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How can I help my friend who can hardly walk?

(24 Posts)
ExDancer Fri 24-Sep-21 11:40:14

My friend has had an arthritic hip for years, and its got to the point where it suddenly collapses and she almost falls, she's obviously in great pain too.
She has the money for a private consultation but not enough for the full hip replacement operation, if thats what she needs.
However her NHS gp has refused to refer her to a private consultant (over the phone) and she's too timid to ask for a second opinion.
He's told her she can't self-refer. I'm sure there's some way she can at least be seen and assessed privately - has anyone any ideas?

Dogsmakemesmile Fri 24-Sep-21 11:47:04

I have no direct experience of this but I thought anyone could self refer. Could she phone someone like BUPA and ask for information as to how to proceed? I think they would ask for notes from her GP which I would think he would be obliged to release. Someone with far more knowledge will be along soon. You are a great friend. Fingers crossed.

NotSpaghetti Fri 24-Sep-21 11:54:53

Private clinics take self-paying patients. Call them to see if you need a referral - my mother-in-law saw a private consultant recently at one of he “Spires” clinics recently.

SynchroSwimmer Fri 24-Sep-21 11:56:22

Also research online orthopaedic consultants who work both for the NHS and privately.

Pay for the private consultation - then ask the surgeon if he will place you on his NHS operating list.

My MIL successfully did this

Nannan2 Fri 24-Sep-21 11:59:12

Could she ask for an opinion/referral to an hospital orthopaedic consultant but then choose the ones which do NHS appts in a private hospital?In our county we often get offered appts at a private hospital with their own consultants who work with the NHS patients also.Ring your local health authority and ask if they offer this.

MissAdventure Fri 24-Sep-21 12:04:52

Spire hospitals allow self referral, I'm sure.

Nannan2 Fri 24-Sep-21 12:05:09

I was offered free consultation in the private hospital, with the same consultant orthopaedic surgeon whom some patients are paying a lot to for private treatment.I was booked into that same private hospital, same consultant, for a more minor knee op- private room etc..And was offered double knee op, same surgeon, same hospital, in the future.But covid put a hold on that for now for me.

MissAdventure Fri 24-Sep-21 12:06:17

I've just seen they do phone consultations, too.
So her gp can stick that in his pipe and smoke it!

Nannan2 Fri 24-Sep-21 12:09:04

My G.P sent off referral in usual way, then when the lady rang me from appointments dept i was offered a list of hospitals, and the private one was amongst those.

Nannan2 Fri 24-Sep-21 12:10:39

Yes, i think it could be under the 'spire' umbrella of hospitals, if i was a paying patient.

JenniferEccles Fri 24-Sep-21 22:45:26

As your friend is in so much pain, and at risk of falling and breaking her hip she should ask her GP to arrange an X-ray of the hip which will show the true state of it.

It’s not true that she can’t refer herself to an orthopaedic surgeon privately if she pays.
All she has to do is choose a surgeon (preferably one recommended) and phone his private secretary to book an appointment to see him.
It will be in the region of £200, and the surgeon will have access to the X-ray.
She will then be put on the NHS list for a hip replacement.

Oldbutstilluseful Fri 24-Sep-21 23:14:57

You can ask for a second opinion from another doctor at your GP surgery. I did so and although I wasn’t allowed to see a partner I did see a GP who referred me for surgery without quibbling.

Good luck to your friend.

ElderlyPerson Sat 25-Sep-21 00:14:38

Your friend could write to her Member of Parliament, explain accurately and in detail the situation, and ask the MP to write to the local Clinical Commissioning Group for a report as to why she cannot be referred for NHS-funded treatment.

One can usually do this by email, but make sure to advise her to include her full postal address so that it can be checked that she is one of the MPs constituents.

welbeck Sat 25-Sep-21 04:27:49

the GP is probably working to guidelines not to refer people who can walk, or are not in enough pain.
the whole system is creaking.
never understate your symptoms people !
you can always step out of the system later, if you want to, but trying to get any referrals or investigations is v difficult.
it does look as if they are wanting to hive off more of it to the private sector.

BlueBelle Sat 25-Sep-21 04:28:06

Encourage your friend to change doctors that one sounds unhelpful to say the very least

silverlining48 Sat 25-Sep-21 07:08:46

Your friend may benefit from a steroid injection in the hip. I have just had one and feel so much better.
Her Surgery should be able to refer her fir assessment so might be sensible to try again.
Otherwise contact Benenden to discuss treatment or join them as a member for £13 s month. They are very good,
However you have to be a member fir 6 months before getting that type of treatment free.

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 25-Sep-21 07:56:24

Ask her GP for an X-ray, she will need this if she goes down the Private Consultation route, otherwise seeing a Consultant is a waste of time and money, he will want her to have one before he can offer her help.
She could get the X-ray done privately herself, but she will need a referral letter from her GP, then armed with this she can go to any Private Consultant local to her.
Cheaper than going for a full op privately, and she will know her options, however her Consultant might not be able to put her onto an NHS list, he will write to her GP with his findings and her GP will then have to refer heron.
DDs consultant wasnt able to put her onto the NHS list for her knee replacement recently, (but we went Private anyway) she asked him and he said that they didn’t do that any more.

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 25-Sep-21 07:57:02

Her on , not a heron……..

JavierPerero Sat 25-Sep-21 22:57:17

Message deleted by Gransnet for breaking our forum guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Humbertbear Sun 26-Sep-21 08:40:16

If you have insurance then the company require a GP referral before they will cover a consultation. If you are self financing, you just ring your chosen private hospital and make an appointment. A GP shouldn’t refuse a referral to a private hospital - all they have to do is issue a short letter. But any consultant is going to want to order CT or MRI scans so the cost of those has to be factored in.

MerylStreep Sun 26-Sep-21 09:01:31

I don’t believe doctors are working to guidelines not to refer
I have a neighbour/ friend with a painful hip. She is still out everyday ( without a stick). I took her to the hospital some weeks back under referral from the doctor.

Yiayia4 Sun 26-Sep-21 20:45:09

My GP referred me to an NHS orthopaedic surgeon,it would have been months so I paid to see him privately.I’m now on his NHS list for replacement.

welbeck Mon 27-Sep-21 02:27:11

in some areas GPs can't refer directly; it has to be approved by another interim body first.

Hetty58 Mon 27-Sep-21 07:54:46

I had scans at the local Spires hospital - to avoid a long wait. My GP was happy to use them to refer me to a specialist for back problems, through the NHS but at another private hospital. They seem to work in partnership here, which makes sense, as the same consultants and doctors work for both.