doing all the right things but cant get a rescue pack

my GP wont give me a recue pack even when i went on holiday this year he said i wont need it yet but i have moderate COPD i just want one for my peice of mind knowing its there if a have a infection over a weekend when gp is closed

Also he would not get me on a pr course for the same reason has it was a nurse who i spoke to at a breath easy class who managed to get me on a pr course has i just wanted the education

is this right can GPS do this..i know people may say change your gp but i should not have to in fact if he had sent me for a spirometry test 3 years ago when i had wheezing and slight short of breath i may only be at the mild stage copd


I know i should not say this but i sometimes wonder if some doctors think because you have smoked (x smoker) its your own fault

24 Replies

  • I know how you feel about the smoking thing, even when you give up you are still classed as a 2nd class patient. Have you tried showing your doctor the British lung foundation leaflet that says you should have a written plan and rescue pack, who knows it may help.

    My doctor will at least give me amoxcylin but it does not always work so often end up seeing him anyway.

  • Good idea from Ptlivepool. Did you pick up that leaflet at PR?

    Change your GP. They are high earning public servants and get away with too much. Yesterday my respiratory nurse at my GPs practice said quite clearly "gps know nothing about copd".

  • We had a very similar problem with my husbands gp but I negotiated very hard but it took my husband to be very ill to get the rescue medication. Exactly the same thing happened about PR - he was not ill enough. I firmly believe if he had gone three years earlier, he wouldn't have got so ill. Enough ranting.

    There are specialist respiratory teams in our area I googled it and then rang the practise nurse and asked if she could refer us. The nurse visited us at home and helped with PR course and emergency meds. That might be a way forward.

    I would also recommend you ring the BLF helpline (click on the red balloon in the corner) and ask their advise - they may know the right words to say to your GP to get him to change his mind! Good Luck

    TAD xxx

  • Your GP should be more sympathetic to your condition and your needs music so keep on trying to get him to see reason. Is there another doctor you can see within the same practice? Different doctors have different ways of doing things. I do wish you luck. Pete would be lost without his rescue meds and we have never had a problem in that area. Take care. xxxx

  • I had this problem for YEARS it just was not the practise then to ever give rescue meds. Somehow I managed to have a few tablets spare so I could always at least start on my ab's. But you should nowadays be able to have rescue ab's ESP as it often takes days until you can get a doctors appointment

    There are COPD guidelines perhaps reading those will help you.

    Some doctors are better than others. Good luck


  • thanks everyone just before christmas i had a cold and a bit chesty so when i went to the doctors he gave me amoxicillin i think is antibiotic anyway i did not take them only to save them because i knew i was going on holiday in january to tenerife and wanted them there with me for my own peice of mind..but i should not have to do this , anyway all is well at the moment and i have my second spirmetry test on 1st of april (and had to ask for that) has had my last test in jan 2013 lungs were 62% moderate copd

  • Music, there aren't many folks here who would accept amoxicillin as their antibiotic. Many are like me, it has never once worked in 5 years. I now refuse it explaining that if they give it to me I'll only be back in a week for more antibiotics costing more money so why don't they just give me the one that works straight off. At last they listen but it has taken me a while to get assertive enough.

    Good luck to you xxx

    PS it was the respiratory nurse who organised my PR not my GP x

  • hi`peeg i know what you mean has in the past i have had amoxicillin even before i was diagnosed with copd and i thought the same

  • I agree with all replies. You should have a rescue pack. I have both antibiotics and steroids. This means I can treat infections at early stage. When I need to replace meds I just ask and get a new prescription. I also have stuff for nebuliser and now have that on my repeat prescription list so can just order via on line service.

  • I have moderate COPD but my nurse at the clinic gave me the rescue pack. Can you not see a nurse they seem to be more sympathetic and know what we go through. To doctors we are just a number the amount of times my gp has gone to give me inflammitory tabs and ive had to tell him I cannot have them. So much for knowing your patients.

