Do Doctors REALLY care?

Not wishing to be too controversial, but is it me or have others shared the same experiences I have had recently. I have been a patient at the hospital renal clinic for over 40 years, the docs there insisting that I attend usually every 3 months, sometimes it was stretched to 6 months. Now all of a sudden one of the docs wanted to discharge me. Nothing has changed regarding my condition - I haven't experienced a miracle cure or anything remotely similar.

Similarly my GP, seems to have changed her attitude towards me. Having several health issues, it has always been pointed out to me that I should seek medical help if I feel ill, or get a bad cough or cold (renal, heart, plus arthritis and fibro etc have brought about the need to take more care). Last November, I visited my GP because I had a really bad cough that was both persistent and very productive. The doc's solution, leave it a couple more weeks and take honey and lemon. Here we are in Feb and I still sound like an old smoker using about 60 a day (I am a non-smoker) I am reluctant to go back to the docs, goodness only knows what she will suggest next - a bread poultice maybe.

It might be my imagination, but it feels that since I turned 65 the medical profession has 'written me off'. I wondered if others feel the same way, Is this another example of over-worked medical professionals, or some sinister plot by the Government to cut costs in the NHS by withdrawing care to the over 65's. I do hope I am wrong in my thinking, but some days it does feel as though I do not have a right to be here. Of course, it might all be my imagination, but I wonder.

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35 Replies

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  • I'm in the US and can't comment about the NHS. But there is certainly large groups of people in the US who would like to limit medical care for people 65 and over. But still we have the "culture of death" to deal with in bits and pieces in different staff members in the medical field. There are still some who think they should assist "old" people to die. That old people have no value. It's a sickness of the mind that has to go. I don't think it's your imagination at all. Our cultures practically worship youth and youthfulness. Look at the money that's spent trying to look younger. It's pathetic. And sad. I hope you get better doctors who care about older citizens. You could try geriatric doctors.

  • I thought we weren't allowed to mention politics.

    Dee

  • Now now that could be fake news. No scare mongering. It's not good for me nerves.

  • Nedd. First time ever I have had my post edited and for mention of the orange one too !

    Dee

  • My post got edited, too. I forgot about the politics rule.

  • There are good and bad in all professions in life doctors are no different good and bad.

  • I think there is a general reluctance to prescribe anything for coughs these days and to try to allow our bodies to fight the infection. Too much use of antibiotics over many years resulting in antibiotic resistant infections has forced them to change their prescribing practices. Most coughs are caused by a virus too so unless the GP believes you have a bacterial chest infection there isn't much they can do initially. That's not to say it shouldn't be looked into now. Your GP told you to leave it for a couple more weeks last November but you haven't been back. I think you need to give your GP a chance to care by going back so she knows you are still suffering.

    I'm not sure about the hospital appointments but maybe they are simply passing more of the monitoring on to GPs. You could speak to your GP and ask why she thinks this has happened. She might have had a letter from the hospital explaining if you have been discharged. If your regular appointments previously showed that your condition is quite stable it may be that you don't actually need to see them unless your symptoms change, in which case your GP would probably be able to refer you back very quickly.

    I might be wrong. You might be right about this but I think you need more evidence. If you decide your GP really doesn't care then you should change your GP. There are still good ones out there. Give them a chance though and if you feel they are fobbing you off tell them and ask them to explain why they don't feel you need treatment or tests.

    I have a good relationship with my GP and I know I'm very lucky to have her. I have walked out on her in the past though and by the time I got home I had an answer machine message from her apologising. I won't go into what she had done/said as it's not really important, the point is she's human and has off days the same as anyone else. I communicated by walking out and I wish I had spoken to her rather than doing that just as she wished she had communicated differently with me on that day. Communication is key. Try going back to your GP about your cough and explain how you're feeling about the way she treated you last time you went and that you have been reluctant to return to her as a result. If she knows how you're feeling she'll hopefully make more effort in future to be clear about why she has decided to treat you/your condition in a certain way. I hope you can rebuild your trust in your GP as it sounds like you used to have a good relationship with her.

