Struggle to get appointment with GP for husband

Hi all… this is my first post. My husband has Parkinson’s and during the first 12 years of his Parkinson’s he has been very independent. Up till recently he has been able to manage and I hadn’t really gotton involved in his medical appointments. However since xmas, he has really deteriorated - probably mainly due to a nasty chest infection and other possible infection. He has a great neurology consultant and Parkinson’s nurse and has also been seen by the elder care assessment team at the hospital. However, his GP practice, which changed leadership a few years ago has gone from bad to worse… just went we need a good GP.

Over xmas, he got a terrible chest infection which really set him back and a leg ulcer. His GP no longer has a wound clinic for dressing wounds and it’s near impossible to get an appointment with the nurse so I learnt how to dress the wound. It’s also incredibly hard to get an appointment with a GP… I’m tech savvy and have managed to use the app however… but you can’t book appointments in advance at all.

We had a letter - which also was sent to the GP - that the consultant in the elder care at the hospital recommended a number of interventions and further tests be done at the practice to address what they suspect is a low grade infection. I followed up and just got a run around. I was told that it wasn’t urgent and that they weren’t prioritizing non-urgent appointments last week. The next day, I approached them again using the app and I asked that they ring my number as my husband now finds it difficult to answer the phone. Of course, they rang my husband! I found out and then rang them straight back and then I was told the GP would ring but they didn’t and then I did find out they closed the case. After work, I went into the surgery to explain and to try to speak to a GP to get things going and the receptionist just stonewalled me and was very patronising.

The next day, I went in at 7:30 and waited and the practice manager said I should go home and use the app. I said that I needed to make an appointment there and then as it was urgent. He then made a request for me to speak to a GP but he was very rude and asked why my husband didn’t answer the phone. I tried to explain but he was so rude.

I finally got to speak to the GP who was very kind and helpful and she immediately instructed the district nurse to come and do some more tests. The district nurse came the next day which was good. She also did speak to the practice manager about why we hadn’t been given an appointment.

I feel somewhat relieved but I’m still stressed - it just feels like in order to get your loved one seen to properly it’s a big ordeal and you have to constantly be checking and looking and making sure that the people who are meant to help will help. I also don’t understand how a GP practice can make it so difficult and impossible to get help!

The other thing I just realised … because I can read all the notes they put on his case via the NHS app is that, while the practice managers have diligantly filed the recent neurology consultant letters and recent elder care consultant, they hadn’t been flagging them to the GPs and hence he hadn.t been offered meeting with the GP which he used to have after these letters. The nice GP pointed that she spoke to the practice manager about this.

Anyway, just wanted to come and have a rant - it really feels like this is a campaign that Parkinsons UK, along with other charities should take up - good primary care is crucial and we all deserve better.

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Good morning mscoachbeth … Obviously you are not alone in finding that our GP service is no longer half as good as it should be.

I had reason to phone my GP’s at 2pm one day last week for a phone-back from one of the GP’s. I was told by the receptionist that that day’s phone backs had all gone & I could book a phone back for 2 weeks time or phone at 8am the next day to try & get a phone back later that day, which I did.

Strangely I got a face to face with a GP at 3pm that day & was able to go through a long list of issues I have. The list …

A problem when I pee.
No contact in 12 months about my prostate cancer.
No follow up after my Neuropathy diagnosis 3 months ago.
No follow up following my stay in hospital stay for New Atrial Fibrillation.
My Neurologist has left the NHS & I have not seen one for about 6 months.
My difficulty in walking.

I did try using the GP’s App. I listed all the things I wanted help / advice on & 48 hours later I was messaged to say I needed to book an appointment with a GP. So
that was a waste of time.

When I do discuss issues with a GP I am told that I need to talk to my Neurologist about it.

I suppose our best option is to go Private & pay for our consultations or change to another GP’s.

I also had a bad foot ulcer & numb foot & leg muscle & my Neurologist said he thought I had Peripheral Neuropathy & I was prescribed 10mg of Amitriptyline a day.
This cleared it up. It might be that your husband has Peripheral Neuropathy … I did read that up to 55% of Parkinson’s sufferers also have Peripheral Neuropathy.

Best of luck

Hello again mscoachbeth … I am thinking about joining

Currently costs £12.80 a month going up to £15 a month shortly. Do have a read,

Best wishes

I have been seriously thinking that we should move GPs… I do want to wait to see if this kind GP will respond to an email I sent to the surgery asking for a follow up to discuss a range of issues… if she does, I think it would be best to stay because at the moment, because I have kicked up such a fuss, they all know Dave and he his record as been highlighted as priority… so that could result in better service but if it doesn’t, a move is on the cards. But it’s hard because this GP practice is the nearerst to us so on a good day he can walk there. I’m hoping the kind GP responds to me and we can move forward and develop a relationship with her.

Of course a new GP may be as bad or worse. Do look at the Peripheral Neuropathy diagnosis. Amitriptyline cleared mine up.


Hi mscoachbeth I was at a surgery for quite a while, and when I went in to see the GP on duty we had a long talk, now in our surgery we had approx 8 GPs during my talk with the GP she addmitted that none of the doctors in the surgery knew much about PD. I looked on there web-site and in long term illness NO PD so I brought this to the attention on the practice Manager at least now it say a little about PD and to contact Parkinsons UK but going back to your situation have you tried giving 111 a call it seems that so many of our day to day appointments are given to them and they can book you in that day. Best of luck keep posting .

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PS A lot of the GPs need education training about Parkinson’s but they are so busy, I will say though this is no excuse

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SUCCESS! Basically, I decided on Monday to write a very grateful email to the doctor - I had the email address of the surgery and put in the heading her name and Thank you & next steps… and I thanked her so much for her time and then I said 'Going forward, I would really like to find a way for us all to work together - you as Dave’s GP, the neurology team, the geriatic consultant and me to support Dave through this next stage of his Parkinsons. Is there a way in which I could have an appointment in advance - next week - and could it be at home as Dave struggles to get into the surgery when he is feeling weaker? ’ And it worked - another GP rang me and said the GP I wrote to was a) on annual leave and b) was fully REMOTE and unable to do home visits BUT he could and we got out our calendars and we make a date for next week. I’m over the moon right now… but it shouldn’t have to be this hard and I shouldn’t be so happy when actually, all I have got is what the NHS used to offer as a basic service anyway.

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Good morning mscoachbeth … congratulations !!! Someone listened.

I’m sure I don’t need to suggest that you should write a list of all the things you need to ask about & all the information you can give them. Will you be dusting off your best tea china?

Well done for tackling this problem in the right way.

Best wishes

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YES! I shall make sure our file with all the consultant letters is up to date and will be doing a list with everything we need to check out for sure ------ I shall also get some nice cake in from our local Gail’s bakery to have along with the tea and coffee!

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Do let us know how it goes.

Best wishes

Excellent news but don’t forget if you need more help Parkinson’s UK or 111 I myself have used both many times when my head has hit a brick wall (so to speak
it is hard when you don’t know which way to turn but well done you.

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I can recommend Benenden. I have been a member for 52 years.