Your rights as a Patient

I have been asked to make this very helpful link from Citizens Advice more readily available to everybody;

This link provides details about your rights as an NHS patient.


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17 Replies

  • Thanks Paul. And Keyes


  • Many thanks for that. 'M'

  • Thanks for this link Paul. I'm posting about the outcome of a formal complaint I made about a GP recently, in case it helps others here find the confidence to stand up for their rights as I've tried to do. .

  • Thanks Twitchytoes. It's always helpful to hear about your experiences.

  • Good of you to reassure me of this Paul - never quite sure if I'm just a seronegative nuisance!

  • Absolutely not. I think it is reassuring for other people to read because many have been or are in similar situations where they are struggling for confirmed diagnoses.

  • Yes I know many here struggle in the shadowlands Paul. Even with confirmed diagnoses they can be changed, lost along the way or ignored by busy doctors - especially if the GP or specialists (or both) are not the usual ones or a person has the misfortune to see a different doctor each time.


  • Hello,

    Can any-one please tell me if we have any rights to requset/demand a referal and monitering by a rheumatolgist?I have sjorgrens and anlupus oerlap , fybromyalgia and ehlers danlos. I was diagnosed a long time ago. I was on medication for years- I paid  to see a consultant privately.

    Last year my doc refused to prescibe any meds, as he  said it was not good for me. I have got worse and worse , and despite seeing him, he will not prescribe for me or let me go back to see a rheumatologist. He says you have your diagnoses, there is no treatment.

    Any-one else had this experience? Can we demand to see a rheumatologist or neurologist -or is it always at the doctors discrection. ?

    Thank-you so much!

  • You cannot receive NHS hospital treatment without being referred by your GP. I would suggest that you change your GP if you have a confirmed diagnosis of sjogrens, lupus and fibromyalgia and they are claiming that there is no treatment! Information about changing your GP can be found here -

  • Thank-you Paul so much for the advice. He says that everything is confirmed, so there is no point in me seeing a consultant again, as there is no cure.! what about monitoring and flare-ups etc? and the fact that he has stopped all my meds, and now , he wouldn't know which dosage to put me on as he isn't qualified as a consultant. He also stopped my drugs with no tapering off and I have been very ill as a result.

    I am feeling that I need medication, as I am more unwell and unable to function. He is a brick wall.

  • It is important for consultants to monitor your disease activity and make any necessary adjustments to treatment. It is incredibly dangerous that he has stopped all of your medications, especially without tapering. I have no idea how this person is practicing as a doctor! You need to change to a different GP and lodge a complaint.

  • Thank-you Paul, for your kind and supportive words. I have booked a phone call with him tomorrow, and if he is still the same unbending and indifferent person-which I am sure he is.I have decided to find a new doc. I am not a neurotic or silly woman, I am sensible  coherent and can sarrticulatel, I do find him incredibly belittling and arrogant. Do I complain to the practice manager? I imagine they will be 100% behind him.

    Thank-you so very much for taking the time and effort to help me. I am so grateful. If you don't mind I will let you know what transpires tomorrow, if anything.

    warmest wishes,


  • Hi Ann,

    You could complain to the practice manager, or if you want assistance with your complaint from an independent organisation you could contact the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service -

    Good luck tomorrow, let us know how you get on.

  • in my experience the NHS has been a no help service.

  • Hi Tara1_,

    I'm sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience. I have read about your recent appointment in your comments on other posts. Have you spoken with the PALS team at the hospital to lodge a complaint?

    It may be best to ask your GP to refer you to a different rheumatologist, perhaps one with a specialist interest in lupus? If you let me know what area you live in, I can provide you with information about any lupus specialists we know nearby.

  • Does this apply in Scotland, please?

    Or England & Wales only?

    Thanks, Aileen.

  • Hi AileenT,

    Apologies, that link is for England. For Scotland, please go to

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