Why such long wait?

Hi everyone. I am pretty new here but in such a short time I have learned so much. Thank you all very much. There is something I just dont quite understand and was hoping to get more info just for my own knowledge. I have read on several posts that there are long waits to visit or get appt with pain centers/pain clinics. Weeks and sometimes months, I was utterly amazed and saddened. All the pain clinics around my area

have what they call Fast Track, or something similar at the others. If you have pain & do not have a Dr or worse you have no medicine, you'll be seen in just a few days. If your family Dr refers you, its usually a week. If you call and make appt yourself it is no more than 10 days, unless you are in the first situation I mentioned. Are there just too few pain clinics in many areas? I think the long wait is so cruel and just ridiculous. I have friends in a support group for living with pain, all of them got in quickly. The longest wait was 2 weeks. My heart goes out to anyone that has to wait so long to be seen if they have pain and nothing to help them. Is the long wait common in most areas or just certain areas? This is just shocking and Im hoping I must have misunderstood what I was reading. Thanks everyone

14 Replies

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  • In the U.K. the NHS is being strangled by our government because they want to sell it to the richest 1% of Britain.

  • Also, some conditions get much more priority than others. You have to wonder if spending tens of thousands on treating lung cancer, whilst the patient is still smoking* is really a good use of funds?

    *If you want to play the addiction card; there's other ways of taking nicotine. If they need something to hold; they can grab & pen or pencil.

  • Hello Enzo777 and welcome

    What many people seem not to realize is that pain Consultants are in fact anesthetists. They haave a full time job in theaters and do pain clinic as 'part time'. Our own wonderful one had one day a week when he had access to theater to provide various procedures on pain patients. Probably about 9 people on that day. There is a huge shortage of theaters across the country and pain is a long way down priority list.

    We used to have waiting times with targets and many were outsourced to private clinics t meet those targets.

    x

  • Thanks for the info. I am so fortunate that the pain clinics around here have Anesthesiologists, Neurologist & Orthopedic Dts. Along with PAs' & NPs' who can also order tests, procedures & write prescriptions. This is their full time job. I see the same Dr almost every time. They are open 9 hours a day, five days a week. These are standard hours for most clinics. Thanks again, I appreciate your kindness. You were most helpful

  • I have been waiting for 8 weeks for a pain clinic referral for a trapped nerve in my neck.

  • I waited 3 months for nerve problems in my neck. I sympathise with you x

  • I think it just totally depends where you live (I live in south east England. I had quite a long wait (2 months) but now have really excellent treatment. It also depends if you use the NHS or have private health insurance.

    In an ideal world you should not have to wait but we live in a world where there are lots of cuts and saving in health care.

    I'm just really thankful that the service exists. If you need help sooner than that, there is always the GP and if all else fails you can go to E&A or pay privately for care

  • Hi Makinglemonade,

    My husband pays for private health care for me with one of the big health care companies.

    So if I need anything doing, I can choose to use NHS or private health care, depending on what is wrong with me or how long I want to wait for treatment.

    But the one thing I can't get treatment for, with private health care is, the back and leg pain I get to some degree every day.

    That's because it was a pre-existing condition before the policy was taken out, so I have to have any treatment I get for it on NHS.

    So,as far as my back and leg problems go, (which I've had for past 30years taking medication which a lot of the time doesn't work properly) private health care is totally useless.

    I live in the South East.

  • Depends what country you're living in.

    In UKand Ireland there are generally very long waits- 18 monthswould not be uncommon in Ireland.

    I needed a nerve cauterisation- waited 6months on public access- then decided to go private as the pain was too much. Got in within 10 days! Lying in bed in agony now after the injection- pain is horrific- hopefully means something is doing its job. Oxycontin and Paracetamol - and just put on lidocaine patch. Sleeping pill next stop!

    The management of the Health systems is a joke-:overpaid managers and far too many of them.

    The front line workers are magnificent- but harried and under equipped.

    👹

  • I hope so much that your injection will hurry up and stop making you so misreble and very soon you will wake up one morning with just a mild amount of pain which you can live with or can be controlled. I wish you the best & I will be praying for you. Thank you for responding, especially with so much agony.

  • Thank you Enzo , for your kind thoughts . I went and watched TV for a while to let the meds take effect- which they have done. Feeling a lot better now- "24 hrs in AnE" TV Show is great to make one realise just how insignificant ones' own situation is!!

    I won't know for a few days how effective the injection will be. Always hope!!😂

    Mind yourself! And thanks again.

  • As it happens I've just booked a pain clinic appointment, first date was January the 18th, which sounds reasonable but:-

    I begged to see a pain specialist back in April/ March when the duty doctor (who read my file) asked if I've ever heard of "codeine" (last month I was advising drug testing companies why their tests weren't sufficient).

    The appointment for that was in late July but I got the date wrong (my GP didn't correct me when I mentioned the date to her) and arrived two days later.

    Re-booked for the mid November, but as I kept checking the referral site, I managed to get an appointment for the middle of last month. A total bust; the PS refused stronger medication, criticised my current meds, and rolled her eyes at me when talking about how addictive Fentanyl is (then stopped taken them to prove I wasn't an addict, hence the tests). She did prescribe some capsicum cream, great(!)

    (GP has since prescribed stronger meds as the alternative was being sectioned; being in so much pain for so long has effected my mental health.)

    I had a follow up meeting earlier this week, but the receptionist marked me off as seen on their booking system (a piece of paper!). A waited around for 2 hours, during that time the PS left as she had no more appointments. As it was their mistake they have got me an appointment a week later. Personally I think it's a waste of time seeing her again.

    So poor communication for referrals. Admin Errors with the bookings, there's a lot of time being wasted . There's no prioritisation (unless it's to cover their own arse). The meeting I did have was more about what she likes, rather than what I need; her softly-softly approach would have have been ok years ago, but not after thing have gotten so bad.

  • I honestly thought that the US had the worst health care system. I do not qualify for any govt benefits. I pay $700 per month for my health insurance. My husband does not have it, we cant afford it. Last year my out of pocket cost for what insurance did not pay was $12,700. Atleast I can use that as a partial deduction on our income tax return. My meds now cost about $600 a month. I do not work. Im thankful that I can now function. I am very depressed. I dont know how we can afford my medical care much longer. Pain is a cruel bitch. I have wondered many times "why me". I wish you the very best. I guess with horrible pain, its bad, one way or another, everywhere. It does help me to know that Im not alone.

  • In my experience the local NHS pain services have been absolutely overstretched & under resourced, & it will get worse.

    A few years ago I was prescribed acupuncture by the pain consultant - it was an 18 month wait. Also waited 8 months for a nerve block. More than once the consultant asked to see me for follow up appointments 2 weeks later but there would be no appointments available for many weeks.

    Things improved considerably in recent years at a different hospital. However, pain management has now been contracted out to a private company. I've got to see my GP to find out if I am still eligible for the injections I've been having which have sucessfully managed my pain for 6 years. Not sure what I will do if he says no.

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