Medical booking system problem

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Brechin Medical Practice’s appointment system has come under fire from a patient at the practice, after they were left with an appointment for Friday, May 3, despite telephoning on April 17 for a same day appointment.

Sarah Lees commented: “I rang Brechin Health Centre for a doctors appointment at 8 a.m., as they have stated you have to do if you want to see a doctor on that day, only to be told that if you want to see a doctor now you have to book in advance.”

The next available appointment for a doctor was May 3, but the Health Centre did offer an appointment that day with a nurse practitioner. However, Ms. Lees declined. She explained: “I saw a nurse practitioner a week ago and she didn’t even get off her seat to do any tests to find out what was wrong with me. She diagnosed me from the comfort of her chair. I was given antibiotics because she said I had an infection but didn’t even take my temperature (sure sign of infection) and a week later of taking eight antibiotics a day, it still hasn’t cleared up!”

Whilst Ms. Lees was attending her appointment with the nurse practitioner, whom she says she had to see as there were no doctors appointments available, there was very few patients in the waiting area. She said: “I entered the waiting room and there were only two other people in there waiting, and still there when I came out again!

“This health centre is notorious for not having appointments with doctors on the day of you ringing, yet, when I have mentioned this to a doctor directly they say they cannot understand it as they are usually sat waiting for something to do in the afternoons.

“They are the only practice in Brechin so know they have the power to do as they please as we cannot go elsewhere.

“I booked the appointment for Friday, May 3, just in case one of the family fall ill!”

Val Smith, practice manager at Brechin Medical Practice, said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases as we are bound by confidentiality. We look after almost 10,000 patients and will never be able to find a system that suits everyone all the time.”

The practice also has a leaflet available at the surgery reception desk which explains the appointment system in detail.