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Local GP appointments about to get worse!

From Susi Harris

Friday, 11 January 2013

This is really to alert the people of Todmorden as doesn't affect Hebden so much but despite having contacted Tod News twice it has still not been highlighted in there and after all the letters etc and even a feature on front page of Tod News a couple of weeks ago about how difficult it is to get an appointment now, I think it is time people understood it is about to get worse!

a) as of March 31st there will be no more walk in appointments at the Calder Community Practice (upstairs in Todmorden).

b) as of same date there will be no more Saturday surgeries in that practice either

c) as of same date hours in that practice will be shortened from 8-7 to 8.30 - 6

d) The above three decisions are nothing to do with the doctors that work there, they have been made by the PCT.

e) There are further threats to consultant clinics, phlebotomy, xray and substance misuse services in the Todmorden Health Centre. these are due to decisions being made by the Calderdale and Huddersfield Acute Trust and South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust due to cuts

f) I have no comment to made about the Todmorden patients' participation group's apparent frustrations regarding engaging the Todmorden Group Practice in discussions about the difficulties in getting appointments but it seems to me they might also wish to approach the boards of these trusts and make representations there. And as Hebden patients often use the same services, their patients' group might consider doing likewise.

From Eleanor Land

Friday, 11 January 2013

All these changes prove that the Tory/Lib Dem mantra that their top down re-organisation of the NHS would put the patient first, was utter bilge. What we have now is less choice, a lottery to get an appointment and even more cuts. The only people gaining from this re-organisation is the people lining the pockets of the Tory Party, all made possible by their Lib Dem facilitators. Meanwhile the patients views are ignored.

From Darren G

Monday, 14 January 2013

I'm affraid it's happening all over the Calder Valley if not the whole country.

It is becoming more difficult to see a GP, my son was told 2 weeks at his surgery, so went to A&E at Halifax to be told go to Huddersfield we don't do much here. He had his apendix out the next day. Glad he didn't wait 2 weeks.

How long before our GP's crack?

It's time to open an undertakers I think, plenty of work will be going their way.

From Susi Harris

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Hi Darren, I'm sorry to hear of your son's difficulties, but just to explain, the reason he was sent to Huddersfield is not that A&E in Halifax "don't do much" but that since service reconfiguration a few years ago, all the surgical services are now based in Huddersfield (just as all the obstetrics is now in Halifax). It does make life difficult for people from Todmorden with a surgical problem, but no doubt those from Holmfirth with an obstetric problem find it equally hard to get to Halifax!.

Not to be too negative about it, there is some evidence that suggests focusing of specialist services in one place like this does improve quality of care.

But I don't think there is any such evidence for the stopping of Saturday GP surgeries, in particular and probably not for stopping of walk-ins.

From Darren G

Friday, 25 January 2013

My point was Susi, he couldn't get an appointment for nearly 3 weeks with a GP. Our GP's are being taken out of the system, it's pointless in many cases trying to see one now.

When we think about it, we don't have the facilities to do operations in our area. Our Mp's area doesn't have an hospital capable of carrying out routine surgery, we have to go into Kirklees, an area with another MP.

I'm sure there will be an argument for all this, but to the normal person our NHS it being taken away from us. It is the normal person suffering because of the cuts. Imagine what it's like for a 80 year old, can't get to see their GP, got to get on a bus to Halifax, to be told catch another to Huddersfield. It's bloody evil.

From Susi Harris

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Darren, I agree it does seem to be amazingly hard to get GP appointments in under a week in many local surgeries now. Many factors are affecting the GP workforce: Revalidation (which has been in gestation for 12 years) is forcing a number to retire. I know of at least very well respected 3 GPs in Calderdale who are retiring because of the Health and Social Care bill.

A Calderdale Commissioning Group lead from every practice has to spend half a day a month attending CCG meetings. The 11 GPs on the CCG board spend 1-2 days out of their practices working on health and social care strategy.

Our MP must represent us, wherever we have to travel to for our surgical care, you can still expect him to respond to your concerns I'm sure.

There is now an organisation called Local Healthwatch you can make representations to - here's their leaflet

From Susi Harris

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Just to update rhis thread, as of yesterday, there has been a change of plan, I understand. The walk in practice hours will not be changing after all for the next six months

From Steve M

Sunday, 24 February 2013

I was recently referred for X-rays and other tests at Calderdale Hospital, excellent organisation and all tests in three departments were done in 75 minutes, Well Done.

I then got a letter from Valley Road asking me to phone for a routine Doctor's appointment regarding one of the test results on the 18th February which I did , and was told an appointment for a Doctor to ring me could be made and the first available slot would be the 1st March. Unbelievable.

Further to that I also saw all plastic/leather chairs being sanitised by staff in the departments. I have not to date seen any of the somewhat disreputable cloth chairs in Valley Road, Grangedene and Luddendenfoot ever look cleansed.

Would appreciate any observations before I discuss the proverbial chicken and egg problem, or in this case illness and appointment problem

From Mo Norwood

Sunday, 24 February 2013

At the risk of sounding like a Monty Python sketch . . . eee, you were lucky - I was given a date 4 weeks from the date of phoning to see my doctor, or just 3 weeks to see any other female doctor (at either Mytholmroyd or Hebden). The phone receptionist did sound a bit worried about this and said I should call again if worried about it... This situation can't get worse surely ?

From J Hartley

Sunday, 24 February 2013

I have heard that this happens but I phoned one morning and within 10 mins had a call back from a GP and an appointment and an x-ray that same morning so it's not all bad. The x-ray was at Todmorden but referred from HB so the system does work sometimes.

From Anne H

Monday, 25 February 2013

Steve, I think the significant phrase is that you were asked to make a 'routine appointment'. Someone - either the consultant or the GP has already decided that the results do not indicate that an appointment is urgent (which is surely a good sign!) and therefore you were given an appointment within a couple of weeks, not a couple of days.

The same prioritisation happens with the triage system when you ring up. It makes complete sense from a medical point of view for the doctor to decide which cases need seeing the same day etc. The old system seemed to be to prioritise those who shouted loudest first!

However, although it makes sense in theory it doesn't always work out - and I don't think they have found an effective way to differentiate between urgent and important. If they have, they haven't communicated it very well to patients