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University Health Service
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Why we run late

Nobody likes to be kept waiting... We hope to see everyone on time, in the slot they reserved, but there are numerous reasons why this might not happen

Doctors hate to be put under pressure too. Running behind and attempting to stay on time are two of the most stressful and difficult problems a GP faces every day. Our doctors perform six hours of face-to-face appointments every single day, so getting behind is extremely challenging for them.

The reasons for being seen late can be grouped into a few important categories. Rarely, it will be because the doctor was stuck in traffic, a meeting over-ran or because of computer problems. We hope everyone understands when an elderly, or less able-bodied, or patient with a significant diagnosis such as cancer takes a little longer than their allocated time.

However, the single most significant reason for delays for subsequent patients is people who bring more problems to an appointment than can feasibly be seen in the length of time they have booked. One ten minute appointment is for one problem only.

Please don't think you are doing the doctor a favour by saving your problems up or expect others to wait because you want 20 minutes but only booked 10!

Bringing more than one problem to one ten minutes appointment is likely to result in disappointment. You can ask for longer appointments when booking through reception. Please do not be offended if you are asked to leave as your time has expired but you still have several other things to discuss.