GP surgeries ignoring phone calls putting lives of patients at risk – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Chris Lancaster, Wakefield.

What's your verdict on the availability of GP appointments?

I AM looking after my elderly mother, who has dementia and other health problems, following a bad fracture.

I missed a call from my GP’s surgery last Friday then received a text asking me to call them.

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I tried to call the surgery on Monday morning – probably not the best idea in the world – and I was so far down the queue to be answered I hung up.

What's your verdict on the availability of GP appointments?

I tried again in the afternoon and got a recorded message saying the telephone lines were so busy I couldn’t even be added to the queue.

I tried again on Tuesday and got the same message. What’s the point of being asked to call if you can’t get through?

From: Janet Berry, Hambleton.

SADLY our family doctor for many years, Dr Michael Hulme, died on Monday aged 91. We often wondered how he felt about how GPs were performing now. When my mother was dying of cancer, he came to see her at 6am and she was sent for a pacemaker.

When I was a young mother and feeling dreadful he came to see me and diagnosed an eptopic pregnancy and I was rushed into hospital for an operation. He probably saved my life.

Now I would have to fight for a telephone conversation rather than a doctor see me. Our window cleaner told me this week his father could not get an appointment and was prescribed Gaviston over the phone and died of cancer.

Not really good enough, is it? Dr Hulme knew our family, and although he could be rather blunt, he was hardworking and reliable. Now GPs do not know their patients and you never see the same one if you are lucky enough to get an appointment. How things have changed – and not for the better.

From: Mrs P S Ogden, Rayner Road, Brighouse.

TESTING is one way of cutting the rate of infection. Why then are we no longer able to get tests from our pharmacies?

Supposedly the reason is “too many people have been getting tests and not using them”. How do the Government know that? Is it because if you do test negative you don’t have to inform NHS?

It’s irresponsible to take away something that helps people to keep safe.

We aren’t all online and ringing 119 is useless – they are overburdened already.

From: Graham Jackson, Cheltenham Gardens, Halifax.

I USED to think internet providers’ telephone waiting times were bad, but I have just been number 19 in a queue just to plead for a doctor’s call back. Last week the average number was 14. If doctors are wanting to move to more telephone appointments then they should employ more people to answer the phone.

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