This was a mistake. Now, if the GP had said "well, perhaps there's a problem at their end instead", then that would be fair enough and I could have agreed. But instead he launched in to what seemed a very well-prepared rant about how he took this as a personal affront, that the administrative staff were very efficient, that every letter that arrived got scanned immediately, and that some level of error was to be expected in any organisation. I decided not to point out that if you've come up with a rehearsed speech about how rare a particular failing is, it is not as rare as you are making out.
So, then I got the bit where I asked for a referral to a rheumatologist. I do this every so often and then they send me for a blood test and then they don't do anything. So, that happened again. This time it is my actual main priority, since the hormones stuff has been more-or-less sorted out.
The GP asked me to book a follow-up appointment with him for 3 weeks. I tried to. I was immediately told no, and that I should phone up for an emergency appointment on the day instead. This is par for the course (and by the time I had arrived at 8.55am they were already telling people on the phone who had genuine emergencies that they should go to the walk-in centre instead - I wonder how many of the people who engage in that 8.30am daily rush for appointments would have been happy with a prebooked one). What was slightly unusual was the brief denial to my face that pre-bookable appointments even existed, and I had to point out that I had in fact booked this one three weeks ago before they grudgingly looked in their computer and rustled up an appointment with another doctor on the 16th April.
So, in conclusion, this is why putting committees of GPs in charge of the NHS is a bad idea.
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