  • I totally understand. There has been a shift in the whole ethos that we have been used to. I dont believe that Dr.s have stopped caring as such. There is a recruitment crisis set to get worse as medics throughout the NHS, GPs, Consultants, Nurses & Midwives, reach retirement and not enough coming through the system to replace them. Combined with the eternal battles for adequate finances, the stress on those still trying to provide appropriate care for patients must be soul destroying.

    Where I live, 2 local GP Surgeries have had to close due to inability to recruit. Thousands of patients have had to look elsewhere for medical care. Chaos would not be too strong a term to describe the impact on us all. My GP has been the best I've ever had, but the strain is clear. I'm housebound. I loathe and detest outpatient appointments. The ambulance crews have to come and get me, the journey is torture, the hanging around to wait in a crowded waiting room and if lucky will just be within an hour of the appointed time, to see Consultant who looks at my notes, then me, to agree no changes there then. Recovery is not easy! It has now been agreed by Rheum. (& others) to discharge me to the care of my GP and she will let them know if I need to be seen. I like this system, it makes sense. But then I have trust in my GP, we have a good relationship. It also frees up an apptment to someone else who needs to be seen, someone they CAN help. There was a time when I was seeing 6 Consultants, and now down to 1 which I accept as absolutely necessary.

    I dont know whether you can or should share your worries with your Dr. I do wish you all the very best. xx

  • morning well I am nearly 68, and have a excellent doctor, but I find that I have to make the effort as well and play my bit. perhaps they think in the past they intervened to much, without letting illnesses play out naturually. Also there are a lot more people now using NHS so I suppose there has to be a way to prioritize, on illnesses which might prove more fatal. l hope you get help you need. xx

  • This has not been my experience. I feel just as cared for at 66 as I did at 36.

    I am sorry that this is your experience. I do think that the NHS is stretched extremely tightly nowadays meaning that the time to show care is limited.

    Dee

  • Please go back to your doctor or try another at the same place they say a change is as good as a rest it would be nice to get another doctors perspective I would definitely advise it don't wait any longer uve already proved uve tried but be careful what you say about the other doctor be nice about it. I'm 52 I've been in and out of hospital getting operations since I was 13 but what I find now is every time I go in with anything wrong the reply I get is oh that will be the fibro end of conversation they don't investigate or check that it could be anything else I feel it's just a cop out they say on tv if uve had a cough for so many weeks you should see your doctor like you say you go and it's a case of get them out quick got better things to do I wish I hadn't moved my previous doc was an absolute sweetheart they don't seem to care now is it down to us or is it the way government looks after them or should I say doesn't look after them the medical profession is at danger of becoming extinct due to poor wages and too many demands we all want fair wage for fair days work I wish it would go back to the way it was years ago my doctor told me to never worry I was calling him out for nothing better to be safe I do hope we are wrong maybe we have just been unlucky I hope you get your cough sorted take care please let me know how you get on gentle hugs x

  • Na. It's just they keep re evaluating ways forward given latest research and fads. Frustrating and disheartening sometimes. Do not have a crisis about a return visit. That's thier job. They chose it you didn't choose a crap hand in terms of ill health now did you.

    Good luck

  • Actually it is the other way round. In the 80"s you would not have had as much intervention based on your age. Over 65 would not have been given itu beds, whereas now there is no age limit.

  • Sorry to say I agree. I was in ICU for 32 days in 2008 and I could not ask for better care. They had concerns over my x-rays and results as they kept asking if I worked with asbestos but at that time I was led to believe we used an alternative? I later found in 2012 I had for over 10 years and cut it on a circular saw without mask or vents! At that same time asbestos compensation came out and I now cannot get anyone to sign me as asbestos affected? Plus it was only after an A& E visit last year and a letter from their consultant telling my GP's that they should treat all my conditions mainly lung and heart failure. They kept tsating my breathing was all down to my heart condition. I only have 57% lung function now?

