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AIBU to be so frustrated with NHS direct?!

(48 Posts)
Sammy1888 Sat 19-Dec-15 18:17:26

Every winter I get the flu, and the cough that comes with it sticks to my chest and my asthma makes me ridiculously wheezy and breathless, especially at night. I have been hospitalised before because of it. I have very mild asthma the rest of the time and never need to use my inhalers throughout the year; only when this awful flu comes every year just before Christmas. I have moved 6 times in the past 12 months, and my blue inhaler has got lost on the way.

I admit I should have gone to the doctors earlier in the week, but it is a 30 minute walk from my house to the nearest bus stop and my partner has only got a van with 2 seats so wouldn't be able to drive me and our baby (no babysitter really available). So I was just sort of hoping it would go away by itself.

Anyway last night was absolutely awful, I couldn't catch my breath, my chest was so tight and I was very very scared. So this morning I rang 111, they said a doctor would call me back. They didn't. I rang them again a few hours later. At 1.30 a doctor rang me back; she said I was clearly very ill and would fax a prescription to my nearest pharmacy as a matter of urgency for an inhaler, steroids and antibiotics. I was so relieved I burst into tears! My partner gave it a few hours to give the doctor time to send it as the pharmacy is a very long drive; he got there at 4.30 to find she hadn't actually bothered to send my prescription at all. I call 111 back again; they refuse to talk to me until I answer the 30 emergency questions for the 4th time today (have I injested any poisonous substance, have I seen a cancer specialist, am I bleeding profusely etc.) I told them that the answer to all the questions was no and I just needed to talk to a doctor urgently; but this wasn't good enough and I was told I would not receive any help unless I answered the questions all over again, wasting an extra 10 minutes. They finally said they had no record of a doctor calling me, was I sure confused but one would be in contact soon. It's been 90 minutes, I still haven't received a phone call and the pharmacy shuts soon. I know the NHS are overstretched and I am usually the first to make allowances but AIBU to begrudge the fact that I will most likely have to pay £££ on a taxi to spend hours in A&E tonight after either having an asthma attack or getting so close to one that I have no other option; when this could all be prevented by the doctor sending a prescription for one simple blue inhaler when she said she would? Also, has anyone got any tips on preventing asthma attacks/ making breathing easier without using an inhaler?
Lastly, please keep your fingers crossed for me that I get a call in the next 10 minutes!

rainbowunicorn Sat 19-Dec-15 18:27:16

Well really it could all have been prevented if you had taken the time to go and sort out an inhaler before it got to this stage. Not to mention if you get Flu every year then surely the easiest way to combat it is to get the flu jab, even if you do not qualify for it free you can pay a small charge to have it done in a pharmacy

thelouise Sat 19-Dec-15 18:27:59

YANBU re: NHS direct but you are partly to blame for not sorting out getting an inhaler, no matter how inconvenient it may have seemed.

TaliZorah Sat 19-Dec-15 18:29:04

YANBU. I hate the crap you have to go through on phones. Why can't you just talk to someone?! It's like they assume we are all idiots when we know full well who we need to speak to.

I have a similar issue with doctors receptionists

Crazycatlady27 Sat 19-Dec-15 18:29:27

Well being asthmatic myself, I would say you should have made sure your blue inhaler was replaced as soon as you noticed it was missing, at least if you had that it would help.
The only suggestion I can think off is steam inhalation, just sit in the bathroom with the shower on the hottest setting to create steam to inhale.

jimijack Sat 19-Dec-15 18:29:30

So you have symptoms all week.
You had lost your inhaler.
You KNOW that you can become very unwell at this time of year and yet you didn't contact your Gp for standby medications, and a repeat prescription for your inhaler and now you are annoyed that none of this can be put right now.
You appear to be suggesting that 111 would be responsible for you going to a&e if you deteriorate.

While the system has been a pain for you today, I think that you are totally U for not taking responsibility for your own health earlier.

Sorry, but you did ask.

maybebabybee Sat 19-Dec-15 18:29:59

If you get the flu every winter why on earth not get the flu jab?!

I agree NGS are a bit shit, but you could have been more proactive if this happens to you every year.

