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Having to talk to receptionists about symptoms puts people off seeing GP


As an ex-receptionist I find articles like this, more in the general press and on TV than here, incredibly frustrating, annoying and depressing. As I’m sure is the case in a lot of surgeries, the Partners here have set up the protocol that receptionists ask for a reason so that a patient can be guided to the most appropriate clinician, but make it clear to all patients that if it’s personal they don’t need to give a reason. In an ideal world with lots of extra GPs and unlimited GP appointments they’d love to give every patient an appointment straight away, which would mean that no one would need to be asked. And GPs could have a morning of chest infections, smears and BP checks. Of course, then you wouldn’t need as many Nurse Practitioners, Practice Nurses and HCAs. It’s a thankless job at the best of times, and this kind of press doesn’t make things easier. I wouldn’t go back to being a receptionist if I was paid double what I get paid now. I’ve had enough of crying when I get yelled at and sworn at by patients who don’t get what they want, especially when it’s usually a GP who made the decision that I passed on to the patient. Patients are still living in a world of Peak Practice (and probably some of them Doctor Finley) and the real world isn’t like that anymore. And to be honest, I think a lot of GPs don’t realise what a tough job it is as they’re often in their room at the end of a corridor rather than in Reception listening to the abuse that receptionists get. Gone are the days that patients can be removed for bad behaviour, unless you have a crime number, however many posters about Zero Tolerance you put up. And I’m getting cross so I’m off to have a cup of tea and a biscuit!

Posted date

11 Oct 2016

Posted time