AIBU to ask for a reimbursement from the GP practice?(38 Posts)
DD is six. Since she was nearly three she has had a constantly blocked nose, night time cough, lots of coughs and colds, indistinct speech. Our nursery teacher said she thought dd had large adenoids. We took her to speech therapy and got referred to ENT.
The specialist felt she had large adenoids and saw her large tonsils. We tried some spray but after a couple of visits he said that she would likely have a shrinking of the tissue and he gave us an open appointment if she cont'd with symptoms. So just over a year later last xmas we tried to take her back, the secretary said we had been discharged in our absence and needed to be referred again by our GP.
DH took her about nov 2012 and a GP said no need to refer. I took her a few weeks later, distressed by ongoing symptoms, seeing dd so blocked, fluidy and mouth breathing all time. This GP said no, she's not too bad, they won't do anything etc.
Really felt she just needed an opinion from the specialist, so i paid £160 to see him privately. He listened and examined, said she was suitable for adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy and we waited for op at NHS hospital. DD is so much better. Surgeon actually said adenoids were massive!
I feel i should have got referred for to secondary care and am out of pocket! I told the GP all the symptoms. Her response is that the consensus from the practice is that 'the likelihood was that she would grow out of the symptoms.' The specialist could also have said no, she does not need an op, and i would have accepted that, and been happy to spend the cash. But now that my concerns were vindicated i am cross. Am keen to know if iabu as obviously i am v biased!
But you could have changed GP practices and got a second opinion from another GP practice?
Medical opinion is just that - opinion. One doctor has said he wants to spare your dd operative risks. Another wants to spare her ongoing dicomfort whilst aiting to see if she grows out of it and so is willing to subject her to the risks of operating. Tbh I think both are 'right'. You've got what you wanted for her so I would just concentrate on that.
Write to the GP by all means, but YABU to ask for money.
You had other options (such as a second opinion) available to you, and you chose not to take them. That's fine, but it doesn't mean the NHS should pay.
Yes that is a point about changing practices. I did get a second opinion though in seeing two GPs a few weeks apart. Frustrated that they didn't see enough to refer, and her being a previous ENT patient i just couldn't see why it was so difficult!
GPs are under huge pressure not to refer patients to outpatients these days. Surgeries risk being shut down if their referral rates are too high. GPs are now in an impossible situation. I imagine they reviewed the consultant's previous letters and concluded that he wouldn't perform surgery as he had said she'd grow out of it, and therefore it would be a wasted and costly referral. Ten years ago you'd have got a referral straight away, but sadly things are different now that Dave and his gang are in charge.
Of course a private doctor is going to diagnose - he gets paid to.
Why should the NHS pay you for your choices?
If your daughter had had significant complications following her tonsillectomy such as blood loss requiring further surgery and blood transfusion, you would be inclined to think your gp had been sensibly cautious in watching and waiting and the private ENT surgeon was just giving you what you asked for because you're a customer rather than a patient!
All doctors think of the risks and benefits of everything they do. The benefits of adeno-tonsillectomy are improvement of symptoms but there are also rare but significant complications. Your gp felt that the risks outweighed the benefits the when they saw you, the surgeon felt the benefits outweighed the risks when they saw you. She probably would have grown out of her symptoms eventually but obviously her symptoms were distressing and persistent and I'm glad she is so much better now.
So did the GP refer for the NHS op ?
Or did the surgeon refer directly to his NHS list ?
You won't get any money.
Yabvu to be expected to reimbursed, sometimes an operation is necessary and your daughter is proof of that
Thanks for responses, food for thought. Perhaps i should focus not on the money i spent but on my view that she did not refer me when there was reason to. The specialist wrote to gp to tell her of his findings and added us to the children's hospital waiting list
Holly, private doctors don't just do what you say! He thought she needed op and his research fellow who actually did the op confirmed the consultant's findings, he said when he put his mirror thingy in the nasal passages were totally occluded by massive adenoids!
GP was just determined not to refer. I hear what has been said about referrals being more rationed now. Am bracing myself for future refusals!!
Reading your OP, it sound like the ENT specialist (which your GP referred you to) gave you an open appointment, which you didn't take up for over a year by which time you'd been discharged.
This was in 2010 from the information in your post, and you still didn't take your dd back until end of 2012.
Sounds like you were watching and waiting too, just like your GP. It's a completely reasonable course of action.
You could write a letter to the GP surgery asking for the reasoning behind their decisions not to refer and discuss what the actual outcome ended up being (operation). You will not get money out of the situation, but an apology or discussion about their decision making process may lead to some answers to your questions and let you find some peace with the situation. It sounds like you got the right outcome in the end and perhaps this is the positive you should focus on.
Christina, i should have said, i didnt realise there was a time limit on the open appointment. I just thought i'd leave it to give the theory that the adenoidal tissue shrinks a long enough chance. I didnt want them to say, ah she is still too young, still time for the adenoids to shrink. But they didnt, and i tried to take her back but was dismayed they had discharged her while i was still watching and waiting
I can understand your frustration, it's a shame you weren't told that the ent appointment was only open for a year.
I don't think for a minute you will get any money back.
You would be better off writing to your local Clinical Commissioning Group as they are the group that commission services for GPs to refer into and ask them their commissioning intentions and priorities. In a bid to make cost savings there are now many restrictions for GPs making referrals for 'non urgent' procedures such as tonsillectomys and grommets for glue ear. By paying for a private referral you have circumnavigated this gate keeping of the gP and have got a direct placement on the waiting list - value for money perhaps?
I think you should have got a second opinion from a different NHS GP.
That's a shame that you didn't realise, although if you were waiting for the adenoidal tissue to shrink, you probably wouldn't have taken her back from what you've said.
As I see it, you were referred when your dd was coming up for 3 and, as far as the ENT specialist knew, after your initial consultation you had no further concerns for over a year.
I appreciate your frustrations about NHS bureaucracy, but don't understand how you could expect the GP surgery to reimburse you when you didn't contact the specialist for over a year and then left it a similarly long time again after that.
I've had this a couple of times in the last 10 years.
Private Consultant: Yes + Puts me on their NHS list.
Basically, I've got used to paying a moderate fee to get fast-tracked.
It does feel odd playing Double or quits with your GP over your health though!
And let's not forget that GPs may soon have all the commissioning responsibilities/powers soon. Won't that be a wonderful step forward for the NHS?
Christina, i didnt leave it that long! She was three when we started the process, speech therapy, hearing checks, ENT guy saw her a couple if times or mebbe three. By that time she was five. I watch and wait for 14 months and then ring the hospital secretary. It was not one year and then another on top of that. In fact GP said i'd 'only left it fourteen months' as if that was not reasonably long enough. She thought there was plenty more time for the adenoids to recede!
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