Still haven't seen the doctor, and still can't :(

After trying to get an appointment last week, and being told the doctor was on holiday, I was offered the choice of booking an appointment for three weeks time, or trying again today, for a same day appointment.

So, dutifully rang today, on the dot of eight o’clock. After the mandatory 15 attempts (at least), I get through, only to be told, predictably: “Hmmm, there’s nothing left for today, at all.” And offered another bleedin’ appointment for three weeks time.

I’m only sticking with the practice because I have a good doctor, and fear a switch might be “frying pan to fire”.

But what’s the point of a good doctor you can never see?

I’m still living with they eye problem. Worse some days than others, but not gone.



I know you probably want to see your GP, but if he’s not available can they give you an appointment with another GP or a Locum if your GP is away on hol?


Hi Anitra

How frustrating for you!

Have you seen an optician for your eye problem? I wouldn’t want to wait 3 weeks in case you need treatment now.

Perhaps A+E might be your best bet.

I have the opposite problem to you - i can get appointments quite easily but the G.P is not the most helpful.

Hope you get it sorted soon but 3 weeks is not an acceptable wait especially for an eye problem.

Best Wishes

Teresa. x

Hi Tina Do you have a walk in centre hat is local? Perhaps you could give this a try. If you want an appointment sharpish, may not be your doc , but you will see one. Take it easy. Mike x

The irony is that the practice actually discourage appointments with a different doctor. They ask you to keep to your own - which I certainly agree is better than having to start from scratch with a stranger - especially when you have rather a history, and a complex underlying condition.

Opticians are no good at all - been to them before about the exact same thing. They couldn’t say what it was or how to deal with it, and said I needed to go to the doctor - Catch 22.

A&E - I don’t consider this an A&E matter, as it’s not an accident nor an emergency. They’re not there to absorb overflow from frustrated patients who can’t get an appointment with their GP. I might be blocking someone with a genuine emergency. Besides, I don’t want to hang about up there all day, only to be told they don’t know either, and I need to see my GP.

Unless there’s clearly an injury of foreign body (there’s not), I don’t think they would be able to help. I think they would just diagnose conjunctivitis - which we already know it’s not. But without the benefit of lab tests (which I’ve already had), most people would assume that’s what it was - and prescribe antibiotics. Which don’t help at all. :frowning:

I haven’t completely ruled out that it’s just hayfever, as implausible at that seems. My dad was a very bad hayfever sufferer, and my mum insists one eye was very much worse than the other - and always the same eye! I don’t remember this myself - I thought both eyes were bad, but Mum says not. I was only a kid, so Mum’s recollection is probably more reliable.

She said his used to taper off about mid-July, once the peak season had passed. So if it IS that, I shouldn’t have very long to wait to see an improvement. Fingers crossed, eh?



Hi Anitra,

I don’t know if this might be of any help, but in the past when my surgery’s receptionist has told me there are no further ‘same-day’ appointments - despite me trying on and off all morning to make one - I then insist that they arrange an immediate home-visit.

It seems they don’t like doing this if it can possibly be avoided, so an available appointment magically appears!!!

With eye trouble, just getting to the surgery could well be dangerous, so it may well be worth a try?!

Best of luck!


Hi Mike,

No, 4.8 miles away (I don’t drive).

I’m seriously considering paying to see a private GP. I know it will be pricey, but I’m not quite unemployed yet, so I s’pose I could stretch to it just once.



Hi Dom,

With hindsight (Dontcha always realise what you should have said afterwards?) I should have asked for a telephone appt. Then I could have spoken to the doc and and told her the eye is playing up, but I can’t EVER get an appointment. I might have been lucky and she’d say: “Come in; I’ll tell reception.”


Anita - not all opticians are the same.

You don’t need for example - specksavers/optical express type of opticians.

I have 2 eye conditions and go to a more ‘traditional’ optometrist at a practice that has been established a long time. In fact - that is where my ms diagnosis started as he referred me to hospital with ON. My g.p dismissed it at the time.

Teresa. x

Hi Tina Seen the comment-what about ringing and leaving a MSG for GP to ring you, I had the same problem getting an appt and past receptionist. I asked for call, explained wats up, he made me appt same day I was told thy didn’t have, worth. Try Mike x

Hi Teresa,

Yeah, I have to admit last time WAS Vision Express (my usual optician), and I had the impression they just didn’t care/weren’t interested, unless all I wanted was a regular sight test and new glasses. :frowning: They weren’t interested in dealing with less typical problems, that aren’t what the majority go for. Did check me (I expect they have a professional duty to do so), but just told me to go to the doctor, so I wasn’t any further forward.

You’re right; perhaps a traditional (some would even say old-fashioned) kind of practice would be more helpful.

I really felt ditched the last time.


You’d be starting from scratch if you paid to see a private GP and that person would be more than likely to be someone else’s NHS GP?

A decent optician would refer you back to your GP or to an Opthalmologist if they felt your condition warranted it. A basic eye screening might detect signs associated with ON if that is your worry although you’d likely need an opthalmologist / neuropthalmologist referral to confirm?