    Be Well

  • Untill we had to move home 3 years ago I had been with a one doctor practice for 50 years. With each new doctor taking over the practice there as been 3 in total. I can say I had excellent care and understanding.

    Boy did I ever have an eye opener with this new surgery that as so many doctor's. I have to say I agree with a lot of what @doeidea posted.

    I have found most of them to be young and learning. I don't want a doctor to ask me what I think is wrong and treat me accordingly. I'm there beacause I'm desperate and have no idea what is wrong that's why im not a doctor.

    I have found with the doctors I've seen here so far they rarely do anything than listen and refer me straight to see someone at the hospital.Or check the symptoms on pc. It takes weeks to see a doctor where in my one doc practise it was only days.

    I guess when it comes to doctors we have to sort the wheat from chafe.

    I have to say I have found the doctor care/relationship nothing like we had with the hard working doctors we had when I was a kid.

    The one doctor would treat the whole family many from cradle to birth. They took two full surgeries a day including Saturday then spent the rest of the mornings and afternoon doing home visits and the did it with compasion.

    Doctors say their overworked these days ! most surgeries close Iin the week for one or two half days and at the weekends. For many a home visit is a thing of the past.

    Yes there is still some very good doctor's out there but finding them is the problem.

    My honest opinion is there are so many newly young trained doctor's going into practice that just don't have the experience or understanding of dealing with older patients. Most of the older established doctor's maybe coming to the end of there working days and don't seem as driven to give the same care and understanding the NHS is so bad they just want to retire and get out of it.

    Sometimes I just feel like saying give me a prescription pad and ill do the job myself lol

  • Dizzietwo. My GP works extremely hard. A lot of the work is done outwith surgery times in writing reports, contacting consultants and yes looking things up. Medicine is so complex now and the range of treatments and medicines evergrowing. GPS have a grounding in the fundementals of range of treatments but hospitals specialise in the various diciplines. I am more than happy for my GP to look things up or even to tell me she is not sure and will get back to me. That's good practice.

    But as for work my surgery GPS start about 7.30 and are often there at 6/ 6.30.

    I wouldn't like to have the stress and responsibility of their job

    Dee

  • Glad to hear your one of the fortunate ones to have a good practise with decent doctors Unfortunately I don't think that is the case for many people deejames

    As for been sent to see a specialist after one visit to my doctor which as happened now on 3 occasions which as been unnecessary thankfully I think it is just making hospital appointment wait time even longer.

    My gripe on this is my old doctor I had to leave 3 years ago would listen then prescribe. If I had to go back in a weeks time he would say well there is one or two more thing we can try for that problem. If I then had to go back then I was referred to the hospital, Surely that is good doctoring?

    I sometimes think with all this suing of doctors these days some doctors take the safer route too soon and pass the buck. Sorry if this offends you or you have family members in the profession but it is only my opinion. There are good and bad services in every walk of life and Doctors are no exception.

    Mo

  • Problem is that the is a growing elderly population, people surviving stuff that would be killed them before. People being looked after in the community whereas they would have been in a hospital bed before. Increased technology that means there is so much more to learn, specialities that didn't exists before. Also we have lost the older generation that would never have bothered a Dr unless it was really really serious as they had grown up having to pay to see them.

    Factor in a public that now question drs, want second opinions or look to sue. Since I started in 1980 there has been so many changes, I remember draw sheets, we were allowed one and a half per patient overnight, what that meant was that when someone was incontinent they had plastic and a draw sheet, when it got wet it was pulled over and the wet patch tucked away until another part was wet and then changed. You would never get away with that now.

    But then people don't remember that side

  • I have to say I feel the same way as you. To the extent that I need to go to the Drs as have several things that have either developed or have got increasingly worse but I find myself making appointments but then cancelling them the day before feeling that by going I am wasting there time and then using an appointment someone else should have. This feeling seems to e getting worse and I find myself shutting myself off more and more from everything. I have had fibro for many years now along with osteoarthritis in my hands knees and hips as well as suffering from depression which at times gets very severe. Pain and lack of sleep seem to be the hardest thing for me to deal with.

