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Type 1 Is my GP allowed to do this?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Luciel, May 20, 2019.

  1. Luciel

    Luciel Type 1 · Member

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    I'm kind of annoyed by how my local practice treats me.

    They'll fairly often withhold (or "reduce" as they put it) medications (typically test cassettes) and will allow me to run out until I book for an "annual" review. They will not fulfill any attempts to get the needed medical items until I attend, which causes problems when the earliest dates are weeks later.

    It's worth noting "annual" apparently happens every 3-9 months. These "reviews" as they do them are basically pointless, being nothing more than a list of pointless questions, usually being little more than "do you want to take part in this current scheme for taking these pointless medications we get paid to encourage you to take".

    In the past I was on holiday for a month. During that time they sent out one of these appointments (for the next week), and obviously not knowing about it and being on the other side of the planet I didn't attend. When I came back I found that every single prescription had been cancelled until I came to an appointment. This included Novorapid/Lantus too.

    The question is, are they allowed to do this?
     
  2. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    @Luciel I do not know what is "allowed" but it seems unethical and insensitive.
    Do you attend a specialist diabetes clinic at, for example, the local hospital?

    My GP surgery has suggested I attend a regular diabetes and medication review but when I point out I have had a recent diabetes appointment at the hospital they seem happy to cancel the one with the GP.

    Whenever I have had problems with my GP surgery, I have written to the surgery manager and factually described my experience (without any emotion) and explained what outcomes I have wanted. This has resulted in changes to their processes and improvements in my care.
     
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  3. MeiChanski

    MeiChanski Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    My old GP centre would highlight the prescription review date and they too would say I have to attend otherwise they would not repeat my prescriptions. Nowadays I never really had a problem, I just attend the prescription reviews any way to avoid any issues. Whether it is allowed or not I don't know. But I know prescription reviews are needed but when speaking to my GP she has no issues doing a prescription review every 6 months.
     
  4. Luciel

    Luciel Type 1 · Member

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    I am currently seeing a consultant at the local hospital. Ironically at the last appointment he said he'd tell the practice to increase the testing cassettes to better help me. Obviously they were confused by the message and did the opposite a few months later.

    The practice is part of a "group", which means it's kind of hard to tell who is the head of what. I think most of all i'd rather not go through the whole "review" structure they provide. It gives me zero benefit and causes me to feel worse about everything and much less trusting of medical professionals. As this private group has bought out basically every practice locally I don't have a choice of moving either. I'd much prefer to have nothing to do with the GP in a field they are absolutely clueless in and be seen at the hospital instead. Even if it was once every 25 years it would be preferable.

    The NHS constitution does state something along the lines that patients have a right to choice and to refuse any part of any treatment they do not wish to do (with some exceptions due to diminished mental state etc.). So, in theory you can refuse to do anything, or just turn up and leave. Being forced by withholding essential medicines does seem to violate the "choice" bit.

    It does feel a little silly having to go prove that you still need medication for a (currently, in most cases) incurable condition. I did see a diabetic consultant less than 6 months before they decided to do the latest withheld medication escapade.
     
  5. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi there, I get why they need regular appointments with people on life saving medicine but are they actually stopping your insulin until the appointment? I do not see how that is ethical, what if you run out?????
     
  6. Luciel

    Luciel Type 1 · Member

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    I guess i'll either have to go the old fashioned route with dog pancreas juice or something (whatever that was) or to the hospital.

    Typically they only prevent me from getting hold of testing materials. As of yesterday I have completely run out, and the "review" isn't until another 9 days.
     
  7. Rokaab

    Rokaab Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Can you call them and tell them it's run out and that yes you have got an appointment booked - the fact that you have the appointment booked can make the difference - if not then tell them you need an emergency appointment today to sort it all out. Test strips are essential for a Type 1 and even more so if you drive.
     