  • Seems like most practice nurses now hold a" prescribing certificate "! and from my limited experience seem quite keen to exercise this new responsibility. At 2 recent spirometry tests managed to get flue jab , pneumonia jab and rescue antibiotics. The nurse also offered PR.

    Might vary from one area to another. However would ask when you see the nurse in April ....nothing lost !

  • My old doctor never gave me a rescue pack nor sent me to see a specialist. I ended up with pneumonia a few months ago and spent 6 weeks in hospital. I sometimes wonder if I had had a rescue pack at home if I would have ended up this way. Needless to say I have changed my doctor.

  • In my experience lots of doctors blame you for getting lung problems if you are a smoker. That must be one reason why the lung cancer detection rates in this country is one of the lowest in the western world. I am 66% and for the first time I got told by my copd nurse last December that I should have a rescue pack. I was turned down before when I asked for one. It came in useful this week when I started it one evening. So demand one but maybe see a nurse rather than a doctor. You often have to fight for your rights. I don't think most doctors care about lung problems if you 'are to blame'per se.

  • Do you need to ask for the rescue packs? I was only told I had moderate COPD (52%) in January this year, but i have had 3 courses of antibiotics in the past 5 weeks, i was just told 'you have moderate COPD' given a leaflet to take away and that was it, i don't even know what i have other than COPD, i have had to do my own research about it. i made an appointment to see the nurse last Monday, but the earliest appointment i could get is 2 weeks away......i was concerned as my O2 levels have been dropping into the 70's when resting.

  • Echo all the responses you have had. It is reassuring to have a rescue pack, I always make sure my husband has one to hand, especially when we go on holiday. GP always happy to prescribe. Buzzl's wife

  • Keep pushing for it. My surgery did not have a policy on this until I came along and insisted that I needed these antibiotics and steroids on standby. Now it is on my repeat prescription and a new policy has been written by the practice for all patients with similar problems.

  • Forget you GP for COPD. Get in touch with your local Respiratory team...they are the experts. They will do your action plan and they will tell your doctor to supply your rescue meds.When you are ill, they will make home visits quicker than most people can get a doctors appointment. The whole point of the rescue meds is hat you can start them as soon as you have an infection. Going and sitting in a waiting room, you could pass on your infection but even worse, pick up even more.

  • Too right Brian, I avoid the doctor's surgery like the plague and if I must go insist on an afternoon appointment when it is not packed out with patients, Otherwise it is just a vicious circle as I always come out with more than I went in with !

  • I've had this conversation before & was told there is apparently a lot of misunderstanding about patients holding emergency meds. at home

    Government guidelines actively discourage hoarding meds - some GP's mis-interpret the guidelines & believe having your own emergency pack at home is hoarding.

  • This whole Rescue pack system seems to be interpreted very differently from area to area. Of course everyone should have the medicine available! I always have some in the house and the minute I feel a chest infection start I can start the course of tablets. It has worked wonders with me a number of times. Here in Tayside there is a fairly new system just implemented which gives every newly diagnosed COPD patient a very handy pack of leaflets/information and a folder for the Rescue meds prescription which you the keep the meds in. Some doctors are still not too keen on the idea, they seem to think that patients will just take the antibiotics/steroids whenever they want to. This is a silly attitude of course as anyone with COPD can tell when you are about to have an exacerbation and knows when to self medicate. Good luck with your Doctor. :o)

  • my old GP would not give me a rescue pack I'm an x smoker and 3 years ago I had the flu I couldn't get out the house let alone drive I had run out of morphine I phoned and aske for a script they said no I would have to see GP and I could have an appointment in 3 weeks. I got dressed and made my way down to the surgery I had to walk it was only down the hill it was the longest walk of my life GP would not see me I was on my own at the time hubby works away I changed my GP they are fantastic I have a rescue pack in the house at all times and take them on holiday your health is most important change your GP and have a look at the NICA guide lines for treating COPD

  • think its time to change my gp thank you everyone

  • Well done Music. We're all behind you, be brave and remember your right to be treated well :) xx

  • husband and i are of to turkey 5th april i think i will talk to the nurse about a rescue pack for then never gave it a thought untill i read it on here marian xx

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