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Empty Waiting Rooms

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

Since before New Year I've had a medical condition which I have;

1. discussed my condition with my Torbay medical practice receptionist so she could allow me to talk to a doctor,

2. talked to a doctor, good, when she phoned me back and made an appointment for that day,

3. attended the appointment but surprised it was with a Practice Nurse. Diagnosis and prescription given,

4. Two weeks later, no improvement and while in Bristol saw a first response physio who recommended contacting the surgery again,

5. phoned at 8am and again persuaded the receptionist to get a doctor to phone me back,

6, Doctor phoned back at 0910hrs and I collected pain killers at 1010hrs from a pharmacy in Bristol, excellent,

7, blood test two days later,

8, two weeks later, no progress and this time saw a real doctor and more given pain killers and made an appointment for another blood test, x-ray to follow,

9, later an x-ray appointment letter received for Totnes,

10, Totnes x-ray cancelled but redirected to Dawlish at same time,

11, awaiting phone call from Doctor tomorrow to discuss blood test results, x-rays and way forward.

When I have attended surgeries I've been surprised that while there seems to be an adequate number of staff I was the only patient attending.

While my condition is not life threatening, I hope, it is life changing and inhibiting. Suppose I should say it's affecting my mental health, but I'm not going to use that one! However, it is frustrating when I think a little specialist care from the start would have saved so much time, pain and resources of the NHS.



Yesterday I checked my records using the NHS patient app and found that my call from a doctor today was booked for 0810hrs, confirming what I was originally told by the doctors.

I was ready before 0800hrs when I started to hover around my landline and mobile phones. I'm still hovering and it's now 1144hrs. For fear of missing the call I'm waiting indoors because I've a list of questions that need answering and I also want to make notes about what the doctor says. Hard to do this walking around the streets. Like the doctor, I also have things to do and I'm sure turning up for an appointment approaching four hours late would not be appreciated.

If I couldn't fulfil my appointment then I would at least message to say so. I think I deserve the same courtesy.


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