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Read what Mumsnetters have to say about their health concerns and how they seek advice

35 replies

JustineBMumsnet · 30/05/2019 17:13

This thread is now closed

We want to know what your main health (both physical and mental) concerns are - both for yourself and your family and how you seek help for these. Do you visit your GP? Carry out online searches? Use health apps (particularly for weight loss, exercise and nutrition)? Rely on advice from friends and family?

What challenges do you face when you look for advice or seek help for a health issue (lack of GP appointments, unable to take time off work, lack of follow up support etc)?

Whatever your thoughts and feelings are about health issues and how you seek to resolve them, please share them on the thread below to be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £100 voucher of their choice (from a list).

This thread will be closing on Monday 3rd June at midday.

Thanks and good luck!


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OP posts:
OnePotMeal · 31/05/2019 01:28

I am (currently) really lucky to have a fabulous GP, just like the olden days. He's known the whole family for years, so he knows a lot of the context surrounding the problems we rock up with. I mainly see him on my own account (I have some ongoing problems) and my son, who has brittle asthma and has had quite a traumatic medical history. He's happy to listen and discuss what I think or what I've read, and if he disagrees he'll explain why. (He magically never seems to run late, either!) I feel like a participant in my own healthcare.

The thing is, to have this kind of cooperative approach, there needs to be trust in the doctor-patient relationship, and I think that's really being eroded by the 'health hub' style changes in primary care. It's increasingly hard to choose who you see, which means the context, shorthand and trust are all diminished. It all looks more efficient on a spreadsheet I expect, but I can't believe the outcomes are as good.

I also think the changes in primary care are the first stage of stealth privatisation, as longstanding partnerships are being bought up by profitmaking providers. I realise that GP practices always aimed to be profitmaking, but the partners were also bound by ethical and clinical considerations, and that's changing. I think we're all about to have a rude awakening as we discover that the values we imagined underpinned healthcare actually turn out to have been the values of the NHS.

sharond101 · 31/05/2019 12:57

My GP is fabulous and has helped me with personal health problem recently. I also trust my Pharmacist and have had some really good advice from them.

BristolMum96 · 31/05/2019 15:16

Always GP for health problems. Never rely on Google. Try to find a reliable and helpful GP.

Ribeebie · 31/05/2019 15:31

I use the GP when needed. Pharmacy are also good for advice. I like using well-being apps that work with my fitness activity to track my weight and activity levels.

voyager50 · 31/05/2019 16:13

I use a mixture of common sense, friends and family and useful articles in magazines when it comes to more general health issues.

I am guilty of googling some things but only trust websites like the NHS's or Boots when it comes to genuine medical information.

The pharmacist is a great resource for advice but I will always go to the GP if I am concerned about something serious.

Flapdoodles · 31/05/2019 17:28

It does depend on the issue, if it is a minor concern I may do an advanced search or post a thread on Mumsnet and ask if anyone has experience x or y but if it was something I was really worried about, I would contact our GP. Our GP has a triage service so when you telephone you get to speak to a nurse, they then decide if it is urgent and needs to be seen that day, advise making an appointment or you can go and see the nurse (if it is something like ear ache) and they can prescribe antibiotics.

crosser62 · 31/05/2019 19:37

A mix.
I’m very happy and confident in what pharmacist can offer locally for minor issues.
GP if it is more concerning BUT only if I cannot find the answers on the NHS choices website which is my go to bible of all things health and illness.
NHS choices is NICE guided evidence based and an underused resource (as are pharmacists)

We have a choice of walk in centres in my locality too which offer much more than a GP can, so X-ray facilities, wound care clinicsu so we are very lucky.

Trouble with GP is that I do not feel justified in taking up precious appointments unless it is absolutely necessary and all other avenues have been explored.

A&E is unless someone is literally dying. No way would I ever darken those doors unless there is a serious airway, breathing or circulatory problem.. absolutely no way.

anitagreen · 31/05/2019 23:22

I speak to my GP but it's hard to see the same one constantly when I book an appt which is annoying

NeverTwerkNaked · 01/06/2019 00:58

I feel the system is currently very much a two tier one presently. To get the best from the NHS you have to be assertive and articulate. Everytime I use those skills to get the treatment my son or I need, I feel frustrated and sad that others might not be able to fight so hard.