EskiVodkaCranberry Sat 19-Dec-15 18:30:09

I think you can get a blue inhaler from a pharmacy as a one off, I did this for my son when his ran out. Might be worth a shot

maybebabybee Sat 19-Dec-15 18:30:22

NHS direct, not NGS!!

FadedRed Sat 19-Dec-15 18:30:40

You can buy a salbutamol inhaler from a pharmacist.

TaliZorah Sat 19-Dec-15 18:31:07

I'm asthmatic and have no idea where my blue inhaler is. If you don't use it regularly it's really easy to forget about until you need it

TheFairyCaravan Sat 19-Dec-15 18:31:50

Well it appears they've messed up today. But you've had all week to contact your own GP, you should have had a flu jab and you should never, ever not have a blue inhaler to hand.

I hope you are better soon.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sat 19-Dec-15 18:32:43

What rainbowunicorn said. Although it sucks I'd be reluctant to rely on NHS Direct as they are not really a useful or reliable service.

Sammy1888 Sat 19-Dec-15 18:32:45

Last year I got the flu jab as I was pregnant and a few days later had the most horrendous case of flu ever. Was the most poorly I think I've ever been. Put me off for life.

And I see your point regarding the fact that I should have sorted the inhaler out earlier, but it wasn't so much inconvenience; more that I doubted I could physically walk for an hour with the flu. I have just about had the energy to stand up for long enough to make my baby's bottles, cook her food etc.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sat 19-Dec-15 18:32:58

I had a nightmare of a time getting a blue inhaler. My asthma is considered dormant so I'm not prescribed them anymore, and after having an asthma attack, had to sit in A&E again to get one.

If you knew yours was missing, and didn't go and get another one, you're to blame here I'm afraid. It sounds like it would have been inconvenient in the week but probably not as inconvenient as it'll be tonight.

Imnotaslimjim Sat 19-Dec-15 18:33:56

You can buy a blue inhaler over the counter these days, for the same cost as an NHS prescription

I have to agree with PP though, you really should be getting the flu jab. It doesn't prevent you catching all of them but usually covers the most prevalent in each year

Doublebubblebubble Sat 19-Dec-15 18:34:42

So I was just sort of hoping it would go away by itself

^ ? Asthma kills people you know

Yabu(ish) I hate all the rigmarole of NHS direct but as the mother of severe asthmatic you are being incredibly irresponsible.

ftmsoon Sat 19-Dec-15 18:35:35

Faded you can not buy a salbutamol inhaler over the counter in the UK. It's a prescription only medicine that a pharmacist may supply, for a fee, without a prescription in an emergency. This is entirely up to the pharmacist on duty at the time and whether OP can prove she has had a prescription for it previously.

queenoftheworld93 Sat 19-Dec-15 18:36:16

YANBU! Many HCPs hate 111.

Sammy1888 Sat 19-Dec-15 18:36:38

Explained my reluctance to get a flu jab above ^
My sister told me the same about being able to get one over the counter, have rung 3 pharmacy's that have all said they have no idea where I got that from and of course I can't confused
But the good news is... The pharmacy has rung and have just received my prescription! Happy days smile has eased the pain of posting my first AIBU to be told by the majority that I am indeed very unreasonable!

Sirzy Sat 19-Dec-15 18:37:38

It's annoying but surely you could have phoned your gp for a prescription and asked your partner to pick it up?

ftmsoon Sat 19-Dec-15 18:38:04

OP, it's coincidence you got flu just after your flu jab last year. You must have already been exposed to the virus before the jab.

TaliZorah Sat 19-Dec-15 18:38:58

Sammy if you keep your box, next time this happens show your box at the pharmacy.

I'm on antidepressants and often forget I need them until I've ran out, I get terrible withdrawals as well. I've had to take my box with my labels on it and they've given me an emergency supply.

Should work for inhalers

Sirzy Sat 19-Dec-15 18:39:13

Asda pharmacy used to do salbutamol over the counter - with a few questions before - but I believe they have stopped that now (and rightly so imo as it's important a GP is monitoring how much is being used)

thelouise Sat 19-Dec-15 18:40:34

For future reference, ASDA usually sell the blue inhalers. Wish you better!

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