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Which doctors?
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Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2013
Post: #1
07-10-2013 01:59 PM

I need to register at a doctors surgery. I live within walking distance of forest hill station and all the shops, is there a good surgery close by? I work full time and in the past i have had to wait up to 2-3 weeks for an appointment where i used to live Sad

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Posts: 511
Joined: May 2012
Post: #2
07-10-2013 04:19 PM

I think the Jenner Practice is very good. Stansted Road, corner of Brockley Rise.

Doesn't it depend on where you live? I thought you had to register with a particular practice according to your address - or maybe it's been so many decades since I registered with a doctor that the rules have changed.

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Posts: 15
Joined: Oct 2013
Post: #3
07-10-2013 04:24 PM


The Vale medical centre on Perry Vale is pretty good, they have a walk in clinic every day I think until 10.30am. Never had any problems booking an appointment when I've needed one.

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Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #4
07-10-2013 04:52 PM

Last time I registered, I didn't have a choice - the surgeries have catchment areas, and if there is only one in you area, that's the one you go to.

You say you are near FH station, but you don't say in which direction. If you are on the Perry Vale side you will probably be in the catchment for the Vale Medical Centre. It has a number of early morning and evening clinics and booking isn't too bad - you can book on the same day which means a wait on the phone in the morning, but it can be done. You can also book online.

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Posts: 459
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #5
07-10-2013 05:05 PM

depends where you live, We were only allowed to join one surgery which isn't even the nearest and its not very good.

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Cellar Door

Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #6
08-10-2013 09:25 AM

Laura4 Wrote:
…is there a good surgery close by?

Hey Laura4,

I live on Woodcombe Crescent and got allocated The Lordship Lane Surgery 17 years ago when I landed in Forest Hill. It is very close to the terrific Badger Bakery and Lloyds Bank on the 176, 185 and 197 bus routes from Forest Hill towards East Dulwich. Although, I very much like the walk through the back streets of SE23 and SE22 to get there.

I’m wondering how you define a “…good surgery…”?

If by good you mean “do they keep me alive?”, then I am pleased to report that they have.

Originally, by Dr Shamsud Doha (the Principal Doctor).

And more recently, by my current quack there, Dr Mohammed Iqbal. They have done a sterling job despite my cigarette smoking and other nefarious habits.

I particularly like Dr Iqbal. We have built up a strong, long-term relationship. I feel that I should be sending him Christmas Cards or something like that. He is a wonderfully intelligent, kind and thoughtful doctor.

If by good you mean “Can I get an appointment quickly?”, then I’ve always been able to see Dr Iqbal that day or the next. Certainly not a wait of up to 2 -3 weeks. That sounds rather frustrating.

The Lordship Lane Surgery is a bit austere when you are sitting in their waiting room. And the receptionists do their best to put on a grim and stolid welcome. But once you push past all of that and end up in Dr Iqbal’s room then it is all worth it. Well worth it with him.

My mate who used to live on Devonshire Road was registered with The Vale Medical Centre.

I went there with him once when he was poorly. He got in that day to see his doctor.

Now then, I was blown away by the whole set-up down on Perry Vale. It is very snazzy and the waiting area was delightful. The front house staff were most engaging.

Based on the above then my perfect surgery would be for Dr Iqbal to move to The Vale Medical Centre.

Good luck with your "Which Doctor?" search, Laura4.

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Nick M

Posts: 35
Joined: Sep 2012
Post: #7
10-10-2013 03:22 PM

I today tried to register at Jenner, based on the reviews here and on NHS Choices but I was not allowed to, due to not living in the catchment area. So was restricted more or less to the Forest Hill practice - less good scores, but let's hope.

I don't understand all this stuff about choice the NHS and social care is always on about if this is the outcome - no choice?

Actually when I lived in North Kensington I was with an excellent surgery in Notting Hill, which was a bit of a step away. They thought this was unremarkable. It was only when attempting to stay with the same surgery after having moved to Wimbledon they said, well THAT is stretching it a bit. The reason for not doing so was they said that if they need to get out to you in an emergency, it's too far. The business about catchments is clearly flexible, if surgeries choose to be so.

