Lewes Forum thread

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Riverlodge surgery

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On 17 Dec 2011 at 10:20am bazm wrote:
A question.
I don't visit the doctor very often so I wonder if this is now common to all GP surgeries. I wanted to make an appointment but was told I had to ring at 8.30 as they only take bookings on the day. I asked what happens if the doctor says make an appointment for two weeks time. I was told the same thing - you can only book appointments on the day and at 8.30 only. I asked why it had changed and I received the same reply!! It was like talking to a stubborn traffic warden.
So how does this help you if you don't work in Lewes and have to be at your place of work before 8.30?
Not only that but my wife saw her doctor at the same surgery. She mentioned she had two things to discuss and he said he could only deal with one and she would have to make a separate appointment. I can vaguely understand this logic but its not very helpful - what if they're connected symptons?
Is it me or are these £100k ayear GPs forgetting something?
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On 17 Dec 2011 at 11:02am Clifford wrote:
Couldn't agree more. When the bizarre system has been explained, you try to ring at 830 on the dot and, of course, everyone else is trying to do the same so the phone is constantly engaged. When you finally get through there's a good chance all the appointments that day have been booked. So they tell you you can go in in the late afternoon and sit around on the off-chance that a space comes up. I wonder if the GPs actually know about the system, which I'm sure is set up by a practice manager.
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On 17 Dec 2011 at 11:33am IMEYOU wrote:
On top of the above, you are paying over the odds for a premium rate number, they are making money from you every time you ring them.
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On 17 Dec 2011 at 11:46am Clifford wrote:
And , of course, we musn't forget this from the Riverlodge website: 'We try to look at our patient as a whole, and to consider all aspects of the problem, rather than just the illness in isolation. We value life very highly, as a gift from God, and we are also concerned about family life and relationships. Modern society seems to have devalued these by its attitudes and practices.' A compassionate view that includes, as IMEYOU says, making money out of phone calls from the sick.
 
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On 17 Dec 2011 at 12:22pm Rookie wrote:
I have to take one of my elderly relatives there regularly. There is always some other elderly person struggling to sign in with that damn touch screen.
I'm at St Andrews. Luckily I don't have to visit there often but they have been very easy to get appointments with on the odd occasion.
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On 17 Dec 2011 at 1:12pm bazm wrote:
I forgot about the premium phone line!
How easy is it to change surgeries and any recommendations?
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On 17 Dec 2011 at 1:27pm Diamond wrote:
Nope you're wrong. I'm a regular user of river lodge. You only ring up at 8.30 if you want an appointment on that day. Ring any other time to book an appointment for 3-5 days time. If you want to discuss two separate issues, then say so when you book so they can assign you a double (20 min) slot instead of the usual 10 mins. That way you don't delay people after you. I think they are very good - especially the saturday morning slots for people who work full time in the week.
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On 17 Dec 2011 at 1:29pm The Doctor wrote:
I had a big falling out with River Lodge when they refused to give me an appointment for an infection. Even though I wasn't a patient of theirs, St Andrews saw me the same day and (carefully) voiced their surprise that I was denied access to a Doctor in the light of the infection I had. I've been a St Andres patient ever since, very easy to change and my complaint to the local Health Authority brought forward a full apology from Riverside, whose reception staff are arrogant pricks.
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On 17 Dec 2011 at 2:20pm Clifford wrote:
It's interesting to hear that Diamond because last time I asked to make an appointment in advance they said I could only have an appointment on the day and that I had to phone after 830. Presumably they've changed thing if what you say is correct. Now, what do you think of the premium phone line for calling to make an appointment? Is that 'very good' too?
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On 17 Dec 2011 at 2:50pm bazm wrote:
Clifford - I went in there last week to collect a repeat prescription and overheard the same conversation - you have to ring on the day at 8.30. The person said what if I can't get through until 8.40 and the receptionist just grinned although she did say they keep some slots free for emergencies during the day!!! Appalling service.
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On 17 Dec 2011 at 2:59pm Madison wrote:
I use the Ringmer Surgery, which is the sister surgery to Riverlodge. I almost always get an appointment for the same day either in Lewes or Ringmer, no matter what time I ring. If I can't get an appointment they just advise me to ring the next day at 0830. Any later than 0830 and you miss out on any available appointments, but you don't have to ring at that time. The doctors have always been brilliant. I used to be with School Hill Surgery and much prefer Ringmer/Riverlodge.
Also ladies, Dr Sherman is really dishy.
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On 17 Dec 2011 at 3:04pm Clifford wrote:
Thanks for confirming that bazm. The best thing would be for someone from Riverlodge to come on here and explain the absurd appointments system. While they're at it they could also explain how the premium line phone system designed to make money out of sick patients fits in with the self-proclaimed 'Christian ethos'.
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On 17 Dec 2011 at 6:16pm huw wrote:
If I remember correctly the trend to allow only on the day appointments was put in place as a quick fix to the governments demands that waiting times for an appointment were reduced.
I think there was a very good interview with Blair fumbling through questions about this topic.
On a personal note I had problems with the River Lodge surgery years ago, but have had excellent service with both School Hill and St Andrews, although they also operate the same day booking system which can be frustrating.
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On 17 Dec 2011 at 6:44pm mickyboy wrote:
in the days of young doctor rice, dr warner, pat nichols etc riverlodge and its predicessor castle lodge served me & my family fine, current methodology is the same everywhere my current surgery is crap with a 5 day wait for repeat prescriptions, some years ago when a huge amount of new IT went in I suggested they reduced the time to same day by clearing the back log, horror of horrors I got a letter threatening me with exclusion from the surgery, luckily for me they enclosed 4 top copies of letters to hospital consultants, the NHS is nothing to do with what we the patients need or want, but what a load of over rated and over paid bean counters and managers decide we are getting
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On 18 Dec 2011 at 12:39am Realist wrote:
This thread is interesting in terms of challenging those who believe that the NHS is the best thing since sliced bread. Why shouldn't commercial organisations be allowed to try and improve the shoddy nonsense that people describe here?
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On 18 Dec 2011 at 7:56am Zebedee wrote:
Because a commercial organisation's main interest is profit, not the health of it's customers (sic).
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On 18 Dec 2011 at 8:32am me wrote:
just let me repeat in loud language "Because a commercial organisation's main interest is profit, not the health of it's customers". And that ladies and gents is the crux of the matter. Just look at the service you recieve from other privatised companies, gas, water and electric. They don't give a s**t about providing a good or indeed fair service or price, they are in it for the money. It's profiteering and legalised robbery. commercial organisations should not be let anywhere near the NHS. I'm going to have a wild stab and suggest that the people who stand to gain from privatisation of the NHS are obviously not the service user, but the very same people who are pushing for it EG political "Elite" and there bubble living cronies. And that includes both left and right.
Vive La revolution.
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On 18 Dec 2011 at 9:19am DrDumpling wrote:
"as a gift from God"..."Christian views on issues such as abortion " Mixing medicine and faith in the NHS should not be allowed.
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On 18 Dec 2011 at 11:42am bazm wrote:
Just looked at SchoolHill surgery website. They have a facility for online booking. How cool is that! No mention though of having to ring at 8.30 for same day appointments only.
 
