British Lung Foundation
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New Specialist

Hello again I am going to see a new specialist next week I am hoping to get a better idea about how to get help and help from my GP. I have bronchiectasis and my designated GP in the practice can be quite obstructive last time I asked for antibiotics he refused and said I needed a GP review and when I asked for an appointment I was offered one in 15 days. I do not want to be in the position where I have no treatment plan to fall back on. I wondered what questions I should be asking to get the best possible outcome. I am concerned that when I ask questions I am considered a nuisance or awkward. I am sure I am not but asking questions seems to be frowned on.

Thank you

7 Replies

I faced similar problems Tyniesha, until I had a heart-to-heart with my consultant who then sent a letter to my GP stating that I should have a supply of antibiotics and steroids at home ( I have severe stage COPD). Maybe this new consultant would be worth levelling with. Many do respond appropriately when asked directly for help. Good luck.


The great thing about consultants they can prescribe whatever they think is best for you. When I first started on Colomycin I had to get the Consultant to write to the GP to prescribe it again. Now he just writes this is the medication to prescribe and he will review it in 3 months!

I hope your consultant is as good as mine.



Hi everyone.

I have bronchectasis and severe asthma, and I too have been advised by my hospital team to keep steroids and antibiotics at home to allow me to self medicate right at the start of an infection. They also recommended that i take azithromycin regularly as a preventative and advised my GP by letter, but although the steroids are no problem, my GP wont prescribe a maintenence dose of azithromycin as she said it is too expensive !

All i can do is wait for my next hospital appointment to let them know and discuss a way round this, but as i see someone different every time i go to the hospital, there is no continuity unfortunately.

So flippin' frustrating ! :)


Hi Huffinpuffer, if I was you I would phone your consultants secretary and explain the problem, I have done this on 2 occasions with great success. My GP is great and after reading your blog I realise how lucky I am. You need this medicine and you should get it. Do not give up.

Good luck. Maximonkey


hi Tiensha

You are not being a nuisance or being difficult by asking questions. In fact proactive consultants and GP's are usually happy to answer your questions, often with diagrams. Questions show you are interested in taking seriously how you can work as a team. Is my memory right - have you been dx with bronchiectasis recently? If so I can understand your GP wanting to review you, but if you thought you had an infection I think a 15 day wait is rediculous.

You are very wise to make the most of your consultation with your new specialist. I do hope your new consultant has a special interest in cf/bronchiectasis. If this is the first time you have seen a specialist then you might want to ask him about being referred to a physiotherapist to learn techniques to suit you to clear your lungs. If you have seen one before I expect you have done this already.

You might want to explain your concerns about an infection brewing say over the weekend or over a holiday period and ask his opinion about having abs at home and if he would be kind enought to forward any treatment plan to your GP. You have to be your own advocate and fight your own corner sometimes. Be polite but be assertive (not always easy when you feel c***.

Good luck. XXX

Hi Huffnpuffer

I am shocked your GP will not prescribe your prophylactic Azithromycin when it has been advised by your consultant. I would have thought it would pay for itself in reduced infections.

If your appointment is not for a while Huff you may want to telephone your consultant's secretary and ask her if she would be kind enough to let your Consultant know of your GP's reluctance to prescribe Azith and top request his/her advice. He has prescribed them for good reason. Usually you would be under the care of a named consultant, even if you see other docs. You may be able to bring your appointment forward as the treatment plan for you cannot be followed.

Good luck XXX


Thank you all for all your answers I appear to have become an idiot I worked as a housing social worker and have two degrees but today burst into tears when things weren't going my way with the specialist.

I went full of high hopes and everything straight in my mind. I decided to be open and honest trying to explain clearly and concisely.

I ended up in tears when he decided to have a 'philosophical discussion' on why I would trust my herbalist and her medicine and be concerned about side effects with medication. ( I had a friend who went deaf with antibiotic use.)I explained that I felt let down with the lack of information and a bit disillusioned with doctors etc it was then that we got to the point where he said I didn't invite you you chose to come.

I tried to explain while he sat glancing at his watch.

I appear to have become an idiot I have got off on the wrong foot and I had such high hopes.

He did however a parting nugget of information for me if I loose weight I will be able to breath better.

I am overweight I know that I am size 16.

I have no clue what to do next he did say will you come back again in September and I will look at your scans etc.Will you come?

The only good point was that my breathing test was good.

I am wondering if my expectations are too high I definitely realise honesty isn't the best policy.

I feel a bit better after this rant though!!!


You are not an idiot. As far as your previous job was concerned, it is very difficult being on the other side as it were.

I am sorry your consultation didn't go as well as you had hoped. I hope you don't mind me being frank here. Your consultant has spent years training and your understandable discussion about your opinions of the medics you have met would not go down well, and would make him wonder why you came. He is only human and there is a lot of call on his time. If you don't mind me saying your time would have been more productively spent finding out what he could offer you and how you could work together. I really am not trying to be harsh with you sweet, I just want you to get the best out of the short consultation you get.

I wish you well and hope your next visit goes well.



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