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Unhelpful GP, don't know what to do!

Tubbsy

Registered User
Sep 5, 2010
110
0
Surrey
So the DVLA have asked for my mother to go for an assessment with her GP to see if she's fit to drive, which she's not by the way. I found this out last week when my brother told me her surgery had left a couple of messages on his mobile to get her to make an appointment. So I phoned the surgery to discover she is under a new GP as her previous one has just retired; I asked if the doctor could call me so I could find out what's going on. A little later, someone from the surgery phoned who was extremely aggressive, giving me a message from the GP which was that 'your mother has a week to get in here or the doctor will just tell the DVLA shes not fit to drive and then if she carries on driving she will be breaking the law'. This person also ranted at me about how they'd being trying to contact her, she's not their only patient etc etc....unbelievable!

So my brother and I have both spoken to my mother about going for the assessment....she went down twice on Saturday morning (the surgery is closed) and then this morning to be told they don't have thenfacilities! (obviously fiction on her part), so now we are stuck. The GP won't speak to us apparently and has a Rottweiler of a receptionist. We both work in the week so can't take her there ourselves and she has no outside help as she has refused it. What should we do??!!
 

Butter

Registered User
Jan 19, 2012
6,737
0
NeverNeverLand
Can you write a short, clear and simple letter to the GP explaining the situation?

Give the facts: each of your mother's fictitious visits

you believe she is a danger on the road

she will not/cannot do what you ask her to do

Perhaps best not to mention the receptionist?
 

jeany123

Registered User
Mar 24, 2012
19,035
0
72
Durham
Could you phone and say she will not be making a appointment and let the GP tell the DVLA that she is not fit to drive,
I am sorry you have had to put up with the aggression some people have no idea have they,



Best wishes Jeany x
 

Tubbsy

Registered User
Sep 5, 2010
110
0
Surrey
I think I will have to write to the GP as my concern is that we will not know if her licence is revoked but considering the response I got the other day asking for a phone all from him, I'm worried he's not going to be open to communication with myself or my brother (unlike her previous GP). I think that if she doesn't go for an appointment, he will report her as not complying as well as not being fit to drive.
 

meme

Registered User
Aug 29, 2011
1,953
0
London
I would be tempted to call the gp out on a home visit for that reason (or another ) ..they have to do this for old and vulnerable patients who cant/wont get to the surgery...
 

chris53

Registered User
Nov 9, 2009
2,929
0
London
Hello Tubbsy, I am so sorry you have this added "battle" to get things sorted out for your mum, I don't know if it is possible that she could change doctors considering that her usual one has retired? so it would be a good idea to have a chat with the Practice Manager of mums doctors (or if you can get hold of an e mail address even better)- only hope it is not this vile person you spoke to:mad:the other option would be if you or your brother could make an appointment (in mums name, and one of you use this appointment) on one of the extended nights, I believe all surgeries have appointments at least once a week till 7.30pm:eek: you could if you don't get anywhere call the DVLA and explain that you are UNABLE to get your mum assessed! I hope so much you can get this sorted out soon, please let us know how you get on.
take care, and sending a hug-Chris x
 

meme

Registered User
Aug 29, 2011
1,953
0
London
you could ring and on speaking to the aggressive receptionist ask her full name and tell her you are in the process of putting in a complaint about her ...you may find she is rather helpfull all of the sudden...
 

Tubbsy

Registered User
Sep 5, 2010
110
0
Surrey
I asked the rude receptionist, who I actually think was the Practice Manager (!), if the gp could make a home visit but was told these were only for people with a health problem!! Althought they have my brother as the emergency contact, if they ring him, he just rings me as he can't/won't deal with it all. I have just phoned the DVLA but met a Brick wall there too as they wont discuss my mum with me or even just be a little bit helpful it seems :mad:
It's just so ridiculous that she could be banned from driving but that she won't remember and that we have no way of finding out! And then what happens if she has any kind of accident??!!
 

chris53

Registered User
Nov 9, 2009
2,929
0
London
Tubbsy, total brick wall for you, don't know what else to say, guess a totally unhelpful Monday for you:mad:
Would calling or e mailing our helpline help, at least you will get understanding and maybe pointed in a different direction, am so sorry you have been treated so bad:eek:
You can contact our helpline by calling 0300 222 1122 or by email at helpline@alzheimers.org.uk.
The helpline is usually open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and from 10am - 4pm at weekends
Take care
Chris
 

elizabet

Registered User
Mar 26, 2013
224
0
Southampton
I was going to suggest you contact the practice manager - but just seen a post above. Rudeness is unacceptable from any receptionist -I hope you get an appointment .
 

