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Three weeks ago I gave my experience with my GP when I asked to be referred to a Rheumatologist. He said no and to return in 6 months. However, after reading all your comments I decided to do as Kate suggested and printed a copy of the British Society of Rheumatologists guidelines and made a further appointment. I told him that I was very concerned that he refused not to refer me to a Rheumatologist and gave him a copy of the guidelines. He said he was aware of them and would read them later. By this time I was getting very upset and said to him because of a misdiagnoses by his predecessor I was blind in one eye, I didn't want the same to happen again. He said because he was new to the practice he wanted to read my notes and know a little more about my background. He then looked at his watch and told me that time was up and that his next patient was waiting. If I had any further questions to make another appointment. What my next move is I'm not sure, but I will definitely not be seeing him again. I am managing the reduction of prednisolone myself and so far it's going ok.

12 Replies

Hello hwigston,

What a horrible experience, I am shocked that you have been treated with such a lack of compassion, not to mention courtesy.

I live north of the border and am not up to date with how English GP's work. What I can say,as I work for the NHS, is that protocols and guidelines are meant to be followed almost to the letter unless there is a very good clinical reason not to.

I would suggest either making another appt to discuss this and taking someone with you to back you up/ be a witness/ give moral support. If you don't feel up to that then you could write to the head of the practice/ practice manager asking for the specific clinical reasons your request has been declined as it is contrary to the national guidelines.

Living with GCA is difficult enough without having to endure treatment like that.

Good luck and I hope you achieve a resolution to this problem soon.


I have felt the same when I have been to the doctor,s , it is very frustrating , I went yesterday and all she did was tell me to have a blood test and gave me prescriptions and sick note and come back in a month, I will be 60 in two weeks time and told her I feel more like 80.

This is a debilitating condition and I think the only ones suffering it truly know how we feel,

Write to your practice manager and also copy in your local mp and do let us know what happens .

Don't let them grind you down, the illness does that already x good luck


Hello Twigston,

This is appalling treatment and a written complaint to the Practice is necessary. It is essential that we stand up for ourselves, although I know this is not easy. Return to the Practice with a friend or relative for support/witness, and ask for a full explanation. It may be necessary to book a double appointment if that is possible, then you will not be dismissed in the fashion you were treated. Good luck and please let us know how you get along. Tomasina


hi hwigston

you are entitled to change your GP at any time - though it can be bit of a lottery not many will be as bad as the present one


Hi Trigston.

I had a very similar experience with my gp. Looking at his watch even getting up and opening the door for me to leave. I rang the practice manager and asked to see her. She agreed to see me and gave me time to explain my situation. The outcome is she spoke with my gp and then rang me to tell me she had spoken with my gp. At my next appointment my gp treated me with respect he was caring supportive and gave me all the time needed. I am not sure a letter would have done the same in my case.

I hope you manage to get your new gp onside it makes a huge difference.

Kind regards IanR


Hello hwigston

I'm not surprised you were getting upset - this is appalling and unprofessional treatment by a most uncaring GP. It would be easier for you to just change practice but then this GP (and the previous one by the sound of it) would never learn.

If it was me I would write to the Practice Manager asking for an appointment with her/him and take someone along with you to the meeting. Also, again take a copy of the BSR Guidelines, highlighting and pointing out the most relevant point so that no excuse can be made about the length of it and needing to read it all later.

At least it's good to hear that you are managing alright with the reductions at the moment but you do need to be under the care of a rheumatologist, especially with the appalling lack of care you are experiencing from your GP. I don't know whereabouts you are but there are many support groups dotted around the country and if you are close to one of them I know they will be able to recommend a good rheumatologist. Good luck with whatever you decide to do but mainly do take special care of yourself.


This really isn't good enough these gps should be struck off if they cant be bothererd with patients needs.Last time I saw one she was complaining to me about there new conditions ,weekend working and the like.Made me feel great that did.I understand they may not know anything about everything but at least they could show a bit of compassion.Not all gps are like yours and there are fantastic ones ,just get a second opinion or go straight to the hospital.


Hello hwigston. I would write directly to your local Rheumatology department and explain the situation. If in doubt go straight to the top! Good luck.


Hi, complain to the health trust. Change you GP. Its all about money my dear. If he refers you the practice has to pay. In doubt go to A&E for the pain on the day the surgery is closed. I have just come out of hospital after a kidney infection. They have put up my steroids again. Now I have a form of diabetus (high sugar readings steroid induced.) whatever next!


Hi Hwigson,

Your GP has belittled your condition to a dangerous extent. I suggest you make an appointment with your practice manager ASAP and asked to be moved to another GP.

In the meantime, I would pay a visit to your local A&E and ask to speak to a Specialist, and it would be a good idea to mention the way you have been treated by your 'so called' doctor.

Good luck,


1 like

Many thanks to everyone for your support and kind thoughts. I spoke to the Practice Manager last week, who I have known for several years. She said she would speak to the GP in question but not to hold out much hope. In the meantime I have escaped to sunny Spain for a few weeks where it is hot and sunny, and where I know if need be I will get excellent treatment in the local hospital.


What a good prescription, htwigston! I wish we could all get the same but I don't think the NHS would like it.

Even so, you do need to have it out with your doctor when you return, that kind of behaviour in a doctor just can't be allowed to go on for the sake of his other patients. I do hope you take up the cudgels when you return home.


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