MRI Scan wait time during COVID


I am going to the GP in two days as I have some of the symptoms of MS.

In these COVID times, what are people’s experiences of the time taken from seeing your GP to getting an MRI scan on the NHS?

Just wanting to know so I can try and prepare myself.

With thanks

I was reffered 3 weeks ago and have an urgent NHS refferal through for end of August. I went private in the end !

Though I do understand 3 months is pretty fast by NHS standards

dont think its that bad to be honest. when i started my journey it was about six months lol.

I am sure you will get an appointment soon enough.

I would prepare for about 3 months wait. depends on your post code i think.


I think you’ll probably have to be quite patient. Your GP would have to agree that you have neurological symptoms first. Note that I’m using the term ‘neurological’ rather than ‘MS’, because there are many diagnoses that share symptoms with MS. Thus you probably can’t authoritatively state that you have symptoms of MS.

Your GP would then refer you to a neurologist. A waiting time for a neurology appointment will depend on how urgently your GP stresses your need and your local conditions.

Once you see a neurologist, they would normally do a neurological exam. Following this, they’ll decide a) if you have a neurological problem, and b) what that ‘might’ be. Subsequently they’ll refer you for diagnostic tests, which may include MRI scan(s).

So it could be a couple of weeks or a few months before you have an MRI. If then. Your GP could theoretically refer you for MRI scans, but they aren’t able to diagnose from a scan; any anomalies would cause them to refer you to a neurologist.

If your symptoms seem really serious, you could phone 111 or even go to A&E. That could speed things up.


1 Like

I went to my GP in March with symptoms and was referred on 15th April for routine MRI and neurologist. Heard nothing and symptoms got worse so another urgent referral was done on the 4th May and I had my MRI done last week on the 15th June, now also have a telephone consultation with neurologist for the 12th July.
Been off work for over 12 weeks and going back tomorrow, now on meds which have sorted most of my symptoms but still eager to get to the bottom of it.
Just hang on in there, it’s a pain but it’s just a waiting game :crossed_fingers: