Hello! Waiting times for first hospital appt?

KettleBelle Member Posts: 3
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:05 in Living with arthritis

Hi everyone. After sudden onset of foot and toe pain, I've just had a call from my GP saying I'm positive for rheumatic factors & am being referred to hospital for diagnosis and treatment.

All came on very suddenly, just before Christmas, and shows no sign of letting up. Am usually extremely active with lots of walking, cycling, jogging, yoga and weight-training. Am just about managing to get around but it's a real struggle with being unable to bear weight on the forefoot. Luckily the middle of my foot is OK so I'm able to use that to pedal the bike.

I keep reading how important it is that hospital referral happens as quickly as possible, so as to avoid permanent joint damage, but does anyone know how Covid is affecting waiting times for first appointments?

Also, please reassure me I'll be able to do lovely country walks again one day...😪


  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 706

    Hi @KettleBelle and welcome to the Versus Arthritis forum.

    I see from your first post that you’ve recently experienced foot and toe pain and subsequently your GP has confirmed that the symptoms appear to be rheumatic in nature. You’re obviously very physically active but this is becoming more challenging.

    If you’ve not already visited our website you may find this link beneficial in terms of extensive background on RA:

    This link is specific to RA in the feet and ankles:

    This link is most relevant to your question about potential delays in treatment as well as how to best prepare for your consultation:

    I hope the above information is useful to you. I’m sure that other forum members will be able to offer the benefit of their experiences and I hope you don’t have to wait to long for your appointment.

    Best Wishes

    ChrisB (Moderator)

    Need more help - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,743

    Waiting times are incredibly variable, so I doubt anyone could give you a representative answer. Your GP is probably best placed to say how things are in your area. I was diagnosed in March, and partly thanks to Covid I’m still waiting for my new hip 11 months later, with a possible further 6 months or so to go.. A friend was diagnosed a month ago, and has been told she’ll get her new hip in May.

  • KettleBelle

    Thanks for the answers. I've got a message from my GP saying I've been referred to hospital and have to call them if I haven't heard anything by 1 February, ie next week. Sorry to hear about the hip waiting times. My hips are OK so far, but if things continue I might be looking for new feet!

  • Rina
    Rina Member Posts: 86

    Glad to hear you’ve got a date for your hospital appointment - nothing worse than waiting! Hopefully you’ll get started on a course of treatment soon.

    I’ve had RA for 40 years, since a teenager, and to be honest it’s been up and down but mostly up! I’ve had major foot surgery on both feet but I walk about 2 miles a day in my local park and in normal circumstances I’m often out on longer treks. So don’t despair! You need a bit of patience to sort out meds and maybe some orthotics, oh and definitely finding some comfortable shoes ( Skechers and Widerfit are my favourites but there are plenty out there).

    Best of Luck!

  • LizS
    LizS Member Posts: 15

    I live in Huddersfield and was referred for hip replacement last Friday. Yesterday I got a letter asking me to book an appointment online. I was given a choice of three hospitals, one appointment on 15th Feb with treatment starting in 18 weeks...the other two hospital didn’t offer an appointment slot and said 52 weeks to start treatment...not much of a choice really