Help from GP

nesschance Member Posts: 4
edited 9. Jul 2021, 12:02 in Living with arthritis

Hi all,

I have just had a very stern conversation with my GP surgery as I have been in considerable pain over the last 6 months and have only been able to get phone consultations with the GP who hasn't even diagnosed me with arthritis but nevertheless keeps putting me on different NSAID's. These only work for a while and give me side effects.

When I asked to be referred to a physio I was told they have seen people throughout the pandemic but I was still only offered a consultation on the phone even with the physio and then sent an Arthritis UK leaflet from which to do exercises.

I have severe pain in my hip and lower back and shoulder. The physio was only interested in my hip and didn't offer any advice about my shoulder. I was then told the physio would phone again in 4 weeks.

In the meantime I have been on and off various forms of pain relief and am worried about my general health as I feel constantly exhausted, dizzy, see flashing lights sometimes and have severe muscle stiffness.

I really don't feel that I have been given fair or appropriate treatment by either the GP or the Physio and am about to write to the MP for fear something is being missed in my general health due to the GP's inability to see people during a pandemic which the Government now says restrictions will soon end. My GP has no intention of changing the way they work and as I have recently moved house, so the GP is new to me, I feel it is just not good enough to keep being palmed off.

Does anyone else feel the same? We're all sick of COVID and understand the stress on the NHS but as we're being assured that vaccination is helping keep hospital admissions low and no doubt GP's and their staff have all been vaccinated it seems overkill for GP's to STILL not see people. I am on HRT and am supposed to have my blood pressure taken at least once a year but due to COVID haven't (in fact the one time I was able to visit my old GP for an ECG, the nurse practitioner didn't seem to want to touch me and didn't take my blood pressure despite me requesting it).

I am a retired teacher. If I was still teaching I would be expected to be in the classroom which at the moment would be full of kids with Covid. Why is it teachers can take the risk and not GP's?

So fed up! 😩


  • Tom
    Tom Member Posts: 522

    Welcome to the forum,@nesschance.

    I m sorry that you seem to be having so much difficulty getting medical advice. Have not had a formal diagnosis from either your GP or a Rheumatologist? There are many different types of arthritis and treatments.

    You may find it helpful to ring our Helpline on 0800 5200520.

    Please do let us know how you get on and good luck.

    Tom, Moderator

  • DaveVW
    DaveVW Member Posts: 15

    Hello, Nesschance.

    You know, there are two parts to this, I think. First is, when you're under a ton of stress - and make no mistake, constant pain is a huge stresser - you tend not to be calm and peaceful, you know? So you see everything in a certain, non-complementary light. It can feel like the Doctor's don't care, or aren't listening, yet you're left in pain, it all seems grossly unfair and unjustified. I get it too.

    On the other hand, even without Covid-19, Doctor's surgeries were under great strain. There's probably never been a time where people like you and I could get replacement bits and pieces quickly. The NHS has to look after a lot of different people.

    Tom gives good advice. I was taught an acronym to remember when making decisions, or talking to people. You may already know it - HALT. Which essentially comes down to, don't make decisions or have meaningful discussions if you're either Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. Because each of those, of combinations, will deflect from any good that may come from it.

    Do I like my GP? Well, I never get the same GP! I moved GP Surgeries five years ago, and they never transferred my old records. I too am locked into "Phone appointments", but seeing my pain and mobility issues is key, I think, and a phone call can't do that. I tried to get a follow up appointment, but there literally NOTHING for three weeks. So yeah, I do hear you. But I don't think there's anything malicious in it. They're trying to do the very best they can, but they're under huge stress. I would keep pressing, but make sure you don't assign blame anywhere.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    It would be a cruel irony if GP surgeries became a hub for spreading covid, which could mean the docs and staff having to self isolate making the wait for an appointment even longer. I’m sure this is behind their policy of telephone consultations. It’s not helpful for people who feel they need a face to face, and they and their staff must be getting so much flack off patients on a daily basis. I hear what you say about teaching staff though, and so many other key workers throughout all this.

    There are no easy solutions. At least you got to see the physio, even if it did it address all your concerns. Appointments with NHS physios are very limited, so if you can afford it, I’d highly recommend seeing a private physio, as they can see you as often as you feel you need them and probably give a bit more time. Many are seeing patients face to face (mine has done for a few months now). It cuts out all the stress of trying to communicate with your GP, and the physio can write to your GP if they feel any further investigation or treatment should be considered.

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    Hi Nesschance, you could ask at your local chemist if they can check your blood pressure and you could also ask to speak to the practice manager of your surgery or put it in writing to raise your concerns and I agree with Lilymary you could get a private physio appointment

    take care

    Jona 😊💐

  • Thanks everyone. I am now living on a diet of Naproxen on and off. Unable to constantly take Omaprazole to help as this caused awful stomach issues. The physio exercises I got online have strengthened the muscles around my hip which is improved a bit but without the anti inflammatory I doubt I could properly function. What a miserable disease! Doctor told me I probably need hip replacement but not to bother as waiting list is over two years! GP generally rude and unpleasant since I asked for face to face appointment. Trying to cope as best I can.

  • I had to push for an examination at GP and GP made me feel like I was wasting his time. He couldn't advise me about "how often" it is safe to take Naproxen but said take paracetamol (which doesn't touch the pain). X-Ray I pushed for showed advanced osteo arthritis so at least now I know.