Our helpline received a call from Edward* who was eager to understand how he could make a complaint about the difficulty he experiences when making an appointment with his local GP.
He was very unhappy that his practice request all patients to contact them to make appointments at 8am in the morning when they first open, either on the phone or in person. Unfortunately Edward has often found that even when he does get through to the reception early, all the appointments for that day have been taken and the same thing happens when he visits in person. Edward was getting more than a little frustrated and so called us asking for help.
We advised him to find out whether his practice would allow him to book an appointment on line as this sometimes can help secure earlier appointments. We also suggested that Edward contact the practice manager to raise his concerns, but if he had no luck with either of these options he should perhaps consider making a complaint.
We directed Edward to our ‘how to make a complaint' leaflet, which is available on our website, and we also advised him to share his experience with the practice’s Patient Participation Group, and how he could get in touch with them. We then suggested he also gives all his feedback to the CQC, which he can do over the phone.
Lastly, we suggested to Edward that he may be able to find a different practice altogether, where it would be easier to book appointments. We told him the easiest way to find an alternative is on the NHS website which provides all the necessary information.
We asked Edward to call us again if he required any further advice or information.
*Name changed for privacy