To make a formal complaint about the GP surgery?

(102 Posts)
wink1970 Mon 30-Sep-13 14:39:39

Early in August I developed a sudden-onset range of symptoms including swollen abdomen, excruciating back-ache and spotting. After a bit of online research - it was over the weekend, so 2 full days before the surgery opened again -I put this down to my coil possibly slipping (coil number 3, had always had a good experience) and went to the doctors..... who did nothing, nothing at all except refer me for an ultrasound.

Ultrasound was an 8 week wait (!) so I went to the FPC and had the coil removed. This didn't change the symptoms, it clearly wasn't the coil.

Fast forward to about 1 week ago (and in the meantime I have been back to the doctors 3 times, with no course of action by them other than 'wait for the ultrasound') and I bought some antibiotics on the Internet... and lo, my symptoms have gone. I would guess that I had some form of cervix infection.

Now, I know we shouldn't over-use antibiotics, but surely over 4 visits you would have thought they would have (a) thought of the possibility of an infection, or (b) prescribed some just to shut me up, or (c) had a good poke around rather than waiting for an ultrasound that didn't tell them anything anyway?

AIBU in thinking of making a formal complaint, maybe even a snotty lawyer's letter about malpractice? I have been in considerable pain and discomfort, but am also wary of being 'blacklisted' - it's hard enough to get an appointment as it is.

parakeet Mon 30-Sep-13 15:08:23

just...YABU

GemmaTeller Mon 30-Sep-13 15:10:30

YABU

CeliaFate Mon 30-Sep-13 15:13:46

Did you ask for anti-biotics or an internal? I don't think yabu to want them to be more pro-active, but buying anti-biotics over the internet is never a good idea.
Perhaps go back with a list of questions and request them to take action prior to the ultrasound. I don't think anything will be achieved by a lawyer's letter.

Tee2072 Mon 30-Sep-13 15:15:14

Why is she BU? I would totally complain. Loud and hard.

Although I probably would not contact a lawyer.

EnlightenedOwl Mon 30-Sep-13 15:16:15

You say they did nothing? They referred you for an ultrasound! The waits can be long - beyond their control.
Do you know the dangers of buying drugs over the internet? No guarantee that what you've "bought" is what you "get." Are you qualified to decide what antibiotics work best? Also doctors won't give you antibiotics to "shut you up." The reason many antibiotics don't work is because of over use.
Good luck with your "snotty lawyer's letter" but you're completely unreasonable and sound a nightmare to be honest.
I am also a bit amused by your online research and diagnosing yourself. I've done the go online thing and diagnose myself thing...and usually, invariably been totally wrong! How would it work if we all did that then went into the doctor demanding this that or the other?
I'm not saying doctors are always right but you sound high handed and a nightmare to be honest.

Featherbag Mon 30-Sep-13 15:16:52

YABmassivelyU! I bet if you'd been px antibiotics on the first visit and they hadn't worked you'd be wanting to complain about not being referred for a scan!

LessMissAbs Mon 30-Sep-13 15:20:04

YANBU. I wouldn't have said YANBU until encountering my last GP. He had a total arsey attitude about women in their prime.

I am sure there are many infections that go untreated in the NHS that go on to cause unnecessary further harm.

Up to you if you complain, its probably a bit of a waste of time as you cannot prove the antibiotics cured it without an expert's opinion, and even then it is only an expert's opinion, and a letter of complaint will no doubt mark you down for arsey treatment in the future.

Interested to hear how you go antibiotics off the internet. Not saying you are wrong to do it though - congrats on taking the initiative.

EnlightenedOwl Mon 30-Sep-13 15:25:27

antibiotics should only be taken if necessary to avoid resistance building up to the antibiotic. Buying prescription drugs online without prescription because you consider they are necessary is stupidity.

IceCreamForCrow Mon 30-Sep-13 15:29:18

I can't see why people are saying yabuconfused

You must have had some sort of infection for it to clear up with AB'S (but yikes at buying them and treating yourself, that admittedly sounds unwise).

Over 4 appts couldn't they have checked for an infection and sent for a scan? How could they know your symptoms were def due to one thing?

pinkdelight Mon 30-Sep-13 15:29:58

I wouldn't make a complaint, as they were right to refer you for the ultrasound and you were wrong to get meds from the net. But I definitely wouldn't say "you sound high handed and a nightmare to be honest". You sound like you were in pain and desperate, so fair enough. But be glad that your pain has gone and don't go making enemies. Oh, and still go for the ultrasound. The meds might've cleared some symptoms but you still don't know the real cause.

ISingSoprano Mon 30-Sep-13 15:36:05

If you feel the treatment you have received from your GP has been poor then by all means complain. But write the letter yourself and address it to the GP concerned (via the Practice Manager) and give them a chance to review your case.

