Thursday, November 24, 2005

Travel Vaccination Advice

Having just received prescriptions for Louise and my vaccinations we are left in a ridiculous state of affairs caused by Baillieston Health Centre (MacGlone Practice). When Louise and I first obtained forms for holiday vaccinations we were presented with phone numbers for MASTA which suggested we contacted them to find out what injections we need. After paying up a couple of pound to get a (quite useful) health brief, I found out that in fact we didn't need to do that anyway. I handed the forms in on Monday 14th November expecting a reasonable turnaround. I asked to book appointments but was denied, with the explanation "We'll see if you need a prescription first", they asked me to contact them again the following Tuesday - whilst slightly surprised at the long delay I duly acknowledged and called back when asked.

On Tuesday 22nd I called the practice to be told THEY HADN'T EVEN LOOKED AT MY FORM YET and was told to phone back the next day. Wednesday 23rd I called and was informed I had two prescriptions to pick up and I could book an appointment with the nurse for myself in the morning, but Louise couldn't get an appointment which suited her. Their practice nurse is taking in patients from THE OTHER PRACTICE because their nurse is off sick. Result: MacGlone patients lose out.

To put salt in the wounds the receptionist I spoke to said that Louise may be able to get the injections at a MASTA clinic and copied down the numbers for me (on the prescription slip). I then went around and paid for the prescriptions and called the MASTA clinic - they explained to me that they are a private clinic and due to insurance reasons they cannot take in prescriptions. I can see MASTAs point here and the lady I spoke to was in the Glasgow Clinic and was extremely helpful. When I called the Baillieston practice back - they backtracked and said it was a miscommunication and that they knew that all along. THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN A LOT CLEARER AND NOT PLACE THE PHONE NUMBER ON THE PRESCRIPTION.

The only appointments they can offer Louise is within a week of us leaving and another which Louise cannot make. When asked if a Doctor could administer the injection, I was told, only the nurse can do that, because the Doctor's haven't been on the correct training course. The practice explained to me that I should have handed the forms in 6 to 7 weeks beforehand - which I did! But, as far as the practice is concerned "We've offered two appointments, so we've done our part - it isn't entirely our fault". Ah, so it's mine then...

The Nurse telephoned me later and explained what happened - the MacGlone practice nurse was on holiday all last week, the other Nurse went sick from Wednesday so my forms weren't processed until this Tuesday. Clearly my life is put on hold whilst someone is on holiday! I was spoken to like I was stupid by the nurse and I felt quite aggravated that a professional should speak to me in a condescending manner to another adult. When asked if I could get an appointment when the other nurse is well again I was informed that there are no appointments available. I presumed that when the other nurse comes back, the MacGlone practice nurse would have a more relaxed workload and be able to squeeze in additional patients - clearly untrue.

All I can hope is that somebody reads this and changes their mind about visiting their GP for a vaccination. Do yourselves a favour and go to a MASTA clinic. I didn't ask what the prices were - but they were a damn site more helpful than the NHS.

1 comment:

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