Thyroid UK

Referral from GP to BUPA

Hi all, this is my first post, I have been reading posts for a few weeks and now found some confidence to post!

I have had an under active thyroid medicated with Levothyroxine for the past 5 years, during this period I have had 2 children and got on with life thinking nothing of the fact that I feel rubbish. Now that my youngest is 2 and sleeping through the night it has only just occurred to me that it is not just life.

I went to see the GP about 2 months ago with numerous issues, not being able to loose weight, constantly being exhausted, not being able to sleep but when I do sleep nothing can wake me, swollen hands and feet to name a few, my bloods were tested (I don't have the precise info) and were normal....

After speaks with a colleague they suggested I get it checked out through BUPA which work are members of. I contacted them and need s GP referral so phoned the GP who have told me I need to see my GP so I have an appointment next week. I am going crazy with the anxiety does anyone have any positive stories on how they have dealt with this?!

Sorry for such a rambled post and TIA!

14 Replies

Before you get a private referral your GP has to see you. They then write a letter stating why they refer you.

You can have a copy of the letter and it is a good idea to see it, though you may have to get it from the endo, as many GPs put their opinions of a patient in it and they can be very rude. They get away with this because it is very difficult to complain about a GP and get listened to unless they kill you or make you a vegetable.

However be aware most private endos also work for the NHS, therefore a lot of them just give you the same treatment and have the same poor attitude as if you were an NHS patient. Going private just means you see them faster. Therefore it is in your interest to find out and choose which endo you want to see.

It is also in your interest to read up about the Thyroid and what things you should be looking for so you can have a proper discussion with the endo. So I suggest you go to the main then read and understand the site.


Thanks, this is really useful, I have always had a good relationship with my GP so half of me is hoping that if I turn up with more knowledge of what I want we may come to a compromise... We shall see.


before you do that get a copy of the results your gp claims normal its likely they are not

its also likely that ferritin,folate,vit b12,vitd3 are low

cholesterol might be high

when you have the results we can help more

theres also a list of good endos available and its vital you see them if nessecary

often hypothyroid symptoms occur long before blood tests show it which is frustrating


I shall ask for my results on Monday so hopefully be able to shed more light then, do you know what bloods they are likely to have done when 'thyroid bloods' are requested?


they should have done

thyroid antibodies


free t4

free t3





vit d3

but i bet all they have done is TSH which unles you have very severe primary hypothyroid is totally inadequate


I am happy to say after a long chat with my GP today he has done full blood work without needing the referral. Feeling very relieved I was listened too


do make sure you get the actual results inc ref ranges

and post them here so we can help furthur


I will do thank you


I agree with bluebug on insisting you see what the doctor writes in his referral letter.

I would add to this, make sure the private GP knows that all letters must go to you, and you will take the responsibility for showing your GP (if you choose to).

I paid out-of-pocket to see a consultant privately. It never occurred to me that he would write to my GP and not me so I never mentioned it. Luckily my GP gave me a copy of his letter. I decided not to seem him again after reading what he wrote!


That communication would never have occurred to me either, thanks

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As bluebug states private gps often work in the NHS too. I used some savings last year to see a private endo who works for the NHS too (id also nursed some of this mans patients) I asked if i could have the T3 tested and he bluntly told me no and same when i asked for a thyroid scan he said i didnt and would most likely never need one.

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Did he give a reason as to why they wouldn't test t3?


Private docs and endos are the same as NHS - there are good and bad ones.

I had a health screen (after diagnosis with hypothyroid) and the private GP basically told me I needed to go onto a starvation diet to lose weight and made it obvious that he didn't believe that I ate healthily as 'there's a balance between what goes in and weight'. I got him to refer me to a private endo, got ndt prescribed and lost a stone in a year without dieting...

So, have a look at the thyroid UK list of 'good' endos and make sure you get one of them. Bupa only funds certain endos so you may have to see which ones are on both lists.

Pretty sure mine can't do Bupa anymore because I know there was a kerfuffle about Bupa when I first went there a couple of years back (Bupa imposed a single payment rate across all endos and set it at the 'junior' rate level so most of the senior endos wouldnt work for them any more is my understanding of the issue)

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Thank you

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