New consultant

lynnemarie1123 Member Posts: 295
edited 28. Jul 2016, 05:25 in Living with Arthritis archive

It's been 10 months since my last consultants appointment. Was due one 3 months after my original at end of sept. I chased it in December to be told I didn't need to be seen and would go back on the waiting list - they would contact me.

I am a teaching assistant in a primary school so avoid taking term time off.
I separately see a pain consultant who very kindly injected my SI hip joints in April ( which I loved) but the effects have now long worn off. I was due a follow up with them after 3 months top - but again no app.

Chased both on Monday morning to be told my rhumy consultant is no longer with the hospital ( why?)
They then & there made me an app with new consultant for Thursday morning 9am!!
I don't like changing consultants as I like to build up a relationship with them
So we both understand each other. My question is will they examine me and go from the beginning ? - I've not been happy on my dmards for a while and wonder if cortisone does it for me - is there something more permanent ?

I have also got another appointment for my pain consultant at the end of August.

I'm cross that I had to chase! Do they not give appointments out unless they are chased ? Some people out there might not have access to a phone/time to chase appointments.

Sorry for the rant :cry:


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,309
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Having appointment times 'stretched' is something which, I suspect, is happening to all of us (It certainly is to me) as more and more patients have to be treated by a more and more strapped-for-cash NHS.

    I've no idea why your rheumatologist has left but, like anyone else, they do move on, change jobs and sometimes leave difficult gaps to be filled. My first two rheumatologists remained until they retired. In the ten(?) years since, I've had three.

    Your new rheumatologist will have his / her own way of doing things but I doubt they'd go back to the beginning. Mine just take over were the other left off.

    If your regular blood tests show the DMARDS are working (regardless of how you feel) nothing is likely to change but, if they're not, you'll probably be given an increase, a further DMARD or a change. Cortisone 'does it' for very many of us but we are limited in how many / how often we can have the injections and I don't think any rheumatologist worth their salt would put anyone on permanent steroid tablets except as a last resort.

    As for having to chase appointments - yes, I've had to chase several in different departments. I'd guess your appointments people are short staffed too. It's not good.
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have a very sensible GP who tells me to expect to chase appointments for the very reason SW mentions - all of the NHS is stretched to breaking point and beyond. It's a small price to pay for the free service we are given.

    My consultant remains the same but I only see them in person when things are diabolical because their time is so precious and in demand. The rest of the time I see either a consultant who has worked with them or a senior house officer, whoever I see either deals with me or liases with the consultant if anything is needing changing. In my experience I have just given the same info as I would my consultant (how I am, what I am taking etc). Notes are there for a reason and I doubt my consultant remembers me in sufficient detail to not refer to my notes at every appointment. It would be lovely to think that the consultant remembers each patient but in reality, they see oodles of rhematology cases, most of which will be similar and therefore unremarkable in terms of standing out.