• Question: Does it annoy you when patients are late to appointments?

    Asked by Danielle to Adil, Amanda, Gail, Jamie, Jo & Lucy, Nicola, Philly, Tuxford on 12 Mar 2018.
    • Photo: Jamie Hynes

      Jamie Hynes answered on 12 Mar 2018:

      Cracking question Danielle and one we debated at our training scheme last week.
      People run late. It happens. We do too. There’s often a very good reason for either doctors or patients running late- from the patient’s side of things it could well be related to the reason for the appointment. As long as the patient doesn’t mind waiting until those that have been seen on time then I ALWAYS make sure I see them- important things could be missed if we turn them away or be annoyed with them.
      I often find those that are late have been so scared to leave the house that it’s a major achievement that they’ve made it into surgery at all.
      A little bit of kindness and compassion goes a long way. Of course sometimes it’s just being disorganised, but if I’ve never every run late then I’m not in a position to criticise- I just apologise and say ‘I hope I’m worth the wait!’ which usually gets a smile.
      There was a very sad case in the news about what happens when a GP gets annoyed and refused to see the child who was late. I felt annoyed on behalf of the family as it was clear the child should have been seen.

    • Photo: Catherine Harrison

      Catherine Harrison answered on 12 Mar 2018:

      It rarely happens to us now since a change in our appointment system means we don’t have a formal appointment structure now. We phone or communicate online with all our patients and arrange to see those that need it face to face, usually by just saying ‘come on up now’!!! It works well for us, and the patients, as no one can be late, or fail to turn up, meaning our time isn’t wasted!

    • Photo: Jo & Lucy Arthurs / Clayton

      Jo & Lucy Arthurs / Clayton answered on 13 Mar 2018:

      If I’m honest a little (especially if I’m running to time)….but it really doesn’t happen very often (we have great patients!) and I pretty much always see them (but might ask them to wait a little until people in front of them have been seen on time).

      However, I sometimes run late (because you never know what’s going to come through the door) and my patients are fab about it.

    • Photo: Philippa Horner

      Philippa Horner answered on 14 Mar 2018:

      In a word, yes, but I always make sure to be non-judgmental about it, especially until I know why they are late. They may have a very good reason and actually, it hasn’t happened to me a lot.

    • Photo: Gail Allsopp

      Gail Allsopp answered on 14 Mar 2018:

      Not annoy but it does mAke life difficult. We only have 10 minutes to see you, work out what’s wrong and then write a your notes. If you’re late then it makes everything else that day run out of time. That’s not fair on the other patients who are coming after.