I cannot say if the GPs treatment of you amounts to 'malpractice' but I do think you have been foolhardy in buying drugs over the internet.

YoungGirlGrowingOld Mon 30-Sep-13 15:37:15

I don't think YABU and I don't think you sound like a nightmare. It's reasonable to expect investigations such as a blood test (which would show evidence of infection) and a prescription for AB's if anything was revealed, in addition to an ultrasound referral.

Where I live, we can purchase AB's over the counter for pennies. Most people do - I don't condone the overuse of AB's but I find the huffy sanctimonious twaddle about 'resistance" quite amusing since the very same drugs are available OTC in most of the world and online cheaply (and legally) from the UK.

Your GP sounds lazy and useless and in your shoes, I would complain.

PennySillin Mon 30-Sep-13 15:38:03

Hmmm YABU and YANBU.

YABU to think prescribing you something to shut you up is a valid reason to give antibiotics or any medication (although I realise this happens).

YABU to purchase medication over the internet. Very very dodgy!

Have you had the USS?

YANBU to have expected a little more proactive treatment than a 8 week wait for an USS. I would have sent cervical and vaginal swabs while waiting for the USS to rule out infection.

Malpractice - well it fits the definition, you suffered "considerable pain and discomfort", something that may have been avoided if they had sent swabs and ruled out/in infection 8 months ago. As for blacklisting - that doesn't happen, you can't highlight a patients screen to let everyone know you are a troublemaker or however else you might think they would perceive you. smile

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 30-Sep-13 15:38:07

I don't think you should have self-diagnosed and medicated, but the GP was wrong, surely, not to check for other possible causes?

I'd write, for sure. Not a lawyer's letter though, unless or until they send you a shitty/indifferent response.

DaleyBump Mon 30-Sep-13 15:38:46

Yes, YABU. They referred you for an ultrasound, you should have waited for it.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Mon 30-Sep-13 15:40:08

YABVVVU by buying medication over the internet. That was incredibly dangerous! Stuff like that doesn't come from the medication fairy y'know. You've quite possibly funded some organised crime by paying for illegal tablets...

In all other areas, YANBU. I've never known doctors to leave a patient in ongoing pain without doing some sort of examination and at the very least prescribing analgesic of some form. There's nothing that can be helped about the wait for the ultrasound though. That's just life with an underfunded and overstretched NHS.

Yanbu and I can't see why people think you are. I would expect more to be done with those symptoms, 8 weeks with not even a look at you?! Disgraceful.

A lawyers letter is a massive overreaction, get a grip!

Mumsyblouse Mon 30-Sep-13 15:52:35

In most European countries, you can get antibiotics over the counter. But in the country we visit, they swab you and develop the cultures the same day then give you targeted antibiotics rather than some generic one that might or might not work, again a day or two later. I couldn't believe it the first time I went there and saw the lab results a few hours later and was on the correct antibiotics a day later.

The NHS is lumbering and slow and it is ridiculous to have discomfort/pain for two months out of your life for this and part of the problem is the incredibly slow diagnosis procedure around infections- no wonder people turn to the net. It may be somewhat dangerous to take them if you don't know what they are which is why I have a packet or two from my holidays at home, and I have used them successfully to cure a chest infection after a month of pleading with my dr who kept saying that young people (I'm over 40) didn't get chest infections unless there was something wrong with them!

wink1970 Mon 30-Sep-13 15:52:53

Thanks for the varied response, though LOL at the 'nightmare' part! I hardly think wanting to understand the possible causes makes me 'high handed'. Still, each to their own...

Thanks for the notes on internet purchases, I do agree there was a risk, although I fully checked out the company - it's a real surgery based in Glasgow. I filled in an online form based on a presumption (oh, there I go again being a nightmare) that it was an infection of sorts, and they gave me a broad-spectrum that hits bladder, cervix and related areas.

I guess a lawyer letter is too strong, so a complaint first....

BTW the ultrasound was clear, not that the doctors have bothered to tell me, I rang the hospital.

YoungGirlGrowingOld Mon 30-Sep-13 15:53:59

Agree that the lawyer's letter is overkill, at least at this stage - it would not be if you have suffered any damage as a result of the delay, but you will presumably not know this until you have a proper diagnosis.

After similar experiences with my GP, I now insist on only seeing one of the senior partners. It can be more difficult to get an appointment, but I have so much more confidence in them. In your shoes I would probably see one of the partners and explain your concerns about the other GP - it is more likely to be enough to make them pull their socks up.

redexpat Mon 30-Sep-13 16:27:42

Did you not ask for an appointment with a different Dr at the same surgery?

