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GP Surgery Reasonable Adjustments

Caval1er
Caval1er Community member Posts: 40 Connected
The mental health team have requested the gp surgery to make the following reasonable adjustment, ' provide a 2 hour slot for a telephone appointment rather than the usual sometime today between 9 and 5' they requested the adjustment because it causes me a lot of anxiety waiting for the call, to the point that I feel unable to even go the loo in case I miss the call.  The doctos surgery have said they can't make this adjustment. I don't accept this because if I had a face to face appointment they would provide a time. It appears to me from Internet searches that they SHOULD make this reasonable adjustment. I would like to complain but before I do I really want to be confident that they do need to do this. Can you possibly advise if by law they should make the adjustment? Thank you!
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Comments

  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 2,883 Scope online community team
    Hi @Caval1er, sorry to hear you've been struggling with the usual "between 9-5" calls, I can totally empathise.  I feel I cant do anything that day, just incase they try and call. 

    The GPs surgery should always accommodate reasonable adjustments if possible, but sometimes they're unable to for various reasons.  I notice they said they cant make the adjustments, not that they just wont.  It would be worth speaking to the surgery for further clarification before looking into a complaint. 
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Caval1er
    Caval1er Community member Posts: 40 Connected
    Hi @Caval1er, sorry to hear you've been struggling with the usual "between 9-5" calls, I can totally empathise.  I feel I cant do anything that day, just incase they try and call. 

    The GPs surgery should always accommodate reasonable adjustments if possible, but sometimes they're unable to for various reasons.  I notice they said they cant make the adjustments, not that they just wont.  It would be worth speaking to the surgery for further clarification before looking into a complaint. 
    Thanks for your reply. It's awful isn't it. I literally feel same, can't go out, have shower, make other calls etc. I have in past resorted to making face to face appointment and then calling 10 mins before to say I can't come in can they call me instead, makes it harder for them to say they cant give me time as my slot is already booked.... 
    I will try speaking to them as you suggest but it's really difficult because they are just rude and talk over me...
    I thought the whole point of the disability discrimination law was to prevent companies from discriminating against disabled people, but maybe it's like everything else, just not fit for purpose...
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,180 Disability Gamechanger
    There’s no law that says reasonable adjustments have to made to allow them to give a shorter timeframe. 

    My GP surgery is the same and they will only tell you between the same hours as yours. 

    It’s the same really when waiting for a delivery, sometimes the timeframe will be something like 8-12 or 12-5 and it’s very annoying waiting around for something. Unfortunately, it’s part of life and I don’t think it’s discrimination or anything. I’m sure some non disabled people also feel annoyed at waiting for something. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Community member Posts: 2,555 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 3
    I have the same problem with reasonable adjustments.

    None of the adjustments I need are considered 'reasonable'.

    So I just end up losing all access to services that are meant to help people.
  • Caval1er
    Caval1er Community member Posts: 40 Connected
    There’s no law that says reasonable adjustments have to made to allow them to give a shorter timeframe. 

    My GP surgery is the same and they will only tell you between the same hours as yours. 

    It’s the same really when waiting for a delivery, sometimes the timeframe will be something like 8-12 or 12-5 and it’s very annoying waiting around for something. Unfortunately, it’s part of life and I don’t think it’s discrimination or anything. I’m sure some non disabled people also feel annoyed at waiting for something. 
    OK thanks! I have obviously misunderstood how the law works as I won't actually make anymore gp appointments no matter whether I need to or not and I thought the fact that it affects me so badly was a reason to offer an adjustment. I even read the following on the nhs website which says they should make adjustments in other ways so thougjt it would probably apply to phone calls:

  • Caval1er
    Caval1er Community member Posts: 40 Connected
    I have the same problem with reasonable adjustments.

    None of the adjustments I need are considered 'reasonable'.

    So I just end up losing all access to services that are meant to help people.
    I'm sorry to hear that! It doesn't make sense does it and it's not fair. 
  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 884 Pioneering

    Hi, I would try asking for a morning or afternoon slot rather than a two-hour slot as that would be a (more) reasonable request to make and is more likely to be met. 

    Your surgery may simply be short-staffed and doesn't want to over commit. GP's are expected to see every patient booked in plus fit in home visits and emergencies within surgery hours.

    What's most important is that you feel supported and confident when you have that telephone consultation. I would hold off making a complaint and work with them if possible. Reception staff can't make those decisions but if that's the practice manager's attitude, I would change my surgery.


  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 2,883 Scope online community team
    I have to respectfully disagree with Poppy here.

    Taken from the NHS website;

    "The NHS has to make it as easy for disabled people to use health services as it is for people who are not disabled. This is called making reasonable adjustments.

