Why does the public have to endure antiquated GP services?
I am trying to register with a GP in Lewisham. The first surgery said I was not in their catchment area; when I asked for the number of another surgery I was advised to find out from a neighbour. The receptionist at a second wanted to know where I lived. I gave her the street and postcode, assuming a surgery would use this well established geographic positioning tool to ascertain if they would welcome me in, but no: “We don’t do postcodes, can you tell me how to get there?” “Out of the station, turn right, fifth on the left.” “Oh. No.”
The third had a recorded message itemising the precise times the sick and worried were barred from accessing services - no calls about prescriptions would be tolerated before 9.30 or after 3.30, conveying test results was verboten before 12 and after 3. Once contact with a human being was established I was told I had to collect a registration form. Since the surgery is only open between 9 and 6, that means I will have to be well over an hour late for work to collect a piece of paper. “Is there a website I can download it from? Or can I register online?” Stupid questions.
My experience is all too common. Few GP surgeries offer a service fit for a 21st century healthcare system.
If NHS London is looking for another polyclinic site I am happy to personally campaign for public backing for one at the end of my road.
I don’t care if it is run by GPs, UnitedHealth or Lloyds Pharmacy. Frankly I don’t much care if it’s run by Toys R Us, as long as it has good doctors who I can see without being late for work and receptionists who exhibit at least a passing interest in trying to help me.