Dr Jeevan Lingam
30th November 2020
I was contacted by Dr Lingam for a short telephone consultation due to COVID restrictions. When booking with reception staff, I was not told who the consultation would be with so I did not know who would be contacting me. Once I answered the phone and said hello, Dr Lingam simply said "hello" back without introducing himself until I paused and asked who was speaking. Even then, he simply provided his name without mentioning the name of the surgery! As if all patients should know who he is by voice or name alone. Having not been a patient at the surgery long and not knowing all the GP's, this confusion was unnecessary and not a good way to make a first impression. He did not even think to ask how I was - even as a casual conversation starter - until I asked him first. Immediately after this, he asked what the problem was and I explained. He prescribed medication that I had never taken before and didn't think to ask if there was anything he could reassure me about. While I can understand that the NHS is stretched, lack of rapport is no excuse - it was like talking to a robot. Communicating with patients is vital to the practitioner-patient alliance, no matter whether the consultation is taking place in clinical or remote settings. I can empathise with high workloads given the pandemic but I've spoken to other GPs within the same practice during this time who have taken the time to talk to me as a human and listen to my needs, even being humorous to ease any tension of not being able to see each other. On the other hand, I got off the phone with Dr Lingam knowing that he was not a GP that I would ever go back to.