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messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by dbboy 16 April, 2018 14:54

SERIOUSLY, that must be an error, no way can it be classed as Good. It is the WORST GP surgery in South London.

Unfortunately Dr. McColl passed away last year so how can she be named as one of two people who run the service. The report says "The practice offers 44 GP sessions per week" This must be an error and a serious one at that.

Reception needs to get its acct together and treat patients with care and compassion because those who go to the surgery do so as they are unwell. If the surgery staff say they are going to do something for a patient or promise to return a call then I suggest they abide by what they say rather than doing what suits them and not the patients. It's the patients experience that is the most important thing, that starts from either phoning or going to the surgery. CQC can say what they like, they see the surgery on one day, the surgery needs to prove through it's actions that it has been assessed as being Good by CQC.

Patients are the one's who know best what their experience has been because they have regular interactions with the surgery. Only last week I spent over 30 mins waiting for the phone to be answered mid afternoon and eventually gave up and went in person to sort out an issue.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2018:04:16:17:35:52 by dbboy.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by Sue 16 April, 2018 21:20

It is really really easy to change GP.

You just go to the new practice of your choice (having checked they cover your address) with your NHS number and proof of address.

And fill in a form.

That's it, so far as I recall.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by Pugwash 17 April, 2018 01:38

I am afraid it is not as easy as you think, GPs have catchment areas and if you are outside these areas you will not be permitted to join that surgery.

Many years ago our family were not happy with the surgery we were registered with. ( I had been with the same GP surgery for most of my life but when the senior partner died suddenly the practice went downhill) We eventually registered with The Gardens. However, their catchment area has now changed and our road is outside the area, whilst we can still use the surgery, a relative who moved in in December has to go to another practice.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by ontheedge 17 April, 2018 02:06

Thankfully l donít need to see GP very often, however recently needed fairly urgent appointment as needed antibiotics, which I havenít needed for 18 years no appointment available at surgery for over 2 weeks no appointments at walk in surgery either so advised to go to Urgent care centre, not what I wanted to do but a necessity at the time, advised to go to GP once infection under control, surprised to ring Friday and get appointment for Wednesday would have liked to see female GP but informed none currently at Forest Hill Road until end of May!! Anyway thankful to have appointment

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by Sue 17 April, 2018 07:59

Pugwash Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am afraid it is not as easy as you think, GPs
> have catchment areas and if you are outside these
> areas you will not be permitted to join that
> surgery.
>
> Many years ago our family were not happy with the
> surgery we were registered with. ( I had been with
> the same GP surgery for most of my life but when
> the senior partner died suddenly the practice went
> downhill) We eventually registered with The
> Gardens. However, their catchment area has now
> changed and our road is outside the area, whilst
> we can still use the surgery, a relative who moved
> in in December has to go to another practice.


That's why I said "having checked they cover your address".

It's very easy. I did it last year. I moved from DMC to a practice in Herne Hill, having first checked I was in their catchment area.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by Growlybear 17 April, 2018 14:16

I needed to see a GP quite urgently yesterday. I rang at 8.00 a.m., held on for less than ten minutes, and after explaining why I needed to be seen on the same day, was given an appointment the same morning. After I had seen the doctor, I was able to book a follow up appointment for two weeks time. The receptionist was extremely helpful and courteous as always. Having seen the service my mother and my mother in law get from their doctors, I have always felt very privileged to be a patient at this practice.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by dbboy February 13, 12:39PM

Yet again another Practice Manager has left and has been replaced by an interim practice manager. Clearly their recruitment practices leave something to be desired, any chance they can provide consistency in staffing???????

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by singalto February 13, 04:34PM

I saw a GP there who said he was leaving because thepractice was so badly run.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by bobbsy February 14, 11:54AM

Must admit I have to echo Growlybear for an urgent appointment 2 weeks ago, was very quick and painless to organise a same day appointment. Receptionist efficient and polite. Couldn't ask for more on that occasion.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by Eileen February 15, 01:10AM

I have been with this practice for over 40 years. It was always very good. Does anyone have any clues about when and why the management took a turn for the worse?

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by Penguin68 February 15, 10:34AM

Does anyone have any clues about when and why the management took a turn for the worse?

