Sackville Medical Centre
Written by a patient
24th October 2016
Just moved to this surgery from an excellent one in Portslade due to moving home. Sackville is clearly a very busy and in demand surgery as most appointments can only be made on the day, with only 40% bookable in advance. Seems sensible, but it is so difficult to get an appointment on the same day. Today I rang from 830 until 1030 to be told come in and repeat a test I've already done to definitely rule out what they thought it was before, despite my symptoms changing. Moreover you have to talk to a receptionist about your issues over the phone to see whether you do indeed require an appointment. I understand that the most needy and vulnerable need to be seen and prioritised, but this system allows for what may seem more minor issues to flourish into something worse or allows those who may be nervous in reporting serious symptoms to be put off doing so. Sometimes you just need to see a doctor and on more that one occassion I've been told 'not today' or encouraged not to do so which makes you feel firstly like a burden, and secondly concerned no one is taking you seriously.
Sadly it's not just the difficulty in actually booking an appointment, but also procedural issues at this surgery that don't run as they should. Twice I have put a prescription in, and had it rejected for no one to call me and explain why. It got to the point where a great receptionist apologised profusely and gave me a last minute late night appointment to get the prescription because i had to come in again to get it sorted. It was a potentially very dangerous predicament to be in.
When I've seen my Doctor he has been thorough, helpful and supportive. As have some of the receptionists. I don't doubt they're are good intentions all around and this is a surgery suffering, like most public sector organisations, due to cuts. However you may wish to find another surgery that is less busy and more mindful of building relationships with patients.