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Original feedback for

Wood Street Health Centre/Waltham Forest Community and Family Health Services

Extremely difficult to get a GP appointment

You have to call at 0800 to get an on the day appointment to see a doctor. It is a lottery as to whether you get an appointment , because if you are fortunate enough to get in the queue of people waiting to get through on the phone, often by the time the receptionist picks up your call, all the appointments are gone. For example, today, I started calling at 0800, and finally got through to a receptionist at 0831, by which time all the appointments had gone. This was after I had sat in the phone queue twice. The first time I was cut off after waiting for over 7 mins making it from number 10 in the queue to number 4, and the second time I was waiting in the queue for over 15 minutes, and got through finally to be told all the slots had been taken. I should also mention the other multiple calls I made today when the surgery answer machine could not even place me in the queue due to "higher than normal call volumes", advising me to call back later. Also multiple calls which failed to even connect to the surgery line, I can only assume because it was overwhelmed by the amount of sick people trying to get through. This experience is not a one off. I dread trying to get an appointment because I know it is a lottery as to whether I will get through in time to actually get a slot. It is a poor system which treats sick people appallingly. I am now on my to A&E, which I know is already busy enough without having to deal with people who cant get a simple GP appointment.