Like all GP surgeries, this one has been plagued by losses in the senior partners, through retirement and very sadly long term illness and death. This has put huge pressures (because of inner city GP recruitment issues) on GP availability and appointments (as well as losing GP managerial direction); the surgery has tried out many schemes to address this, most have failed although currently the system they are working on (using telephone 'appointments' and GP based triage) seem to be working. Their use of outbound communications (to notify of prescriptions being available, to request routine telephone appointments for test results etc.) has also been a useful innovation, as has requests for routine measurements (such as BP) now that so many have, or have access to their own monitors. The recruitment of a practice pharmacist and better use of practice nurses has also taken the pressure off GPs (but must have taken time to achieve). Reminders about appointments are also helping.

We all want to be seen immediately, but now the urgent cases are seen urgently, and the routine appointments have to wait. Which doesn't seem too bad. And there's always the Lister and SelDoc out of hours. I've been a patient there for 30 years; it's had its ups and downs, but my perception is 'up' (relatively) at the moment.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by savvygirl February 15, 05:43PM

I found it very difficult to get an appointment by using the online facility. I eventually gave up and decided to call in at the surgery. The receptionist said that my contact details were out of date as they had an old email address for me which was the reason I couldn't make an appointment online. The fault was remedied and my details were updated and an appointment was made. However, it turned out (once I was home and able to check my calendar) that I had a prior engagement that same day. I phoned to cancel the appointment and was told there were no alternative appointments and to ring back on Monday morning after 10am. Usually at this time of day the recorded message will tell you where you are in the queue and I've always found it to be 8th or 9th! It's a long wait. Round and round in circles we seem to go! There was no chance of making an appointment online, as again that just informed me there were none available. I had been requested to make this appointment by the doctor, so that makes it even more bizarre. The whole system is a nightmare. It never used to be like this. I have been with this practice for over 40 years and even at its busiest times it was always quite efficient. It's just got worse and worse over the years and I've never known it quite as inefficient as it is now. It's very frustrating and extremely time wasting.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by FredCasa February 15, 05:53PM

A few months ago we were told that the GP team was now complete - and still nothing changed. Dysfunctional appointments system, receptionists separated off by bulletproof glass to avoid human contact: and nobody can force them to change. Thanks, Andrew Lansley.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by intexasatthe moment February 15, 06:40PM

savvygirl the online booking system can go overnight from "no appts available " to having bookable ones .

I think appointment slots are released on a Friday morning - but I'm not sure ,there's a notice in the surgery somewhere explaining when appts are released .

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by Alan Medic February 16, 06:08AM

I had an appointment this week which I had obtained online about a month ago. It was the only one there. When speaking with the Doc about a future appointment and telling her there's often nothing or very little available online, she said they have a new system in place (another one?). According to her the online booking are put on each day at 10am. I'd be interested to hear if anyone tries this and what the outcome was.

I also asked her how do I obtain the result of a blood test I was going to have, as I don't seem to be able to access my medical records via 'patient access'. She told me to let reception know I want this facility. The receptionist said that wasn't possible, that I had to complete a form and subsequently use a different site to access this info. Can't remember the name, something like 'my doc' possibly.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by nxjen February 16, 07:55AM

I didnít try booking an appointment online but I did phone up just after 10 am for a non urgent appointment about three weeks ago. Very surprised, and very happy, to be offered one a week later.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by Metallic February 16, 12:10PM

It went down the drain when George Adam left. The worst experiences me and my family have ever had at a surgery and we were fortunate to come geographically under a brilliant alternative - Brockwell Park Surgery. (Overlapping catchments) The most amazing doctors, attitude and NO GLASS between you and the very nice reception they have.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by SEA1987 February 16, 02:21PM

Can anyone recommend a doctor's in East Dulwich to register with apart from the Forest Hill clinic? I'm having an issue just making a non emergency appointment and would love a new clinic. Would love to hear your recommendations

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by elloriac February 18, 07:24PM

I'm very happy with the Gardens surgery. Excellent online booking service, choice of appointments. Reception staff vary from efficient to friendly, but I never get the feeling that I am unwelcome that I felt at the Forest Hill practice.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by savvygirl February 21, 12:41PM

I managed to get an online appointment today for a date in March. It was a second attempt as the original slot that was available had gone in the time it took me to check my calendar! You have to be quick. Advise anyone booking to have their calendar beside them - mine is a paper one hanging up in the kitchen so necessitated a trip!! I'm definitely a bit of a dinosaur who needs to up her game! I think I'll check this appointment with the receptionist as I'm so amazed to have got it that I feel it may just be a mistake!

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by malumbu April 16, 09:28PM

A friend's daughter is running a half marathon raising money for the Brain Tumour Charity in remembrance of Dr McColl. A private matter so not for discussion here but please PM me if you want the Just Giving link and you'd like to donate.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by binkylilyput April 17, 04:29PM

I need to get a non urgent GP appointment regarding chronic, unresolved back pain...... who at this surgery should I see and who should I avoid?!