HeySoulSister Mon 30-Sep-13 16:32:23

Glasgow?? This kind of slapdash diagnosing actually exists? shock

Bamboobambino Mon 30-Sep-13 16:39:57

YABU, very

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 30-Sep-13 17:55:42

They referred you for a scan and you were impatient. Why did you not ask for an internal before you self-diagnosed?

RevoltingPeasant Mon 30-Sep-13 18:04:32

candy but why should OP have to specifically ASK for an internal? Surely, it is the dr's job to think 'Well, she will have a 2-mo wait for a scan now, so I'll just rule out other possible causes by doing a quick internal'.

Surely, patients should not have to request that? Otherwise, if a patient is expected to take the initiative by telling a dr what examinations to do, why is she BU by taking the initiative to diagnose herself?

OP YABU about the lawyer's letter, and I'd be careful with the ABs online. But, I have had a similar experience, where it took my old GPs four visits to diagnose a urinary tract infection. I mean, a UTI! Surely bread and butter stuff. Similarly, 9-10 weeks when I was in too much pain to sleep at night, awful kidney pains.......

It was infuriating when I found out to think that if only the GP had been arsed to do a simple urine sample it could've avoided two months of illness.

reallyslummymummy Mon 30-Sep-13 18:05:31

Unless you actually want to pursue legal action don't contact a lawyer. I think a strong letter will do the trick. Or making a bolder statement and moving GP.

holidaysarenice Mon 30-Sep-13 18:09:56

And had you reacted badly to those anti-biotics where would you have turned?

Oh yes the trusty nhs and its good gp service.

You already misdiagnosed urself wrong once - coil. But did you even listen to the gp.

They wud probably love to blacklist you.

expatinscotland Mon 30-Sep-13 18:15:19

I would complain.

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 30-Sep-13 18:20:59

What's wrong with asking your doctor for something if they're not forthcoming? I have a joint condition and requested a scan when one joint was particularly bad. I'm not saying it's great practice but the OP clearly thought she knew best anyway!

figwit Mon 30-Sep-13 18:21:35

OP
Do you have a link for the surgery you used? They sound useful.
TIA

ivykaty44 Mon 30-Sep-13 18:30:46

if you can diagnose yourself and get ant-biotics on the internet then there is no reason for you to be registered with a gp- is there?

What would you do if the doctor gave you tablets to keep you quite until your ultra sound and they were the wrong tablets? You would complain for not getting your diagnoses correct.

Is it the gp's fault he can't diagnose you until you have had the scan?

They can't win can they with you

expatinscotland Mon 30-Sep-13 18:35:34

She should have been swapped for infection after having the coil out and STILL having the symptoms she had.

Cantdance Mon 30-Sep-13 18:36:30

A dear friend of my family went to the gp because he was sleeping 20 hours a day, was losing the power of speech, couldn't focus his eyes properly and other symptoms. I told my husband "it's either a stroke or a brain tumour". My husband replied "well it isn't a brain tumour" Neither of us are doctors but it took the gp another four visits over the course of several months before he ordered a scan. In that time he just kept giving out antidepressant prescriptions. A month after the scan our friend was dead of a brain tumour that had grown so large it was inoperable.

I find the quality of many of the GPs in this country absolutely deplorable and often agree that an educated and interested layperson could do better. OP YANBU and if you could pm me the name of the Glasgow surgery I would appreciate it.

Cantdance Mon 30-Sep-13 18:37:32

Meant to say husband replied "it isn't a stroke". It was of course a brain tumour.

ASmidgeofMidge Mon 30-Sep-13 18:43:03

Given the amount of time that elapsed, it's equally likely your symptoms resolved themselves, rather than the antibiotics sorting them out.

ASmidgeofMidge Mon 30-Sep-13 18:44:21

I would also question the credentials of any 'surgery' selling px antibiotics online

expatinscotland Mon 30-Sep-13 18:45:56

When we were in the paed onco unit with DD1, there were countless kids in there who had been fobbed off by GPs, sadly. All too often in those cases, the result was fatal.

PennySillin Mon 30-Sep-13 18:49:09

I find the quality of many of the GPs in this country absolutely deplorable and often agree that an educated and interested layperson could do better.

While I totally respect your opinion and your experience I couldn't disagree more with your statement. I think we have a country of very good GPs and doctors. Yes there are some that are questionable and for those who find themselves under the care of these people this is not acceptable but I believe the majority of consultations are entirely appropriate, professional and evidence based (sometimes not what the pt wants but doesn't make it wrong).

In this case I do think the OP didn't receive the best care and swabs should have been done to find out an underlying cause, however I don't think this makes many GPs in this country deplorable. But that's just my opinion based on my experiences. smile

ArgyMargy Mon 30-Sep-13 18:52:54

ASmidge has it spot on.

