GPs are trying but hours can't suit all
I feel I had to write in response to the letter "Make time for workers to visit", (Mercury Mailbox, October 10).
As a medical receptionist at a GP surgery, I am not the least surprised by the content of this letter.
In recent years, surgery hours have increased to try to appease those who possibly think medical centres should be open round the clock.
Despite this and the best efforts of the doctors and staff to meet the increasing demand for out-of-hours appointments, it is a fact of life that there will not always be appointments available.
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This too often results in ruder patients verbally abusing the reception staff who are trying their best to help.
I don't know what kind of profession the writer of this letter is in. Do they provide a service?
If so, are they willing to be available all hours in case some "laid-back" person should desire an appointment at a specific time?
I congratulate this person who states they have been fortunate with their health as our surgery is always full of sick people who are just as entitled to healthcare as this individual, hence the unfortunate shortage of free appointments.
Most people, if they are ill, are just pleased to see a doctor and willing to put themselves out and not expect the medical profession to jump through hoops.
A lot will take the trouble to ask their employer for time off in order to visit their doctor and a lot of employers will accommodate this if possible.
It will not always be possible, of course, as is in my case.
I have to visit a different surgery to where I work and I find it difficult to fit in as I have to work extended hours these days to assist in catering for the expectation of patients such as the writer of the letter.
So, in answer to this person's question, no, we are not mad, we are merely under continuing pressure to provide an extended service to try to suit everybody – without any additional resources.
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