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how do i convince gp to send ds for allergy tests

(17 Posts)
freefrommum Fri 08-Mar-13 14:59:15

Have to say that in my experience it most definitely was a battle every step of the way. Ended up with my DS being very, very poorly before anyone at GP surgery would refer him. Specialist was horrified at how bad he was by the time we got to see him, both with regards to his eczema and his (undiagnosed) allergies. That was over 5 years ago and I know from speaking to others at that surgery (I've since changed) that the situation has not improved, despite me putting in a lengthy complaint when I left. Battle to be taken seriously (DS dropped 3 centiles but still told not to worry), battle to get referral, battle to get prescriptions... I'm sure there are plenty of good GPs and HVs out there with an awareness of allergies and eczema but sadly I've yet to meet any. I tend to by-pass primary care these days for DS and go straight to consultant or even A&E if necessary as I just don't trust GPs to fully understand his conditions.

mmmmsleep Thu 07-Mar-13 14:52:54

it's such a shame there are so many with bad experiences. my ds has allergies too and i did run into some issues but largely lack of knowledge rather than lack of willingness to help. i'm trying to educate colleagues and trainees so hopefully things will improve in the future as allergies enter hcps radars as something worth updating on.sadly i doubt funding of services will improve given all the cuts from on high sad

hope you find the help and support you need op and get a diagnosis asap.

babybarrister Colombia Thu 07-Mar-13 13:41:32

Clearly I have it wrong re the reasons for the reluctance to refer on up - it has not historically been financial tho what will happen after April remains to be seen. Sadly it does happen though and the experiences on these allergy boards certainly show that in many cases of very serious allergies (resulting in prescription of epipens etc) gps and Hvs fail to take it seriously and will not refer without a battle and repeated visits ... Once a parent actually gets to see a paediatric allergy consultant it is as if a whole new universe has been entered where the medical profession actually understands the issues rather than thinking that we are over zealous, lunatic, over protective crackpots ...smile

mmmmsleep Thu 07-Mar-13 10:19:38

sorry babybarrister you have it wrong. gps don't control budget until april and we have been constrained by pcts for a long time in what we can refer to a level that has frustrated most gps. unfortunately there is only so much money in the pot so all the government (and daily mail) has done is moved the finger of blame to the gps when there isn't nhs funding for a service. same problem different branding.

we do actually care for our patients you know and i'm disheartened by patients feeling they need to do battle. don't get me wrong i've been on both sides of the desk and i know it's not a bed of roses as a patient i just think perhaps you don't realise the lengths that some gps go to togo to battle on behalf of patients or how much is out of our hands. hopefully this op has a gp with good knowledge of allergies and if not at least an open mind and desire to learn and help his/her patient.
the change of hands of budget doesn't affect my referring...that is on clinical need as long as there is a service to refer to despite what the daily mail says.

babybarrister Colombia Thu 07-Mar-13 09:55:30

I would go in expecting a battle unfortunately as now that GPs control their own budget some do not to refer ... Sadly battles have been the experience of most on here though I hope you are the exception. The anaphylaxis campaign has an excellent list of paed allergy clinics smile

I've seen that qmc and kings mill both do them, think we'll end up at kings mill as were in Newark but will be asking for qmc as its likely to have more specialised staff.

his 1 year review with the health visitor is 1.30 thurs, docs 3.30, do i mention it to the health visitor too? smile

Hoophopes Wed 06-Mar-13 21:41:12

QMC has an allergy clinic for paediatrics, so you can ask your Gp to refer you there. Under choose and book system. The guidelines then mean as soon as you get your referral you can book a date and it has to be within 18 weeks.

My local hospital's paediatritian refused allergy, testing. Then I realised they didn't do them at the hospital so looked round the bigger cities and saw they did. Gp then did a referral! Whereas local paediatritian we were referred to has just excluded lots of major food groups, which hasn't been ideal.