    These could be things like:

    • making sure there is wheelchair access in hospitals
    • providing easy read appointment letters
    • giving someone a priority appointment if they find it difficult waiting in their GP surgery or hospital
    • longer appointments if someone needs more time with a doctor or nurse to make sure they understand the information they are given.
    Reasonable adjustments are a legal requirement to make sure health services are accessible to all disabled people."


    I'd say your issues could (only could) fall under the 3rd example there, especially if the request was made by the mental health team regarding your disability.  

    But again, if they're unable to honor your request, that's not something you can really argue with, but you could discuss other avenues for support. There's a big difference between them not wanting to and them being unable to do this for you. And the term is reasonable adjustments, emphasis on the reasonable bit. ;)

    Just take your time, explain your issues with anxiety at the start of the conversation and hopefully they can help. 
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
    Opinions expressed are solely my own.
    Neurodivergent.
  • Caval1er
    Caval1er Community member Posts: 40 Connected
    WhatThe said:

    Hi, I would try asking for a morning or afternoon slot rather than a two-hour slot as that would be a (more) reasonable request to make and is more likely to be met. 

    Your surgery may simply be short-staffed and doesn't want to over commit. GP's are expected to see every patient booked in plus fit in home visits and emergencies within surgery hours.

    What's most important is that you feel supported and confident when you have that telephone consultation. I would hold off making a complaint and work with them if possible. Reception staff can't make those decisions but if that's the practice manager's attitude, I would change my surgery.


    Thanks for your advice. I have already looked into changing surgery, unfortunately there is only one other I am eligible to register with and I've been advised by social prescriber from a surgery who i can't register with that the other surgery is even worse. I've tried registering with a decent surgery as out of area registration but they won't accept me.  They are in no way supportive and every interaction I have had with them has led to them making mistakes, ie prescribing medication without important instructions on when to stop. Referrals sent with factually incorrect info  ie. Patient has intentionally lost one stone in three weeks, when I have unintentionally lost weight and am worried. I have blood results saying stage 2 kidney disease refer they refuse to refer me and abnormal liver results saying refer indicates chronic liver disease and they have refused to refer me. It has all been discussed informally but with no action taken. They did promise with regards my liver they would refer me. I waited a month chased again as not seen referral and then an entry was made to ask heptology what to do. They retested the wrong bloods and I had to request the right bloods. I am not the problem here, the surgery have appalling reviews and a don't care attitude 
  • Caval1er
    Caval1er Community member Posts: 40 Connected
    I have to respectfully disagree with Poppy here.

    Taken from the NHS website;

    "The NHS has to make it as easy for disabled people to use health services as it is for people who are not disabled. This is called making reasonable adjustments.

    These could be things like:

    • making sure there is wheelchair access in hospitals
    • providing easy read appointment letters
    • giving someone a priority appointment if they find it difficult waiting in their GP surgery or hospital
    • longer appointments if someone needs more time with a doctor or nurse to make sure they understand the information they are given.
    Reasonable adjustments are a legal requirement to make sure health services are accessible to all disabled people."


    I'd say your issues could (only could) fall under the 3rd example there, especially if the request was made by the mental health team regarding your disability.  

    But again, if they're unable to honor your request, that's not something you can really argue with, but you could discuss other avenues for support. There's a big difference between them not wanting to and them being unable to do this for you. And the term is reasonable adjustments, emphasis on the reasonable bit. ;)

    Just take your time, explain your issues with anxiety at the start of the conversation and hopefully they can help. 
    Yes I agree, I have also found the info you have quoted on the nhs website. It would not have been quite so bad if they had tried to find an alternative solution but they do not care and have just said no
  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 2,883 Scope online community team
    I wouldn't say they don't care.  GP surgeries are under so much pressure right now and often the poor receptionists are the ones that bare the full brunt of peoples frustrations and are often rushed off their feet. Just be extra nice to them, cooperate and hopefully you can come to an agreement.  

    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
    Opinions expressed are solely my own.
    Neurodivergent.
  • Caval1er
    Caval1er Community member Posts: 40 Connected
    I wouldn't say they don't care.  GP surgeries are under so much pressure right now and often the poor receptionists are the ones that bare the full brunt of peoples frustrations and are often rushed off their feet. Just be extra nice to them, cooperate and hopefully you can come to an agreement.  

    With all due respect I have to disagree, I am very aware of how to behave to try and get the help I need and am extra nice to them. Unfortunately they are so stressed out they are the ones who are abusive without reason.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 11,286 Disability Gamechanger
    GP's will fit telephone consultations in between seeing patients face to face, there are many things in life we have to wait for and can't be covered by adjustments reasonable or not.
    2024 The year of the general election...the time for change is coming 💡

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,180 Disability Gamechanger
    woodbine said:
    GP's will fit telephone consultations in between seeing patients face to face, there are many things in life we have to wait for and can't be covered by adjustments reasonable or not.
    That’s exactly my thoughts too and I’m not convinced that a telephone appointment would come under having difficulty waiting at a GP surgery as pointed out by Albus. 

