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GP Surgery receptionist or obstructionist?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Lalad, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    I just wanted to speak to one of the practice nurses, so was asked for my name and address, which was fine, but then asked what it was about, to which I replied that I wanted some advice about a health matter. This was clearly not acceptable and she then asked me to give her some details: well, actually, no, I do not want to give details of my health issue over the phone to a receptionist, and told her I needed advice on a general health issue.

    Needless to say, this was not the correct answer and she seemed decidedly miffed that I wasn't going to tell her, saying huffily that she would have to put that I wanted general advice but it 'wasn't ideal'.

    Is it me? Would you have given her the details?
  2. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    No. You have the right of privacy.
  3. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    They file your records so there's no point in aiming for privacy. But it does annoy me that receptionists are now gatekeepers.
  4. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    You should say "I'm sorry, but you do not need to know, any discussions of my medical condition are confidential between me and the practitioner".
    wanet, Lara mfl 05 and Dragonlady30 like this.
  5. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    They do but at least the awkwardness of an intrusive conversation can be avoided.
  6. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Between you and your Doctor... none of their business really.
    delnon and aspensquiver_2 like this.
  7. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    Plus the fact that there's probably an entire waiting room of people who can hear the conversation, even if they're not earwigging. You don't know who's there and who might broadcast information to others.
    kibosh likes this.
  8. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    Was this on the phone @Lalad?
  9. aspensquiver_2

    aspensquiver_2 Senior commenter

    How dare she? She has absolutely no business to ask you what you wish to discuss with your GP.
    Who chooses these people whose job it is to "receive" patients - actually make that "clients" - with courtesy, good grace and politeness? The cheek of it.
    I have met similar jumped-up dragons in dental surgeries and fronting reception in a business centre I use.
    anotherauntsally likes this.
  10. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Ask the receptionist where they achieved their medical training and to what level. If they have no medical qualifications, insist on speaking to someone who does!!

    Drop a line to the Practice Manager!!
  11. annie2010

    annie2010 Occasional commenter

    Absolutely agree with all of the above comments. In the past, I have been asked by receptionists what the 'problem' was. Felt like replying 'you' , but always said-in a freezing tone - that medical matters were confidential.
    Thank goodness for online appointment services!
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  12. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

  13. cuteinpuce

    cuteinpuce Star commenter

    Could you tell us the details so that we're fully informed prior to formulating our replies?
  14. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    This is nothing new. Years ago, my mother, four years after a mastectomy, developed a small but persistent cough. When she rang the surgery, the receptionist asked her what the problem was and told her that were a lot of coughs going round and to get some syrup from the chemist.

    The cancer had metastasised to her lungs.
  15. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    They are rottweilers. It's what they're paid for. The doctors hide behind them and pretend to be shocked when their behaviour is complained about. Power corrupts.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  16. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    From reading these comments, I cannot believe how lucky I am with the service I get from my dr surgery. Obviously, it's a group practice and if I need to see a dr and can ring at 8.30ish, I can almost guarantee to see someone. If I want to see a particular dr, I might have to wait for up to a week, but that's no problem. One service they have is if it's a new complaint, you can see a nurse practitioner. I've done this a couple of times, but have seen a dr anyway because my complaint needed more than the nurse practitioner was capable of treating.
  17. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Whilst I agree that I am entitled to have my medical matters kept confidential between myself and my doctor, it has never bothered me to disclose them to a receptionist. I'm trying to think of an instance I've had, or a possible ailment I might have, when it would make any substantive difference if the receptionist was privy to why I wanted medical attention. As I understand it, receptionists will have a contract that binds them to confidentiality anyway.

    What I have found is that by disclosing why I need medical treatment, I have been able to get an appointment when I needed it, rather than be fobbed off with "There's nothing today". There usually is some flexibility in the system when it's needed. The receptionist can't help unless she's given a clue to how urgent an appointment is required. I work with them and trust they will be professional about what they hear.
  18. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    ours has a line a few feet back from the receptionist's desk, so there's a bit of privacy for the person at the desk or whilst receptionist is on the phone. doesn't work. everyone can hear just about everything said anyway.
  19. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Ours is a group practice and I've always been able to get an appointment on the day if it's urgent. I've rarely had to give details. There's also emergency appointments with the duty doctor, if necessary.
    Dragonlady30 likes this.

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