Asthma UK community forum
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Hi Everyone

I've had problems with poorly controlled asthma for 3 years. Until recently my GP and I have been happy to add and fiddle around with meds, but we have run out of things to try and as I frequently end up on stetoids with two longish courses in the last 6 months we thought it was time for a referal to the respiratryclinic at the hospital.

After 6 weeks of not hearing anything from the hospital I chased up the referal with my surgery who then chased up the hospital. Three weeks later I get a letter saying that there is a 20 week waiting list for appointments. This leaves me over 6 months between the initial referal and the first appointment. It seems rather a long time to wait with nothing to try in the meantime.

What are other peoples experiences with referals and how long you've had to wait?

I had referal and consultant when I was 14/15, but that was 20 years ago so don't really remember.

Should I ask my GP if he can hurry it up (can they do that?) as at the rate I'm going I'll have another two 6-8 week courses and three short courses of steroids before I see a consultant and would obviously like to limit that.

Sorry for the waffle and thanks in advance for any replies.


4 Replies


You should be able to see much more quickly than this.

Here's the link to the detail on waiting times:

I'd suggest discussing the above information with PALs at the hospital you have been referred to as the appointment they've offered falls far outside this target.

You could also look at being referred elsewhere locally if you can be seen more quickly.

I was referred to a consultant in August and managed to see them in August and it has already made a difference to the frequency and severity of exacerbations!

Good Luck!


Thanks for your reply. It prompted me to look at the nhs wales page as this is where i live. It seems that the referal to treatment times are longer here at 26 weeks. Grr, annoying. I guess if i ask to be refered elsewher then i'll have no garantee of being seen in a respiratory clinic sooner and would have to travel an extra 50 minutes too.

I'm glad you got seen in clinic really quickly and has made a difference. Can i ask what has made the difference for you? Hope that's not being too nosey. At least when i do eventually see them i might see an improvement soon after.

Anyone else had to wait for a long time for a referal appointment?




Sorry to hear the NHS target is different in Wales, hopefully you will get seen soon. What made a difference to me were the following:

Doing further investigations looking for chronic infection, immune function and allergies (I was having recurrent infections causing exacerbation0

A higher dose of inhaled steroid as preventer and add in even more when I'm poorly; Not had steroids in the last 3 months now; was only managing about 8 weeks between courses so already better. I've also had 2 viral infections all managed with increased inhaled steroids alone and no pred!

Fingers crossed I continue to do well and hope you get some good results from your appointment.


Infections are my main trigger so I hope they can do something about that to reduce the frequency and severity of those. I always end up on steroids with an infection and it only takes the slightest sniffle or sore throat to give me a chest infection and some infections seem to come from nowhere.

Struggling to see what they can do med wise. I already have the freedom to up my Seretide from 4 puffs a day to 8 puffs, which works when I'm using ventolin 5/6 times a day and gets it back down to 1/2/3 times. Do you recon that they might up my Seretide? GP says this is a high dose, I have the 250/25 versio. This doesn't work for infections though as need lots of ventolin so have steroids and antibiotics at home to start.

Has anyone else had to wait this long for a referal? Feel like I'm on my own and stuck with annoying symptoms and too many infections and steroids. Just wish it was next week.

Thank you for listening to my moans.


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