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GP has just refused to refer me to EPU

(43 Posts)
gargalesis Tue 15-Jul-14 18:02:02

3 years ago I had an ectopic pregnancy. I had no symptoms until my fallopian tube ruptured and I almost died. Afterwards my GP told me that if I got pregnant in the future I should get an early scan to make sure it wasn't ectopic.

I'm now 5 weeks pregnant. I had to wait 8 days to see my GP (it's a different one this time, I've moved). I've just got back from my appointment. I told her how traumatic it was and she just wouldn't take me seriously at all. She was so dismissive. She said "you were very unlucky last time, you'd have to be incredibly unlucky for it to happen again". I told her there was a 1 in 10 chance of a repeat ectopic and she shrugged and said "well, that's 9 in 10 chance of it not being ectopic". She said she would refer me for a scan if I had symptoms, even though I told her that last time I had no symptoms until the tube ruptured.

She repeatedly said that nothing could be seen until 7 weeks. I know full well it's possible to see a sac at 5 weeks, she kept telling me that you couldn't see the heartbeat until 7. But I kept answering that I didn't care about the heartbeat yet, I just want to know it's in my uterus.

I just feel so frustrated. I don't know what to do. As soon as I walked out of her office I burst into tears and I haven't stopped crying since. What if my other tube ruptures and I'll never be able to conceive naturally? I'm absolutely terrified.

MostlyMama Tue 15-Jul-14 18:03:58

Request an appointment with a different GP.

NorwaySpruce Tue 15-Jul-14 18:04:27

She sounds daft.

Can you self refer to the EPU? Many will let you.

I think you should google the number, or a few numbers if there's more than one hospital near you, and ask.

Lime8 Tue 15-Jul-14 18:05:28

Id tell a little fib and say I was in pain! I'd definitely want to get checked out. It probably will be ok but you won't be able to relax until you have had that scan.

MmeMorrible Tue 15-Jul-14 18:05:45

Many EPUs will let you self refer. I would call your local unit and have a chat with the charge nurse.

Pinkandpurplehairedlady Tue 15-Jul-14 18:07:10

I was told that I could self refer to EPU after an ectopic last year. At ours they will scan you at 6 weeks to check where it is.

gargalesis Tue 15-Jul-14 18:08:36

I'm in York, according to the website it's GP referral only.

I'll call the doctors tomorrow but the fact I had to wait 8 days for this appointment doesn't fill me with much optimism.

bouncinbean Tue 15-Jul-14 18:09:28

Agree with others - try for a self refer to your local unit. If that doesn't work then I would fib and tell my gp some symptoms.

olaflikeswarmhugs Tue 15-Jul-14 18:11:44

Could you phone NHS 24 with "abdominal pain" ? Explain your history that you are 5 weeks pg . They might send you straight to EPU or might send you to out if hours gp who may refer you ?

Annbag Tue 15-Jul-14 18:12:57

As previous posters have said a lot of EPUs will let you self-refer. Bring a book, you might be waiting there a while!

Not quite the same, but I had a bleed at 11 weeks and was told to 'ignore it', but didn't feel right doing so, so I went to the hospital and they did see me after a few (very scary) hours of waiting without any GP referral which I think I was supposed to have. If you turn up they will probably see you as they don't want to get things wrong by turning you away. Turns out I had a rather bad infection so I was right to be persistant. Worth getting checked out if only to put yourself at ease.

There's also an option of a private scan, but you shouldn't have to pay IMO, but thought I'd mention it in case you get nowhere with the EPU.

Hope this helps a little

KleineDracheKokosnuss Tue 15-Jul-14 18:13:11

Call the EPU and see what they themselves say.

Having had a look at the EPU referral information for all the EPUs in the York area, none of them are GP referral only. It looks like they all accept referrals from midwives as well, so could you try contacting your midwifery team?

gargalesis Tue 15-Jul-14 18:18:34

I tried booking in with the midwife on my way out of the surgery but they told me to try again next week because they don't have anything until well into August.

Pinkandpurplehairedlady Tue 15-Jul-14 18:19:53

I can't link on my phone properly but the NICE guidelines say that EPU's should accept self referrals when you've had a previous ectopic so I would definitely call the EPU yourself.

gargalesis Tue 15-Jul-14 18:20:19

I just remembered another thing she said, "if you're that concerned get it done privately". So obviously she was lying about the 7 week thing. I can't afford to get a scan done privately, I'm broke.

gargalesis Tue 15-Jul-14 18:21:14

Oh thanks Pinkandpurple I'll look that up. I'll call the EPU in the morning. Thanks everyone for your advice. I'm starting to calm down a bit now.

BornOfFrustration Tue 15-Jul-14 18:23:37

You poor thing, yy ring the early pregnancy unit, you can only try. Make a nuisance of yourself with the epu and the gp until you get a scan. They should give scans after a previous ectopic.

InanimateCarbonRod Tue 15-Jul-14 18:24:39

I'm currently in hospital with a fourth suspected ectopic. I've already lost my left tube and may now lose the right one too. Don't wait OP. Get onto the EPU. They take self referral for previous ectopic. Fingers x'd you and bean are ok.

Which is your surgery? (PM me if you like.) If it's part of the Priory Medical Group you can request an appt at a different surgery within the group and therefore see a different GP more quickly. FWIW, I would call EPU yourself and explain, or call the community midwife team. (I can get you these numbers if you don't have them-again, PM me.)

Ignore the "healthcare referral" bits, and phone your nearest EPU, and explain your history.

I was refused an early scan by the midwife following an EP. I rang the number on the discharge letter, and was seen at 6+0. Apparently MW training was sent out following the refusal for a scan.

That baby is now 5, and his little brother is 3.

Fingers crossed for you both, gargalesis and InanimateCarbonRod

Jodie1982 Tue 15-Jul-14 19:00:46

That's terrible treatment, I'd definitely request another Doctor in future. I hope you get some help ASAP. Jo x

MrsMaturin Tue 15-Jul-14 19:24:07

Previous ectopic is an indication for an early scan. Persist direct with the EPU OP.

fraggle84 Tue 15-Jul-14 20:22:17

Id ring 111 and ask to see an out of hours gp tonight.

Not the same but I had bleeding at 8 weeks and rang 111 who arranged for me to speak to the out if hours team who arranged a scan the following morning

squizita Tue 15-Jul-14 21:36:21

Go to an out of hours GP or ring the epu directly and explain.
Follow up with a complaint - include any leaflet or printed information you have been given about the 1/10 risk and emphasise it is a potentially life threatening condition.

Your GP is potentially dangerous. Do not let it go!

RevoltingPeasant Tue 15-Jul-14 21:51:34

OP I'd do what others have said and ring the EPU.

Another option is out of hours GP. They can refer to EPU just like other GPs. I had a threatened MC a few weeks ago and an OOH GP referred me.

Finally if it comes to it, pay to go private. Your health is more important than the 80 quid or whatever for the scan.

And when this is all done, please please complain about that GP using PALS. You are probably not ectopic but the next woman might be and you could save her life. My GP would never behave like that, so it isn't a normal attitude.

Let us know what happens.

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