PMRGCAuk

Rheumatology Referral Query Nottingham Area

Last week my GP offered to refer me to a rheumatologist as she felt unable to clearly diagnose the cause of my "new" symptoms. I deferred that offer in favour of trying to get an appointment to see the Endocrinologist who has looked after me for many years.

However, as the endo is fully booked and my symptoms don’t seem to be settling down let alone going away I took my GP up on the offer of a referral.

I took advice from a few of the replies I had received from my earlier post and did some Google research on rheumatologists in Nottingham.

So, I was armed and ready before I spoke to my GP with names and preferred hospital. However, I never got the opportunity to request anything as it would seem that referrals to rheumatology are now being triaged by a consultant who decides who you will be seen by and where you will sent to. I am so not liking the sound of that!

Apparently, the system only came in to effect for rheumatology referrals very recently.

At this stage I did not want to ask to see a consultant privately because I was concerned about the cost of tests that might be required. I am fortunate enough to have an agreement with my GP regarding my endo. I pay for the consultations and the GP practice cover the cost of my blood tests – which are extensive.

I am wondering if anyone else has experience of this new NHS system for referral in Nottinghamshire and if so how it has worked out for them?

Indeed, any feedback on Nottingham rheumatologists – good or bad – would also be welcomed.

17 Replies
oldestnewest

Yes - someone somewhere else said a friend had come up against the rheumy of her choice not wanting to take her on.

I think it is disgusting - and really DOES introduce a post-code lottery for anyone who can't afford to go privately. Money talks...

1 like
Reply

Well I will see what the outcome of the triaged referral is and if I'm not happy about it will have to think about going privately at least for an initial consultation.

But it certainly doesn't feel like a progressive move as far as the patient is concerned if it means choice has been removed...

Reply

Hi Pipalina,

I have had experience of the triage referral here in Nottingham. I was refused a bone scan, although it was granted on appeal. I have injured my shoulder and my doctor referred me for an ultrasound scan. I had to wait a week while the ‘panel’ decided whether I needed one or not. Fortunately it was granted. My gp said it was urgent as I lived alone and was struggling to dress, shower, shop or do housework. The ‘ urgent’ scan took 5 weeks to come. The consultant who did the scan immediately said, “ that must be very very painful. “ An emergency appointment for the shoulder clinic hasn’t yet materialised. My gp is chasing it up. The bursa wants draining and a cortisone shot. I also have experience of rheumatology at QMC. Not terribly impressed. I am seen every 6 months but the target seems to be ‘get off the steroids’. However the consultant is pleasant. I know they chockablock in their clinics. These are at the Treatment Centre privately run by Circle. It’s a mess.

Liz.

Reply

Hello Liz - thanks for your reply and information. It really does seem as though this triage system isn't working too well for patients! I hope your shoulder clinic appointment comes through soon - at least your GP seems supportive. I'm not to confident about my referral but will continue to research for rheumatologists in case I end up having to go private. Best of luck to you - Kathy

Reply

Thanks Kathy. It seems that the GPs opinion matters for nothing. Their professionalism is gradually being eroded by these so called ‘panels’. Surely if a GP says a scan is necessary that should be enough. Good luck with rheumatology. I hope you get an appointment soon. My GP is the loveliest one you could imagine.

Liz.

1 like
Reply

You could, on the off chance, search for Dr David Wright, the BSR Chairman for East Midlands works at of the main Nottingham Hospital, and ask for the name of a Consultant whose secondary specialism is PMR, GCA or Vasculitis and then if you have to go privately for who you want to see, then you will know a recommendation. Mind I do not know if that would help, but worth a try.

1 like
Reply

Hello & thank you for your reply. Yes, it does help and I will certainly take your advice - many thanks to you.

Reply

Sorry, me again! I don't seem to be able to find any info for Dr David Wright in Nottingham. Only info seems to refer to him being in Sunderland. Do you know which hospital he works in in Nottingham?

Reply

I occurs to me - after all he has done over the years with regard to the Fast-track, do you think Prof D knows about the status of getting an appointment if you have suspected GCA?

Reply

No is the short answer.................but I can ask the question - frame it for me please.

I am drowning in volunteer and Joan related stuff.

Reply

Hi Pipalina,

The Consultant with the special interest in Vasculitis in Nottingham is Dr Peter Lanyon. He is currently the Chair of the British Society of Rheumatologists so is kept busy!

The problem with triaging referrals is the quality of the information in the original referral letter. I would ask your GP to put in as much detail as they can and state clearly what the issues are.

Reply

Hello Keyes

Many thanks for your reply and for the information about Dr Lanyon.

I had come across his name whilst Googling for information but wasn't sure whether he actually consulted - either NHS or privately. I'll do a bit more researching!

I think my GP has already done the referral but she is usually very efficient and I will have to trust that she will have provided sufficient background information.

Many thanks to you again...Kathy

1 like
Reply

Thanks Keyes, I put the wrong name in...............David Wright is at Sunderland..........put it down to old age please.

2 likes
Reply

I live in East Sussux, UK... The GP told me back in November I'd wait, I think it was like 12-14 weeks for an NHS Rheumatologist appointment, so I opted to see one sooner, privately. I have now seen her twice and Dr Rod Hughes once. Things are pretty much "under control," for the most part, so I asked GP if she could give me NHS referral now... she said yes. I received a call from Appointment Centre, telling me they had my referral and that the request would be "assessed," by a Consultant or Decision Maker, who will decide which Rheumy will see me and how urgent my need is... (I obviously want to continue seeing the Rheumy I'm currently seeing, as she know me and has all my info, but there is no guarantee of this)

Also my wait time is now now about 24 weeks, not 12-14! : O

Reply

Hello again mamici1...a 24 week wait is really a scandalous situation. I dread to think what would have happened to you if you hadn't opted to see someone privately. It makes complete sense to continue seeing the same Rheumy so I hope the decision maker thinks so too! Sometimes, it's hard to stick-up for yourself when you feel so unwell. The more I look into this new referral system and receive feedback from this forum the more convinced I am that I'd be better to try to get a private appointment. Sorry state of affairs really!

1 like
Reply

It really is... and believe me I LOVE (and work for the NHS) but they're being put between a rock and a hard place. : (

1 like
Reply

Everyone ought to take the time out to WRITE, not email, a handwritten letter to your MP (which ever party they belong to, does not matter they represent you) and copy it to NHS England, You need to describe your actual experiences. Unless we yell, it can only get worse privatisation by the back door is working.

I don't mean to be political, but the NHS is a very precious resource and if the moderators take this post down. I will not complain either.

Reply

You may also like...