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Blog: A Trip To The GP

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As part of moving to a completely new place (with a completely new postcode - always a good way to find out which companies update their postcode tables on their websites... er... apparently) I signed up to a brand new GP practice. I thought this would mean getting super swift attention but, as I found out when I went to sign up, they keep you waiting for appointments for at least 15 minutes even if there are NO OTHER PATIENTS in the building. I guess they have to maintain the same standards as pharmacists?

They weren't particularly organised either, so I wasn't surprised yesterday when two people rang me twice each to ask me to come in for an Over 40s Check-Up. Well, I was quite surprised they'd ask ME, as I'm only Thirty Thirteen, but I like to show willing, and booked an appointment... eventually, once they worked out how to use the booking system.

When I arrived they gave me a form to fill in, so they could "improve their service". It seemed a bit odd to ask me to do this BEFORE I'd experienced any of the said services, so I made some notes about them being a bit disorganised, and also pointing out that the form was not anonymous. They stood there while I filled it in, so I carefully FOLDED it to hand it over. Thinking about it now though, maybe they gave it to me beforehand for a REASON?

For LO! things went downhill from there. I sat in the DESERTED waiting area and waited the allotted 15 minutes after my appointment, even though there was nobody else there. Just as I was about to go in the receptionist came over with a sample TUBE and asked for a Urine Sample. I was prepared for this - last time I went they'd done exactly the same thing, so I'd not Gone Before I Went this time. CUNNING!

I emerged from the loo to find the GP and receptionist in conversation. We went into the surgery and I handed over my sample. "Oh, we don't do urine samples anymore" she said. This was somewhat surprising - there was a box containing about 100 other samples right next to her, and I had JUST been asked to do it. I can only assume the policy changed while I was in the toilet? Maybe that's what they'd been enacting while I was waiting?

Still, I was there now, so it was time to do the health check. "I'm just going to ask you some questions", she said. This sounded familiar, so I merrily said "Ah! Are these the same questions they asked when I signed up, a couple of weeks ago?" She looked alarmed, checked the system, and then looked more surprised. "Yes. You did all the tests a couple of weeks ago, and they were fine. Oh. I don't know why they asked you in then. Sorry."

So I came home again. At least living nearby meant it was less than five minutes to get back again! The moral of the story would appear to be that GP Surgeries, like CHEESE and WINE, need a few months before you should try them!

posted 6/2/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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