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GP Services Seem Almost Nonexistent

edited 3 September at 12:55PM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
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deannatroisdeannatrois Forumite
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edited 3 September at 12:55PM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
This is a bit of a rant rather than asking for advice.

I have seen on the news that GP's are doing appts via telephone and its all going swimmingly.  They can answer more calls in a day than see patients and everything is going fine without the majority of patients needing to make a personal visit.

Six weeks ago, my GSD scratched my eye.  Went to A&E, they told me I should have gone to an eye specialist centre 16 miles away (two buses and a train away when you don't have a car, not something I am going to be doing when in rather massive pain).  But the nurse used some dye, gave me antibiotic drops and a painkiller drop that had worn off by the time I reached home.  Pain was so bad I was unable to eat because of nausea.  Phoned 111 a couple of days later, spoke to a pharamcist who didn't seem overly concerned that I was still in such pain., but did say if I had any concerns to go to this eye specialist.  I explained it wasn't an easy nor a journey I was familiar with (I am autistic and I'm afraid bus travelling is a major thing with me).  In the last ten days, the pain has returned quite severely twice so all is probably not well.  

So I tried to phone my GP surgery to get a telephone consultation.  I just got put through to the pod service even though it was the right time to phone and ask for a telephone consulation.  I don't really need to speak to yet another nurse/pharmacist reading from a tick box checklist on their pc.., I really do need to speak to a GP.  But it seems even phone appts are difficult to get.

It seems like the primary care NHS just doesn't exist anymore.  We used to have a walk in surgery locally, that's been closed down (pre covid).  Nothing put in its place.

My eye is showing signs of needing specialist care, but I can't even get to speak to a GP to get a referral.  So frustraing.I'm not sure if you can just turn up at these specialist places.  When I phoned 111 the first time the pain returned rather badly a couple of weeks ago, 111 told me to go to a clinic even further away that was actually closed (I phoned them to check if they accepted patients just turning up).  Without being able to speak to a GP.., how can one get a referral?  This whole system confuses me completely.

I appreciate I'm not dying of COVID but there must be thousands of other people like myself that have non covid problems that need looking at but there's no GP service available.  I don't understand how things can have gotten this bad.  Yes we knew there was a shortage of GP's but at least if you kept trying, you had some hope of making an appt eventually.  Now its like the service doesn't exist at all.

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Replies

  • JJ_EganJJ_Egan Forumite
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    As above , most of the eye specialist clinics  have a walk in emergency service .
    GPs don't really do serious eye problems .
    Might just be your practice having problems  . My GP and others i know are working just fine though under Covid rules .
    Practice Nurse and blood tests/ flu jab this am .
    GP  phone reception say nature of problem  , GP phones back  sends out prescription or gives appointment direct than afternoon or next day .
  • onwards&upwardsonwards&upwards Forumite
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    You need to go to the specialist centre. 

    Don’t expect a miracle though, scratched corneas can take a year or more to heal, and are very painful initially although this does ease with time.  The treatment is to keep the eye well lubricated to allow the tissue to knit back together without being disturbed. 
  • deannatroisdeannatrois Forumite
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    Yes, tend to have problems in the morning on waking.  I take on board if I get it checked out I need to go to a a specialist centre.  Just don't know how I am going to get there.  But in view of what onwards&upwards said, its probably a waste of time.., will just wait for it to get better however long that takes.  Once hospitals get back to normal I am due to have cataracts removed which should fix whatever the problem is, even if it takes a couple of years to happen because of COVID.  It hurts but I guess its just a waiting game.
  • edited 3 September at 9:26PM
    onwards&upwardsonwards&upwards Forumite
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    edited 3 September at 9:26PM
    Yes, tend to have problems in the morning on waking.  I take on board if I get it checked out I need to go to a a specialist centre.  Just don't know how I am going to get there.  But in view of what onwards&upwards said, its probably a waste of time.., will just wait for it to get better however long that takes.  Once hospitals get back to normal I am due to have cataracts removed which should fix whatever the problem is, even if it takes a couple of years to happen because of COVID.  It hurts but I guess its just a waiting game.
    Its definitely not a waste of time and I absolutely did not post that to put you off going!  A specialist needs to see it to confirm it is just a scratch and not anything more serious and to prescribe the right things for you to use to help it heal. 

    Cataract surgery won't do anything to heal your cornea, and in fact your surgeon might not want to go ahead if it hasn't been treated and is still damaged, so there's another reason why you need to get to that specialist centre.  Just take the buses, I'm sure you can manage it, or if there is a medical reason you can't then call the eye hospital and ask about transport. 
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    Your eye will be more susceptible to infection . You should not gamble with your eye sight.  
    You may need antibiotic drops.
  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
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    My GP surgery are very definite, they don't do eyes or teeth.  They say for eyes talk to an optician - would this be an option for you if you want somewhere closer than the specialist centre?
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • Ted_HeadTed_Head Forumite
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    I did exactly what you've done and you really do need specialist advice at an eye clinic. I was put on the wrong drops by the Drs - didn't even get to see the Dr - saw a nurse. Ended up at A&E as the pain was not good. It all flared up again after a couple of months so went to opticians who got hold of medical records and saw eye clinics photos and notes. You need to keep it moist by putting in drops especially at night - I am even putting them in when I wake up during the night. It will leave you liable to the scratch opening up again so you really do need it sorting out as it is your sight.
    Get a taxi if no hospital car available but you need to sort it as my optician thought at first I may need a cornea graft. But with proper care and attention it has come right but has left me with a weakened lens & it may open up again.
  • deannatroisdeannatrois Forumite
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    Thank you, I will phone the opticians and see if they will give any advice if I make an appt.  I'll probably go to a different one as the optician at Asda was a bit difficult about prescribing glasses after it was obvious the cataract op wasn't going to happen any time soon (eye sight has deteriated quite a bit in the last year so I did need new glasses, old ones keep falling apart and don't work so well). 
  • onwards&upwardsonwards&upwards Forumite
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    The optician will tell you to go to the specialist centre.  They aren't set up to deal with this kind of issue and can't prescribe what you need. 

    Why the resistance to going there?  I don't understand.  I know you have ASD but you do leave the house and you seem quite happy to go to every other type of health service!
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