How long to get a consultant?

I was wondering if anyone knew how long it was reasonable to expect to wait for a referral to a consultant?

I moved from London to the middle of nowhere at the beginning of January and my old consultant and GP were really good in contacting people with the aim of a smooth/swift transfer of care, especially as I'm on Omalizumab. The problem is, I've heard nothing, other than a letter from my new GP so I know a request for a referral has been made. I did speak to the health centre and they said leave it 3 more weeks and then contact the hospital.

The trouble is, I'm struggling now, and I don't have anyone I can see. I saw my new GP after I moved and he seemed fine but with my asthma he basically went 'aarrrggghhh' and said he was leaving my care entirely to my consultant as I was too difficult - that would be fine if I had a consultant! I think I'm going to have to see the GP even though he doesn't want to see me as my asthma's playing ""let's keep Ratty awake at night"" but I'm not sure what he's going to be able to do.

Any ideas how long I should wait before I start stamping my feet?

12 Replies

  • Hi Ratty!

    Sorry to hear you are struggling so much, poor you!

    Personally I would ring the Drs surgery, find out who you've been referred to and ask for the consultants Secretarys tel number, then call her and just explain the issues you are having.

    The consultants Secretarys are normally quite good at bumping things up the priority list.........

    Good luck!


  • HI Ratty,

    I agree - I'd get in touch sooner rather than later, preferably with the cons secretary - you don't want to wait 3 more weeks just to see if they've done anything! In my experience nothing will have happened in those three weeks so you will just be wasting them. if you get in touch now you may well get bumped up the list and even if not you'll a) hopefully have a date soon and b) sort it out if they've lost the letter or something. I had this sort of thing with cons referral and physio and though the dept. didn't like it I tended to get somewhere by being persistent and phoning!

    Good luck!

  • Find out who the consultant is and ring his/her secretary - explain your situation and stress how ill you've been etc. I've always found the secretaries very helpful and sympathetic. Good luck - hope u get seen soon.

  • hey!!!

    massive hugs for being rubbish...

    random thoughts, is the hospital where your hopimg your new cons going to be your local??if yes, could you not pop to your local a and e through struggling, get admittted, that way not only have you got the oppotunity to be fixed for the time being but you also get a que jump for metting the cons and then on discharge you get a quicker appoinment an follow up...bit of a cheeky way of doing it i guess but you can get both sorted at once then!!!

    hope you feel better soon and get through to a reasonably good cons!!


  • Thanks for the advice :) The people at the GPs who deal with referrals are saying wait and they don't have a name of who I have been referred to... I've made an appointment with the GP so maybe he'll be able to do something to help my asthma and speed up the referral, but his next available appointment is the end of next week - I'll have to remember with this new GP that I need to know a few weeks in advance that I'm going to have problems with my asthma. :S

    I'm just so frustrated, because I can see all the signs of things going downhill which ends in one place... I know that if I saw someone now who understood my asthma like my old asthma nurse or consultant, we could perhaps tweak things to keep me out of Costa.

    Charlie, I have to say, your A&E plan did cross my mind - and it may be what happens through no fault of my own.

  • Well this is getting a little rediculous now. I may have to stop being 'nice Ratty' and start hitting people...

    Having heard nothing from the hospital and no-one in admin at the GPs being able to give me the name of anyone to contact or even which department I've been referred to (the hosp. doesn't seem to have a respiratory or an asthma or an allergy dept so don't know where I'm going), I ended up going to see the GP even though he's already said he won't treat my asthma as I'm 'too complex' and he wants a specialist to guide my treatment (which is completely fair enough - if I had a specialist) as I was struggling and could see things were going in the wrong direction.

    GP wouldn't do anything than advise increasing steroids - so I reminded him I was already on high-dose long term, so he said, just continue or increase further... I'm getting so many side effects - my face looks like a big puffy pillow and I'm so paranoid about how I look and my weight gain. I've even given up chocolate and biscuits for Lent (anyone who knows me knows what a big thing that is!) in the hope of controlling my weight.

    I need my asthma sorted and not just by throwing red smarties at it. I was on Omalizumab which worked so well for me and should be continuing but with no consultant, no Omalizumab. I feel totally stuck. I don't know what to do or who to shout at / speak to polietly - any suggestions at all, because I really don't want to have to implement the turn up at A&E plan, even though that might get things moving.

  • I think if I were in your shoes I would be phoning the hospital. You could just try the respiratory or thoracic dept or whatever they call it and try to speak to either appointments or a secretary to find out if you are in the system. I would ask them if they have received a referral. Maybe you could explain that your treatment has had to stop because you are waiting and that you are suffering. If it hasn't arrived you would have wasted so much time just waiting for nothing. Failing that I think the best option would be the turn up at A&E one. Best of luck.

  • Hi Ratty,

    grrr how annoying! GP clearly out of his depth which is fair enough, but does he really have no idea who you're seeing? Surely he must know something about the local hospital and ought to be able to ring and enquire?! You can't be the only one of his patients who needs referring - can he not use his GP prerogative to at least do some phone enquiries (if you put it to him that if he does he will stop being solely responsible for you).

    I have no useful suggestions - I've always at least had a dept number to ring, even if they are a bit useless. The only thing I can think of is that the AUK adviceline might be able to help - I rang them with a referral admin question and they were very helpful about what I needed to do. So if you can might be worth giving them a ring tomorrow and hopefully they can point you in the right direction.

    Good luck, let us know how you get on! Hope you don't end up with the A&E plan...

  • Woo Hoo!! I got an appointment. I had to go to a different appointment at the hospital I was hoping to go to so whilst I was there I 'made enquiries' (I was very polite - honest :) ). Suddenly got a whole bunch of appointment letters in the post, but I'm concerned as the other department I saw said they'd had nothing from my old consultants at all about any treatment, past medical history, tests, etc. which is a bit of a pain as it's going to take forever to go through everything and I'm hoping they don't want to repeat the tests. Oh well, at least I'm getting somewhere - now to hope they do Omalizumab and I don't have to be shipped off to another hospital.

  • That's good news. How's the heating situation at home? any better?

  • Good news ratty, at least you are starting to get somewhere!

  • It's definately a start and the right direction. Heating - well outside has warmed up a little which seems to make a huge difference, and my little electric heater is super - that and several cups of hot tea!!! I'm wondering if my Mum has realised it's cold but is being stubbon and refusing to admit it because she had the gas man round today to fix the fire - it was setting off the Carbon Monoxide detector which isn't good but it's back in working order now - will have to see if she actually puts it on...

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