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10 October 2013

Doctors appointments

My local doctor requires us to do things online or in person. You can no longer order a prescription over the phone as it is too labour intensive. It's also great that I can get a copy of the requests in my mail to track when things were ordered. I really like being able to do things online.

However the patient appointments system both in Scotland and my former doctors in London is prehistoric by comparison. I can't understand why in 2013 the only way to get a same day appointment is to jam the phone on redail at 8am until you give up or join the queue with everyone else trying to get through at the same time. If you try calling an hour later, all the appointments are gone for the day and the book ahead appointments for tomorrow are also gone too. You could try calling at 8am the next day and join the phone frenzy to see if you can get a same day appointment that has just been released and try your luck at the appointment lottery.

Alternatively we can come up with something better. At 8am I am usually travelling to work on the train and it isn't feasible to play telephone roulette. If I'm not travelling to work I am also getting three  children to school on time and don't have a spare personal assistant who can keep my place in the phone queue while I am driving the car or sitting on a train or anything else which people get up to on a busy school morning. Having 15 minutes spare to hang around pressing redial indefinitely and then wait in a queue is hardly an effective use of anyone's time on a busy school day or work morning.

Since the doctor is so keen on getting me to use the internet to order repeat prescriptions maybe they could organise an online booking system where people can book slots at their leisure rather than playing telephone roulette at 8am in the morning. A few appointment slots could be reserved for online and some set aside for phone bookings too. The telephone roulette is not only inconvenient but it puts at an advantage people with a landline with an auto redial feature. Elderly people might not have such a rapid redial finger and so without auto redial they are put at a disadvantage.

Surely we can do better than this?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tha mi a' dol leat. Bu chòir siostam air loidhne a bhith ann.

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