Hospital casualty departments always have an experienced trigage nurse who can assess the patient's condition, prioritise and determine what sort of treatment they are likely to need and who they should see. This is just as it should be. Our local health centre now has notices up to say that in future, that if you want to book an appointment to see a doctor, you should tell a receptionist about your problem and they will determine which doctor you should see. You also get a pre-recorded message explaining all this if you phone for an appoinment, before you get to speak to anyone. I believe this was brought in because patients were preferring to see who they considered to be their "own doctor" who they've been seeing for years and not one of the young "newbies," who've recently joined the practice, even if it means a wait of three or more weeks. "I understand the receptionists have been on a course." Well, the surgery was closed for a day "for training" a few weeks back. The patients have not taken to well to this, as I understand from a member of the staff, that the receptionists have been told to "mind their own business, just book me an appointment" so many times, they no longer bother to ask. It was a stupid idea in the first place.