2rebecca Mon 30-Sep-13 18:59:50

If you had your symptoms when you went to the FPC to get your coil removed then why are you not moaning about the FPC not checking for an infection as they will have had to do a speculum examination to remove the coil and examine you and maybe needlessly removed your coil? If you had pelvic pain they would seem the most logical people to do swabs etc as they are looking in that area anyway?
When you went to your GP afterwards they'll have presumed the FPC did a speculum exam and were happy there was no infection maybe that is why they didn't do another speculum examination.
If you had the US why didn't you make an appointment to go back if you wanted the result?
As you have nothing to prove you ever had an infection a lawyers letter seems OTT. Yes the pain went but it may have gone anyway, just as antibiotics will always cure colds because they always go anyway.
I think you should change your GP surgery as you obviously have no faith in them but that is all I would do.

Saminthemiddle Mon 30-Sep-13 19:00:51

YABU - when I read your symptoms, my first thought was that you had a cyst and 6 weeks isn't that unreasonable as the GP must have thought it wasn't that urgent or else it would have been sooner. I am not sure why you are so angry with the GP because surely the FPC gave you an examination when they took the coil out? A dr would have done this and you could have asked her about your symptoms and worries so not sure why you didn't do this?

Cantdance Mon 30-Sep-13 19:03:29

Penny thanks for your well-reasoned response. I don't think this one case means all GPs in this country are deplorable, no. But I do think that overall in the experiences of my friends, family and myself, there has been a lot more poor quality treatment I'm aware of in the UK than from where I'm from, the US.

In the USA, treatment is excellent for those who can afford it and those that can't are stuffed. In the UK in my experience treatment is mediocre until you get a diagnosis and then once you have the diagnosis treatment is good but not excellent. Part of the difference comes down to a difference in the length and quality of training that GPs undergo in the USA vs here. But the majority of the difference comes down to money. If only we could have a system that gave excellent care to everyone - but that's a political and economic discussion for another time.

The NHS is stretched to the limit, doctors are under pressure to churn the patients through quickly and not order any unnecessary tests or referrals. Patients here therefore have to educate themselves and push for things like scans, tests and swabs for themselves and their children.

Viviennemary Mon 30-Sep-13 19:08:20

It is annoying when they take so long to diagnose you that you resorted to buying drugs over the internet. Never a good idea. I don't think you'll get very far with the complaint. Because they referred you for the ultrasound. But on the whole I don't think YABU to be annoyed. Put in a complaint but not solicitors letter.

Tavv Mon 30-Sep-13 19:09:49

I think the problem wasn't the referral, but the long waiting list times which unfortunately are normal in today's NHS.

Cantdance Mon 30-Sep-13 19:14:04

I went to see the GP (a locum) a couple of years ago as my periods had gotten extremely heavy which was a big change for me. When I told him this he literally said to me "well what do you expect me to do about it?" I said " well I expect you to either tell me it's okay or to send me for a scan". He said "well I can't tell you it's okay" so I replied "well you'd better send me for a scan, then". Of course the scan showed a cyst and I had to have it removed under general anaesthetic. This is just one example of what I consider poor treatment by a GP in that he shouldn't be asking me what to do! But is this actually normal in the UK? Because in the USA it wouldn't happen.

PennySillin Mon 30-Sep-13 19:14:54

If only we could have a system that gave excellent care to everyone yes yes yes, if only!

How much training do the US Drs have to do to become a GP/family physician cantdance?

Cantdance Mon 30-Sep-13 19:22:39

Penny in the US it's a minimum of 7 years postgrad while in the UK minimum 5 for GPs.

caroldecker Mon 30-Sep-13 19:52:17

I would suspect that if you made a complaint you would be unable to use the same doctor going forward.

EnlightenedOwl Mon 30-Sep-13 20:13:02

I've had fab service from the NHS this weekend inc seeing emergency dr on Sunday with no fuss and getting urg. doc's appointment today. Its not all bad!

yegodsandlittlefishes Mon 30-Sep-13 20:24:32

Pssst...OP...I don't know about your local ultrasound dept. but at ours, if you get a really long wait like than and are in pain and need one urgently, try phoning them up to see if they have had any cancellations on a day you are flexible to fit in. I was able to do this to fit in with my job, it was great!

YANBU to want a better standard of care than that. Ask the surgery whether they have a complaints form. Fill it in with the facts, using non emotive language and name names.

Don't talk lawyers though, that would be going too far. (Keep your powder dry).

candycoatedwaterdrops Mon 30-Sep-13 20:34:52

I just had a thought, if you went to the family planning clinic to have the coil removed, they were equally responsible for not taking a swab.

Erebus Mon 30-Sep-13 20:37:23

A thought- if you had back pain, a swollen abdomen and spotting- I'm thinking UTI and/or renal stone. Cervical infections don't, to the best of my knowledge, give you a swollen abdomen.

