What does "follow up as planned" mean?

I phoned my GP surgery to get my latest blood results, specifically my ALT as it's been raised previously. Eventually the receptionist told me that it was raised and that my FBC was borderline. She said the GP had written a note on the results with the above comment. I asked what plan and the receptionist said she didn't know and would not be able to find out. There are no appointments until June. Only after giving her the long name for ALT and telling her I needed to know the level so that I could phone rheumatology and get some advice as to whether or not I should take my mtx did she tell me it's 71.

I was just interested to hear if anyone else has encountered this phrase and if so what did it mean for them?

P.s how fab are my rheumy nurses - I had a phone call 30 minutes after leaving a message on their answer phone to tell me to withhold this week's mtx as ALT is more than twice the upper limit of normal, the borderline FBC was in fact a high platelet count and I also have a raised CRP &ESR (1st time ever) so must be in a lot of pain as inflammatory markers are high ( she's right). She has also sent off paperwork for Humira which means I should start it in 2 weeks 😀😀😀.

30 Replies

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  • Good thing the nurses are with it...doesn't sound as if the GP or the surgery are on top of things..can you find a better one?

  • It's a shame that my named GP who wrote the comment is not great. There are good GPs there but I don't know if you can switch. There isn't a problem getting urgent appointments, just non-urgent ones. The surgery is also next door to where I work so would be reluctant to move.

  • Shouldn't be any problem at all changing GPs. Hope you find one that you can work with!

  • Good news, when I asked to change my named GP , the receptionist asked who I would like to change to. I said the one I wanted and she tapped on her keyboard and said all done. As easy as pie 😊😊😊

  • Great! I don't think I've ever even met my named

    GP. I always ask for the one I know and like. Hope things go well for you now.

  • One time in the past we could have phoned in for an appointment to see a Dr of your choice but not now you phone in early morning for an appointment your on a list you get the first Dr that calls your name. Some Drs are more symphatic with you than others some can be very abrupt in their manner so some Drs had been more busy than others this new system means that everyone works the same. only the patients are unhappy . I've been at that surgery for 55 years and seen lots of changes I'll just have to go with the flow

  • I do count myself fortunate that my surgery doesn't operate like that and you can book appointmemts in advance. The only downside is that its weeks ahead rather than days.

  • I would just see a doctor at the practice you trust and like. You don't have to see your regular GP.

  • I think we all know GP's are very rarely clued up on anything to do with RA...like Jacey my first stop for info is always the brilliant Rheumatology Nurses!

  • True. I don't even bother seeing my GP with regards to arthritis. Pointless waste of time.

  • That's good to know, thanks. I will try to switch to the one who rang me when my ALT was 53 earlier in the year. I've seen him several times and he has always been very helpful.

  • Sounds a good idea. I've just spoken with my GP on the phone....about 20 minutes after ringing the surgery to say things weren't quite right this morning. That's the sort of relationship I hope you can also have. Glad that you've got one in mind that you like!

  • It just means they're monitoring you. When you've had unusual blood test results they don't just leave it they need to monitor you. This could be by just taking blood again to see if your levels are better, or worse of course, or calling you in for an appointment to discuss your situation. As you've had a call to temporarily stop your MTX that's part of the monitoring plan.

    Unless the GP you would prefer to see has a full list there shouldn't be any problem changing to him. Just ask for him when you next make an appointment & thereafter. If the receptionist happens to ask why you don't need to give a reason.

    Good luck with the Humira.

  • My concern is that they did just leave it. If I hadn't called in this time (I rarely do because they have always previously phoned me) I would not have known that I have to stop mtx this week. My shared care agreement states this and that they should contact my consultant. The GP didn't contact either me or my consultant. She did not arrange an appointment or ask me to have repeat bloods.

    That's why I am confused by the follow up as planned- ot appears no follow up has been either planned or organised.

  • It could be that as your blood tests are abnormal whoever the allocated GP is to read them has called your Rheumy for advice & is waiting a call back. Do you think that it's that you've rung before they've received advice & this is what the note means?

  • Maybe 😏

  • I've unfortunately had this happen to me a couple of times. I now check my own blood results, and if there's anything amiss, I call them.

    My white cell count was out of whack and they were supposed to call, and never bothered.

  • Hi Nettac, how do you check your own results please?

  • Are you in UK?

    You can arrange with your GP surgery to check your own medical record. They give you a code in order to access results. Just ask receptionists.

  • Thanks, that's really handy to know. Yes I am in the UK. I will ask the next time I go in to the surgery.

  • Most places do it now. It's just called patient access, or something like that.

    It's really good because you can check up on tests, and consultant letters. You can't see everything, but I'm not sure I want to see my notes! However, you do also have the right to see these. You have to pay for that though.

  • Finally a message you can underatand. My GP receptionists are not allowed to give any info over the phone I have to speak to a nurse on duty. Which is sensible

  • Receptionists are not supposed to give out any information regarding tests. 😳

  • But she wouldn't get anyone to ring me either or explain either.

  • And they have previously rung me with results and messages.

  • Not blaming you Jacey15. They are not qualified to give out important results, and she has no business refusing to allow you to have a doc call you back.

  • Jacey15 this is what my partners shared care plan is like. Hopeless. The GP surgery just take the blood, send it away and that's that.

  • It's such a shame isn't it? I fear a lot of it's down to the massive shortage of GPs.

  • I have an agreement with my GP. They have given the receptionist permission to print out my blood results or email them to me. If I pick up a print out I then sit in the reception area and write them in my methotrexate monitoring book. If I think that there is anything amiss I ask the receptionist for a GP to call me, and they do. Recently I picked up that my potassium had dropped significantly over the past 2 months. It's not necessarily part of methotrexate monitoring but I'm on other potassium dumping drugs. My local hospital is working on a system whereby you will soon be able to access your bloods via a network login. This will help the Nurse Specialists and GPS a lot. I have to say if my ALT has been raised I have always had a call from my GP.

    I think it's important to be as informed as possible when it come to having access to your own results.

  • That sounds like a great system. I will have to enquire if its available at my surgery.

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