Woman goes viral after showing how hard it can be to get a doctor's appointment

·3-min read
Photo credit: Jamie Grill - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jamie Grill - Getty Images

First thing's first: we all know how hard NHS staffers work, from nurses in ICU to the receptionists and practice managers at your GP surgery, but that doesn't mean the system always works perfectly – as one woman's viral tweet has shown. For many, trying to a) get through to your doctor and b) then get a face-to-face appointment can sometimes feel nothing short of impossible.

Highlighting her own experience of trying to reach her GP, Twitter user Jennifer Agnew, who is based in Glasgow, posted a screenshot of her recent call log and it shows that she's tried to ring her surgery 112 times. Which, I think it's fair to say, is quite a substantial amount.

Captioning her screenshot, Jennifer wrote: "Surely, SURELY, there is an easier way to get a doctors appointment".

Clearly, her tweet has resonated with other patients who've had a similar experience as it's currently been liked over 66,500 times and retweeted over 3,000 times too. A tonne of other social media users, from all over the UK, have also jumped on the thread and used it as an opportunity to discuss their own frustrations with the GP booking system.

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One Twitter account shared a similar screengrab of her own call log, revealing that she's attempted to reach her GP 184 times. She added, "Know that feeling. Then was giving a telephone consultation for suspected psoriasis 🤦♀️"

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Another chimed in with a screenshot showing they'd made 190 attempts to reach their doctor for an emergency appointment, only to be told that the surgery was short staffed: "Can relate unfortunately and then when I got through they said they didn’t have an emergency doctor for emergency appointments"

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One Twitter user, who identified herself, as a receptionist, explained that it can be equally as frustrating for those on the other end of the phone too, citing a woeful lack of funding from the government as part of the problem.

"As a receptionist I know how hard it is to get hold of the GP. Especially on a Monday," she wrote. "The government doesn’t fund the NHS enough to employ staff to answer the phone. Doing a 10 hour shift constantly picking up the phone is exhausting. Especially when it’s verbal abuse we get."

The receptionist continued by saying, "However, not all practices [are] run the same and unfortunately some GP receptionists can be rude. I am grateful that where we work we always prioritise the patients and greet them with professionalism at all times. 9 times out of 10 they get an appointment if clinically needed."

It's clear that the original tweet has clearly sparked an interesting conversation, and that there are areas for improvement when it comes to booking in with your doctor. Cosmopolitan has reached out to the NHS for comment.

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