Communication…there’s still a bee in my bonnet!

GP appointments — I’m sorry but I continue to have a bee in my bonnet about this, having recently attended one said appointment. GP appointments and the speed, (or rather lack of), with which the menopause is diagnosed, being somewhat linked!

GP was running late — am not surprised though, how any clinician can holistically diagnose someone within 10 mins is beyond me. What happened to this please, anyone out there got an update ? http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/practice-topics/access/new-contract-set-to-end-10-minute-gp-consultations-say-gp-leaders/20033610.article

Back to said appointment, I wont bore you with the details of why I was there needless to say I think I was in and out of there within 6 mins…was I satisfied with the help given… probably say 50:50, the GP probably has the diagnosis right (time will tell) but literally took 2 mins to have a gander at the problem and sent me away with a prescription. However, whilst there I did try and ask another couple of pertinent questions regarding other matters but they were quickly brushed aside. Am I the only one when attending a GP appointment that feels like you are up against the clock?!  Now the fact that I had brought up those topics should have rung a bell within that GPs head to say oh maybe she’s concerned about this I’ll give her a quick explanation on everything to allay any fears or alternatively she could have helpfully signposted me to someone who could have helped more. But no, so consequently those things are still niggling me – lucky I am in a position to know who else to turn to but other punters aren’t. Will I make another appointment, which are like hen’s teeth, to go and discuss the other problems, probably not. I’ll just try and manage them myself. How many women with menopausal symptoms do this all the time? Putting up with debilitating symptoms which could be easily treated and managed. Was that GP, however, under a lot of pressure even at 9.30 in the morning with a whole list ahead of them, constantly chasing the time — yes.

My point in all of this … the art of communication — crucial when attending a GP appointment, whether you are the GP or the patient. The GP is sitting there with an encyclopaedia of knowledge at their finger tips but that knowledge is only going to get passed onto the patient if they ask the right questions in the first place, transfer the real reasons why they are sitting in that surgery and if the GP is receptive enough, bothered enough or has enough time to answer those questions.

Hence I set up Let’s Talk Menopause as it seems to be one of the topics way down on a lot of GPs lists which they are prepared or have enough time to have a chat about. I go back to my previous post , but I would however also like to add that there are a percentage of GPs who go above and beyond the call of duty, it would just be so good if they all did!

How do we as a nation move on and try to not only help GPs with their unreasonable workload, but make sure that patients receive the correct, consistent care that they need, regardless of which speciality. One of the recent posts in the BMS on their vision for the future moving forward is interesting as is the House of Care initiative, up and running in certain areas.

Having worked in the NHS and seen first hand the frustration that clinicians face, not only with poor staffing levels, but with unrealistic workloads and ah, having to cope with management; management who I am sorry to say are often functioning on a different planet, wouldn’t have a clue how to run a ward or theatre, yet are sadly the ones making crucial decisions.

Can anyone please explain to me why this has not changed in the last 20 years but has got considerably worse. Having as well, recently experienced first hand the care given on general wards, can someone also explain to me why oh why nursing was made a degree course – nursing is a practical career, you are only going to really learn ‘on the job’. When I was nursing you could spot a degree nurse from 100 yards, she was the one sitting at the nurses station writing beautiful notes but with her patients in complete disarray … nursing is a skilled job, obviously requires a certain amount of study in the class room, but time and time again I talk to nurses and midwives who despair of the trainees coming through that have very limited practical skills, plus don’t seem to be bothered by this fact! I am obviously generalising here, there are some absolutely brilliant nurses out there as there are GPs but something has to happen so that they become more accountable so providing a consistent level of care and competency right across the board.

Oh and are the ‘Tools for clinicians’ from the BMS website on the Pulse toolkit app or can I just not find them?! If not why not …!

Ok rant over I’ll go back to menopause symptoms next post! On a brighter note we held a Menopause drop in here in the Borders last week which was well attended and I’ve received wonderful feedback saying how helpful and informative the session was. Onwards and upwards…

Bee bonnet

Seriously considering knitting this !

ps  Just reading Adam Kay’s book : This is going to hurt https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/dec/10/adam-kay-this-is-going-to-hurt-interview-junior-doctor very funny, plus gives the true picture of life as a doctor within the NHS …come on your nurses or midwives out there one of you must have a book in you too!!

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