they ran a pile of tests, determined nothing was wrong (suspected it's just panic attacks) and again asked me to see my GP.

When I was phoning up I was told to call again at 8.30am because that's the only time you get an appointment. After an hour on hold when I got through to a receptionist I pointed out that it was kind of an emergency and was called back later in the afternoon with an appointment for the next day thanks to a cancellation.

Went to see the doctor, more tests, discussion about depression and getting more exercise and I was fine later. Things have been alright, I go the gym and swim regularly, make more time to go out with friends and I don't centre my life around working nights and make sure that I get plenty of sleep during the day.

But my girlfriend and I have had to phone several times over the past year and whenever we do we either have to wait two to three weeks to see somebody or we have to call at 8.30am with what feels like a 20% chance of getting an emergency appointment. I called this morning and booked an appointment a fortnight from now because the pain in my abdomen is back big time and it's actually stopping me from walking around when it gets severe.

Does anybody else have this trouble with booking an appointment to see a doctor? It seems that the only way to do it is to make an 'emergency appointment' and it seems that the surgeries encourage people to do this. So at 8.30am half the population is trying to book an emergency appointment.
 
#2
If you are ex-forces (i.e. a veteran) you can ask for a priority appointment.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
the A&E dept usually have out of hours or walk in doctors now which can be handy.

what kind of tests did they do? its not likely to be appendicitis going by the way you are saying it hurts so it could be a hernia or even something as basic as a very lump bit passing through the bowel. I used to get crippling pains as a teenager which would last for hours yet never got taken to the doctor with it.

try to remember diet and fluid intakes prior to the problem and see if you can find a pattern to it. also the region of the pain, does it move and what helps with the pain like massage or pressure, curling up, laxatives, hot baths or hot water bottles etc..

it could be something like colitis or spastic colon and caused by too much gluten (white bread) so change to brown lumpy stuff and weetabix is good for it by adding additional fibre. my missus gets this when the ODs on pizza and ends up in bed for evening in agony which sounds like your issue.

the doctor will give you a diet sheet and fibogel.

and because this is Arrse - stop whining bitch and man up! :)
 
#5
Haha.

It's not so severe that I think I'm dying. I was walting it up with the 'can't walk' pish . It was only tonight as I was walking down to work from the bus stop that I noticed that it was quite stinging, it got to the point where I could barely move my left leg forward. It's been gone all night so far. But it comes and goes as it pleases.

It very rarely gets as intense as I mentioned before but when it does it can be quite excrutiating. I'd like to pop into A&E but not going to work means not getting paid and going to A&E usually means taking up time from someone who is actually severely ill whilst I might just have a slight build up in the colon or something silly like that. It's not hampering the way I live, just gets severe at least once a day and I'm still going to the toilet regularly without any bother.

Point is, I'd like a doctor to check me out without mentioning the words 'exercise' or 'stable diet' considering I've spent the last 6 months working hard at the gym, eating better and off fags. I've already lost what I think is a couple of stone (though I'm not checking) and my flabby bit has shrunk significantly.

Oh and I'm also wondering how to go about getting an appointment without waiting in an emergency queue or waiting two weeks only to actually find out my stomach is about to explode.

RE: EODMATT - how do I go about proving the former forces thing? Does it actually count if you were TA?
 
#6
No idea, mate. Why not call the Veterans Agency:
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
if your passing then pop into the a and e and ask if the out of ours doctor is free. if they have one that is but its pretty common now.

if you have been losing a lot of weight then it could be the start of a hernia of you have been doing the wrong exercise and lots too much up front before building up the muscle around the intestines.

stepdad did that after the cabbage soup diet. he needed magic pants for years after that.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
jarrod does a free prostate check is that any use?
 
#9
It's simple. The reason you have to wait weeks for an appointment is they're ******* useless and hope you'll either get better or die before the appointed day!

I've got MS and as far as most (alleged) doctors are concerned that's the cause of every other medical problem I have. Broken leg? It's the MS. It really pissed me off!:pissedoff:
 
D

Deleted 20555

Guest
#10
I'd say that the OP is talking shit to engender some sympathy and have a whine about not being pampered on the basis of once having served in the military - I have no idea where his doctor is but mine - who is bog standard gp surgery - will have normally have a same day appointment - with a definite appointment guaranteed within 3 days - or they get shat on apparently - but you can't make an appointment for say next week for example.

When my blood pressure for some reason or other suddenly went beserk a few years ago the GP saw me and I was squad marched off for tests including liver function, bladder function, diabetes you fecking name it and then was sent off to see the specialist the next week - by the way I wasn't even feeling unwell at this stage much less blacking out.

So if you're really sick I suggest you go to the A&E or change your doctor - but frankly you sound as if you're talking shit and the whole - I go to gym regularly? Please pull the other one.
 
#11
I do go to the gym regularly. You got seen to mate probably because you're approaching middle age. Middle age with high blood pressure means you could be looking at something much more serious. Mid-20s (my age) with high blood pressure means you're a fat **** with no life and you need to get exercise. That's how the doctor responds to anything when you're a young guy. I was having big girly pass-out fits, it was put down to depression and a panic disorder. I'd started working night-shifts and spent 80% of my time eating crisps, smoking fags and reading ARRSE. Not good for somebody as young as me.

