|Posted on Thursday, 21 June, 2007 - 03:36 pm: |
Having been a patient there for 22 years, like a lot of local people I had always held the practice in high regard - until today that is when it seemed that bureaucracy had gone mad and customer service, goodwill and common sense went out the window.
I was going to be a little late for an appointment today for the same reason that I had made an appointment in the first place , for an aggravated condition which made it painful and difficult to walk. Having had major surgery recently, and with a small child in tow in a pram, catching a cab was not an option so walking there slowly was my only option. Halfway the pain became intense so I had to sit down on a wall. I called the surgery to explain giving them my recent history of surgery, small child etc. When I arrived they refused to see me despite my being within the 10 minute leeway which I had apparently overrun by 2 minutes by having to queue to check in at reception. Debateble anyway as all their clocks told different times. Told to come back in the afternoon) they would ring me) however had to sit in a local cafe for over an hour rather than hobble home for 40 minutes and have to come straight back. Eventually spoke to an emergency Dr who would leave a precription on reception however no further appointment was made. Hence sitting in a nearby cafe was a complete waste of time when mother and child could have been at home resting.
Have to say I wonder in whose interests this practice is being run, as it certainly does not feel like the patients'. Is the world of primary health care now so callous that it punishes people for having the cheek to be so unable for reasons of their particular ailment to get to appointments on time, and whose contingency time is eaten up in the queue to check in resulting in an outrageous overrun of two minutes...
|Posted on Thursday, 21 June, 2007 - 03:47 pm: |
I feel very sorry for you. I have been with the Vale for 2 years having previously been with Bell Green Health Centre for 55 years.
Vale seem excellent
Unless Jenner is unusual most doctors running late so they could always fit next patient in before you. I agree people should normally get to surgery on time but exceptions should always be made.
I should report them to the Local Health Authority.
To be honest I have often heard none to complimentary comments re the Jenner.
Hope you soon get better
|Posted on Thursday, 21 June, 2007 - 04:00 pm: |
Sounds horrible, Roz. You can guarantee that if it had been the other way round, which it frequently is, and they'd keep *you* waiting and not kept *their* side of the appointment bargain, you'd have left there without so much as an apology. Until you can get rid of your GP because they're rubbish, there'll be no pressure for them to give a better service. You sound like you had quite a day :(
|Posted on Thursday, 21 June, 2007 - 04:13 pm: |
Compared to most surgeries I have been a patient at in London, the Jenner is by far the best. I have never had to wait more the 10 minutes after letting the receptionist know that I have arrived for an appointment. Sometimes I used to wait up to an hour at my surgery in Clapham. A couple of weeks I was actually over 10 minutes late for my appointment and I was still seen, probably because it was the first appointment of the morning though.
Sorry to hear your experience was not the same.
|Posted on Thursday, 21 June, 2007 - 04:18 pm: |
Sounds horrible. Sadly this is the system of the modern GP practice. They are under such a weight of targets and checks that there is precious little room left for humanity.
I am registered at The Vale place simply because when I rang the Jenner Practice and tried to register they were full and not even accepting people to wait for registration - did they mention any alternative? No - just put the phone down. This was 6 years ago and still stands out as unnecessary and rude.
Still, at least their website is accurate... or not: http://www.jennerpractice.nhs.uk/index.page.php?SiteID=G85004&PageID=76
|Posted on Thursday, 21 June, 2007 - 04:20 pm: |
They seem to have introduced a very sophisticated telephone booking system, which is great, but like all great technical innovations sometimes real life does not quite work how computers expect it to. I am sure the receptionist would have let you see the doctor if they could, I have never known a doctor's appointment to happen on time. I blame the computers and if you can be bothered I would write a letter to the practice explaining the problems.
Hopefully they may be able to improve the computer system or deal with 'Mrs Raven' on the reception. ('My Hero' reference)
|Posted on Thursday, 21 June, 2007 - 04:43 pm: |
It's a shame you had a bad experience, and as a recovering sufferer of reactive arthritis, I share your pain. On the whole, my dealings with the Jenner Practice have been positive and it's certainly the best one I've attended in the 15 years I've lived in London. It's not perfect of course - both my good lady and I have mis-heard the appointment times on the automated booking system and turned up a week early - could be a bad line of course, but greater clarity wouldn't hurt. Also, one or two of the GPs have that world-weary, heard-it-all-before, won't let you finish a sentence approach, but we soon learnt to avoid them.
|Posted on Thursday, 21 June, 2007 - 10:47 pm: |
"Eventually spoke to an emergency Dr who" - wow Roz, that's freaky.
No seriously, you had an horrible experience. Hope you and baby are OK.
One of my 4 year old twins has tonsilitis, and using a sophisticated telephone
booking system that Michael refers to (Forest Hill Road surgery) was a nightmare. Still, I got an appointment for the day after I rang so I shouldn't really complain.
|Posted on Friday, 22 June, 2007 - 06:20 pm: |
I'm also a patient patient of the Jenner Health centre. On the whole, I've found it to be a good practice, once you're actually in the system, and especially once you get to know which doctors to avoid. I've seen most of the GPs there, and most are pretty good. Dr. Sarah Van Cooten, in particular, is excellent, and so it always takes weeks to get an appointment with her. Their new automated system is a bit of a pain, but certainly better than the old system, where you had to either phone in at 8.30 in the morning [and of course you could never get through as the lines were jammed] or queue up outside the surgery from about 8.00 just to get an appointment for that day, only to find by the time you got to the receptionist that there were no appointments left for that day! Personally, rather than use the automated system, I tend to book an appointment in-person. I live on St. German's Road so its easy enough for me to do so, but I'm aware that not everyone can easily drop into the surgery.
As a matter of information, the surgery does have a self-check in facility, but its located in the wrong place - most people don't see it until they actually get to the receptionist, after having had to queue for a long time...it really needs to be in a more visible location that patients can see as they walk in. Most of the time I go into the surgery, its always free, while a long queue pf patients are queing! And it takes less than a minute to check in!
|Posted on Saturday, 23 June, 2007 - 10:00 am: |
I also rate Dr Van Cooten, also Lamptey and Hunt very highly as they all are extremely professional and instil confidence- I try and stick to them whenever possible. The check in wasn't working when I turned up hence the need to queue and added frustration about the critical 2 minutes..
I agree about the targets and pressures on practices however just see what happened as a reason to justify their 'losing' an appointment.