I realise this makes me sound more than a bit entitled but I have chronic back pain and after 2 years of paying to see various practitioners privately to try to resolve the issue, I need a GP who will take me seriously and make appropriate referrals for further investigation and treatment.

The last GP I saw here (unrelated issue) I did not find helpful at all and was quite upset by her manner.

Recommendations or avoids?

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by George Orwell April 18, 01:42PM

"Recommendations or avoids?"

I'm tempted to say don't get ill or move house. I certainly wouldn't waste my time trying to go this surgery.

Years ago (about 20!) when I too was suffering years of chronic back pain with no apparent cure I chanced on the British School of Osteopathy and was examined by a student under supervision. They quickly diagnosed a degenerative arthritic condition and I was advised I take the X-rays and their diagnosis to a GP as the gatekeeper to a Rheumatology consultant appointment. Since then the NHS hospital consultants have done a decent job of keeping things more or less OK. Regrettably the GPs don't really know much about the condition.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by binkylilyput April 18, 02:18PM

Thanks George O.

Unfortunately I spent 6 months seeing a student at the BSO (and had a few different supervisors join) but it really didn't get me anywhere.

I have paid privately to see a range of professionals (chiro, osteo, acupuncture, massage) in order to resolve the issue for myself and avoid NHS waiting times and patchy service.

Me going to see a GP is because I've run out of solutions and can't afford to keep shelling out for expensive treatment.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by Penguin68 April 18, 02:36PM

The problem with back pain is that it can be caused by mechanical problems with the spine, by problems associated with muscles, by problems associated with discs slipping and trapping nerves (different from mechanical problems where manipulation or exercise may be a remedy) or referred pain from some other condition - when I had a back pain problem (broadly) some years ago I was sent for a chest X-ray in case I had a lung tumour pressing against the spine (I didn't). So back pain can be very difficult to diagnose as it may have multiple causes, and be difficult to address.

Some causes will respond to e.g manipulation and exercise regimes, others very definitely won't. Most specialists are specialists in their particular problem area. At times it may just be a matter of ruling things out, rather than quick identification.

There are often no quick or sure fixes for chronic back pain, and little pain relief medication which is helpful and can be used long-term. Don't want to sound depressing, but don't hope either for miracles or believe that a 'good' doctor can sort it. Some of the diagnostic tools (full MRI for instance) don't come cheap, and NHS practices will aim to avoid over-use. And some remedies (like CT guided spinal injections of steroids) aren't normally available on the NHS. And some remedies (e.g. spinal surgery) have pretty serious possible side effects, like paralysis.

The NHS tends to look for palliatives for chronic back-pain where they can (acute may be different, and opioids can address this, which aren't useful for chronic conditions).

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by sian April 18, 04:55PM

Has anyone been able to get an appointment online here. The facility seems to have been removed from patient online. The appointments on offer are mainly at the Lister where the drs are very nice but they canít review medication etc. The medication service has been terrible and Iím endlessly going between the surgery and pharmacy to sort out very routine repeat prescriptions. This practice used to be so much better.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by vic.ham April 18, 08:10PM

hello, I went to the surgery yesterday as I couldn't order a repeat prescription online. The receptionist told me that there have been problems and that I will have to go back and show proof of identity again before my account can be reset,and commented that its not just me but many other patients too.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by dbboy April 18, 08:50PM

you mean "computer says no" and they are incapable of resolving the error, really???? And then asking you to provide proof of identity, it just beggars belief. Actually it doesn't.

The problem is that the surgery and the so called pharmacy across the road are at constant logger heads. It would help patients if the pharmacy and practice could be grown up enough to resolve their issues. I have heard of many instances where the practice or pharmacy blame each other. Ultimately the patients get caught in the crossfire.

Put FHRGP back into Special Measures and if it does not improve, dismiss the current Partners and appoint new Partners who have the capability of running a practice PROFESSIONALLY, which this lot obviously are incapable of doing so.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by kiera April 18, 11:24PM

You don't have to use the pharmacy across the road. I've seen people queuing up outside that one, still waiting to go in after the time it should have reopened after lunch. There are other pharmacies.

messageRe: Forest Hill Road Surgery - again.
Posted by nxjen April 19, 06:36AM

The pharmacy will also sometimes ask you to complete a questionnaire when collecting prescriptions. What they donít make clear is that this is part of a Medication Usage Review for which they receive a fee from the NHS.

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