After a wee bit of prowling through recommended websites and getting out of the house more, I was fixed. Exercise and a healthy diet was part of it. I WAS sent to a specialist. I went through a number of stress tests, got chest x-rays too just incase it was something more serious. Blood tests, heart monitors etc. All turned up fine. But the hospital wouldn't do those tests when I was coming into A&E - I had to see my GP first and that required bartering for an emergency appointment.

My problem isn't what's wrong with me. I didn't start this thread to discuss my illnesses, I mentioned them because I didn't want to get some pish about being a big jessie for going to the doctor. My problem is that I have to wait either 2 weeks for an appointment or I have to phone at half 8 and stay on the line for an hour to get an emergency appointment for the next few days. The only other option is wandering into a hospital but what happens when I go in and find out there's not anything wrong with me? Which is what happened with the panic attacks.

Maybe it's different, Deleted 20555, just based on where you live. Maybe it's a less busy surgery. And I don't want 'ex-military' sympathy and never have. I was just curious as to how that thing actually worked. I don't think I qualify for anything remotely like that.

That's the question I'm looking to debate: why is it so difficult now to get a doctors appointment? Is it because they always recommend that you phone for an emergency appointment and so that's what everybody does? Or are doctor's just incredibly busy in general now?
 
#13
I'm currently under the doctor too, and find it's way better to actually go the the reception and make an appointment. The phone method is just crap. However, if your GP surgury has an on-line booking system, then give it a try and see if it works better.
 
#17
I can sympathise with Your Mums Pal. I have exactly the same problem with getting appointments. If I phone up, the soonest appointment is three weeks hence. I get my wife to phone on my behalf - she gets told I can have an appointment at the end of next week but if she phones at 9am, she may pick up an emergency slot.

Buggeration factor here. I got into the Doctor's four weeks ago and was sent off to the hospital for an Xray. The X-ray was a drop-in service and I was seen to within 10 minutes - but told to book an appointment with my GP for 4 days later to get the results. Not a chance - it was 10 days later that I got to see him. During that appointment, I was told to turn up at the hospital for blood tests and to book another appointment for 4 days after I had the tests done (hospital not doing blood tests until Monday of the following week). Again it was a walk-in service and 30 minutes later, I walked out. Phoned for an appointment with my GP - two weeks time. I'm booked in for next Friday, assuming that I don't die in the meantime.

Jarrod's suggestion sounds good, but doesn't work. There are 6 GPs at my local practice. Although I'm allocated to one of them, when I make an appointment, it could be with any of them. Move to a different practice? Sounds good, but the next nearest practice also has 6 GPs and by strange coincidence, they're the same ones. OK, I could shift to the next nearest after that. Except that it is also run by the same 6 GPs. That's probably the reason why nobody can get a quick appointment - their daily agenda is filled with travelling time, moving between the three practices. That's not allowing for the private consultancies that they do between 1pm and 4pm.

And another thing. Being a working bloke, I try to avoid seeing the doctor, so when something crops up, I want to get the various other ailments sorted at the same time. But that's not allowed. One appointment, one ailment. FFS, no matter what is wrong with you, they only have three options - pain killers, antibiotics and referral to hospital for surgery (how very REME!), it can't be that hard, can it?

Bit worried though. Last time I saw my GP, he said that next time I see him, he'll probably stick his finger up my bum. I'm not really looking forward to that. Was he just trying to scare me out of making another appointment? Is it a real medical procedure? I do hope he's a real doctor and not a vet.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#18
I can sympathise with Your Mums Pal. I have exactly the same problem with getting appointments. If I phone up, the soonest appointment is three weeks hence. I get my wife to phone on my behalf - she gets told I can have an appointment at the end of next week but if she phones at 9am, she may pick up an emergency slot.

Buggeration factor here. I got into the Doctor's four weeks ago and was sent off to the hospital for an Xray. The X-ray was a drop-in service and I was seen to within 10 minutes - but told to book an appointment with my GP for 4 days later to get the results. Not a chance - it was 10 days later that I got to see him. During that appointment, I was told to turn up at the hospital for blood tests and to book another appointment for 4 days after I had the tests done (hospital not doing blood tests until Monday of the following week). Again it was a walk-in service and 30 minutes later, I walked out. Phoned for an appointment with my GP - two weeks time. I'm booked in for next Friday, assuming that I don't die in the meantime.

Jarrod's suggestion sounds good, but doesn't work. There are 6 GPs at my local practice. Although I'm allocated to one of them, when I make an appointment, it could be with any of them. Move to a different practice? Sounds good, but the next nearest practice also has 6 GPs and by strange coincidence, they're the same ones. OK, I could shift to the next nearest after that. Except that it is also run by the same 6 GPs. That's probably the reason why nobody can get a quick appointment - their daily agenda is filled with travelling time, moving between the three practices. That's not allowing for the private consultancies that they do between 1pm and 4pm.

And another thing. Being a working bloke, I try to avoid seeing the doctor, so when something crops up, I want to get the various other ailments sorted at the same time. But that's not allowed. One appointment, one ailment. FFS, no matter what is wrong with you, they only have three options - pain killers, antibiotics and referral to hospital for surgery (how very REME!), it can't be that hard, can it?

Bit worried though. Last time I saw my GP, he said that next time I see him, he'll probably stick his finger up my bum. I'm not really looking forward to that. Was he just trying to scare me out of making another appointment? Is it a real medical procedure? I do hope he's a real doctor and not a vet.
Phone the PCT then and complain.
 
#20
Make a formal disparaging comment about a bloke who's about to perform a rectal examination? Would you?
 

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