Stephenson Road, London, England, E17 7JT
Although the doctors and nurses at The Firs are very good when you do get access to them I am wholly unsatisfied with the administrative side of this practice. It is almost impossible to get an appointment, you cannot get any advance appointments and have to call everyday to try to get a same day one. It is very difficult to get through on the phone and sometimes I have been on hold for up to an hour before anyone picks up. I work 9-5 so it is not really possible to keep taking this much time out of work to call the surgery. I was recently referred by my GP for a scan and my referral was repeatedly either not sent at all or sent to the wrong place. When the hospital chased it up on my behalf it was sent to them with my medical issue but someone else's name and date of birth on it. When I arrived at the hospital for my appointment I was turned away due to this mistake and had to take more time off work to go back again when my correct personal details had been added to the referral. These mistakes by the surgery delayed my appointment and caused me a great deal of upset and distress. I have spent a considerable amount of time chasing up my referral with the surgery by phone and in person. The receptionists often provide incorrect information, and one in particular was very rude to me.
Incompetent shambles. Ridiculous system trying to get an appointment - advance appointments next to impossible and forced into a bunfight in the morning when there's not even an adequate call queuing system - and reception staff all tell you different things from day to day. Apparent lack of proper management and lack of training for staff. Stressful process dealing with this practice. Awful. Avoid if you can.
The appointment system is absolutely a farce. There is no system in place to make appointments in advance. One has to ring on the day. The phone is not answered, I held for an hour and still did not get an appointment. it is I possible for working people like myself to get an appointment as I have not got time to follow this stupid system.
I have been registered at this surgery for over 10 years and the appointments situation and administration are getting worse and worse. I've found the reception staff to he helpful and responsive to complaints but they are clearly dealing with an impossible situation. It is impossible to book ahead, even with the online booking facility there are never any appointments bookable. The only option is to try to get an emergency appointment, which for me means taking a day off work just to attempt to get through on the phone because I work over an hour away from the surgery. It normally takes me around 30 attempts to get into the phone queue, and if I make it my call will often get cut off and I'll have to start again. Often by the time I get to speak to a receptionist all the appointments have gone. This is baffling because it's not a busy surgery - if you ever get an appointment you'll find the waiting room empty. The admin problems have directly affected my care. So far this year I have twice been referred to hospital and twice the surgery has messed this up. For the first instance faxes with my referral and test results got lost between the hospital and GP several times, causing a month delay in my surgery. The only reason it happened at all was because I constantly chased to check that faxes had been received and were being actioned. With the second referral I was referred to a completely different hospital to the one I requested and not given the paperwork I should have been.