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Is there an official statement from the NHS regarding non-urgent and non-Covid specialist referrals?

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Is there an official statement from the NHS regarding non-urgent and non-Covid specialist referrals?

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ciaccinociaccino Forumite
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My GP referred me last November 2019 to a NHS specialist for an non-urgent issue. I don't want to descend to detail but it's urology related. I was given a generic 18 week target (we know it was officially scrapped a few years ago, but...) which would have ended in early March 2020, well before the lockdown. I asked my GP practice to liaise with the specialist service (I am not allowed to contact them directly) and the latter replied in mid April saying that "we are satisfied the issue is not urgent. Advice paracetamol" [sic]. No mention from the specialist service of how long the queue is and it the services were suspended.

Fast forward to today, it has been more than a year since my condition was diagnosed and it's not getting better and, in my opinion, it's getting significantly worse. I wrote an email to my practice last week and they haven't replied yet. I don't know if my condition has become urgent or not, but I know it's making me very worried and it is impacting both my mental health and my sex and social life.

On one hand, I feel guilty because we are in the middle of a global pandemic and we know there are cancer patients who have been waiting for over a year. I would just be happy if the NHS just told me how long I should wait and if there is any immediate danger to my health. I was also planning to relocate and I haven't done it yet for fear of resetting the waiting list, but at this point I feel I have nothing to lose. Or I could go private and that would cost me a fortune.

I have no clue how I should go on and what to do with this issue. Any advice will be appreciated.

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Replies

  • MrAPJIMrAPJI Forumite
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    Would it be possible for you to have a telephone appointment with your GP to discuss matters and seek further advice? I think many of us are hesitating in making direct contact at the moment, but we shouldn't feel guilty in doing so when things don't seem right at all.
  • ciaccinociaccino Forumite
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    MrAPJI said:
    Would it be possible for you to have a telephone appointment with your GP to discuss matters and seek further advice? I think many of us are hesitating in making direct contact at the moment, but we shouldn't feel guilty in doing so when things don't seem right at all.
    Yes, I was planning to do so, but I thought it would have been easier to just email the office, as it's them who liaise with the hospital.


  • unforeseenunforeseen Forumite
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    No idea with your hospital but at mine there are still no non urgent urology appointments. 
    They are still playing catchup on the cancer side. I am shortly to start BCG treatment that should have started in April. 
  • edited 10 October at 3:33PM
    KxMxKxMx Forumite
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    edited 10 October at 3:33PM
  • SootySweep1SootySweep1 Forumite
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    Hi
    Why are you not able to contact the hospital directly ? To be honest that may be the best way to get an idea of when you are likely to be seen. I'm sure I don't need to say this but ask nicely because the staff will regularly be getting grief that they don't deserve.
    Hospitals are trying to catch up on elective activity but covid +ve patients in hospitals are increasing plus as we go into the winter months hospitals always get very busy with winter illnesses.
    If you think things are getting worse then it would be worth trying to get an appointment with your GP so that they know and potentially let the hospital know. The other thing to discuss is whether you could be treated in another way or referred elsewhere.
    Jen
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  • ciaccinociaccino Forumite
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    Hi
    Why are you not able to contact the hospital directly ?

      I only have a telephone number which is the call centre that manages all the referrals in my area and they are only giving me a canned response that I am on the waiting list and that they will call me when I am top of the list.

    With regards to whether I could be treated in another way or referred elsewhere, I asked my GP practice and they said they can't do it.


  • edited 11 October at 7:18AM
    unforeseenunforeseen Forumite
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    edited 11 October at 7:18AM
    You can normally find the number for the various departments on the hospital website
    Your GP should allow you to choose the hospital you wish to be treated at. 
  • ciaccinociaccino Forumite
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    Your GP should allow you to choose the hospital you wish to be treated at. 
    Back in November, I was given a code and a url to book my appointments. There was a choice of 5 hospitals, but only one was available. If I choose another hospital now, the waiting list will be reset and it will start all over again.

  • ladyhollyladyholly Forumite
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    I, too am still waiting for a referral from last November and this is from one consultant to another. No choice of hospital for me as it is through my local eye hospital.
  • FlossFloss Forumite
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    ciaccino said:
    Your GP should allow you to choose the hospital you wish to be treated at. 
    Back in November, I was given a code and a url to book my appointments. There was a choice of 5 hospitals, but only one was available. If I choose another hospital now, the waiting list will be reset and it will start all over again.
    I would suggest that you contact the relevant department at the hospital you were referred to and determine roughly how long they think your wait may be - and also that you contact your GP practise and ask for a telephone consultation about the worsening of your condition.
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