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Doc forgot to sign my scrip!

Well, they’re definitely on a wind-down. All three partners are leaving at the end of the week.

I’ve recently requested a repeat prescription - three items.

They “approved” all of them, and sent them to the pharmacy, but only two have been delivered.

When I queried it with the pharmacy, they said the third arrived unsigned, so has had to go back for signature, and will take another two or three days turnaround!

Thank God it wasn’t the Baclofen, as I’m on my very last card, and can’t go “another two or three days”.

Could’ve found myself in a very dodgy predicament there - they’d have had to do something faster than that.

As for what’s happening after this week, the practice is being taken over by some sort of consortium, for a fixed period of two years. No news beyond that.

Was promised there would be some open evenings to meet the new staff and ask questions, but have heard no more, and probably wouldn’t be able to go anyway. Turning out on public transport on a January night is hardly ideal. If it had been daytime, I might have gone, but I realise that wouldn’t suit their working patients.

Tina

hi tina

my surgery has lots of new doctors and it is very hard to find one that i can talk to.

the doctor who got me through my diagnosis has got his own practice about 8 miles away.

so my choice is switch practices to see my doctor chan or stay with the surgery which is about 50m away.

the reason i want a gp that i can talk to is that my son was rushed to hospital over christmas with mental health issues.

i’m worried sick about him, i visit but he is pushing me away.

add that to the challenges of ms and no wonder i want to hibernate.

carole x

Thanks for replying, Carole.

They’ve not even gone yet, and already the first glitches are starting to happen.

What is - or should be - a routine part of my life now (ordering repeat prescriptions) has become something of a dreaded ordeal.

To be fair, this is the first time I know without doubt the GPs have slipped up. Usually, it’s the pharmacy that gives me the total runaround. However early I order, even allowing, from experience, for “a bit of bother”, they still seem to manage to hold things up until I’m absolutely on the brink of running out of something!

It’s so stressful - the thought of being without any of my meds - but especially the Baclofen, which may cause hallucinations or convulsions if stoped “cold turkey” - fills me with dread. Almost as soon as I’ve filed the request, I start to feel the now familiar anxiety of: “What will go wrong this time? Will it turn up in time? Will it be correct?” It shouldn’t be like this.

I really worry about what will happen if my condition deteriorates to the point I don’t have the mental or psychological faculties to keep to keep chasing stuff like this. I have no relative or carer to look out for me, and honestly don’t trust “the system” (pharmacy or surgery) to notice or care if I’ve been left without meds, and lack the stamina or organisational skills to sort it out myself!

Nearly every month, I’m on the phone asking: “Are they coming soon? It’s been ten days!”, or: “Thank you for your delivery, but what happened to the rest?”

Most of this has had nothing at all to do with the doctors, except this latest time.

But I am very worried about continuity of treatment - whether I opt to change surgeries, or stick with this one, and hope the new consortium are alright.

I always had my GP on my side - sometimes overriding what the neuro (who doesn’t really know me) had to say. I’m worried that a stranger will start trying to force me to reduce or come off things that could be regarded as controversial: comparatively high dose of baclofen, routine diazepam, and contraceptive pill, for example. The latter is only controversial because of my age. They don’t really like to prescribe it at my age (peri-menopausal), but it has made a big difference to quality of life, because I’m actually using it to reduce MS symptoms - not for contraceptive purposes. I used to be in a right state once a month - or once every three weeks, as my natural cycle had reduced to - because all my MS symptoms flared up. Now, I not only have shorter and lighter periods, but can go up to eight weeks without having one at all, because I’m allowed to run two cycles back-to back without a break. So although it’s not a recognised MS treatment, it’s massively helped in practical terms.

I’m concerned that whoever I end up with next will believe the Baclofen should come down, and the diazepam and the pill should go altogether!

If that should happen, my only appeal will be to my neuro, to say: “Look, these really help - can you write and tell them I need them?”

I considered myself very fortunate to have landed a GP who trusted me as a responsible patient who won’t take drugs willy-nilly, but, only if there’s a tangible benefit. But that trust took years to earn - and only really came once she realised I was seriously ill, and far from moaning, had barely complained.

I don’t know if I shall be so lucky with a newcomer who may be very “by the book”.

Tina

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Hi Tina

It’s so difficult to know what to say to you. I totally understand your worries, it’s a nightmare getting to know new doctors. I doubt they’d just stop your existing medication without looking at your records and what the previous doctors did and their reasons for what you’ve been prescribed. After my GP emigrated, I saw a different doctor every time for over a year, I wanted to establish a relationship with one of the doctors, but every time I needed an appointment only a different one happened to be available. Eventually, I have managed to see the same doctor about 3 times, she also sees my husband (who’s seen her a lot in the last 2 years) and as he always comes with me nowadays, I finally feel like I have a doctor who recognises me and remembers some of my history.

You do have really good reasons for the drugs you take, and once you explain them (if you need to), I’m sure they’ll continue your prescriptions. After all, if you stopped taking diazepam, you’d have to take a different benzo diazepine so there’d be little point. Since you’re not on the maximum dose of Baclofen there’d be no good reason to reduce that. If they wanted to try, they’d do it bit by bit (and if you then find your cramps go mental as a result they’d probably increase it again). And as for the pill, you’re not too old to be taking it, since you’re not to old to have periods and again, you have a very good reason for taking it. I’m very fortunate in that I seem to have naturally stopped periods, but my new GP said they could restart again because I’m a bit young to have completely stopped (I’m nearly 49).

I don’t think you’re going to be able to stop worrying about the change until it’s happened and you’ve seen one of the new consortium, and they agree to continue your drug regimen. But, you may be pleasantly surprised. I hope so.

Sue

Thanks Sue,

I keep telling myself it could go completely the other way. Would a bunch of new doctors risk upsetting existing patients, by challenging prescriptions that, in some cases, have been approved for years?

Won’t they already have enough on their plates?

So, even if anything on my repeat prescriptions list does cause a raised eyebrow or two, would they want to interfere - at least in the short term?

Unless they thought anything was so glaringly inappropriate it was dangerous, they’d probably just call me in for a review in due course, and I’d at least have the chance to put my case, but it’s unlikely to be their top priority.

As an aside, Google tells me what is happening to my old doctor. She’s not going to stop being an NHS GP - in fact, she’s moving just a mile or two down the road to join a large, multi-partner practice.

Unfortunately for me, it’s a mile or two in the wrong direction - I’m just outside the catchment area for the surgery she’s moving to, so won’t be allowed to follow her.

I feel a bit let down in a way - not on a personal level, because obviously it’s not just me affected. But their collective resignation statement (her and the other two partners) made it sound as if being an NHS GP was just too demanding these days. So I think it’s a wee bit hypocritical to carry on doing it just a mile or two down the road. Obviously it’s something specific to that surgery that cheesed them off, not working for the NHS per se. One of the other partners is joining her at the new place, but no news on what’s happening to the third.

I’m none the wiser what the true story is. I’m wondering if they simply got “poached” by a larger practice with more bargaining power. If so, it’s appalling that an expanding practice can simply “pinch” staff from a neighbouring area, leaving that area with a crisis in GP provision.

What a great shame she moved a mile further, and not a mile nearer, so I could have joined a closer surgery AND kept the same doctor!

Tina

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