Both can apparently 'go away' of their own accord; a stone gets passed or sits harmlessly in your bladder; your body sorts out a UTI.

However, if it were either, in the longer run, be careful not to dismiss them as stones can obstruct kidneys and recurrent UTIs can cause kidney scarring. Note the 'can' in both cases.

As for fab service in the USA, well... you should see the reams of onerous 'radiation protection' rules UK radiographers now have to follow after the eyewatering abuse of 'diagnostic imaging' that has happened in the USA as it's all so unregulated.

Don't always confuse 'lots of healthcare' with 'good healthcare'!

ivykaty44 Mon 30-Sep-13 20:47:15

catdance - so I guess there are never ever any law suits against doctors in the USA?

edam Mon 30-Sep-13 20:47:28

In the US doctors love ordering lots and lots of diagnostic tests and procedures. Because they can bill the patient's insurers for each and every one. As a result, patients are put through lots of tests that are unnecessary, uncomfortable, time-consuming, expensive and carry significant risks, not least over-diagnosis.

Over-treatment is as serious a problem as under-treatment.

As for missing serious conditions, that can indeed happen. Anywhere in the world. GPs should be alive to the possibility of rare conditions. But the British approach tends to be 'rule out the most likely cause first'. So, if it looks like a cold and there are no worrying symptoms that could be something more serious, you'll be told it's a cold and to take over-the-counter remedies if you wish. BUT you should also be told to come back if you don't get better in X amount of time, or develop any new symptoms.

PennySillin Mon 30-Sep-13 21:09:24

That's exactly how we're told to consult edam (I am a minor illness nurse not a GP btw).

Common things happen commonly, if you hear hooves expect to see horses not zebras etc - HOWEVER if the patient has no red flags you offer worsening advice ie what to do if things get worse or don't resolve after an expected length of time.

I think it's quite difficult to compare the NHS and USA healthcare systems. They are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

WeddingComp Mon 30-Sep-13 21:21:48

Antibiotics could have been vitamin c for all you know! Absolutely ridiculous buying medicine on the internet, you have no idea what was in it

bumperella Mon 30-Sep-13 21:45:21

OP doesn't really know what was in the tablets, even if they purported to be from "a GP" in Glasgow I can't believe any UK-based and UK-regulated GP would diagnose online unless they were pretty dodgy.

However being told to wait 8 weeks for a scan and being given no other information, discussion, investigations isn't really good enough. Even if the GP were to've told her, clearly and professionally, that she needed to book a double appointement (ie 15 mions rather than 7 minute allocation) to discuss, then used it to explain it couldn't be her coil or an infection because of x y and z and couldn't be further narrowed down, assessed or diagnosed without seeing the results of a scan that would be fine (I've no medical training whatsoever and am guessing that this was the case).
Leaving her to consult Dr Google and buy drugs off the internet (!!!) is just not acceptable, and GP's need to be aware that this IS what patients will do if they are desperate and have excessive faith in medicine.

JeanPaget Mon 30-Sep-13 21:50:22

How on earth do you know that the drugs you took were antibiotics?

edam Mon 30-Sep-13 22:21:59

Quite, bumps.

Penny, glad I got that one right. grin My sister's a nurse and my Mother and I have worked with doctors for decades (in different roles and different organisations), something has clearly sunk in!

PennySillin Mon 30-Sep-13 22:24:05

Spot on wink

Retroformica Mon 30-Sep-13 22:24:05

Uanbu

who took the coil out?

how didn't they notice?

kali110 Mon 30-Sep-13 23:54:39

Iv come across some very bad gps so im not great love of them however i do think yabu.
He sent you for a scan, maybe he didn't think you had an infection or thought the fpc would have done swabs like they usually do.
Im shocked you bought pills off the internet they could have been anything. Could have been sugar pills and given you a placebo effect.
There also possibility that your problem did sort itself out. Iv had infections that have cleared up.
Also possibility that you don't/didn't have an infection and just think your better as you've self diagnosed.

kali110 Mon 30-Sep-13 23:55:07

Plus 8 weeks really isnt that long.

TabithaMcKitten Tue 01-Oct-13 01:03:03

I'm not sure why you are worried about being blacklisted from your surgery - you seem quite happy to self diagnose, self prescribe and then follow up on results yourself; why do you even need your GP?

What exactly would you hope to achieve from a formal letter alluding to malpractice?

LessMissAbs Tue 01-Oct-13 01:05:47

I should imagine that such an infection was very painful. I also don't see why you should have to "ask" your GP for antibiotics...you are not the doctor...

