Good private pay GP in London, recommendation.

msgolightly Member Posts: 2
edited 22. Aug 2018, 02:11 in Living with Arthritis archive

I am in the process of moving to the London area from the U.S.
Does anyone know of a good PRIVATE PAY GP in the London or Bristol areas they could recommend?

I have been receiving codeine based medicine for the painful diseases of inflammatory arthritis, osteoarthritis and Sjogren's syndrome. I use this medicine in addition to diet, exercise, swimming, etc. to manage my pain.

I am a retired RN who is very knowledgeable about my conditions. I would like a private pay G.P. who has good interpersonal skills and would help me get the low dose meds I need to manage the pain.

Thank You


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,638
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello msgolightly/Holly and welcome to the forums from the moderation team.

    I see you have a number of conditions to contend with and are moving to the UK from the US I hope you will be happy here. It is against our forum guidelines for members to refer to healthcare professionals by name publicly, but I am sure if anyone can recommend someone in the areas you mention they can send you details via private message.

    I am presuming that you will be looking for a rheumatologist? I attach a link to the NHS Hospital consultant search which should be a good start:

    We have a great community here, who have lots of experience of arthritis, I know they will make you very welcome and help in any way they can.

    I look forward to seeing you posting in future.

    Best wishes

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,934
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome from me too.

    I'm not at all sure but I think that, as a non-UK national, you would have to pay for any routine treatment here. I believe only emergency treatment would be free. Can you get some sort of medical insurance before you come? I insisted that my son (now a US citizen) and grandson have it before coming over here from LA.

    London is an enormous city. Even Bristol is large so I think you really need to know a bit more about where you'll be based / which specific areas will be easy for you to access before deciding on a GP. Also, with an inflammatory form of arthritis, I'd be wanting to research rheumatologists too to continue with my DMARD treatment and blood tests. As I'm sure you'll know, pain relief will do nothing to hold back the disease. I managed to reduce mine gradually in recent years and, when I had to leave them out for 2-3 months last year due to an operation, I thought I'd be OK. I wasn't and I also have two impressive new rheumatic nodules to prove it.

    You should have no difficulty in getting codeine-based pain relief. In fact the lowest dose of co-codamol (8mgs codeine / 500mgs paracetamol) can be bought over the counter and doesn't require a prescription.

    Interpersonal skills is a tough one because time intervenes. I don't know if you'd be able to book, and pay for, a certain amount of time in advance but I think the normal slot is about 10 minutes. Our GPs are grossly overworked so, even with the best of them, you might find it hard to get longer. Increasingly, we are seen by nurse practitioners rather than doctors unless our problems are serious.

    Anyway, I wish you well and hope you can find what you're looking for.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I'm afraid I can't help because I live in Suffolk (nowhere near London or Bristol which are also far apart) and I have only used the NHS (National Health Service) for GP and specialist access.

    Private doctors abound in the UK, you may have heard of Harley Street in London which is a world-famous centre of private medicine, those who can afford it to are happy to travel hundreds of miles to be seen. Both my GP and rheumatologist are employed by the NHS but I have seen my rheumatologist privately on one occasion in order to have an appointment of a decent length (at least when one is paying direct one isn't sharing the time with far too many others). I have an auto-immune arthritis plus osteoarthritis so have a creaky foot in both camps.

    Interpersonal skills are very hard to judge - there are people who cannot get on with anyone be they patient or doctor. I hope your move goes smoothly and, once you're here, there will be people in your circle who can provide the information you need. DD

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