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Do doctors believe in Asthma?

I've had three doctors over the years and I have had a fight on my hands just to get them to actually, listen to what I have to say about my asthma and symptoms. Every time I have an appointment I have to go over the same things. No eye contact at all and even though there is a pause as I am speaking, I'm sure I am not heard! I don't even think that they believe that asthma sufferers can catch infections and I believe that most doctors do not believe that there is such a thing as ASTHMA.

Does anyone know if there is an ombudsman for general practitioners?

13 Replies

There os a number you can ring to get into a practice that is out of your catchment if you are having real problems getting support. Can't honestly remember what it is but I did speak to someone on the number a couple of years ago. Basically you have to try the practice you are in catchment for and when you feel they aren't treating you right or fair you ring them and they can help you move. Hope that helps


GPs are just that, General Practioners. They will have to some knowledge of a huge variety of illnesses and disease. All GPs in my own experience do believe in Asthma, but will have a limited knowledge and experience when presented with a complex case. Which is where the Respiratory Consultant comes on aboard, or if you are extremely lucky a respiratory consultant who specialises in Asthma.

To gain the best from a GP, I always recommend that you enter the consultation with a clear picture of what you want the GP or Respiratory Specialist for that matter to see and understand, written notes can be helpful. Consultations are generally only 10 minutes long, and if you don't communicate with them clearly then it result in frustration for the patient who is suffering.

I recommend Joan that before you take any further steps, get in touch with the Asthma Nurses on AUK's Adviceline. You can run through your worries with them, and in turn they can provide you with verbal information as well as possibly sending you advice sheets to back up the advice they have provided you with.

If in the past I have be at all concerned about the consultations, and lack of response (it happens to many of us at some point), I make another appointment either with another GP or the same one, but go harmed with information to back up my experiences or worries about my condition. I find if I am better informed about the condition itself (Not necessarily the treatments available) I get a better response.


Hya joanii,

In my experience.........yep, definately one gp does!!!

And even better, ive got him :)

oops sorry, got bit carried away there.

My gp is a diamond, he listens, discusses, offers advice & if he gone as far as he can, he refers me :)

Got a good cons as well.

Wasnt happy when i nearly blew my lungs out other day using that hoover test thing. Not happy bout doin pf charts, diarys re asthma etc so had a bit of a moan to few people (not cons though) but i know i gotta do these things for him to help me control asthma so i doin it.

Seen same gp, asthma nurse & cons for over 12 years now & very very happy with em :)



Hi Joan, I cant really add to what the others have said except there are good and not so good GPs just as in every walk of life. I've seen many different GPs for my asthma and all the health issues of my family and by and large we've all been treated well. If you are not happy with the doctors you've been seeing, try and find another one.


I am now going to reply in a not so grumpy 'just been to hospital' stroppy mood! I have had GPs that have been very understanding and actually my GPs in Devon and Hampshire have in some ways been more concerned and pushy than me with getting the consultants to do more and try more.

I was concerned when I moved back to Hampshire that I would not get the same level of understanding and support as I was getting in Devon and as I said you can phone people at NHS choices and express these concerns if you can't move practice because of your postcode and they will help but I have found that the best way to get unerstanding and the best support is to present yourself to them as positively as you can. I mean this in the line of being open to ANY suggestions and expressing to them that you just want to be able to side line your asthma and get on with living but it won't let you. They seem to appreciate this and want to achieve it with you.

All the best


my GP is a star...he believes in asthma and treats me amazingly...he has been so supportive and has helped me through some tough times. Would be one of the many reasons I would be relauctant to move away from where I live now.


Hi Joanii, I know exactly what you mean. I spent about six months going to my GP and telling him that I was coughing continuously for about an hour at a time and that my meds were not helping the symptoms and were causing me a great deal of anxiety. He'd sit there nodding and then tell me to increase my meds, which increased my anxiety and did nothing for my symptoms. He just wasn't listening. Luckily enough I went to one of the other GPs in the practice who took the time to listen and understand, I got my meds changed, the anxiety went and the coughing improved (slowly).

The answer is to look for a GP who does get it and once you find one you'll start to feel SO much happier, even when the symptoms don't improve, because you know that you can go back and have a proper discussion about what to do next. Don't give up.


I agree. Why not try another GP in the practice and see how you get on. We are all different so one GP might not suit you but another might. Shop around. I know in the past, I have had bad experiences with GP's so I tend not to see them again if I can help it. Im pretty lucky to have found a really good GP now.

Hope you feel better soon and you have some good luck. x


I had trouble with my Gg so saw the locum. After my usual gp failed to assess a asthma attack and i was admitted to hospital he began to take the asthma seriously. Thank God cos I had many, many attacks and was referred to a consultant by the hospital.

So you get a doctor who will listen to you. Infections and other triggers upset asthma and causes attacks so i don't trivilise any sicknes in my body as i do not want more asthma problems.



I know the feeling... I'm wondering if its a lack of GP education though. The typical situation I've been in is wheezing at night - see the GP/locum who listens to my chest. They hear nothing so decide I'm fine. Its almost as if they forget that things are worse in the early hours.

I've found that going in loaded with peak flow readings usually does the trick. Its a bit of a pain taking the readings in the early hours. It'd be much easier if they would discuss what was going on rather than rely on a one off chest listen.

In my experience, some GPs/locums are great but others just don't seem to get it, could this be a similar issue?


The ones I've seen are mainly good - they believe in asthma (just not in me...).

I know the feeling with some of them though, and the 'your chest sounds fine' is a classic - even when I've said I don't wheeze mostly and if they were to hear anything it would usually be late in the evening when I am not generally at the GP! To be fair they mostly haven't left it at that and they are trying even though I'm a weird case, but it can be frustrating to be told 'well, everything seems to be working fine' when I'm struggling to breathe.

Sorry, slight rant there and probably going over old ground, but I do understand the frustration very well - even sometimes with doctors who are generally good.


Actually, I have to say that despite moving around a lot, all the GPs I have seen have been genuinely awesome. Although, it might be that if your asthma is a bit milder than mine they are less concerned...if this is what is going on, it's pretty bad :(.


Thank you all so much. I'm going to try once more with my GP.

My problem is that I moved from an area health authoriy whose treatment of asthma is far superior to that of the area I'm in now. However, I am seen annually by the previous health authority although, my current doctor won't co-operate as to prescribing meds that have been suggested/when they are needed. I have to argue and fight for antibiotic and/or steriods and this makes my asthma and overall health much worse especially, when I have an infection.

Many thanksxxx


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