Getting appointments to see GP is almost impossible.

Posted: June 17, 2011 in NHS WATCH

According to an “official annual survey” more than 10 million people a year cannot get a doctors appointment within 48 hours.

IlieGrrrrrr, where do these official survey people get their facts from, the Weller family can’t get an appointment full stop.

Apparently the proportion of patients who say they cannot get an appointment with a GP within two working days has risen from 15 to 20% since early 2009. No mention of how many of that figure never actually get to see a GP.

People waited longer to see their GP despite a fall in the number of patients wanting to see a doctor within 48 hours. Are the numbers of calls where the person hangs up because they have to get kids to school or get to work counted?

The proportion of patients wanting to see a doctor “fairly quickly” dropped from 65 to 58% from early 2009 and 2010/11 (the year ending March 2011). That’s because patients know there is no chance of seeing GP “fairly quickly”.

Rising numbers are citing a lack of available appointments as the reason they cannot be seen. That’s because GP hours have been cut down although their wages have increased.

In early 2009, 79% of those unable to see their GP within 48 hours said it was because “there weren’t any appointments”, but in 2010/11 that figure had risen to 84%. That indicates slowly but surely Joe Public are waking up to the fact that the NHS is becoming ‘pony and trap’.

Anyway this is the Official Weller Report.

It is virtually impossible to get an appointment with our GP at any time because appointments have to be made on the day.

Phoning up as soon as the surgery opens, which is still using the supposedly banned premium rate number, will see you if you are lucky about 40th in the phone queue. Consequently all the appointments have gone by the time the huge waiting phone queue has whittled down. A Weller tip, don’t hang up and phone again in ten minutes, the phone queue would have increased not lessened.

If you go to the surgery first thing to make an appointment, bypassing the very long phone queue, the appointments queue has already formed and is outside the waiting room and snaking across the car park.

Weller family experience indicates this happens day after day after day.

Crafty people, like us, try to sneak in by asking for an appointment to see a nurse thus if she cannot sort a Weller out she will arrange for us to see a doctor.

Alternatively if the problem looks serious we go to our hospitals’ A&E which have, according to our local newspaper, complained about people coming to the hospital with non emergency problems. The hospital is presumably unaware that sick people are unable to see their GPs.

To be fair to our surgery they do a phone consultation but until video phones are in general use it is not much of an alternative to a proper hands on diagnosis.

As my old sergeant Arthur would say, ” if things don’t change they stay the same”.


Eight would-be illegal immigrants have been prevented from entering the country after Jack, a UK Border Agency sniffer dog, found them hiding inside a lorry heading for Uttoxeter.

The four-year-old English springer spaniel, alerted his handler to the presence of some wannabe UK scroungers in the back of a lorry at the port of Calais at 10.30pm on 8 June.

Officers boarded the Romanian registered and driven vehicle where they found eight stowaways hiding among the load of mixed goods.

The stowaways – 4 Palestinians, 3 Afghans and 1 Egyptian – were handed over to the French border police, to try again another night, while the lorry was allowed to continue on to its destination in Uttoxeter.

This is where we go wrong, that lorry should be refused entry into the UK ever again to act as an encouragement to transport companies to make lorries more secure against illegals stowaways.

Remember, buying British will cut down how many foreign lorries need to enter the UK, you know it makes sense.


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