"We all pay for our NHS and it is definitely not working for us' - Readers' views

Our story about a patient at a Musselburgh medical practice who said she has tried over 400 times in one day to get through on the phone without success got a big response from readers.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 26th November 2020, 7:00 am
Some patients are reporting great difficulties in getting through to GP practices
Some patients are reporting great difficulties in getting through to GP practices

Fraser Mccowan; I don’t understand why in this day and age doctors aren't open 12 hours for appointments. They should be available minimum 8am to 8pm. And shut holidays and Saturdays? Don't even go there. Come into the real world – it’s not the 1950s.

Colin Gasman Mackay: The NHS has been starved of funds for years, so there are not enough GP’s to provide such a service Just wait until next year when Brexit makes it even harder to recruit more.

Cat McCluskey: The main problem is there are not enough medical graduates going into general practice. Too many go straight into specialist jobs that earn the megabucks, often in private practice.

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Kirsty Ann Fraser: Given that it is advertised quite predominantly at the moment to get things checked out if you are unwell. it doesn’t bode well if you can't even get through to your doctor’s surgery.

Dianne Livingstone: Doctors’ surgeries should be open. They are an essential service. They have the best access to PPE. It's a national disgrace that they are still working on telephone appointments. It’s so off-putting for people. They just wont get in touch.

Lee Noble: Would you prefer to sit in your house and have a phone consultation or sit in a waiting room full of people coughing and spluttering every ten seconds? If the GP thinks you need a face-to-face consultation then you WILL get one. it's up to you to have the backbone to ask or demand one if you feel that way. Any doctor worth their salt won't deny that right.

Lorraine Blyth: I received a letter from my doctors’ practice inviting me to make an appointment for an annual health check. I tried 87 times on the Friday, 64 times on the Monday and finally got through on the Tuesday. Made the appointment only for it to be cancelled two days later. The whole GP system is a farce. The NHS are telling us they are open and go to your doctor if you need to but it’s impossible. It feels like the GPs do not want to engage with patients.

Heather Henderson: It just must be some practices because my practice has been absolutely amazing throughout this whole pandemic, in fact they have went above and beyond many times. You can't blame all the GPs, when so many are doing a great job under these circumstances.

Kenny Hunter: Primary health care is broken with overloaded capacity. Online and triage systems are being used to make the most of limited numbers of GPs/ We simply need more capacity and more doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals in the community that are accessible. The current position has a knock-on effect and is impacting and breaking the ambulance service and hospitals with patients who could and should be treated at a local practice or at home.

Diane Burn: We all pay for our NHS and it is definitely not working for us. No access to dentists unless you pay and I'm hearing more and more no access to the NHS but you can if you go private. This feels like privatisation by the back door and at a time when folks are struggling financially already.