If you are registered with Hebden Bridge Group Practice and agree with this letter, please sign your name in the comments box – or email it if you don’t want to be publicly identified. I will add your names to the letter and deliver it to the GP surgery in a few days.
Dear Practice Manager and GPs
A number of patients at the Valley Road GP surgery have found that when they phone the practice for an urgent appointment they are told to call 111, who, after asking the 20 or so questions on their script, will then send a report to the GP surgery, which will then decide if a doctor will call them or see them.
This is making people very cross and anxious as often they are people with ongoing health problems who know that they need to be seen at the GP surgery.For example, a patient susceptible to sepsis with a suspected UTI needed to see a doctor and get a urine sample checked., but was fobbed off to 111. This is unacceptable. It is not a good thing for chronically ill and vulnerable patients.
Parents with poorly children who need to be seen urgently have found dealing with 111 to be a nightmare.
We are under the impression that GP surgeries are required to give same day appointments to patients with urgent health problems, so why are you directing them to 111? Particularly children?
People have been to the pharmacist – as we are now advised to for minor conditions – only to be told they need antibiotics which pharmacists can’t prescribe. So then they have to phone the GP surgery where it seems the policy now is to tell them to phone 111.
This is just giving patients the runaround. And it has to be less efficient and more wasteful for the NHS than if you just told people to come into the GP surgery for an appointment.
It ends up with people going to A&E because they know at least there they will be treated. But your Clinical Commissioning Group wants to reduce the number of people going to A&E.
We urge you to abandon this daft and unhelpful policy of fobbing off your patients – who really do appreciate the good care we get when we manage to see a GP or other clinician at the GP surgery.