Hope you get referred.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 05-Mar-13 17:57:11

Don't let the GP fob you off. It's true that skin prick testing isn't always accurate on little ones. My DS's came back negative as did his bloods but his consultant still said he had an allergy to dairy as his symptoms showed otherwise. He's on Neocate which is an amino acid based formula.

If its a cows milk protein allergy then there is a 40% chance you can still be allergic to soya and 90% to goats milk. I agree you should write a food diary.

I used to work as a nurse in Notts so am trying to think who you might get referred to. Sometimes you just need to find a GP who knows about children.

mmmmsleep Tue 05-Mar-13 15:44:54

oh and i doubt hv would be able to make the referral in answer to your qn.

mmmmsleep Tue 05-Mar-13 15:42:48

little miss. i wouldn't go in expecting a battle. i'm sure your gp wants to get to the bottom of it too. allergies aren't well taught and cmp allergy has come on loads in terms of management / guidelines recently. it's tricky to stay on top of all nice guidelines for every speciality as a gp and ten minute appts restrict how much can get covered .

it doesn't make much sense that your ds is ok with cows milk formula although depends if caesin or whey based...might be more allergic to protein in one than other (racking my brains!)...what does he react to? might be something else. does raise the issue that testing may be more useful so i would request referral.

to make appt more efficient;
- keeping a food diary and including details of reaction and all ingredients would help with a diagnosis.
-if ds gets a rash take a picture on your phone in good light to show the dr as will help.
-you could take summary sheet of nice guidelines (but recognising that what nice says is different to what pcts will fund in nhs areas....for example dietician referral in nice guidelines should happen but strained resources mean can be 9m wait.)
- family history of allergies (inc asthma eczema and hayfever).

in mean time make sure you have some piriton at home and when out and about in case of reaction and if any swelling lips/tongue/ breathing problems to a&e.

best wishes for a diagnosis

going on 14th to see doctor to discuss, will take the guidelines along grin

freefrommum Tue 05-Mar-13 11:04:02

Wave NICE guidelines in GP's face and demand referral for testing: publications.nice.org.uk/food-allergy-in-children-and-young-people-cg116/guidance
Don't take no for an answer, you are perfectly within your rights to ask for a referral.

im in nottinghamshire, we don't have any private healthcare and aren't in the best financial position so i really do need them done on the nhs but would probably be able to get one of those interest free credit cards to pay with if not.

is my battle with the gp or health visitor? he gets his 1 year review next week so planning my attack so to speak

is it possible to have a cows milk allergy and manage ok on formula as he's back on cow & gate 6 month plus

babybarrister Colombia Tue 05-Mar-13 09:39:51

Downloads copy of the nICE guidelines on children and allergiesand shove it where thesin does not shinegrin - seriously - go and wave them around as GPs under obligation to refer for testing in certain circumstances

mmmmsleep Tue 05-Mar-13 09:30:40

sometimes gps don't have access to allergy tests. to be honest you've done the test yourself and it was positive. sounds like your ds has a type 1 reaction to ? cows milk protein and egg.

you could ask to be referred to paediatrics (usually there is one of the team at hospital with allergy interest) or to allergy consultant (often longer waiting list). if you have private cover that will be much quicker. depending on other factors skin prick tests are better than blood tests which are more likely to give false positives..you should also be referred to dietician (see nice guidelines if this is questioned). dairy and egg free diets are much lower in fat and you will need advice on replacing this as well as when and how to rechallenge..again long wait on nhs...private might be easier. where do u live op?

has ds shown signs of allergy before?
could do with test for soya too as 60% cmp allergy will also react to that but if they don't it's a really useful replacement.

you could try alpro junior 1+ milk...other soya milks are too low fat. no rice milk (arsenic).
hope that helps.

oh ds turns one on thurs x

im convinced ds os allergic or intolerant to cows milk and eggs

within 5 mins of having either he's covered in a rash, sick and stomach bloats

gp tested him for viral infections which came back negative. when i asked about allergy tests she said its not something they do

shes phoning me today to discuss the negative results and i intend to request allergy tests

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