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New here, how long for referrals ?

My symptoms started in January in both hands and wrists. I had blood tests which showed RA indicators and sent for x-rays, doc gave me steroids. When I went back to see another doc he said I definitely have OA in right wrist other looks ok. Gave me ibuprofen and wait for referral to consultant which was in April. I do a manual job and I've been struggling the ibuprofen did nothing for the swelling, and now I'm having pain in my knees! Then letter from hospital cancelling appointment.My hands flared up last week so now I've got 2 weeks on steroids and still no nearer diagnosis and waiting for rescheduled appointment. I'm managing at the moment but its getting me down. Work have been good but I'm not sure how long their patience will last. How long is it usual to wait for referral? Thanks.

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If you look here at the NICE recommendations, you will see what is recommended if RA is thought to be likely.

Unfortunately, the burden on rheumatologists, who are in short supply, means that the waiting lists are much longer. You need to be assertive, politely but insistently asking for an urgent referral. Put pressure on your GP by going there frequently and asking them to write/phone/send an email to the rheumatologist. Those who shout loudest get seen soonest unfortunately.

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Thanks oldtimer, that's what I intend to do :-) thanks for the link.


update, got appointment 29th march, so earlier than original appointment! Feeling a bit more positive now things are moving on.


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