Auberon has had problems with anxiety and depression, and sometimes self-harmed. The doctor he preferred to see was very supportive, tried to go the extra mile’, and booked him in for double appointments.
As a child, Auberon used to see the GP (local doctor) for minor issues such as coughs, colds and ear infections. More recently, he had seen the doctor because he had anxiety and depression and sometimes self-harmed.
When Auberon was younger, his mum used to take him to the doctor. Once he turned 16, he made and attended appointments himself. Auberon’s local surgery opened 7 days a week, 8am to 9pm, and also operated as a walk-in centre. These convenient opening times meant that he could have appointments over the weekend without missing college. The surgery also had an online booking system which he found very useful’, particularly for ordering repeat prescriptions.
Auberon was on an enhanced care plan’, which meant that he was usually seen by a GP within a day. The longest he’d had to wait was three days. Auberon often needed to see a GP or nurse urgently for a dressing change. He was usually seen quite quickly and, when he couldn’t get a same-day appointment, he went in as a walk-in patient though this meant having to wait a while’. He was also under the care of a psychiatrist.
On one occasion when Auberon self-harmed quite badly’, he couldn’t attend any of the appointments he was offered with a GP or nurse, and the waiting time for the walk-in centre was ridiculously long’. He ended up going to A&E (Accident and Emergency) instead. He would like his local surgery to employ more staff so he wouldn’t have to go to A&E when he can’t be seen by a GP.
Auberon had had a pick n mix’ experience with GPs he found that some were better than others. Some were really lovely’ while others had little understanding of mental health and thought it’s all a big joke’. Although Auberon tried to see a GP who was understanding, the doctor he got depended on who was available on the day. The doctor he normally saw was very supportive and tried to go the extra mile’. Although appointments were usually only ten minutes long, this GP always booked double appointments so Auberon had enough time to talk.
Auberon’s experiences with receptionists, nurses and pharmacists had been very positive. Receptionists at his local surgery knew him by name and were friendly. Pharmacy staff had also been really good’ whenever he needed to speak to someone about his medications, they were always happy’ to talk to him in a private consultation room.
Although Auberon felt that many GPs were very good at talking to young people,’ he would like them to have more training and understanding of mental health and to take self-harm seriously. He felt that many young people had no one to talk to’ and needed to be made aware of the mental health services available to them.