This is a cautionary tale for all those foolish enough to break an unwritten rule of the medical profession

Question: This is a cautionary tale for all those foolish enough to break an  unwritten rule of the medical profession  (don’t try to plead that you didn’t know about it, or that no body  told you not to do it). After visiting my GP, he referred me to an NHS Rheumatologist the  appointment came  through after 4 weeks and it was 7 months in the future. In total disgust I went private and spent my own hard earned cash to  get seen by another Rheumatologist.

Who though he was recommended by someone on this list, was little  better than useless  and he hinted very strongly that the problem was all in my mind (even  though he is not qualified to do this). I therefore decided not to cancel the NHS appointment because it would  be a good opportunity to get a second  opinion. As soon as I saw the NHS nurse, I mentioned that I had seen another  rheumatologist, but she didn’t  thing this was a problem, after half an hour of taking details she  said that she would get the Rheumatologist to speak  to me.

The Doctor came through about 5 minutes later, he was  very abrupt and obviously annoyed and told me  he could not treat me because I was a patient of another Doctor and  promptly left the room. The nurse who  had obviously been given a good talking to became very rude and said  that I should of cancelled the NHS  appointment and I had wasted everyone’s time.

Answer: I had exactly the opposite experience; like you I had a VERY long wait for an NHS appointment and could not get a diagnosis from my GP so I went private; when I eventually saw the NHS rheumatologist he was not at all annoyed that I already had a diagnosis (of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, amongst other WRUBLD’S) from a private doctor – in fact I think he was pleased because he was able to confirm what the first specialist had discovered, an interruption of blood flow in my shoulder (called a “bruit” I think), and pointed this out to another doctor who was in the room at the same time.

I was able to show him the results of X-rays I had had taken and various blood tests, and I think he was pleased because this meant he could eliminate some things and not waste time reaching HIS diagnosis (the same as the private doctor’s had been).  So, go private and NHS at the same time or not? I don’t really know what to say, because here you have two diametrically different results from two people both doing exactly the same thing.

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