Can anyone recommend a good NHS or private endo in Northern Ireland?

I have been hypothyroid since birth of my son 16 years ago and was fairly well controlled on thyroxine 125 mcgs up until about 18 months ago. Have been very unwell last 6 months with extreme fatigue and sleep apnoea and my quality of life has definitely deteriorated. My GP has put it down to work related stress. TSH levels only done and within normal range Referral to endocrinologist therefore was not recommended by my GP. I am fairly sure my symptoms are related to my thyroid and would be keen to see a specialist.

23 Replies

  • what about dr patrick mcgovern?

  • Thanks Pettals. Sorry I'm only getting back to you now. I've looked at Dr McGovern's website and he does seem to be very good. I'm finally getting my free T3, T4 and reverse T3 levels done with my GP as well as iron, B12, etc (I asked specifically for them. My GP said he was not aware of free T3 and reverse T3, but was willing to speak to the labs and to go with my request, which I am at least grateful for). I'll get the results of these blood tests first and then decide who I'll go to. Thanks again, will let you know how it goes. Best wishes.

  • I hope if you find a good one you let me know as I am from Northern Ireland and havent had a very good experience with an endicrinologist - he didnt appear interested and said all my levels were within range. I wish there was a support group in Northern Ireland - I dont know if there are any doctors you can approach here without referral from your own gp?

  • Hi Cassandra, thanks for your reply. I agree totally. Sometimes I feel we are a bit restricted in terms of choice of endocrine doctors here. I have got some essential bloods done and am awaiting the results (see reply to Pattals). I think I may ask for a referral to Dr Bell, RVH (see Misky's post) or Dr McGovern in Dublin). I would prefer to go the NHS route first and then if no joy, I will go to Dr McGovern's private practice in Dublin. Regards, Dougie.

  • Hi, my endocrinologist is dr. Bell in the Royal Victoria Hospital. He's a happy-go-lucky type ("you have Graves' disease, but don't worry, it's not that bad!"), but he is smart and he is all about going with how the patient feels instead of only following the blood test results. Last time I didn't see him, but a colleague of his, who was much more serious, and he seemed smart and competent as well (didn't get his name though).

  • Misky, thank you for this information, you have cheered me up tremendously! From my experience with consultants, it can be a bit hit and miss and it takes so long to get an appointment, you want to try to get it right first time! Its great to have the name of a good endocrinologist who is prepared to listen to the patient and with a sense of humor! This is important at the best of times, but especially with thyroid problems. I will ask my GP for a referral to Dr Bell, possibly private depending on the waiting lists.

  • Sure, no problem.

    To give you an idea of the waiting time: I got diagnosed with hyperthyroidism around 15 March and I got an appointment with the endocrinologist less than 2 months later. Hopefully you won't have to wait very long before you see him. I hope you'll like him. All the best!

  • Dogie and Misky I would be interested in knowing a bit more about Dr.Bell RVH. I live in Northern Ireland and am considering attending Dr.McGovern or Dr.Skinner but would prefer to go down the NHS route if I thought I could get a sympathetic Endo who would be willing to let me try T3 in addition to T4 meds or possibly NDT. I presently take T4 meds but have been feeling extremely unwell for a long time. Do you think he is helpful and open minded?

  • Hi Jill, I'm so sorry, I only saw your message just now (I didn't get a notification). Unfortunately, I have no idea if dr. Bell would be open to that. My case was pretty straightforward, so I never had any discussions with him. I pretty much agreed with him on the treatment etc. His colleague, who I saw once, is called dr. Johnston. He seemed very serious and more detail oriented, so maybe you would prefer someone like that. Good luck!!

  • Hi Misky, thanks for letting me know. I have an appointment on Friday with another Endo who my Dr. has recommended so fingers crossed it all goes well. I talked to her about the possibility of trying T3 and while she didn't want to prescribe it, she thought this Endo might. My Dr agreed to carrying out the various tests recommended on here so I will go armed with the results and see how I get on :-)

  • Would love to hear from you if it all goes well....


    :) x

  • Hi Louise

    Thanks I will let you know how it goes. I have found this site very helpful but would appreciate help interpreting my test results,


  • Hi Dougie,

    I had pressed for more tests and found I have Hashimoto but doc says don't worry its just Hypo. (sigh) Still didn't do T3 test. (sigh agaun)

    Did you see the Endo in RVH. Was he open to T3. Was going to go Private but rang them and they don't consider T3 treatment.


