How hard is it to get a appointment with GP

Ive been trying to get an appiontment for the last 2 weeks,the surgery has an 0844 number that costs a fortune to call.

First you get an auto voice welcoming you to the surgery then you are told that your call has been acknoliged(cant spell that word) however there surgery ie experiancing a high volume of calls and if your call is of a non urgent nature it may be advisable to call back at a less busy time.

Then some more music then we are sorry to keep you your place in the Queue is32 like mine was on monday (at that i hung up) you then spend time with the Q countdown telling you where you are till you get through, then your told you are conected to the surgery an to press1 for appointments ans 2 ect then you are in another Q to be connected to whoever you need to speak too, by this time youve been on the phone for more than half an hr,and theres no appointments left call back tomorrow at 8 am, you cant book an appointment ahead of time,for this week if you want one in 4 weeks time one can then be booked, but not at short notice,ITS JUST A JOKE, and then they wander why people get cross and have a go at them.

I did get an appiontment today after trying for more than a week, and now i dread my next phone bill.

Sorry i just had to vent my frustration, i feel better now till i need another appointment .

Thanks for reading this Barbara.xx


Am gobsmacked at ur post! Thats dreadful beyond belief!

If I want to see a specific GP then I may need to wait a few days but if any one will do then often that day or certainly within 2 days.

If no appointments that day then I have chance to speak with a GP that day-definitely. (local landline number)

The service we receive in life from anyone-plumbers, builders, bank tellers blah blah blah is variable but when it comes to be dealing with our health then we expect, and should get, good service at all times. (I know this is in dreamland/ideal world!)

I know of one local surgery (not mine) that doesnt have appointments at all-you just turn up and wait-those that use it like it-once they are used to it.

Ellie x

I agree totally. Last twice my sick note was due to be renewed I couldn’t get an appointment even after asking 10 days ahead. I eventually got the doc to do it without me being there but it was not ready on the right day and I had to go back 3 times. I’m still waiting for them to twig that osteopenia means that I should be at the very minimum on calcium and vitamin D. I hate doctors surgeries and their receptionists. When we used to get our care provided by military doctors, one of the receptionists left the doctors surgery (thank god we all though she was so scary) and took up a position with the MOD guard service manning the gate (she was perfect in that job as she knew every one from the surgery).

Hi Barbara,

I share your frustration. At least, locally, we don’t have the premium-rate number (Shocking!) or the infuriating computerised queue.

But we have he same stupid system, where they tell everyone to phone at 8 a.m. for an appointment. Which of course, means you can’t get through. And when you finally, do - at half-past-ten - they tell you: “No, sorry, they’ve all gone for today. Phone tomorrow, 8 a.m.”. And so it goes on…

Like you, we cannot book a reasonable time ahead - say for later the same week. You can (sometimes) have today, or in three or four weeks, but not what you really want, which is something in between.

I’m sure even patients who don’t work have trouble fitting in with these inflexible conditions. How many households are panicking to get one or more members to work/school at 8 a.m, and can’t spend a frustrating half-hour trying to ring the doctor’s?

And how many people have absolutely NO plans or commitments for the day, so it’s OK to find out only the same morning whether you have a doc’s appointment later? I know, if you have something really urgent, you might be grateful you could be seeing the doctor a couple of hours later.

This option is useful for those who really need it. But why oh why should it be forced on people for whom it’s neither necessary nor convenient?

I must admit, for me the system acts as a deterrent to going to the doctor (Perhaps that’s the whole idea?)

If I phone up, and they say, dubiously: “Hmmm, she’s got a slot in three weeks?”, I’m liable to think: “Oh well, I’ll probably be better by then…if I haven’t died. Maybe I won’t bother.”



I complained to my gp about the same booking system, it is now on the computer that I have to have an appointment within 2 days if it is ms related. Worked so far, but I must admit I do tend to call in rather than waiting on the phone for an endless amount of time. Karen

Barbara - that really isn’t good enough and very frustrating for you. Well done Karen for complaining and getting a result. Worth a shot. I need appointments after work at 5pm and usually have to wait 2-3 weeks. Once I forgot why I was there problem has resolved and I forgot what it was! You could try website say no to 0870 - pretty sure they do 0844 numbers too. Hugs Min xx

The woman on the phone yesterday didnt even ask my name or ask if it was urgent just kept saying this is our booking system and theres nothing i can do phone back tomorrow , i was so angry good job i was on the phone and not at the desk.