Herefordshire doctors have asked for understanding after complaints from patients struggling to get appointments.

Last week Dr Mike Hearne, managing director of Taurus Healthcare, which runs Herefordshire General Practice, said GPs were under great pressure.

As well as delivering day-to-day patient care, the practice is at the forefront of the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

But now we want to hear from YOU.

Have you struggled to even get someone to speak to you on the phone?

If you did get an appointment were you satisfied that you were seen in reasonable time?

Were you satisfied with the guidance/treatment you were given?

Help us highlight the issues so we can lend our weight to calls for any support needed for our medical services.

Just use the blue button below to upload brief details of your experience in trying to get an appointment with your family doctor.

Your contribution will appear online and may be used in print. It won't appear on the website immediately, but we will upload it as soon as we can.

Doctor's appointments in Herefordshire: Tell us your story

"Have you struggled to get to see your GP? Tell us about your experience here."

We asked for your responses - this is what you sent.

Community contributor

My experience of trying to get an appointment
I called the doctor because I could not hear through one ear. I was told the nearest appointment was in three months and told to go to the pharmacy. My mother has a skin problem and we had to send a photo so the doctor can discuss it over the phone.

Community contributor

My experience of trying to get an appointment
For at least the last two years the appointment line either has a full queue so you have to re-dial later or there are 25-plus others in the queue ahead of you. Then if you are very lucky you may get a phone appointment with a GP, usually only offered a practice nurse though. You can never see the doctor of your choice. So continuity of care is impossible. You have to start all over again on each attempt. It is stated categorically by the receptionist that face-to-face appointments are not being carried out. Good luck getting a prostate check over the phone.

Community contributor

My experience of trying to get an appointment
Getting a telephone appointment has not been an issue, but after being diagnosed over the phone with suspected angina in November I have not seen anyone in person to talk things through. I was just handed meds and referred to the cardiac unit at Hereford hospital, so any knowledge I have about the disease I’ve learnt from the internet, and the only person I’ve spoken to is a cardiac nurse so she could take down my details. Nobody has followed up to see how I am or if the meds are working. I ended up in A&E three days after diagnosis and I’m sure it was more anxiety about the diagnosis than a heart issue as the tests I had were all ok and I’ve not had a problem since. My biggest complaint is I can’t speak to a doctor of my choosing and have spoken to a different one each time, which doesn’t give me confidence, especially when some of them have not been so good and some seem to know very little about my condition and meds. The local pharmacist has been more help! If I am willing to wait a few days so I can speak to a doctor of my choosing then why can’t I? It saves me having to repeat myself and I know they know what’s been going on with me. I assume if I was to request a female doctor I’d get one, so why not a particular doctor?

Stephen Altham

My experience of trying to get an appointment
I tried to get an appointment with Hereford Medical Group for my recently widowed elderly disabled mother. After waiting about 20 minutes for them to answer the phone I was confronted by an officious receptionist who refused the appointment and advised a doctor would ring her next week to decide if a doctor's appointment was required. This was after the NHS directive on face-to-face meetings was issued. This type of problem has been going on with HMG for nearly two years now and presents an impossible barrier for our elderly. Absolute disgrace.

Andy Fox

My experience of trying to get an appointment
Absolutely disgraceful. To get through is bad enough. Then the person answering decides if you warrant seeing someone. You are made to feel a time waster when asking for results. Took me a year to be referred to hospital. When I got to see a GP about a skin problem was fobbed off with being eczema. Couldn't talk about another problem in same appt. NHS open for business? Really?

Community contributor

My experience of trying to get an appointment
There are so many undiagnosed conditions, all because you can not get to see a doctor. You can see a vet, optician, consultant, any member of staff in A&E, but you STILL can’t see a doctor. Why? They are happy to give out any amount of prescriptions or referrals just as long as they don’t have to see you themselves. This is people’s health that is at risk. The surgeries need to open their doors again and see patients the same as everyone else is doing.

Vivien Davies

My experience of trying to get an appointment
Have tried to get appointment for mum to see a doctor. It ended up as a telephone appointment, unfortunately. What worries me is the receptionist decide how urgent it is or not. They are not doctors . I am particularly worried for elderly people who are on their own having to deal with trying to get appointments. It is not easy at all. When you are feeling ill or worried the last thing you want is to have to push to try and actually see a doctor. Not the nurse or paramedic a fully trained GP. The whole thing is very worrying, people just don’t feel they are being looked after. Just being fobbed off.

Community contributor

My experience of trying to get an appointment
I can never be referred to clinics I need to be seen at. I need my toe nails cutting, but podiatry won't come to me. I also need to go to a lymphadema clinic. It's disgusting. The NHS is for everyone. It's time now for doctors to get back to face-to-face appointments.

Simon Allin

My experience of trying to get an appointment
My mum was unwell - swollen feet and legs. Antibiotics prescribed. Following 2 weeks of phone consultations where her condition deteriorated to being bewildered and not recognising people or places and her feet and legs still being swollen I asked for a face to face. Was offered one a week later (3 weeks altogether). My mum passed away at Hereford hospital the following day - 7 days before her appointment

Gregory Fowler

My experience of trying to get an appointment
I have a significant cancer history and a referal from a consultant at Hereford hospital to a specialist genetic unit in Birmingham to review. They asked for a blood simple that my GP practice declined to provide as it was considered a private requirement and they did not have the capacity. Astonished at a total disinterest in why the blood test was needed from a supervisor at the telephone call centre. Had to wait for 39 prior calls and over half an hour hour to get that response!

Community contributor

My experience of trying to get an appointment
Farcical ,or it would be if it were funny. If you can get past the officious busybodies screening their precious GP, it can take weeks, yes, weeks to actually see one (if you fight). I have a significant issue with a controlled pain relief drug (waiting two years for surgery). Spoke to 'receptionist' on 4th May; earliest phone consultation OR face to face is on 25th May. Impressive... not!

Community contributor

My experience of trying to get an appointment
Getting through on the phones is one thing, then when you do no appointments available for a week. After minor surgery at hospital no dressings were provided other than one I left with and used ones I had at home which aren’t correct and has now led to a severe infection. I have now have to have dressing changed daily and wound cleaned and specially dressed but couldn’t get an appointment through GP. Went to minor injuries who weren’t happy to see me there as service GP surgery should offer. Again using minor injuries for next three days as GP have no appointments. GP surgery also advised no appointments available next week either. Let’s hope minor injuries can sort me.

Community contributor

My experience of trying to get an appointment
Honestly, trying to get appointments is a joke in Hereford. I have always having issues and trying to get appointments, but the only way is having to call early and basically fight for an off-chance of getting booked in. I don’t understand why you can’t book in advance or get more doctors but, yes, something needs doing.

Community contributor

My experience of trying to get an appointment
Can't get to see a doctor. It is ridiculous. Nurses on the frontline, GPs hiding behind their phones.