Even doctors in this country can be frustrated by NHS prescribing criteria - just look at the difference in the way thyroid function tests are interpreted in this country compared to many others (basically people are treated for under-active thyroid in most countries who would be left untreated by the NHS).

There appears to be such an obsession with not prescribing antibiotics in case of resistance that tales abound of untreated infections, or of doctors not understanding how different antibiotics work. I had "A-typical pneumonia a few years ago and got sicker and sicker despite two visits to GP who initially diagnosed a UTI! Penicillin wasn't effective because it is caused by bacteria which do not have cell walls, which penicillin breaks down. Hence I needed a macrolide or tetracycline. I know this because I researched it, not on Google but in a medical textbook, told my GP this on my second visit, at which I collapsed at reception, and was told the penicillin took that long to work and to go home. I ended up being taken into hospital by ambulance two days later and on intravenous clarithromycin.

Similarly, my MIL had a long term ear infection causing balance problems which she claims her GP told her was untreatable as it did not respond to antibiotics. On holiday in France, she visited a French doctor and was diagnosed azithromycin, which cleared it up.

Asserting that only doctors can understand basic medical concepts is ridiculous. As a lawyer, it is my job to understand concepts quickly and effectively. It cannot therefore be beyond everyone else on the planet either. I do not claim to be able to diagnose, but I do claim to be able to occasionally spot a lack of diagnosis in myself, and I will retain the initative to do something about it if the NHS is unforthcoming.

Cantdance Tue 01-Oct-13 05:58:05

For those that think the NHS is doing a fine job read this and let the statistics speak for themselves - and this is a comparison with other European countries for those that think comparisons with the US are unfair.
www.theguardian.com/society/2011/mar/01/uk-cancer-big-spend-limited-success

SofiaAmes Tue 01-Oct-13 06:18:17

Cantdance, actually it's the lower middle class and the self-employed who have trouble with health care in the usa, not the poor. The poor actually have very good coverage. My dc's have been covered by the state health insurance for the poor for the last 4 years. My ds, who has a genetic disease and spends a lot of time in doctors offices with weird, hard to diagnose symptoms, has had every referral he has needed for everything medical large and small (including speech therapy, neurologists, opthamlagists, etc.). The only piece that doesn't work well is the mental health coverage, but as far as I can see, the USA is still well ahead of the rest of the world in terms of acceptance of mental issues as diseases that need to be treated just like any other illness.

Sunnysummer Tue 01-Oct-13 06:20:09

YABU to make a complaint about them, though maybe not to make a complaint to them. You got the coil removed, presumably, before the ultrasound and before your next visit, have no way of knowing if the drugs you bought (which may or may not have been actual antibiotics or just sugar pills!) actually fixed it, or whether it was time. If you make all your own diagnoses and follow your own treatment plan then claiming malpractice will only lead you back to yourself as lead physician, plus your attending, Dr Google.

Did you request an internal? Did the fpc see anything? It does sound very uncomfortable, and hope you are better, but it's not really a clear cut case of blame.

MammaTJ Tue 01-Oct-13 06:39:02

BTW the ultrasound was clear, not that the doctors have bothered to tell me, I rang the hospital.

Really? It is normal for a person to have to ring for test results. How many attempts would it take for them to ring you, confirm it is you answering the phone, then give you the results. A waste of their time.

thistlelicker Tue 01-Oct-13 06:44:11

Ure an idiot for
Buying online! U really need to read the news about bogus drugs!

If u were in that much pain - did u seek a second opinion? Another
Gp? Walk in centre? Perhaps a n e??? If u self diagnosed why didn't u ask for a swab on each visit after the initial..... 8 weeks is standard waiting, it's obvs ure gp didn't thnk it war rented an urgent referral- I surprises you didn't question the wait!

I'm a bit on the fence with this the op seems a bit self indulged but the gp appears not to be arsed!!!

ilovechips Tue 01-Oct-13 09:05:59

Having worked in family planning I find it more shocking that you presented to them with the symptoms you describe and they did nothing? At the very least you should have had a thorough examination, full history taken and swabs taken for infection.

(I assume you didn't have to wait the full 8 weeks for the ultrasound, as your symptoms began less than 8 weeks ago and you have the results already)

I think some areas of the NHS let you down - but diagnosing yourself and buying drugs online is never advisable.

kali110 Tue 01-Oct-13 09:13:57

Plus if they thought it was serious and were waiting to see what ultrasound said then they wouldn't prescribe antibiotics if they thought it was something else i.e cyst etc
Id be calling the docs and telling them id taken something off the internet

In the USA it wouldn't happen because you would be sent for a multitude of tests to ensure you didn't sue the HCP. They don't care how much or many tests you are sent for or the cost as these are not picked up by the state.