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On 18 Dec 2011 at 1:42pm stevied wrote:
"Christian views on issues such as abortion " - I remember many years ago a friend of mine went there to get the morning-after pill after a split condom incident, and she was turned away after a lecture about pre-maritial sex...
 
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On 18 Dec 2011 at 2:21pm Old Cynic wrote:
Iv'e been with Riverlodge for years; always had an appointment when I needed it; kind nursing staff and professional GPs - its the lack of understanding by receptionists of the stupid booking system that's at fault.
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On 18 Dec 2011 at 2:22pm Old Cynic wrote:
Also, seeing how obnoxiously rude the great british public can be to receptionists I don't really blame them for not putting themselves out sometimes
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On 18 Dec 2011 at 2:34pm bazm wrote:
Stevied - remins me when I went for some jabs because I was going to travel around Asia some years ago. I got a 5min lecture on the perils of loose women!! If only! And i was twice the age of the nurse..
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On 18 Dec 2011 at 3:18pm Decent Citizen wrote:
I have used this surgery for many years. Have to agree about the appointment system.Bloody hard work at times to get one. What I do not recognize is the comments about the receptionists or the religious stance. I am always polite and get treated accordingly. I have however,witnessed a person being rude to a receptionist who was trying her best to help. There is room for improvement I agree,but generally speaking,I think they try their best.
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On 18 Dec 2011 at 5:15pm Clifford wrote:
Realist wrote: 'This thread is interesting in terms of challenging those who believe that the NHS is the best thing since sliced bread. Why shouldn't commercial organisations be allowed to try and improve the shoddy nonsense that people describe here?'

I sometimes complain about my wife. It doesn't mean I want to replace her with a prostitute. The reason we complain about the NHS is because it IS the best thing since sliced bread and we can see ways to improve it to make it even better. 'Commercial organisations' put the bottom line first and their 'customers' interests second: for example, energy suppliers.
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On 18 Dec 2011 at 6:59pm An arse kiss wrote:
Clifford wrote: 'I sometimes complain about my wife. It doesn't mean I want to replace her with a prostitute. '
Too right, wives do other things as well Clifford!
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On 18 Dec 2011 at 7:42pm Zebedee wrote:
The National Health may not be perfect and be in dire need of improvement but placing it in the hands of profit driven private companies is obviously madness. As above, think of water, power, transport. Not run for us any more, but run to exploit us.
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On 18 Dec 2011 at 10:30pm Nurse in Stockings wrote:
The problem with the NHS is that it was developed during a time when people were not hypochondriacs and the only surgery performed was considered life threatening. But with the advances in diagnostics and procedures, it is tremendously difficult and expensive to manage.
I feel the solution lies with banning ALL elective procedures (botox, cosmetic surgery, IVF, sterilisation, abortions, 99% of caesarians, etc). If people willingly choose to put themselves through an invasive procedure, then they should pay for it.
 
