South Street Surgery
Written by a patient
13th March 2019
There are some good staff at South Street Surgery but there are some very poor staff too. The reception staff are VERY poor and seem to be getting worse. Even basic things seem beyond their capability. Most seem not to care. It seems as if I speak to someone new each time I phone up.
Getting an appointment is fine if you can wait a month, not see a doctor that you would want to see and are prepared to see a trainee doctor who has no knowledge of any issues you may have. There is little in the way of continuity of care. Trainee doctors seem to be just treated like permanent staff with little support or guidance.
The good doctors are in demand and so there are usually only appointments for doctors that no one wants to see.
It seems very basic that when a doctor tells you that you need to return in 3 weeks that you would be given an appointment for 3 weeks, but you are not. It is almost impossible to get to see the same doctor who told you to come back in 3 weeks.
You get constant letters about asthma checkups and flu jabs but when you phone up for one of those appointments you find there aren't any. But then you get another letter because you haven't attended. That process can go on for months. I don't know how much it costs to send those letters but I suspect it is not cheap.
The telephone system is a joke but it's really not funny. The voice prompts when you phone up are annoying and poorly done. It seems quite basic that voice prompts should be recorded by a friendly sounding voice but instead you have to listen to a guy drone on about sit and wait clinics and tell you to call 101 or whatever it is. However, that guy droning on does prepare you for the lack of friendliness and helpfulness that you will get when you eventually get through.
I could even live with the lack of friendliness and helpfullness if the people who answered the phone knew what they were talking about, but the "rules" are different depending on which person answers the phone. Most haven't got a clue how the surgery operates and clearly don't care. They will tell you anything that they like. One will tell you that they will phone you with test results, the next will say they don't and that you have to phone in. So you just end up confused.
You cannot request medication over the phone so you have to go in just to request the medication. One time I went in and asked for some medication and was told I had to write it down on a piece of paper. When I said I had no idea how to spell it the receptionist refused to look it up on the screen and write is down for me.
I never did get that medication and that I think shows just how unhelpful some of the reception staff can be. Why do I have to go in to request medication and when I did why could she just not read the list of medication I have on repeat and select the correct one.
Having forced me to write it down what happened to it. I suspect she just through it in the bin!