When is a referral not a referral?

Posted , 5 users are following.

Sorry folks but this is a rant and a half. After suffering a very painful shoulder for almost 3 years I had a blood test that showed a raised rheumatoid factor and serum protein. My GP at first feltva referral to a rheumatologist wasn't necessary as she thought they wouldn't do anything differently to her i.e. pain relief. However more joints were affected and at times particularly on a morning I had difficulty walking. I spoke to her over the phone and she said I was to have more blood tests and see her the following week to discuss a rheumatology referral. At this appointment however she said she'd referred me after my phone call when she reviewed my notes again and I'd here very quickly about my appointment. That was 4 weeks ago. Today I rang the secretary at the surgery as I hadn't heard anything. Well surprise, surprise the referral hadn't been made. The GP had written in my notes "refer to rheumatologist" but not dictated the letter. I was so upset. I was crying on the phone. I now await the next instalment. Thanks for reading this.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Oh that's terrible. I can understand how upset you must be feeling, and frustrated too. You just can't understand how doctors and their surgery teams can be so unprofessional can you, and the worst thing is you trusted them to make the referral and waited patiently for four weeks which was a waste of time. I do hope you get your appointment through quickly and can soon start to get the answers and the treatment you need. Angela. 
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  • Posted

    That is so frustrating! I'm sorry you are having to go through this. Did you ask for a 'stat' on the referral so that it gets done immediately? That's a long time to wait to find out that nothing was done. sad 
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  • Posted

    Point out to her that it was her mistake and ask her to fast track you. Fast track isn't much faster than slow track, but at least it's something.
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  • Posted

    Thanks everyone. I'm taking your advice 3light and if the surgery don't ring me today I'm asking for the fast track referral. I'm still too upset at the moment to ring them. The secretary did say she'd ask the GP to ring me but I was so upset and angry I said I just wanted the referral done so who knows what will happen.
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  • Posted

    Do you think you could arrange to see the GP and take some one with you and ask to see your notes and check why she decided not to refer initially? I don't know if you are UK or not but my feeling is that we with RA are always taking these things on the chin and it is so important that you really let her know that what she has done is not acceptable and has delayed treatment so that you feel on top of the awful situation.
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    • Posted

      Hello lyy. She decided not to refer me initially because she felt a rheumatologist would not do anything differently in the way of medication. She then deciced a referral was necessary when I became increasingly unwell and more joints became affected. I was having problems on a morning walking when i first got up. Also the analgesics she prescribed weren't helping as much. You are right, it is unacceptable and I intend to discuss it with her. To answer your other question, yes I live in the UK.
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  • Posted

    Hello everyone. Just a follow up from my original post. My GP rang apologising profusely but said she had dictated my letter when she spoke to me 5 weeks ago but deleted it following my surgery appointment as I had other joints affected. Basically she hadn't forgotten to dictate another referral she was behind with her paperwork!!! Anyway the referral is done and the secretary made my appointment through the Choose and Book system, the earliest the beginning of February but she thought it would be brought forward as it is marked urgent. I'm still unsure about this behind with the paperwork excuse. I do still think the GP forgot.
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