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Posts: 459
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #8
10-10-2013 11:19 PM

Yes, I agree.
I too lived In North Kensington and had an amazing GP.
So amazing that I chose to stay with them for two years after moving to Forest Hill because I just couldn't bear to leave.
Finally, I realised that I couldn't pretend to be at my old address forever,
SO like you based on reviews and recommendations decided to try and joined the Jenner Practise. Only to be told after turning up there that we were not in their catchment. Turns out only one surgery will take patients form my particular post code. Its actually not the nearest, and further to walk than the Jenner.
It also has pretty dire reviews.
Been twice...not happy especially as they don't allocate you a doctor you just see who ever is free. 1st visit I was told by the doctor (after waiting 45mins beyond my appointment time to be seen) "We don't have much time" the moment I walked into the room. Second time was surprised to discover that the doctor I was seeing knew nothing of a previous serious illness I'd had (even though I recieve ongoing medication for this) and it was obvious my notes had been looked at, and once again I felt it was a matter of getting me out of the room asap.

Quite frankly I love Forest Hill but I really wish I could afford a private GP as I have little faith in the only option we've been given.

This post was last modified: 10-10-2013 11:25 PM by nottinghillbilly.

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Posts: 3,223
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
11-10-2013 04:17 AM

Although catchment areas are a good guide to where you can register there is some room for flexibility, and each practice can take people outside their catchment area.

Having been with the Jenner for 35 years when I moved house outside their catchment area I wanted to stay with them. Eventually they realised I had moved and when I booked an appointment I found I was no longer on their list, but they quickly agreed to taking me back. I may be on the wrong side of the railway but when I registered with them at the age of 4, my road was in their catchment so no reason not to take me back.

Really we need a GP practice in forest hill ward, i think the only ward in lewisham without a gp, and with greater distance to a gp than virtually all of inner london. The ambulance station would make a good location, the amulances could share facilities with the fire station. But there is no interest from the local health authority.

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Posts: 459
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #10
11-10-2013 04:56 PM

Good Point Michael,
I was gobsmacked at the lack of G.P's (or at least ones we are in the catchment for!) in FH.
In fact ours isn't even in SE23!

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Posts: 72
Joined: Sep 2009
Post: #11
12-10-2013 01:44 AM

I was allocated Lordship Lane surgery too (I'm near The Horniman so it's only 5 minutes away on the bus, depending on traffic).

I agree, Dr. Iqbal is great, I also saw Dr. Doha a few weeks ago as he's in a couple of times a week. The reception staff are efficient and although the place doesn't look that great, it does the job and I've always been able to see the doctor the same day, or have been able to book in advance for follow-up appointments.

My only slight annoyance is that you have to actually attend the surgery to get repeat prescriptions, and then you have to wait 48 hours, I'd like to be able to request them by email. On the plus side you can pick up your medicine from a chemist (usually the one a few doors away but I believe you can choose others).

Unfortunately I have had to use the surgery a lot lately, it does seem the more you use it the more they are accommodating - it didn't seem as friendly when I first joined, but then I think I had been spoiled in Darlington (8 doctors and lord knows how many nurses in a super modern surgery); but having thought about it just now, the problem with a big surgery is that you always see different doctors, at the LL I usually just see Dr. Iqbal or one of the nurses.

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Posts: 87
Joined: Nov 2011
Post: #12
19-10-2013 01:36 PM

I had the impression you could now choose, or there was more flexibility than before - worth checking.

I moved to the Jenner when I moved over the hill from Honor Oak. Disastrous place, chaotically run, possibly under-resourced and consequently with harassed staff at all levels (although some of their attitudes deserve re-moulding however busy they are).

Consequently I hoofed it back to the East D Group Practice on Forest Hill Rd which I was at before and loved. Still love it.

By way of contrast my wife also signed up at Jenner and finds it OK.

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