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NHS Appointment delays

I was referred to a cardiologist by my GP in March and because I chose a local hospital from the options list I was given an appointment in September. I last saw my rheumatologist consultant in February 2012 and was given a further appointment in September 2012. I have just been informed that this has been rearranged for February 2013 (1 year between consultations).

6 Replies

I would certainly ring and get that sorted as a year from being diagnosed to seeing how the treatment is going is just too long. I would speak to the helpline and see what they say just to be sure. Sylvi. xx


I was given a silly date for an appointment (postponed by hospital from 1st Oct to 24th Dec). I rang straight away to change this and they quickly found me a new appointment for the end of October - so just less than a months delay. No aggravation, no big deal. I hope you can get a quick resolution.

Best, Cathie


A year is a bit much! Hopefully Cathie's suggestion will work, but the cuts seem to be hitting very hard these days. What makes me mad also are the number of people who don't turn up for appointments, as that's such a waste. There was a sign up in the waiting room last time I had an appointment saying that there were 17% appointments missed - that's nearly one in 5!! I couldn't believe it, as I'd crawl over stones to get to my appointments they're so few and far between. Hope you manage to get a cancellation. Polly


I see from previous posts that you aren't new to RA and therefore they might just think it's okay for you to see the rheumy once a year. But if you need to see them more often because you have active disease and need a review of your meds then you should address this by emailing or writing to your local hospital or asking your GP to intervene on your behalf.

I don't want to sound critical but you haven't told us enough about yourself on your profile for us to know what what context you are coming from. There is a national shortage of rheumatologists so services in most places are very pushed I know. I was only diagnosed in November and am seeing my rheumy for the first time since then in a week's time - which makes it 8 months but I have no specialist nurses where I live. I suspect it will be once a year for me once they decide they can get away with it ie when they find that I've stabilised on the meds. As Cathie suggests I would phone and ask them and cite NICE guidelines if you can because they may well be breaching them. Tilda x


It is easy to make excuses for inadequate medical services. As we all know, rheumatology is the poor man of the specialities. Many of us have spent a lifetime paying for these services, often without using them to any extent. In my case, I was in more or less from the start of the NHS.

I don't believe in putting my life history or personal details on the internet, especially on a public forum. Suffice it to say that I have had RA/Sjogrens for 35 years and am now taking an anti tnf biologic. Flared 6 months ago and has now come back to a DAS of about 3.5. It isn't so bad, but it still needs monitoring by somebody with a half decent medical degree.


i agree with you, a year is far too long between appointments as we all know things change very quickly with ra and with the drugs we take. Good idea to keep telephoning til you get an appointment sooner.


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