Hi just wondering how long some of you had to wait before being put on medication? I've had my first appt with the rheumatologist on the 28th last month and I was told to.go to my own Doctor in 10 days .......whigh I did , but he couldn't give me any medication as he hadn t heard back from the rheumatologist! Is this normal ? To have to wait so long . ? the doctor said he would be in touch either by letter or a phone call .

has anyone else had this problem .😕

10 Replies

  • Sometimes it make take upwards of three/four weeks for the GP to get an instruction from a hospital appointment This generally takes about three weeks for the GP to read the script

    Your GP needs to see what has been advised. You could if you are in pain take an over the counter NSID, that will give relief. Paracetamol most probably can also help.

    If your GP will write a note to you, you can now just wait as He will phone or call when He gets a result.

    In the future you could ask the hospital receptionist to have a copies of the Specialists reports sent to you, this will possibly short cut, and inform you when hopefully the GP gets His copy, so then you could be informed to make that important appointment to see Him. You then will have a copy that you can take along to your Appointment and will make it easier to discuss all findings

    Good Luck


  • Thanks Bob .

    I never knew they would send to you a copy of the consultant letter I must remember to ask in future .

  • My experience was quite different as I was diagnosed abroad but I was 2 weeks from first going to my GP & the blood test confirming RF to referral to the diagnostic clinic & after further testing & imagery given my treatment plan along with my meds & an appointment with my Rheumy for 3 months time.

    Here in the UK as your Surgery is providing the prescriptions they must have signed a shared care agreement with the Rheumatology Department. This means that you will get your prescription filled by your Surgery but in order to do that your GP needs to have the treatment report from your Rheumy as some will be specialist meds he'll be prescribing. He's not able to do that without sight of the letter as the responsibility for those meds remains with your Rheumy as does any amendment to them or any additional specialist meds (DMARDs & such, NSAIDs & steroids your GP can prescribe or amend). Depending on how busy the admin dept is at your hospital depends on how quickly that will be but mine is anything from a week to 3 weeks before I receive my requested copy & so I imagine this stands for my GP too.

    I recently had a review & my Rheumy increased my MTX. I needed to chase up my Surgery as the request to my GP was delayed so it's a case of if you don't hear from your GP keep phoning to check. I had a week's delay of my new dose but fortunately I had a spare 15mg & was able to use that so I had continuation even though it was lower than the new dose.

    Hope this helps. I know you're probably wanting to get started on your meds but it's not unusual to have to wait a couple of weeks.

  • Oh & ask your Rheumy for a cc of the letter, that way it will be noted & not missed!

  • I went the very next day to my GP and told her what had happened with the RA consultant, and she believed me and put me on meds there and then.

    It is very important to start meds asap as it make such a tremendous difference to you. Would suggest you ring the Consultant's Sec immediately and ask why the delay in letter.

    Hope you get sorted soon.


  • Just a thought but maybe you could ring your consultants secretary and ask them to fax a copy of your required prescription over to your gp. Alternatively - ask your gp' s receptionist to ring to request it. Good luck and try not to worry too much about taking the meds -- it may take a while to feel an improvement - but you'll hopefully get there.

  • Hi I had to wait a month for my Methotrexate. I kept on contacting the hospital and the Dr's and in the end I collected the letter from the hospital myself as I was fed up with waiting.

    I was very pleased to get it finally sorted even though I had to arrange it myself .

  • As others have said, it's important to start on the meds as soon as possible as the sooner they're started after the first symptoms the more likely to get a good result. And also because you're probably in a degree of pain right now! So do chase up rheumy dept and the GP to get this moving - you'll find that RA is a a bit of a self-service disease so you do have to be a bit pushy at times. Don't wait for GP to contact you but keep asking.

    I'm very lucky as I have a brilliant rheumy. She prescribed me with 4 weeks of meds at my first appointment so I could start immediately, and then the GP took over afterwards once letter had arrived. And usually I get a copy of my letter from the rheumy, but if it doesn't arrive I ask the GPs surgery and they give me one (although charge 25p for the photocopy!)

    It seems that everywhere's a bit different, depending on the shared care arrangements locally. But if you're just starting on this then do find out who's down to do the blood tests, if there's a helpline number for your rheumy dept, and check that it's for the GP to manage pain relief.

  • It took me about 6 weeks to see the rheumy, then she started me on meds right away. Keep in mind that this is in Canada, though, and I saw my rheumy exceptionally quickly because my gp is awesomeness itself. In my experience, it's always harder to pin down specialists in any field. Hope you hear soon! xx Bat

  • Thanks Azbat I'm going to phone my doctor tomorrow xx

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