Ann Allan: NHS Lack of Communication?

Sunday saw me sitting in our local out of hours department. I had been in agony all weekend with a strained shoulder blade. My blood pressure was also extremely high and I thought it prudent to seek medical advice. An appointment was made for 2pm by a doctor who had phoned me to find out what was wrong.
After waiting about a half an hour I was seen by a different doctor. I explained my symptoms once again and was examined. My BP was still ridiculously high and the Doctor requested permission to access my medical records. I agreed.  She was efficient, thorough and caring despite having a large number of patients waiting. After being prescribed a short course of medication I was advised to see my own doctor the next day in order to have a long term prescription filled out. Imagine my surprise when I attended my own doctors surgery on Monday only to find that the computer system only works one way. The out of hours doctors could assess my information but my own doctors couldn’t assess what the out of hours doctors had added to my notes. They had to wait for a written report. What sort of a system is this and how much of the out of hours doctor’s time is involved in writing out reports? Does it leave room for errors and a delay in following up patients who have presented to the out of hours doctors?

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