NHS or private... when the NHS has given-up on you

Hello,

I'm French and a little lost when it comes to the NHS. I was diagnosed with an over-active thyroid in September 2012. Since then, I saw my endocrinologist only twice: once in October 2012 and once in May 2013. My next appointment was due in November but was postponed for an unknown reason to February 2014!

My thyroid was put under control very fast with a very small dose of Carbimazole but I started to suffer from severe mood changes in April. When I mentionned those mood swings - depressed in the follicular phase of my menstrual cycle and hyperactive in the luteal phase - my endo told me he was in charge of my thyroid only.

My GP is useless and knows nothing about thyroid but I asked her in July to change my consultant. 3 months after, I'm still with the same consultant and she doesn't understand why.

I had to go private a month and a half ago as the mood swings had become unbearable, the private endo stopped Carbi immediately and did a whole hormonal check to see if my symptoms were related to the thyroid and/or to perimenopause - I'm 43. After 2 weeks without Carbi, the mood swings decreased and have now completely stopped. My T4 and TSH are stable and my private endo has decided to let me off carbi with a blood test each month.

My mood swings were related to an excess of TSH which created an excess of progesterone.

What should I do now? Inform my GP of what happened, file a complain for lack of care. I'm lost and stuck with the private endo.

Thanks a lot for your help and take care.

Nathalie

8 Replies

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  • If you feel strong enough in yourself and about the hassle you may get then please complain. It will help others in future and stop some of the rot from inside that is going on in the NHS endo world.

    Be aware that you may find antipathy to your moves but you do have a supportive private Dr.and are stable now. I hope.

    Def. stay on this track -if you can afford it.

    You can transfer any treatment back to GP later to save on costs.

    Certainly give adequate feedback to GP and assist the learning curve there.

    If you mention 'complaint' at the time of this conversation -it will have a sharpening affect on her response.

    What is the prognosis now, for your OAT?

  • Wise words (as always) from Tegz. Complain if you feel you can, and tell your GP what has happened. Do it in writing. Only by filing complaints will we get anything done. If the letter(s) don't produce a satisfactory response there's a medical ombudsman (link here: ombudsman.org.uk/), although it's apparently not a dog with many teeth. Or write to your Constituency MP (even if you didn't/couldn't vote for him he still has a responsibility for local health services). Bon chance!

  • I know how you feel, I also have gynea and thyroid problems and nobody ever looks at the whole picture unless you have a very good GP that can link it together. I have tried to research and link it myself but can only understand it on a superficial level. It is not good enough. Sounds like your private Dr was good though, and you might be best off staying with him/her, I have had to go private too.

    Roslin

  • The NHS is unfit for purpose. I too was badly let down and now manage my own health and self medicate. Even a well structured complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman will get you nowhere- as I discovered

    The UK NHS system is set up to reward failure and give GPs a licence to destroy your health.

    My GP consistently refuses to follow ANY of the recommendations from my 3 NHS specialists; this includes prescriptions for CRITICAL medications.

    Please, save your precious energy and just do what you can to help yourself.

  • Hi A good consultant is the same privately as NHS, just you always see him. Also easier to choose who you want. The secret is good. Always investigate which consultant you wish to see, before asking for a referral.Some NHS, even Cardio , where vital, will not communicate with the patient themselves

    , Mine is ridiculous, I had 3 messages and had to answer via his sec., she is good but not well versed in complicated conditions, why should she be?Communication with who ever you see, is the most important thing. The advantage in NHS is that you can have all investigations etc on the spot, immediately if needed. Saying this, I see all my consultants privately ( expensive) except the ones who have to look after me when in hospital, frequently.. This is unlikely to occur with an Endo.I just prefer to go where ever the best one is, in theory NHS you can but does not work in practice.

    I hop that answers your question.

    Best wishes,

    Jackie

  • Nathalie, there is an outstanding health service in France, as my English brother keeps telling me. He waxes lyrical about when he was told by a doc over in the UK that he'd have to wait several weeks to see a doctor about his thyroid problem. This was in the middle of his house move to France. Once he'd settled in and got all the insurance etc sorted out, he went to see his French doctor and was seeing the specialist the next day, and being asked what day in the following weeks it would be convenient for him to go into hospital?!?!?!?!? Convenient? What? A health service run for the benefit and convenience of patients? Whoever HEARD of such a t hing. Seriously Nathalie, if I was you, I would be making an extended holiday back to France, where you will be treated quickly, by a doctor who is an equal citizen and doesn't regard himself as a demi-God and his patients as only something which he has to put up with in order to claim a wage. I have had experience of health services in France, Spain, Germany and Canada when I lived in those countries and if I had the means to live in any of them, just for the health services, I would be calling Pickfords right now! Sure, you have to pay something, but don't us genuinely ill people end up doing that, even after we've paid for the NHS all of our lives? And at least in a republic, we'd have the right to make a protest at poor service and expect to be litened to. I daren't ask a question of the snooty receptionists at my local health centre. They look down their noses, claim not to know what I want, and if I get upset and start to cry or even get angry, they say that I'm being threatening and will call for security. Seriously, I have NEVER become more than mildly annoyed in public, I have become very distressed and wept though. Seems like they look for a reason why they should not help if they don't feel like it. Book your ferry Nathalie, get thee back to a civilised country and don't let the NHS gamble with your life, especially as you are still a young woman with much life left to live.

  • Thanks a lot to all of you for your answers. I didn't go back to France but went to a French surgery in Chelsea - there are 3 of them in Chelsea - as I cannot afford to leave the UK for several weeks. I'm going to write a letter to my GP explaining the situation and see what she does while putting her boss in cc, it may help.

  • I agree about the nhs, It`s a fine instituition, but it`s now so overburdened that it`s no longer doing what it was originally meant to do. I saw a programme on tv last night about people dying because the nhs doesn`t detect diseases early enough. If I could afford it, I would go private, because Iv`e been waiting months for treatment for a bowel problem, & I could be waiting up to 2 years!

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