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My mum wants to see a private consultant

Hi folks,

I do not have asthma but my 75yr old mum has, so I feel a bit like an intruder on your boards. She has been housebound since Christmas with recurrent chest infections which are seriously exacerbating her asthma. Her GP has been unable to get her an emergency appointment at her local hospital chest clinic before March. So is now she considering spending her savings on a private consultation as she is at her wits end!

She lives in Ipswich, Suffolk. Can anyone give her a personal recomendation for a consultant in this area? I don't know if I am allowed to ask this on here but suspect the mods will put me straight if I'm not! I am a regular on the MS Society boards where we can send individuals private replies on topics like this.

Thanks for reading this.


4 Replies

Hi Mermaid,

I think the BUPA hospital in Norwich has one consultant from the N&N doing asthma - not sure if this would be the nearest place to you? Unfortunately its not one of the consultants I've met at the N&N so can't give any comments.

But, if your mum is really struggling, wondered if you'd thought about just taking her to A&E at your local hosp? Might be better than waiting and things getting worse.


Hi Mermaid,

Sorry to hear about your mother. I can only suggest you ringing the department and saying that you can take any cancellation that would arise (providing you can of course - circumstances permitting.) Sometimes departments do keep cancellation lists. Failing that is it worth going back to GP and asking him to try and expedite appointment as mothers' health deteriorating. Failing that I would tend to agree with ali - or go private. Although in my experience, private appointments seem to be taking longer these days too.

There was a time when emergency meant, had to be seen within a certain timescale, as in 24 hours or so, unfortunately due to the demands on the health service these days that dosn't seem to be the case anymore.

Hope you get an earlier 'emergency' appointment soon.



Mermaid your mum is entitled to chose which hospital she attends for a consultant referral these days. I know that may mean having to travel a little way but it means you can in theory just ask for whichever will give you the quickest appointment. I too recommend that she says she is available for a short notice cancellation. Appointments are always being cancelled because of emergency hospital admissions, particularly chest clinic/heart and lung appointments.

Hope she manages to get an appointment soon.

Ange xx


Hi Mermaid,

Your poor mum! You are so right to be concerned about her. There's a great article in the latest edition (Feb/April 06 issue) of Asthma UK's magazine about elderly people with asthma. I was particularly disturbed to read that many elderly people are getting a rough deal - it's not fair.

This website has this extract "" Age concern - Research shows that about two-thirds of asthma deaths occur among people over the age of 65 and that the severity of symptoms reported increases by age, but how do older people really feel about their condition2.""

I would thoroughly recommend joining asthma uk - it's only £12 a year, much cheaper than a private consultant & you get the mags etc free. If you private message me, I can scan the article if you're desperate. Show it to your GP & try and get an earlier referral. I think we're supposed to be offered a ""choice"" of hospitals for your appointment with a specialist. Maybe you could ask if there is another one with a shorter waiting list? Another tack to try would be contacting the GP's secretary (if you can get past the receptionist) and try saving the GP's time that way.

The problem with starting on the private route is that the diagnostic tests can get very, very expensive. For example, xrays, CT scans, bronchosopies, blood tests, hospital stays. Obviously, it may not come to that, & it may be that she can get transferred back into the NHS afterwards (not sure about the ethics of that one).

By the way, you're really welcome. This forum is for carers of people with asthma too - and I'm not trying to hard sell joining Asthma UK (AUk) or anything. I have personally benefitted from the services of AUK that's all.

All I wish is that your mum feels better soon, and you keep the strength to carry on pushing for better care for her.

Regards & best of luck,


p.s. if I don't reply after you private message me, it's because I'm ill.


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