A big frustration is the current 101 system, where you might know what is wrong and want advice, but you still have to jump through a ridiculously lengthy set of questions about bleeding heavily etc. My son had chronic health conditions, we know why he is ill but often need guidance on best treatment / severity but answering all those needless questions is hugely frustrating!

OneTownsVeryLikeAnother · 01/06/2019 07:04

I have no idea who my GP is, think I'd have more chance of booking an appointment with a unicorn. On the odd occasion I've needed to go to the surgery I can only get an appointment with the nurse practitioner.

I tend to look at the NHS website, or I've phoned for advice.

Mabelface · 01/06/2019 07:10

My gp is excellent and I rarely have a problem getting in to see her. I also have private health insurance through work which has a health line staffed by nurses. I've a few issues, mainly stomach related plus anxiety. I do use the NHS website too. I'll also search YouTube for videos if I'm having a procedure so I know what is going to happen.

avocadochocolate · 01/06/2019 09:58

My first port of call is usually the NHS website. I do sometimes ask at my local pharmacy for advice too.

I find myself going to the local hospital Urgent Care centre far too often because of the difficulty of getting GP appointments.

We're all pretty healthy in our family.y DCs have asthma so we have to to go see the nurse about that from time to time.

We obviously sometimes have accidents which need medical attention.

I have had a stress fracture in my tibia recently and have sustained a very minor one again in the same bone. The initial fracture took months to heal and must have had about 25 xrays, 2 MRI scans and 2 SPECT CT scans.

We recently changed GP surgery. Our surgery had been in difficultly for some years snd we kept on assuming it would get better. It didn't. I lost patience when I called the doctor saying my illness had got worse and she replied "what do you expect me to do about it". I changed to a new GP surgery and I feel so much better now because the GP there has listened to me and helped me come up with a plan to manage things better . Mostly she just listened and now that I feel that there is someone in my corner I feel more relaxed and less stressed and that in itself has reduced my symptoms.

boptanana · 01/06/2019 10:02

I try not to go to the go so will do sensible searches on google but if I had a serious concern would always go to a walk in or the gp.

pushchairprincess · 01/06/2019 11:52

There is no point with my GP as you have to be in the a queue before you can get an appointment, so I would only do that if I was desperate. I would use the NHS111 service for advice, I think it's best to speak to a person than mr Google, I would also approach my pharmacist who would give good advice. As for mental health, I have not suffered with any issues, but known people who have, and the system has let them down - so if I had an issue with this - I would not who to go to.

Batsypatsy · 01/06/2019 12:05

I used to live in a village and had a fantastic gp, could always get an appointment. I now live in a city and can only get an appointment if I call at 8 a.m and wait til I get through - can take half an hour at least - and then the appointment is in two weeks' time. I've been having a lot of difficulties recently including mental health problems and being unable to get appointments at short notice exacerbates the problems. The surgery has online booking but there are never appointments available.

It is nearly impossible to access mental health care. I've been waiting for counselling for over a year.

I've tried using an online gp app but found they wouldn't prescribe anything without me seeing my gp.

I have ordered medication online when I couldn't get an appointment. If I could afford to go private I would.

For information I tend to come on mn or Google symptoms.

jacqui5366 · 01/06/2019 12:13

If I ring my GP I can 99% of the time get in and see either a doctor or nurse practitioner. However this would depend on the illness, I have in the past called into Boots and spoken to the pharmacist who has given advice on medicines, and alleviated my concerns on a rash my son had. We all know that mental health services have taken a hit coupled with the fact that we are all more in-tune with our mental health and there is no longer a stigma to admitting you cannot cope, I feel this service is overwhelmed and underfunded.

ohdannyboy · 01/06/2019 12:45

The last time I needed a GP appointment for my son, I was on the phone for over 40 minutes trying to get through. The line was constantly busy - it felt like a lottery if I got through when the lines became free again. I was 'triaged' by the receptionist who eventually gave me an appointment with a doctor. I would have used A and E if i could not get an appointment with the symptoms my son had (vomiting for 18 hours constantly). I have used the 111 service when my DH got superglue in he eye - we had good advice. I have never experienced mental health issues (I may have just got on with things in the early days of post natal feelings and come out the other end). I worry that if any of my family needed support with their mental health, I would not get the support I needed as I worry about the lack or resources, funding and long waiting lists. Thank you.