Tubbsy

Registered User
Sep 5, 2010
110
0
Surrey
Hi Chris, thanks very much for the contact details.....I did ring earlier and have the number of my mums local Alzheimer's society branch so may call them. I do rather feel like there's nothing I can do though other than write to the GP and hope that words used in the conversation I had the other day, didn't actually come from him but rather from someone who thinks they are more important than they actually are! Will keep you posted:)
 

sleepless

Registered User
Feb 19, 2010
3,223
0
The Sweet North
I haven't had any of these difficulties as my husband willingly stopped driving when I considered it was becoming unsafe. He was on an annual license and simply chose not to renew it.
(Several years ago he did have an assessment, not at our GP practice, but another local one.)

However, having read so many times about the very difficult situations that arise re DVLA and dementia, isn't it about time that the DVLA and A.Society got together and came up with a way of making the whole issue easier to resolve?
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,445
0
Tubbsy, forgive me if I'm getting the wrong end of the stick here but...

1) your mother isn't in fact fit to drive
2) the surgery has your brother as the contact but he doesn't follow up
3) you're concerned that you won't be told if she loses her license.

Have I got all that right?

1) Because if so - she doesn't need to have an appointment as it sounds as if she would fail and in that case the doctor will apparently be writing to the DVLA anyway. So by not going you know her license is going to be revoked.

2) what about getting your name on the surgery list as the primary contact so that you don't have to play telephone tag in this way?

I suppose I'm trying to see what benefit there would be for your mother going to the appointment and being told she isn't fit to drive. Do you think she would remember or if she did tell you? Because it doesn't sound as is she would.

I realise this doesn't help you with the practical aspects of stopping her driving, and that's a major problem, but I'm not sure a GP visit would do that either. A lot of GPs don't take their responsibilities in this are seriously enough, in my opinion and simply won't tell their patients that they aren't fit to drive, leaving the family to sort it out anyway.

With regard to the receptionist/practice manager - I would seriously look and see if there is another practice you could move your mother to. The truth is, as time goes on, your mother is going to require more health care rather than less, and a practice that takes the "you can only have a home visit if you are ill" approach when someone has dementia is going to be less than easy to work with in the future.
 

Tubbsy

Registered User
Sep 5, 2010
110
0
Surrey
Hi Jennifer, yes it's true that in my opinion, my mother isn't fit to drive so doesn't really need to go for the assessment, but I still won't actually know if/when she's been banned from driving. I have thought about asking to be added as a contact but I dare say they will say she has to ask and getting her to do that is just another problem to deal with and I have enough of those with her already.
I am only too aware that dealing with a surgery like this one appears to be is going to make my life extremely difficult in the future but my mother chose to change surgeries about a year ago and as I have no official control over her affairs, I can't make her change back (to where she worked for 16 years and I know her doctor very well).
 

NanLorac

Registered User
May 14, 2012
686
0
Scotland
My husband gave up driving willingly thank goodness. I agree totally with Jennifer's post and think you need to be on your mothers notes as her carer or your brother needs to step up to the job as carer.

What car is your Mum going to drive? if its her own car and you are saying the she is a danger on the road you need to take the keys off her and stop her driving before somebody gets hurt.
 

Austinsmum

Registered User
Oct 7, 2012
304
0
Melton Mowbray
Tubbsy, I’m totally with Jennifer, sound advice.

The real issue here is how to stop your mum from driving, car’s gone in for repairs, needs a new part, stores ordered the wrong part, someone bumped it, needs a respray...?
 

sajimjo

Registered User
Jun 18, 2013
130
0
Staffordshire
I am carer for two dementia patients. My ex-husband was stopped by the police as someone reported him for bad driving. He had some damage to the car, no idea how he got that, but fortunately no one was injured. You don't want to hear your Mum has had an accident and someone has been hurt or worse. I sent his driving licence to the DVLA with a covering letter and hid his car keys until I sold the car.

My partner also has dementia but not so bad. He wasn't able to drive for a bit due to an eye op, but then I didn't want him to drive any more as I felt he was getting unsafe, so I wrote to the DVLA (the memory clinic advised that). After several weeks our GP rang me, he had heard from the DVLA, and asked my opinion if I thought OH should cease driving. At that point I surrendered his driving licence. OH agreed he didn't want to be the cause of any accident.

I had a very simple form from surgery to sign myself and XH to agree that I was prime carer. My quibble is that the practise manager is DIL to XH but made no contact whatsoever with XH or me!

Sajimjo