Yesterday’s post about waiting to see my GP for 90 minutes past my scheduled appointment received some interesting comments and feedback both here on the blog and on Facebook and Twitter. Most people seemed to agree that the GP clinic displayed a  lack of courtesy in not calling to let me know of the significant delay I was about to experience because my doctor was running so behind schedule. There is a great comment from a doctor providing the ‘other side’ of the story which makes for some interesting reading.

When I eventually was seen by my doctor, he apologised for the wait. He was incredibly sincere and said that it was ‘just one of those days’. I asked him what was the clinic’s policy when doctors were running considerably behind and he said that reception staff should call patients to let them know that there would be a wait, and inform the patient of the time they should show up to avoid sitting in the waiting room for too long.

He was upset – and very apologetic – that this had not happened in my case, and said that, quite simply, it was not good enough to expect people to wait for so long. He followed it up with the reception staff after my visit. And I spoke with the receptionist too as I was settling my bill. She said that they had been calling some doctors’ patients that morning, but not my GP’s. She also apologised.

So the wash up in all of this isn’t really that I had to sit around for 90 minutes. It’s that as a person who, unfortunately, has to spend far more time than I’d like to scheduling and attending doctors’ appointments, I do all I can to streamline the process as much as possible. I also understand the system – just like many other high-users do and try to manage it as best I can.

I was more than satisfied by how my GP dealt with the situation yesterday. There is a great comment on the blog from Rosie Walker who said if ….everyone’s time is considered equally valuable…. there will be acknowledgement, explanation and apology for people who are waiting and effort made to try to address the situation, invite suggestions or comment on how things could be improved. Really, that is all that I am asking for.