52 Maldon Road, Danbury, Chelmsford, England, CM3 4QL
Also known as: The Mountbatten House Surgery, The Danbury Medical Centre
Having been a registered patient since the conception of this surgery at a porta cabin next to the now Gardeners Arms way back in the early 1980’s to it’s present site at Mountbatten I can only express total dismay in the appalling inadequacy of the present set up under the Beacon Health wing, I wonder how Dr. Hariram and previous GP’s would view this current offering under the NHS umbrella. A total breakdown in anything approaching competent understanding using this supposed efficient modern technology resulting in impossible appointment arrangements and complicated and quite often incorrect prescription issues. I can’t wait to see and hear what is going to be done in order to bring anything back in line in the new proposed premises at the latter part of 2018.
This surgery used to be great when it was in the old building, it used to be a friendly, caring place where it was possible to feel that the staff cared about the patients and it reflected the ethos of our very dear NHS. Sadly, it would appear that the values of the NHS have been forgotten or were somehow left behind (in the old building, perhaps?!) since the move to the wonderful new building. The new surgery does not seem to be a friendly place and some of the staff, especially at reception, somehow manage to give the impression that they couldn't give a toss, and frankly, one could be forgiven for thinking that they think they are doing us all a favour simply by being there. Maybe, just maybe, a gentle reminder that this is a publicly funded service (funded by the patients also) might help. This surgery seems to be run purely on a business model rather than a patient focused model, patients are not machines, so what works in a business setting where machines are manufactured, does not necessarily work with patients who are all different with different needs and problems, some take more time than others to be seen, maybe because their problems are more complex..... I shall re-visit this point later. Having said that, it is not immediately clear why this surgery has gone downhill in so many ways so rapidly, it appears to have lost its way, but perhaps it is time for stake holders to reflect on why and how it has got to this point. There are difficulties in getting appointments, one has to often wait for two weeks or more to get an appointment with a doctor (even on line!) and yet the surgery is still taking new patients. Once an appointment is finally secured, (a bit like winning the lottery!!) one feels one has finally got there, only to discover that when you arrive, the doctor disappoints you hugely by telling you that he can only see you for 10 minutes and can discuss/see you about only ONE problem, and if you have two problems, you have to decide which one of those problems is a priority and you want to see him/her about and make another appointment to discuss the other problem. This is where the business model fails!!! Patients often have more than one problem and quite often these are or may be inter-related, it could be argued important information in the clinical decision making process to arrive at a diagnosis could be missed and could have potentially serious consequences. I have been there myself, having waited in pain for about two weeks to get an appointment, I finally got an appointment, but when I got there, I was asked to decide which ONE of the two problems I had, I wanted to see the doctor about. To say I was shocked would be an understatement!! Has it really come to this! I was told that I could make a twenty minute appointment if I wanted to be seen about two problems, but 20 minute appointments are even rarer than the 10 minute ones! And I had only managed to get an appointment because there was a cancellation. I left the surgery, almost disbelieving what had just happened. This was the first time ever, that I felt, no one really cared about me as a patient, it seemed as if the "policies" were there for the benefit of staff rather than patients. In my hurry to make sure I did not take more than the allocated 10 minutes, I forgot to tell the doctor about some of the symptoms I was experiencing. I am left wondering if this is even cost effective, having to make another appointment to discuss my other problem. Trying to get an emergency appointment is a truly humiliating experience and the lack of dignity and respect shown by the staff as one stands at reception, hoping to get an appointment is "eye-wateringly painful." Getting through to the surgery on the phone is another problem, but I won't even go there.
In response to a surgery email telling me to see a doctor to discuss test results I made 20 attempts via phone to get an appointment today after trying for 10 unsuccessful minutes to access online booking. The doctors are excellent professionally and approachable but it cannot be right to struggle so badly to get to see them. Also there is not enough provision for 'commuter appointments' very early or late and you may face a month's wait to get an appointment. I would like to see more doctors working a full 36 hour week each at the surgery as there is obviously a great demand. I have used the surgery a couple of times a year since about 1990 and am sad to report that service in terms of provision has declined enormously although all staff remain very good. I hope they see this review as support for extra services and budget as it is intended and not as personal nor professional criticism.
Getting an appointment was a nightmare. I finally managed to get one and had to work from home just so I could attend. My appointment was at 11.30am so I arrived at 11.20. Receptionist did not make me aware that the doctor was running late. I finally saw the doctor 1 hour later at 12.30 - receptionist made no attempt to tell waiting patients that there were delays. Unbelievable and the surgery has definitely gone down since I joined the surgery over 10 years ago. seriously thinking of changing surgeries. I witnessed two people who had been booked appointments for the other surgery but had not been told and another lady who had been kept waiting and was going to change surgeries as she was so unhappy