  • I have only just come across your post in my search for a decent endo in NI do you know if Dr Bell is still at the RVH? With Thanks

  • I don't know, I last saw him in 2013. I suggest you call the RVH and ask :)

  • Will do many thanks.

  • Hello Recently registered at my local GP In Fermanagh who has referred me to an Endo at the Erne hospital.

    Been treated for several years in England after Hyper and radium treatment seems like getting good treatment has been a battle all the way.

    I'm on Armour but still have a few issues possibly relating to absorption ( I should be using a proton pump med but it seriously makes me hypo along with other issues). Also have Barrats mucosa.

    Don't know if I'm in for a battle with the endo re Armour and bloods which I would like to include B12, testosterone and magnesium.

    Any advice would be gratefully received.


  • Hi

    Can I suggest posting this as a new question - comments can easily get missed.



  • Will do. Multi tasking is not for me!

  • Hi, I am from Bulgaria but I've lived in Ireland for the last 20 years. I got a problem with my thyroid and for the first time I faced a brick wall in Ireland. I went back to Bulgaria, I had a surgery by the top doctor there and I could easily say that I was impressed with the level of care, professionalism and the speed with which my case was dealt with. I am sorry to say but in Ireland I wouldn't have been look after until I became an emergency case. If anyone wants more information I will be happy to provide.

  • Hi just saw your post can you please let me know more about your experience as I am considering taking my son to get help

  • I really hope you get this sorted out for you and quickly, I too was feeling really ill.

    I live in Northern Ireland too, and been told that I have to wait for 14 months to be seen by an Endocrinologist :-( Just diagnosed in May this yr, put on Carbimazole, then my next bloods revealed that I was Underactive....... so from that I have been on Levothyroxine and Carbimazole... block and replace so I'm told... I am way not educated in this at all. My GP'S don't discuss, just administer :-( I used to go to my GP because my eyes were so sore, even in the shower they caused me a great deal of pain too, so I'm thinking this was to do with Thyroid problems even before being diagnosed.

  • Hi everyone. Its hard to believe its been five years since my initial post! It has been a long journey and I am just now getting my life turned around. I wouldn't say I am fully back to 'normal' yet, but I am definitely a lot better this past few months than I have been in a long time:) I would like to share what has been helpful (or not!) for me and hope that it may help someone else. I have tried the NHS and some of the private doctors and it didn't work for me. Like so many people, I was referred to various different specialists (endocrine, cardiac, respiratory, neurology, skins, etc). Even referred to school of dentistry for an enlarged tongue! The consultant wanted to take a biopsy of my tongue as he thought I may have some rare fat disorder (I refused!). So many symptoms all related to hypothyroid, yet nobody putting it all together. My health was gradually going downhill and if it hadn't been for this forum, I don't know where I'd be. I took early retirement about six months ago as I hadn't the energy left to do the job. The sleep problems were the worst. I would be exhausted, yet when I went to bed I couldn't sleep. I had a heavy feeling in my chest and neck and my tongue would fall to the back of my mouth. It was as if I hadn't got the energy left at the end of the day to breathe. Many times I would find myself "not breathing" and have to gasp for breath. It was a horrible and frightening feeling. I was being investigated for sleep apnoea, but am happy to say that my sleep has improved dramatically and I no longer have these worrying apnoea symptoms since I changed my thyroid meds. Sleep is so important and if its not right, it can affect every aspect of your health. Through this forum, I got in contact with a private consultant in NI who prescribed T3. I had some problems initially in getting the T3 as the GP wouldn't prescribe it, however I now am able to obtain it (with the consultants letter) from a chemist in the south of Ireland. I am currently on 15 mcg T3 (Thybon) and 125 mcg Thyroxine. I have much more energy and am able to do simple things I hadn't done for years (like going for a walk). I don't feel the need to have a nap in the middle of the day (most days). I would say I am about 75% back to normal. The consultant says it will take up to 6 months to get the full effects as I have been so hypo for so long. Happy to share the consultant details if you send me a private message. I am also implementing other lifestyle changes, like gluten free and recently dairy free diet, in an attempt to regain more of my health. The dairy free diet especially has helped with a skin rash which I had on my lower leg and foot for about past 20 years. Sorry for such a long post. Wishing you all much health and happiness.

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