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hi, I'm new and need some advice - Carers UK Forum

hi, I'm new and need some advice

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi!
My name is Siobhan, I am 27, I work full time managing pubs and am also fulltime carer for my partner, for the last 4 years.
My partner is called Roo and he broke his neck many years ago in an accident at work. This wasnt picked up on the one xray done at the time. It was discovered 4 years later when he collapsed elsewhere and was taken to the hospital there, upon xraying he was told he had previously broken his neck in 4-7 places.
Since then he had had no further scans or xrays despite being referred through the pain clinic twice.
For the 4 years we have been together he has not had more than 2 appointments with the same doctor, he ends up seeing various locums all of whom have treated him like scum, he has been asked on many occasions when trying to get his pain killers to roll his sleeves up, and had one doctor shout at him to get a job, when he asked for a medical certificate for his esa claim.
We moved house a year ago and on July 27th managed to get an appointment with a practice partner. We explained the situation and asked for help, the doctor printed of a report dated 2004 that (basically) says, we can't see anything in these xrays for some reason, if symptoms persist we need to look again, the doctor used this report as a reason why Roo can't have anymore xrays. We also explained that due to combination of tablets and low blood pressure Roo blacks out and falls over almost everytime he stands up. The doctor did nothing and said we would get no further help unless he injured himself again.
On august 7th, roo collapsed and ended up in hospital, where the doctors were disgusted that he had had no help for 10 years. They wrote to his gp demanding a referral for an mri scan. Since then we have tried to speak to the gp but are told they've had no contact from the hospital. Roo is currently in a very bad way, he suspects he broke his ribs in the fall 6 weeks ago and they are not healing properly. He is currently struggling to breathe.
He doesn't want to go to a&e because they couldn't do anything before because he needs to see a specialist before they attempt to xray him for fear of causing further injury, and because there is no information in his medical record for the last 10 years.

He NEEDS to see a doctor urgently, but wont go Back to his gp because he lied to our faces and did nothing to help and has denied the existance of the letter from the hospital.

How can I get him help from a doctor asap? To change gp will take weeks until his notes come through, and puts us back at square one having to explain everything and having him accused of being a drug addict again.

Roo is severely depressed and it's negatively affecting me now because I don't know where to go or who to turn to.
How can I get him the help he needs? Please help us?!

Thanks for reading.
Siobhan
Hi, this is going to be long...

I work full time managing pubs and am also fulltime carer for my partner, for the last 4 years.
My partner is called Roo and he broke his neck many years ago in an accident at work. This wasnt picked up on the one xray done at the time. It was discovered 4 years later when he collapsed elsewhere and was taken to the hospital there, upon xraying he was told he had previously broken his neck in 4-7 places.
Since then he had had no further scans or xrays despite being referred through the pain clinic twice.
For the 4 years we have been together he has not had more than 2 appointments with the same doctor, he ends up seeing various locums all of whom have treated him like scum, he has been asked on many occasions when trying to get his pain killers to roll his sleeves up, and had one doctor shout at him to get a job, when he asked for a medical certificate for his esa claim.
We moved house a year ago and on July 27th managed to get an appointment with a practice partner. We explained the situation and asked for help, the doctor printed of a report dated 2004 that (basically) says, we can't see anything in these xrays for some reason, if symptoms persist we need to look again, the doctor used this report as a reason why Roo can't have anymore xrays. We also explained that due to combination of tablets and low blood pressure Roo blacks out and falls over almost everytime he stands up. The doctor did nothing and said we would get no further help unless he injured himself again.
On august 7th, roo collapsed and ended up in hospital, where the doctors were disgusted that he had had no help for 10 years. They wrote to his gp demanding a referral for an mri scan. Since then we have tried to speak to the gp but are told they've had no contact from the hospital. Roo is currently in a very bad way, he suspects he broke his ribs in the fall 6 weeks ago and they are not healing properly. He is currently struggling to breathe.
He doesn't want to go to a&e because they couldn't do anything before because he needs to see a specialist before they attempt to xray him for fear of causing further injury, and because there is no information in his medical record for the last 10 years.

He NEEDS to see a doctor urgently, but wont go Back to his gp because he lied to our faces and did nothing to help and has denied the existance of the letter from the hospital.

How can I get him help from a doctor asap? To change gp will take weeks until his notes come through, and puts us back at square one having to explain everything and having him accused of being a drug addict again.

Roo is severely depressed and it's negatively affecting me now because I don't know where to go or who to turn to.
How can I get him the help he needs? Please help us?!

Thanks for reading.
Siobhan
This sounds a simply dreadful situation. I'd ask for an appointment see the Practice Manager - and take with you a signed "Subject Access Request" signed by your partner - what this means is that he wants copies of all his medical history. The surgery have about 40 working days to process the request. I would also ask the manager to look at his computer and see if he can find a letter from the hospital. If so, ask for it to be printed out for you on the spot. I'd also get your partner to investigate a "Health and Welfare" Power of Attorney so you can deal with the medical professionals without them hiding behind the Data Protection Act etc. If he can't see the letter on file, then again ask for a Subject Access Request from the Hospital. Also ask whoever it is that has supposedly sent a letter to the GP, to give you both a copy, immediately. Then either make a formal complaint against the doctor or hospital depending on who you see as being at fault. Despite your previous experiences, if he is genuinely having difficulty in breathing then that is potentially life threatening. If you didn't take him to A&E and he died, you would never forgive yourself. Finally, are you a member of any carer support group. Some areas are better than others, but you sound like it would be really helpful to have some local support. Ask Social Services what is available locally. Have they done a recent needs assessment for him? A Carers Assessment for you?
I'm not a member of any groups around here, I don't know where to turn, he has never had his care needs assessed. Most of the time he does a pretty convincing job of pretending he is ok, or just pushing through the pain. It may take him a whole day to do a load of washing up but he WILL do it. He is so stubborn!

