Oxshott Medical Practice
Written by a patient
22nd November 2018
Convincing the receptionists that a symptom is significant enough to warrant an appointment within a week but not so urgent as to require an immediate trip to A&E, is a precision skill I have yet to master. Most people blame the receptionists for this (to be fair they do seem to regard any appointment booked to be a personal defeat) but really they are only acting on the instructions of the partners.
My latest attempt concerned a recurrence of an eye issue, and all I needed was a referral to visit an eye clinic that is literally 3 minutes walk from my front door, to see the same consultant that treated me two years ago, with all costs being met by a private insurance policy. But no, for the spurious reason that they don't have the facilities to do the tests themselves (the same tests I was seeking a referral for my consultant to carry out), they said I had to go to the casualty department of an eye hospital 10 miles away. From past experience I know that it would take the hospital several hours to do the tests that end up being done again by the clinic. They would then try to embark on treatment on the NHS until I tell them about my cover, at which point they would refer me back to my GP to get the referral I was trying to get in the first place. The whole process would take weeks, involve taxis, childcare, vast amounts of my time and (most importantly) waste significant NHS resources, and all to save the Oxshott Medical Practice one 10 minute appointment, which is all they seem to care about. Fortunately, my insurance company is becoming increasingly used to uncooperative GPs. They helped me find a way around it, and I was able to see my consultant the next day, but it's increasingly apparent that there are huge financial incentives for GP practices to have as many patients as possible on their books while doing as little for them as they can possibly get away with.
There are still good GP practices out there which have not yet succumbed to such lucrative cynicism, which act in their patients' best interests and respect the resources of the wider NHS, but based on my recent experience, the Oxshott Medical Practice isn't one of them.