Thanks, no, I’m absolutely positive it’s not ON.

I’ve been referred to a consultant opthalmologist about it before, and he was horrid (one of the rudest, most arrogant clinicians it’s ever been my misfortune to come across), and still couldn’t get to the bottom of what it was.

I’m confident, though, that as obnoxious as he was, he would have been able to tell if it was ON.

This is nothing like that. Just a permanently sore eye (externally). Puffy and weeping. It looks very much like either conjunctivitis or hayfever, but I was tested for the former, and it wasn’t, and the latter seems unlikely, as it’s only ever the one eye.

“Allergy” is the only explanation that has ever been forthcoming, but I still don’t know allergic to what, or why it’s only ever the left eye. I’m taking antihistamines all the time, which do seem to calm it slightly (tends to confirm it’s some sort of allergic reaction), but don’t really control it properly.


Anitra - ‘old fashioned practice’ is exactly what you need.

I have had ON twice (eye condition 1)

I also have Keratoconus (condition 2)

The ‘up to date - trendy’ opticians have not got a clue about condition 2. I have to wear hard contact lenses to correct the problem i have (soft lenses no good to me)

I recently went in to a specksavers to get some contact lens solution and they laughed in my face. She said ‘what on earth is a person of your age (40) doing still wearing hard contact lenses’ they are very old fashioned now!

I replied ’ I have Keratoconus’. She looked at me blankly - asked for a second opinion and then said ’ sorry we cant help you with that!’

My regular optician has just retired and i am devastated as he was brill. You can’t beat experience sometimes.

Anyway - perhaps to ring the surgery back and ask for a telephone appoint. would be a good idea.

Teresa. x

Hi Tina, I go to Premier Vision and they always give me a really good examination, when I mention the possibility of MS.

Wouldn`t your GP want to actually see your eye, rather than discuss the problem on the phone?

I often have telephone appts with my GP, but not when she needs to see/look at a problem.

luv Pollx

Hi Poll,

Yes, I’m sure she’d want to see the eye! I only meant to use a telephone appointment as a ruse, to see if I can bypass reception, and actually get to speak with the doctor. If she knows the trouble I’m having, and that I haven’t been able to get an appointment the “normal” way, I thought there was a chance she might TELL reception to sort it, and offer me an earlier appointment.

If I can’t get an appointment now - July - what will it be like in Autumn/Winter, when everybody’s ill? There shouldn’t be a massive run on doctors at the moment.



Dear Anitra,

I ‘don’t like to boast! - I’ve had MS for 13+ years.’ My Doctor does a home visit (his own brother has MS) and my wife is an opthamologist (her brother also has MS and he is a teacher!) - MS sucks though and some days, I can’t walk! It might be convenient? but MS is horrible and I hate it!

Marcus. x.

Hi Tina, Been having a few issues myself over last couple of weeks. My gp has been hard to get hold of, his colleague told me I had slipped disc. I had a phone appointment this morning and he has made an appointment for me to see him tomorrow morning! Maybe worth getting phone appointment as it can help to actually getting a time that you need, Chis

Hiya Marcus & Chis!

Marcus, have you got any hobbies or interests apart from MS? Seems you’re very preoccupied with how long you’ve had it, as you mention it in nearly every post. Yes, I know it sucks, whether you’ve been diagnosed 13 years or 13 days. I’ve been diagnosed just under two years, although I wouldn’t be surprised if I’d had it years, like you. I don’t think I felt well in my 20s, and definitely not in my 30s. I’m now 46! But although I visit here most days, I still try not to get too hung up on how long I’ve had it, what could have caused it, and whether there will ever be a cure, if you see what I mean. It’s not that I’m not curious about these things. I just don’t find them very fruitful to dwell on.

I have MS, and that’s it. In a way, I’m relieved, because if it wasn’t MS, I’d be convinced by now I was quite mad, with all of these “imaginary” things wrong with me! Things have made a lot more sense since I found out what the hell it was, and that no, it’s NOT mental illness.

Chis - yes, I think I’m going to try once more, tomorrow, for a same say appt. (I think she works Fridays). Third time lucky, but if I still can’t get anything, I shall remember to ask for a telephone appointment, this time. If I can speak to her and tell her I’m going around with my eye half closed, she might pull rank on reception.

Hope you get on OK tomorrow!



What pisses me off about this kind of thing is my doctor sending me a stroppy letter because I’d not been seeing a consistent doctor over a year (5-6 different ones) when I was having a range of different symptoms for th first time (bladder incontinence, leg giving way, bowel weakness), needing follow up from two eye operations, and needing several not ‘fit’ notes for my employer. Frankly I got fed up of ringing 8:30 am on the dot to be told there werent any appintments for the day and none for my doctor for at least a week, and just booked with whoever was available or the locum. Also took the five minute “emergency only” appointments on a number of occasions in frustration. Surely they realise there’s no sense waiting a week to see your doc with a UTI or when you 're scared of pissing yourself or worse at work, or when your employer insists on back to back sick notes.