the only doctor who has actually shown any sort of concern or offered any suitable treatment options was, believe it or not, his most recent ATOS assessor. (He had his benefits returned but doc was in no position to actually help medically)

Unfortunately I was away working at the time he collapsed (a friend took him to hospital, Roo didn't even tell me until 3days later, as he 'didn't want to worry' me. If I had been there I would have requested the letter on the spot, as well as making note of what was said and doctors names. (Apparently there were 10 drs in the room at one point all despairing about the lack of records)
From what I've been told the hospital staff did what they could but were tied by lack of records, no back and neck specialist on staff at the time of his visit, and their fear of causing further injury should they attempt to xray.

The current breathing issues are more because it hurts, a lot. And he takes a pretty strong concoction of prescription drugs and has an incredibly high pain tolerance.

If he's refusing to go how can I make him?
I suppose it doesn't help that I really don't want to be spending a rare Sunday night off sat in a&e (but that's just me being selfish)
Just tried to convince him again to go to hospital but he is flat out refusing. Every reason I give to go, he will find an excuse not to, if I negate his excuse he has another one etc etc...

Aaargggghhhhh!
Siobhan, that's a dreadful saga! This may not be a feasiable suggestion from a financial point of view, but would it be possible to bypass the NHS for a while? Most private hospitals (look up BMI, Bupa,Nuffield) have private GPs, and seeing one for an appointment would cost around £100 (or thereabouts, might be a little more alas.).

I know that seems a huge amount of money, BUT a private GP is far more 'on your side' than an NHS one, and would also be able to refer your partner - possibly only for a 'private' consultation with a specialist (which itself would cost around £150-200). I know that's a huge anmount of money for what SHOULD (!!!!!) be available on the NHS, BUT, once the consultant has seen your partner privately, he should be able to refer your partner BACK into teh NHS - most of the private consultants are, in fact, exactly teh same consultants as in the NHS, but they do their private work 'out of hours'.

I know it's not ideal, and it may not be financially feasible, but if those two appointments are at all possible, it may be a way for your partner to get the help he obviously needs. If you phoned the private hospital near you and asked whether, if you see a consultant privately, they can then pass you BACK into the NHS for treatment, that would limit the amount of money you would have to pay out.

One other thought might be to check if your nearby NHS hospitals have 'minor injuries units' or even, better still, their own 'out of hours' GPs, because a 'hospital GP' would have no interest in 'stonewalling' your partner the way he has been treated so far - hopefully a 'hospital GP' could pass him straight into the hosptial system for decent treatment.

Finally, again, it might not be feasibly financially, BUT, it is possible to have MRIs done privately (they do cost several hundred pounds alas....), and then, armed with the information the MRI reveals, your partner might then be able to 'prove' to the doctors just what is wrong with him and what treatment is therefore required.

It does seem appalling that your poor partner can't get a decent GP......

Hope others here may come forward with some cheaper ideas than I've been able to come up with.

All the best possible for you and your partner - Jenny.
Hello Shibby

I have merged your two topics to keep all replies to your post in one place :)


p.s. Welcome to the Forum !
Hi shibby and welcome to the forum
Shibby wrote:Just tried to convince him again to go to hospital but he is flat out refusing. Every reason I give to go, he will find an excuse not to, if I negate his excuse he has another one etc etc...

Aaargggghhhhh!
It is so difficult to help your caree when they are working against you.
I once went with hubby to see his GP and everything I tried to tell the GP about he just sat there and flatly denied it. By the end of the consultation the GP was convinced that I was making it all up. :shock:

I don't know what the answer is, but I feel for you.
Hi. Thanks all.

We put in an SAR with practice manager today, apparently she will call us to arrange a time to visit with her.

Docs are still saying they have recieved nothing from hospital, we have an appointment with a different partner on Thursday morning. Were offered one with original doc but I refused because he lied to us last time and told us we wouldn't get any help from him.

Gonna call PALS in the morning to see if they can send someone to come with us Thursday.

Many people have told him he needs to go to a&e but he's still making excuses. After booking app earlier he told me he is ready to give up. Says the only way he can see himself getting any help from anyone is if he starts to 'get noticed' by wandering the streets in a dressing gown, carrying a 'pet brick' on a lead and telling everyone he sees his name is Mary, until someone calls someone in a professional position to help him.

In the process of finding a recommended GP locally to switch to. But if he's given up where does that leave me?

Also, someone recommended I speak to MIND but since we know the cause of his depression is chronic pain that no one wants to help with I'm not sure what MIND can do to help us?
I wish we could afford to go private, even if only for an initial consultation, however his esa and my minimum wage job don't really leave a spare hundred pounds anywhere, unless I saved £5 a week, but can't wait that long.
Considering setting up a 'go fund me' page....