Rheumatologist in Portsmouth for private appointment then NHS treatment?

Hello

I'm looking for recommendations please for a rheumatologist in Portsmouth (at QA preferably) who I could see privately for first appointment for confirmation of GP's diagnosis and then move onto NHS treatment. We haven't lived in the UK for some years till recently so I don't understand how to do this or process/ politics etc. We would pay from own funds not insurance so getting back onto NHS would be necessary. Any advice please, please feel free to message me privately if you prefer.

Or if you know the area and know how quickly an urgent NHS referral is actually seen, please let me know

Many thanks in advance

16 Replies

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  • Why don't you phone the rheumatology department at the hospital and ask them about waiting times, and which consultants also work privately? Here's the link.

    porthosp.nhs.uk/departments...

  • Thank you - just after I posted I thought why don't I phone/google around and have found nearly all the local NHS ones also work at Spire near me - called both hospitals and posting this or info for anyone else in area - Spire say can do apptmt within 2 wks depending on diaries, NHS say 3 weeks for 'urgent' or around 8 for routine. If your GP marks you as urgent, it doesn't mean hospital criteria would come to same conclusion. Depends also if GP sends enough info for them to categorise you as urgent

  • Well there you go then!

    A private consultation will probably be around £150-£200, and if the NHS appointment comes though in good time then you can always cancel it. Try to get your GP to do blood tests just before so you don't pay to have those done privately.

  • Hi you sound like you are taking control of your situation and being pro active in getting what you need...On one of my early appointments and in so much pain, the Rheumy Nurse told me to : 'Shout loud for what you need' well I am more the quiet polite sort, but I took that on board!...(you will get the phone number of these Angels once diagnosed). I also asked for copies of all letters and Blood tests from my GP and took them with me at every appt..

    On your 1st post you said about your hands, I found a handful of Epsom salts/ magnesium flakes in comfortably hot water very soothing,

    Kate x

  • Good idea - going to get some!

    I have a wax bath but it takes hours to heat so I have to think ahead to plug it in, although it does help a bit for an hour or so. My hips which hurt a lot right now are too big to fit in ha ha ;-0 even one cheek at a time ;-) I could maybe fit a knee in but can't bend them enough at mo to get one in.

    I would really like to get into a deep hot Jacuzzi type spa bath for aching bones today

  • Might be worth joining a health club just for the steam and jacuzzi...I joined the Holiday Inn club just for the Aqua fit and the steam room! My NY resolution is to try Pilates. The more excercise the better.....if someone told me a year ago that I would be able to do this I wouldn't believe them, I was in such a state, pain, fatigue, joints seizing up...even spent 5 days in Derriford hospital (I live in Plymouth).... If you have a Holiday Inn health club nearby you can download a free pass to try it....

    Take care and stay positive, it will get better.

    Kate

  • thank you! I have done Pilates until the last 9 months due to moving country, tried a few classes here in Oct but then had to stop as hands so painful and couldn't weight bear on them, plus knee problems, and teacher said you need a diagnosis before can carry on in case damaging your joints. It is a great exercise, good luck with it and I will get back to it once this is under control (thinking positive)

    Good idea about health clubs - will take a look. Hubby - trying to help me get some relief from pain etc - gave me a spa day pass for Christmas - but I have to drive 1 hour to get to it which I can't face right now as steering wheel and gear changes hurting :-( Something for the future I guess.

  • It does very much depend on whether the GP asks for an urgent appt. GPs are the crux of the problem. I've just had a referral for an appt within two weeks (not for rheumatology) but it applies to all depts. The hospital has to comply.

  • I did that: gp then private then nhs.

  • Just bear in mind that while consultations are not always extortionate, if you need bloods and scans, you could wrack up bills into the hundreds and maybe thousands. Whatever you decide, I wish you luck.

  • Yes, it's not the consultants appt that costs, it's the other stuff. I initially went private before moving across to the same rheumie on the choose and book system on the NHS. It cost between £1500-£2000 for all the blood tests the rheumie wanted to do, plus the rheumie appts (initial then follow up after the tests) plus an ultrasound of one hand.

  • Oh my! that is a lot. I thought I could have the first talking appointment and get tests back on NHS like ultrasound - already have hand x rays and some bloods done. Bit stressed now.

    I know it makes some people mad that people pay to queue jump for appointments - but am getting desperate - typing with one finger as others won't bend :-(

  • I'm not sure whY people should get mad. The consultants already have time set aside each week (usually at least 2 days) for private appointments, and you are taking pressure off the NHS by paying for the appt privately.

    I'm not sure how well your "talking appt" is going to work. Firstly you'll need to try to make sure that the rheumie you see privately is one who you can also see in your area on the NHS. When they see you privately, the won't have access to any of your records sitting on the NHS system (other than what your GP referral letter says). I don't think they will then be able to order tests for you on NHS without first seeing you again on NHS. The two systems are very separate from each other and they don't mesh together very well. I saw the same rheumie both privately and on the NHS and when I saw him again on the NHS he had no idea what my private tests and scans showed as he had no access to them in the NHS hospital (as he saw me in a separate private hospital for the private appt)? It was all a bit crazy, but the two systems simply aren't designed to work collaboratively.

  • Helix's idea is prob the way to go. Try to persuade the GP to do an anti ccp blood test , and the other RA blood test, and CRP/ESR, and then refer you based on those results. If the results are positive the rheumie might then just prescribe you some cheap RA pills (and a steroid injection in the bum) to tide you over until the NHS appt comes through. That's what happened to me. You would have to pay for the pills privately but at that stage they are pretty cheap. WHen I was referred, all my blood tests were normal so the rheumie had nothing to go on unless he ran a load more tests on me first. And he ordered ALOT of blood tests. Which all cost a lot of money. I had private health insurance but the cost was so high it took me over the insurance claim limit ...

  • Ps. The rheumie was £250 an hour which I believe is fairly normal.

  • Oh my, it is all so complicated. Been on the phone chasing for missing NHS test results - ~Rheumatoid screening ordered by GP - not sure what exactly that includes in terms of is it anti ccp etc? I had ESR and blood counts around Christmas which were normal as far as I know but since then all joints have flared up and pain also so not sure if should ask to get tested again via GP surgery before see rheumy, as results may be different - private apptmt now booked for 16th. It is with someone I could also see at NHS hosp in same region. Waiting since this morning for GP to call so can get them to chase missing results as blood lab at NHS hosp say GP (not patient ) has to chase them for them to act on it :-(

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