OUR readers have had their say on whether GP's should offer evening and weekend appointments to patients.

Rhyl Journal: The question we askedThe question we asked

The Journal, Pioneer and Chronicle recently put the question to people on our Facebook pages, who seemed to agree that a change was needed.

Some readers would like to see a change:

  • Lyn Sargent said: "Yes, the GP service should be available longer (or maybe different) hours as most people have to work. That doesn't mean GPs necessarily working beyond a normal week but they do need to be more flexible. I'm all in favour of using technology & other highly qualified staff such as nurses and pharmacists with GP back up. I hate to say this but the notion of customer service seems to have passed GPs by. It feels as if they think they're doing you a favour. The result is that people self diagnose or turn up inappropriately at A&E, causing delays for really ill people who need that level of expertise. Emergencies are well catered for. The problem lies with the long term diseases or worrying symptoms that need diagnosing or monitoring but don't stop you working. Where are those people supposed to go if not their GP?
  • Carol Downes said: "Yes think the way things are going it would be great to even see a doc? Personally should be available at all times, obviously it would need to be in shift format. May be they could also actually sort out the appointment systems which are so stupid presently. If it's a short appointment that you know it will be, why can't you have a fast appointment system. If you know it's more complicated then have the slower longer system in place. We need to see our docs, you miss so much body language over the phone, and a zoom meeting is just so false how can you do an exam over zoom. We need more docs to cover too."
  • Pam Ashworth said: "Most definitely not everyone is retired or out of work. When you work full time it’s near gone impossible to get in at the doctors, so what do you do ? Self diagnosing and it’s not always right."
  • Kelly Larder said: "Would be good for this who work away though the week and don't get home till late Friday night."
  • Emma Eaton said: "Be helpful if they did any appointments, taking the strain off the hospitals, it’s what they are paid for."
  • Allyson Evans said: "Absolutely they should. Many don't work 9-5 anymore so how on earth do they see a dr. I use the word "see" very loosely. Getting past a receptionist is the first hurdle. Drs nearly always worked Saturday mornings but nowadays..."
  • Lynn Jones said: "Yes all other businesses have had to change with peoples needs."
  • Anne Rickett said: "Yes..we all have to work over a seven day working week now so really don't understand why the Doctors dont do same...people who work cant get appointments till after work so stay open a bit later and work weekends ...im sure it would ease A&E with people who don't really need to be going there."
  • Carl Hamilton said: "100% I need to be able to access services outside the Monday to Friday thing. My job means I can't ever access these services. I also agree that doctors need life outside work. But give workers a chance. Maybe some doctors could do split shifts or weekends instead of their normal office hours. Other service industries work like this these days. Have to be honest, think a lot of services are geared to the unemployed."
  • Bethan Ridgway said: "Yes, GPs should be available later and early. We also need the GP out of hours to return as helpful as 111 is, you’re waiting 45 minutes just for them to take you’re name and details."
  • Anne Tunney said: Definitely, at present it is disgraceful that you can't get to see your doctor. The only person who you can get a return phone call back is normally the practice nurse. I remember when I was younger my mother would take me to see the doctor, either in the evening or sometimes on a Saturday morning if need be. You just sat and waited until you were called."

There was also a call for more face to face contact with their GPs:

  • Marian Parry said: "It's time GPs in surgeries went back to seeing patients face to face regularly & run clinics to suit patients less people would bother A&E if they could see their GP promptly."
  • Louise Jones said: "Yes appointments should be made available face to face not bloody phone calls how can they say what’s wrong if they can’t see you."
  • Sallie Pettigrew said: "It would help if they offered appointments now, still only phone call appointments at our doctors or a nurse practitioner, disgusting!"
  • Ann Barham said: "I'd be happy with any appointment not seen a doctor for two years now still phone appointment."

While others said things were better elsewhere:

  • Carmen Kemperman said: "In Hartlepool where I lived a few years ago, doctors were open on a Saturday morning for workers and there was a drop in centre for non-life threatening things where you could be seen within the hour, unlike here."

What do you think?

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