First endo appointment is over 2 months away - how can I ask for an earlier one?

On previous posts my GP has referred me to an NHS endo in 1 of 3 Bristol hospitals: the BRI, Southmead and Frenchay. I opted to go to Southmead as the waiting time is much shorter at 73 days and my appointment is at 8.45am on the 4th March 2014.

When I saw my GP about this appointment and told her the time and date she remarked it was very far away and was hoping I would get seen much sooner. However, it's all booked via Choose and Book and I'm only able to change the time and date, not the hospital, which is frustrating.

Because of the way I've been feeling, the high TSH (4.6 with normal 0.27-4.2) and high antibodies (41,000 with normal <34) that I have, is there anything specific I can say when calling the appointments line about changing the slot to an earlier one from a cancellation?

My GP has requested a repeat blood test for thyroid function to be done mid-January (which is now booked for 20th with a follow-up on the 27th) but surely if I've got this appointment for March there will be another blood test added as I seem to be getting these tests every month now! :o Am I being tested too frequently?

Also, when I looked at Frenchay's and the BRI's waiting times they were much longer at 90+ days so I really don't know what to do. Should I stick with Southmead and ask for an earlier date and time or change my decision to go to the BRI? Frenchay is a lot further out of my area than Southmead and the BRI is in central Bristol.

Thanks for any help. :)

Jo xxx

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8 Replies

  • 2 months is good for the nhs. In fact, you are lucky to even get an endo referral at all on the nhs. The system does not view your issues with any urgency, even when you are on the verge of losing your job and home as a result. In the short term, your dose needs to be upped, but even then, it takes 6 - 8 weeks to feel different.

  • Hi Bluedaffodil, thanks for your reply. GP has said she's holding fire on increasing my dose as the TSH didn't rise that much and the Free T4 rose in response to it. Also she's booked me to have another blood test in mid-January which is all booked in and I think she'll look at increasing my dose once she sees these results.

    Hope you had a nice Christmas. :)

    Jo xxx

  • You might be able to ask them to put your name down for any cancellation at an earlier date but i think that is about a normal waiting time for an appointment with a hosp doc so that might be all you can hope for. If the gp asked for an urgent appt you might also been seen sooner (unless she already did then that is definitely the best you can get)

  • Hi MCoates.

    Yes, when I looked at the waiting times for the BRI and Frenchay they were around 90+ days so when I went for the one at Southmead at 73 days' waiting time I opted for that as I would get seen sooner.

    GP didn't ask for an urgent appointment but I guess she may depending on if my TSH has risen and by how much. It's creeping up despite the FT4 rising to compensate, but I guess there's no way of knowing unless the next results come through for the one coming up mid-January.

    Thanks and hope you had a lovely Christmas. :)

    Jo xxx

  • pity you are not in Norfolk, waiting time here is 5/6 weeks, the Endo does look at each case and waiting time is according, 3 weeks for me

  • Wow!! And I thought I was lucky to get an appointment within 73 days from when I booked it! Never mind. I've got one now but it's just the waiting I don't like.

    Thanks for your reply.

    Jo xxx

  • I have TED caused by an as yet undiagnosed/treated thyroid prob,maybe thats why they got me in quickish as until they start sorting the thyroid out the TED will never get better

  • Yes, that would make sense. Incidentally I looked through my email inbox and I had a reply from the secretary at Southmead saying that the endocrinology department may be contacting me shortly with regards to an earlier appointment, but they said it may not be till after Christmas - which it is now. So that's some good news.

    From what I've heard and read up about TED is not very pleasant. I thought I had TED as my eyes have a tendency to go gritty and dry at times, but I'm not sure. I really hope your appointment goes well Catalonia, good luck and I wish you well. :)

    Thanks for your reply.

    Jo xxx

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