I don’t like my doctor, what can I do?

Having a doctor that you don't like or simply have a personality clash with can feel like a complete and utter nightmare at times. If you don't like your doctor chances are you're not going to feel listened to, you wont feel very confident in approaching your doctor with problems affecting you. Advice For All take a look at what you can do if you don't see eye to eye with your doctor.

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I am unhappy with my doctor

I really don’t like my doctor, help!

So you’ve registered with a new G.P. and/or you’re just plain getting fed up with the G.P. you currently have. Not all patients and doctors hit it off right away and having a doctor that you don’t feel comfortable with really isn’t good for you as a patient.

You should feel confident, comfortable and relaxed talking to your doctor about issues affecting you. If there’s a clash of personality or other issues standing in the way of you having a working relationship with your doctor then several problems may arise.

The good news is if you don’t see eye to eye with your doctor, you’re by no means stuck with them and there are things you can do and steps you can take to get a new doctor.

Can I change my local GP?

Yes, you’re free to change your GP at any time. The best thing is, you don’t even have to give a valid reason why you wish to change your local GP. You don’t even have to register at a new surgery, if you’re more than happy with the doctors surgery that you’re at but just have issues with your particular doctor that you see, you can request to see another doctor with no questions asked.

If reception staff do ask you to give a reason simply inform them that you’d rather no discuss this and kindly request that they simply carry out your request. Should they refuse for any reason or insist that you give a reason, ask for a complaints or feedback form or ask to speak to the practice manager in private.

If you have issues with the practice you’re registered with, you can register at any other local GP surgery in your area with no questions asked. Most GP surgeries will ask for valid ID, proof of address and some surgeries may even request that you take an application form home and bring it back with the requested ID in order to register at the surgery.

Once you have completed all the necessary steps, you’ll be free to register for an appointment at your new surgery with your new doctor!

I want a second opinion from a doctor, what can I do?

If for any reason you’re not happy or satisfied with the advice, treatment of the diagnosis that your doctor has given you, you can ask for a second opinion from another doctor or consultant.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

No one has a legal entitlement to a second opinion, your doctor, consultant or surgery can refuse. HOWEVER this is normally bad practice and you can complain and it’s advisable to register at another surgery if you are refused a second opinion.

When getting a second opinion you will be referred to another doctor, you can’t normally request to see a specifical doctor or consultant, however, you should never be referred to someone that you feel uncomfortable or unhappy with.

It’s important to remember that most doctors simply want to help you, while you may not agree with them they are in the business to help people and most GP’s have years of experience, so while you may not understand their decisions they’ve normally made them through years of experience and in your best interest.

Before requesting a second opinion, it’s important that you ask your doctor to go through anything that you don’t understand or are confused with. Ask your doctor any questions that you may have on your mind.

When referred for a second opinion it’s important to note that you will have to go back into the waiting que. The doctor you are referred to will be able to see your past medical notes and in the majority of cases it’s not unusual to see the same conclusion is come to by the doctor you have been referred to.

I’m really not happy with my doctor, can I complain?

If you’re really unhappy with the advice, treatment and/or the diagnosis you’ve been given and you have tried all the steps above and more then you are more than entitled to make a complaint. If you’re a carer or guardian for someone it’s also possible for you to complain on the person you care for’s behalf.

All doctors surgeries, hospitals or clinics normally have a set-out complaints procedure. Most, normally request that you put your complaint in writing, details of the complaints procedures and the relevant people/departments to write to can normally be found on their website or can be requested at reception or over the phone.

It’s important that you first try and resolve your complaint in house. To get the speediest resolution to your complaint it’s advisable that you try and resolve your complaint either face to face with your doctor or if you really feel this isn’t an option request to speak to the practice manager in private or over the phone. If this doesn’t work and your complaint isn’t resolved it’s advisable to move on to the written complaints procedure above.

Most cases will be resolved via the written complaints process, however, if you’re still unhappy and not satisfied with the decision and outcome of your case you are more than welcome to self-refer your case to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsmen who is independent of the government and NHS.

Taking your complaint to this level can be daunting, but help is available from your local Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), who offer confidential advice and support. You can also get confidential advice from Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

Make your complaint as soon as possible!

All complaints should be made as soon as possible. You normally have 12 months from when the incident occurred to make a formal complaint, however, it may be possible to complain out of this time frame if your particular case is exceptional or has made it difficult for you to complain within this time frame.

Overall it’s advisable that you make a complaint as soon as possible after the incident occurs as this will ensure your complaint can be dealt with as quickly as possible with fewer complications.

What to do now:

* You can chat about this issue on our Mental Health & Wellbeing Forums
* You can contact your local (PALS) office for free independent and confidential advice.
* For free legal help and advice or to discuss you rights you may wish to contact your local   Citizens Advice Bureau

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