    A receptionist can only pass on information to a GP and add the appointment to the list for that day. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 884 Pioneering
    edited January 3

    I have in past resorted to making face to face appointment and then calling 10 mins before to say I can't come in can they call me instead, makes it harder for them to say they cant give me time as my slot is already booked.... 

    Certainly if the GP is running late then that wouldn't be possible - a missed appointment would become time saved for the next patient. They need to see everyone in the waiting room and file a report of the missed appointment. 

    I've had my moments too. It says on my records that reception staff felt intimidated by me and I do understand why. I wasn't calm or patient and not always coherent because I was usually upset. I cancelled a lot of appointments out of panic, distress, pain, all sorts of reasons because I was ill! 

    But I'm still with them and things are much better now. I hope you can work through this especially if you need medical advice or intervention because that's what your GP is there for. 


  • Caval1er
    Caval1er Community member Posts: 40 Connected
    woodbine said:
    GP's will fit telephone consultations in between seeing patients face to face, there are many things in life we have to wait for and can't be covered by adjustments reasonable or not.
    That’s exactly my thoughts too and I’m not convinced that a telephone appointment would come under having difficulty waiting at a GP surgery as pointed out by Albus. 

    A receptionist can only pass on information to a GP and add the appointment to the list for that day. 

    That list is not supposed to be a definitive list of reasonst, it's just possible examples. If a disabled person is put at a disadvantage then there is reason to request and expect if possible that a  reasonable adjustment is madepoppy123456 said:
    woodbine said:
    GP's will fit telephone consultations in between seeing patients face to face, there are many things in life we have to wait for and can't be covered by adjustments reasonable or not.
    That’s exactly my thoughts too and I’m not convinced that a telephone appointment would come under having difficulty waiting at a GP surgery as pointed out by Albus. 

    A receptionist can only pass on information to a GP and add the appointment to the list for that day. 

    woodbine said:
    GP's will fit telephone consultations in between seeing patients face to face, there are many things in life we have to wait for and can't be covered by adjustments reasonable or 
  • Caval1er
    Caval1er Community member Posts: 40 Connected
    That’s exactly my thoughts too and I’m not convinced that a telephone appointment would come under having difficulty waiting at a GP surgery as pointed out by Albus. 

    The list is not supposed to be a definitive list of reasons it's just a list of possible reasons that a reasonable adjustment could be made. If a disabled person is out at a disadvantage then they have a duty to make a reasonable adjustment if possible.
  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,180 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 3
     I’m sure some non disabled people also feel annoyed at waiting for something. 
    woodbine said:
    GP's will fit telephone consultations in between seeing patients face to face, there are many things in life we have to wait for and can't be covered by adjustments reasonable or not.

    Feel a bit sad reading this thread, like Caval1er's actual mental health team recommended it, so it isn't a case of the usual "ugh I feel annoyed I have to wait in all day for a delivery", it's clearly having a significant detrimental impact on them. Try getting a mental health team to recommend anything concrete is next to impossible so this must be something they took quite seriously. 
    Theme parks and other recreational things make the reasonable adjustment that people that struggle to queue don't have to wait - and not just for physical impairments. Why should an essential service not be able to do the same?? Especially at recommendation of someone's mental health team!!
    There’s no law that says reasonable adjustments have to made to allow them to give a shorter timeframe. 
    Of course there's no specific law stating this, or any specific reasonable adjustment but the equality act does make it a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments where possible.

    @Caval1er, sorry if I've missed this in your post but did the doctor's surgery put this in writing to you? Was it the practive manager that made the decision? And was your original request in writing?

    I've struggled for a long long long time with inaccessibility of GP surgerys but finally made some headway. I get sent a 'morning' or 'afternoon' appointment (much better window than ALL DAY) and it's done by text message, they send me a message with a link to which I can reply with details or photos and they reply back. Obviously they can't do everything this way but it's helped me already get treatment for some things I otherwise couldn't!!!

    Back when I used to have home visits for my appointments (going back years lol) they always saw me first (and on the rare occasion they couldn't they let me know and gave me an ETA. Because they knew the waiting would ultimately end in me just not responding or allowing them in because I'd get in such a bad state. 
    They have a duty of care and if they can't accomodate your full request they should explain the reasons why AND lok at alternatives they can offer you.

    Good luck and know you're not alone <3<3<3
  • Caval1er
    Caval1er Community member Posts: 40 Connected
     I’m sure some non disabled people also feel annoyed at waiting for something. 
    woodbine said:
    GP's will fit telephone consultations in between seeing patients face to face, there are many things in life we have to wait for and can't be covered by adjustments reasonable or not.

