Read this before you see your GP- top tips for accessing world class endo services

Hi, I've been reading so many posts here where our girlies have been heading off to the GP because of ongoing pelvic pain, heavy periods and it's been going on for years with no diagnosis. Here's an example situation. Can you spot what's wrong with it? You are in agony with pelvic pain and head back to the GP, explain your ongoing problems and maybe this time he refers you again to a gynae. Question- What's wrong in this example? Answer- YOU should already know before you go to see your GP which gynae you want to see and ask for the referral. Tips:1. NEVER wait for a GP to suggest a referral. Ask for one and name the gynae you want to see. You remain in control instead of allowing your GP to dictate the pace of your diagnosis and treatment. You DON'T need to "watch and wait". There are treatments available to help you right now but it's dependent on you getting an accurate diagnosis from a specialist centre, not a random gynaecologist at your local hospital.

2. DO YOUR RESEARCH AHEAD OF THE GP APPOINTMENT. Visit the BSGE site and choose the specialist centre nearest you and choose a gynae from those listed on this page based at your centre (Cut and paste into your browser).

3. DO QUEUE JUMP by paying for a private appointment if you have the means to pay (about £250) or get it via private health insurance if you have any. You will still need to see your GP for the referral but you just tell him who you want to see and say you will see them privately

4. Don't be fobbed off with a "watch and wait" suggestion from your GP. The clue is in the title; a GP is a general practitioner, not an expert in endo. The quicker you see an expert, the quicker your situation will improve. If you just stay under the care of a GP they are likely to just rotate you through a list of basic treatment options until they exhaust that list then refer you. It can take years. That's not best clinical practice. And we all deserve the best care, right?

You all deserve the very best care and to get back to normal life ASAP. And your family and loved ones deserve it too. The speed at which that happens is within your control. Whether you remain in the NHS or go private; you can make 100% sure you are getting world class diagnosis, advice and treatment. It's available to all of us. You have to go via your GP to access it, then see the experts straight away. Good luck and get better soon! Xx

7 Replies

  • thank you for writing this, it's exactly what I needed to read this week!

  • Thank you very much for this! This is really vital and much needed! Huge, huge thanks!! 

    I'm having a battle getting referral to bsge centre: on first attempt my GP has refused to refer me (despite stage 4 endometriosis diagnosed last November). I'm already under care of gynaecologist at different hospital who carried out laparotomy and repair work. GP thinks best to keep me under one hospital for now rather than have more than one set of notes and avoid complications...(!) But has agreed to write to Gynaecologist to check is there anyone else I should see and anything else I should be doing. Waiting on response as we speak - I'll then have something in writing hopefully which I'll use going forward in my further attempts (with different GP) for a referral. 

    Please don't give up ladies. I was made to feel like I was making a fuss over nothing when I tried to get this referral. I had to remind GP of the severity of my endometriosis and a failed ivf cycle under our belt, it was only then they relented slightly. X X X X

  • Hi Carrie - we were in communication a month ago by private message about getting a referral to a BSGE centre. As you know your problem is that you are in Scotland so don't have access to NHS Choices. However, as we discussed, with confirmed stage 4 endo you have to be referred to a centre and the gynaecologist treating you is acting against their RCOG registration. If they are still refusing can you update me by pm as you will need to follow this through in writing. x

  • Thanks very much Lindle, have sent you a pm X

  • Unfortunately women don't always have control and expert care is not available to all. In England we have NHS Choices and so can choose who we see. This is not always straightforward in the case of uncooperative GPs but we do have regulations to fall back on and can insist on referral to a BSGE centre. But this is not the case in Scotland, Wales and NI - women only have a right to go to a centre with already confirmed severe disease.

  • I'm so glad I found this site today. Laying in pain as I write. Thank you Hazy1971.

  • I second this. I went to see my GP last week and although I have been diagnosed with endometriosis on my bowel and bladder, my GP refused to refer me to a BSGE centre (I am in England). Even when I quoted the NHS contract to him he did not want to budge and made me feel like I was unreasonable for asking for proper care. It wasn't until I told him that if he refers me to a general gynae I just won't go and will come and see a different GP at the surgery for a proper referral that he relented. And I had all the info printed out so his argument that he doesn't know what a BSGE is held no water.

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