If rather live here and have free healthcare for all rather than the States any day.

mimitwo Tue 01-Oct-13 09:33:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ubik Tue 01-Oct-13 09:47:30

Re: US treatment.

An acquaintance who is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, let's say, went to NYC and spent the first night sampling lovely cocktails, yum yum.

In the early hours she awoke; clammy, cold, vomiting, killer headache ...panicked and pitched up at the nearest hospital-v.posh. - anyway they ran the full bank of diagnostic tests -ER kind if stuff -and she may there terrified thinking meningitis etc. hours later a dr arrived with a glass of water and 2 paracetamol. The tests had indicated she had a hangover.

Then she was presented with a bill fir $2,000. shock duly paid later by a pissed off daddy.

Op - ABs over the Internet from Glasgow? Did you know we recently had supplies of heroin with anthrax in it? Do you realise the risk you took?

wink1970 Tue 01-Oct-13 10:59:38

Thank you all for your comments, surprised I had so many!

I have made an appointment (2 weeks wait) to see the GP and I will talk to her about my treatment - I'm not afraid of a face-to-face, and I'm as disappointed as I am angry. I trusted her as 6 years ago she was the GP who realised (after many visits to others) that my husband's "flu" was in fact stage 2a cancer. I will also talk to the FPC as they didn't do any swabs despite knowing why I wanted the coil out.

I also take the slap on the wrists about online ABs - however I will repeat this was a real GP surgery/pharmacy, registered with the appropriate authorities & regulatory bodies (I checked the reg numbers against the addresses and the directors/doctors names).

Thanks, all, I just needed - if you will excuse the medical pun - a sanity check.

wink1970 Tue 01-Oct-13 11:22:17

Hot sure how to edit posts, so just to add: I am quite new on here and read each rational post (obviously disregarding the 'you are a nightmare/nutter/murderer' ones, lol) and appreciate the diversity or answers.

Ilovechips - yes I got an earlier apt by calling the hospital and asking to go on a cancellation list, that's good advice from other posters.

The online doctor is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, GPhC, & GMC, I checked with each before ordering. I'm aware most of you think it is distasteful, that they exist, but I think it fulfils a service.

kali110 Tue 01-Oct-13 16:35:03

The pills you took may not have done anything at all though as you dont actually know what you had.
Antibiotics treat a multitude of things, i would rather have known what was wrong incase there was still something wrong rather than just treated a few of the aliments. Dont think the doc was wrong with sending you for a scan straight away rather than just pumping you with drugs. .

pixiepotter Tue 01-Oct-13 17:21:58

Of course YANBU.To have left the infection festering for 10+ weeks sounds a very dangerous thing to do.I would certainly complain

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 01-Oct-13 17:57:06

I'm not saying don't complain, just that you will look a right twonk because it may not have been an infection, just a self-limiting condition.

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Wed 02-Oct-13 10:18:18

I'd hope the surgery won't think she's 'a right twonk' but will recognise that a patient was concerned and in pain and the surgery didn't give enough support and investigation.

ukatlast Wed 02-Oct-13 10:29:42

YANBU no one should have to wait weeks if in severe pain for a scan that will likely show zilch.
Trouble is because it is free at point of use, you are supposed to be grateful and not complain.

ukatlast Wed 02-Oct-13 10:31:12

Quote 'Dont think the doc was wrong with sending you for a scan straight away rather than just pumping you with drugs.'

But it wasn't straightaway was it? It was a long wait and she was in pain. She went back to assert herself and was fobbed off. Complain OP.

ukatlast Wed 02-Oct-13 10:34:57

It is not good enough that the system celebrates 16 week waits as a positive. I doubt you would ever have to wait that long for treatment in Germany/France etc and they are not like USA shambles.

LtEveDallas Wed 02-Oct-13 10:45:21

Every year when we go abroad we come back with antibiotics that we buy OTC from a pharmacy. We explain what we want them for, and tend to get targetted antib's rather than broad spectrum

We've done this ever since a doctors surgery made my then 3 year old wait 5 days, in pain, for the results of a urine test (kidney infection) before they would prescribe antibiotics. Having had the same myself - (recurrect infections, used to be able to go to the docs and would be prescribed Trimeth before the results came back - and would be better before they did. New doc on the scene made me wait and I ended up in hosp and off work for 2 weeks) I said I'd never put my family through that again.

We also buy stronger versions of lansoprazol for heartburn/ulcer, because sometimes my 15mg prescription just doesnt cut it. Oh and in Egypt we buy a set of tablets that cut through the worst D&V in hours rather than days - I've never seen results like it (haven't got a clue what they are, just that they work)

DH gets sinusitis once a year - we treat it.
I tend to get a urine/kidney infection once a year - we treat it.
DD tends to get an ear infection once a year - we treat it.

Maybe we are saving the NHS some cash!

