Pain Concern
22,204 members7,548 posts

Am I stupid!!

My last mail's concerned the great pain I was feeling in my knee and the reaction of my GP and the MSK clinic where I was seen by a glorified physio though expecting to see a consultan. She had my history and x-ray and basically told me that the pain was a "defensive".reaction. I have since realised that the service is cost led and that these "practitioners" are there to divert the patient to a less expensive speciality. In my case I was despatched to a physio two months ago and have yet to receive an appointment. No thought of the pain I suffer though I am sure compared to many it is manageable. I am gradually taking increasing ammounts of oramorph which I hate. I nagged my GP for an appointment with a consultant, but was seen by a registrar who concluded that the pain was being transferred from my hip to the knee. Good job I was not relying on the physio!! So now have to wait for an injection in my hip and if that's sucessfull no more pain for a couple of years. The waiting time for seeing all these "proffesionals" is around three months between visits and to me that is not acceptable. I have already spent all I can afford on a couple of proceedures . So am I mad in thinking the rationing begins at the GPS office if your condition does not appear to be life threatening, or must we all take this as normal?

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Unfortunately that sounds the normal long route with the nhs. It took them a year to give me a diagnosis and by then I had already lost my job. Like you I thought I was seeing a specialist but instead saw a physio. Then waited another 3 months or so to get to see consult so I know how frustrating it is. Wasn't sure if it was just the oxfordshire area that did this waiting game. Hope it goes through soon. X

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If all these professionals would be straightforward and truth full in the beginning, then we could insist on taking a shorter route. It's odd that if you do make a fuss and complain to pals things begin to happen I will be fully prepared next time!!

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I remember waiting 6 months to see a dermatologist only to seen by a junior assistant who immediately said I could be referred on, which took another 3 months. They clearly did this to stay within the official targets of 6 months. I was annoyed but things are slowly getting worse I think.

It's not just in the NHS as I have read that instead of using qualified teachers at school they increasingly rely on teaching assistants coz they are cheaper. The same in the police force with the rise of the PSO's.

Do you think we will soon be seeing an MP instead of the Prime Minster? In that case it can't be all bad :) x

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common at the moment lists are getting longer and they try their best to keep diverting you as they know this keeps them within targets. My thought is they should have sent you for an MRI, route is usually see the physio and if he can't diagnose or sort the problem then the GP now sends you for an MRI which the report then tells them which type of consultant to refer you to

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Thanks. That is very interesting as the GP intimated that she was unable to order a scan?? Is this the same in all health authorities .........I am in Dorset UK

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As I said I had to go private in the end but when I went to my gp and said I want a referral to the private consultant (I had been working on the private consultants house and she recommended I see him) he said well I can send you for a scan to see what's going on, told him it was too late at that stage but since then the Gp (Manchester area) has sent me for other scans and then you get referred to the relevant person, saves seeing a consultant for him to say we will send you for a scan then wait for the results etc, good idea as it reduces the number of the appointments the consultant wastes, the mri generally tells them most things they need to know

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I had X-rays and ultrasound through my gp which came back showing nothing. He then sent me to a sports injury specialist at a private hospital as a matter of urgency. I waited 2 weeks. It then took a month to see the private pain consultant he referred me to. After a month I saw a physio referred by GP. The longest wait I had was just over a year for pain clinic through NHS where I ended up seeing a nurse rather than a doctor and was referred by her to a physiotherapy specialist. It was the best treatment I have had. It's not so much who sees me, more about if they understand my condition and can get me the right treatment. I have CRPS

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Not all areas are the same in the uk, as the Clinical Commissioning Groups each have their own way of spending money. The CCGs set out the pathways that the GPs and others are able to use.

The demands on the NHS has risen hugely in the last 20 years. We are living longer, which is great, but it gives everyone a lot more time to have chronic conditions. So it is kinda' our fault as patients that there is so much pressure on the NHS, as well as a severe shortage of money.

It may feel like the rationing is starting at the GP level, and they are indeed called gatekeepers, but they will be following CCG protocol and will have their hands tied about what they can and can't refer.

And as for seeing a consultant or a 'junior', remember a 'junior doctor' is still a fully trained doctor, and is as skilled if not more so than the consultant in charge of the department. They might actually have been treating patients for 10 years by the time they see you.

The other big change is in the Allied Health Professionals like physios, occupational therapists, podiatrists and the like. They are now all trained to graduate level and keep training, so many of them can now prescribe medicines and are taking post graduate training. My pysio who knows a lot more about how to make hands stop hurting and get them in better shape for the future than the orthopaedic surgeon she works with (who is good at surgery because that is his job, not so good at the other stuff) and she is doing an MSc at the moment. In some countries now you have to have a PhD to be a physio so that is the direction things are going on. Physios are specialists these days and although they can be cheaper than a consultant surgeon, they are not cheap.

medical doctors do much of that training before they graduate, pharmacists, physios and nurses do their extra training after they graduate, but they can all end up at the same level. Otherwise they would be called a Health Care Assistant.

Someone mentioned in your previous thread mindfulness. Have you thought of going down that route while you are waiting?

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