    I find sometimes when you are talking to drs if you go for more than one thing they just stop listening so then what's the point do we book a number of appointments and take one issue at a time.

    Good luck to you

    Jackie xx

  • Jackie. Most surgeries now quite understandby ask the patient to book another appointment if there is more than one issue to discuss. With appointments set at ten minutes it's surely better to have a thorough look at a problem rather than rushing through several and perhaps missing something ?

    Dee

  • Hi

    It is hard to generalise as each health authority seems to have different priorities. My own parents were continually fobbed off as soon as they reached seventy.

    In my father's case a diagnosis of bowel cancer was missed for two years despite him going to the GP many times. Eventually he went to his local hospital, (one of the named and shamed failing ones), had a colostomy and was sent home without support or follow up of any kind.

    He was very poorly for about six weeks and struggled with his bag as he had arthritic fingers.

    We lived 250 miles so it was not obvious to us what was going on.

    He collapsed with anaemia, rushed to the same hospital and had transfusions but never really recovered and died six weeks later. We later found out his blood should have been taken weekly on his discharge but the letter to the GP surgery "got lost"

    We did think about suing them but could not face the lies and recriminations.

    There is a lack of money and resources in the NHS but if we are told to work well into our old age, we should expect a health care system to support us.

  • @bluebell99 said There is a lack of money and resources in the NHS but if we are told to work well into our old age, we should expect a health care system to support us.

    Here here I totally agree. And I am so sorry your father had to suffer in such a way that must have been a very sad time for all concerned.

    Mo

  • It's been the same for me l to have a few health problems including getting fibro after open heart surgery four years ago for a hole in my heart leaking valves etc but it l have any problems now short of breath palpitations chest pain etc the doctor always puts it down to fibro, l am 62 now and unable to work on top of that when I can get out and about l feel that I am invisible it's that or people are just rude dose any one feel the same or is it just me let's have a good day x xx

  • it is happening everywhere I'm afraid....my Mum has just spent time in hospital because of a heart problem...as soon as she was stable she was sent home and has to wait till April to see the cardiologist! Once you are past 60 and develop health issues that's it you take your chances. I saw a new young doctor at my practice as I thought he would be more enlightened about fibro but even he sounded like he didn't believe in fibro...what hope have we got!!

  • How cruel -I have the same feeling from GP staff but quite the opposite from hospital staff . I have found a really helpful site called PUSHDOCTOR.co.uk - very reasonable - they use SKYPE - such pleasant doctors - and can prescribe to nearest chemist .They can contact your NHS record if you give permission .It is then recorded for GP to see. Well worth their fee . Pity your well paid GP collects from the NHS to make you feel worthless .

  • Sorry to here about having a duff GP,

    You could always look for a fibro friendly GP in your area.

    Mine is great never judges he pointed me here. But I'm under NHS Wales we have a separate system.

    I did have a GP tell me their is no way you can have pain there its in you're head. I left the surgery that week.

    Best wishes

  • Hello Doeidea,,,,,well this does sound rather suspect,,,,and your feelings about how you are being treated by lots of different doctors is unsettling,,,maybe a short break from your usual docs,,,could be the answer,,,,your cough needs to be treated,,,,have yu tried advice from your chemist?,,sometimes they can be very helpful,,,and if you feel that your gp is pulling back from giving you good treatment,for a condition that is getting you down,,,then a complaint sounds as though it is needed,,,,don't feel as though it is just you, there could be more of this poor care,,,which must stop,,,,please get them to listen and treat you,,,,ttfn from karen.