Montydoo · 01/06/2019 12:57

I have been registered with a community mental health service for depression for over 10 years, and have noticed the decline, and how cuts have affected the service and staff morale. My local paper published the fact that the waiting list had 822 people for an appointment, which is really worrying, how many of those will loose their battle with this illness?
As for GP's I always ask for one with a mental health specialty (my practice has more locums that GP's.
If I had to make an appointment, I have had to wait over a week, so if it was 'urgent/unbearable' I would be forced to use A and E - which I have in the past for an throat infection which meant I could not eat or sleep with it.
Our NHS and Mental health services are just about hanging on their, and I fear we will loose some of the most conscientious staff through Brexit (sorry to be political) .

lovemyflipflops · 01/06/2019 13:07

Do you visit your GP? Yes - but only when I feel it's urgent, I would go to my pharmacist, or ring the surgery for advice/

Carry out online searches? I don't use Dr Google - it can be misleading and give false advice in my opinion.

Use health apps (particularly for weight loss, exercise and nutrition)?
I have a Fitbit and used to use a calorie counting app - but it became a bit obsessive - so I stopped.

Rely on advice from friends and family?

My mum always gives the best common sense advice so I would trust her.

WIth regards to GP appointments - it's a bit hit and miss as to whether I get in or not, you have to ring before 8:30 which means I am late for work and school if I am kept on hold or cannot get through .

user1496959500 · 01/06/2019 13:58

Mental health of family and weight of all of us. Use google and mumsnet, but seek GP where possible

blackleggingsandatshirt · 01/06/2019 14:02

My GP surgery is really well staffed, with nurse practitioners who will look at minor illnesses for you. I have also popped in on my pharmacist for advice - nappy rash, and advice on medicines, and good 'swaps' on expensive high street branded medicine. The NHS Minor Ailment Scheme is great at Boots - it's really saved me time and money.

I am lucky enough to be healthy in mind and body, and don't take this for granted, the thought of being an inpatient with the NHS fills me with dread (waiting lists, staff morale, cleanliness).

I hope when Brexit is finalised our beloved NHS will get the funding and support it needs.

JC4PMPLZ · 01/06/2019 14:08

Visit GP, especially in case of children. Otherwise NHS online, googling, apps, friends etc.

OrdinarySnowflake · 01/06/2019 17:45

NHS website and pharmacy are my first ports of call currently- but our GP surgery is not great, one gp retired, the two other permanent GPs went on Mat Leave at the same time and then theres been a succession of part time, short contract GPs. It's very hard to see anyone.

xine15 · 01/06/2019 20:27

My gp is great. Online system means I can get a next day appointment if urgent or one in a couple of weeks if not. Having moved slightly away however my husband has had to register with our local, which first time we tried to get him an appointment said they had nothing available as they only book 4weeks into the future and it was full for the next 4 weeks. He could have phoned in the morning but he didn't want to take up an emergency appointment and it's apparently nigh on impossible to get thru anyway. Given we are part of a rapidly expanding new town it is unlikely to get better in the foreseeable future and so I am very reluctant to change.

I have used both nhs direct and a and e recently (have been told to go by other healthcare professionals, don't want to use unless absolutely necessary) and found the nhs to be very helpful and professional.

PenguinsRabbits · 01/06/2019 22:31

Our GPs is not great - wanted to get autism assessment for DS as school wanted it and at crisis point. GPs said we had to wait a month for appointment then refused to help. Phoned assessment centre and they said they refuse most applications but school could apply. School applied and they refused despite pages and pages of evidence as one box wasn't ticked. They just want to kick out all help for ASD to save money.

Phoned them for a blood test result and they have lost it.

Had to go to A&E in hospital recently and they were brilliant - had blood tests, heart check, CT scan of brain neurological checks all within a few hours. Only odd thing was I was sent a survey saying would I recommend A&E to friends and family - its surely someone you go when needed not as someone recommends it.

Hospital depts. variable - one took 6 months to test for cancer as put through as non-urgent, thankfully was negative but mistakes like this mean people can progress a stage if have cancer. That department I saw a different doctor each time and each had different theory. Another department was brilliant - saw same doctor each time, only a month between appointments and operated quickly and all went well. With GPs I would prefer to discuss more on phone than have to go in and also there's an issue when you have lots of symptoms they get you to pick one and so you have to do one visit per symptom.

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