• Barbara

March Muses and GP’s

I have found myself this week thinking about our experiences with our GP, and how they have affected the decisions we make today and our reluctance to visit the GP with my daughter.

I have mentioned before some negative experiences with our GP and his poor response to my daughter during an appointment. I have also mentioned the acknowledgement of another doctor at the practice saying that the surgery doesn’t always seem to be as accessible as it should.

So this week I find myself musing and deliberating about the GP practice once again. My daughter has a health need, that may clear up on it’s own, but on the other hand a GP’s opinion would be helpful, she would need to be seen, a telephone consultation would not work in this instance. Now arises my dilemma, her last experience was not a positive one, so she is likely to be resistive to going or complying once there. However, given time and with the right GP, she would relax enough to allow an examination, herein lies the dichotomy. The practice is busy, getting a ‘double’ appointment at short notice is difficult, then getting said longer appointment with the right GP makes it almost impossible. Where are the reasonable adjustments in all this????

Now, I ponder the options, book an ‘on the day’ appointment, with an unknown GP, and risk it being a rushed examination, that could go either way with regards to compliance and managing anxiety, that could build on the poor experience previously. I could call, or visit the practice and request an extended appointment, cite reasonable adjustments etc and see what they say, or I could just manage the health issue at home, wait it out a bit longer and only see the GP if it becomes a real issue. Plus I need to factor in that my daughter has just turned 18, and is ‘officially’ an adult, so I am now her advocate and do not have the same parental responsibilities as I did a couple of weeks ago.

So what was my plan of action in the end? After weighing up the situation and a look at said health issue this morning, it appears to be responding to home treatment, so I have postponed the decision until tomorrow………

I know that the fundamental problem in all of this is that the GP’s are too busy and the service too stretched for them to be able to make reasonable adjustments at short notice for my daughter, and any other patients who require adjustments in order to fully access the GP practice and services available to them. This is not an inclusive, accessible and equitable service for all members of our community, as it should be.

I am concerned that my daughter’s view of the GP is quite negative, as they play a key role as a primary service. They are the main gateway to referrals to other specialists, the hub where routine tests are carried out and where regular medications are reviewed. My daughter will hopefully be off to residential college in September and she will need toregister at the practice near to college, all the students use the practice and so there is a good relationship established. I hope that this will help create a new set of positive experiences that can be built on in the future.

I have read many articles and reports where illness and conditions have deteriorated to the point of requiring hospital admission, or even resulted in death, when if the right treatment was given at the right time it was avoidable and unnecessary. I fear that one day, this could be my daughter, where she has been less than keen to talk to a doctor, allow an examination, refuse a test, and all because it was difficult to make those initial, and simple, reasonable adjustments. So should I challenge the GP practice, and insist they see my daughter, take the time she needs in order for her to receive the consultation she needs, and to hopefully make future appointments easier? I know the answer is yes, but sadly, I fear it may be a battle for another day, I think I’ll mention it to the practice manager next time I visit the surgery for myself.


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