Mum's online protest at GPs' phone consultations

A YOUNG mother has launched a campaign criticising Sheringham medical practice's phone appointment system, which means patients do not always get to see a doctor.

A YOUNG mother has launched a campaign criticising Sheringham medical practice's phone appointment system, which means patients do not always get to see a doctor.

The surgery has more than 10,000 patients and operates a telephone assessment method for appoint-ments. Under it, patients call the surgery, register their details with a receptionist and a doctor will ring back, usually within two hours, to talk to them and decide the best way to treat them. This can range from reassurance to seeing a doctor or nurse.

But former town carnival queen Chloe Green, 23, of Langham Court, has started a campaign on social networking site Facebook asking people to raise their concerns about the phone system. After just a week it had accumulated 113 members.

She is also planning to take a petition around the town on Saturday and to hold sessions from February 15-20 at The Hub at the Little Theatre for people to share their concerns.


You may also want to watch:


Ms Green said her own worries about the system were raised after she became a first-time mum last May. She had an infection after the birth and was worried it could get serious but was only dealt with by phone by the practice. The Facebook campaign was promoted after she heard from a friend who found herself in a similar position after finding a lump in her breast.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said it was only when she called back months later, still concerned about the lump, that she saw a GP face to face. It turned out to be a mass of cysts that were treated successfully,

Most Read

Ms Green said: 'I think there is a place for a telephone system like the one at Sheringham, but for things such as breast lumps, or if someone has had a baby, there should be a blanket rule that you get to see a GP.'

Dr Paul Roebuck, from the practice, said the 'total telephone triage system' aimed to deliver innovative, gold-standard primary care making best use of available resources. 'The patient has more control and earlier access to the most appropriate care pathway,' he added.

Dr Roebuck said the practice intended to improve and develop the system. 'Patient feedback is an important element in this process and can be readily demonstrated already by our active engagement with our patient participation group,' he said.

Nikki Cocks, of NHS Norfolk, said the surgery had assured it that patients could still choose to see their GP in person if they wished after the phone consultation.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus