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Finding a doctor for DD at uni?

(9 Posts)
quietlycrazy Mon 23-Jan-17 10:50:41

DD ended up in emerg last night with what appears to be either a UTI or kidney infection, but symptoms don't fall clearly into any category. Over-pressed emerg doc prescribed antibiotics, but clearly didn't have time for a proper investigation, and uni health centre is also completely over-burdened. We live abroad, so trying to help from a distance. DD has medical insurance through my work, so a private doc is an option, but I don't know where to begin finding one, and Google isn't throwing out anything useful!

beingorange Mon 23-Jan-17 10:52:07

if you have private insurance, ring the insurers, and they will have a list of doctors in her area. If in the UK the referral will have to come from a GP though. Big cities also often have private drop in clinics.

msrisotto Mon 23-Jan-17 10:52:17

Don't know which uni she is at but mine had an associated gp that they automatically registered us to.

blueskyinmarch Mon 23-Jan-17 10:55:52

If she is registered at the uni health centre then surely she can just make an appointment there? The antibiotics will see her through for a few days then they can do a further urine sample. My DD gets these and a few weeks ended up at an OOH appointment at a hospital and has followed it up at her own GP clinic. I am not sure there is much else they can do other than treat the symptoms.

quietlycrazy Mon 23-Jan-17 12:20:56

Thanks for the replies. She is following up with uni health centre. Last term, it took her almost two weeks to get an appointment -- hopefully this time it won't take so long. She's not far from London, so will see if there's a private drop in clinic somewhere if she doesn't manage to get it sorted out where she is, since it doesn't seem to be a standard UTI.

Wandainn Mon 23-Jan-17 14:25:39

Often the problem with accessing services is that the young person is not as assertive as necessary. You or I would not be fobbed off and would insist on being seen urgently, but an 18 year old (at least most of the ones I know) would accept what they are told by receptionist.
Even a busy uni clinic will see urgent cases sooner than two weeks.

Having said that you assume the A&E doctor is wrong? Presumably he did some kind of test? I would imagine if she is already on a course of AB then another doctor private or NHS would expect to give them time to work unless she is deteriorating?

quietlycrazy Mon 23-Jan-17 21:03:14

Wandainn the issue was making sure she had a timely follow up appointment because her symptoms seem more like kidney infection than simple UTI and she only has three days' worth of meds. The A&E doctor gave antibiotics that work for both, but if it's kidney she'll need a longer course of treatment.

You're absolutely right about not being assertive enough and giving up too quickly when faced with a tough receptionist. I convinced her to go back to the uni clinic in person this afternoon, and that did the trick. She spoke to the nurse who took a urine sample and booked her back in three days to see if they need to extend the treatment. So all is well, and she learned a good lesson in not taking 'no' for an answer, so a valuable learning experience too!

rightsaidfrederickII Tue 24-Jan-17 21:48:44

I'm glad she's got an appointment - typically they will have standard appointments (wait a fortnight) and urgent appointments (same day; access via being a bit assertive and speaking to a GP on the phone). At this time of year, they're often stuffed to the rafters with students trying to get mitigating circumstances signed off...

Talking of which - if this has affected your daughter's assessments, then she MUST apply BEFORE the exam date / coursework deadline. It's common to find that any application for mitigating circumstances that's submitted after that point is automatically rejected, unless the student was quite literally in a coma. Similarly, if she sits an exam then she is automatically declaring herself fit to sit, and can't claim mitigating circumstances.

If it does turn out to be a kidney infection, and she gets another one, then make sure she gets referred for tests - one is fluke, more than one is worth investigating as there may be something wrong that requires surgery. blueskyinmarch - it's not clear from your post if your daughter's problems are UTIs in the bladder or the kidney. If it's the kidney, as she's had several, make sure she gets referred as it's likely to affect her kidney function.

quietlycrazy Mon 30-Jan-17 09:09:11

Grrrrrrrr... I'm starting to think that university health centres are also subject to the postcode lottery.

Turns out the antibiotic DD was prescribed doesn't work for 25% of UTIs, and DD's strain was resistant. When she called the uni health centre to make an appointment because her antibiotic wasn't working, she was again told to go to A&E -- at which point I called and the very nice and apologetic receptionist confirmed that they are simply not set up to handle these things (they do not offer "urgent appointments")! Whatever happened to primary care in the UK???

Also, despite DD's requests, neither the first doc nor the health centre actually did a culture, so there was no way of knowing the specific bacteria to target the next round of meds.

In the end, DD had to go to my parents, 1.5 hrs away, to get this sorted. Thanks rightsaidfrederickII for suggesting that she get organized now for mitigating circumstances. Between being ill and having to leave campus to get treatment, she's now missed a week of lectures/seminars/reading.

What's really galling is that what she is dealing with is incredibly common, and a simple UTI shouldn't be difficult to deal with provided it is treated in time and doesn't spread. If the health centre had flagged when DD registered that they couldn't do much more than dole out contraception, we would have figured out alternatives ahead of time. I guess this is the logical consequence of stripping a health system of funding for 30 years, but it's also alarming. I've had two friends tell me that they ended up in hospital, getting antibiotics by IV for kidney infections, because they weren't able to get appointments with their GPs for weeks.

And therein ends today's rant.

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