  • I think the underpinning cause is multi-faceted, but my view is that mostly we have a changing yet contradictory culture - we are told - help yourself first, treat yourself first - go to the pharmacist, the walk in clinic, GP only if absolutely necessary, 999 if you're about to pop your clogs. There are on-line self diagnostics...google ...use them at your own peril....use any of them at your own peril for the risk is of then being labelled with HEALTH ANXIETY when you only wanted to save a wasted GP trip. Whatever happened to common sense - you felt unwell, you went to see your family GP. They were the expert. They used to know you, your family and your medical history. Now there's always someone new, a locum, no appt slots and you are made to feel like you are wasting the doctors very valuable time. It feels like the NHS is in crisis....let me add, that the best care I have had recently has been from locum doctors but who sadly don't stick around or were unable to stay. There are targets set...the government might say to drive up standards of care...you ask anyone who works in a hospital what the reality is...the care is being lost somewhere along the way.....something isn't working right. I'm sorry that you appear to have been a victim of this. It's so wrong.

  • When I was in a&e the target's where much more important than patient care. Woe beside if you allowed someone to be there for more than 4 hours. There were more people chasing those targets than anything else. If someone was getting close then you could have the overall sister in charge, the matron in charge, the consultant in charge, the bed manager and the on call director chasing you to see what was happening. Factor into that phone calls from relative s, relatives actually there all looking for you as they recognise who is the senior there, it leaves you very little time to do much, though then you get complaints that staff are on the computer or the phone as naturally they don't realise what you are doing.

    The reason the target's are so important is money, breach the 4 hour target below the set percentage , used to be around 94% and the hospital would lose a large amount of money from the government, and for each individual patient that remained in a&e for over 10 hours the hospital is fined £10,000.

    Waiting times were actually longer before the target's but for some reason people don't remember that. I suppose that the target makes more headlines than when there wasn't one.

  • Hi....Bit late in answering your post....no excuse!! Anyway, my OH and I feel the same way as yourself....we do laughingly call it the Government ploy, but who knows.......

  • My elderly father at 92, with cll and Parkinson's gets absolutely every treatment that is available, unless he can't tolerate it, his leukaemia Dr even put him on an american trial of a new cll drug when he was 90! So no ageism here in Scotland!

  • Hi Doeidea

    I am so genuinely sorry to read this my friend, and I have to agree with you completely as I do not believe that I get the same attention to care that I use too? (I am 53 at the moment). I want to sincerely wish you all the best of luck and please take care of yourself.

    All my hopes and dreams for you

    Ken

  • All of you with Duff Dr's should move to wales while our NHS is still separate because it will get worse when the UK gov are accountable to know one (EU).

    Here we have a majority of GPs running the ring early for emergency or book an afternoon for non-urgent. Work's well as If I only need a med refresh I can ask for my GP to ring and he will. Got to say I do feel for people with a duff though as I've been there. But walked straight away.

  • Yes, yes exactly! I'm having the same thoughts, I've been brushed off by my doctor because I walked through his door with a smile on my face. He had absolutely no idea how hard it is to just get there to see him.

    Regarding your cough, that was the same reason I went to see my doctor and he laughed out loud and said well it's not cancer, I replied good, shall we now try and find out what it is then? He proscribed a nasal spray which didn't help but what did help me was "Broncho Stop" cough pastels taken when going to bed which helped me tremendously.

    God bless.

  • went doctors yesterday he referred me straight away to hospital...i didnt exspect that as ive been up a@e three timesin last month and sent home....nothing done...and because im under two hospitals they donot liase with one another..so i keep having too tell them whats wrong TUMOUR..... then they say its noton there data.....THIS IS WORRYING TOO ME TO SAY THE LEAST...what is going on in our NHS..... frightenening.. im 55 but been treated badly phoned PALS and nobody asgot backt to me in reguards to raising a complaint with one of the midland hospitals...then i read on google that they are failing us .....but hopefully now i will get looked at properly with a scan...thank god i had a decent DOCTOR yesterday who took note of me as quite a few doctors turn a blind eye...he didnot and was very concerned to my sytoms...i have 6 doctors in my practise.. out of the 6 ..2 are good rest are a waste of time...so this one yesterday was my first vist too him brillant young doctor........hope im here to tell the tale been losing blood through my mouth now for a while and ears im petrified.....as i do have a tumor....God help me as im panicking as this trouble been going on for time..but looks like things are moving along got scan monday at8am......

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