for the last 4 years and I'm glad to finally be moving away so I can go to a different GP surgery. It's extremely difficult to get an appointment (2 to 3 week waits are normal), the receptionists are very rude and defensive, and the appointments are routinely less than 10 minutes long. I have never seen the same doctor there twice, which is a problem if you're dealing with scans/referrals/consultants as they all assume there's a named person at your GP who can receive letters etc, but this isn't the case. I've been left waiting unnecessarily for weeks because letters have been lost etc. Once I was prescribed something by a doctor whose name I didn't know (no badge, didn't introduce herself) and the name on the prescription was from another doctor who'd left the practice a while ago - so I had no idea who'd actually prescribed me the drugs when I had a complaint (more on that later).
The worst thing about this place is the quality of the care, as I have been being treated (or at least I've been trying to get treatment) for a painful problem for the last six months, and during that time they've made some serious errors. The problem means that I struggle to eat, so getting it treated is urgent, but nobody seems to care about that. The worst error was prescribing me with a common anti-inflammation drug, which was helping my pain, only to phone me a few days later and tell me to stop taking it urgently as it is 'dangerous for your heart' and 'shouldn't have been prescribed'. I did so, was very worried about it, carried on being in pain, then later it turned out that of course they were safe for me to use and were re-prescribed to me by a doctor who actually knows what he's doing at the hospital. In the meantime I'd been left in pain for at least a month with my problem getting worse. The surgery didn't have a record of who'd prescribed me the pills as it was under a previous doctor's name, presumably because they seem to have new doctors every day and I guess they must all be temps or substitutes. It's also very difficult to get repeat prescriptions, as every repeat apparently needs a doctor's appointment before it's approved, and this means you have to wait for weeks without medication. Because this happens so often I've had to avoid some treatment routes for my problem because the risk to my health of running out of the pills and stopping them suddenly outweighs the possible benefit. I weaned myself off my mental health medication for this reason too, as I was left without my prescription for days every month, causing me distress. This is very dangerous as some pills have the risk of suicide if you stop them suddenly.
Today I paid £10 for transport to an appointment first thing this morning, about a letter which had been sent to my GP from a consultant - it was just a red tape appointment which I needed to get a prescription I'd been told I needed last month, and had been waiting until now to see someone. I was told twice by receptionists that the letter had already arrived, but in the actual appointment, the doctor couldn't find it and told me they 'might' be able to get a copy of the letter by fax (since they'd clearly either lost it or never had it in the first place and lied to me), and I'd have to go away and maybe be called back to maybe get the medication I need for the pain I've been left in. It was difficult not to cry, because I was so disappointed in the practice, but I wasn't really surprised. Everyone I have dealt with at this surgery seems to be incompetent and don't even seem to care that their patients need their help and have nowhere else to turn. I have never complained about a free service before, but I feel like I have to at this point because this service is dangerously badly run.
and really needed more help than they were giving me. At one point I said in an appointment that the NICE guidelines say I should be getting a particular treatment and in a timely manner, but the Dr just brushed it off and said oh, NICE guidelines say a lot of things that only work in an ideal world.
The Drs ask me to come back every few weeks, but it is so incredibly hard to get an appointment, it sometimes takes me longer to go. The waiting room is almost always really quiet, they never seem to have enough people working actually providing appointments.