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On 19 Dec 2011 at 12:12am Fairmeadow wrote:
I'm a patient at River Lodge, and my experiences have been positive. They always show up well in the local comparison tables. They are explicit about being a Christian practice, so if you don't like that, register elsewhere. I rather like having a GP whose top priority is not just maximising his income.
However, if you are unhappy about any aspect of your treatment, or about being able to access it, you should complain about it (politely). All GPs have a complaints policy - just ask the receptionist. If they don't respond to your complaint, take it up with the Primary Care Trust (East Sussex Downs & Weald PCT).
Don't take it out on the receptionists - they just do what the GP partners tell them. The partners won't know there is a problem unless you tell them, and if all the people complaining on this forum complained directly they would certainly take notice. But maybe you would rather just whinge than do something to put the problem right?
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On 19 Dec 2011 at 9:16am Dr Karen wrote:
I'd be very worried about a religous GP. You cannot be a serious scientist and believe in the mumbo jumbo that is Christianity.
School Hill on-line booking service is superb.
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On 19 Dec 2011 at 9:35am Fairmeadow wrote:
Don't register at River Lodge then. Simple.
However, as someone who presumably believes in evidence rather than prejudice, you might just think to look at the actual performance stats for the Lewes practices before pontificating. At least River Lodge remembers to immunise all its babies.
You might also find it pretty difficult to find the evidence to support your hypothesis that you can't be both a serious scientist and a Christian. But maybe you aren't open to letting hard evidence get in the way of your beliefs?
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On 19 Dec 2011 at 12:31pm Clifford wrote:
So are you saying Fairmeadow that the doctors at Riverlodge don't know about their absurd appointments system and won't know until we complain about it? And that they don't know about the 0844 phone line sick people have to use to get through to make an appointment?
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On 19 Dec 2011 at 1:03pm Dr Karen wrote:
Frankly, I'm shocked about the phone line
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On 19 Dec 2011 at 1:39pm Decent Citizen wrote:
Even better when they put you on hold!
 
 
On 19 Dec 2011 at 1:57pm bazm wrote:
blimey my longest ever thread!
As an atheist I'm not bothered by their religous stance just slightly amused by it. anyway, wouldn't it be good if the practice manager came on here and explained the logic behind their booking procedure.
Most organisatitions these days gear their operations on a failure demand prinicipal. In otherwords, improve service and not run your business for your benefit but for your customers. It saves money, time and helps your business to grow.
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On 19 Dec 2011 at 2:30pm Dr Karen wrote:
Perhaps they should get Jesus in for a few days to cut the waiting lists?
Matthew 4:23
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
I think not!!
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On 19 Dec 2011 at 4:30pm Clifford wrote:
Just as long, Dr Karen, that they don't bring in a new appointments system based on Matthew 20:16 - 'So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.'
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On 19 Dec 2011 at 5:53pm teacher wrote:
Why dont you all stop whinging and appreciate the fact that you dont live in a third world country. I have used Riverlodge for years and found all the Doctors and staff to be very helpful. Mind you if I was confronted by whingers like you lot I would get miffed. Like Fairmeadow said " If you dont like it then move to another practice"
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On 19 Dec 2011 at 6:21pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
"I sometimes complain about my wife. It doesn't mean I want to replace her with a prostitute."
Brilliant analogy, Clifford!
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On 19 Dec 2011 at 6:44pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I??ve been with St Andrews for over 20 years now and have always found them great. They have the same ??same day? appointment system, but they also have pre-bookable appointments and will fit you in if it??s a medical emergency. You decide whether it??s an emergency too, no interrogation by receptionist! They do telephone consultations too, which is handy when you don??t want to tale time off work.
They??re all nice and helpful and polite and I??ve found them very good about liaising with other agencies on behalf of my clients.
I??ve had dealings with River Lodge on behalf of clients and have found the reception staff rude and unhelpful. If they were the only GP practice in Lewes, I??d register with Cliffe Vets.
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On 20 Dec 2011 at 1:29pm Dr Karen wrote:
hahahah! Nice one ACT
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On 21 Dec 2011 at 7:21pm Fairmeadow wrote:
ACT - River Lodge have almost exactly the same system.
"Same day" but non-emergency, for which you phone up at 08.30.
Pre-bookable - phone anytime.
Emergency - phone anytime (you get a triage call back from a GP within 30 min, the next time one is free).
The 0844 number they use includes zero benefit to the practice. Was sold to them as same charge to user as local call. Anyone know this to be untrue?
Source of info above: River Lodge receptionist I happened to meet yesterday.
So the problem is what, exactly?
And Dr Karen is shocked about the phone line why exactly? Many surgeries use 0844 & 0845 because they link well to intra-office systems, and NHS rules ban practices to make any income from incoming calls (some, not in Lewes, tried to).
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On 21 Dec 2011 at 8:44pm Number wrote:
The trouble with 0845 numbers is that they are very rarely valid as 'inclusive minutes' or 'free local calls' in the extremely common bundles which people subscribe to on both mobile and home phone contracts, to try and keep costs down. With a normal geographic number, you know what you're paying - if anything. Progress? is it fook!


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