DeWe Wed 02-Oct-13 11:46:26

But selling online drugs that are prescription only in this country are illegal. Therefore the company you got them from is illegal and not reputable.

You say you checked-how do you know they are who they say they are? They could have taken genuine doctor's names and used them. Not too hard to find out.

I have a little medical knowledge about my dd's condition. One time I googled it. You'd be amazed at the number of "online doctors" claiming all sorts of degrees that were spouting utter rubbish. Sites filled with "greatful patients" and information that not only had no basis of facts, but if you used a little common sense were obviously rubbish. And yes, they were advising medical procedures/medicines through this nonsense.

pixiepotter Wed 02-Oct-13 13:02:03

If the company is based abroad, they are not under the jurisdiction of English law surely?

MaidOfStars Wed 02-Oct-13 13:13:56

OP, do the words "nocturnal canine" mean anything to you? If so, then I assume you were given the antibiotics under prescription (albeit without physically seeing a doctor)?

kali110 Wed 02-Oct-13 13:42:02

Yea but its not the docs fault there wAs a wait. Doc referred op for a scan to see if there was anything other than an infection. Its their fault there was a wait for a scan.
If it was or is something and not an infection then there would have been no point giving antibiotics. Sone antibiotics have horrible side effects so why prescribe without knowing if they are needed.

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Wed 02-Oct-13 15:55:50

But they didn't even do any kind of examination/swab to see if there was any other explanation while waiting for the scan. That's what I have the problem with and why I don't think the OP is unreasonable.

magnumicelolly Wed 02-Oct-13 21:57:15

You're not unreasonable. Expecting you to wait 2 months in pain is not on, but only to be expected from the NHS, based on what I've seen. Doubt complaining will get you anywhere though.

Gaybaron Wed 02-Oct-13 22:56:57

In most European countries, you can get antibiotics over the counter. But in the country we visit, they swab you and develop the cultures the same day then give you targeted antibiotics rather than some generic one that might or might not work, again a day or two later. I couldn't believe it the first time I went there and saw the lab results a few hours later and was on the correct antibiotics a day later.

They do this in Poland, so that the infection is, as you say, specifically targeted. UK GPs are living in the Stone Age. I have heard a dozen stories of patients being misdiagnosed in the UK, being suspicious, flying to Poland at once and being told by the Polish doctor that they required antibiotics, or, in one particularly bad case, a surgical operation.

MaidOfStars Thu 03-Oct-13 09:00:39

Gaybaron I have heard a dozen stories of patients being misdiagnosed in the UK, being suspicious, flying to Poland at once and being told by the Polish doctor that they required antibiotics

Hmmmm. Instead of, say, getting a second opinion or paying for a private appointment with a consultant?

PennySillin Thu 03-Oct-13 11:03:40

Also hmm

IamSlave Thu 03-Oct-13 11:05:20

I am aghast at the replies to you on here OP.

Is it any wonder we have such atrocious cancer stats compared to other European countries?

Of course he should have done more to find out what was wrong you!!

Op was in so much pain she brought her own drugs off internet!!

OP docs are good bad and plain useless.

you should have seen another doc at your surgey. caused a fuss, gone back said you were in too much pain and on the verge of buyin drugs off internet.

MrsWedgeAntilles Thu 03-Oct-13 11:31:27

YABU to buy drugs off the internet, what were you thinking? You were very lucky not to be harmed and as others have said you might have funded crimes.
However, YANU to complain about the management plan, or to a least ask why the only investigation the GP wanted to carry out with was an ultra sound when it might have been easier to just examine you.
In the first instance I think you should contact the practice manager and see if they can help you, if not they should be able to tell you the proper channels to go down.
I can never understand why people don't make more complaints, nothing will ever get better if people don't realise their not doing brilliantly.

IamSlave Thu 03-Oct-13 12:09:34

BTW I don't want to scare people but a lady was lodging with a friends family, had a week of urinary tract infection, kept going back to docs who had already said what it was and prescribed whatever, a week later she was moaning of severe back pain and collapsed and died of kidney failure.

Can we ever be too flippant when it comes to our health?

PennySillin Thu 03-Oct-13 15:46:06

Can we ever be too flippant when it comes to our health?

No never and anything less is unacceptable BUT the NHS is broken. We have a population of 63.23 million and only just over 250,000 GPs. More and more GPs are working part time and we are not recruiting enough to maintain the numbers we currently have never mind increase the numbers to what they should be.

Now this doesn't excuse how the OP was treated and I think extra investigations should have been done but we are expecting top notch healthcare from a failing system. Its imploding and I can't see a way out.

ukatlast Sat 05-Oct-13 21:48:36

PennySillin with a rising and ageing population, they need to be training more Doctors and Nurses for sure.

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