Trying to get 1st appointment

Is there anyone on Wirral trying to get their 1st appointment.

Hospital received the GPS letter in April. I phoned in may & they said that I would get one in 12 weeks time. Phoned today to be told that 1 consultant is on long term leave & I'm going to have to wait till august or may be September before I get one.

I'm off work at present but need to get back as I live on my own & there are bills to pay.

Am considering going private if I can afford it.

Anyone know a rough price I would have to pay.

Thank you.

6 Replies

  • Dear car-p

    Sorry to hear that you are having such problems getting your first appointment. Is there another hospital in the area that you could be referred to? It may worth going back to your GP and seeing if this is a possibility. If not your GP may be able to help by contacting the hospital. Sometimes it is possible to get a cancellation appointment.

    If you decide to go private for your initial appointment, if you know the name of the consultant that you would be seeing on the NHS, it may be worth seeing if he does private consultations. I have provided a link below to a website where you can look up rheumatologists in your area:

    Charges are variable and you would need to ring up to find out what the cost would be.

    I have put some links to our information on what financial help might be available for you if returning to work becomes an issue:

    Hope this helps. If you would like to talk in more depth about this please feel free to call the helpline on:

    0800 298 7650 Monday – Friday 9.30am – 4.30pm


    Beverley (NRAS Helpline)

  • Hi car-p

    I am very surprised to hear this about a 1st appt. I worked in the part of the hospital that deals with referrals from GP's, and there are government guidelines as to how long you have to wait for a 1st appt. There are of course some exceptions but our hospital had a policy to see 1st appts within 6 weeks for quite a lot of disciplines. That was actually a bit quicker than government guide lines, but we still had quite a good standard for 1st appts. We used to advise our patients to get back in touch with their GP and ask them to send another copy of the referral asking it to be treat as urgent, as these do usually take priority. I know every hospital trust is different, but it is worth a try. You can also ask to be referred via the Choose and Book system, where you have a choice of hospitals and can pick the one that has the soonest apt available. This sometimes even has appts available at private hospitals but treated as an NHS patient.

    Good Luck


  • Hi there

    How very frustrating for you. I would go back to gp and ask them to re refer as urgent or to a diff hospital. I should imagine a private consultation is about £180 by now, we paid £120 back in 2007 for my husband.

    You could also try the hospitals PALS department? They deal with complaints. I rang them when I was waiting for my son to see a specialist and they got him in quicker. Good luck x

  • I have had 4 private consultations over the last 3 years. The prices ranged from £200 to £300 each.The beauty of it is that you are usually seen within the week. They were for Rheumatology, Neurology, ENT and Respiratory medicine. I live in Leeds. The follow up treatment was carried out under the NHS.

    Hope this helps... Good Luck.

  • I'm amazed at the short wait for private appointments in Leeds Ifu2!

    I suspect that in Wales we are seriously "under-doctored". Wait for a rheumatologist privately was 7 weeks a few years ago and we have even fewer now with an increased work-load. (and at least one rheumatologist who is excellent and does not do private work on principle.)

    Orthopaedics foot specialist more recently was 6 weeks privately as opposed to 10 months on the NHS.

    And I hear similar stories from other people locally.

  • I work full time and also operate as Self Employed and time is indeed precious. You need someone fighting your corner with you I think. My GP stuck her foot in the door and got my appointments moved forward by 6 weeks. Strangely, was also told the "Long Term Leave" scenario but I'm in Blackpool, not Wirral. Hope you get sorted. Leaving it just adds to the stress which is never going to help with any progress or stability. If its a case of losing work due to it, have you looked into P.I.P.? Every avenue explored etc.. Good Luck with it.

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