It not a joke!!! It is the truth!!!

Giving people what they want: violence and sloppy eating

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mini me + poo
People are just tackling Tony Blair on the issue of GPs only giving appointments 48 hours in advance.

Clearly the one we were trying to get an appointment at for someone a few weeks ago is not the only one doing this...

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What surprised me more than it actually happening (I already knew it was, but anyway...) was that it was news to him. Surely as a politician he'd have learned that some organisations take guidlines as mandate.

Its not a question of guidelines being taken as mandate, it a question of how do you, as a GP practice, ensure that there are enough slots so that you can guarantee that anyone who rings can get to see their GP within 48 hours. You maximise the chances of that by not allowing anyone to book more than 48 hours in advance.

Our GP practice does allow very limited booking ahead, but if you want to do it that way then you are probably talking more than just a week. As a commuter the only strategy that really works for me is to go to the surgery before 8 am in the morning (the doors open around 8:30), in which case I will usually get seen before 9:30 :-(.

I agree that you would expect Tony Blair to realise that this is the result one might expect from the sort of unreflective targeting the goverment uses (mostly I suspect without asking for or taking their civil servants advice first). But then there are lots of other things that seem pretty obvious to most of us that he just doesn't get (Public Private Partnerships, International Law, the futility of ID cards, etc., etc.).

I think it's 24 hours here..

On the bright side you actually can get to see the Doctor within 24 hours, and one occasion - the same day (it wasnt even /that/ urgent)

*nods* But being offered an appointment the same day isn't very practical when you work across town and can't take time off at that short notice. "Oh, well, if you don't want to be seen today, you'll have to wait until two weeks' time" isn't terribly useful if you know you're just coming down with something and in two weeks' time will probably be quite poorly.

A politician in Australia recently found himself with a few health problems and had to deal with the hospital system for a few weeks. He came out enraged, determined to sort out the system. I believe he failed miserably :)
But it's funny that they only take action when things happen to them personally a lot of the time. Here they are, meant to be representing the people but just not giving a hoot that everyone else deals with this stuff daily. Waiting for the pollie to go through the same crap can take years.

And you're lucky to get to see your GP within 24 hours! Here, I can wait up to three working days for an appointment.

As far as I am aware, we have to ring our surgery at 08.30 to book an appointment for the same day. Or turn up and wait at the door ... turning up at 8.00 means there will probably be half a dozen before you and the doors don't open officially until 08.30. I had to repeatedly ring from work one morning this week, starting at around 08.30 - the line was engaged and after redialling about a hundred times I finally got through and was able to make an appointment to be seen in the late afternoon. I'm lucky, I work flexi hours and could get away. On days when I can't do that I have to weigh up just how ill I am and whether I am ill enough to skip work, and in that case, am I well enough to stand, maybe in the rain, for half an hour outside the doctor's surgery where there is no shelter. The situation is not good for anyone with minor ills or who is working.

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