University Of Sussex Health Centre
Written by a patient
16th January 2020
Being a patient for over a year now, I can honestly say I have never had a positive experience at your health centre. I have never felt valued by any of your doctors or receptionists and have on multiple occasions experienced rude service.
My appointments are often incomplete, with the doctor having to ring me after I leave the surgery asking me to return to ask more information or adding things they should have told me in the appointment. Furthermore, my appointments have been mixed up and put in wrong by the reception staff on multiple occasions resulting in you wasting your own time as well as mine.
After being diagnosed with Hypothyroidism I felt that my doctor did not properly explain the condition to me and the side effects I would experience. Furthermore I was not informed that I could qualify for a medical exemption card. I had to research the condition myself and on discovering that I could now receive my medications for free enquired with the nurse at my next appointment. She informed me that I would have to fill out a medical exemption form at the pharmacy. I followed her instructions and asked at the pharmacy for a form, the pharmacist then told me that they had no authority to issue medical exemptions and that I would have to go back to the doctors. I went back to the doctors and told them what the pharmacist and nurse had said and was told once again to go back to the pharmacy to get the correct form. On returning to the pharmacy the pharmacist again told me I would have to go back to the doctors and that this was “something the surgery did on multiple occasions”. Finally, after speaking to a different receptionist, I was given the correct form. Not only did this waste both my time and your surgery’s time, it also meant that I was even later to work than I was going to be originally. This display of back and forth between the surgery and pharmacy next door is something I have experienced myself and have seen multiple individuals experience too.
Most recently my prescription was refused by the pharmacy because they could not scan the barcode. As the pharmacist told me, I understand this is an issue that has occurred in the past, however when I went to rectify it at the doctors, after waiting 20 or so minutes, I was told there was nothing they could do and would just have to send my medication to my pharmacy later in the day. This resulted in me missing my daily medication on the day in question which is a serious detriment to me. The reason I had not restocked my medication prior to running out was because I could not get an appointment at your surgery. This is a common occurrence and when appointments are offered to me there is no consideration whatsoever for the fact people work full time.
As someone who works closely with the NHS I understand the strains on your centre and healthcare budget, however this is no excuse for unhelpful doctors and receptionists. I would also recommend that you streamline your services with the pharmacy next door or at least be aware of the powers you each hold.
On a positive note, I would like to express my thanks to all your nurses who, as doctors are never available, I have had most of my appointments with and have experienced exceptional service.