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1038 posts

Uber Geek

#275819 11-Sep-2020 09:53
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So I've had another birthday and have generally felt unwell for the past two years. I'm a bit tired of seeing my GP every other month, I know he's doing his best, but it seems like I get a blood test which comes back normal, and try some slightly different pills. I'm loathe to google things as you get so many different answers. 


So at what point do you change? And how do you approach it? Make an appointment and ask them to go over your previous notes of the last two years? I think I'm going to have to start writing things down as I can't remember half the stuff!

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23467 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #2562061 11-Sep-2020 10:07
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Have you, or do you feel comfortable, with having a pretty honest and direct conversation with your existing GP? If you haven't and feel comfortable, then do so. If you don't feel comfortable, in my opinion, it's time to change.


Finding a good GP can be a bit of a challenge. Not because there aren't loads of good, capable, competent doctors around, but that sometimes, it's about "meshing". I feel very comfortable with my GP, and he's not perfect, but I don't feel uncomfortable raising issues with him, and I also feel I could be honest if I felt he wasn't meeting my needs well for a particular issue. 


I think 2 years is a long time to be feeling unwell, and I'm like you, I think searching around on the internet for non specific symptoms (or even specific ones) may having you finding you have a disease that only 1 in 100M people have :)


In my experience, general unwellness, is approached by GP's with some basic tests, and then making your sure your basics are looked after. Sleep, Weight, exercise, changes in diet, changes in bowel activity (These and other things can be difficult to talk about etc, but trust me when I tell you, don't leave these things out of discussions with your doctor, find a doctor you are OK discussing even the grossest or embarrassing symptoms with).


Bottom line is.. This is YOUR health, you are primarily responsible for it, and if you feel you aren't getting appropriate care, I think you should look at alternatives or at the very least, have a very direct (respectful but firm) conversation with your existing GP, and ask him to make a plan you both agree to.




One thing to add, and I know this from experience as my wife is a GP (not mine!), the amount of time GP's get with patients is getting lower and lower, due to financial pressures. If you have a longstanding issue(s), or want more time with the GP, book a double appointment slot, this gives both of you more time to explore/discuss solutions, and potential issues..




Good luck!





294 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2562067 11-Sep-2020 10:14
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Once you find a new GP, register with the practice and your notes from the previous clinic will be sent to the new clinic via encrypted email.


Your notes can only be held by the practice where you are registered, and you can only register with one practice at a time.


746 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2562068 11-Sep-2020 10:21
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One thing you need to bear in mind is that some GP clinics only have a certain number of patient slots available, and often have only a short period each year in which they accept new “enrolments”. I also remember there was some paperwork I needed to do when I switched GPs around 5 years ago, to do with changing my PHO (Primary Healthcare “something”??). I think that is all to do with the government subsidising the GP fees.

174 posts

Master Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #2562090 11-Sep-2020 10:52
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You can go to another GP but you will be charged approx double the fee that you pay where you are registered. There’s nothing to stop you trying someone else out for a second opinion, and you can request your results etc are not shared with your present doctor. You could also make an appointment with one of the other doctors in the practice on a day that your own doctor's appointment list is full. That way you are still in the same practice but trying out someone else.

Also remember that worrying about symptoms can often exacerbate them and generally things aren’t nearly as bad as we imagine. Take any steps to make you feel in control of the situation and powerful again.

Best wishes.

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