    Feel a bit sad reading this thread, like Caval1er's actual mental health team recommended it, so it isn't a case of the usual "ugh I feel annoyed I have to wait in all day for a delivery", it's clearly having a significant detrimental impact on them. Try getting a mental health team to recommend anything concrete is next to impossible so this must be something they took quite seriously. 
    Theme parks and other recreational things make the reasonable adjustment that people that struggle to queue don't have to wait - and not just for physical impairments. Why should an essential service not be able to do the same?? Especially at recommendation of someone's mental health team!!
    There’s no law that says reasonable adjustments have to made to allow them to give a shorter timeframe. 
    Of course there's no specific law stating this, or any specific reasonable adjustment but the equality act does make it a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments where possible.

    @Caval1er, sorry if I've missed this in your post but did the doctor's surgery put this in writing to you? Was it the practive manager that made the decision? And was your original request in writing?

    I've struggled for a long long long time with inaccessibility of GP surgerys but finally made some headway. I get sent a 'morning' or 'afternoon' appointment (much better window than ALL DAY) and it's done by text message, they send me a message with a link to which I can reply with details or photos and they reply back. Obviously they can't do everything this way but it's helped me already get treatment for some things I otherwise couldn't!!!

    Back when I used to have home visits for my appointments (going back years lol) they always saw me first (and on the rare occasion they couldn't they let me know and gave me an ETA. Because they knew the waiting would ultimately end in me just not responding or allowing them in because I'd get in such a bad state. 
    They have a duty of care and if they can't accomodate your full request they should explain the reasons why AND lok at alternatives they can offer you.

    Good luck and know you're not alone <3<3<3
    Thank you so so much. Reference some of the replies you quoted, I've really felt like I would just leave the forum, as I thought it was supposed to be supportive, not attacking and blaming. I've actually just been admitted to hospital after overdose all down to the attitude of the gp surgery. The mental health team requested it and my psychologist also wrote a letter explaining my needs. It was one of the gp directors that refused it and didn't even offer and alternative. The mental health team also requested a named doctor as I'm waiting on two lots of surgery for different physical issues and will be having a heart valve replacement sometime in the future, the gp answered no to everything and referred to me as SHE all the way through her reply. No cannot accommodate named gp, suggest she asks for who she wants to speak to if she needs appointment but can't promise she will get that person. We can try to make sure she is copied on letters, can you confirm this is what SHE wants (they had that was there request). No we cannot accommodate a 2 hour slot for a telephone appointment. I'm really ill currently, both physically and mentally but I can't get any help. They've received a safeguarding report from the ambulance team, states for action, not heard from gp. I am very sorry you have had to suffer the same too. I really am glad to hear though that things are at least slight better for you. My old gp was great, but they don't take out of area patients and I've moved.
  • Caval1er
    Caval1er Community member Posts: 40 Connected
     I’m sure some non disabled people also feel annoyed at waiting for something. 
    woodbine said:
    GP's will fit telephone consultations in between seeing patients face to face, there are many things in life we have to wait for and can't be covered by adjustments reasonable or not.

    Feel a bit sad reading this thread, like Caval1er's actual mental health team recommended it, so it isn't a case of the usual "ugh I feel annoyed I have to wait in all day for a delivery", it's clearly having a significant detrimental impact on them. Try getting a mental health team to recommend anything concrete is next to impossible so this must be something they took quite seriously. 
    Theme parks and other recreational things make the reasonable adjustment that people that struggle to queue don't have to wait - and not just for physical impairments. Why should an essential service not be able to do the same?? Especially at recommendation of someone's mental health team!!
    There’s no law that says reasonable adjustments have to made to allow them to give a shorter timeframe. 
    Of course there's no specific law stating this, or any specific reasonable adjustment but the equality act does make it a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments where possible.

    @Caval1er, sorry if I've missed this in your post but did the doctor's surgery put this in writing to you? Was it the practive manager that made the decision? And was your original request in writing?

    I've struggled for a long long long time with inaccessibility of GP surgerys but finally made some headway. I get sent a 'morning' or 'afternoon' appointment (much better window than ALL DAY) and it's done by text message, they send me a message with a link to which I can reply with details or photos and they reply back. Obviously they can't do everything this way but it's helped me already get treatment for some things I otherwise couldn't!!!

    Back when I used to have home visits for my appointments (going back years lol) they always saw me first (and on the rare occasion they couldn't they let me know and gave me an ETA. Because they knew the waiting would ultimately end in me just not responding or allowing them in because I'd get in such a bad state. 
    They have a duty of care and if they can't accomodate your full request they should explain the reasons why AND lok at alternatives they can offer you.

    Good luck and know you're not alone <3<3<3
    Keep missing things - no didn't look at alternatives or explain anything wording was " unfortunately the way our clinics work we would not be able to provide a two hour window".

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