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Patient complains to MP about level of service at Forres Health and Care Centre

By Garry McCartney

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Access to the building is restricted to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Access to the building is restricted to limit the spread of Covid-19.

A LOCAL NHS patient is calling for a return to pre-Covid levels of medical service.

The Forres Health and Care Centre user – who wishes to remain anonymous – claims the current procedure of initial medical questioning from a receptionist to route patients is unnecessary, and he believes appointments are too hard to book as a result.

The pensioner, who has complained to Douglas Ross MP, said: “Forres Health Centre’s staff are not doing anything for my blood pressure. They seem to have taken a strong party line as to what conditions warrant a phone call from a doctor, let alone a face-to-face appointment. They consider patients wishing to discuss ongoing problems with the doctor as routine. It seems their rationale on what is routine and what is not, is arbitrary. To be offered an appointment just to speak on the phone in three weeks time is not caring practice.”

The patient claimed the health centre is being run to suit staff, not patients.

He said: “After paying national insurance all my working life, I deserve better than to be fobbed off by some receptionist operating to a signpost whose contents are not government policy.

“It’s a disgraceful way to treat people.”

Practice manager Fiona Harris confirmed she is aware of the complaint but for reasons of confidentiality cannot respond publicly to his specific comments.

She said: “We will respond fully to the patient. The pandemic remains a very real concern. In line with current guidance, patients who require GP advice receive a telephone consultation in the first instance, or can book a video consultation or complete an eConsult online consultation so that we can maintain physical distancing in our building and manage patient flow to keep vulnerable patients and staff safe.

“Should GPs decide that a face-to-face appointment is required, they will give patients an appropriate time to come in and be seen.

“Urgent medical matters receive a call back on the day, and will be brought in for face-to-face assessment if this is indicated.”

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