Name supplied but withheld:

I know I am not alone in finding the system for getting a doctor’s appointment extraordinarily frustrating.

I am retired, so I have time to sit on the phone for 40 minutes, if necessary, waiting for a receptionist to answer my call.

How do working people manage: teachers, nurses, bus drivers?

There must be many others who simply cannot call a medical centre at 8am.

Once through, you have to explain your symptoms. Supposing you don’t wish to discuss your embarrassing issue within earshot of a partner/sibling/parent/child/work colleague? I pity the receptionists. They must get a huge amount of abuse.

On June 5, I called in to my medical centre to ask for an appointment.

I was told there were no more appointments for June, and the July appointments ‘had not come out yet’. How can this be right?

I asked the receptionist for the email address of the practice manager and sent an email.

Amazingly, I had a phone call the following day and was offered an appointment for the day after that – because I had made a fuss. Is that what we all must do now?

My partner’s prescription was not sent to the chemist on time, despite it being ordered well in advance.

He went into the practice, but there was nothing the receptionists could do, apparently.

In the ‘olden days’, we saw a doctor, they gave us a prescription and we went to the chemist and it was dispensed. Why can’t that happen anymore?

When I called in to the medical centre on June 5, the waiting room was empty.

When I went for my appointment, there was one person in the waiting room.

When my partner called in to ask about his prescription, again the waiting room had just one person in there.

Doctors' waiting rooms used to be full of people. Why is this no longer the case?

I presume doctors are busy making telephone diagnoses. I agree there is a place for these, but the outcomes are not always satisfactory for the patient. I have definitely experienced the feeling of being ‘fobbed off’.

A friend was unfortunately taken by ambulance to A&E recently. It was not late at night, neither was it a weekend. However, the emergency centre was overrun.

I was told there were people on mattresses on the floor. I wonder how many of these emergency patients were those who had tried in vain to get an appointment with their GP?

Maybe they had given up in despair and their condition had just become worse and worse.

GPs are the first port of call. Often this is the only visit necessary.

Alternatively, a GP can put into practice procedures or medication that prevent conditions worsening. If we cannot visit, how can potentially serious conditions be properly recognised and/or treated?

I am aware there is a huge shortage of doctors. However, the GPs that are currently practicing appear mainly to only be working part-time and not at night or weekends (unlike their hospital counterparts). Why is this so? 

I wish there was a campaingn to reconsider how patients could access an appointment with their GP.