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  8. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    That is never right. You absolutely need to test before you inject for starters, surely you are not expected to give yourself insulin not knowing what your glucose level is. What about when you feel off, how will you know whether your levels are at 4 or 2??? No way would I wait 9 days, I would be down that surgery pronto making a right old fuss. x
     
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  9. Luciel

    Luciel Type 1 · Member

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    They aren't really the kind of place where getting an appointment (or through on the phone) is straightforward or easy. Last time I tried for an emergency appointment (via their website, as the phone was engaged constantly) I was ignored for 48 hours and then finally told via a phone consultation to go to a hospital GP the next day (who sent me straight to A&E).

    I know not all GPs are so terrible, but to put it into context they sometimes run the "doctor first" scheme without any doctors, they're a bit comedic in their terriblness. :D

    I'll try and see what they can do, but they are somewhat convinced that "I test too much" and that i'm testing for the sheer thrill and excitement of it.

    They are a bit strange and clueless at the best of times (insert story how they ignored my best friend for years and told her she was "having migraines"/"it's just teenage issues" before sending her to a professional doctor who quickly found out she'd been having transient ischemic attacks (or mini strokes))!

    I guess i'll have to contact the diabetic department at the hospital if the GP place is still being useless today!
     
  10. kitedoc

    kitedoc Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    You have the option of reporting all the doctors or at least the one who is supposed to write your prescriptions to the Medical Board for withholding life-dependent medication.
    It is unethical and using it as an excuse to make you attend whilst away overseas or where your supply of insulin will run out beforehand is coercion.
    As others have said going back to the specialist sounds best and telling the specialist why might help but you have seen already one or more of your GPs apparently cannot follow simple instructions.
    You gave a right to have your need for life-saving medication and the monitoring strips provided without obstruction or coercion.
    No GP who abides by the GMCs (Grand Medical Council, the pooh-bar of UK medical boards) code of conduct would be seen doing what you say this mob are doing.
     
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  11. MEValentijn

    MEValentijn Type 2 · Active Member

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    Sounds like they're trying to reduce expenses by killing off their patients. So just the usual, pretty much :p
     
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  12. db89

    db89 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Luciel, in the short term I would be making a nuisance of myself if necessary to ensure that you quickly get whatever supplies you currently have run out of which you need.

    In the longer term, it sounds like they need reminding of the contents of this letter which was sent to all GPs a few years ago along with the NICE Recommendations for Blood Glucose management, specifically in some key points in Section 1.6 (1.6.11 sounds most relevant for you). You will probably have to formally raise this with the Practice Manager by letter (including copies of the information above). You will need to set out the issues and what you would like for outcome(s) factually and without emotion as @helensaramay suggests she has used herself and hopefully you can then get them to stop this situation from happening going forward.
     
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  13. Luciel

    Luciel Type 1 · Member

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    Soo, strange update.

    I went to the blood test before the appointment and saw a nurse, who I spoke to (calmly) and used words like "unethical" quite a bit. She phoned the on site pharmacy to see if they had any medications for me, and apparently they did "3 days ago". The "3 days" in this case apparently didn't include yesterday or the day before when they didn't have anything. This bizarre time distortion also stopped the bag being labelled or folded and prevented it being placed onto a sorting shelf (so basically they'd just done it). But at least I have some supplies again for now. :D

    Thank you to everyone for your help!

    This is good to know! I'm seriously considering it, and definitely will if they do this again (which is more than likely).

    6 to 10! I think I average about 6.5 a day, which isn't popular with them, they seem to think I'm crazy or wasteful or something and the doctors are always questioning it via the pharmacist and delaying refilling orders. I basically live cassette to cassette with often one running out before the next one is fulfilled, even when i'm not on "medications reduced" status.

    So this information is good to know!
     
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  14. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have experienced the same treatment but found that as long as I had pencilled in a review appointment, I could order repeat prescriptions.
     
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    #14 ert, May 20, 2019 at 5:49 PM
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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