This is a great forum and is a huge help to many. We all know that GCA is a medical emergency but it is clear from many postings that there are still too many doctors and consultants who need to "up their game".
If you do not have a "fast track" referral system in place in your locality then please look on the internet to find your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). I sent an email enquiring about referral protocols and now have a reply, part of which is as follows ....
XXXX Hospitals have confirmed that they operate under an informal pathway of GP advice by telephone with urgent assessment and follow up as required. They have acknowledged that a formalised pathway for GCA is a priority for them and they have asked for our support in developing a pathway similar to the one in operation in Southend. Their Lead for Rheumatology has scheduled the issue for further discussion/action at their next Business Meeting.
We will work with XXXX to develop this pathway and also highlight to our GPs the importance of recognition and early diagnosis for GCA.
These pathways and guidance will then be made available on our DXS Decision Support platform available on all our GPs computer desktops.
I hope this response goes some way to reassure you that we have recognised the issue and are taking actions to optimise the pathway.
This forum is about help for those with PMR / GCA and one way we can help those who are yet to be diagnosed is to push for increased knowledge among GP's and consultants. The response to my email shows we can achieve change.