GP's wriggling out of prescribing

I am cross at the way GPs don't treat people fairly so posting partly to alert any of you who don't know what you are entitled to and partly to rant!

My GP has argued for years that there is nothing wrong with me other than my diet because I'm vegan. Having finally obtained a referral to a fine endo I was told I was at coma level - that's a disgrace, but anyway that aside what annoys me now is the way the surgery tries so often not to prescribe but to make me pay myself. The endo advised that I need vitamin D (I have osteopoenia). GP prescribed calcium and D, but it contains gelatin so I asked for a vegan vitamin D mentioning one available from Vitashine - all in writing as I've learnt this makes it harder for the GPs to fob us off.

The reply suggests that I buy it for myself "I cannot prescribe (Vitashine) on the NHS. The NHS guidance suggests it can be bought from their website. There doesn't appear to be a vegan vitamin D tablet available through the NHS, a drop might be something we can source if you are unable to purchase the Vitashine".

It seems unfair that we tired people have to go through this writing back and forth and delay when the drops could have been prescribed straight away. It really annoys me that there is the implication that the essential D could only be prescribed if I were unable to purchase it myself. I have enough knowledge, luckily, to find my way through these 'obstacles', but what of those who don't know their rights or are just too ill or exhausted to argue?

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17 Replies

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  • If you were vegan for religious reasons or couldn't eat gelatine for religious reasons the GPs in the practice would have to take a different stance otherwise they would be accused of religious discrimination.

    In regards to buying vitamin D supplements unless, in my area, you have a severe deficiency all the practices make you buy it yourself. It's to keep NHS costs down and the fact that the local guidelines tell people to take 1,000-2,000IU tablets daily rather than the 800IU they can easy obtain for children and expectant mothers.

  • Hi Bluebug, that's a very good point about the religion.

    I am deficient to the extent that I need vitamin D on the NHS and this increases the risk of the osteopoenia becoming osteoporosis, which is why it was prescribed, that's why the response makes me cross!

  • I don't eat gelatine not for religious reasons

  • Hi Gingergirl1948 - are you prescribed a vitamin D that does not contain gelatine?

  • I buy all vegan vits .. ever ever thought of asking my doc.🌈🌻

  • Hello again Gingergirl1948, maybe you have more spare £ than I do.

  • £750 month income ! Never thought docs would precribe

  • I had a test for vitamin D and discovered (to my surprise) that I'm severely deficient (in retrospect, this seems to be a familial/genetic thing and a contributor to the surprising level of early osteoporosis/osteopenia among my siblings).

    In my area, you never obtain another vitamin D test after the initial one, and, after the initial prescription of 800iu x3 a day, you never qualify for another prescription but are advised to purchase any additional supplements for yourself altho' you didn't receive the loading dosages available elsewhere.

  • I was told I couldn't have any more NHS testing for vitamin D after my 2 tests.

    I changed practices due to all the GPs apart from a junior one having hearing and sight problems so they couldn't see or hear me when I pointed out signs and symptoms of vitamin and iron deficiencies. Anyway I went to my current practice last year with private test results and said I had iron deficiency anaemia. The GP partner offered to test my vitamin D level as it was 2+ years since I had it done on the NHS. I didn't need it as that was tested, but I reckon they tell you they won't test you again to ensure you buy supplements and take them.

    In addition the local CCG had to approve my prescription for the loading dose. In other words they could have refused to give me high dose supplements.

  • The regional variation in what's available via the NHS is very striking, isn't it.

  • It's not even that regional.

    I could go to a different part of London and I would only be prescribed multiples of 800IU with severe deficiency.

    I expect it's the same in all large cities e.g. Greater Manchester.

    Then there is the fact that in large GP practices in the same CGG less than a mile from each other one offers ferritin tests as routine for iron deficiency anaemia while the other doesn't.

  • Yes, but, my surgery has tried to tell me I'm not entitled to things and I then check and return with evidence that I am. Do you think that's part of what's happening in your area?

  • Not particularly though all their actions are to save money.

    Different trusts, different CCGs/health boards and individual GPs/nurses/nurse practitioners are all doing it in various ways.

    Some of the practitioners in primary health care IMHO are nasty about it including deliberately misleading or lying to patients.

    They use their perceived prejudices about you to do this and are shocked when they get caught out.

    With the vitamin D the nurse practitioner, at my ex-practice who diagnosed me, was telling the truth about the local trust guidelines as it was verified by my current practice plus friends' and acquaintances who fall under the same NHS trust but are at different GP practices.

    One of the GP partners in my ex-practice actually said to me "We have spent enough money on you and if you come again complaining of pain I am going to remove you off the practice list." He mimed half the conversation as he seem to think I was recording it!

    Well I came back, saw the nurse practitioner and was diagnosed.

  • So tough bluebug, I hope you are keeping yourself well.

  • How odd, surely you need checking if there's early osteoporosis in your family? You're making me think I'm lucky after all!

  • There isn't. Though only the GPs at my current practice bothered checking.

  • I always think that too,the people who aren't as informed or have the finances to pay for their own supplements. They are vital for people like us.🤗🤗

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