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Hospital appt - seen the registrar instead of the consultant

(26 Posts)
LoveToHoliday Wed 23-May-18 21:47:01

Today my DD had an hematology appt in the hospital but instead of seeing a consultant, she had the appt with the registrar instead. Is this a normal practice? I'm a bit concerned that the registrar has not much experience as the consultant. And who will be checking the blood results?

tangledyarn Wed 23-May-18 21:48:09

Yes normal practice and the registrar will be very experienced and will consult with the consultant if needed.

CluedoAddict Wed 23-May-18 21:48:14

Totally normal. It will have been overseen by the consultant.

NoSquirrels Wed 23-May-18 21:52:13

Very normal. Please don’t worry. Registrars have years of experience.

milliemolliemou Wed 23-May-18 21:58:57

S/he will have done 5 years at uni, a year or so as a junior doctor, two to three as a senior house officer, and then up to six years as a registrar. So technically they've got a minimum of nine years medical experience - or up to fifteen and just on the point of qualifying as a consultant. Clearly as PP have said, they are also overseen by a consultant. Good luck to your DD. More important is that you understand what if any the problems are, what the implications of any treatment are, and what to watch out for.

MexicanBob Wed 23-May-18 22:07:22

Yep, totally normal. I have a hospital check up every year and have only seen a consultant twice. Once because he wanted to tell his patients personally that he was retiring and the second time because my test results were so bad he wanted me on a ward there and then.

LoveToHoliday Wed 23-May-18 22:09:12

Thanks. It's just that I was expecting a consultant as the consultant's name was on the appointment letter. But the receptionist told me the consultant doesnt work there, she only runs the department, whatever that means.

Couchpotato3 Wed 23-May-18 22:09:38

The registrar will be a specialist who is still in training. It's perfectly normal to see a 'junior doctor' in the NHS and they will be supervised by the consultant.
If you want consultant only care, I'm afraid you have to go private.

Sirzy Wed 23-May-18 22:13:48

As others have said perfectly normal, if needed they will then consult with the consultant further. All of our letters say “you will be seen by x or a member of their team”

Ds does only see the consultant in one of his clinics because he is pretty complex and we ended up having to call the consultant in a few times anyway so it’s easier to just see him!

Bratsandtwats Wed 23-May-18 22:15:18

A Registrar will most likely have been qualified for 10+ years. They're very experienced. If they had had any concerns, they'd have spoken to the Consultant.

FunkyHeroCat Wed 23-May-18 22:16:34

Specialist Registrars (SpRs) are only one step below consultant, don't worry - it's not like having a trainee doctor! They're fully qualified doctors who are following a specialism, and they often then go on to be consultants not long afterwards.

FabulouslyFab Wed 23-May-18 22:17:47

I was at a hospital clinic today and was very surprised to see the consultant! Especially as the results of tests were not bad news although I still need to undergo a ‘procedure’

LoveToHoliday Thu 24-May-18 08:24:37

So who will be checking the blood results? The consultant or the registrar?

Winegumaddict Thu 24-May-18 08:42:59

Does it matter? Whoever checks them will be fully qualified and able to interpret the results as required? The registrars are very qualified doctors with years of experience.

SporkInTheToaster Thu 24-May-18 08:55:19

Some SpR’s chose never to go on and do their consultant exams (for various reasons, I have met a few). So it is quite feasible to meet a specialist registrar who has been in the job for 20+ years.

PaddyF0dder Thu 24-May-18 08:57:33

Of course it’s normal. Registrars are basically training upto be a consultant. How would they do that if they didn’t see patients?

To be a registrar you already have loads of experience. You also work under close supervision by a consultant. It’s fine.

You’ve got the right to ask for an appointment with the consultant if you feel that the registrar wasn’t enough.

PaddyF0dder Thu 24-May-18 08:59:31


That’s not accurate.

Registrar programs are defined training schemes, for a specific number of years. If you don’t progress you eventually get kicked out. There’s an expectation to progress and to meet the requirements to be a consultant. Progress is reviewed at least annually.

If a registrar doesn’t become a consultant, the option would be to become a staff grade or associate specialist.

scaryteacher Thu 24-May-18 09:04:11

Your daughter was lucky. Every time I go to Haematology I see a student and they all look younger than my son, and are in fact about his age. I do go a teaching hospital, but even so, it's a bit disconcerting when they scuttle off to the Prof each time I have a question.

PaddyF0dder Thu 24-May-18 09:04:20


The doctor who requests an investigation has the reaponsibility to review the results.

So it would be the registrar.

In reality, bloods are done semi-automatically and erroneous results are flagged up on the system (literally with a red flag on the screen on my system). A registrar would be well capable to reviewing blood results and acting on them. If they spot something they’re not comfortable with, they’d run if by the consultant.

SporkInTheToaster Thu 24-May-18 09:07:11

Ah, ok. Thanks for the correction. I knew i’d met medics who had chosen not to do go in to consultant level (politics, responsibility) but I must be confused as to the job title once that happened. Thanks for clarifying

iVampire Thu 24-May-18 09:09:35

I’m a current haematology patient, and I love it when I see the registrar not the consultant.

Staff see the results of blood tests on a computer screen, which will highlight (bright red in my trust) anything that’s out of reference ranges - even if your trust is still on paper, the lab will flag anything that’s out of range.

If the results come back all in range and/or totally in line with expected diagnosis, then there’s unlikely to be need for consultant input. But I expect that a competent consultant will run the team in a way that means she has regular and frequent updates from all the doctors, and therefore that all diagnoses and options for treatment plans are right.

I hope it goes well for your DD flowers

Abra1de Thu 24-May-18 09:13:41

Sometimes a registrar who is really keen and eager can be more helpful and caring in manner than a somewhat jaded consultant IMHO

LoveToHoliday Thu 24-May-18 09:39:08

I just want to know how the system works. It's good to know. Thanks for all your explanations.

iVampire Thu 24-May-18 09:48:34

BTW, my first appt was with a registrar, who explained provisional diagnosis (based on earlier blood test) and carried out a further test, explained what they were looking for and why, and outlined likely treatment plan, and started me on symptom-relief treatment straight away. I saw the consultant when all the test results were back, and she launched the treatment plan the registrar has already explained, plus set out the review dates. I’ve seen a mixture of consultants and registrars at the reviews, and have confidence in all of them.

And the reason why I like seeing the registrars is not aversion to consultants! It’s because I take it as a sign that they are not currently worried about me

PaddyF0dder Thu 24-May-18 10:24:10

I’m a consultant. Which means I used to be a registrar.

I’ve got way less time now than I had as a registrar. I see such a huge quantity of patients that I don’t always feel like I’m giving individual patients my best. Having the registrar can often result in better care.

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